Commentary

Biden Is Having A Better Press Honeymoon Than Trump Did

President Biden had a better honeymoon with the press during his first two months in office than his predecessor, as news tended to dwell on policy rather than personality, according to a study published last week. The shift in tone is likely to bolster claims by conservatives the press is biased toward Democrats.
Sixty-five percent of stories about the Biden administration were on its policy and agenda, while the remainder focused on leadership and character, according to Pew Research Center. That contrasts with the 74% of stories that focused on President Trump's character and leadership.
As for the tone of news coverage, Pew determined that 23% of stories about Biden were positive, or more than twice what Trump received at 11%. The study also found that 44% of Trump coverage was negative, compared with only 32% for Biden.
The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, Politico, BuzzFeed and Vox were among the news outlets with left-leaning audiences in the study, which also looked at those with right-leaning readers, such as Washington Examiner, Fox News and Breitbart. USA Today, The Wall Street Journal and New York Post were among the publishers with a mixed audience in the study, which looked at 25 news outlets.
Right-leaning outlets have been having a field day with Democrat Biden, ripping into his administration with stories that are 78% negative, compared with only 19% in left-leaning news sources. Trump saw the opposite disparity, with only 14% of stories that were negative in right-leaning news and 56% in left-leaning.
Biden's immigration policies likely were the biggest source of negative news in right-leaning media -- one-fifth of their stories focused on that issue as tens of thousands of migrants crowded along the southern U.S. border. Only 8% of Biden coverage in left-leaning outlets covered immigration, while 27% of stories were about the economy, making it the most popular topic.
As often happens when a political party is out of power, its supporters tend to focus more closely on the news. Fifty-five percent of people who favor right-wing sources said they are following Biden coverage very closely, compared with only 43% of those who favor left-wing sources. That finding supports the idea that many news outlets are seeing a "Trump slump" without the former president stirring the outrage cycle on Twitter.

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