The broadcast network evening newscasts remain as hostile as ever towards President Trump and his agenda, although the networks appear to be easing up on their obsessive wall-to-wall coverage of the administration.
Since Inauguration Day (January 20), Media Research Center analysts have reviewed every mention of President Trump and top administration officials on ABC’s World News Tonight, the CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News, including weekends. As of August 31, coverage of the administration has totaled nearly 74 hours (4,418 minutes) of airtime, or about 39 percent of all evening news coverage.
For comparison purposes, coverage of the Obama administration in all of 2015 and 2016 totaled 59 hours (3,544 minutes), or roughly 10 percent of the available broadcast airtime. In other words, Trump has already received more coverage in his first 224 days in office than Obama received in his final two years as President.
Analyzing the networks’ spin makes it clear that the goal of all of this heavy coverage is not to promote the President, but to punish him. In June, July and August, broadcast evening news coverage of Trump was 91 percent negative — worse than the astounding 89 percent negative spin we calculated during the first three months of the administration, usually a traditional honeymoon period for new presidents.
Methodology: Our measure of spin was designed to isolate the networks’ own slant, not the back-and-forth of partisan politics. Thus, our analysts ignored soundbites which merely showcased the traditional party line (Republicans supporting Trump, Democrats criticizing him), and instead tallied evaluative statements which imparted a clear positive or negative tone to the story, such as statements from experts presented as non-partisan, voters, or opinionated statements from the networks’ own reporters.
Using these criteria, MRC analysts tallied 1,567 evaluative statements about the Trump administration in June, July and August, of which 1,422 (91%) were negative vs. a mere 145 (9%) which were positive. Since Trump took office on January 20, there have been 4,144 such evaluative statements, of which 3,712 (90%) were negative, vs. 432 (10%) which were positive.
"REPORT: DRUDGE TOPS GOOGLE NEWS IN TRAFFIC RACE…". AMAZING HOW truth draws more eyes than Dem propaganda. t.co/hwSzRDRTJS
— Barry Hart (@BarryHart7) September 12, 2017
REPORT: DRUDGE TOPS GOOGLE NEWS IN TRAFFIC RACE… t.co/3kxy4qiAuy
— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) September 12, 2017