News Anchors On Television: The Most and Least Trusted
We need news anchors to give us reliable updates on what’s going on around the world when there’s so much going on. In recent years, news anchors have become something of celebrities so with their fame, who do we trust?
Morning Consult compiled a list by asking people which news anchors they trusted the least when it came to giving them reliable information. Who feels the same way you do about your favorite and least favorite hosts?
Least Trusted: Sean Hannity – 30%
The most popular network in the United States of America is Fox, that includes the news channel. Both during the day and night, people are always watching Fox, and when it comes to news anchors they’re normally watching Sean Hannity’s Show with some of the highest ratings.
Even though he’s a very popular news anchor his fame is polarizing. People either love or hate him, there doesn’t seem to be any in-between. 30% of people said that they didn’t trust him at all.
Least Trusted: Rachel Maddow – 26%
Rachel Maddow is the queen of liberal political news. The Rachel Maddow Show is one of the highest-rated shows on MSNBC even if it’s not as high as Fox’s shows.
Maddow isn’t afraid of voicing her opinions and will always speak directly. Even though she has a lot of viewers that share her views there are a lot that disagree. 26% of people don’t trust her views.
Least Trusted: Don Lemon – 25%
Since 2006, Don Lemon has worked on CNN. He gained acclaim and now has his own show called CNN Tonight With Don Lemon and is one of the most acclaimed African-American news anchors to hold such an honor.
With his name gaining traction, it’s normal that plenty of people oppose his views too. 25% of people in the survey didn’t trust him in the least.
Least Trusted: Mika Brzezinski – 23%
Mika Brzezinksi is very open about her opinion and views when it comes down to politics. She shares her show with her husband Joe Scarborough as she gets ready to tear down the most influential politicians in America, she doesn’t care who she takes a shot at.
She’s very aware of all the people that don’t like the way she goes about things but she said it doesn’t bother her in the least. Her show may get good ratings, but 23% of people don’t appreciate her opinion.
Least Trusted: Chris Matthews – 22%
Chris Matthews gained a lot of his popularity since Hardball With Chris Matthews aired in 1999. He was on America’s talking even before then and his name carries weight even today.
The way Chris Matthews plays ball means that his views are split into two groups, there are those that love him and those that hate him. He’s recently announced that he’s leaving the network because of allegations of misconduct as well as an incident that he had to apologize for on-air.
Least Trusted: Joe Scarborough – 22%
Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski’s partner, shares a lot of her powerful energy and is sure to wake any sleepy viewer up when their morning show starts. He has a more conservative stance on politics compared to other anchors on this list.
Scarborough was Republican in the U.S. House of Representatives and won four elections before he made his way as a news anchor. This means that his opinion is highly regarded. Even so, 22% of people don’t like what he has to say.
Least Trusted: Tucker Carlson – 21%
One of the most loved Republican news anchors is Tucker Carlson. But if you asked someone how much they trust his word, it seems that a measly 21% of people actually trust his word.
His ratings are still very high even competing with the best networks on Fox. When Carlson gave his opinion on the most powerful politicians in the world over 4.3 million people tuned in to watch.
Least Trusted: Chris Cuomo – 20%
Chris Cuomo has been trying to find what works best for him for quite a while now. He just doesn’t direct his opinions enough and they normally end up unclear, compared to Rachel Maddow anyway. The Instagram videos he posts with him working out have nothing to do with politics.
He’s also sometimes content on the news rather than the one giving it. Like arguments, he got in involving people who critiqued his interviews with his brother. 20% of people don’t like anything he has to say.
Least Trusted: Laura Ingraham – 20%
Laura Ingraham is another news anchor that isn’t worried about giving her opinion and speaking her mind. Sometimes it’s worked on her favor and gained the trust of fans, while other times it’s gotten her into trouble.
Her show on Fox, The Ingraham Angle, has plenty of political commentaries compared to other news shows. A lot of people like this and that’s why her show has high ratings. But 20% of people have said that they just don’t trust what she has to say.
Least Trusted: Anderson Cooper – 19%
Anderson Cooper stands out among other news anchors with his distinct glasses and white hair. We’re not sure why 19% of people don’t trust him, maybe it’s the way he looks, maybe it’s something else entirely.
His show, Anderson Cooper 360 degrees has earned him a high position on the news network. He’s hosted numerous shows over the years including NewsNight, 60 Minutes, CNN Heroes, and his own talk show Anderson Live.
Most Trusted: Craig Melvin – 21%
We’ve addressed all of the least trusted news anchors in the business, but now it’s time to go through all of the most trusted ones. The first news anchor we have is Craig Melvin, he’s an enthusiastic anchor both on the air and in real life.
Melvin has risen up the ranks of MSNBC after his viewers started skyrocketing. He became an anchor in the weekday line up and now he’s got his own special spot on The Today Show.
Most Trusted: Chris Wallace – 22%
In the world of conservative news anchors and commentators, most of the biggest names tend to be pretty polarizing. But there has been one Fox News host who has avoided all of that, and has remained a trusted news anchor within both liberal and conservative circles. And that man is Chris Wallace.
Wallace has held basically all of the coveted spots that any aspiring news anchor could ever want. Not only does he hold his impressive spot as the host of Fox News Channel’s Sunday show, Fox News Sunday, but he’s also worked as an anchor for NBC Nightly News, Meet the Press, and Nightline. Now that is a solid — and, apparently, trustworthy — résumé.
Most Trusted: George Stephanopoulos – 23%
George Stephanopoulos was not always supposed to be a journalist. In his early career, Stephanopoulos worked as the communications director for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign, and went on to work as President Clinton’s communications director in the White House. But at age 35, he decided he needed a change.
And it turns out that it was a welcomed change, as Stephanopoulos deftly pivoted to a career in political television. Now, he is one of the most trusted names in news, according to Morning Consult, with 23 percent of respondents saying they trust him “a lot”. No wonder he has also been awarded the prestigious spot as the lead anchor for ABC’s Sunday news show, ABC‘s This Week.
Most Trusted: Andrea Mitchell – 23%
NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell is truly the real deal. She’s known for not only keeping her composure on television, but delivering some of the biggest scoops and most well-analyzed takes on the news of the day. During her long career covering the State Department, it is the small but mighty Mitchell who is known for standing up and asking the toughest questions.
And on the presidential campaign trail, Mitchell is known for being almost ninja-like in her way of being able to squeeze through scrums of reporters and somehow pop up in the middle of the action. And all that hard work has paid off, as she’s now one of the most trusted news anchors on television.
Most Trusted: Brian Williams – 24%
Brian Williams has, no pun intended, had a storied career. But while his ability to deliver updates and developments about even the most chaotic and devastating news items with a level head has helped launch him into stardom, it was also his storytelling that landed him in trouble.
In 2015, after 10 years anchoring NBC Nightly News, Williams was removed after it was found that he had fabricated a story about his experiences during the Iraq War. But since, Williams has returned to television as the host of MSNBC’s The 11th Hour with Brian Williams and seen huge success, despite its late time slot. And despite that scandal, he’s still one of news’ most trusted anchors.
Most Trusted: Harris Faulkner – 24%
Harris Faulkner started her career at Fox News Channel’s Outnumbered, sitting alongside three other women and a “#OneLuckyGuy” talking about the politics of the day. It could be argued that this was Fox News’ version of The View. But in this new world that Fox created, Faulkner managed to stand out above the rest.
She separated herself from the arguments and delivered level-headed, heartfelt news commentary. And out of all the women who have been cast on Outnumbered, only Faulkner made the list of the most trusted news anchors, with 24 percent of people polled saying that they trust her “a lot”.
Most Trusted: Robin Roberts – 28%
ABC’s Good Morning America has consistently been rated the most popular morning show in all of broadcast television. And in the Good Morning America world, Robin Roberts is the most trusted figure. The Morning Consult poll found that a generous 28 percent of respondents said that they trust Roberts “a lot”. But that’s not even the most impressive part.
Morning Consult reported that if the survey was taken with only the answers from what is known as the “key demographic” in television, meaning 25-49 year old viewers, Roberts would have placed first on this list. Fifty-three percent of people age 25-49 say they trust Roberts above every other news anchor on television.
Most Trusted: David Muir – 28%
ABC sees about 12 million viewers tuning in to their evening news programs. And among that lineup, David Muir takes the lead. As the host of World News Tonight with David Muir, Muir has become a household name due to the massive popularity of the show.
“I think that in this era, where people are really hungry for someone that they can trust and a team they can trust, that it’s just something they sense in their guy,” Muir told Time Magazine about public perception. And it seems that when it comes to the guts of the public, 28 percent told Morning Consult that they can trust Muir.
Most Trusted: Anderson Cooper – 29%
Yes, that’s right. Not only was Anderson Cooper given a spot as one of the least trusted names in news, he was also given enough votes of confidence to make him the second most trusted name in news, as well. As if anyone needed any more evidence that today’s news climate is a bit hot and cold.
While 19 percent said that they do not trust Cooper “at all”, many more — 29 percent — said that they trust Cooper “a lot” as a news anchor. Because of that, Morning Consult declared Cooper to be TV’s most polarizing figure in news. 46 percent of Democrats say they trust Cooper, while 32 percent of Republicans do not.
Most Trusted: Lester Holt – 32%
Lester Holt of NBC comes in as the most trusted name in all of television news, with 32 percent of respondents saying that they trust him “a lot”. Holt took over the role of lead anchor for NBC Nightly News after Brian Williams left the spot open, and since then, he has been steadily rising in the ranks as one of NBC’s biggest stars.
Holt’s style of delivering the news without opinion means that he stands out among the rest, as more and more anchors have begun to cross the line from news into commentary. “Trust is at the heart of what we do,” Holt told The Hollywood Reporter when he received news of his ranking. “To me, there is no higher honor than to have earned that trust.”
Honorable Mention – Least Trusted: Chuck Todd (19%)
This might be some bad news for NBC. The network’s political director, Chuck Todd, was found by the Morning Consult to be one of the least trusted names in news, with 19 percent of respondents saying they do not trust him at all (to be fair, 19% also said that they trust him “a lot”).
Despite some negative ratings from viewers, Todd continues to be a staple of NBC’s news lineup. Not only is he in the coveted moderator seat for NBC’s Sunday show Meet The Press, he also hosts the spin-off MTP Daily and appears throughout the day on other shows as an on-air political analyst.
Honorable Mention – Least Trusted: Juan Williams (19%)
Journalist and Political Analyst Juan Williams writes for The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, but he is most known for his work on Fox News. Williams has made a name for himself at the channel for being one of the few registered Democrats to appear in their lineup.
Williams was even the go-to guy to guest host one of Fox News’ most popular shows at the time, The O’Reilly Factor. But while he provides welcome counterpoints to some of Fox News’ discussions, it seems that viewers do not trust Williams very much. Nineteen percent of respondents said that they do not trust Williams at all.
Honorable Mention – Least Trusted: Steve Doocy (18%)
Millions of Americans wake up to watch Steve Doocy and his Fox & Friends morning show every single day. But while the show might receive some high ratings, viewers are giving low ratings to this particular show host. And for years, Doocy has faced criticism for some of his more colorful views.
In the past, Doocy has been panned for some unsuccessful segments as he tries to wander the streets to do real-time reporting to no avail. In The Guardian one report slammed the show and its hosts, writing “Fox & Friends main hosts – Steve Doocy, Ainsley Earhardt, and Brian Kilmeade – are a consistent train wreck of shameless hackery.” Wow, tell us how you really feel.
Honorable Mention – Least Trusted: Chris Hayes (18%)
Progressive commentator and news anchor Chris Hayes is the host of the MSNBC news and opinion show All In with Chris Hayes, a part of the network’s weekday line up. But it seems that when asked, news viewers are not exactly “all in” on Hayes. Instead, 18 percent said that they do not trust Hayes at all.
But it also seems like after 7 years of hosting a news television show, Hayes does not care about molding his show to please audiences. “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,” Hayes told The New Yorker.
Honorable Mention – Least Trusted: Wolf Blitzer (17%)
We know it’s bad when famed media columnist Jack Shafer tweets “Could Wolf Blitzer be any duller?” followed by the headline “Wolf Blitzer of CNN, the dullest journalist in the world.” Ouch. But, to be fair, whether it is because of Blitzer’s monotone questioning or even-keeled interviews, Blitzer has faced criticism for being a news anchor that, well, doesn’t make much news.
Instead, Blitzer’s brand of anti-wave-making journalism has not necessarily earned him trust. In total, 17 percent of poll-takers said that they do not trust Blitzer at all. To give Blitzer some credit, 17 percent also said that they trust Blitzer “a lot.”
Honorable Mention – Most Trusted: Gayle King (22%)
Gayle King first began appearing on television screens as Oprah Winfrey’s best friend and most trusted confidant. And now that she has landed a spot on the wildly successful show CBS This Morning, it seems that she has also become one of America’s most trusted voices, as well. Twenty-two percent of respondents said that they trust King “a lot.”
And if King even had to prove herself after 40 years of local news reporting, she did so on the national stage in a big way. King has landed some headline-grabbing interviews, including one with singer R. Kelly, and has shown that she can land a tough line of questioning.
Honorable Mention – Most Trusted: Dana Perino (21%)
Political fanatics were first introduced to Dana Perino as she stood at the presidential podium and delivered her daily briefing as former President George W. Bush’s White House press secretary. But nowadays, fans get to see her taking on a new role, hosting The Daily Briefing with Dana Perino on Fox News.
Perino has used her own experience of sitting in some of the most powerful rooms in Washington and has translated it to the small screen. Her takes on what matters in each news cycle seems to have an extra weight given the fact that she once was privy to all the ins and outs of the Oval Office.
Honorable Mention – Most Trusted: Ainsley Earhardt (20%)
Ainsley Earhardt said that she “did not know the first thing about politics” when she was first hired at Fox News in 2017. But years later, she has become one of the most trusted voices in political news, delivering the latest updates on one of Fox’s most highly rated shows, Fox & Friends.
“She comes right through the television,” veteran anchor Deborah Knapp told Business Insider. “It’s a rare quality to connect with people like she does. And the way she appears is exactly who she is. Ainsley is just full of goodness. I think people pick up on that, and people are attracted to that.”
Honorable Mention – Most Trusted: Jake Tapper (19%)
In 2020, Vanity Fair published an article titled “How Will CNN’s Jake Tapper Be Remembered In 30 Years?” And if this Morning Consult poll is any indication, then he will be remembered as one of the most trusted voices in news media. And we would say that that’s a pretty good legacy to hold.
As the chief Washington correspondent for CNN and the host of The Lead With Jake Tapper, Tapper has been gaining the public’s trust for years. “Unlike colleagues willing to pull punches to stay in the good graces of their high-powered sources, Tapper’s strategy is to do his homework and be right,” Politico Magazine wrote on Tapper.