Networks’ Trump Coverage: Three-Fourths On Impeachment And (Shockingly) 93% Was Negative
If you think the mainstream seems to endlessly bash President Trump, here’s some good news: You’re not crazy.
“In the first 100 days since House Democrats began their impeachment push on September 24, ABC, CBS and NBC have aggressively aided the effort. A Media Research Center analysis finds the Big Three evening newscasts have battered the President with 93% negative coverage and promoted impeachment at the expense of nearly all other Trump news,” the Media Research Center (MRC) reported on Monday.
“At the same time, the broadcast networks [devoted] at least 124 hours of wall-to-wall live coverage as they pre-empted regular programming in favor of House Democrat-led impeachment activities. On the other hand, the networks’ frenzy over impeachment has meant the Democratic presidential candidates have been barely visible on the evening newscasts, even though voting is due to begin in just three weeks.”
The MRC said that from Sept. 24 through Jan. 1, they checked out more than 1,000 comments about the president. To no one’s surprise, 93% were negative. The Center also said that in the first 100 days since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the impeachment inquiry on Sept. 24, the three main networks — ABC, CBS and NBC — “generated a combined 849 minutes of evening news coverage about the subject.”
The nets also used the daytime to push their agenda. “NBC provided at least 44 hours, 32 minutes of live coverage outside of their regular news shows, including a whopping ten hours on the day of the House vote. ABC and CBS were close behind, offering more than 40 and 39 hours of live coverage, respectively.”
Such unusual coverage aims to build up the significance of the event in the viewer’s mind — suggesting an historic moment on par with the Kennedy assassination or 9/11, not a futile partisan exercise. But Nielsen ratings showed the public didn’t seem interested with the hearings conducted by the House Intelligence Committee.
Same as it ever was. In 2017, Harvard released a study last week that analyzed The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and the main newscasts on CBS, CNN, Fox and NBC during Trump’s first 100 days. No shocker here: 80 percent was negative, just 20 percent positive.
“The Harvard team found that CBS coverage was 91 percent negative and 9 percent positive. New York Times coverage was 87 percent negative and 13 percent positive,” Byron York wrote in the Washington Examiner. “Washington Post coverage was 83 percent negative and 17 percent positive. Wall Street Journal coverage was 70 percent negative and 30 percent positive. And Fox News coverage also leaned to the negative, but only slightly: 52 percent negative to 48 percent positive.”
That’s a big change from the past. When the Chosen One, Barack Obama, completed his first 100 days, a similar study found that coverage was 59 percent positive, 41 percent negative. Skewed, but not that bad. The numbers were flipped for George W. Bush, of course: 57 percent negative, 43 percent positive. For Bill Clinton, way back in 1993, in the days when news was news (which means reporters were hard on the president regardless of his political affiliation), the coverage was 60 percent negative, 40 percent positive.