Trump gets 90% negative coverage from Big Three networks, 78% negative for DeSantis

Network media bias attained astounding new heights as an analysis of the GOP primary race revealed how much of the 90 percent negative coverage was dedicated to former President Donald Trump.

Depending on who you ask, the Republican primary remained anybody’s game or was over before it even began. While voter sentiment varied, the big three networks of ABC, CBS and NBC appeared in lockstep on narrative focus and slant according to an analysis from the Media Research Center.

“The vast majority of Trump’s coverage (90%) has been negative, and heavily focused on the legal allegations made against him by Democratic prosecutors and the Biden Justice Department,” the findings released Monday determined. “But the networks’ coverage of Trump’s top GOP opponent, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis was nearly as bad (78% negative), suggesting a media hostility that extends beyond Trump himself to other Republican candidates and their conservative policy positions.”

Photo Source Media Research Center

The study looked at the accumulated evening news broadcasts of the networks’ first seven months of this year and found coverage of the former president far exceeded the combined total air time for the rest of the field by nearly three times as much.

Between his campaign and indictments, Trump had garnered 664 minutes of coverage from January 1 to July 31 compared to 126 for his leading competitor Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Former Vice President Mike Pence had secured little more than an hour of airtime while businessman Vivek Ramaswamy was discussed for a mere 28 seconds.

By comparison, in 2015 Trump had secured 116 minutes of coverage over the same timespan compared to that year’s “presumptive nominee,” former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who had been covered for about 72 minutes.

“Eight years ago, the networks were seen as overemphasizing Trump when he received 37 percent of the total airtime devoted to the field of GOP candidates,” detailed MRC. “This year, the networks have given Trump twice as big a share (74%) of the overall coverage, leaving all of the other candidates to fight over the remaining scraps of airtime.”

Equally problematic for the network viewers, whose view of the GOP primary thus far was extraordinarily skewed toward reporting on the president’s numerous indictments, was the limited time in which the corporate outlets spent discussing policy positions for those on the trail and how the coverage looked to be a prime example of “election interference.”

“Almost completely missing from TV’s GOP campaign news: any significant coverage of traditional policy issues….only four policy areas received as much as three minutes of airtime…abortion (11 minutes), illegal immigration (8 minutes), the war in Ukraine (6 minutes) and gun rights (3 minutes),” the review found. “The candidates’ views on the economy, inflation, jobs, the national debt, trade or other foreign policy issues received mere seconds of airtime, or none at all.”

The intense disparity stood as a prime example of why voters have continued to stray from traditional media towards alternative sources for information — as former Fox News host Tucker Carlson has seemingly demonstrated with massive views of his social media program “Tucker on Twitter.”

Kevin Haggerty

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