Accuracy in Media: Coverage of Trump’s First 100 Days Overwhelmingly Negative

While the news media actively protected President Obama from negative coverage, the same media people can't bash President Trump enough.
While the news media actively protected President Obama from negative coverage, the same media people can’t bash President Trump enough.

A new report from the Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard confirms what many conservatives have known for months—that news coverage of President Trump’s first 100 days in office has been overwhelmingly negative.

The report analyzed news reports in the print editions of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, the main newscasts of CBS, CNN, Fox News, and NBC, as well as the Financial Times, BBC, and Germany’s ARD in Europe.

Findings include:

  • President Trump dominated media coverage in the outlets and programs analyzed, with Trump being the topic of 41 percent of all news stories—three times the amount of coverage received by previous presidents. He was also the featured speaker in nearly two-thirds of his coverage.
  • Republican voices accounted for 80 percent of what newsmakers said about the Trump presidency, compared to only 6 percent for Democrats and 3 percent for those involved in anti-Trump protests.
  • European reporters were more likely than American journalists to directly question Trump’s fitness for office.
  • Trump has received unsparing coverage for most weeks of his presidency, without a single major topic where Trump’s coverage, on balance, was more positive than negative, setting a new standard for unfavorable press coverage of a president.

According to the report, the tone of news coverage was almost twice as negative for Trump (80%) as it was for Obama (41%), and well above those recorded by Presidents G.W. Bush (57%) and Bill Clinton (60%). The negative tone of stories on Trump never fell below 70% and rose as high as 90% during his first 100 days in office.

As for the individual U.S. news outlets studied in the report, CNN and NBC led the pack with 93 percent negative coverage followed closely by CBS (91%), The New York Times (87%), The Washington Post (83%), The Wall Street Journal (70%) and Fox News (52%)—which should debunk the liberal notion that Fox is in the tank for Trump.

Fox News coverage of immigration, health care, Russia and the election, and personnel was negative, while their coverage of the economy, fitness for office, international trade and terrorism was positive. This was in stark contrast to the other outlets studied, which were negative on every topic.

The study also dinged journalists for being out of touch with the rest of America: “Journalists would also do well to spend less time in Washington and more time in places where policy intersects with people’s lives. If they had done so during the presidential campaign, they would not have missed the story that keyed Trump’s victory—the fading of the American Dream for millions of ordinary people.”

Since the 100 day mark, the liberal media have become even more negative towards Trump, with no let-up in sight.

Edited by Jim Kouri

Jim Kouri, CPP, is founder and CEO of Kouri Associates, a homeland security, public safety and political consulting firm. He's formerly Fifth Vice-President, now a Board Member of the National Association of Chiefs of Police, a columnist, and a contributor to the nationally syndicated talk-radio program, the Chuck Wilder Show.. He's former chief of police at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at St. Peter's University and director of security for several major organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country.

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