The broadcast networks’ news coverage of President Trump’s immigration policy has been stunningly negative, with administration opponents and “victims” of the policies getting the vast majority of the time, a new study finds.
The Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog, reviewed more than 1,000 sound bites the ABC, CBS and NBC nightly newscasts aired from Mr. Trump’s inauguration through last month, and found a staggering 92 percent of them were hostile to the president.
All told, the networks devoted nearly 1,000 minutes of coverage to immigration, ranging from the travel ban to the phaseout of the Obama-era DACA program to the recent border zero-tolerance approach.
Immigration received more air time than any other subject save for coverage of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
Of those the networks chose to give air time to, “victims” of the president’s policies got 478 soundbites, or 44 percent of the coverage. By contrast people whose relatives were victims of illegal immigrant crimes accounted for just five appearances.
Anti-Trump protesters and advocates for illegal immigrants’ rights got another 23 percent of coverage, while law enforcement and border residents, who are most affected by illegal immigrants, accounted for less than 10 percent of the guests.
Mr. Trump campaigned on a get-tough approach to illegal immigration and has taken major steps to implement that policy now in office.
He expanded the aperture for deportations from the Obama administration, which viewed only about 2 million of the 11 million illegal immigrants as valid targets for removal.
And Mr. Trump tried to combat the new surge of illegal immigrant children and families that surged toward the U.S. beginning last summer.
He also tried to implement strict limits on new travelers from a number of majority-Muslim countries — the so-called travel ban policy.
Courts have sliced and diced the president’s policies, leaving some of them in tatters.
His zero-tolerance policy has been blockaded, and several judges have halted deportations for individual classes of illegal immigrants ranging from Iraqis to outspoken activists.
Courts have also ruled his anti-sanctuary city policies illegal and imposed an early blockade on his travel ban — though the Supreme Court has since stepped in with a rebuke to those lower courts, suggesting they went too far in trying to second-guess decisions that Congress has left to the president.