Some say Trump caused the divisive political climate we’re living in, while others say he’s merely a symptom of the polarizing rhetoric spewed by political elites and mainstream pundits. Regardless of your stance, one thing’s for sure: the media loathes Trump.
Well, to be fair, the media hated every Republican president, and hates every republican politician unless they take a stance angainst their party.
Romney didn’t become a media darling until 2016 when he openly rallied against Trump. When, in 2018, he begged for President Trump’s endorsement, the media’s message quickly shifted back to their ‘racist lenses’ worn during 2012. Now that he’s displaying reluctance to acquit Trump of the pending impeachment charges, Romney is once again a hero of the republic in the eyes of the media.
Bolton shared a similar fate. During the Bush administration Bolton was framed as a warmongering neocon eager to bomb first, ask questions later. While he’s more hawkish than most Republicans, his stances are not irrational by any means. When Bolton joined the Trump administration as a National Security Adviser, leftist media declared WWIII imminent.
Now that his book offers mild evidence that Ukrainian military aid was tied to investigations into Democrats – the book did not specify the scope, details of who (though we know Biden was among many targets), or Trump’s motives – Bolton joined Romney as a national hero.
Media opinion was set in stone long before impeachment was even announced. Trump was guilty, now they just had to discover what he did. Exhibit A, Rachel Madow read aloud Trump’s tax returns from fifteen years ago revealing he paid $25 million in income taxes. A massive bombshell, said no one ever.
Outlets day in and day out called for the opening up of endless investigations into the President for no other reason beyond they didn’t like him, and surely he’s doing something wrong.
Hell, CNN’s Don Lemon laughed out loud while his guests called all Trump supporters racist, and stupid. This blind ignorance of media elites is exactly why Trump won, and why his movement will continue to grow.
Comparing the media treatment of Trump compared to past presidents, we see a clear trend against Republicans. Courtesy of Pew Research, 62% of media coverage of Trump was negative, while only 5% was positive.
President Obama and President Clinton enjoyed 42% and 27% positive coverage, respectively, with only 20% and 27% negative. President Bush wasn’t much worse than Clinton, but still only saw less than a quarter of his coverage being positive.
The trend continued into the impeachment trial. Media Research Center, a media watchdog group, found not only a start contrast in the impeachment bias, but a stark difference in coverage time between the Democrat’s House Managers and Trump’s defense team.
Across ABC, CBS, and NBC, the major networks gave Democrats 24 minutes and 57 seconds of airtime compared to the 11 minutes and 34 seconds for Trump’s defense team.
They gave Democrats double the airtime and showered their arguments with mostly praise,” MRC reported, “while expressing only criticism of the President’s legal team.”
Of the 34 “evaluative statements” made by pundits during the observed times, 21 were of House Managers and 13 were of Trump’s defense team. The imbalance aligns well with the dramatic difference in coverage.
20 out of the 21 statements made about the Democrat’s House Managers was positive, whereas all 13 evaluative statement’s about Trump’s lawyers was negative.
MRC analyzed ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News.
NBC News political director Chuck Todd made the sole negative comment about democrats “when he shared his frustrations with how the managers seemed to be unable to convince Senate Republicans to vote for more witnesses.”