Author Topic: STUDY: Media Boost Biden With Softer Coverage than Clinton in ’16  (Read 62 times)

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Offline Ptarmigan

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STUDY: Media Boost Biden With Softer Coverage than Clinton in ’16
https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/rich-noyes/2020/09/29/study-media-boost-biden-softer-coverage-clinton-16

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Four years ago, the liberal networks pounded Republican nominee Donald Trump with bad press, yet he won the White House anyway. Now, ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts are giving Trump the same hostile treatment, but they’ve significantly softened their approach to Trump’s Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Not only is Biden facing much less negative coverage than the President, he has received only one-sixth as much negative coverage as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received during the early weeks of the 2016 general election when she was Trump’s opponent. Instead of criticizing Biden for his “hiding in the basement” approach to the campaign, the networks are rewarding it by focusing nearly all of their negative scrutiny on Trump.

The Media Research Center reviewed all evening news coverage of this year’s presidential candidates from August 1 through September 15, and compared it to the same period in 2016. The results show the liberal networks’ coverage of President Trump has been consistent in its relentless hostility. Overall, Trump has received 379 minutes of airtime in this year’s time period, vs. 408 minutes in 2016. Evaluative statements about Trump skewed 90% negative in 2016 (30 positive statements vs. 256 negative statements). This year, it’s slightly worse: 93% negative (29 positive statements vs. 389 negative ones).

The news media is softer on Joe Biden than it is to Hillary Clinton.

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Compared to Clinton four years ago, Biden’s press has been completely toothless: just 15 negative statements vs. 19 positive statements, for an overall score of 54% positive. Even though their election preference was pretty clear four years ago, the networks still managed to air six times more negative statements about Clinton in 2016 than they have about Biden during the same period in 2020.

Compared to Trump this year, the disparity is enormous: the 389 negative statements about the President are 25 times more than the 15 we recorded about Biden.

One example of the disparity: From August 1 through September 15 four years ago, the networks spent 50 minutes, 25 seconds on questions about the (then) 68-year-old Hillary Clinton’s age and health; this year, those broadcasts have devoted just five minutes, 23 seconds — barely one-tenth as much — to discussing the 77-year-old Joe Biden’s capabilities.
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