A Harvard study published Thursday has revealed a dramatic anti-Trump bias in the media, with major outlets including CNN and NBC producing more than 90 percent negative coverage of Trump’s first 100 days in office.
CNN, NBC, and CBS give Trump’s presidency 93 percent, 93 percent, and 91 percent negative coverage, respectively, Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy found.
On the broadcast side of the media spectrum, Fox News provided the most even-handed coverage, with 52 percent anti-Trump coverage.
To arrive at the percentages, Harvard obtained data from Media Tenor, which “codes” media according to its topic, source, and tone. The broadcast portion of the study accounts for reporting on CNN’s The Situation Room, CBS Evening News, Fox’s Special Report, and NBC Nightly News, but does not represent talk show coverage. Newspaper analysis incorporates all sections but obituaries, sports, and letters to the editor.
The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal showcased slightly less critical coverage than their broadcast counterparts. Harvard reported that the three print outlets granted 87 percent, 83 percent, and 70 percent negative coverage of the president, respectively.
Harvard also gauged media coverage in accordance with the new administration’s policies. Immigration received 96 percent critical reporting across media outlets analyzed, while health care and Russia and the election each amassed 87 percent negative coverage.
The economy and terrorist threat fared better, obtaining 54 and 70 percent critical coverage, respectively.
A third major part of Harvard’s study compared Trump’s coverage to that of the three previous presidents, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton.
Trump scored 80 percent negative coverage, whereas Obama, Bush, and Clinton received 41 percent, 57 percent, and 60 percent, respectively.
“The media needs different narrative frames – not just an antagonistic one,” said Nicco Mele, director of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, to The Daily Caller News Foundation. “But it is important to realize this is not just about Trump. The media’s overwhelmingly negative coverage of Trump speaks to a bias for negative coverage.”
Mele explained that this bias affected Clinton, as well.
“The media needs different voices. The only person the media quotes in its coverage of Trump is Trump. He is quoted 64 percent of the time. Democrats get only 6 percent of the quotes; other Republicans just 4 percent. What’s truly atypical about Trump’s coverage is that it’s sharply negative despite the fact that he’s the source of nearly two-thirds of the sound bites surrounding his coverage.”
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