Friday, May 19, 2017

Harvard University study finds massive bias against President Trump during his first 100 days.

Shorenstein Center on Media and Public Policy.

A Harvard University study has found that Donald Trump has faced unprecedented negative coverage from the news media. Shorenstein Center on Media and Public Policy. The study covered 10 mainstream media outlets, including three European ones, and found that fully 80% of the coverage was negative in tone. Though media tends to emphasize bad news and have given the past presidents, excluding Barack Obama, majority negative coverage, the coverage for Trump was beyond what has been seen in the past. The media coverage was almost universally negative on all topics with the only exception of Fox News, who gave good coverage on certain issues like trade and terrorism and the Wall Street Journal who gave good coverage on the economy. Though Trump has had setbacks, most notably when his immigration executive orders failed and when the healthcare bill failed, he also had not gotten credit for his accomplishments, other than his strike on Syria. 

My Comment:
I figured I should cite the primary source here, since the only media outlets I have seen covering this study are pretty far to the right ones. Since my point was to criticized biased media, it didn't make sense to cite another biased media source, even if that source was biased in favor of the president. The study isn't too long and you should probably read it for yourself as well. 

So what's my take on this? The Harvard study is stating the obvious. Never have I ever seen the media give such negative coverage on any issue. And that's with tuning out most of the worst sources like CNN. Indeed, the only person who I can think of that got worse coverage than Donald Trump was Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. I don't even feel that is an exaggeration.

They are also giving more coverage to Donald Trump than he actually deserves. Though Trump is the most powerful person, there are more things happening in the world that just him. There are major stories that are not getting the coverage they deserve because the media isn't focused on anything but Trump. The Harvard Study stated that 41% of coverage during the first 100 days was about Trump. It's been an eventful 100 days for the presidency, but that's just over the top.

And I think it is important to note that it isn't just the lefty outlets like CNN and NBC giving Trump bad coverage. Even Fox News gave him bad coverage, especially on his supporters keystone issue, immigration. The Wall Street Journal, another right leaning outlet, was overwhelmingly negative. I know for myself that I avoid reading Fox News articles (I rarely watch live TV anymore) because of how bad the anti-Trump bias is.  

Trump is also not getting any credit for his actual successes either. Some of you may be saying "what successes" and that is exactly my point. Trump has had mad major inroads in foreign policy and has repaired relations with China and Egypt. The economy is also doing well and Trump gets zero coverage for that. Also, the media has not spent much time reporting on major scandals on the left, such as the rigging of the Democratic primaries. And the media has spent thousands of hours on the Russian interference conspiracy theory but spent almost zero on the much more credible circumstantial case that the DNC leaker was Seth Rich and that he was likely murdered for it. 

This coverage is having a disastrous effect on the country. Not only are people being mislead about how Trump is doing, the media has destroyed almost all of their remaining credibility. My reaction when I see a bad story on Trump is immediate disbelief. This is often justified because after I check primary sources I find that the media is either lying outright, exaggerating, or leaving out critical information. The majority of Americans know this is happening and no longer believe the press. 

This is completely unacceptable for everyone in America. The people still latched to the mainstream media are given a false impression of Donald Trump. They don't see his accomplishments, only his downsides. And the media is whipping those people up and causing panic when Trump is just doing fairly standard president stuff. This is extremely serious and I fear that it could have massive consequences, up to and including violence. 

It's not good for Trump supporters either. More and more we are stuck using non mainstream media outlets that have their own issues. Sure, places like Breitbart, Zero Hedge and The Gateway Pundit may be more fair with their coverage than the mainstream media (but you would be surprised at how many negative stories show up though),  all of them have issues with journalistic integrity. Since the left dominates the media, we aren't as at risk for being stuck in a bubble, but we aren't being served if the only sources we can even consider are ones that are biased. 

So what can we do about media bias? I think it is important to avoid using sources that are obviously biased. For my purposes on this blog, I try to avoid using obviously biased sources. I never use obviously biased places like CNN and Breitbart and downplay places like Fox News and the New York Times. My number one source is the various wire services, Reuters, AFP and AP, in that order. Though they have their biases as well, they tend to have much less of a slant. 

I also think that when a normally biased source actually does some good reporting, that we should reward that. I have often used the Washington Post and New York Times when they actually tone down the bias and report the news directly. For example, I cited the Post when they debunked the totally false rumor that the new healthcare bill would drop victims of rape from health coverage. That was a useful service and helped restore some faith in the media, and I gave credit when credit is due. 

The media needs to step up though and change. I think the worst of the worst biased reporters should be fired and fired with prejudice. They also need to acknowledge when Trump does things that are good and give him a much more fair shot. If that doesn't happen and happen soon then I fear that the media will lose all credibility forever... 

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