People who are politically active tend to stick to their own ecosystems, though we switch to mainstream media like the Times of the Post, and CNN, of course. But most liberals find sites like this one because they want to read analyzes according to their own priorities, we look at Maddow, follow the same people on Twitter and read The Nation.
It is therefore easy to get lost in what the “casual” political consumer sees.
According to a new study covered in the Washington Post, the average political news consumer finds much more negative coverage of Joe Biden than that of Donald Trump, a man who handled an epidemic about as poorly as it could be handled and played a role in what amounts to a failure coup.
According to the Post, a very sophisticated meta-study was done on the coverage each man received:
Artificial intelligence can now measure negativity with accuracy. At my request, Forge.ai, a data analysis unit of the information company FiscalNote, combed through more than 200,000 articles – ten million words – from 65 news sites (newspapers, network and cable news, political publications, news threads and more) to a “sentiment analysis” to do ”of coverage. Using algorithms that give weight to certain adjectives based on their placement in the story, it assessed the coverage Biden received in the first 11 months of 2021 and the coverage that President Donald Trump received in the first 11 months of 2020.
There is a very important point buried in that last sentence. Most presidents enjoy a honeymoon. This study did not cover Trump’s’ honeymoon ‘, it measured Trump’s last year, a year that could only be described as’ disastrous’ on a historical level, especially compared to Biden’s first year which, despite’ a few setbacks, largely a spectacular wash back to “normalcy”.
After a honeymoon of slightly positive coverage in the first three months of the year, Biden’s press over the past four months has been as bad as – and for a time worse than – the coverage Trump received for the same four months of 2020.
The article then goes on to highlight some of the most devastating events that took place in Trump’s last year, which culminated in the first violent transfer of power in our history, all compared to Biden’s first year – this year:
And yet Trump has received press coverage as favorable as, or better than, Biden gets today. Sure, Biden had his problems, with the delta variant, Afghanistan and inflation. But the economy is recovering impressively, he has signed major legislation, and he has restored some decency, calmness and respect for democratic institutions.
We need a skeptical, independent press. But what about bias for democracy? The country is in an existential struggle between self-government and an authoritarian alternative. And we in the news media, collectively, have given equal, if not slightly more favorable, treatment to the authoritarian.
If it was just another article written by an analyst who “reviewed” the material and came to his or her own conclusion, we probably would not give it much weight. It is extremely difficult to remove our own prejudices and, as individuals, to judge metamedia prejudices. But it is not such a difficult task for certain type of computer programs that can calculate certain words and topics.
The fact that a study so sophisticatedly came to these irrefutable results is truly worrying. Yes, the mainstream press must remain neutral in order to report the facts. It is in no way equal to the neutralization of positive versus negative coverage of administrations, nor is it equal to a broad assumption that the tragedy in Afghanistan is as severe as the tragedy in New York during COVID’s first wave. . The one that Jared Kushner called a blue state problem, the one for which Trump said he takes “no responsibility.”
There’s something very wrong in American media when Joe Biden gets more negative media attention from his first – largely successful year – than the devastating trail that Trump paved in his final year. It’s hard enough to maintain a democratic republic, we do not need a media that “works hard” to prevent it from sounding biased in covering Biden’s success, or to miss out on Trump’s brutality.
Jason Miciak is a political writer, with writer, writer and lawyer. He is originally from Canada, but grew up in the Pacific Northwest as a dual Canadian-American citizen, for which he is becoming increasingly grateful every day. He now enjoys life as a single dad, writing from the shores of the Gulf Coast, getting advice from his beloved daughter and teammate. He is very much the dreamy mystic who can not add and loves dogs more than most people. He also enjoys studying cooking, theoretical physics, cosmology and quantum mechanics. He likes pizza.
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