Study: More Left-Catering Publications Are Directly Refuting Trump's Claims
The finding comes from a new Pew Research Center analysis of media coverage of the president.
In the first eight months of the Trump administration, many media outlets have slowly come around to the idea of more directly contesting claims made by the president in news stories. Some cable networks, for example, have called Trump's claims into question by the strategic use of chyrons. News anchors have shed some degree of objectivity and more directly called a spade a spade.
Now, a new analysis from the Pew Research Center has some data to back up some of these anecdotal observations. According to a study on the media coverage of President Trump's first 100 days in office, publications classified as having left-leaning audiences were seven times more likely than right-leaning publications to directly contest a Trump or administration claim in a news story. Some 15 percent of stories in left-leaning publications included such a refutation, while only 2 percent of stories in right-leaning publications did so.
President Trump's "political skills" were the most common source of a refutation, according to this analysis.
"The data indicate very clear differences across outlet groups in the types of voices heard from, the assessment of the administration’s words or actions, and also the degree to which journalists refuted — or corrected — something the president or a member of his administration said," Amy S. Mitchell, who leads journalism research for the Pew Research Center, told The Hollywood Reporter.
The analysis, released Monday afternoon, also found that media coverage of President Trump's first 60 days in office was far more negative than that of his three most recent predecessors in the White House. Some 62 percent of stories during this time period included a negative assessment of President Trump; only 5 percent included a positive assessment. In comparison, only 20 percent of stories about former President Barack Obama were negative, while 42 percent were positive. For both George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, 28 percent of early stories about their administrations were negative.
Early Trump administration coverage was also far less focused on policy than past administrations, and far more focused on "character and leadership."