Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The 98-Percent Story

It was an interesting news item from the National Review.

The Harvard University Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy went out and did a research project....the tone of news media with the first hundred days of the Trump administration.  I expected someone to do a survey, it's just surprising in the end that it comes out of Harvard.

So their measurement was simple....either the news item was for Trump, or against Trump.

What they came to say in yesterday's announcement is that overall....it was a 80-percent negative slant on Trump news.

CNN and NBC?  Near 93-percent negative.  Fox News?  Near 48-52-percent negative.

ARD, Channel One, public-TV from Germany?  98-percent negative.  Yes, just two-percent positive.
Amusingly enough....ARD was five points more negative than CNN or NBC.

Why?  That explanation was left out.

I usually watch ARD's 8PM news piece nightly, and two or three nights a week will catch the 9:45PM news review (which goes into more detail and lasts around 30 minutes).   So I can speak to this odd negativity piece.

If you sat around from 2008 to 2012, ARD news carried a fair number of pieces on Secretary of State Clinton.  If she was making any kind of speech in Europe, the highlights would be featured on their nightly news.  At the conclusion of 2012, as she was leaving her job....she'd written another book and was doing a tour through Europe.  ARD actually put her on live for around an hour (two other guests with her) and did a pump-up on her book.

In my mind, the journalists of ARD were firmly set to the eventual 2016 election being a guaranteed thing with Hillary Clinton winning.  Their sister network...ZDF...did a couple of negative pieces on Trump in the spring of 2016....once even using a cartoon-like voice to translate his comments into German.

They were all set on election night to proclaim Hillary the winner, and prepared to show some 10-to-15 point win.

The tone of ARD's reporting was set on the day after the election....total shock, frustration, and anger.  Someone had cheated their candidate out of the election.

Within 10 days, fake news and Russian manipulation were the accused players in Hillary's loss.  For weeks, all you heard were negativity on Trump and fake news chatter.  It simply snowballed in January after Trump took office.

The fake news thing took off and they devote a fair amount of effort to proclaim fake news or to instruct people on how to recognize fake news.

The odd thing out of this whole episode is that you can go back to the summer of 2014 and view past news episodes from ARD on the immigration business.  That was 99-percent positive.  At best, maybe once a week, you might have viewed one single news item with some negativity.

At some point, ARD was accused by various anti-immigrant groups of being too-pro immigrant.  ARD simply went after the anti-immigrant groups and accused them of being xenophobic.  All through 2015, the xenophobic accusations came and went.  Then in the middle of the first week of January of 2016....the whole Koln riot episode from New Year's Eve came out and highly embarrassed ARD in their effort to avoid telling the story (over 1,000 police reports, all centered on immigrant bad behavior).  For ARD, their position eroded quickly.  All the 99-percent positive stories?  They rapidly disappeared.

Today, you might see six to ten stories per week on immigrants or migration.  They will be told by ARD in a way that simply lays out the story.  Occasionally, they will take a pro-position.  It's a massive change that occurred almost overnight.

The thing that you have to factor in with this whole ARD thing, is that there are a large number of Germans (particularly in the 15 to 25 year old age group) that don't watch ARD news.  Toss in skeptics of the ARD news media who do watch it....and you've got probably half the adult population who aren't exactly pro-ARD.

Where this goes?  It's hard to say.  Maybe ARD can keep the trend up (98-percent negative) for four years...maybe eight if Trump runs a second time and wins).  Trump visiting Germany?  I have my doubts that this will ever occur.  There will be state visits to countries like Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, and probably the UK....but I just don't see Trump visiting Germany.

The amusing thing out of this....is that as negative as CNN has been on Trump....they were actually beaten in negativity by ARD.  That says a good bit.

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