Study: Mainstream Media Acted as Trump’s Mouthpiece, Clinton’s Foe
A study from Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center provides overwhelming evidence that the mainstream media were instrumental in electing Donald Trump. The key takeaway:
“Donald Trump succeeded in shaping the election agenda. Coverage of Trump overwhelmingly outperformed coverage of Clinton. Clinton’s coverage was focused on scandals, while Trump’s coverage focused on his core issues.”
The chart below illustrates the staggeringly disproportionate focus on Hillary Clinton’s emails.
With few exceptions, mainstream reporters, editors, and pundits categorically refuse to accept responsibility for their hostile and lopsided coverage of Clinton, preferring to blame her for their own faults. But charts don’t lie and this one, from Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, speaks volumes:
Although the mainstream media stubbornly refuse to admit culpability in Trump’s election, a number of prominent journalists are on record conceding broad-based antagonism toward Clinton in the press. As far back as 2014, Chuck Todd said,I don’t think the country has Clinton fatigue. I think the media has Clinton fatigue. You can sort of feel it.”
In the summer of 2015, Jonathan Allen spelled out the so-called Clinton Rules: “The Clinton rules are driven by reporters’ and editors’ desire to score the ultimate prize in contemporary journalism: the scoop that brings down Hillary Clinton and her family’s political empire.” In 2016, Mark Halperin admitted that “there’s a deep well of anti-Clinton sentiment in the press.”
How else to explain a headline like this?
Attacking the media is standard operating procedure in politics. Reporters use that as cover to pretend all criticism is partisan. However, the profoundly unfair treatment of Clinton is not a matter of conjecture, but fact. In 2016, Paul Senatori, chief analytics officer of research firm mediaQuant, was quoted in the Washington Post saying, “It’s amazing that Hillary Clinton has gotten more negative sentiment than Trump.”
Any honest analysis of 2016 coverage arrives at the same conclusion: The mainstream media tilted the playing field in favor of Donald Trump.
I don’t see how a chart like this from Harvard doesn’t result in mass apologies from the media. Instead they are defiant and hostile.
Harvard 2016 study: For every sentence written about Clinton’s policies for jobs, ~4 written about emails https://t.co/LV6U0RDYIz
This 2016 article demonstrates that the problem was clear early in the campaign. National media coverage was unrelentingly negative toward Hillary Clinton.
It’s no secret that, from the moment she announced her candidacy back in April 2015, Hillary Clinton has been bludgeoned by negative media coverage. The email server; the Wall Street speaking fees; the attacks from both Trump and Sanders. I’ve debated with people who legitimately fear she will be imprisoned before the election.
The widespread myth that Clinton was “flawed” and disliked is undercut by this Gallup graph of her favorability over time. The dramatic shift in 2015 and 2016 is the result of a massive character assassination campaign aided by Russian propaganda.