Media reporting rigged against Republicans, Trump
Ahead of the 2018 midterm elections in the United States, the mainstream media were directing their campaign reporting against Republicans.
Published: November 7, 2018, 7:21 am
Despite President Trump’s campaign rally’s receiving more airtime than all of the individual Senate, House, and gubernatorial contests combined, the coverage has been overwhelmingly negative.
The mainstream media has been consistently hostile to President Trump ever since he was elected. Several studies from the Media Research Center showed that, on average, 90 percent of the coverage of Trump has been very negative.
“The broadcast networks are heavily spinning their campaign coverage against the Republicans. The spin of this coverage was lopsidedly anti-Republican and anti-Trump,” says Rich Noyes, a senior analyst for the conservative press watchdog.
Noyes and his team found that 88 percent of that broadcast coverage had been “hostile”. They also counted 97 blatantly negative statements about the president and Republicans, compared to only 10 for the Democrats.
The Media Research Center analysts examined stories that mentioned the midterm elections on the ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts from September 1 to October 26.
Republicans received far more hostile reports with 88 percent of them negative, while Democrats only received 53 percent negative reports.
Ten times more negative statements were issued about Republicans and President Trump (97) than all of the Democratic candidates combined (10) by mainstream pundits, the study showed.
Democratic candidates could count on 67 percent positive statements about themselves. The only exception was Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren who took a DNA test to show that she was not white. Her claim angered Native Americans, who complained that she has ridiculed Indian tribes because she is only 1/1024th Native American. Most white Americans share her DNA profile.
This year, coverage has focused on President Trump and a handful of key races. Almost half of the midterm coverage on the evening newscasts focused on the President’s campaign activities, while the rest mostly focused on all of the individual House, Senate and gubernatorial election contests combined.
Suggestions of foreign interference in this year’s campaign, drew nearly 15 minutes of airtime, more than any individual race in the country. Most of this coverage (84 percent) focused on potential “meddling” by Russia.
The President’s statement at the United Nations that China was interfering in the campaign drew only two minutes of airtime, while the networks spent 16 seconds on reports that Iran was “meddling” as well.
During the eight weeks that MRC monitored, the networks generated 130 minutes of midterm coverage, most of which (78 minutes, or 60 percent) aired in the final two weeks.
Some 132 stories either focused on the midterms or mentioned them as part of another report. Four years ago, when Republicans were set to take full control of Congress, the same networks aired barely one-fourth as many stories (35) during a similar time period.
Notably, Trump has historically low favourability among women, with the Pew Research Center now reporting that 63 percent of women disapprove of him. Record numbers of women are now running for office against him, and surges of women are involved in local political campaigns.
The mainstream has also consistently campaigned against white men. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman called the midterm election “effectively rigged” because “much whiter” states like Wyoming get as many Senators as more diverse states like New Jersey.
Wyoming’s male-to-female ratio is second highest in the United States, after Alaska, which has 108.9 men for every 100 women. Nationally in the US, there are 96.9 men for every 100 women.
“Remember that while the House race is effectively rigged toward Republicans, the Senate race is effectively taking place in a whole different country – much whiter and less educated than the real America,” Krugman tweeted, suggesting that less educated working class white men should not be allowed to vote.
“Wyoming has <600K people, 86 percent white, 24 percent with Bachelors degrees. New Jersey has 9 million people, 58 percent white, 35 percent with Bachelors. Each is electing one senator,” he said in a follow-up tweet.
According to census data, Wyoming has one of the lowest foreign-born population percentages in the entire US, while Democratic New Jersey has the third-highest foreign-born population percentage in the US.
“With midterm elections around the corner, most voters think the media is more interested in stirring the pot than reporting on candidate’s platforms,” a Rasmussen Reports survey ahead of the election revealed.
The poll found that 52 percent of likely US voters says the media was more interested in “creating controversies” then offering helpful and important coverage of issues.
Public trust in media — particularly in television broadcasters — continues to erode, with a Gallup poll released in midsummer that found that only 20 percent of Americans trust TV news “a great deal or quite a lot”.
A third said they trusted the news broadcasts “some”, while 45 percent said their trust level was “very little”.
Another Gallup poll released in mid-October highlighted the political divide in the US. It found that 45 percent of Americans overall trust “mass media,” but that breaks down as 76 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of Republicans.
But an NBC News survey showed that millennials were the least interested in politics. Just a third said they would vote. That number has remained steady since August.
NBC polled adults aged between 18 to 34, including young blacks, Asians, Hispanics. The findings revealed that 6 out of 10 did not know who was running in their own congressional district.
“Young voters are historically less likely to vote in midterm elections than presidential elections, and this year may not be an exception,” NBC noted.
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