Former CBS News president: Most major cable news outlets 'unrelentingly liberal' in 'fear and loathing' of Trump

Former CBS News President Van Gordon Sauter delivered a scathing critique of news outlets, saying two out of three leading cable news sources, in particular, "are unrelentingly liberal in their fear and loathing of President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE."

Sauter, who served as CBS News president on two occasions in the 1980s, asked in a Wall Street Journal opinion piece published on Sunday whether a large segment of the public will "ever put stock in journalism it considers hostile to the country’s best interests."

“The highly influential daily newspapers in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and Boston are now decidedly liberal,” Sauter wrote.

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“On the home screen, the three broadcast network divisions still have their liberal tilt. Two of the three leading cable news sources are unrelentingly liberal in their fear and loathing of President Trump," he added, appearing to refer to MSNBC and CNN.

“The news media is catching up with the liberalism of the professoriate, the entertainment industry, upscale magazines and the literary world. Recent arrivals are the late-night TV hosts who have broken the boundaries of what was considered acceptable political humor for networks," he continued.

“To the journalists, including more than a few Republicans, [the president] is a blatant vulgarian, an incessant prevaricator, and a dangerous leader who should be ousted next January, if not sooner," he later added.

Sauter, also a onetime president of CBS Sports, also asked what media coverage will look like if Trump wins a second term.

“How will a large segment of the public ever put stock in journalism it considers hostile to the country’s best interests?” he asked.

Sauter's perspective comes as the news media's credibility rating fell to a new low in a recent poll by Morning Consult, with those identifying as Republican primarily driving the number down.

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"Among Republicans, perceptions of four media outlets have fallen more than 20 points since the last presidential election. In December 2016, at least roughly half of Republicans thought The Wall Street Journal (64 percent), The New York Times (52 percent), CNN (51 percent) and MSNBC (48 percent) were credible," reads the Morning Consult findings. "Four years later, those figures now stand at 41 percent for The Journal, 29 percent for the Times and 27 percent for both CNN and MSNBC."

The overall share of U.S. adults who said nine leading media outlets ranging from CBS News to The New York Times are credible dropped more than 9 percentage points since December 2016, from 60.6 percent to 51.2 percent in May 2020, according to the poll's findings.

--This report was updated at 10:57 a.m.