Harvard study: 80% of media coverage of Trump during first 100 days was negative in tone

posted at 8:01 pm on May 19, 2017 by Allahpundit

Are we sure this is due to bias? What if it’s actually due to self-induced brain damage?

According to a study released Thursday by neuroscientist Dr. Tara Swart in association with the London Press Club, the highest functions of the human brain operate at a lower level in journalists than the average population.

Her research titled “Study Into The Mental Resilience of Journalists,” blames journalists’ cognitive shortcomings on dehydration caused by excessive alcohol consumption along with poor diet, including higher levels of sugar and caffeine.

Alternate possibility: What if it’s due to there having been a lot of missteps, backbiting, and free-form chaos by the Trump White House since Inauguration Day? It’s noteworthy that even a (slight) majority of Fox News’s coverage of Trump has been negative.

Of 12 different policy subjects tested (defense, the economy, international trade, etc), the Shorenstein Center found that a majority of the coverage was negative … for all 12. The best Trump did was on the economy, where it was 46 percent positive and 54 percent negative. On some topics, like health care, that’s easy to understand: The House GOP’s bill has been pilloried by wonks on both sides, Ryan failed dismally in his first attempt to get it passed in March, the polling has been terrible, and so on. For other subjects, the heavy tilt is harder to explain. He’s at 18/82 in positive/negative coverage of foreign policy and defense and 30/70 on coverage of the “terrorist threat.” (This study was conducted before the incident in the Oval Office in which Trump allegedly revealed classified information to the Russians.) How come? He’s getting along with China, hasn’t done anything nutty on North Korea, hasn’t seen any major terror attacks in the U.S. You can think he shoots from the hip too much on foreign affairs while not thinking so to an 18/82 degree.

Fox does differ sharply from the rest of the pack in coverage of certain topics — but not all:

“Fitness for office” is a judgment call. “International trade” is contentious between “globalists” and protectionists, with Fox more likely to defend the latter’s perspective to please its populist audience. But as I said, the state of health care is what it is. So is the state of “personnel” in Trump’s administration, with staffers leaking nonstop and Trump openly mulling replacing people. The one surprise here is how similar Fox is to its competition in covering immigration, notwithstanding the sharp decline the Border Patrol is seeing in illegals trying to enter the U.S. I assume “immigration” here is mostly just a byword for “Trump’s travel ban,” which got a ton of negative coverage early for its poor drafting, slipshod rollout, and repeated setbacks in court. Because judges have cited Trump’s campaign statements on banning Muslims as evidence that the current travel ban is discriminatory, they’ve also given networks cause to reach back and look at his more dubious immigration pronouncements as a candidate. For every pro-Trump story Fox has run on the dip in illegal immigration, the legal saga of the travel ban has necessarily generated many more. And that’s not even considering the upset among nationalists like Ann Coulter that Trump hasn’t done much yet to build the wall. Some of the negative coverage on Fox may be aimed at Trump for being too squishy on the border, not too harsh.

Exit quotation from a White House “insider,” articulating Trump’s new(?) media strategy: Our goal “is to get across to the public that the media are a**holes.”


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