by WorldTribune Staff, March 5, 2017
After bombarding him with 91 percent negative coverage during the campaign, would the “Big Three” broadcast networks allow even a brief honeymoon for the new president?
The answer, unsurprisingly, is no.
During his first month in office, President Donald Trump received 88 percent “hostile” coverage from ABC, CBS and NBC, according to a new study by the Media Research Center.
The study “analyzed both tone and content” for evening newscasts on the “Big Three,” The Washington Times reported. The study found that the networks produced 16 hours of coverage on Trump and his staff – 54 percent of their total coverage for the month.
“Our measure of media tone excludes soundbites from identified partisans, focusing instead on tallying the evaluative statements made by reporters and the nonpartisan talking heads (experts and average citizens) included in their stories,” according to Rich Noyes, research director for the Media Research Center, and fellow analyst Mike Ciandella.
“In their coverage of Trump’s first month, the networks crowded their stories with quotes from citizens angry about many of his policies, while providing relatively little airtime to Trump supporters.”
The networks’ anchors and reporters “often injected their own anti-Trump editorial tone into the coverage,” the study said.
CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley even snidely began his Feb. 6 broadcast by saying: “It has been a busy day for presidential statements divorced from reality.”
“A new American president is always a big story, but TV news is obsessed with the Trump administration — and not in a good way,” the study said.
The study found that Trump’s call for a temporary ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority nations drew the most negative coverage — over three hours. Other favorite targets for negative coverage included immigration, the battle over his cabinet confirmation picks and, of course, Russia.
“Further highlighting the hostile tone of these newscasts, nearly an hour of coverage (56 minutes) was given over to anti-Trump protests on various topics, with nearly one-fifth (82 out of 442) of the Trump stories or briefs aired during these 30 days including at least some discussion of an anti-Trump protest,” the study reported.
A previous Media Research Center report found that 91 percent of the broadcast coverage about his campaign was also negative — deemed “twelve weeks of Trump bashing” by Noyes and his team.