Fear and loathing in America’s newsrooms

My post last week about the economy struck a nerve, judging by some of the comments that were posted.

The question is whether the constant drumbeat of negative economic news creates an impression that the economy is worse than it really is. Keep in mind, that’s a far different statement from saying the economy isn’t in bad shape; it is.

A poll out from Rasmussen today says 50% of those surveyed think the media is making the economy seem worse than it really is. This is despite the face only 34% think the U.S. “has the world’s best economy.

Only a quarter (25%) think reporters and media outlets present an accurate picture of the economy and 18% believe they actually portray it as better than it is. Just 34% trust reporters more when it comes to news on the economy, and 32% see stockbrokers as more reliable.

A plurality of Americans (41%) similarly believe that the media has tried to make the war in Iraq appear worse that it really is, while 26% say reporters have made it look better than reality and 25% think they’ve portrayed it accurately.

This poll is one of several Rasmussen released today, purporting to show the media are biased — or at least that people think they are.