The country’s major broadcast news media outlets have never been more negatively biased against a sitting president than Donald Trump, a conservative media watchdog has concluded in its latest study.
The Media Research Center has tracked broadcast network coverage of President Trump since he took office, finding in previous studies earlier in his term that the tone in reporting has been overwhelmingly negative. That slant in coverage was confirmed in the latest study released Tuesday by the Reston, Va.-based organization.
“Four years ago, the Big Three broadcast evening newscasts tried to destroy Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign with historically negative press coverage. This year, those newscasts are doubling down, with coverage that is even more hostile to the Republican,” wrote MRC Director of Research Rich Noyes.
“Meanwhile, his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, is enjoying mostly positive coverage and a friendly media that’s virtually ignoring all topics — such as the scandal swirling around his son, Hunter Biden — that might harm his prospects,” he said.
The new study analyzed all coverage of the two contenders on ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts from July 29 through October 20. It found that Mr. Trump received 839 minutes of coverage — and 92% of it was negative in content and tone. Mr. Biden received 269 minutes of airtime, and two thirds of it — 66% — was positive.
Mr. Noyes also offered a historical perspective.
“The three evening newscasts have been relentlessly negative throughout Trump’s presidency. From Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017, through October 20, 2020, our analysts have tallied 16,755 evaluative comments, 90.5% of which (15,161) have been negative. While the topics have shifted from the Russia-collusion investigation to Ukraine and impeachment to this year’s coronavirus pandemic, the networks’ hostility has been incredibly consistent,” he said.
“What we’ve seen in this campaign, and over the past four years, is the establishment media choosing to abandon its traditional role and become combatants on behalf of liberal politicians.”