Subject: The Media*s Year of Trump Hating
As we approach the first anniversary of Donald Trump's inauguration, it
is painfully obvious that our "news" providers are a highly agitated
brigade of the "Resistance." A new Media Research Center study finds that
from Jan. 20, 2017, through Dec. 31, 2017, the evening news shows on ABC,
CBS and NBC were overwhelmingly hostile in both content and tone.
The study, co-authored by Rich Noyes and Mike Ciandella, comes with a
jarring headline: "2017: The Year the Media Went to War Against a
President." It is indisputable that no president in the history of the
republic has been visited by such vitriol from the press. It is not to
say that some of the negative coverage hasn't been deserved. But no man
this side of Rep. Maxine Waters can defend their overwhelming hostility
Journalists often talk about President Trump's "war on the media" and
can't possibly discuss the media's war on President Trump. When the
president attacks the media, that's an attack on democracy. When the
media undermine the president, that's the full flowering of democracy.
Removing the statements made by Trump and other politicians, 90 percent
of evening-news Trump evaluations were negative, and only 10 percent were
positive. (Neutral statements were not counted.) There were only three
months in 2017 during which the negative coverage dipped below 90
percent. For instance, it was 85 percent negative in December, when Trump
succeeded in getting his tax-cut bill passed.
The numbers don't tell the whole story. The qualitative measurement is
just as awful. Trump news isn't mildly negative, like "the president's
message failed to resonate today." The network anchors have felt
compelled to signal that Trump is so undesirable he should be removed
from office. Just over a month into the presidency, then-CBS anchorman
Scott Pelley pressured Democrat Leon Panetta, former CIA director and
secretary of defense, by saying, "Is it appropriate to ask whether the
president is having difficulty with rationality?"
The Clinton die-hards couldn't stop reporting on their suspicion that the
Russians colluded with the Trump campaign to beat Hillary Clinton. The
Russia probe was the networks' favorite topic last year, resulting in an
astonishing 20 hours and 34 minutes of coverage, or more than one-fifth
of all Trump coverage.
Nobody rooted for Trump to succeed and pass legislation as they did for
former President Barack Obama. In 2009, then-NBC host Matt Lauer badgered
Republican Party strategist Karl Rove on the stimulus-package vote. He
complained: "If you add up the House and the Senate, we have what, 219
Republicans? All but three of them voted against ... this plan. ... Two
hundred and sixteen Republicans seem to have placed a bet on failure."
That spin didn't happen when House Democrats unanimously voted no on the
Trump tax cut. Instead, NBC anchor Lester Holt sounded like a Democratic
National Committee press release when he said: "Unable to repeal and
replace Obamacare, Republicans are instead trying to undermine it. Is
this a body blow to Obamacare?"
To the press, repealing anything Obama installed isn't an "achievement."
It's a disastrous setback. Some of the repeal happened without much media
protest. Trump's attempts to deregulate the economy barely drew 11
minutes of coverage. Trump's approval of new oil pipelines drew just over
Oversight on their part? In a way, yes. They have other more pressing
matters on their plates.
They prefer reporting their Gaffe of the Day. Here's another number that
proves the media's aggression: When the Washington Post reported that
Trump referred to some immigrants as coming from "s---hole countries," it
became an intensely negative news story. CNN was the most intense of all.
In the first full day after this story broke, it put decency aside and
the word "s---hole" was said on air 195 times, according to Newsbusters
staff. The cursing also appeared for days on screen.
Those screens, in turn, grace airport terminals, doctors' offices and
even schools all across America. Millions upon millions of Americans were
offended. But for CNN, the effort was worth the insult if it could also
damage the president it despises.
"The Marxists, communists and fascists of the Democrat Party have
launched a strategy of deception, projection, and a new generation of
brown shirts who fanatically believe that their violence is honorable,
and necessary, to save America from some kind of a Fourth Reich
perpetrated by the GOP." (Douglas Gibbs )