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Tuesday, February 5, 2019
Time For Another Bogus Trump Coverage Study
Topic: Media Research Center

Since the Trump presidency started, the Media Research Center has pushed narrowly defined studies purporting to show that the media's coverage of President Trump has been highly negative. As we've pointed out, the MRC's studies 1) focus only on a tiny sliver of news -- the evening newscasts on the three networks -- and suggests it's indicative of all media; 2) pretends there was never any neutral coverage of Trump by explicitly rejecting neutral coverage in favor of dishonestly tallying only "explicitly evaluative statements"; 3) fail to take into account the stories themselves and whether negative coverage is deserved or admit that negative coverage is the most accurate way to cover a given story; and 4) fail to provide the raw data or the actual statements it evaluated so its work could be evaluated by others. Not only does the MRC get huffy when the extreme narrowness of its so-called studies are highlighted, it actively encourages falsely extrapolating its bogus results into an indictment of the media as a whole.

The latest installment came on Jan. 15, and Rich Noyes began by falsely conflating his tiny sliver of "research" as representative of the entire "establishment media": "At the midpoint of Donald Trump’s first term, the establishment media’s obvious hostility shows no signs of relenting, but polls show this negative coverage has had no discernible impact on the public’s attitudes toward the President." Fox News has been firmly established for more than 20 years, but Noyes will never admit it's part of the "establishment media."

Noyes does admit that "neutral statements" are excluded from the MRC's work, then bizarrely complains that the so-called "negative" coverage of Trump peaked when "a White House aide [was] accused of domestic abuse." Noyes did not explain what positive spin the networks should have been done to lower that number.

That, of course, is one key flaw in the MRC's methodology -- it refuses to acknowledge that at least some negative coverage is deserved.

Still, Noyes concludes by whining: "The media elite have clearly waded into the political fray to wage war against this President. But have they accomplished anything beyond cementing their reputation as political partisans, not objective journalists?"

Yes, that's coming from an organization whose "media research" lacks all objectivity and is narrowly designed to reinforce a right-wing narrative instead of following where the evidence leads.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:45 AM EST

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