A new poll finds less than half of Americans believe the New York Times, still considered the so-called “newspaper of record” by many establishment media organizations, is a reliable purveyor of truth.

New York Times scores low reliability marks in new poll

According to pollster Scott Rasmussen of Rasmussen Reports, just 46 percent of Americans feel the Times is “very reliable” or “somewhat reliable.”

At the same time, nearly three-fourths of Americans (72 percent) believe Fox News Channel to be a credible media source.

The survey of 1,000 adults also found that most people – 73 percent – found their local newspapers to be credible, while 66 percent said they trusted CNN and 59 percent found the Wall Street Journal reliable.

“The data reflect more than a generalized distrust of media reporting,” said Rasmussen’s findings. “The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Fox News Channel, and local newspapers all were seen as significantly more reliable than the Times.”

Rasmussen said the survey did not include questions about why Americans found the Times less reliable. One of the paper’s biggest scandals involved ex-Times reporter Jayson Blair, which – as WorldNetDaily has reported – may have been caused by the Times’ ultra-push to diversify its newsroom staff, regardless of credentials.

Bob Kohn, author of “Journalistic Fraud: How The New York Times Distorts the News and Why It Can No Longer Be Trusted,” says the Times “is rapidly losing its reputation as a reliable source of news.”

“At one time, the Times exemplified the highest standards of journalism,” Kohn wrote in a column for WorldNetDaily. “That standard has now fallen into a tailspin, and the consequences for all of journalism are serious and should be of concern to all who treasure the critical role that journalism plays in maintaining our freedoms and the health of our democracy.”

Political party plays a role in the Times’ reputation, the poll showed. Rasmussen says the newspaper is still popular among Democrats; 52 percent said the Times was reliable, compared to 45 percent of Republicans.

Meanwhile, in other polls, Rasmussen says President Bush now leads a “generic” Democrat candidate for next year’s presidential contest by just 4 percentage points, his slimmest yet.

According to polls, Bush leads an unnamed Democrat 44 percent to 40 percent. At the same time, Rasmussen says, surveys indicate that congressional Democrats are leading Republicans 42 percent to 38 percent.

Republicans have been stung lately by a poorly performing economy, while the White House has suffered from allegations that Bush misled Americans in his January State of the Union Address about Iraq’s alleged nuclear weapons program as justification for the war against Baghdad.

And, as more and more U.S. soldiers are killed while serving in Iraq, Republicans – if not the White House – likely will continue to suffer bad press, analysts say.

“The transition from dictatorship to democracy will take time, but it is worth every effort,” Bush has said. “Our coalition will stay until our work is done. Then we will leave, and we will leave behind a free Iraq.”

For their part, Democrats are making the most of both problems.

“This may be the first time in recent history that a president knowingly misled the American people during the State of Union address,” Terry McAuliffe, head of the Democratic National Committee, said earlier this month. “Either President Bush knowingly used false information in his State of the Union address or senior administration officials allowed the use of that information. This was not a mistake. It was no oversight and it was no error.”

On the economy, Democrats claim “families are paying the price for Bush’s failed tax policies.”

“Unemployment continues to grow, reaching a nine-year high of 6.4 percent in June with 30,000 jobs lost last month alone,” the party said in a statement.

If you’d like to sound off on this issue, please take part in the WorldNetDaily poll.

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Journalistic Fraud: How The New York Times Distorts the News and Why It Can No Longer Be Trusted.”

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