Weighing anchors


With the passing of CBS and journalism icon Walter Cronkite, the pollsters at Rasmussen wondered how people think of him, and how the current crop of network news anchors measured up. The short answer to the second question is not very well. And the current crop also fails to measure up with a faux news anchor.

It’s probably not fair to take a comparative popularity poll when one of them is recently deceased, but here’s what Rasmussen found: Cronkite’s favorable/unfavorable rating is 78%-12%. By comparison, ABC’s Charles Gibson stood at 50%-28%, NBC’s Brian Williams stood at 47%-28%, and CBS’s Katie Couric stood at 49%-38%.

The anchors are probably doing a good job maintaining objectivity, because Rasmussen found Americans very confused about their ideological leanings. Lining up results liberal-moderate-conservative, Cronkite scored 20%-37%-17%; Gibson scored 26%-29%13%; Williams came in at 25%-33%-8%; and Couric posted 39%-27%-10%.

Also in the wake on Cronkite’s passing, Time magazine wondered who is most trusted right now. Cronkite was not among the names tested. Among the three network anchors, it was Williams 29%, Gibson 17% and Couric 7% — all of them blown away by pretend news anchor for Comedy Central’s Daily Show, Jon Stewart with 44%.

RBR/TVBR observation: This poll really is unfair to the fine anchors at ABC, CBS and NBC. As many have observed, it is a different media world now, and there are so many alternatives to the nightly network news segments that they can’t possibly compete with the old-timers. And to be honest, as much as we love Jon Stewart, he really had no business being included in a serious poll, leading to the conclusion that Time’s poll was not worthy of being taken seriously.