Never before in U.S. history has the press been as biased against a president as they have against Donald Trump. While the mainstream media’s coverage of his administration averaged 90% negative in the major outlets during his first hundred days in office, the coverage literally turned 100% negative against him during the height of the impeachment hysteria.
And despite that (or perhaps because of it), it’s trust in the media, not Trump, that has tanked. And they aren’t happy about it. According to some of the funniest parts from a new report by the left-wing “Committee to Project Journalists” (no word on what they need protection from aside from mean words):
- Trump’s attacks have had the most success in eroding the credibility of the American press among his many millions of supporters. A major Pew Research Center study in late 2019 showed that a plurality of Republicans consistently distrusted most of the news media (except for Trump-supporting media like Fox News), while pluralities of Democrats tended to trust them.
- “President Trump’s attacks on the press are an assault on the validity of the enterprise itself,” Frank Sesno, a former CNN cable news anchor who directs George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, said in an interview for this report.
- Trump has habitually attacked the news media in rallies, responses to reporters’ questions, and many hundreds of tweets. He has repeatedly called the press “fake news,” “the enemy of the people,” “dishonest,” “corrupt,” “low life reporters,” “bad people,” “human scum” and “some of the worst human beings you’ll ever meet.”
- The president has personally orchestrated and dominated media information about his administration through tens of thousands of tweets and dozens of encounters with the press in which he chooses the reporters and the questions to which he will respond.
- More than 600 of Trump’s tweets targeted specific news organizations, led by The New York Times, CNN, NBC and MSNBC, Fox News and The Washington Post. He called the Times, among other slurs, “fake,” “phony,” “nasty,” “disgraced,” “dumb,” “clueless,” “stupid,” “sad,” “failing,” and “dying.” He characterized the Post as “fake,” “crazy,” “dishonest,” “phony,” and “disgraced.” In July 2017, Trump posted on Twitter a 28-second video in which he is portrayed as wrestling and punching a figure whose head has been replaced by the logo for CNN.
- “There are less people on the record now in the Trump administration,” said Anita Kumar, Politico’s White House correspondent. “We’re not making things up, but people don’t believe us.”
At my favorite point in their report, they point out that while the Obama administration did prosecute ten government employees and contractors, the Obama administration “never engaged in public rhetoric against the press.” So being mean to journalists is worse than jailing them, according to the “Committee to Protect Journalists” (I guess we confirmed what they need protection from!)
According to Gallup, it was as recently as last September that American’s trust in mass media hit its all time low. If jornos really want to know why it’s becoming increasingly obvious to the American pubic that the press’ “credibility” was never there in the first place, perhaps they should look inward. But they won’t.