“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed. If you do read it, you’re misinformed,” Denzel Washington told The Hill at the premier of his latest film last Tuesday night. Apparently, most Americans agree with Washington’s assessment. According to the Associated Press, only six percent have confidence in the media. But why is Denzel blasting the media?
Washington, currently promoting his new film, Fences, was featured in a false report in August, claiming that he was backing Donald Trump for president. Though the story was false, it was published far and wide.
Denzel says the mainstream media needs to live up to its “responsibility” to be truthful, warning that the temptation to be “first” has the potential to hurt people. “So what a responsibility you all have – to tell the truth,” he said at a recent red carpet event. “In our society, now it’s just fine – who cares, get it out there. We don’t care who it hurts. We don’t care who we destroy. We don’t care if it’s true.”
The Associated Press has more bad news for the mainstream media. Not only do just six percent of Americans trust them; perception of the media has actually dropped lower than in the Watergate era – much lower. In the aftermath of Watergate and its cover-up, a full 72 percent still trusted them.
In another survey, Pew Research reports that more Americans trust Facebook for their news than NBC. Denzel Washington’s condemnation of the media is not making news; he is simply confirming what the rest of us already knew.