For anyone not living under a rock for the last 18 months, it’s no secret the media isn’t a huge fan of Donald Trump. During the 2016 election, pundits went from mocking his chances to win to turning him into the next coming of Hitler without taking a single breath. Despite the negativity, Trump was able to shock the pundits with his November victory.
Of course, the negative coverage of Trump hasn’t stopped since he took office. However, what is more troubling is the extent of the problem. While it surprises no one that 93 percent of CNN’s coverage of President Trump has been negative, the cable news giant isn’t the only culprit. In fact, a new study reveals that national broadcast television is just as bad as cable news.
From News Busters:
The broadcast network evening newscasts remain as hostile as ever towards President Trump and his agenda, although the networks appear to be easing up on their obsessive wall-to-wall coverage of the administration.
Since Inauguration Day (January 20), Media Research Center analysts have reviewed every mention of President Trump and top administration officials on ABC’s World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News, including weekends. As of August 31, coverage of the administration has totaled nearly 74 hours (4,418 minutes) of airtime, or about 39 percent of all evening news coverage.
For comparison purposes, coverage of the Obama administration in all of 2015 and 2016 totaled 59 hours (3,544 minutes), or roughly 10 percent of the available broadcast airtime. In other words, Trump has already received more coverage in his first 224 days in office than Obama received in his final two years as president.
Not only do the networks cover Trump more, but that coverage has been overwhelmingly negative:
Analyzing the networks’ spin makes it clear that the goal of all of this heavy coverage is not to promote the President, but to punish him. In June, July and August, broadcast evening news coverage of Trump was 91 percent negative — worse than the astounding 89 percent negative spin we calculated during the first three months of the administration, usually a traditional honeymoon period for new presidents.
In earlier months, the networks were obsessing over the Russia collusion conspiracy theory, but have since migrated away from that story:
Four topics consumed more than half (53%) of all Trump news from June to August. The networks’ favorite topic was the ongoing Russia investigation, which consumed 415 minutes of airtime (27% of all Trump news) during the past three months. But the frenzied coverage of late spring has abated. In June, the three evening newscasts devoted 236 minutes to the probe; that fell to 140 minutes in July and just 40 minutes in August.
At this point, it seems clear this president will never get a fair shake from the national media. However, with trust in the media at an all-time low, the White House shouldn’t worry too much about it.
And you can bet Trump’s tweets won’t be stopping soon.
[Note: This post was authored by Michael Lee. Follow him on Twitter @UAMichaelLee]