After spending two decades studying the news media as an institution, Tim Cook turned his attention to public attitudes about the press, a topic that lurked behind much of his work, most prominently Governing with the News, but one that he had never addressed directly in print. As was typically the case with Tim’s voracious intellectual appetite, the project grew into a larger study of public trust and confidence in institutions. This piece represents the first fruits of this collaboration, addressing what began our inquiry: what was the cause of the long known, but seldom explained, decline in pubic confidence in the press? Was it because they had become, in Cook’s words, just another “governing” institution? Or was there something distinct about the press as an institution in the array of public attitudes about the social and political world? In this piece, we demonstrate how confidence in the press is distinct from generalized confidence in other social and political institutions. In particular, we find that the same political indicators that lead to higher confidence in institutions in general drive down confidence in the press. We close by speculating on likely future trends given the adversarial tenor of press coverage.