A new American President is always a big story, but TV news is obsessed with the Trump administration — and not in a good way. In the first 30 days (January 20 to February 18), our analysts determined that the President and his team were the subject of 16 hours of coverage on just the Big Three evening newscasts, or more than half (54%) of all of the news coverage during this period. And while most new presidents enjoy a media honeymoon, the tone of Trump’s coverage was nearly as hostile (88% negative) as we found during last year’s presidential campaign (91% negative).
Research items used on MRC.org Research
“He took us to the mountain tops.” “Big and bold” “He wowed us!” No, these aren’t movie critic blurbs on a movie poster praising a star actor’s performance, these were the immediate reactions from the liberal media to President Barack Obama’s first address to Congress. Will Donald Trump’s speech tonight receive similar accolades? Given the press’s hostility to the new president, it seems unlikely. But back in 2009, the first takes on Obama’s speech were effusive.
The ABC, CBS, and NBC evening newscasts seemed to be in a panic Tuesday after the White House signed off new directives to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) instructing them to crackdown on illegal immigration. “Tonight, President Trump's immigration crackdown revealed,” anchor David Muir freaked during the tease of World News Tonight, “The new and sweeping plan to deport undocumented immigrants across this country. Who will be targeted?”
On Wednesday, the network morning shows declared a “White House in crisis” amid the fallout from the resignation of National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and a New York Times report on Trump campaign officials having contact with Russia during the presidential race. While those “bombshell” stories garnered 36 minutes 17 seconds of air time on the broadcasts, only a scant 2 minutes 2 seconds was featured on criticism of the serious national security leaks that fueled both stories.
An MRC analysis of labels used on ABC, CBS and NBC morning and evening news shows during the 24 hours after each of the past six Supreme Court nominations demonstrates the pattern. GOP nominees John Roberts, Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch were labeled by reporters as “conservative” a total of 36 times, while Democratic nominees Sonya Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Merrick Garland were called “liberal” a mere seven times — all on CBS. In fact, there were more occasions (10) when reporters either denied that a Democratic nominee was liberal, or labeled them “centrist” or “moderate.” Republican nominees were never described as “centrist” or “moderate.”
Network reporters have barely noticed the brass knuckles threat from Senate Democrats to filibuster whoever President Trump nominates for the Supreme Court, regardless of the nominee’s qualifications or ideology. But that’s not the approach they took when Republicans blocked President Obama, then a lame duck, from picking a Justice during his final months in office.
Instead of scolding the divisive and unhelpful repudiation of a new President, the news media are enabling the sore-loser Left. But eight years ago, liberal journalists freaked out after Rush Limbaugh said of incoming President Barack Obama and his ardently liberal agenda: “I hope he fails.”
When Donald Trump announced his presidential campaign on June 16, 2015, the savants in the news media weren’t just skeptical — they were openly disdainful of the man who will be sworn in as America’s 45th President at noon tomorrow. Reporters sniffed that Trump’s campaign was a “carnival show” which threatened to turn the GOP primary race into “a joke.” CNN’s Jeffrey Toobin called Trump a “fool,” NBC’s Chuck Todd blasted him as “a political streaker,” and pundit after pundit insisted the real estate mogul had no chance of winning.
Millions of Americans will celebrate Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday, but the vast majority of journalists probably won’t be among them — and it’s not their scrupulous “objectivity,” or a unique aversion to Trump’s personal style, that keeps them from joining the party. Reviewing the media’s inauguration coverage since 1989 finds that incoming Republican presidents receive little of the worshipful coverage that’s accompanied the ascension of Democratic presidents. Instead, journalists measure new presidents using their standard liberal yardstick.
With the Democratic Party defeated, ObamaCare set for repeal, and incoming President Donald Trump poised to revoke a host of his executive orders, Obama’s actual legacy will likely fall far short of what his media fan club once imagined. But one aspect of his place in history seems secure: Barack Obama has been the lucky recipient of more biased, positive “news” media coverage than any other President in history.
The news media reward Donald Trump with a “honeymoon” as unfriendly as their campaign coverage, with journalists blasting the President-elect as a “racist,” “authoritarian” and a “demagogue,” while some cast his election as “tainted” and potentially “illegitimate” because of Russia’s hacking.
NewsBusters is recounting the most obnoxious liberal bias of 2016. Today, we finish the series with some of the most outlandish celebrity quotes of 2016, mostly of the Hollywood elite shaking their pom-poms for Hillary, hyperventilating over the idea that Trump might actually be elected, and crying “racism” or “sexism” when things don’t go their way.