Tim Graham: Biden and the media watchdogs – the dog’s scrutiny and nap
President Biden has averaged a 56% job approval rating from his inauguration through March, according to Gallup, roughly the same as former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, and a lot higher than that of former President Donald Trump (42%).
One factor in this approval could be the tone of the media coverage. Rich Noyes and Bill D’Agostino of the Media Research Center studied the ABC, CBS and NBC evening news programs from January 20 to April 9. TV reviews of Biden’s performance (not counting politicians and administration officials) were 59% positive.
The tone would be even more positive, save for one nagging issue: the crisis with growing illegal immigration on the southern border, which Team Biden denies is a crisis. The team rejects it as a “right-wing talking point”. But it drew the most negative coverage, 82% negative. Television “news” crews were much more positive about massive government spending on “COVID-19 aid” and “infrastructure.”
Four years ago, then-President Trump’s evening ratings were 89% negative, a shocking contrast. Leftists on Twitter were averse to comparing these presidents in any way.
Hollywood producer Steven DeKnight tweeted, “You can’t compare a bunch of s — and a bowl of petunias and say they both smell wonderful.” John Aravosis from AMERICAblog tweeted: “Now compare the cover of Stalin and Mother Therese.”
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It is a fair representation of journalistic attitudes towards Trump and Biden. One is a horrible monster; he is a perfumed saint. No one said the tone or substance of their cover should be exactly the same.
Trump’s coverage remained relentlessly negative because the “objective” press could not accept any political expert or citizen on the street to say anything positive about him. But there are even more differences, including the following:
1. Biden is much less important. Total coverage of him totaled 726 minutes, or 18% of all evening news airtime. That’s much smaller than the 1,900 minutes these shows spent on Trump’s obsession over the same period in 2017.
2. Biden has hardly been evaluated. While Trump drew 1,687 reviews in his first few weeks, Biden was only rated 264 times, or roughly 16% of Trump’s total. Trump has been criticized much more than Biden has been praised. This indicates that Biden was not controversial enough to be evaluated. His reign was accepted and acceptable.
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3. Trump was a rolling scandal. “About 90% of the media coverage of the Biden administration’s network (650 of 726 minutes) was devoted to policy issues; this compares to just 45% of the Trump administration’s coverage during these early years. weeks, “wrote Noyes and D’Agostino. Months before former special advocate Robert Mueller’s protracted investigation, Trump was dogged by unproven allegations of Russian “collusion” (for 222 minutes), and networks rejoiced to find controversy in the tweets and taunts from Trump.
That’s why Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel joked on Twitter, “Why hasn’t the media covered Biden’s constant fights on Twitter with members of his own party?”
It is certainly true. Biden’s tweets are bland. One of them said, “Everyone 16 and over in America is eligible for the photo today. Go get them, folks.” But it’s also true that Democratic journalists bury intra-partisan controversy when Democrats are in power.
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4. When Biden said scandalous things, the networks got bored. Biden’s insult to Republicans demonstrating “Neanderthal thinking” drew 83 seconds. His encouragement from Major League Baseball to punish Georgia for their new voting law by relocating the All-Star game was only worth 45 seconds. And his scabrous claim that Georgia law is like Jim Crow passed with just 39 seconds of coverage, none of that is critical.
Like any Democratic president of the television age, Joe Biden has been and will be celebrated, promoted … and pampered. The sparkling review. The guard dog is taking a nap.
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