Networks All Dumped On Trump With 90% Negative Spin In 2018, But Did It Matter?
Americans saw unemployment plummet to all-time lows, new trade deals, soaring GDP, the destruction of ISIS, more money in their paychecks and a roaring economy. But read how the year was reported by the media: Is President Trump correct when he says they are the opposition Party?
The negativity from the American media networks on President Trump has been nothing less than astounding from the beginning. There has been a 90% negative spin on his actions in 2018 alone. But did it really matter? Not so much it would seem. Trump’s polls show that the negative coverage had no discernible impact on the public’s attitudes towards the President.
The Media Research Center has analyzed the president’s coverage on ABC, CBS, and NBC, which has been aired to approximately 23 million viewers each night. What they found is very interesting.
■ As it was last year, the Trump presidency was the biggest story of 2018, accounting for almost 87 hours of coverage, or 28% of all evening news airtime. But that’s down from 99 hours of coverage in 2017, perhaps a sign the networks are wearying of treating every Trump tweet as deserving of crisis-level coverage.
■ The tone of coverage remains incessantly hostile: 90% negative, vs. just 10% positive (excluding neutral statements), matching the historically bad press we documented in 2017. Yet despite the media’s obvious disapproval, public opinion of the President actually improved slightly during 2018, from an average 40% approval on January 1 to 42.7% approval on December 31, according to RealClearPolitics.
■ For the second year in a row, the Russia investigation was the single most-covered topic amid the networks’ Trump coverage, garnering 858 minutes of airtime. Since January 20, 2017, the Russia probe has received 2,092 minutes of coverage on just the three evening newscasts.
MRC looked into explicitly evaluative statements about the president or his administration from either reporters, anchors or non-partisan sources such as experts or voters. They excluded partisan sources and neutral statements.
The overall coverage has been overwhelmingly negative since the last presidential election. It has ranged from 82% negative in April 2017 (right after President Trump was all in for a missile strike punishing Syria for a chemical weapons attack) to 96% negativity in February 2018 (when the media latched onto the Russia investigation, gun control, and domestic abuse).
At the very least you can say the media has been consistent here. MRC’s report of 90% negative spin is in line with the Pew Research Center, who is not by any means conservative in nature. That was for Trump’s first 60 days in office. Pew determined that 62% of network stories were negative, vs. 5% positive and 33% neutral. If you remove the neutral stories and look at just the stories with a clear spin, Pew matches MRC: 93% negative spin, vs. just 7% positive.
The media’s biased coverage has earned them kudos with Democratic voters. 76% of those voters trust the media, which is up from 51% in 2016. Only 21% of Republicans now trust the media. The gap is at a near-record level of 55 percentage points in how the press is viewed by voters of each party. The actual record was a 58-point gap in 2017. Before Trump took office, this partisan divide never exceeded 40 points.
You probably will not be shocked to learn that in 2018 more than half of the media’s coverage was on just five topics: the Russia investigation (858 minutes); immigration policy (643 minutes); the Kavanaugh nomination (435 minutes); dealing with North Korean nukes (410 minutes); and the Michael Cohen/hush money investigation (341 minutes). And none of it was pro-Trump. The negativity ranged from 80% bad press on North Korea, to 99% negative on the Cohen/hush money story.
In December, the partial government shutdown ruled the media roost with 67 minutes of airtime during the month. 97% of that coverage was negative in nature.
The coverage has been so negative and bad it is having the exact opposite effect the media and left had hoped for. Americans have burned out on the Trump lynch-mob mentality. Their efforts have had virtually no effect on Americans. In fact, Trump’s ratings rose a little last year despite all this.
Instead of objective journalism, the media has made a mockery of themselves. They have in effect destroyed themselves over this. Americans see the media as yet another propagandic arm of the leftists and will never trust them again.
Source: MRC NewsBusters