Chester Arthur, silly politicians and the trust problem
March 16th, 2012
04:12 PM ET
2 years ago

Chester Arthur, silly politicians and the trust problem

Capitol Hill (CNN) - Who can you trust these days?

According to a Pew Research Center survey released last September, the public has serious trust issue with both politicians (59% did not trust information from Congress) and the media (39% did not trust national news organizations).


President Chester Arthur is credited with the rare witticism that hit both, saying, "If it were not for reporters, I would tell you the truth."

This is our way of telling you the truth. Today marks the finale of our podcast, "American Sauce", where we ignored the silly side of politics (prime example: the finger pointing) and focused on the substance and truth in debates. With some style.

Listen here to our last episode, which contains some of the best of our 227 stories. Send to friends and retweet this swan song.

We looked at what the issues mean to actual people dealing with them: the man on the border who sees illegal immigrants regularly cut through his yard, the rich and poor New Yorkers living side-by-side in disparity and the high school kid who isn't sure if college makes sense.

Partisanship? Thought was given, but not reverence. For our show, Hollywood screenwriters imagined "The National Debt: The Movie" (Joe Biden is cast as a Jack Tripper unintentional bungler). And we brought together the modern-day kin of Rep. Preston Brooks, D-South Carolina and of the man he nearly killed in the Senate chamber, Sen. Charles Sumner, R-Massachusetts, to talk about heated rhetoric.

We asked if anyone can take politicians seriously anymore and we pointed out interesting patterns (and scales) in the campaign music they choose. We read the bills and pointed out the fuzzy math from both sides.

And our team here at CNN Radio will keep doing that, just one story at a time, now via our "Radio Reports" feed on iTunes and Stitcher. We're scrappy and not giving up the substance-with-style fight.

We're determined to help fix that trust problem.

To listen to the final American Sauce, click here.

And click on the category "American Sauce" here on the Political Ticker for a library of all our past efforts.

Comment below or tweet us: @LisaDCNN

– CNN's Dan Szematowicz and Emma Lacey-Bordeaux contributed to this report.


Filed under: American Sauce • Congress
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. mique

    Trust can be gained through both parties telling the truth and doing their jobs correctly. Drop the hype and give us the facts.

    March 16, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  2. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    Well after four years of constant lies from Obama of course people aren't going to trust politicians!

    March 16, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  3. Sniffit

    THis garbage is just proof that advertising revenue is the new arbiter of truth.

    March 16, 2012 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  4. Andy

    I know a reporter has done a fantastic job when I neither cheer nor jeer their reporting. It's rare when I come across it, but Lisa you've always managed it. Most of the time I have to listen to multiple sources and filter the bias to get to the truth.

    March 16, 2012 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  5. Larry L

    I'm shocked that 41% appear to trust information from Congress! The Republican politicians we're hearing in the primary rarely tell the actual truth and the public never holds them accountable for lying. Think about the "swift boat' lies, "birthers" and "death squads coming for granny". The entire Republican political platform is based on lies and half-truths – just look at the fact-checker results.

    The distrust in news sources can be directly traced to Fox News and the owner Rupert Murdoch. Right-wing media is nothing more than a series of inflamatory sound bites and distortions of reality. It's a way of life with conservatives.

    March 16, 2012 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  6. Lisa Desjardins

    Thanks for that Andy. Thanks to all my awesome Twitter followers too.

    March 16, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  7. Dr. Chicago

    Thanks for the great shows over the last couple of years!

    March 16, 2012 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. Rebecca, Smart Girl Politics

    From a MSM outlet that hasn't always been gracious to the right, you were always fair, fun, and trustworthy. You got things right, and I appreciate that. Thanks so much for your great work and we will miss you!

    March 16, 2012 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  9. Dan Szematowicz

    Big thanks to all the listeners out there! We appreciate each and every one of you. Much gratitude for letting us into your heads once a week!

    March 16, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  10. Malory Archer

    Rebecca, Smart Girl Politics, the truth is seldom "gracious to the right". Sorry, but it is what it is.

    March 16, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  11. Lisa Desjardins

    Hey Sniffit, can you explain that a little more? What's the garbage here?

    March 16, 2012 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  12. Larry

    Interesting how you combine a section on the deficit, with the "deficit" of political trust. We've simply been lied to too many times by both sides. Even in the most apparently straightforward statements you have to parse them....is that over 1 year or 10? Is it a "real" cut or just committing to spend less? It is lamentable, but I believe it is part of the "political condition", and serves as a reason to heed Thoreau's wisdom, "That government is best which governs least", limiting the government limits the amount of "bovine residue" they can put into our lives.

    March 16, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  13. GottaLaff

    Love Lisa, but sadly, I can't say that about all media personalities. Fact checking would go a long way in helping media credibility, as would less commercialization, and more attention to stories that inform rather than entertain. Misinformation, low information reporting are both hurting this country.

    As the post says, "substance and truth" matter.

    We need more like Lisa, people who care about their work and know how to communicate what matters.

    March 16, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  14. Ivan

    I discovered Lisa D on Twitter when I was a newbie on that social network. I immediately learned she was no lightweight at economics when I saw her tweets, particularly on release of monthly jobs data. American Sauce has been a great podcast download for my workouts on the elliptical machine. In addition to her cool voice and the great script writing I have particularly appreciated the excellent editing, which sounds so good in noise-cancelling headphones. Kudos to the entire production team.

    I'm glad that Lisa & Co are continuing on, and I look forward to more high quality cybercasts, even if only one story at a time!

    March 16, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |