2017: The Year the News Media Went to War Against a President

2017: The Year the News Media Went to War Against a President, by Rich Noyes.

The first year of the Trump administration was as turbulent for the news media as it was for politics, with many journalists dropping any pretense of professionalism to become strident opponents of the President.

As a proxy for the larger establishment media, the Media Research Center analyzed every moment of coverage of President Trump last year on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts, usually seen by more than 25 million people each night. The major findings:

  • The Trump presidency was the biggest story of the year, accounting for one out of every three minutes of evening news airtime — nearly 100 hours in total.
  • The tone of coverage has been incessantly hostile, especially for a new President in his honeymoon year: 90% negative, vs. just 10% positive (These percentages do not include neutral statements).
  • More than two-fifths of evening news coverage of the President (43%) focused on controversies, not policies, with the Russia investigation alone accounting for one-fifth of all Trump coverage (1,234 minutes).
  • Despite their massive coverage of Russia, the networks had almost no airtime for questions about how the investigation began, or whether special counsel Robert Mueller’s current investigation is biased.