'Fake News' President's 'Trust' Falls To Lowest Level Yet, Lags Biden 4-to-1


After years of calling America's major news outlets "fake news," the President's own TV news brand has actually crumbled, while a first-time benchmark for Democratic opponent Joe Biden comes in at nearly four times the incumbents level, but nonetheless half of what the major TV network news brands yield.

The unique analysis, which is conducted by independent brand researcher Brand Keys, assesses the degree to which trust plays a role in valuing news brands. Since Brand Keys began tracking it for MediaPost in 2018, it has looked at both print and TV news brands, and has also tracked the President within that.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brand Keys moved up its semi-annual survey to May from August to see how it was impacting each subject, and not surprisingly, the President's trust score contribution fell to the lowest level since Brand Keys began tracking it: just 12%, from a high of 33% in February 2019.

Biden's debut score, meanwhile, comes in at 43%, which while significantly ahead of the incumbent, lags the major TV news networks by a considerable margin, possibly because he has been low-profile during the pandemic, or because the TV news attention he has gotten is related to an alleged sexual abuse.

The major TV network news brands, meanwhile, continue to yield high relative contributions from trust, especially MSNBC, which moved into the top position in the most recent surveys and expanded its margin slightly this period.

10 comments about "'Fake News' President's 'Trust' Falls To Lowest Level Yet, Lags Biden 4-to-1".
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  1. David Scardino from TV & Film Content Development, May 5, 2020 at 12:13 p.m.

    I would not take this as any kind of predictor of Novemeber. tRump's hardcore base knows he lies just about everytime he opens his mouth, but see it as a necessary part of "owning the libs..." (sick though that surely is).

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 5, 2020 at 12:41 p.m.

    Very interesting findings, Joe. A question. Is the base for each of the trust percentages the total sample or only those who are familiar with the person or source---or is it only those willing to express an opinion? If it's not the total sample---which I assume is the case---it would be interesting to see what percentage of the total sample expressed its opinon for each news source and, of course, Biden an Trump.In other words, the rating that Trump got might be based on 90% of the sample while Biden's rating was given by only 70%. That, too, would be most interesting.

  3. Mark Braff from Braff Communications LLC, May 5, 2020 at 1 p.m.

    Great piece, Joe. Trump speaking in the shadow of the Lincoln Memorial would be like unearthing a video of Jack Benny playing the violin next to a giant statue of Jascha Heifetz.

  4. Robert Passikoff from Brand Keys, Inc., May 5, 2020 at 1:28 p.m.

    David, Thaks for your comment. Just to be clear, this survey and analysis only looks at one values-aspect; trust. We actually have a Presidential Paradigm and wer, in fact, one of the few research consultancies that predicted Trump would win. But that's a different measure.

  5. Robert Passikoff from Brand Keys, Inc. replied, May 5, 2020 at 1:34 p.m.

    The base for the media brands are only people who watch a particular brand 3+ times a week. So you're right, those who are familiar with the brand. That's how we screen. The "trust" element is an extract from our psychological questionnaire we use. Far more telling and accurate, we find.
    As to the Trump Biden measures, it's a sample balanced for political affiliation drawn from the 9 media platforms we measure. I'll take a look at findings next wave the way you suggest and see if there are any differences, although I expect not becasue of the psychological nature of  our approach we generally get a measure of what people think – as opposed to what they say they think!

  6. David Scardino from TV & Film Content Development replied, May 5, 2020 at 2:12 p.m.

    Just glad I could stoke the discussion.

  7. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, May 5, 2020 at 2:56 p.m.

    Thanks, Robert for that explanation. I think it might be a good idea to note the base figures---or percentages of sample for each source in these tables with your explanation as a footnote as many people may falsly assume that they are total sample results. Just a suggestion.

  8. Frank Anthony from Self, May 6, 2020 at 2:56 a.m.

    You're such a useless liberal hack!

  9. David Scardino from TV & Film Content Development, May 6, 2020 at 9:41 a.m.

    Good to see reasoned, intelligent argument rather than just plain old dopey name calling. Good job!

  10. Joe Mandese from MediaPost, May 6, 2020 at 9:58 a.m.

    For the record, I'll accept being characterized as "useless" or a "hack," but not a "liberal." I'm not affiliated with any political parties and I consider my idealogy to be relatively moderate, and absolutely pro-American.

    I'm sorry if reporting on Brand Key's "trust" tracking of the incumbent President offends anyone, but I find it hard to believe anyone is shocked or surprised by the findings.

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