NEWS AND OPINION:
The news media has been insulting President Trump since — when, the dawn of time? Seems like it, particularly to his most ardent fans, who point out that Mr. Trump left a billionaire’s life to take on the woes of an entire nation, and endure an unprecedented number of insults from a hostile press. Now there is a study charting this trend, and it found that things are only getting worse.
“As Democratic impeachment fervor continues to grow on Capitol Hill, the media’s descriptions of Donald Trump have become ever more colorful, with headlines proclaiming him a ‘criminal,’ ‘corrupt’ and even a ‘treasonous traitor.’ How have the media’s descriptions of the president evolved since he first rode down that Trump Tower escalator four-plus years ago?” asks Kalev Leetaru, media fellow for RealClear Politics.
He is citing research from the GDELT Project, a global database which monitors the world’s broadcast, print, and web news in 100 languages. Mr. Leetaru created GDELT over 20 years ago, by the way, and has been called the “wizard of big data.”
For the Trump insult analysis, the organization searched out the frequency of the phrase “Trump is” and compiled a list of the most common words or phrases that followed those two words during broadcasts on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News from June 2015 to October 2019.
“In all, CNN used the phrase 76,080 times through November 2016, while MSNBC mentioned it 80,037 times and Fox News 67,481 times,” Mr. Leetaru noted.
The wide-ranging results revealed the ugly partisan schism. Among the many verbatim examples which emerged: CNN called Mr. Trump such things as a pathological liar, anti-Christ, white nationalist, disgusting fraud and uniquely unqualified. MSNBC said he was a con man, terrible person, a serious threat, temperamentally unfit and phony. Fox News described Mr. Trump as unstoppable, the right candidate, historic president, a good man and doing great.
Mr. Leetaru points out that Fox News had some insults in the mix, but far less than the other two networks. Meanwhile, things appear to be going beyond rude.
“So far in 2019, words have trended towards criminal allegations, impeachment and racism, representing the most negative wording yet,” says Mr. Leetaru, who is also a senior fellow at the George Washington University Center for Cyber & Homeland Security.
“It is important to recognize that these phrases represent a mixture of descriptions by the channels’ own personalities and those of third parties, which were rebroadcast as is. Combined, they offer a glimpse into the words a viewer would have heard closely associated with the president over time on each channel,” the analyst observes.
“Putting this all together, the descriptions found on this link show a news media that was at first dismissive of Donald Trump, rapidly hardened its rhetoric as he raced towards the nomination, then has become ever more negative as his presidency has worn on,” he says.
IMPEACHMENT MALAISE HITS THE DEMOCRATS
The Republican war chest is robust. Very robust, in fact — thanks in part to the impeachment hearings, some say. This might could come as a surprise to House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff, and Democratic National Committee chairman Tom Perez. Or maybe not.
“While Adam Schiff’s kangaroo court continues to shift more voters away from their sham impeachment inquiry, the RNC continues to blow the doors off of fundraising compared to Tom Perez and the DNC, putting President Trump and Republicans in prime position to win up-and-down the ballot in 2020,” declares Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Joyce.
The numbers so far this year: Republicans have raised $194 million with no debt, and currently have $61.4 million in cash on hand. The Democrats have raised $75.5 million, with $7 million in debt and have $8.7 million cash on hand.
“We have staff in nearly 20 target states and are able to keep up the pressure on vulnerable Democrats who support impeachment with newspaper ad buys in 15 states, and multimillion dollar ‘Stop The Madness’ ad buys. No wonder the DNC tried to hide their October fundraising figures,” Mr. Joyce observes.
OK, EVERYBODY TAKE A BREATH
Voters appear to be uneasy about the current social climate in the U.S. They’re fearful, in fact.
A new Rasmussen Reports survey finds that 53% of likely U.S. voters are concerned that if President Trump is impeached and removed from office, there will be violence. The nature or type of that violence was not specified.
Meanwhile, 59% are concerned that people who oppose Mr. Trump’s presidency and policies will resort to violence. But wait, there’s more. The survey also found that 31% of voters now believe that the U.S. “will experience a second civil war sometime in the next five years.”
“Over 60% of Republicans fear violence from both those opposed to the president’s policies and those who support him if he is removed from office,” the poll analysis said.
“But Democrats aren’t nearly as worried about Trump’s supporters which helps explain their strong support for the highly partisan impeachment effort. While 40% of Democrats are very concerned that those opposed to Trump’s policies will resort to violence, just 18% feel that way about his supporters if the president is removed from office,” the analysis noted.
The Rasmussen survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted Monday and Tuesday, and released Thursday.
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POLL DU JOUR
• 49% of Americans say Congress now has accomplished “less than usual”; 43% of Republicans, 46% of independents and 62% of Democrats agree.
• 43% of those who think that blame Democrats in Congress for this trend; 80% of Republicans, 45% of independents and 3% of Democrats agree.
• 30% of that group blame Republicans in Congress; 1% of Republicans, 23% of independents and 67% of Democrats agree.
• 24% blame both parties equally; 18% of Republicans, 28% of independents and 25% of Democrats agree.
• 6% of Americans say Congress has accomplished “more than usual”; 7% of Republicans, 4% of independents and 8% of Democrats agree.
Source: an Economist / YouGov poll of 1,500 U.S. adults conducted Nov. 17-19.
• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin