Months ago we reported on America’s “all in” problem – in which large segments of our nation’s population respond reflexively to breaking news along ideological, partisan, racial or religious grounds.
Our report referenced people by the millions falling into “regurgitative, rhetorical thought patterns” because they lacked “the inclination (or usually the time) to figure out exactly what is going on.”
Of course, we noted that this unhealthy and unnecessarily divisive climate wasn’t entirely their fault …
“Politicians, special interests and mainstream media outlets go to great lengths to bury the truth while fomenting such ‘ideological infallibility’ among the masses – calculatedly misdirecting frustration and rage like chess pieces, according to their narrow aims,” we wrote at the time.
The following day, we ran a piece citing a Harvard University study on media coverage received by U.S. president Donald Trump during his first 100 days in office.
“Of news reports with a clear tone, negative reports outpaced positive ones by 80 percent to 20 percent,” the study found.
This week the Pew Research Center released its own assessment of the mainstream media’s habitual #NeverTrumping. One of its “17 Striking Findings from 2017,” the organization compared media coverage of Trump’s first sixty days in office to the coverage received by former presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
The results were not at all surprising for those of you who believe in media bias …
(Via: Pew Research Center)
“About six-in-ten stories on Trump’s early days in office had a negative assessment, about three times more than in early coverage for Obama and roughly twice that of Bush and Clinton,” Pew’s Abigail Geiger noted. “Coverage of Trump’s early time in office moved further away from a focus on the policy agenda and more toward character and leadership.”
By contrast, Pew found that only five percent of news stories had a positive slant toward Trump – compared to 42 percent of stories which had a positive slant toward Obama.
Talk about being in the tank …
Defenders of the press will argue that Trump deserves it … or in some cases asked for it. They will also say they are simply mirroring what they see staring back at them from the Oval Office.
Is that true? In some cases, yes … but that doesn’t change the fact that just as there was a clear media bias in favor of the last president there is an equally clear bias against this one.
This news site endorsed Trump (twice) – but we haven’t been anywhere near as happy with his performance in office as we hoped to have been. We were also less-than-impressed with the tax overhaul he signed into law last week.
Having said that, we believe reflexive opposition to a politician is boring and bad for business … and if your business is the impartial dissemination of news, it goes against your stated journalistic objectivity. This news site has never embraced such objectivity … but in breaking stories and offering perspectives from the Palmetto State we have tried to be consistent and consistently open-minded (including an open invitation for those with views different from our own to address our readers).
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