If it has crossed your mind that American media outlets have gone beyond historic boundaries regarding negative news coverage of President Donald Trump, you would be right. A new study just out by the Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy finds that news reports concerning the new president have been 80% negative during his first one hundred days in office.
Keep in mind Harvard’s Kennedy school is not exactly a stronghold of conservative activism by any stretch of the imagination. This is in stark contrast to media coverage of President Barack Obama’s first one hundred days which was positive 59% of the time – that’s almost three times more affirmative than President Trump’s 20%.
The research is based on “news coverage in the print editions of three U.S. daily papers (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post), the main newscasts of four U.S. television networks (CBS Evening News, CNN’s The Situation Room, Fox’s Special Report, and NBC Nightly News), and three European news outlets (Financial Times, based in London; BBC, Britain’s public service broadcaster; and ARD, Germany’s oldest public service broadcaster). The president’s role as a global leader and Trump’s pledge to redefine that role prompted the inclusion of European news in the study.”
The Harvard study not only shows that the Trump coverage is negative, but there is a plethora of it with “41% of all news stories – again three times the amount of coverage received by previous presidents.” In essence, the media coverage of the new president sets a new high watermark for negativity.
The disparaging news reports on all things Trump is, of course, detrimental to the new administration’s efforts to drain the swamp and turn his campaign promises into reality.
Without a doubt, this new Harvard study shows a president under siege. Trump, however, has not backed off of his criticism of the press, indicating his willingness and ability to fight back. His tweets and public comments about the Fourth Estate signify a “game on” attitude. “The press is your enemy,” said the president. “Enemies. Understand that? . . . Because they’re trying to stick the knife right in our groin,” according to a recorded conversation the president had with his Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
The funny thing is that one would think it’s always been this way between Trump and the media, but the Kennedy school study reports that just isn’t so:
When he announced his presidential candidacy, journalists embraced him, and he returned the favor. Trump received far more coverage, and far more positive coverage, than did his Republican rivals. Only after he had secured the Republican nomination did the press sharpen its scrutiny and, as his news coverage turned negative, Trump turned on the press.
The Shorenstein analysis also shows that even Fox News has jumped on the negative news bandwagon, though their coverage is not nearly as scorched earth. As well, the drumbeat of undesirable coverage isn’t simply limited to the man himself but in every single policy dimension:
As well, the American electorate who voted for Trump is becoming emotionally fatigued of the media pounding. One supporter of the President wrote to me this week and complained, “What can we do to get involved to help Trump? He’s being so unfairly attacked, and bombarded from the Establishment, Deep State, mainstream media, with horrid lies, leaks, etc. in an attempt to take him down? I am so upset about this.”
Others have emailed and texted me that they simply must tune out because they can’t take the extreme left media madness any longer.
So, whether you’re discussing Harvard studies or simply opening your inbox, it’s plain to see that the media establishment’s hyperbolic reaction to President Trump and his policies may ultimately have an adverse and cascading effect on media ratings. And this perhaps is the only thing that may force the left-leaning American news outlets to rethink their coverage of the 45th president.
That is, if they have a shred of veracity left. And at this point, that seems doubtful, at best.
*Slider picture: courtesy Jim Gill / ThisIsCommonSense.com