- The Washington Times - Monday, September 17, 2018

Broadcasters have a very limited lexicon when it comes to describing President Trump according to a 9-month study of the exact words used in major broadcast coverage. Mr. Trump is primarily described as angry, fuming and outraged — and it’s a calculated strategy.

“TV news reporters have saturated the airwaves with subjective language about the President’s emotional state, most of it casting him as an out-of-control hothead,” wrote Rich Noyes and Bill D’Agostino, both senior analysts for Newsbusters.org, a conservative press watchdog.

They looked at every single broadcast evening news story about the president from Jan. 1 through Sept. 10, then tallied the number of times these bombastic terms were used.

“Broadcast journalists were most likely to describe the President as angry, often using highly-charged words to paint him as unhinged or out-of-control,” the analysts said. “Viewers heard Trump variously described as ‘furious’ (17 times), ‘fuming’ (14), ‘outraged’ (8), ‘venting’ (5), ‘infuriated’ (5), ‘livid’ (3), ‘enraged’ (3), ‘seething’ (2), or just plain-old ‘angry’ (23).

“When Trump communicated, he was said to be ‘lashing out’ (53), on a ‘tirade’ (8), ‘blasting’ (5), or ‘erupting’ (3),” they wrote. “The President was also ‘on the warpath,’ ‘volcanic,’ ‘unglued,’ ‘spoiling for a fight”’and even ‘went ballistic,’ according to reporters at various times this year.”

Do the math. According to the analysis, Mr. Trump has been described as angry in one form or another 185 times this year, or roughly 20 times per month. ABC’s “World News Tonight” accounted for more than half of this language (106) — twice as much as heard on “NBC Nightly News” (53) and four times the descriptions found on “CBS Evening News” (26).

Meanwhile, the broadcast reports also used terms to indicate Mr. Trump was frustrated or dismayed 30 times. He was also said to be “worried,” “anxious,” “shaken” or “afraid” 14 times.

Reporters only described Mr. Trump’s state of mind as positive a total of 23 times during the nine-month study period, using words such as “delighted” and “gleeful.”

This coverage is eroding Mr. Trump’s favorability ratings in some polls. A recent Quinnipiac Poll showed that 65 percent of voters felt that the president was not level-headed.

“After a year of news coverage casting him as a one-man rage machine, it’s a wonder that the President’s numbers aren’t worse than they are,” the analysts wrote.


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide