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Got Trust? No Way, Say American People.

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Who do you trust? If you're the American people, apparently the answer is: "no one." On today's Wilshire & Washington, we tackle the new Pew Research Center poll released this week, showing that the American people have reached a historic low in their trust in their government. While that might not be surprising to some, the poll also gave low marks for major corporations, news media, and the entertainment industry. How can the government recapture the trust of its people? It's not like President Obama is pushing an unexpected agenda. Is this more of a culture shift? Have the American people changed with the economic crisis, losing their confidence in the Big Things and fearing large-scale changes in policy? Isn't it normal to distrust the institutions that brought us to this point of crisis? And is this "epic discontent" related to the scapegoating of illegal immigrants going on in Arizona right now, with its new "papers, please" law?

With Obama in Los Angeles for a fundraiser for Senator Barbara Boxer, gay activists were out in force, heckling the President for not repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell. Do these activists have a point, refusing to let up on the "fierce urgency of now" that Obama promised them during the campaign? Obama did urge his supporters to keep at their issues, to be the change they want to see in their government, so should Obama be surprised the gay community is not giving him a moment of peace over DADT? The man made a promise, after all.

Finally, it was Earth Day yesterday, and in more important news, James Cameron's mega-hit Avatar also came out on DVD and Blu-ray. Guess which story got more attention? After creating a movie with such a pro-environment message, Cameron will be attending a climate change rally on the National Mall this Sunday, and he has acknowledged that the movie might reignite interest in environmental causes. Can a cross-cultural touchstone like Avatar overcome the rising distrust in climate science?

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Wilshire & Washington, the weekly Blog Talk Radio program that explores the intersection of politics, entertainment, and new media, features co-hosts Ted Johnson, Managing Editor of Variety; conservative blogger Teresa Valdez Klein (www.teresacentric.com), and liberal blogger Maegan Carberry (www.maegancarberry.com). The show airs every Friday at 7:00am PST on BlogTalkRadio.com.