Edelman PR chief sees American cynicism on the rise

The recent symposium, "Ethics, Trust and Transparency", hosted by SMU's Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, covered by business writer Cheryl Hall.

By Cheryl Hall

The United States has become a nation of cynics, and our communal distrust is deepening daily.

 Those are the conclusions of the chief executive of the world’s largest independent public relations firm. Matt Harrington, 49, president of Edelman, is referring to his firm’s 2011 Trust Barometer, which indicates that six in 10 Americans doubt that the government will do the right thing.

 “We’ve joined the countries of the most cynical, ranking down there with Russia,” says Harrington, who was in town for an ethics and trust conference at Southern Methodist University  last week. “This is a clear indication of frustration being expressed in government and business — no job creation and impasses in Congress. And this data came in before the debt debacle.” ...