It's official.... they hate us.
The Washington Post's Paul Farhi says that everyone hates the media.
He writes, it's now official (or at least entirely self-evident): Just about everyone hates the news media.
For decades, conservatives took it as an article of faith that the mainstream media had it in for them. From President Richard M. Nixon's parting shot at reporters in 1962 ("You don't have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference") to Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson's attack on the skeptical coverage of his life story, conservative suspicion of the media's presumed liberal bias has cured like cement, becoming hard and unyielding.
But liberals are catching up. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has railed against the alleged sins of the "corporate media" during this year's campaign. Sanders's main opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton, has conveyed suspicion, if not outright hostility, of the news media since her days as first lady.
And then there was Monday's spectacle in Columbia, Missouri, where a group of fresh-faced college students bullied and badgered reporters seeking to cover a protest at the University of Missouri.
"Hey, hey, ho, ho, reporters have got to go," the young people chanted, echoing a campus rallying cry once aimed at a president, Lyndon B. Johnson, who presided over an unpopular war.
"Everyone sees (the media) as too arrogant," said Tim Graham of the Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog organization. "Everyone sees them as bad listeners. Everyone sees them as dumbing down the news for consultants teaching them to goose ratings and page clicks."
No, not everyone distrusts the "media" -- a hugely imprecise term incorporating innumerable print, broadcast and digital sources -- but the trend hasn't been the friend of journalists for years. Only 4 in 10 Americans told Gallup's pollsters this year that they had "a great deal" or "a fair amount" of trust and confidence in the media's ability to report the news "fully, fairly and accurately." The figure tied all-time lows from 2012 and 2014.
Conservatives still evince far greater skepticism than liberals, but that gap is closing. Trust in the media among Democrats fell to 54 percent last year, a 14-year low. The figure for Republicans was 32 percent.
The big question is why.
Gallup itself says the media's tumbling public esteem roughly parallels the loss of trust in other institutions, such as Congress, banks, organized religion and the presidency. But the polling organization also suggests that some of the media's wounds are self-inflicted: "Major venerable news organizations have been caught making serious mistakes in the past several years, including the scandal involving former NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams."