President Donald Trump suggested Wednesday that he might revoke White House credentials for some journalists, following the publication of a survey that showed a dramatic leftward tilt in television news coverage about him.
The Media Research Center, a conservative watchdog group, tracked the evening newscasts on ABC, CBS and NBC for the first four months of this year and found more than 1,600 ‘explicitly positive and negative’ statements about the president.
The group determined that nine out of 10 of those broadcast statements were negative. It did not include CNN and MSNBC in its research.
Trump vented, saying:
‘The Fake News is working overtime. Just reported that, despite the tremendous success we are having with the economy & all things else, 91% of the Network News about me is negative (Fake). Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?’
The MRC, which regularly blasts out signs of media bias on its ‘Newsbusters’ website, reported the ‘91%’ statistic cited by Trump when it analyzed network news coverage in September, October and November.
Harvard University Kennedy School of Government’s Shorenstein Center, no conservative lapdog, released a broader report after Trump’s first 100 days in office and found a similar result.
It analyzed all coverage of Trump in the print editions of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post; the main newscasts of CBS, CNN, Fox News, and NBC; and a trio of European outlets that included The UK’s Financial Times and BBC, and Germany’s ARD.
The result: Fully 80 per cent of non-‘neutral’ coverage about Trump was negative, and just 20 per cent was positive.
CNN, NBC and CBS – in that order – aired the least positive news about the president, each of them registering in the single-digit percentages.
Trump has long been a critic of the White House press corps’ coverage of him, branding some ‘fake news’ outlets ‘the enemy of the American people’ and saving his harshest criticism for The New York Times and CNN.
Press shield laws preserve the right of journalists to refuse to disclose – even in court – their information sources. There is no federal press shield law, but laws in at least 40 states do cover reporters in that way.
Trump’s longstanding habit of sniping at journalists he loves to hate reached a fever pitch last fall when he floated a wide range of remedies for what he sees as a mass media that’s stacked against him.
‘Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!’ he tweeted on October 5.
Hours later the president directly challenged the legitimacy of major broadcasters.
‘With all of the Fake News coming out of NBC and the Networks, at what point is it appropriate to challenge their License?’ he asked.
Trump was still at is six days later, tweeting that ‘[n]etwork news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked.’
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
May 9th, 2018