Subjective language allowed, when Trump's the subject

Tuesday, September 18, 2018
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

ABC News subjective terms on TrumpWhen mainstream broadcasters talk about President Donald Trump, they overwhelmingly describe his emotional state in negative terms. That's according to a report just released by Media Research Center.

MRC reviewed every evening broadcast news story about Trump from January 1 through September 10. The tally? They found that 87 percent of the time, broadcasters described the president's state of mine in negative terms. Scott Whitlock with MRC spoke with OneNewsNow about those findings.

"The ones we found most were 'fuming,' 'outraged,' 'infuriated,' 'livid,' 'enraged,' and so on," he shared, then continued: "Terms like 'angry,' 'frustrated,' 'afraid,' worried' – anything that could make the president seem unstable or kind of unhinged."

In an article summarizing its findings, MRC states the following:

"TV news reporters have saturated the airwaves with subjective language about the president's emotional state, most of it casting him as an out-of-control hothead."

Here's a partial rundown of the frequency of some of that subjective language: "furious" (17 times), "fuming" (14), "outraged" (8), "venting" and "infuriated" (5 each). And when Trump communicated, according to MRC, he was said to be "lashing out" (53), on a "tirade" (8), "blasting" (5), or "erupting" (3).

In contrast, those who actually talk with the president report that he's almost always "calm," "relaxed," or "in a good mood." Whitlock says the issue isn't that the commander-in-chief isn't allowed to get angry.

Whitlock

"We've had a number of other presidents who have gotten very angry doing the job," he points out. "Bill Clinton was known to have a volcanic temper – but it's the opinion that comes into some of these descriptions."

The media watchdog group argues that the choice of adjective says a lot about the mindset of the reporter – and affects the public's perception of the president. MRC notes that a poll released on September 10 showed 65 percent of voters thought the president was "not level-headed," compared to 30 percent who thought he was level-headed; while a 55-to-41-percent majority said Trump "is not fit to serve as president."

Says MRC: "After a year of news coverage casting him as a one-man rage machine, it's a wonder that the President's numbers aren't worse than they are."

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