margaret sullivan
© The Washington Post
Margaret Sullivan
Critics lit into liberal Washington Post media columnist Margaret Sullivan Wednesday after she lamented what she described as a "troubling disconnect" between the public and "core journalistic values."

Sullivan was reacting to a new study by the Media Insight Project that tested public attitudes toward five purported core values of journalism: oversight, factualism, giving voice to the less powerful, transparency and social criticism. The study found that just 11% of Americans "fully support all five of the journalism values tested."

The columnist also highlighted a link in the study between people's moral values and what they value in journalism and called for reporters to broaden the appeal of their stories.

While the study stated Republicans are seven times less likely to say they trust the mainstream media than Democrats, Sullivan, like many journalists, dismissed the notion of media bias in her analysis.

According to Sullivan, journalists "try to explain to a distrustful public" that journalists are fair. She sympathetically quoted American Press Institute Executive Director Tom Rosenstiel as saying, "We're not biased, we're just doing our jobs."

On social media, Sullivan retweeted journalists, including left-wing pundit Molly Jong-Fast, who shared her concern about the public.

Critics, though, ripped Sullivan's self-serving description of the media.

James O'Keefe, founder of undercover right-wing news outlet Project Veritas, said Sullivan's industry "gaslights the people" and admonished her for not covering recent PV videos of a CNN staffer discussing what he believes is the network's liberal, ratings-driven agenda.

Conservative writer Drew Holden joked Sullivan felt the "unwashed masses" don't share the "noble values" of the press.

"Ah yes, the problem is the public," Fox News contributor Guy Benson tweeted

The study was a collaboration between the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The AP has recently attracted attention for its emphasis on politically correct language, including a recent admonishment against using the term "mistress."