May 22, 2017

After President Trump complained that the media were persecuting him with relentlessly negative stories and fake news, he got blowback, ridiculing his complaints and noting that other Presidents were actually assassinated. Nice dodge, but it was pretty plain he wasn’t talking about actual assassination; he was talking about character assassination. And it turns out, even Harvard supports his complaint.

A Harvard study of coverage of Trump’s first 100 days found that the media generated nearly three times as many stories about him as other recent Presidents, and on average, they were about 80% hostile. During his best week (the bombing of Syria), his coverage was still 70-30% negative. Other weeks, negative stories reached as high as 90%. On no major topic was coverage of Trump more positive than negative. Even Fox News was more negative than positive, although they came closest to being balanced. Can you even imagine what the average would be if Fox weren’t included? Is it mathematically possible for news coverage to be 110% negative?

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To make this kind of blatant bias even more damaging to the media’s reputation, once-respectable outlets like the Washington Post and the New York Times haven’t just abandoned any pretense of objectivity, they’ve also thrown basic journalistic standards out the window. Most of us have lost track of how many times we’ve heard “bombshell” anti-Trump stories that turned out to be fairy tales based on unnamed sources and flatly denied by everyone involved, who could have told that to the original reporters if they’d only bothered to ask. Just look at the recent firestorm over the New York Times’ claim of a James Comey memo that allegedly noted that Trump said something to him that might be construed as obstructing the investigation of Mike Flynn. Except that both Comey and his associates already testified under oath to Congress that there had been no attempts by the White House to interfere in the investigation.

Later, we learned that the Times reporter hadn’t even seen the memo: it had been read to him over the phone. Well, not “read to him.” But someone on the phone recalled portions of it. Who did? He can’t say. It was an unnamed anonymous source recounting hearsay from memory about an alleged memo the reporter didn’t actually see but that, if it exists, allegedly contained a hearsay account of something Trump said. Allegedly. (Who wrote this story? Hank Kimbell, the county agent from “Green Acres?”)

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It’s ironic that so many media outlets are suggesting that Trump doesn’t measure up to their high standards for a President when they don’t even measure up to my lowest standards for journalism. I think any fair-minded person would now agree that the Weekly World News was a more reliable source of political news than the current New York Times. At least when they ran stories about that space alien that hung out with Presidents, they quoted the alien directly.


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Comments 1-8 of 8

  • V Lee Knutsen

    05/23/2017 08:09 AM

    Mark Levin suggested that Director Comey be asked MANY questions about his memos...which sound like notes to self. Ask to be shown them...ask if he kept memos on past leaders like Pres. O...Hillary Clinton...etc.

    Ask if his memos to file...contain statements from any official which asks for an illegal action. Then ask why he didn't immediately report such comments...immediately.

  • Damon Frazier

    05/23/2017 07:50 AM

    It's funny. We might see that the National Enquirer will become the gold standard in journalism.

  • Richard John Roetling

    05/23/2017 07:32 AM

    I really enjoy your posts. They are excellent. I tried to comment with my phone the other day but could not pass "security" LOL. How do we fight the outrageous media agenda to destroy Trump. They keep repeating Russia, Russia so much that most Americans think something is awry when nothing important ever happened. I would like to suggest "Release the DNC computer, release the DNC computer" should be the non-stop GOP mantra. 17 intelligence services had to rely on hearsay to draw conclusions without it. What are the Democrats hiding? After all their non-stop demands I believe the public would say "Hey wait a minute. Why WON'T you cooperate with the investigations you demanded?" Thank you for your active role in fighting the coup attempt.

  • Vicki Smith

    05/22/2017 10:20 PM

    I am so concerned for our President's ability to keep his promises to those of us who put our trust in him to build a wall, defund Planned Parenthood, tax reform, healthcare reform...because he cannot do it regardless of his resolve. He has to put out new fires every single day and fight against loud voices even from within our own Party. Our Republican Senators and Representatives have no unity, no backbone and cannot get anything done. Many like Lindsay Graham, John McCain (who had the audacity to speak of "Watergate" regarding these investigations of our President) and even Paul Ryan do not support our President. These men need to go. We will lose control in the 2018 elections and it will not be because of our President. It will be because of those within our Party who refuse to listen to their constituents and the message we sent to "all" in this election to include our State Senators and Representatives. The campaign promises that our President made and ran on are what catapulted him into office. So our Party needs to work with him and not against him to address all these issues. Otherwise, many of them need to go. The Democrats fight and bully, but get their way because they have a unified voice. We keep silent and lose opportunities to make a difference. As a result of our own Party, we will likely lose our freedoms of speech and religion. They are eroding every day. Let the progressives back in control because of our Party's weakness and ineffectiveness and these freedoms will be gone. Yes...the news media is appalling. Since the campaign, I have not watched anyone but Fox News. In addition, I listen to the ACLJ every day, but trust no one else. However, we have no one to blame but our own Party for letting what the media says become the focus and cause the distractions that prevents the hard work from being done. Why are we always on the defense? Where was our voice to demand independent investigations regarding Hillary Clinton, Loretta Lynch, Uma Abedin? We always back down...we cannot agree and something has to change. Our President should not be having to fight these fires by himself! We know who is and who's not getting the work done and we know who those are not supporting our President.

  • Karen Bozeman

    05/22/2017 08:23 PM

    Does the rank liberal media even have a clue that we don't care? They can spit out all the trash they want to, but most of us flat don't even look up. We are too busy working. We know they no longer report truth.
    The markets are far stronger than they were in Obama's heyday. Gas prices are holding steady. The darlings of the media just embarrass themselves every day while Trump is quietly making America great again.

  • Linda White

    05/22/2017 07:13 PM

    What's in it for these news people?! I don't understand why they are putting their credibility on the line and shaming themselves forever?! What's in it for them? You don't do this for no reason. WHO is paying them. They've obviously been "bought and sold at a price".

  • Ken Byford

    05/22/2017 06:27 PM

    All you had to do was watch the News to see that

  • cathy nethercutt

    05/22/2017 05:37 PM

    I think the news agencies must be getting some money from somewhere to risk their reputations to the point they are going with the unsubstantiated news, but don't want to find out first...because then they couldn't print it. speaking of the money, and this is my opinion...i have no research to back it up, but i wonder if mr. soros might be making it lucrative for them to bash trump, truthfully or not.