MRC founder and president Brent Bozell and NewsBusters Executive Editor Tim Graham discussed their new book Unmasked: Big Media's War Against Trump with The Daily Signal Podcast this week. You can listen on the SoundCloud there, or check out the transcript. Rob Bluey and Virginia Allen asked about how the Media Research Center team has methodically analyzed the networks during the Trump presidency.
BOZELL: The quantitative is what you see every month in the studies that Rich Noyes comes out with. That’s a function of exhaustive research into every single network news story to determine the numbers where you see the 89%, the 92%, the 91% [negative coverage].
These numbers are astronomic and astonishing because they don’t end. No matter what success this president registers, it’s just going to be that kind of negative.
That’s the quantitative. The qualitative is in the analysis of just how negative it is. This was Tim’s point.
When you look at the examples of that hostility, it’s unlike anything any president has undergone before. It astonishes even us to see the level of betrayal and the personal animus directed not just at him, but at anyone around him who dares do things like be related to them.
GRAHAM: The degree of negativity where they use phrases like, “Trump’s rallies are swallowed by fear, anger, and misinformation.” “Donald Trump spoke off the cuff and took his campaign off the rails.” It is just intense. It really sounds like a horror movie commercial.
Later, Graham added that one reason the coverage is so negative is that they shamelessly skip the positive news:
GRAHAM: You know the problem we have, one of the things we write about in the book, is they won’t even do stats. We have unemployment now at 3.6%. It’s the lowest in 50 years. We can’t get these networks to give that 15 seconds.
In April, 3.2% growth in the first quarter. A surprise, a shock. Ten seconds on NBC. ABC and CBS? Zero. They’re not doing news now. That’s the problem, you have to hunt down the facts from people other than the so-called news networks.
Bozell concluded by explaining how important this book is as we look forward to the 2020 campaign:
BOZELL: Normally, when Tim and I do these books, these are retrospectives looking at a campaign just concluded. But this one is forward-thinking because it’s a preface for what is about to happen between now and next November, where this is going to be—and you’re already seeing it—a nonstop jihad.
They tried to prevent [Trump] from being elected. They tried to have him removed. They know they can’t remove him now, but what they can do is inflict as much a damage on him to maybe cost those two or three points that could cost him the election.
On the other hand, this campaign against him ultimately could backfire because I think that there are enough people. … You’re looking at the bleeding audiences from MSNBC and CNN.
I wonder if there aren’t that 2% to 3% of people who are moving in the opposite direction because of the media. That could [be] his margin of victory.
So ironically, either way you look at it, I think the news media will decide the election next year.