Politics

Trashing Trump: ABC, CBS, NBC Coverage of President 92 Percent Negative

Three news networks didn't even try to be objective covering the White House in September

They just can’t stop.

The three networks news channels — ABC, CBS and NBC — trashed and bashed President Donald Trump 92 percent of the time last month, according to a new Media Research Center (MRC) study, while giving him positive coverage just 8 percent of the time.

In all of 2017 so far, the broadcast networks have been anti-Trump 90 percent of the time, and pro-Trump just 10 percent of the time, according to the study.

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The numbers reveal an extreme media bias against the president, who now has the approval of 45 percent of Americans, polls show, and the results also seem to reveal a major change in the world of journalism in which, for the past fifty years at least, “objectivity” was the golden rule, and if you couldn’t find it in yourself to actually be completely objective, you faked it. That’s all gone.

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“While coverage has pivoted from topic to topic — the travel ban, Obamacare repeal, Charlottesville — there’s been little variation in the negative tone of coverage each month,” MRC’s NewsBusters reported in its article on the study of September news coverage.

The study found that 96 percent of the networks’ coverage of the president’s immigration policy in September was negative, with segments about the rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program taking center stage.

The network news reports almost always focused on the plight of the illegal immigrants known as “dreamers” — for beneficiaries of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act — who were given a two-year reprieve from deportation and two-year work permits by then-President Barack Obama, and reporters never seemed to have time to talk to regular Americans about the impact of illegal immigration on their communities, and their lives, and their wages.

On September 5, for example, the senior national correspondent for CBS News, Anthony Mason, called the president’s decision to end DACA “a dream lost for thousands of undocumented immigrants,” while another correspondent, John Blackstone, told viewers that DACA recipients and their families were shedding tears while watching Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ announcement that he was rescinding the memo that created DACA.

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“Over on ABC that same night, correspondent Cecilia Vega also attempted to push viewers’ emotional buttons — ‘dreamers like Jesus Contreras are terrified’ — while NBC’s Kristen Welker said: ‘Immigration advocates say his move to end DACA is cold-hearted,'” NewsBusters reported.

There was no other side represented — the side of Americans and legal immigrants who’ve been negatively affected by illegal immigration.

No network news reporter went out on the street to ask random people what they thought about what Sessions had said about DACA — that it was an “unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch” and that it had contributed to “a surge of unaccompanied minors on the southern border that yielded terrible humanitarian consequences” and had “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans.”

On another hot-button issue, the NFL and players’ kneeling during the singing of the national anthem before football games, the three networks continuously described the president’s tweets as a stumble and a mistake.

ABC weekend anchor Tom Llamas said on September 24 that “outrage” was “building over the president’s heated comments,” and a correspondent told viewers there was a “growing backlash across the country” — a backlash against what the president had tweeted.

But was there? Is that a true statement?

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The backlash seems to be against the NFL, with local veterans groups and hundreds of football fans across the country burning jerseys in anger at the NFL players for refusing to show respect to the flag.

In a CNN poll in late September, 49 percent of Americans surveyed said that football players who kneel for the national anthem are doing the wrong thing, compared to 43 percent who said they thought it was the right thing. But network news was out of whack, with 59 comments criticizing Trump on the issue, and just 14 supportive of him.

On the issue of the president’s response to the hurricanes, little was said on ABC, CBS and NBC about how Trump handled his response to Hurricane Irma, but a great deal was said about his response to Hurricane Maria, which devastated Puerto Rico, with 29 negative statements compared to just two positive statements.

In its study, the Media Research Center looked at statements made by the network’s own staff of broadcast journalists and by experts and voters presented as being non-partisan. They didn’t count statements made by partisans who were representing the Democratic Party line and the Republican Party line. In all, 393 evaluative statements about the Trump administration were counted, 361 of which were negative and 32 of which were positive.

(photo credit, homepage image: Donald Trump cut-out, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore / iStock ; photo credit, article image: Donald Trump cut-out, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore / iStock)

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