As President Trump approaches the end of his first 100 days in office, he has received by far the most hostile press treatment of any incoming American president, with the broadcast networks punishing him with coverage that has been 89% negative. The networks largely ignored important national priorities such as jobs and the fight against ISIS, in favor of a news agenda that has been dominated by anti-Trump controversies and which closely matches what would be expected from an opposition party.
Rich Noyes is currently Research Director at the Media Research Center where he is co-editor of Notable Quotables, MRC’s bi-weekly compilation of the latest outrageous, sometimes humorous, quotes in the liberal media, and the Media Reality Check, a regular analysis of how major news stories are distorted or ignored.
Noyes has authored or co-authored many of MRC’s authoritative Special Reports, including: The Censorship Election: How the Broadcast Networks Buried the Bad News That Threatened Barack Obama’s Quest for a Second Term; TV’s Tea Party Travesty: How ABC, CBS and NBC Have Dismissed and Disparaged the Tea Party Movement; Cheerleaders for the Revolution: Network Coverage of Barack Obama’s First 100 Days; Better Off Red? Twenty Years After the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Recalling the Liberal Media’s Blindness to the Evils of Communism; and Megaphone for a Dictator: CNN’s Coverage of Fidel Castro's Cuba, 1997-2002.
An expert with nearly 30 years of experience studying the news media’s impact on U.S. politics, Noyes has discussed the issue of liberal bias on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC and dozens of radio talk shows, and has authored articles which have appeared in the Journal of Political Science, New York Post, Investor’s Business Daily, Roll Call and Human Events.
Since Saturday, when Donald Trump first took to Twitter to accuse former President Obama of wiretapping Trump Tower, the morning and evening shows of ABC, CBS and NBC have devoted 107 minutes, 33 seconds to refuting the President’s claim. In contrast, new reports from previous weeks suggesting the Obama Administration did, in fact, initiate surveillance were essentially ignored at the time.
If you ever doubted that the media see the news through a partisan prism, consider this: in less than two days, ABC, CBS and NBC devoted nearly 7 times as much coverage to Jeff Sessions meeting with the Russian Ambassador in his role as a U.S. Senator than they did when then-Attorney General Eric Holder was held in contempt of Congress in June 2012.
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).
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.
Critics from across the media spectrum have slammed BuzzFeed for publishing something they failed to corroborate, a 35-page dossier of smarmy allegations against Donald Trump that was assembled by a firm hired to do opposition research on the GOP candidate. But on CBS Saturday morning, Slate editor-in-chief Jacob Weisberg saluted BuzzFeed’s decision to disseminate the anti-Trump hit piece: “I’m glad BuzzFeed published it because I got to read it.”
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.
All this week, NewsBusters is recounting the most obnoxious liberal bias of 2016. Today, brace yourself for some the dopiest news media quotes of 2016 — everything from claims that Melania Trump’s white outfit at the Republican Convention was proof of her husband’s racist agenda, to a journalist committed to raising her cats as “gender neutral,” to Brian Williams’s expert commentary telling viewers “exactly” which vehicles Cubans would rather have for transportation.
All this week, NewsBusters is recounting the most obnoxious liberal bias of 2016. Yesterday, we presented the most outrageous examples of journalists fawning over liberal or left-wing icons; today’s installment showcases some of this year’s most rancid quotes attacking Republicans or conservatives. Most of the media’s ire this year was aimed at GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump — who, according to some in the media, is either an American version of Hitler, “clinically insane,” or a “raving meth head” — but conservative Senator Ted Cruz and the late Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were also targeted.
As 2016 comes to a close, this week NewsBusters will be recounting the most obnoxious liberal bias of the year. Today’s installment: the most outrageous examples of journalists fawning over liberal or left-wing icons, including Barack Obama’s “keen intelligence,” the “fundamentally honest” Hillary Clinton, and the “tremendous sense of pride” Cubans supposedly feel for their dead dictator, Fidel Castro.
Looking back at the media’s track record on communism, one sees a press that was too willing to act as a mouthpiece for the world’s worst dictatorships, and too accepting of the perverse claim that communism meant safety and security for its people.
Last year, ABC's George Stephanopoulos used his perch as anchor of This Week to trash author Peter Schweizer for his book Clinton Cash, which alleged serious conflicts of interest between the Clinton Foundation and Hillary Clinton's State Department. But now that Schweizer is questioning the conflicts of interest that may surround Donald Trump's presidency, This Week finds Schweizer worth citing as an expert source.
With all the headlines about “fake news,” the liberal media elite don’t have a perfect track record, either. Reporter Jayson Blair concocted stories for the New York Times back in 2003, while Stephen Glass fabricated numerous pieces for The New Republic in the late 1990s. The most notorious scam of this sort was the 1980 front-page Washington Post article by reporter Janet Cooke headlined “Jimmy’s World: 8-Year-Old Heroin Addict Lives for a Fix.”
In her 2003 book, Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got it Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First, conservative writer Mona Charen offered an excellent juxtaposition of the horrors of the island prison Fidel Castro established with the fawning treatment he received from American journalists. Written after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the opening of the archives of the once totalitarian Eastern Bloc, Charen’s book establishes the foolish and naive thinking that Western liberals — including many journalists — employed in their attempt to sugarcoat the realities of communism, including in Cuba.