Since the November election conservatives have observed the already-liberal media has only gotten worse, and now an unlikely source is agreeing with that complaint.
Harvard University, crown jewel of the Ivy League in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is hardly known for its conservative leanings. But the numbers were so startling even Crimson researchers had to publish them.
In the first 100 days of the Trump presidency, 80 percent of media coverage was negative. For major liberal players such as CNN and The New York Times, that number was as high as 93 percent.
The story of Trump’s first 100 days, says lead researcher Thomas Patterson, is Trump vs. the media.
“That is very strange in a two-party system,” he observes, “where the competition is between the president and the press and not between the two parties. And I think the press needs to kind of back away a little bit and kind of think a little bit harder about how democracies work.”
But the Harvard study is not just about how liberal mainstream journalists are and how they pull for Democrats. The study makes a case the political journalism is broken because it is overly drawn to controversy – often at the cost of substance.
Patterson says polls – who’s leading, who’s behind – drive much of the coverage while policy issues gets overlooked. Those stories have a short life.
“After that it’s old news,” he says. “And yet once a president is in the office, it’s the policy that matters.”
The researcher also says peer pressure plays a part.
“I think it’s very difficult now for journalists to do a positive piece on a politician without being accused of being a flak,” he says, “and certainly without being attacked by the other side as to why you’re in bed with this politician.”
The one exception that proves the rule: After the missile strike on the Syrian airbase responsible for the chemical attack in that war-torn country, 80 percent of the coverage was positive.
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.