In today’s world, there’s so much information out there that finding the truth can be a daunting task. So when we want to get the lowdown on what’s going on in the world, many of us turn on the TV and have the news delivered to us by newscasters. But not all of them can be trusted to the same degree, and here, we’ll look at their trust ratings.
Of course, rating how trustworthy a news anchor depends on lots of different factors, including where you stand politically. We’ll give you the trust ratings of these famous news anchors according to what Americans say on both sides of the political spectrum. Read on to find out who you can trust the most and least.
Ainsley Earhardt – 20%
A poll found that around 20% of Americans say that Fox & Friends co-host Ainsley Earhardt can very much be trusted. This is a pretty good score. When she first started broadcasting, she said she “did not know the first thing about politics.” But now, she’s a well-rounded, knowledgable, and charismatic anchor.
Experienced news anchor Deborah Knapp says that “Ainsley is just full of goodness. I think people pick up on that, and people are attracted to that.” But on the other hand, Seth Meyers, host of Late Night, says Earhardt is a “self-serving hypocrite” who “only believes U.S. intelligence agencies when it’s convenient.” Yikes! Maybe this brings her trust rating down a bit?
Anderson Cooper – 29%
As you probably know, Anderson Cooper is one of today’s most well-known newscasters. He’s the primary host of Anderson Cooper 360° on CNN and he also serves as a 60 Minutes correspondent for CBS. It’s no coincidence that he scores so high in trust ratings; in a survey conducted by The Hollywood Reporter on over 2,000 Americans, about 29% said they can trust him “a lot.”
Being one of the biggest names in the business, Cooper has established himself as a reputable source for news. It probably also helps that he’s happy to get out of the studio and report breaking news as it’s happening overseas, on location. People also like his super-composed, serious demeanor.
Chris Cuomo – 14%
Chris Cuomo is the presenter of Cuomo Prime Time, a political analysis show on CNN. He also happens to be the brother of Andrew Cuomo, the governor of the State of New York. His trust ratings on recent polls were not the best: only 14% of people said they trusted him. Other polls indicated that at least 20% of those asked said they “didn’t trust him at all.” Pretty bad.
There are a couple of reasons Cuomo is not the most trusted in the broadcasting biz. For one, apparently a lot of people in the political and news spheres can’t connect to his enthusiasm for his own bulging biceps (which are prominently displayed hundreds of times on his Instagram). Second, his angry style of interviewing is full of fire but “lacks explanatory clarity…”
Hoda Kotb – 24%
The data on Hoda Kotb is a little less conclusive, but according to a recent poll, we can comfortably place her at around 24%. This means that 24% of the people surveyed indicated that she is very trustworthy. Her score is solid. Kotb is the main co-host on Today, the morning show on NBC News.
Kotb is a long-time broadcast veteran. She has been in the business since at least 1998. So her vast wealth of experience probably helps her good trust rating. Also, since being a survivor of breast cancer herself, Kotb has become a big advocate for disease awareness. No matter what your politics are, this is something you can admire.
Jake Tapper – 19%
Jake Tapper is the Chief Washington Correspondent for CNN and the host of The Lead With Jake Tapper. According to ratings collected in a recent poll, he scores average-to-decently well in terms of trustworthiness. At least 19% of people said that have a lot of trust in him. He’s an experienced journalist and he’s known for not be afraid to tick off powerful people (including his own sources) in order to get information.
Another aspect of Tapper that gets him a decent trust rating is that he’s always down to repeat things. When he’s interviewing someone and he starts sniffing out something that makes the story not add up, he’s direct and will ask again and again. “He doesn’t let anyone off the hook,” said one writer. He might have even had a higher rating, but it seems his cage-fighting interview style intimidates some people.
Lara Logan – 18%
Lara Logan is a South African war correspondent who currently works at Fox Nation but for most of her career, she worked at CBS News. According to a small sample of about 1,200 people in August 2020, they liked her and thought she’s trustworthy. It’s easy to see why: she’s extremely brave. She has no problem being in a conflict and keeping it cool as she reports. In Egypt, she was the victim of a mob assault, and she escaped with injuries.
But she was highly criticized in 2013 for reporting false information about the Benghazi attack in Libya (she said her source was bad). She issued a public apology, but then a short time after, she took a public position on how the government was representing parts of the conflict. As people noted, taking a public position on something you’re reporting isn’t great. And following mixed reviews, she got an ok trust rating of about 18%
Chris Hayes – 12%
Chris Hayes, the host of MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes scored low on the most recent trust rating survey. Out of all the people asked, only 12% said that he could be completely trusted to be truthful. According to a few sources, the reason for his low trust score is that he unabashedly speaks his mind.
He has his own podcast and he also writes books. So on average, he’s a little less restricted when it comes to saying what he wants to say. Some people love it, but it seems that many others find it to be too much. In short, he doesn’t care about pleasing audiences. In his own words, “It’s a business that revolves around audience attention and so the weirdly liberating thing is that I’m not thinking in those terms now.”
Lesley Stahl – 26%
Lesley Stahl is a veteran journalist who has spent most of her career working for CBS, conducting interviews on 60 Minutes. Data collected in the summer of 2020 showed that viewers thought of her very favorably. It’s not so surprising. After all, she has been in the business since 1971, so she has had some time to build up a substantial fanbase.
Of course, how much you like her might depending on where you stand politically, but it’s worth noting that she did get a lot of attention after her 2020 interview with President Trump. Their conversation got so heated that the president ended up cutting the interview short and walking out. In her own words, Stahl was heavy-handed on the “tough questions.”
John Dickerson – 19%
John Dickerson, the seasoned journalist, has spent most of his career working for CBS where he conducts interviews on 60 Minutes. He’s also the White House correspondent for Time. Recent polls revealed that about 19% of those surveyed said they can completely trust him. That’s a decent score. Not fantastic, but not bad at all.
There don’t seem to be any shocking specific events, incidents, or aspects that stick out in Dickerson’s career that would tip the trustworthiness ratings one way or the other. All in all, he’s a fairly well-rounded and respected journalist and broadcaster. Some have noted that he’s pretty good at not including his own political views in his reporting.
Savannah Guthrie – 21%
Savannah Guthrie is a co-anchor on NBC’s morning show Today. The data on her are a little more blurry, but from an internet poll conducted in the summer of 2020, she scored pretty high in the trust ratings – sitting at a comfortable 21%. Guthrie has a couple of things that stand out, which some have speculated, help increase the public’s trust in her.
One of them is that in addition to her journalism credentials, she holds a degree in law, which is an attractive thing to have when you’re dealing with finding the truth. Also, people like that during the 2020 town hall presidential debate talks, which she Guthrie moderated, she wasn’t afraid to “grill” the candidate in front of her.
Brian Williams – 24%
Brian Williams is the chief anchor at MSNBC and he’s the host of The 11th Hour With Brian Williams. On the most recent polls conducted, he scored high, with 24% of the sample saying they totally trust him. He’s been in the game a long time and has done accurate reporting on terrible and devastating events. He has even travelled to the Middle East to report on conflicts first-hand.
Interestingly, Williams was at the center of a huge scandal. He was riding in a helicopter in Iraq during the war, and the aircraft that was miles in front of the one he was riding in came under fire. But Williams made it sound like he himself was in the chopper that was attacked. He was criticized for inserting himself into a story. Despite the scandal, his trust ratings are still high. That just shows how much lots of people like him.
Tamron Hall – 23%
Tamron Hall is a daytime anchor on MSNBC and the host of MSNBC Live with Tamron Hall. She got good trust rating scores on a recent survey: 23%. It might not come as a surprise. She’s been in business a long time and she has earned prestigious accolades for her work, including an Emmy. Also, she has done a lot of campaigning against domestic violence.
Other fans have noted that what makes her so well-liked is simple: she has tons of journalistic integrity, she’s very thorough in her fact-checking, regardless of what she’s reporting. Also, according to one writer in 2019, she’s not afraid to “take risks” on the air. Meaning she’s not afraid to broach the touchiest of subjects.
Christiane Amanpour – 22%
Christiane Amanpour is the Chief International Anchor for CNN and the host of CNN International’s nightly interview program Amanpour. She scored nicely on a recent poll, with a good number of people expressing strong support for her as a journalist. One thing is for sure: over the course of her career, she has developed a really diverse portfolio.
She has traveled all over the world, covering a wide range of topics, including the fall of European communism to the Iraq War. But beyond her reporting on international events, she has also starred in some feature documentaries. The most recent being Sex & Love Around the World, which recently aired on Netflix.
Sean Hannity – 17%
Sean Hannity is an anchor on Fox News and the host of The Sean Hannity Show. His score a recent big survey of the trust ratings of popular newscasters showed that about 17% of the sample population said he could be really trusted. It’s an average-minus score. And as you might know, he’s a pretty divisive figure.
Depending on where you stand on the political spectrum, you’ll feel way different about Hannity. On the conservative right, he’s immensely popular. Not only does he report and commentate prolifically, but he’s also a best-selling author of several books. But on the liberal left side of politics, he’s less appreciated, as he has no qualms about being outspoken on his views many consider controversial.
Zain Asher – 16%
Zain Asher is a British Nigerian news anchor who works at CNN International. In a recent poll, she had a less-than-average number of respondents, but the results did indicate that her trust score was approaching the low end of the rainbow.
If you have a look at Asher’s career and her public profile, it seems that (as of this writing) there are no controversies or major events that have any serious potential of hurting her ratings. Maybe the low-ish ratings in the available poll reflect the fact that she’s not a seasoned veteran and she’s still carving out a name for herself.
Steve Doocy – 12%
Steve Doocy is an anchor and commentator on Fox & Friends. Viewers of his show tend to rate him highly, but when a wider and more diverse sample of people were asked, only 12% said that he could be trusted a lot. He has a solid broadcast background but the criticism he comes under on a regular basis is pretty substantial.
So he’s kind of a love-hate type of guy. His fan-base really likes him, and it’s considerably large but his critics rail against him with some real tenacity. A writer from The Guardian, for example, said he was a “train wreck.” He also criticized his work and said that for Doocy, “opinion is king – not news,”
Andrea Mitchell – 23%
If you watch the news, then you’re probably familiar with veteran reporter and broadcaster Andrea Mitchell. She currently works for NBC. Recent surveys show that she scores nicely on trust ratings: 23% of people asked said they can totally trust her. And take into account that throughout her career, she has been involved in her fair share of controversy.
In 2003, she was involved in an ordeal in which she bears some responsibility in leaking the identity of Valerie Plame as a CIA officer. In another incident in 2008, Mitchell apologized after she referred to rural Virginia as “redneck country.” In 2019 she made comments that led to the Polish government suing her. But despite all her turbulence (or maybe because of it?) people seem to really trust her.
Dana Perino – 21%
Dana Perino currently works for Fox New. In politics, she knows a thing or two because for part of her career she served as the White House Press Secretary under President George W. Bush. In recent surveys asking viewers about their trust in anchors, 21% of the people polled endorsed her as highly trustworthy.
But her ventures took place on both sides of the aisle. In 2009, was appointed by he was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the Broadcasting Board of Governors, an agency that oversees international broadcasting. The fact that she served to the best of her abilities and did a great job under both a Republican and a Democratic certainly says something about her (refreshing) lack of partisanship.
Bianna Golodryga – 15%
Bianna Golodryga currently works as the senior global affairs analyst on CNN. In recent that collected information on trust ratings, she scored pretty low, with only 15% of those asked willing to put their trust in her. But she’s another one of those cases where it’s a little hard to tell what the reason could be.
There aren’t any scandals, no real controversy at all, no accusations of political bias, no incidents that she had to apologize for. Also, she’s not considered to harbor any controversial viewpoints. We’re not sure what the deal is – we can only speculate – but it could be because her husband was a staff member of Bill Clinton’s, so people might think she has some kind of preference for his side of the political spectrum.
Wolf Blitzer – 17%
Wolf Blitzer is a well-known face on CNN, where he’s been working for a long time. On the latest polls, he scored kind of low. Only 17% of people considered him high trustworthy. Many others said he couldn’t be trusted at all. He has a pretty impressive background, so are some a good number of people hatin’?
It looks like a lot comes from his monotone presentation. People just don’t trust someone who they can’t stand hearing. This is how one political writer described the situation: “As flat, and sometimes as bleak, as the Great Plains, Blitzer’s voice squeezes all human emotion and intonation out of the sentences he speaks.” Critics have also alleged that he overuses a few journalists to explain too many topics.
Alex Wagner – 16%
Surveys conducted on a sample of Americans show that around 16% of those asked say that Alex Wagner, the host of The Circuit, on Showtime, can be trusted. This isn’t a terrible score, but it’s not that high either. And it seems that more data needs to come in before we can really tell how trustworthy she is.
It’s tricky to tell why Wagner scores a little low on trust ratings. Some have speculated (and it’s not confirmed) that it might have to do with her father’s close ties to the campaign of Bill Clinton. And these days, Clinton happens to be a figure that divides people along partisan lines.
Brooke Baldwin – 16%
Brooke Baldwin has been working as an anchor on CNN since 2008. And she’s the host of CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin. The most recent surveys showed that she scored kind of low on trust ratings, with only 16% of the sample population saying that she can completely be trusted. Digging into her career and past reveals that, all things being equal, she does have a lot of good work experience and a solid education.
But there were a couple of moments which some have speculated affect how the public views her. In 2015, she made comments that suggested that veterans who return from duty and become police officers are somehow just hooked on violence. She apologized. And in 2017, she cut an interview short when her guest, Clay Travis, used a childish word to describe a female body part. Ironically, the interview was on the topic of free speech.
Chuck Todd – 19%
Chuck Todd works for MSNBC as a moderator on Meet the Press. He’s your MSNBC guy when you need your dose of political analysis. The latest trust rating surveys showed that his score was decent: 19% said that they can trust him a lot. Not the highest score, but not too bad either.
He knows what he’s doing in the studio and on the air, but it’s quite possible that his credibility took a slight hit in February 2020 when he compared Bernie Sanders (and Trump) supporters to 20th century Nazi supporters. He said, “No other candidate [Sanders and Trump] has anything like this sort of digital brownshirt brigade… What if you can’t win the presidency without an online mob?” Many people were very hurt by his comments.
Erin Burnett – 16%
Erin Burnett is an anchor that has been working for CNN since 2008. And she’s the host of her own show, called Erin Burnett OutFront. Recent data shows that she didn’t score overly well in terms of public trust. Only 16% of people asked said they could put their full trust in her. As is the case for all anchors in this article, it could just be that they don’t know Burnett well.
But there’s a possibility that controversial moments have something to do with the rating. For one, in discussing a governmental Australian plan to put down a large number of feral camels, she used the terms “serial killer” and “camelcide.” She later said she was joking. And in 2011, she mocked protesters during Occupy Wall Street. Other journalists have noted that because her husband is a Wall Street trader, Burnett suffered from bias.
Katie Couric – 16%
Katie Couric is sort of a unique case. During her career, she has worked for NBC, CBS, and ABC, but currently, she works for herself. She founded a media called Katie Couric Media. And she writes a daily newsletter called Wake Up Call. Gathering data on her is trickier than most others because she isn’t in most recent surveys, but from what’s available, it looks like her trust ratings are relatively low – only about 16% of people trust her a lot.
It looks like the reason her trust ratings are pretty low is that she very outspoken with regards to her own political leanings. She’s allowed to be – after all, she’s not working for anyone else. But being such an outspoken progressive is a big turn off for some people on the conservative side of the political spectrum. For example, she has been accused of editing interview footage in an attempt to misrepresent gun rights groups.
Fredricka Whitfield – 18%
Fredricka Whitfield is a journalist that works for CNN. In the most recent survey asking about trust and public sentiment towards anchors, she had a relatively small number of respondents, so the results are a little shakier than average. But if they indicate anything, it looks she scores around average, with 18% saying they like her.
Her CV shows years of solid reporting, but there are a couple of thorns in the side of her career, though it’s hard to tell if they affect her trust ratings. In 2014, she had an interview with late comedian Joan Rivers. She accused Rivers of wearing fur, meanwhile Whitfield herself wore leather shoes. Also, she referred to a gunman who attacked Dallas police as “courageous and brave.” Though she later issued an apology and said she mispoke.
George Stephanopoulos – 23%
George Stephanopoulos is the chief anchor and political correspondent on ABC News. He did well in recent surveys asking about how much people trust him. Around 23% of those asked indicated that he can be completely trusted. His high trust rating makes sense because he’s a huge name in the journalism world and he has proven time and time again that he knows what he’s talking about when it comes to politics.
Stephanopoulos is no stranger to contention, however. In 1994, he was accused of securing a loan solely on the basis of his political clout. He also made donations to the Clinton campaign but did not disclose it to his employer, ABC. And in 2010, he had dinner at Jeffrey Epstein’s house. To be fair, he said it was the first and last time he met him. People still really trust him. And that really says something about his journalistic integrity.
Gayle King – 22%
Gayle King is a co-host CBS This Morning and she’s also the editor-at-large of O, The Oprah Magazine. If recent surveys can be trusted, then it seems like people like and trust her. 22% of responders on the survey indicated that they can trust her a lot, which is a pretty high number.
She’s a good writer and a charismatic and lively broadcaster. She has conducted some really high-profile interviews. Notably, she pushed R. Kelly on the allegations against him. He ended up having a fit on live TV (check it out on YouTube). King remained stoic the whole time. Also, it probably helps to be friends with Oprah, one of the most trusted and sociable people in history.
Nancy Grace – 26%
As you might already know, Nancy Grace is a newscasting superstar. She has done everything from celebrity reporting to legal and political commentary, including time on HLN. Formerly, she was a prosecutor. In a recent poll, she scored way higher than average. About 26% indicated very positive feelings toward her and her work.
When you’re a prosecutor dealing with criminal cases, and later a commentator and broadcaster, you’re bound to run into some turbulence. But the controversies (of which there are too many to list) seem to only make Grace more likable and trustworthy. And maybe seeing her show up all over the place in pop culture (e.g. as a character in Gone Girl) helps people trust her so much.
Kate Bolduan – 17%
Kate Bolduan is a newscaster who currently works for CNN. Surveys indicated that around 17% person of the sample population said they could trust her a lot. Her score is a little below average. But it doesn’t look like there are any bug incidents or scandals that could have impacted her trust ratings drastically.
So why is Bolduan’s trust score low? Well, it looks like it might just be the case people are not yet so familiar with her and her work. She’s only 37. When she was 29, she became the youngest major morning anchor on a major network, ever! So in some ways, she’s still an up and comer. Maybe if more polls are done in 10 years from now, we’ll see her with higher trust ratings. But then again, maybe not.
David Muir – 28%
David Muir is the anchor of ABC World News Tonight. A recent round of polls showed that he scored very high in trust ratings. 28% of the people surveyed said that he can totally be trusted. That’s a really high score. His show is extremely popular and ABC News has been getting really high ratings in general, so maybe Muir’s high trust is in line with that.
Where many others have controversies, Muir has honors. Time referred to him as “the nation’s best-liked anchorman.” In an interview Muir said, “…we go out there and try to earn that trust every single night. And we’re not perfect… But we never forget that we’re reporting to a divided country.” It’s precisely this honest attitude (and his journalistic rigor) that makes him so trusted and liked.
Jeanine Pirro – 14%
Jeanine Pirro is currently the host of Fox New’s Justice With Judge Jeanine. And as the name of her show implies, she is a former prosecutor and judge. In recent polls, she scored pretty low in the trust department. Only around 14% of respondents said they could confidently place a lot of trust in her.
She’s kind of a love-it-or-hate-it kind of woman. She’s very professional and she has an incredibly impressive wealth of diverse work experience, but she’s is very vocal about standing on the conservative side of politics. There’s certainly something to be said about sticking to your guns (no pun intended) and logically arguing your viewpoints. But her critics have brought into question the idea of her delivering objective reports.
Hallie Jackson – 19%
Hallie Jackson, one of the faces familiar to viewers of NBC, scored ok+ on the recent trust rating survey. 19% of people asked indicated they could consistently trust her reporting. She does seem to do a good job, and by now, she has accumulated a decent amount of experience, so an average score could make sense.
So far, it looks like Jackson has managed to stay clear of any controversies, scandals, or other trust-diminishing events. Although the Daily Mail did report that whenever she travels, she only eats baby food. “…I always pack squeeze-pouches of baby food from Happy Baby. It can be really tough to find decent veggies when you’re racking up highway miles or bouncing from airport to airport.” Bizarre maybe, but that shouldn’t affect trust.
Michaela Pereira – 18%
Michaela Pereira is a Canadian TV personality and news anchor that currently KTTV Los Angeles. In the past she has also worked for CNN. The information on her trust ratings is a bit outdated and messy, but she scored somewhere in the middle with about 18% strong approval.
She’s really accomplished as a broadcaster. She has even won a couple of Emmy Awards. And it doesn’t look like there’s anything in the history of her career that would hurt the public’s trust in her. It’s possible that she’s a little less known than your average American newscaster because she started her career in Canada.
Laura Ingraham – 18%
Laura Ingraham is the host of Fox News’s The Ingraham Angle. She’s also the editor-in-chief at LifeZette and she worked as a speech writer for Ronald Reagan in the 1980s. In recent surveys, she got mediocre score. Around 18% percent of the people surveyed said they trusted her a lot. There’s no question – she is excellent at what she does.
Ingraham obviously is has tons of experience. But what makes her really special is how direct and steadfast she is in articulating her views. And she knows how to get people riled up, a really influential woman. But those on the other side of the political aisle really don’t like her. She’s immensely popular. Her fan base is huge and vocal. But her haters base is also substantial.
Shannon Bream – 18%
Shannon Bream is a journalist that works for Fox News. She also hosts the channel’s Fox News @ Night. The recent surveys show that about 18% of respondents said they would really trust her. Not bad. Not amazing. Not terrible. Not remarkable. Still, she does have a solid viewership.
Though some people do consider a few of her views controversial, Bream is not usually so inflammatory. She manages to find common ground when she sits down with people who don’t necessarily share her views. Also, it helps that she has as an intern working in the House of Representatives, some people appreciate the direct political experience.
Rachel Maddow – 17%
Rachel Maddow is a broadcaster that works for MSNBC. She hosts her own called The Rachel Maddow Show. Ratings indicate that people not a high percentage of people trust her – 17% of those asked. Her show is very popular but it looks like her outspoken political stance works against her.
Her reporting and her writing are both unabashedly from within a liberal viewpoint. For some people, of course, depending on how they align themselves politically, Maddow is not to their taste. So she’s not for everyone. But she does make her points very clear and she researches her topics rigorously.
Jeff Glor – 17%
Jeff is the co-host on CBS This Morning: Saturday on CBS News. On the recent polls that were conducted, it looks like he scored kind of low, average minus, with 17% of people saying they can put their full trust in him. He does have some nice international experience. For example, he was the first American to report from Paris after Trump pulled out of the Paris Accord.
Doesn’t seem like there’s any scandalous behavior or major trust-breaking incidents in his past. But it might be worth noting that in 2019, he was fired from his role as the evening anchor at CBS (a position which he had for 12 years). Why? It looks like the network just wasn’t happy with him and wanted to switch up the vibe. But we’re not sure this has anything to do with how much the public trusts him.
Lisa Ling – 15%
Lisa Ling is the host of This Is Life with Lisa Ling, a show that airs on CNN. The sample of people that responded to a survey about her is kind of small, so the data is a little shakier, but it seems to be that she scored relatively low in terms of public approval and trust – around 15%.
There’s a good chance that her trust ratings just aren’t that high simply for the fact that she’s not super famous like some of the other newscasters and journalists out there. She doesn’t have any scandalous history. Or maybe, if people that responded to the survey know her, and depending where they fall politically, maybe they don’t like that she calls herself a die-hard feminist.
Harris Faulkner – 24%
Harris Faulkner is a Fox News veteran. She has been in the newscasting game for quite a while and has built up a solid viewership. Her trust ratings in recent a recent survey reflect her favorable and trustworthy status in the public’s eye. Around 24% of people asked indicated that they could trust her a lot. Really nice score.
It might be no wonder that people trust her so much. She has a great track record – she even has a few Emmy Awards – and she’s close to perfect at staying composed and objective no matter who she’s speaking to or what she’s reporting on. Note that she works for Fox News, a channel that people on the left of center don’t consider so reputable all the time. Nonetheless, it looks like people from both ends of politics trust her.
Norah O’Donnell – 18%
Norah O’Donnell is the anchor of CBS Evening News (she just recently replaced Jeff Glor.) And she’s also an interviewer on 60 Minutes. She has a solid background and a career full of experience. She also holds an Emmy Award for a groundbreaking story she reported in 2008. On the recent polls, she scored around average, with 18% of people saying they really trusted her. Not great, but not bad.
O’Donnell has been described as an “old-school” journalist. She’s data-driven, but for some, her unwillingness to take sides is a little boring. For others, it’s the secret ingredient in good reporting. Time said, “Nonjudgmental, neutral, reliable—these aren’t the most exciting ways to brand a broadcast in any era, but it’s a particularly difficult sell in 2020 when audiences are largely looking to affirm their own views.”
Katy Tur – 17%
Katy Tur, daughter of the famous journalist Zoey Tur, is currently an anchor working for MSNBC. She’s also the author of a best-selling book. Recent studies showed that around 17% of people said that they could trust her a lot. It’s not a great score, a little below average.
She did extensive reporting on the 2016 Trump campaign and she took strong standpoints, so maybe this made her less trustworthy in the eyes of some. But other than that, it doesn’t seem like she has suffered much controversy. She’s young, 37, and still in the relatively early stages of her career. So maybe the fact that she’s new has something to do with her low trust ratings in the recent poll.
Joe Scarborough – 8%
Joe Scarborough is the co-host of Morning Joe on MSNBC. And as you can see, his trust rating is very low. In fact, it’s the lowest score in this article. Only a meager 8% of people said that they could really trust him. In fact, in most of the surveys we looked at, Scarborough is sitting at the bottom of the list.
So why does Scarborough score so low? Well, it’s possible that people, especially on the left side of politics, don’t trust him because he used to be a Republican politician serving in the House of Representatives. Maybe they think his views are too prominent in his broadcasting. And interestingly, maybe people on the right don’t like him because of an allegation made by Trump against him. He accused him of the murder of Lori Klausutis.
Robin Roberts – 28%
Robin Roberts is the anchor of ABC’s Good Morning America, one of the highest (if not the highest) rated morning show in the country. So it might not be a surprise to you that she scored so high on recent trust rating surveys – 28% of people said they trust her a lot. This makes her, according to these particular polls, one of the most trusted anchors on the air.
She hits all the marks of an excellent broadcaster: thorough, energetic, charismatic, objective, informed, and she’s also extremely honest and open. Even during her personal battle with cancer, she shared what’s going on and kept the public up to date. Also interestingly, if we focus on the particular demographic of people between ages 25-49, she by far ranks first as the most trusted and liked newscaster out there.
Natalie Morales-Rhodes – 18%
Natalie Morales-Rhodes is a journalist and broadcaster that currently works for NBC News. She’s not as widely recognized as others, so the information on her needs to be taken with a fat grain of salt, but it seems that she scores around average in terms of approval and trust – about 18%.
Her average trust ratings appear to reflect the steady nature of her careers. There are ups and downs, but nothing super drastic. She does well, but she’s not quite a megastar. Nothing really working against her. Steady as she goes. What’s for sure is that she’s kind of new, so we’re sure she has many promising years of broadcasting ahead of her.
Lester Holt – 32%
Lester Holt is the superstar anchor on MSNBC and the broadcaster of the Nightly News. Out of all the newscasters examined on the surveys, Lester Holt got the absolute highest score – and by a considerable margin. At least 32% of people said they could trust him a lot. That’s huge. According to the polls we looked at, he really is the most trusted anchor on TV.
For one, Holt is strict in his reporting: he never crosses the line between news and commentary. Facts are facts and opinions are opinions. And Lester gives viewers a strong dose of something they crave: normalcy. He manages to be energetic, charming, and charismatic and still consistently deliver unsensationalized news. The pinnacle of professionalism.
Tucker Carlson – 17%
Tucker Carlson is a journalist and political commentator on Fox News. He’s the host of his own show, Tucker Carlson Tonight. In the polls, he scored a little lower than average, with about 17% of people surveyed indicating that he could be trusted a lot. A lot of people love him, no doubt. But he is without a doubt kind of a polarizing figure.
Carlson has conservative views and he’s not afraid to say it. That’s what makes him so attractive for some people. The energy of his broadcasting in directly derived from his expression of rightwing views. So if you’re on that side of the spectrum, then you might really vibe with him. But if you’re on the blue side, you might disagree with much of what he says.
Kathie Lee Gifford – 17%
Kathie Lee Gifford is an actress and TV personality. In the news world, she’s best known for her long-position on NBC. She wasn’t featured in any surveys this summer, but from other polls we looked at, it seems she scores a little below most in terms of viewer trust.
It’s not clear why she didn’t score that high. But it’s very possible that it’s because she has been out the game a while so people may have forgotten about her. Also, on the poll we looked at, she had less than the average number of responders.
Stephanie Ruhle – 17%
Stephanie Ruhle is the Senior Business correspondent and anchor on MSNBC Live. In recent polls that were conducted (by Hollywood Reporter and Morning Consult), she scored a little lower than average with only 17% of people asked indicating that she can be trusted a lot. Not a great score by any means. But there are worse.
So far, Ruhle’s career is without any major scandals, incidents, or events that could seriously impact her trust ratings in a negative way. So there’s no glaring reason she didn’t score so high. She does have an extensive background in banking. We have no idea if this has any connection to trust ratings, but maybe people don’t like getting their news from a banker?
Chris Wallace – 22%
Chris Wallace is a journalist and the anchor of Fox News Sunday. On recent surveys, he scored relatively high when the sample population was asked if they could trust him. 22% of those people said they could totally trust him. That’s a nice score (in relative terms to the polls we looked at). He’s got a lot going for him, so it’s not so hard to see why he’s pretty trusted (even during these incredibly polarized times).
For one, he worked closely with Walter Cronkite, whom lots of people love. Also, Chris is the son of Mike Wallace, a highly respected journalist. And recently, recall that he was the moderator of the Trump-Biden debates. Even though the candidates kept interrupting each other incessantly, Wallace did a great job, pressing each one very hard.
Carson Daly – 16%
Carson Daly works for NBC. He hosted his own show, called Last Call with Carson Daly. And in recent years he has also been more heavily involved in reporting and newscasting. He also DJs, podcasts, and maintains a quasi-presence in Hollywood. The recent Morning Consult survey showed that only 16% of the sample pool said they can really trust him. That’s definitely a below-average score.
Looking at his profile, nothing in particular – no scandals or trust-shattering controversies – stands out. So why did he score low on the trust rating polls? We’re not sure. The guy has even won four Emmys. Some have speculated, though, that because he has one foot in the entertainment business (DJing, podcasting, TV), and one foot in the broadcasting biz, that he’s just not the best source out there when you want 100%, unadulterated news.
Chris Matthews – 13%
Chris Matthews (retired) was the host of Hardball with Chris Matthews, which aired in MSNBC. Polls taken in the summer of 2020 indicated that only 13% of people asked said they trust him a lot. That’s a pretty bad score. When we take a look at his history, there are a couple of controversies which may have affected his overall public perception, including trust ratings.
Apparently, he made some comments to journalist Laura Bassett that she found creepy. As she was doing makeup, Matthews said, “Why haven’t I fallen in love with you yet?” And then he followed up: “Keep putting makeup on her, I’ll fall in love with her.” It caused quite the storm. Also, after Trump’s inaugural address in 2016, Matthews referred to his speech as “Hitlerian.” This angered quite a few people across the political spectrum.
Diane Sawyer – 19%
Diane Sawyer is a well-known name in the broadcasting business, famous for anchoring on ABC World News Tonight and Good Morning America. Sawyer wasn’t featured on the recent Morning Consult or Hollywood Reporter surveys. However, from piecing together information and from polls over the years, it looks like she’s sitting at about a 19% trust rating. Not superb, but definitely decent.
Her slightly above-average score probably is influenced by the fact that she’s been in the game a long time and has done some real reputable work. For example, she was involved in all the reporting surrounding Nixon and Watergate. Some have even alleged that Sawyer is the infamous “Deep Throat,” i.e. the secret source that passed info to Bob Woodward about Nixon’s criminality.
John King – 16%
John King is CNN’s chief national correspondent and the anchor of Inside Politics. The most recent polls conducted revealed that only 16% percent of people surveyed said they could trust John King a lot. This is a below-average score. He’s been around for a while and has by all accounts, he’s pretty unbiased. So why the low trust rating?
The truth is that no one really knows why he scored kind of low. The only thing that stands out a little bit is that he erroneously reported some information about the Boston Marathon bombing. He jumped the gun and gave a description of the suspect that turned out not to be accurate at all. But to be fair, he said he got his info from law enforcement sources. So we’re not really sure the misreporting was entirely his fault.
Don Lemon – 17%
Don Lemon is a broadcast journalist who is currently working for CNN. He hosts CNN Tonight. In the past, he has also worked for NBC. The recent trust rating polls showed that about 17% of people surveyed said they could totally trust him. His score is a little below the average. This might be because he’s another one of those “love or hate” figures.
Every time someone talks about Don Lemon, there seems to be a real buzz swirling around the convo. Some people love him, while others strongly dislike him. And it seems in this case, how you feel about it might very well depend on which side of the political aisle you’re sitting on. Progressives seem to like him more than conservatives. Probably because he’s comfortable reporting on topics like that the latter find touchy.
Bret Baier – 17%
Bret Baier is the host of Special Report with Bret Baier on Fox News. The available polls we looked at (Hollywood Reporter and Morning Consult) showed that about 17% of participants said they could trust him a lot. It’s not a terrible score for Mr. Baier, but it’s not great either – a little below average.
Like a few others on Fox (which liberals tend to distrust in general), Bret Baier has taken some heat for less-than-great reporting. An incendiary report titled A Case Study On Why Fox News Can’t Be Trusted: Bret Baier Edition alleged seemed that he jumped the gun and he said there will be a “likely” indictment against Hilary Clinton for the email fiasco. His claims weren’t born out in the end.
Mika Brzezinski – 15%
Mika Brzezinski currently works for MSNBC. She co-hosts Morning Joe with her husband, Joe Scarborough. On the trust rating polls we looked at, only about 15% of the sample population indicated high levels of trust in her. It’s getting into the territory of a straight-up bad score.
We don’t want to only talk about Brzezinski under the shadow of her husband, but the fact that she’s Mrs. Scarborough can’t do much good for her trust ratings. Out of the polls and the newscasters we looked at, Joe Scarborough is the lowest rated, with a score of only 8%. Ouch. Also, Trump has directly criticized Brzezinski on Twitter, which probably made a lot of people dislike and distrust her.
Lawrence O’Donnell – 11%
Lawrence O’Donnell is an anchor on MSNBC and he’s the host of The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell. As you can see, he scored very low in terms of public trust. In the polls we examined, only 11% of all respondents said they could place a lot of trust in him. This is a terrible score.
Maybe it’s natural that so many people distrust O’Donnell. Most of the bandwidth he occupies is opinion. It’s ok, he’s not pretending to eradicate opinion from his show. But his views are often considered (by conservatives and liberals alike) radical. For example, he has openly said, “I am a socialist. I lie to the extreme left, the extreme left of you mere liberals.”
Martha MacCallum – 17%
Martha MacCallum is an anchor on Fox News and she’s the host of The Story with Martha MacCallum. The recent polls showed that about 17% of the respondents indicated that they can trust MacCallum a lot. It’s not the worst score out there, but it’s not that great either. MacCallum is an unabashed opinion host, so maybe this has something to do with it.
On one hand, MacCallum is super articulate and talented. She’s even the recipient of the Gracie Award for Women in Journalism, twice. But people (mostly on the left) have criticized her for peddling views considered controversial. For example, she claims the gender pay gap is a myth. Also, she always refers to Covid-19 as “the China virus.” So the public’s trust in her is divided along political lines.
Brian Kilmeade – 12%
Brian Kilmeade is a broadcaster that works for Fox News. On weekdays, he co-hosts Fox & Friends. Surveys conducted this summer showed that only around 12% of people asked said that they could fully trust him. That’s a pretty bad score. Looks like in the grand scope of things, if the sample can be relied on, Kilmeade isn’t that widely trusted. It’s conceivable that his score is low due to his track record with controversial statements.
In 2009, he said, “We [Americans] keep marrying other species and other ethnics…” He apologized. In 2010, he said, “not all Muslims are terrorists, but all terrorists are Muslims.” And in 2018, he hinted that he’s skeptical of man-driven global warming. So for centrists, conservatives, and liberals that believe in global warming, his comments were upsetting. All in all, he has said things that undermine bipartisan trust in him.
Greg Gutfeld – 17%
Greg Gutfeld is a broadcaster and comedian. He’s the host of The Greg Gutfeld Show and he also appears on Fox News as a political commentator. The surveys we looked at revealed that about 17% of those who participated said they could place a lot of trust in him. So he scored a little below average.
We suppose with Gutfeld, there’s something in his views to make everyone a little mad, no matter where you stand politically. He’s a libertarian, so he draws vehement disagreement from conservatives and progressives. Also, he has openly and adamantly described himself as non-religious. So we guess his diverse portfolio of opinions against everyone’s politics might reflect his unremarkable trust score.
Robin Meade – 19%
Robin Meade is the host of Morning Express with Robin Meade on HLN. She wasn’t included in the recent Hollywood Reporter and Morning Consult polls, but if we look at her ratings throughout the years, her trust score falls at around 19%. Not a bad score.
Her track record shows that (so far) she hasn’t been in any scuffles or said anything that could damage how trustworthy people feel she is. Her broadcasting resume is pretty solid. She even received an Emmy for some of her coverage. Also, importantly, she does a good job at keeping her opinions out of her reporting.
Ari Melber – 14%
Ari Melber is the chief legal correspondent for MSNBC. Recent polls showed that when American’s were asked about Ari Melber, only around 14% of them indicated that he can be trusted a lot. Not a great score at all, definitely on the low side. So why does he score so low?
Well for one, he does have long-time ties to the Democratic party, which might not be viewed so favorably with people on the other side of the fence. Also, he has made himself known as “the guy that interrupts Trump” by continuously cutting off the president during his press conferences in order to fact-check him in real-time. We suspect this ticks a lot of people off and corrodes trust.