Only 5% Of Trump Media Coverage Positive, 42% For Obama

Nicholas Chang 12/29/17

President Trump Calling Out CNN

In an increasingly polarized political climate where left and right are becoming further disconnected, the media coverage and critiques of the executive under President Trump as compared to President Obama has changed, and rather dramatically.

According to the Pew Research Center, news stations with a primarily left-leaning audience only offered a positive assessment of President Trump 5% of the time he was the subject of a story. News stations with mostly right-leaning audiences were slightly more favorable of Trump, offering a positive assessment about 31% of the time.

The data also indicates that right-leaning news sites offer a neutral assessment far more often than left-leaning ones, and are less likely to speculate and theorize about Trump’s words. The left-leaning news was also more likely to “refute” Trump’s statements, having done so 15% of the time as compared to 2% for right-leaning news.

The same report also shows that the majority of the media is dedicated to merely five topics about President Trump, all of which were from the very beginning of his presidency. According to Pew, Trump’s political skills, immigration policy, appointments and nominations, US-Russia relations and Health Care account for about 66% of all news coverage.

The differences were the biggest, however, in the assessment of the first 60 days of office. In stories covered in those first few weeks, the media at large only offered a positive assessment 5% of the time. This is compared to 42% for Barack Obama’s first 60 days. Even President Bush had 22% positive coverage in 2001, prior to the Iraq War.

But regardless of positive or negative, American media has lost a significant part of its supposed unbiasedness since 2008. For both Bush and Clinton, nearly 50% of stories were “neutral.” Since the first election of Barack Obama, only a third of all stories are now considered to be “neutral.”

Here is a visual representation of the bias breakdown:

Whether left or right, the role of mainstream media appears to be changing from a role of information to a role of advocacy and ideological interpretation. Oddly enough, advocacy journalism is exactly what they accuse independent media of pushing.

The data found by Pew seems to vindicate much of the rhetoric coming from The President concerning the media's biased and selective coverage. President Trump often colloquially uses the term "fake news" in order to highlight their largely left-skewed coverage, while also adding an element of humor that seems to not register with some.

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