Trusting the New York Times

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Pollster Scott Rasmussen decided to do a little poll on how people think about The New York Times — the results put the paper’s favorablility ratings in the tank with those of President Bush.

Just 24% of American voters have a favorable opinion of the New York Times. Forty-four percent (44%) have an unfavorable opinion and 31% are not sure. The paper’s ratings are much like a candidate’s and divide sharply along partisan and ideological lines.

By a 50% to 18% margin, liberal voters have a favorable opinion of the paper. By a 69% to 9%, conservative voters offer an unfavorable view. The newspaper earns favorable reviews from 44% of Democrats, 9% of Republicans, and 17% of those not affiliated with either major political story.

The Times recently became enmeshed in controversy over an article published concerning John McCain. Sixty-five percent (65%) of the nation’s likely voters say they have followed that story at least somewhat closely.

Of those who followed the story, 66% believe it was an attempt by the paper to hurt the McCain campaign. Just 22% believe the Times was simply reporting the news. Republicans, by an 87% to 9% margin, believe the paper was trying to hurt McCain’s chances of winning the White House. Democrats are evenly divided.

It’s no surprise to any readers of this blog that the Times’ lean to the left isn’t restricted to its liberal editorial page.

One correction. I said that the poll results put the Times in the public approval basement with Bush. That’d be wrong. Bush’s latest number is 11 points better than the Times’.

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