More Leftmedia Bias, Higher Trump Approval
The president has gotten nothing but negative news coverage, and yet he's succeeding.
In 2017, The Washington Post unveiled a new slogan that appears on the front page of every printed edition and in the masthead of its website: “Democracy Dies in Darkness.” In addition to being perhaps the most negative slogan of any newspaper in the world, the phrase itself is ironic considering that the newspaper now seems to exist for the sole purpose of casting President Donald Trump in the worst light possible.
A recent headline on the Post’s website read, “Five overshadowed stories spotlight Trump’s domestic priorities.” You guessed it — every single issue was portrayed negatively, from Jeff Sessions enforcing immigration law to the repeal of ObamaCare’s individual mandate to the reform of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
According to the Post, every accomplishment of the president or his administration is actually damaging the country, and he’s motivated by racism, sexism or some other -ism to boot.
Clearly, today’s mainstream media has a troubled relationship with objective truth. Over the past 50 years, print and television news sources have tilted ever leftward, and bureaus that once preached an old-school journalistic ethic are today utter strangers to that concept.
In the 1980s, ‘90s and early 2000s there were moments when even leftist reporters and news anchors took a step back and gave credit to Republican presidents when it was due. Ronald Reagan and both presidents Bush, although never darlings of the press, were on occasion at least acknowledged to have accomplished worthwhile things. Even the agenda-driven pundits of the day found it hard to deride Reagan’s inspiring “tear down this wall” speech at the Brandenburg Gate, or George W. Bush’s “the people who knocked these buildings down” bullhorn address from Ground Zero.
But we’re not dealing with garden-variety liberal media bias anymore. What we’re witnessing is the daily effort by the Trump-deranged media to either mischaracterize every accomplishment of the administration or to intentionally neglect reporting on any news that might lead Americans to think the Trump presidency is succeeding. Instead, media outlets would rather focus on phony Trump/Russia conspiracy theories or the latest salacious tidbit coming from Stormy Daniels’ lawyer.
Michael Goodwin writes at the New York Post, “For people outside Washington, separating the wheat from the chaff is made more difficult by extreme media bias. Virtually everything Trump says and does is presented through the darkest possible lens almost everywhere. Consider how he was accused to being too bellicose in reacting to North Korean threats to bomb the United States, then accused by some of the same people of not being bellicose enough after Vladimir Putin’s boasts about Russia’s nukes.”
President Trump just can’t win. Or can he?
The media don’t want you to know about it, but recent studies suggest that the overwhelming majority of their coverage of the Trump presidency has been negative. We’re not talking 50-, 60- or even 70% negative coverage, but more than 90%.
The Media Research Center’s analysts recently found that among “all broadcast evening news coverage of the President from January 1 through April 30 … 90 percent of the evaluative comments about Trump were negative — precisely the same hostile tone we documented in 2017.”
Does Trump get any positive coverage? Sure. On the economy, the media’s reporting was, grudgingly, a bit more positive, but, MRC notes, “this coverage has amounted to less than three percent of TV’s total coverage of the President this year.” To put a finer point on it, “Star Wars Day” last Friday got six times the coverage as did good economic news.
Think the media came to its senses this week when North Korea released three American prisoners for nothing in return? Think again. What kind of American couldn’t have been proud when President Trump and the First Lady greeted the former prisoners as they stepped out of that plane early Thursday morning as free citizens of a country they described in a State Department press release as “the greatest nation in the world?”
In years past, the release of American hostages by a totalitarian regime would’ve received round-the-clock coverage and praise, but this time the media found ways to take a joyous moment and turn it upside down.
The Associated Press reported, “The White House choreographed the arrival event at the air base.” Alright, fine, but the AP also complained that the “public display stood in stark contrast to the low-key, private reception that the State Department had envisioned, in keeping with a practice of trying to protect potentially traumatized victims from being thrust into the spotlight so soon after an ordeal.”
The AP makes it seem as though the welcome-home event at Andrews Air Force Base did more psychological damage to these three men than their North Korean imprisonment.
Compare this to the media’s celebration in 2016 of Barack Obama’s $1.7 billion ransom payment to Iran, or his 2014 trade of five Taliban fighters for deserter Bowe Bergdahl. With Trump as president, our nation swapped nothing to get its citizens back home, but one wouldn’t know it from watching CNN or reading an AP story in the local paper.
What’s amazing is that President Trump’s approval ratings continue to rise despite the media’s unfettered hate-fest. And that’s the saving grace in all of this. Thanks to the Information Age, Americans are finding other ways to learn about the accomplishments of the Trump presidency. And the once-vaunted mainstream media, through its self-inflicted wounds, grows ever more obsolete.
It’s about time that reporters start doing their jobs and trusting the American people to make up their own minds about what they see. As for The Washington Post and its dark and melodramatic slogan, democracy really does die when organs like the Post keep this president’s very real accomplishments from seeing the light of day.