PoliZette

Study Finds Media’s 2018 ‘Lopsided and Hostile’ Trump Coverage Is 91 Percent Negative

ABC, CBS, NBC spent 63 percent of evening news coverage on administration controversies, favoring them over substance and policies, Media Research Center found

Ninety-one percent of the coverage by the three major television networks — ABC, CBS and NBC — of President Donald Trump was negative throughout the first two months of 2018, according to a Media Research Center (MRC) study published Tuesday.

Researchers analyzed the three networks’ evening newscasts throughout January and February. Of the 712 evaluative statements made by anchors, reporters or supposedly nonpartisan sources about Trump and his administration, only 9 percent were positive. A total of 647 statements were negative in tone and assessment.

“This study, along with those we published in 2017, shows that even after 14 months, the liberal media remain utterly unreconciled to Trump’s presidency,” Rich Noyes, MRC’s research director and author of the study, told LifeZette in an email. “In my 30+ years of studying the media, it is absolutely unprecedented for a president to receive such relentlessly negative coverage for such a long period of time.”

MRC found that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion dominated 2018’s evening Trump news coverage thus far and surpassed serious discussions on policies. The study found that roughly 63 percent of the evening news coverage from ABC, CBS and NBC revolved around Trump administration scandals as the networks favored scandals over substance.

Mueller’s investigation occupied 204 total minutes of the three networks’ evening shows’ airtime. Debates over the Trump administration’s immigration policy amid lawmakers’ unsuccessful struggles to reach an immigration compromise took up 100 minutes of airtime. January’s government shutdown and the response to the February 14 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, occupied 84 minutes and 63 minutes, respectively.

The scandal over former White House staff secretary Rob Porter’s abuse allegations took up 54 minutes of airtime while the networks’ obsession with Michael Wolff’s error-ridden book about the Trump White House occupied 53 minutes.

The administration’s handling of North Korea’s nuclear threat and Trump’s comments about “s***hole” African and other nations engulfed 32 and 31 minutes of coverage, respectively.

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“Such lopsided and hostile coverage suggests that the media are no longer even attempting to provide balanced news that serves all Americans, Trump supporters as well as Trump opponents,” Noyes said.

“I think most Americans want news coverage that is truly balanced, that presents facts on both sides and lets viewers make up their own minds. And that’s not what they’re getting from the broadcast networks,” he continued.

Related: TV News Spent 2017 Aiming ‘Incessantly Hostile’ Coverage at Trump, Study Shows

Noyes ripped today’s news reporters, saying that many of them “have become almost completely one-sided” in their liberal biases and are “acting more like political activists than objective reporters.”

“That’s beyond bias. That’s the liberal media engaging in all-out political war,” he said.

PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter.

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PoliZette writer Kathryn Blackhurst can be reached at [email protected].