President Donald Trump is no stranger to the media. But is he getting fair coverage, or is the press seeking to punish him? MRC Newsbusters conducted a study on nighttime newscasts and their coverage of the president since his inauguration on January 20. Not so surprisingly, the study showed that mainstream media filled much of its air time with negative news and commentary on Trump, much more than any other former president.
MRC said they measured the media’s spin by their stations’ slant. In other words, they ignored soundbites with traditional party line talk and concentrated on “statements which imparted a clear positive or negative tone to the story, such as statements from experts presented as non-partisan, voters, or opinionated statements from the networks’ own reporters.”
And the result? Since Inauguration Day, 90% of coverage on Trump was negative:
Using these criteria, MRC analysts tallied 1,567 evaluative statements about the Trump administration in June, July and August, of which 1,422 (91%) were negative vs. a mere 145 (9%) which were positive. Since Trump took office on January 20, there have been 4,144 such evaluative statements, of which 3,712 (90%) were negative, vs. 432 (10%) which were positive.
Trump’s Media Coverage Relative to Obama’s
The media was so focused on Trump in the first three months of the year that nearly half (49%) of air time was devoted to bashing the newly elected president. Although coverage of the president has decreased (believe it or not) in the past three months – dropping to 32% of air time – that is still much more than former president Barack Obama ever received. In fact, in the final two years of the Obama administration, the media only dedicated a mere 10% of its air time to White House news.
Trump’s Negative Press Coverage Score
To get a better idea of the scope of this frenzied negative press, let’s look at the four most covered topics: Russia collusion; ObamaCare repeal; North Korea; and Charlottesville.
The Russia collusion conspiracy was by far the most popular subject for the media. This topic was 27% of all Trump news – which we already know is significant – and 415 minutes of air time. The investigation also had the most negative comments about Trump ending with a bad press score of 94%. This is in spite of the fact that CNN was caught on recording stating the majority of the story was just propaganda to raise ratings.
ObamaCare came in second place in the mainstream media popularity contest with 176 minutes devoted to the topic. There were 240 negative comments on this subject and the Trump administration, giving it a bad press score of 97%.
North Korea and the danger it represents only had 136 minutes of air time, but it also had the least amount of negative press coverage. The tally to date for this topic is nine positive comments to 57 negative statements, giving it an 86% bad press rating. To be fair, the majority of the coverage was neutral until Trumps infamous “fire and fury” threat, which then sent the media in a frenzied and frantic whirlwind to be the first to report.
The Charlottesville riot that resulted in one woman’s death received 213 comments from the press with almost no positive statements. The 97 minutes of air time produced a bad press score of 97%.
Has Trump Seen Any Positive Press?
We’ve covered some of the negative press, so what about any positive slants for Trump? Well, there’s not much to tell on that end. Perhaps the closest to positive press would be in April with the decision to use cruise missiles against the Syrian regime as punishment for its chemical weapons attack. Still, while some analysts and even reporters cheered for the president’s decision, his overall press coverage was 82% negative.
Just to show how skewered the mainstream media really is, Political Analyst Mark Halperin from Morning Joe said Trump would receive positive press as long as he was “striking deals with Democrats.”
“This will get good coverage if he works with Democrats for as far as the eye can see. It will produce more liberal policies, which a lot of people in the media like,” he said. “He will get good coverage the more he works with them.”
Take a moment to let that comment sink in. If anyone doubted the media’s biased coverage before, the truth should be glaringly obvious now. As long as the president follows the liberal left’s wishes, the media will give him good press. Now, how’s that for unbiased news coverage?