Since taking office, critics of the mainstream media generally predicted that President Joe Biden would receive comparatively more favorable coverage than his predecessor — and those predictions appear to have been correct.
More than 100 days into his administration, Pew Research Center found that Biden has actually received less negative press coverage than any president in the past 30 years. Only about 19% of Biden’s coverage was listed as “negative” in the report.
In contrast, former President Trump ranked the highest within that time frame with a staggering 62% of his coverage receiving a “negative” rating.
A pattern emerges
The Pew study focused on the first 60 days of the Biden administration and coverage by 25 leading news outlets.
“That pattern emerged in a number of different aspects of coverage of the Biden administration’s first 60 days — from the topics of stories to the sources cited in those stories,” the study noted.
One overarching similarity, however, appeared to be the way stories about the current administration are framed in media coverage.
“Overall, 65% of the stories were framed around the new president’s policy agenda and ideology, compared with 35% around character and leadership,” the report concluded.
“He’s going to do what he wants to do”
During the Trump administration, however, nearly three in four news stories hinged on the president’s moral character or leadership style compared to 26% dealing with ideological or policy-driven news.
According to the Washington Examiner, negative stories about Trump outnumbered positive coverage roughly four to one during the early days of his administration.
The findings might come as no surprise to those who have been watching mainstream media coverage of Trump and Biden. In fact, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki recently revealed that his communications team has advised him not to even answer impromptu questions from reporters.
“That is not something we recommend,” she said, according to Fox News. “In fact, a lot of times we say ‘Don’t take questions.’ But he’s going to do what he wants to do because he’s the president of the United States.”
Ahead of November’s election, Trump weighed in on the perceived disparity in treatment by the media, referencing a reporter’s question to Biden about his ice cream and adding: “They don’t ask me questions like that.”