Television

Americans trust Fox, Eminem more than Variety, Bush

NEW YORK: Americans trust CNN and Fox slightly more than they trust national network TV news and considerably more than they trust national feature magazines such as People and Vanity Fair. More Americans find greater truth in Eminem's lyrics than President Bush's speeches.

These findings are contained in a recent survey by Euro RSCG Worldwide. The survey also dealt with gossip. Of the 1,016 American adults polled, 75 per cent agreed that "Americans are obsessed with Hollywood gossip." Nearly, 74 per cent believe "Americans adore personal scandals such as JFK's alleged affairs or a celebrity in jail."

Also interesting is the fact that more men than women find Oprah Winfrey trustworthy. As far as news publications are concerned, Americans consider The Wall Street Journal the most trustworthy source of hard news, followed by an equal vote for USA Today, The New York Times and MSNBC.com. At the bottom are Bill O'Reilly and Oprah.

In the aftermath of the Iraq War bad-boy rapper Eminem scored higher on truth telling than George W. Bush. Around 53 per cent of respondents agreed that "America's youth find more 'truth' in Eminem's lyrics than in President Bush's speeches". Just 19 per cent disagreed. And age was not a critical factor: 55 per cent of those aged 35-44 agreed that Eminem's lyrics contain more truth than President Bush's speeches.

Euro RSCG Worldwide's chief strategy officer Marian Salzman said: "This survey confirms the remarkable power of person-to-person communication. The most trustworthy information source of all? Restaurant reviews from friends. After that: local news. This tells us that while people may take information from nationally branded media sources, it is not credible until they process it themselves until they convert it to buzz."

The former editorial director of America Online Jesse Kornbluth said, "It is not surprising that Euro RSCG found such a low level of trust in traditional 'authoritative' sources of news. News is so completely managed these days--not just by celebrity press agents, but by government and business -- that it is harder and harder to believe most of what you read. Ironically, you can believe gossip; more and more, Gossip is 'all the news before it happens.'"

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