Médias: Attention, un pompier-pyromane peut en cacher un autre ! (No Trump, no ratings: Are media-influenced perceptions of political polarization self-serving self-fulfilling prophecies ?)

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Il y a une grande colère dans notre pays causée en partie par le traitement erroné, et souvent fourbe, des informations par les médias. Les médias Fake News, le véritable Ennemi du Peuple, doivent arrêter l’hostilité ouverte et évidente et rapporter les informations correctement et de manière équitable. Ça fera beaucoup pour éteindre l’incendie de la Colère et de l’Indignation et nous serons alors en mesure de rapprocher les deux côtés dans la Paix et l’Harmonie. Les Fake News Doivent Cesser! Donald Trump
Le président a pris des mesures, mais, sur le plan législatif, il n’a rien fait hormis la baisse des impôts. Il y a très peu de chances qu’il forge un compromis sur les projets sociaux. Les démocrates ont déjà sorti les couteaux, préparé des enquêtes, et ils sont prêts à engager une procédure de destitution. Je serais étonnée qu’ils ne trouvent pas de chefs d’inculpation contre Donald Trump, sachant qu’une procédure de destitution peut être adoptée à la majorité simple à la Chambre des représentants. Au Sénat, une telle procédure n’aboutirait pas avec des républicains toujours majoritaires. Mais face à une Chambre sous contrôle démocrate, je ne sais pas où Donald Trump s’arrêtera pour sauver sa peau. (…) [l’élément le plus saillant de la campagne électorale, c’est] La mobilisation des femmes. Je n’ai jamais vu autant de femmes faire acte de candidature au Congrès, surtout dans le camp démocrate. Mais les circonscriptions électorales étant ce qu’elles sont, il n’y aura pas de tsunami féminin à Washington. (…) Dans la même semaine, des Noirs américains ont été tués parce qu’ils étaient Noirs, des colis piégés auraient pu tuer des figures démocrates comme Barack Obama ou Hillary Clinton, et enfin Pittsburgh a été le théâtre de la pire tuerie antisémite de l’histoire du pays. A l’époque de la présidence de George W. Bush, Elie Wiesel m’avait demandé: faut-il avoir peur pour l’Amérique? Avec ce qu’on a vu ces derniers jours, je dirais qu’il faut avoir peur pour, mais aussi de l’Amérique. On sait que c’est un pays violent où circulent 300 millions d’armes à feu. En 2016, plus de 11 000 personnes ont été tuées par de telles armes. Mais je n’ai pas souvenir d’avoir vu un tel déferlement de haine raciste et meurtrière dans un temps aussi resserré. Sous la présidence de George W. Bush, il y avait de fortes divisions, mais les gens se parlaient encore de manière civile. Je l’ai vécu. On n’avait pas le sentiment d’être remis en cause dans son être profond. Là, avec Donald Trump, c’est très différent. Les pro- et anti-Trump divergent tellement sur des valeurs essentielles qu’ils ne peuvent plus s’adresser la parole. (…) Si vous regardez ses meetings, ils se déroulent tous selon le même schéma. Il dramatise la question de l’immigration, décrit les journalistes comme des ennemis du peuple et vitupère contre les alliés qui profitent de l’Amérique. Il arrive à susciter une rage incroyable chez les gens. Il a un grand talent pour manipuler les foules. Il désigne à la vindicte publique tous ceux qui représentent une opposition. L’exemple vient d’en haut. Les gens se sentent habilités à insulter, voire à tuer, des individus qui ne pensent pas comme eux. Dans ces meetings, il y a indubitablement des incitations à la violence. Les Américains ont un président qui piétine toutes les valeurs de civilité, de tolérance mutuelle propres à une démocratie, et qui a fait de la violence une valeur à part entière. (…) Pour la communauté juive, c’est un choc énorme. Dans l’histoire américaine, il y a eu des agressions et des insultes antisémites, des périodes de quotas défavorables ou d’hostilité envers les juifs de Pologne et de Russie qui arrivaient aux Etats-Unis au début du XXe siècle. Mais les juifs ont toujours eu le sentiment de vivre aux Etats-Unis plus en liberté qu’ailleurs à l’exception d’Israël, d’être des piliers du pays. Ils ont beaucoup défendu l’intégration des migrants, se sont engagés pour les droits civiques. Ils se sont souvent considérés comme ce qu’il y avait de plus américain. Donald Trump n’a pas appelé à la violence antisémite. Mais la manière dont il a libéré la parole raciste a un impact. Quand des suprémacistes blancs criaient à Charlottesville en 2017 que «les juifs ne les remplaceraient pas» et qu’ils défilaient avec des torches enflammées rappelant Nuremberg, Donald Trump ne les a pas encouragés, mais il ne les a pas contredits. (…) C’est son calcul. Il ne cherche pas à apaiser les tensions, mais à générer le plus de colère possible au sein même de son électorat. Sa technique, c’est le mensonge avéré quotidien, sans vergogne, érigé en système. Or, quand les faits ne comptent plus, cela rappelle les années 1930. C’est en tout cas ainsi que ça commence. La honte a disparu. Le migrant devient l’ennemi. Si je pouvais résumer la présidence Trump, je choisirais cette image: l’homme à la tête de l’armée la plus puissante du monde promet d’envoyer jusqu’à 15 000 soldats à la frontière américano-mexicaine face à quelque 4000 déguenillés. Il y a la grandeur de la fonction et la petitesse de l’homme. Donald Trump maintient son électorat dans une vraie paranoïa. Si vous êtes un Américain qui regarde Fox News et qui écoute le polémiste Rush Limbaugh, vous vous sentez menacé par tout. Selon moi, Donald Trump est habité par la peur. Il l’a identifiée avec un véritable génie comme un moyen qui fait sa fortune. Quand les gens n’auront plus peur, ils ne voteront plus pour lui. (…) Le temps commence à presser. Un an et demi avant leur élection en 1992 et en 2008, on voyait toutefois mal Bill Clinton et Barack Obama l’emporter. Chez les démocrates, ils sont très nombreux à vouloir se lancer pour la présidentielle. Mais ils restent pour l’heure assommés par la défaite de novembre 2016, qui n’aurait pas dû avoir lieu. C’est un fait: sans chercher à l’éteindre, Barack Obama n’a pas porté la nouvelle génération. Le parti est aussi très divisé entre les héritiers d’Obama et de Clinton d’un côté et le camp Bernie Sanders de l’autre. Les premiers n’ont pas un message très emballant pour l’instant et les seconds, qui ont une volonté marquée de s’en prendre frontalement aux inégalités sociales, n’auront jamais de majorité dans un pays comme les Etats-Unis. (…) Les républicains n’ont rien accompli en termes législatifs. Ils n’ont pas réussi à abroger l’Obamacare, la loi sur le système de santé. Mais leur stratégie électorale à long terme s’est révélée très payante. Je pense que les démocrates ont désormais appris la leçon, même s’ils n’ont pas forcément un système en place pour renverser la vapeur. (…) On se pose en effet beaucoup de questions sur l’avenir de la démocratie et de la Constitution américaine, en particulier à l’ère des réseaux sociaux. La Constitution a déjà résisté à des périodes très difficiles. L’Amérique est au bord du gouffre. (…) la nomination du juge Brett Kavanaugh à la Cour suprême a été dévastatrice. La manière très partisane dont il a répondu aux questions d’une commission sénatoriale aurait dû le disqualifier. Or il n’en fut rien. La Cour suprême n’est plus respectée. Elle est devenue une institution purement partisane, avec d’un côté des juges progressistes et de l’autre des juges non pas conservateurs, mais ultra-conservateurs. On va sans doute voir une haute cour en décalage continu avec l’évolution de la société américaine. (…) Face à l’érosion de la vérité et à la promotion de la violence politique combinées à l’effet amplificateur des réseaux sociaux, il faudra de grandes ressources démocratiques aux Etats-Unis pour se remettre de la présidence d’un Donald Trump qui se décrit comme l’Ernest Hemingway des 140 signes, de Twitter. L’Amérique est capable de nous surprendre. En bien et en mal. (…) C’est un aspect de la dégradation du climat politique outre-Atlantique dont Donald Trump n’est pas responsable. Le Parti républicain est à la dérive depuis une vingtaine d’années. On est désormais à des années-lumière du parti de Rockefeller. Il est aujourd’hui la carpette du président. Le Tea Party a pris le pouvoir en 2009 avec une haine raciale incroyable sous la présidence Obama et un refus complet de l’esprit de compromis qui est pourtant l’essence même de la Constitution américaine. Nicole Bacharan
Non, Monsieur Macron, notre époque n’a rien à voir avec les années 30 (…) l’URSS et le IIIe Reich avaient des ambitions d’expansion territoriale, sinon d’hégémonie planétaire, et il s’agissait de nations hyper militarisées. En quoi les «lépreux» Orban et Salvini – pour ne retenir qu’eux – ont-ils une quelconque ambition belliqueuse de cette nature? Ils souhaitent simplement se concentrer sur leurs intérêts strictement nationaux, protéger leurs frontières de flux migratoires incontrôlés par l’Europe de Schengen, refuser la société multiculturelle dont ils observent les échecs en France, en Allemagne, au Royaume-Uni, en Belgique. C’est un choix de souveraineté politique, leurs citoyens les ont élus pour cette politique et peuvent se dédire aux prochaines élections puisque ni Orban ni Salvini pour l’heure n’ont remplacé la démocratie par l’autocratie. Barbara Lefebvre
The media have devolved into a weird Ministry of Truth. News seems defined now as what information is necessary to release to arrive at correct views.  In recent elections, centrists, like John McCain and Mitt Romney – once found useful by the media when running against more-conservative Republicans — were reinvented as caricatures of Potterville scoundrels right out of a Frank Capra movie. When the media got through with a good man like McCain, he was left an adulterous, confused septuagenarian, unsure of how many mansions he owned, and a likely closeted bigot. Another gentleman like Romney was reduced to a comic-book Ri¢hie Ri¢h, who owned an elevator, never talked to his garbage man, hazed innocents in prep school, and tortured his dog on the roof of his car. If it were a choice between shouting down debate moderator Candy Crowley and shaming her unprofessionalism, or allowing her to hijack the debate, Romney in Ajaxian style (“nobly live, or nobly die”) chose the decorous path of dignified abdication. In contrast, we were to believe Obama’s adolescent faux Greek columns, hokey “lowering the seas and cooling the planet,” vero possumus seal on his podium as president-elect, and 57 states were Lincolnesque. Why would 2016 not end up again in losing nobly? Would once again campaigning under the Marquess of Queensberry rules win Republicans a Munich reprieve? In such a hysterical landscape, it was possible that no traditional Republican in 2016 was likely to win, even against a flawed candidate like Hillary Clinton, who emerged wounded from a bruising primary win over aged socialist Bernie Sanders. Then came along the Trump, the seducer of the Right when the Republican establishment was busy early on coronating Jeb Bush. (…) That Trump was an amateur, a cad, his own worst enemy, cynically leveraging a new business or brand, and at any time could say anything was supposedly confirmation of Hillary’s inevitable victory. Trump’s hare-and-tortoise strategy, his mishmash politics, reinventions, mastery of free publicity, and El Jefe celebrity had always offered him an outside chance of winning. But he is most aided by the daily news cycle that cannot be quite contorted to favor Hillary Clinton. (…) That the establishment was repulsed by his carroty look, his past scheming, his Queens-accented bombast, and his nationalist policies only made him seem more authentic to his supporters, old and possibly new as well. Victor Davis Hanson (20.09.2016)
European reporters were more likely than American journalists to directly question Trump’s fitness for office. Trump has received unsparing coverage for most weeks of his presidency, without a single major topic where Trump’s coverage, on balance, was more positive than negative, setting a new standard for unfavorable press coverage of a president. Fox was the only news outlet in the study that came close to giving Trump positive coverage overall, however, there was variation in the tone of Fox’s coverage depending on the topic. (…) Trump’s coverage during his first 100 days was negative even by the standards of today’s hyper-critical press. Studies of earlier presidents found nothing comparable to the level of unfavorable coverage afforded Trump. Should it continue, it would exceed even that received by Bill Clinton. There was not a single quarter during any year of Clinton’s presidency where his positive coverage exceeded his negative coverage, a dubious record no president before or since has matched. Trump can’t top that string of bad news but he could take it to a new level. During his first 100 days, Clinton’s coverage was 3-to-2 negative over positive.[30] Trump’s first 100 days were 4-to-1 negative over positive. Have the mainstream media covered Trump in a fair and balanced way? That question cannot be answered definitively in the absence of an agreed-upon version of “reality” against which to compare Trump’s coverage. Any such assessment would also have to weigh the news media’s preference for the negative, a tendency in place long before Trump became president. Given that tendency, the fact that Trump has received more negative coverage than his predecessor is hardly surprising. The early days of his presidency have been marked by far more missteps and miss-hits, often self-inflicted, than any presidency in memory, perhaps ever. What’s truly atypical about Trump’s coverage is that it’s sharply negative despite the fact that he’s the source of nearly two-thirds of the sound bites surrounding his coverage. Typically, newsmakers and groups complain that their media narrative is negative because they’re not given a chance to speak for themselves. Over the past decade, U.S. coverage of Muslims has been more than 75 percent negative. And Muslims have had little chance to tell their side of the story. Muslims account for less than 5 percent of the voices heard in news reports about Islam. So why is Trump’s coverage so negative even though he does most of the talking? The fact is, he’s been on the defensive during most of his 100 days in office, trying to put the best face possible on executive orders, legislative initiatives, appointments, and other undertakings that have gone bad. Even Fox has not been able to save him from what analyst David Gergen called the “’worst 100 days we’ve ever seen.” Nevertheless, the sheer level of negative coverage gives weight to Trump’s contention, one shared by his core constituency, that the media are hell bent on destroying his presidency. As he tweeted a month after taking office,  “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” That tweet made headlines, as have many of Trump’s attacks on the press. It’s understandable why journalists would report and respond to such attacks, but it could be counterproductive. A long-running battle in which Trump accuses the press of trafficking in fake news while journalists reply that their news is anything but fake would probably, fairly or not, weaken the public’s confidence in the press. Research has found that familiarity with a claim increases the likelihood people will believe it, whether it’s true or not. The more they hear of something, the more likely they are to believe it. If a mud fight with Trump will not serve the media’s interests, neither will a soft peddling of his coverage. Never in the nation’s history has the country had a president with so little fidelity to the facts, so little appreciation for the dignity of the presidential office, and so little understanding of the underpinnings of democracy. The media’s credibility today is at low ebb, but the Trump presidency is not the time for the press to pull back. The news media gave Trump a boost when he entered presidential politics. But a head-on collision at some point was inevitable. It’s happened, it isn’t pretty, and it isn’t over. At the same time, the news media need to give Trump credit when his actions warrant it. The public’s low level of confidence in the press is the result of several factors, one of which is a belief that journalists are biased. That perception weakens the press’s watchdog role. One of the more remarkable features of news coverage of Trump’s first 100 days is that it has changed few minds about the president, for better or worse. The nation’s watchdog has lost much of its bite and won’t regain it until the public perceives it as an impartial broker, applying the same reporting standards to both parties. The news media’s exemplary coverage of Trump’s cruise missile strike on Syria illustrates the type of even-handedness that needs to be consistently and rigorously applied. How might the press better navigate the days ahead? For starters, journalists need to keep their eye on the ball. We live in a fast-paced media era, as journalists rush to be at the crest of breaking news. Through his tweets and actions, Trump exploits this habit, enabling him to change the subject when it suits his needs. During the presidential campaign, that tactic enabled him to shed a number of damaging revelations before many voters had a chance to hear about them, much less think about them. The press should also start doing what it hasn’t done well for a long time—focus on policy effects. Journalists’ focus on the Washington power game—who’s up and who’s down, who’s getting the better of whom—can be a fascinating story but at the end of the day, it’s food for political junkies. It’s remote enough from the lives of most Americans to convince them that the political system doesn’t speak for them, or to them. A broadening of the scope of political coverage would require journalists to spend less time peering at the White House. Our analysis of news coverage of Trump’s first 100 days found that, except for his court-challenged immigration orders, the press paid only minimal attention to Trump’s executive orders. He issued a large number of them, covering everything from financial regulation to climate change. Collectively, these orders, immigration aside, accounted for less than 1 percent of Trump’s coverage, and rarely did a news report track an executive order into the agencies to see how it was being handled. Since Trump’s inauguration, the press has been paying more attention to Main Street. But judging from the extent to which Trump’s voice has dominated coverage of his presidency, the balance is still off. More voices need to be aired. Journalists would also do well to spend less time in Washington and more time in places where policy intersects with people’s lives. If they had done so during the presidential campaign, they would not have missed the story that keyed Trump’s victory—the fading of the American Dream for millions of ordinary people. Nor do all such narratives have to be a tale of woe. America at the moment is a divided society in some respects, but it’s not a broken society and the divisions in Washington are deeper than those beyond the Beltway. The lesson of the 2016 election has been taken to heart by many journalists. Since Trump’s inauguration, the press has been paying more attention to Main Street. But judging from the extent to which Trump’s voice has dominated coverage of his presidency, the balance is still off. More voices need to be aired. Trump might be good for ratings but he’s not the only voice worth hearing. Never have journalists fixated on a single newsmaker for as long as they have on Trump. If he sees journalists as his main opponents, one reason is that between Trump and themselves there’s not much air time for everyone else. Journalists need to resist even the smallest temptation to see themselves as opponents of government. It’s the competition between the party in power and the opposing party, and not between government and the press, that’s at the core of the democratic process. When spokespersons for the opposing party get a mere 6 percent of the airtime, something’s amiss. Shorenstein center
Entre janvier et avril 2017, le Centre Shorenstein (en) sur les médias et la politique de l’université Harvard examine ce que les journalistes de dix grands médias ont publié par écrit sur Donald Trump durant les cent premiers jours de sa présidence. De cette étude, il ressort que538,539 : Trump domine la couverture médiatique. Il est le sujet de 41 % de toutes les nouvelles (trois fois plus que pour les précédents présidents américains). Son aptitude à présider est mise en doute plus souvent en Europe qu’aux États-Unis. La couverture journalistique crée un nouveau standard en matière de presse défavorable. Pas un seul media n’est plus positif que négatif. Globalement, le ton est négatif dans 80 % des nouvelles (57 % négatif pour George W. Bush, 60 % pour Bill Clinton). Le ton négatif s’élève à 93 % pour CNN et NBC, à 91 % pour CBS, à 87 % pour le New York Times, à 83 % pour le Washington Post, à 70 % pour The Wall Street Journal, à 52 % pour Fox News ; en Europe, le ton négatif atteint un record de 98 % pour ARD, de 84 % pour le Financial Times et de 74 % pour la BBC. Les trois sujets les moins contestés par les journalistes sont l’économie (54 % de ton négatif), la menace terroriste (70 %) et les autres affaires de politique intérieure (72 %)538. Commentant cette étude, plusieurs médias rappellent qu’une tonalité négative ne signifie pas que le traitement de l’information soit biaisé540,541. Commentant cette étude, le Washington Post souligne par ailleurs que « quand on fait des choses controversées – et les sondages montrent qu’une énorme quantité des choses que fait Trump le sont – on se retrouve critiqué par certaines personnes. Et quand on promet d’accomplir des choses extraordinaires et que les résultats contredisent vos promesses, il est difficile de couvrir cela comme une victoire. » Wikipedia
While we understand this is a work of fiction, the insinuation that the U.S. Secret Service would participate in the assassination of a President is outrageous and an insult to the men and women of this agency. The U.S. Secret Service prides itself on being an apolitical agency with a long and distinguished history of protecting our nation’s elected officials. Secret Service spokesperson
Some 40 percent of black likely voters approve of the job President Donald Trump is doing, according to the daily Rasmussen poll released on Oct. 29. The number marks a record high, the pollster noted, and shows a rapid rise in support for the president among black voters, compared to Rasmussen’s own results from a year ago. The poll showed 29 percent support for Trump among blacks on Aug. 6, compared with 15 percent on Aug. 3, 2017. Reuters/Ipsos polls also have revealed an increase, though more modest, to 16.5 percent approval among blacks in an Oct. 18–22 survey, from 11 percent at the end of August. Among all likely voters, Rasmussen has been tracking Trump job approval at around the 50 percent mark throughout October, compared to the 40 to 47 percent range being reported by other pollsters. Black Americans have voted exceedingly left since the 1960s. The presidential election in 1964, especially, fixated black voters on the Democrats. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy the year before primed the nation to choose his vice president, Lyndon Johnson, to continue his legacy. Democrats also portrayed the Republican contender, Barry Goldwater, as a racist, because he opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. (…) Trump, with an unabashedness of his own, received only 8 percent of the black vote in 2016. But that was still more than Goldwater or even Mitt Romney. Trump has steered clear of talking up welfare cuts at large, taking more popular angles, such as repealing Obamacare and imposing job requirements on welfare seekers. But, perhaps more than Goldwater, he was liberally accused of racism by Democrats. Those attacks, however, seem to be losing effectiveness. To begin with, Trump hadn’t been considered racist in the left-leaning circles of mainstream media and entertainment until he ran for president. He’s also spent considerable effort to appeal to black voters, asking them to consider how electing Democrats for decades benefited them. Trump promised them jobs, safety, and education. (…) Black unemployment, a powerful talking point, has dropped to historic lows under his administration’s “America First” economic agenda. Violent crime also slightly declined in 2017, after two years of increases. The support of singer, producer, and businessman Kanye West has been helping Trump from another angle. (…) Conservative political commentators such as Candace Owens and Dinesh D’Souza have popularized the expression “the Democratic Plantation,” which draws a parallel between the racism against blacks advocated by the Democratic Party in the past and the system of government dependency represented by the welfare state advocated by the Democrats of the present. Some effects of the efforts of Owens and others can be seen among the blacks joining the Walk Away movement to leave the Democratic Party. Owens has recently announced a new initiative called “Blexit,” which specifically urges black Americans to leave the Democratic Party. The Epoch Times
There were 1,211 antisemitic incidents in Obama’s first year in office. This was after four straight years of declining antisemitism. For instance, in 2008, there were 1,352 incidents. Attacks had peaked in 2004 with 1,821. Over the years, the number of incidents continued to decline. After an initial uptick to 1,239 in 2010, they declined to 751 in 2013. They began to rise again to 914 in 2015, the last year for which we have data. When we tally the total number of incidents between 2009 and 2015, the overall number of attacks reaches more than 7,000. However, the number of assaults increased, almost doubling during the Obama administration. Overall, there was an average of 84 incidents a month under the Obama administration. Let’s step back for a moment and compare that to the 95 incidents between January and February 2017. That’s a 10% increase. It could be more once all the data comes in. But the media haven’t been telling us there is a slight increase; the narrative has been that there is an antisemitic wave sweeping the US. In Berlin, there was a 16% increase in antisemitic incidents by comparison. It was also “sweeping” the UK in 2014. One of the key indicators of rising antisemitism during the Obama years was the number of physical assaults. From a low of 17 in 2012 they rose to 56 in 2015. The ADL noted a “dramatic rise” in assaults that year. So why are headlines today claiming a “pandemic” of antisemitism in the US? Abe Foxman used the word “pandemic” to describe antisemitism in the US in 2009. “This is the worst, the most intense, the most global that it’s been in most of our memories. And the effort to get the good people to stand up is not easy,” he said in a speech that year. Jonathan Greenblatt said in November of 2016 that the US was suffering extreme levels of hate. “Anti-Jewish public and political discourse in America is worse than at any point since the 1930s,” he was quoted by JTA as saying. Looking back almost a decade puts things in perspective. Where was the media in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 to highlight thousands of incidents of antisemitism? 210 physical assaults on Jews. 3,900 threats against Jews and Jewish institutions. 2,900 incidents of vandalism. 180 incidents of antisemitism on campus. Every six days, a Jewish person in America was being attacked in 2015 and it went largely ignored. On average, there were threats every day against Jews and Jewish institutions over the last eight years and most of them did not receive headlines. There were also incidents of vandalism every day on average. Why did 7,034 incidents of antisemitism not get major headlines for so long? Was it because of an agenda to protect the Obama administration from criticism, or due to complacency and people becoming inured to the phenomenon? The cesspool and swamp from which today’s hate crimes on Jewish cemeteries emerge is not in a vacuum and it may not be due to the toxic divisions of 2016; it may have deeper roots. That’s the elephant in the room: 7,000 incidents that were recorded — and reported by the ADL — which almost no one wants to talk about. Is the media misleading us through fear-mongering about antisemitism in the United States? The data seems to show that the recent wave of threats, while unique in their target and regularity, are not a massive increase from years past. Threats occurred throughout the last decades, and many went unreported. The key indicator of physical assaults has been rising in the last years. Campus antisemitism, the ADL says, peaked in 2015. The most important thing is to present the public with real data on the number of incidents. The 24-hour news cycle tends to encourage the feeling that antisemitism is leaving people under siege, with swastikas on subways and memorials, at rural synagogues and on homes. There is also a tendency to feed a narrative that there is a major rise in hate crimes in the United States connected with the toxic election of Trump. There may be a rise in hate crimes, but many of them are not directed at Jews; many of them are directed at Muslims and other groups, such as the Georgia couple recently sentenced for threatening African-Americans. The reality is that the American press even ignores serious antisemitism in other countries, while reporting on its expression in the US. Video footage recently emerged of a preacher at Canada’s Al Andalous Islamic Centre — Sheikh Wael Al-Ghitawi — claiming Jews were “people who slayed the prophets, shed their blood and cursed the Lord.” Another sermon in Toronto referred to the “filth of the Jews.” Are there videos in America of anyone preaching such hatred openly without a pushback? This raises serious questions about how we discuss and learn from antisemitism. When people sit through a sermon and don’t raise a hand in protest when a preacher says Jews should be killed, that’s a huge problem. What about when there are clear cases of antisemitism whose perpetrators are not charged with hate crimes? In Avignon, a man tried to light firecrackers in front of a synagogue, but was cleared of antisemitism charges. He just happened to do it in front of a synagogue, not any of the dozens of churches in the town? This is one of but many examples. The question is: Are we only offended by certain types of antisemitism and not others? Seth Frantzman
Donald Trump pourrait être pour les médias d’information la plus grande opportunité de construire un modèle économique viable. Ken Doctor
There is a segment of the ideological national media that’s actively working to stoke divisions for shorter or long-term political gain. The press themselves have become a tribe, as opposed to a foundational source of information. They’re viewed as much as a political player as advocate groups or partisan interests are. Angelo Carusone (Media Matters)
To a certain extent, a new Morning Consult/Politico survey suggests Trump’s criticism rang true for roughly two-thirds of Americans, although it shows a majority also says he has been a mostly divisive presence. In the new Morning Consult/Politico poll, 64 percent of registered voters said the press has done more to divide the country than unite it since Trump took office, compared with 56 percent who said the same was true of the president. The poll of 2,543 voters was conducted Oct. 25-30, after news first broke of mail bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc’s attempted acts of politically motivated violence and amid news of a shooting by suspect Robert Bowers at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. The view that the national news media has been a mostly divisive presence was shared among partisans: A plurality of Democrats (46 percent) said the national media has done more to divide than unite — about half the share of Democrats (88 percent) who said the same of Trump. Eight in 10 Republicans agree that the media has done more to divide, while a quarter of Republicans said Trump has been mostly divisive. Much of this can be driven by opinions from political elites, such as that of the president, as political commentator Craig Crawford wrote in his 2005 book on politicians in the press: “Politicians won the war against the media with a simple rule: first, attack the messenger.” A Morning Consult/Politico poll in July found that 28 percent of voters said they had “a lot” of confidence in the presidency — more than twice the 13 percent who said the same of television news and double the 14 percent who said the same of newspapers. When it comes to the media’s involvement in political division, one theory — detailed in a 2013 paper by Matthew Levendusky of the University of Pennsylvania and Neil Malhotra of Stanford — suggests that press coverage of polarization leads people to overestimate its actual degree, leading to a phenomenon among moderates of antipathy toward partisans and more intensity in opposition to the other side among shrewder partisans. Morning consult
Across multiple studies, we show that media coverage of polarization leads citizens to exaggerate the degree of polarization in the mass public, a phenomenon known as false polarization. We also find that false polarization causes voters to moderate their own issue positions but increases dislike of the opposing party. (…) Our findings (…) suggest that the media likely are not shrinking mass polarization, as their moderating effects are centered on those who are already middle-of-the-road ex ante.  Rather, the media help to further segment and stratify the electorate into a more moderate core turned off by polarization (…) and a more extreme segment (…). However, our results also make clear that polarized media coverage causes all citizens come to view the opposing party less positively. (…) By presenting the public as deeply polarized, similar to political elites, the media shape ordinary Americans’ attitudes and their perceptions of politics more generally. Although false polarization is a basic cognitive phenomenon, media coverage exacerbates people’s views of the partisan divide, and has real—and politically important—consequences. Matthew S. Levendusky & Neil A. Malhotra
People say all the time, ‘Oh, I don’t want to talk about Trump. I’ve had too much Trump. And yet at the end of the day, all they want to do is talk about Trump. We’ve seen that, anytime you break away from the Trump story and cover other events in this era, the audience goes away. So we know that, right now, Donald Trump dominates. Jeff Zucker (CNN)

Cherchez l’erreur !

Un président français en chute libre dans les sondages qui, contre toute réalité historique, nous ressort la vieille ficelle des « heures les plus sombres de notre histoire » … ?

Un président américain objet de la couverture médiatique la plus biaisée de l’histoire mais au plus haut dans les sondages, minorités comprises, voué aux gémonies pour avoir pointé la part des médias dans l’actuelle polarisation de son pays … ?

Un sondage américain qui montre (à quelques arrondis près ?) des médias perçus comme plus clivants même que le président … ?

Un décompte de mars 2017 rappelant que plus de 7 000 actes antisémites sous la présidence Obama avaient quasiment été passés sous silence … ?

Une étude américaine qui dès 2013 montrait qu’à la manière des prophéties auto-réalisatrices les médias peuvent non seulement exagérer le degré de polarisation du pays mais l’accentuer dans la perception des gens … ?

Le plus grand quotidien américain qui, entre deux nouvelles appelant à l’assassinat du président, voit ses ventes et abonnements exploser depuis l’arrivée du président Trump à la Maison Blanche … ?

Le patron de la plus influente chaine satellite de la planète qui reconnait que sans Trump ils n’ont plus d’audience … ?

Donald Trump s’en prend à nouveau aux médias, « véritables ennemis du Peuple »

Les déclarations du président américain interviennent au lendemain d’un week-end endeuillé par la tuerie dans une synagogue de Pittsburgh
Le HuffPost avec AFP
9/10/2018

ÉTATS-UNIS – Les attaques du président américain contre les journalistes se répètent, encore. Donald Trump a rejeté la responsabilité de la « grande colère » ressentie à travers les États-Unis sur les médias, ce lundi 29 octobre. « Il y a une grande colère dans notre pays causée en partie par le traitement erroné, et souvent fourbe, des informations par les médias », a tweeté le milliardaire républicain, deux jours après la tuerie dans une synagogue de Pittsburgh.

« Les médias Fake News, le véritable Ennemi du Peuple, doivent arrêter l’hostilité ouverte et évidente et rapporter les informations correctement et de manière équitable », a-t-il poursuivi. « Ça fera beaucoup pour éteindre l’incendie de la Colère et de l’Indignation et nous serons alors en mesure de rapprocher les deux côtés dans la Paix et l’Harmonie. Les Fake News Doivent Cesser! ».

Familier des attaques, le président américain voit sa rhétorique anti-médias de plus en plus critiquée, y compris au sein de son propre camp. « Il n’y a aucune raison d’avoir une guerre avec les médias », a ainsi indiqué Anthony Scaramucci, ex-directeur de la communication de la Maison Blanche, au micro de CNN dimanche.

À Pittsburgh, Trump accusé d’attiser la haine

Ces déclarations sur les réseaux sociaux interviennent surtout au lendemain d’un week-end endeuillé par une fusillade dans un synagogue de Pittsburgh. Au total, onze personnes ont été abattues samedi dernier. Donald Trump a fait savoir qu’il se rendrait dans cette ville de Pennsylvanie pour présenter ses condoléances. Mais des familles de victimes ne souhaitent pas rencontrer celui qu’elles accusent d’attiser la haine.

Lynnette Lederman, ancienne présidente de la synagogue Tree of Life où s’est déroulé le drame, a fait savoir lundi matin sur CNN que Donald Trump n’était « pas le bienvenu dans [sa] ville ». « Parce que c’est un pourvoyeur du discours de haine. Les mots hypocrites qui sortent de sa bouche ne signifient rien pour moi », a-t-elle expliqué. « Nous avons des gens auprès de nous qui croient en nos valeurs, pas seulement les valeurs juives, et ce ne sont pas les valeurs de ce président ».

Trump « toujours le bienvenu »

En revanche, le rabbin de la synagogue, Jeffrey Myers, a précisé sur la chaîne américaine que le « président des Etats-Unis est toujours le bienvenu ». « Je suis un citoyen. Il est mon président. Il est bien sûr le bienvenu », a ajouté le rabbin qui se trouvait dans le bâtiment lorsque Robert Bowers, 46 ans, y a fait irruption et a fait feu sur les fidèles.

« Je ne jette pas vraiment le blâme sur quiconque. La haine ne connaît pas de religion, de race, de croyance, de parti politique. Ce n’est pas un problème politique d’une quelconque manière. La haine ne connaît pas l’une de ces choses. Elle existe dans toute personne », a-t-il relevé.

Voir aussi:

Barbara Lefebvre : «Non, Monsieur Macron, notre époque n’a rien à voir avec les années 30»

Barbara Lefebvre
Le Figaro
01/11/2018

FIGAROVOX/TRIBUNE – Dans ses propos rapportés par Ouest-France, le chef de l’État a comparé la période actuelle avec celle de l’entre-deux-guerres. Selon l’enseignante, le contexte est radicalement différent : les États nations européens ne cherchent pas à s’étendre mais à conserver leur souveraineté.

Barbara Lefebvre, enseignante et essayiste, est l’auteur de Génération j’ai le droit, (éd. Albin Michel 2018).

Pierre Nora avait mis en garde contre «ce moment historique habité par l’obsession commémorative» et la captation de cette belle expression, les «lieux de mémoire», utilisée pour célébrer la mémoire alors que la profondeur du travail historiographique des trois tomes qu’il avait dirigés était précisément de composer «une histoire de type contre-commémoratif». Les historiens scrupuleux, ceux qui écrivent l’histoire sans tomber dans les pièges idéologiques de leur temps, sont souvent incompris par les technocrates, qui ne s’embarrassent pas de nuances pour rédiger les formules-chocs autrement appelées «éléments de langage». Le service communication de l’Élysée nous a annoncé une semaine «d’itinérance mémorielle» pour commémorer le centenaire de l’armistice, et elle s’ouvre par une «itinérance historique» du président Macron dans Ouest France suivant un chemin tortueux qui le conduit à une impasse comparative!

Dans les propos rapportés par Ouest-France, le Président Macron se lance dans des comparaisons historiques pour le moins problématiques: «je suis frappé par la ressemblance entre le moment que nous vivons et celui de l’entre-deux-guerres». Tout y est: «la lèpre nationaliste», «la souveraineté européenne (sic) bousculée par des puissances extérieures», «la crise économique». Et dans un élan de prophétie, véritable représentation mécaniste de l’Histoire avec son «H» majuscule grandiloquent, Emmanuel Macron nous révèle sa vision: «on voit presque méthodiquement se réarticuler tout ce qui a rythmé la vie de l’Europe de l’après Première Guerre mondiale à la crise de 1929». L’histoire, éternelle répétition du même? Emmanuel Macron, président-historien après le président-philosophe? Les permanences et les continuités de l’histoire ne sont pas des répétitions, Monsieur le Président, et les ruptures ne sont en général comprises et analysées qu’une fois survenues. Non l’histoire n’a pas le hoquet, car l’histoire n’est pas une réalité tangible qui s’opère sous nos yeux comme des bactéries visibles sous la loupe du microscope. L’histoire est modeste, elle n’est qu’une écriture, un récit humain qui se modifie sans cesse, se réécrit au fil du temps qui passe. L’histoire n’est pas un point fixe, établie une fois pour toutes. En revanche, on le sait, elle est fort utile pour servir les idéologies, servir la politique politicienne, pour jouer le «sachant» qui éclaire les ténèbres du présent en se donnant des airs de prophète d’un futur, si possible apocalyptique, sauf à suivre la marche du sauveur.

Comparer l’Europe de 2018 à celle des années 1930 répond à cette inflation inquiétante de la récupération politicienne de l’histoire nationale et européenne, inflation qui s’accentue depuis bientôt vingt ans à mesure que nous produisons des générations d’amnésiques sortis frais émoulus avec un baccalauréat mais ignorants de leur histoire. Il faut faire un détour par l’histoire scolaire actuelle pour comprendre comment de tels propos peuvent être entendus par l’opinion en dépit de leur non-véracité. En effet, elle alimente les élèves en simplismes manichéens depuis plus de trois décennies, depuis que l’histoire postmoderne (donc postnationale) a mis la main sur l’organisation des programmes officiels. Au lieu de transmettre des connaissances simplifiées qui rendent la complexité du passé intelligible pour des élèves âgés de dix à dix-sept ans, on a réduit l’histoire scolaire à une histoire finaliste. Le passé n’est plus qu’un perpétuel combat entre des gentils et des méchants. Ce simplisme autorise tous les anachronismes. Or la simplification n’est pas le simplisme ; la vulgarisation n’est pas la platitude du binaire. L’histoire scolaire qui avait forgé, pendant près d’un siècle, chez des générations de Français – autochtones ou venus d’ailleurs – le sentiment d’appartenance nationale, aussi appelé patriotisme, s’appuyait certes sur des simplifications historiques non exemptes d’une part de mythes, mais elle ne versait pas dans les simplismes actuels où l’idéologie postmoderne affleure sous chaque thématique, où l’histoire nationale n’est plus qu’une histoire criminelle. La France a une histoire nationale. Les mémoires des groupes composant notre nation qui n’est pas fondée sur l’homogénéité ethno-religieuse, ont toujours existé mais jusqu’aux années 1990 elles n’avaient pas été valorisées au point de supplanter l’histoire nationale. En glorifiant les revendications mémorielles, souvent réinventions du passé, contre l’histoire commune, le projet poursuivi est bien la destruction de l’attachement à la nation, à cet héritage forgé par l’histoire et porté par des mœurs et des coutumes communes.

Ni de Gaulle, ni Mitterrand n’auraient osé une comparaison aussi manichéenne.

Ni de Gaulle, ni Mitterrand n’auraient osé une comparaison aussi manichéenne, simpliste, que celle opérée par Emmanuel Macron. Et pour cause, les deux seuls «vrais» Présidents d’après-guerre avaient une vision, car ils étaient d’abord «enracinés» par une ample culture littéraire et historique – la composition de la bibliothèque de François Mitterrand en est l’illustration frappante – et ensuite parce qu’ils avaient connu l’entre-deux-guerres et la guerre. Cela fait toute la différence. Cela explique leur hauteur de vue, eux qui étaient passés par cette épreuve de la guerre, qu’ils connaissaient la complexité de cet avant-guerre, qu’ils ne réduisaient pas cette période à des caricatures binaires. L’un comme l’autre ont vu monter les périls, ils ont eux-mêmes fait des choix politiques qui ne suivaient pas toujours la ligne droite que les politiques actuels ont réinventée pour trier dans cette époque troublée les bons des méchants, pour juger les hommes du passé au regard du confort dans lequel est plongée notre Europe pacifiée, abrutie par la société de consommation.

Personne ne viendrait nier que Staline, Hitler et Mussolini étaient des dirigeants néfastes pour leurs peuples et pour la paix du monde, que les idéologies portées par les deux premiers en particulier ont conduit à des ravages d’une ampleur inédite en Europe et au-delà et que nous sommes encore héritiers des ravages moraux qu’ils ont constitués pour l’humanité. Néanmoins oser les comparer à Orban, Salvini et pourquoi pas Morawiecki en Pologne et Kurz en Autriche, est non seulement une absurdité historique, mais une opération politique profondément anti-européenne qui attise les colères. Anti-européenne car celui qui aggrave les tensions entre partenaires européens en insultant les peuples qui ont élu les dirigeants précités, c’est le président français. Cette montée en tension n’est pas imputable au seul Emmanuel Macron, elle est à l’œuvre depuis que les progressistes autoproclamés ont décidé que l’Europe se ferait contre les peuples, c’est-à-dire depuis le non au référendum sur la Constitution européenne en 2005 qui ne fut pas respecté. Le mépris du «non», pourtant majoritaire, par les présidents Chirac, Sarkozy, Hollande et Macron est fondamental pour comprendre la défiance des Français à qui on dénie toute forme d’intelligence politique quand ils ne votent pas comme on le leur prescrit. Cette atteinte profonde au contrat civique fondateur de la démocratie n’est pas le fait des partis «lépreux» que je sache.

Plus grave, l’énormité historique suivante: l’Europe de l’entre-deux-guerres n’est évidemment pas lisible en termes politiques comme l’Union européenne des 28. Elle était composée d’États-nations souverains qui n’obéissaient pas à une entité supranationale comme c’est notre cas. En outre, aujourd’hui, l’hégémonie mondiale de l’idéologie capitaliste ultralibérale est telle qu’aucun modèle n’émerge pour s’opposer sérieusement à elle, alors que dans l’Europe d’entre-deux-guerres, des idéologies concurrentes puissantes avaient pris forme parmi les peuples (communisme, fascisme, nazisme) et se sont cristallisées politiquement dans trois pays, la Russie, l’Italie puis l’Allemagne. Autre différence et non des moindres s’agissant de menaces pour la paix: l’URSS et le IIIe Reich avaient des ambitions d’expansion territoriale, sinon d’hégémonie planétaire, et il s’agissait de nations hyper militarisées. En quoi les «lépreux» Orban et Salvini – pour ne retenir qu’eux – ont-ils une quelconque ambition belliqueuse de cette nature? Ils souhaitent simplement se concentrer sur leurs intérêts strictement nationaux, protéger leurs frontières de flux migratoires incontrôlés par l’Europe de Schengen, refuser la société multiculturelle dont ils observent les échecs en France, en Allemagne, au Royaume-Uni, en Belgique. C’est un choix de souveraineté politique, leurs citoyens les ont élus pour cette politique et peuvent se dédire aux prochaines élections puisque ni Orban ni Salvini pour l’heure n’ont remplacé la démocratie par l’autocratie.

Autre aspect de cet absurde raccourci comparatif: dans les trois cas, URSS, Italie fasciste, Allemagne nazie, la prise du pouvoir n’a rien eu de démocratique à la différence des gouvernements italiens, autrichiens ou hongrois vilipendés par Emmanuel Macron. La Russie est devenue l’URSS à la suite de la révolution bolchévique qui fut pour le moins un coup de force, venue d’une minorité politique extrémiste, favorisé par le contexte tragique des défaites militaires russes, la Russie de Nicolas II étant membre de la Triple entente. Staline prit le pouvoir après la mort de Lénine en 1924 après avoir éliminé tous ses concurrents, tout aussi violents politiquement et antidémocrates que lui, mais probablement moins malades mentalement que le Petit père des peuples. Mussolini accéda au pouvoir après une forme d’itinérance au demeurant ratée, la marche sur Rome d’octobre 1922. Cette démonstration de force maquillée a posteriori par le Duce en coup d’État, aura suffi à vaincre une démocratie italienne sans boussole, minée par les conflits internes, qui s’effondrera d’elle-même laissant Mussolini instaurer sa dictature fasciste, qui servira en partie de modèle à Hitler.

Dans les trois cas, URSS, Italie fasciste, Allemagne nazie, la prise du pouvoir n’a rien eu de démocratique.

Ce dernier n’a pas été élu démocratiquement, contrairement à la doxa qui sert le discours sentencieux actuel envers les citoyens-électeurs, à grand renfort de «retour des heures sombres» et d’entrisme par les Forces du Mal au sein de notre vertueuse machine démocratique. En effet, dans l’Allemagne de la jeune République de Weimar, née de l’effondrement du Reich en 1918, l’assemblée était élue à la proportionnelle intégrale et jusqu’aux élections de 1932 le NSDAP, le Parti des Travailleurs allemands Socialiste et National, ne dépasse pas les 20 %. Hitler échoue également à l’élection présidentielle de 1932 qui voit la réélection d’Hindenburg. Cette campagne aidera en effet le NSDAP à engranger des voix aux législatives suivantes puisque le parti dépasse les 30 % des suffrages, pour autant il n’est pas majoritaire. La majorité était composée par une coalition de centre-gauche qui n’échappa pas aux luttes intestines largement alimentées par la gauche (SPD et KPD), et empêchera la nomination d’un gouvernement d’union nationale qui aurait peut-être pu réduire la puissance montante du NSDAP. C’est l’incapacité des forces politiques démocratiques (cet adjectif est-il seulement admissible pour le KPD…) à s’entendre pour gouverner ensemble qui explique aussi qu’Hindenburg dût se résoudre à nommer Hitler. Il était après tout le chef du parti qui avait obtenu, seul, 33 % des voix aux législatives, mais les démocrates, en se coalisant durablement, pouvaient faire obstacle à sa nomination au poste de Chancelier. C’est leur faiblesse qui fit sa force, et non pas un imaginaire raz-de-marée électoral laissant penser que le peuple allemand aspirait unanimement à suivre Hitler dans les années 1930.

Quant à réduire la montée des totalitarismes dans l’entre-deux-guerres à une conséquence de la crise de 1929 comme le laisse croire le président Macron, c’est encore ne voir l’histoire par le petit bout de la lorgnette. Ce genre de raccourci ne sert à faire comprendre ni le passé, ni le présent, il sert à manipuler l’opinion pour une politique à venir décidée sans le consulter. La crise de 1929 a montré pour la première fois à l’échelle mondiale, où conduisaient le capitalisme financier et sa spéculation sans limite, les prises de bénéfices indignes des gros opérateurs financiers en plein cœur d’une crise sans précédent, son culte de l’argent-roi et déjà l’économie ouverte à tous les vents mauvais. La critique de ce capitalisme amoral, contraire aux intérêts des peuples souverains, destructeur de la nature, asservi aux machines et transformant l’homme lui-même en machine, fut étouffée pendant des décennies par les délires des théoriciens de la lutte prolétarienne. Ils ne firent qu’alimenter la puissance capitaliste qui conduira à la multiplication des crises économiques jusqu’à celle de 2008 dont aucun dirigeant n’a réellement tiré la moindre analyse qui se transformerait en action politique. Au contraire, comme dans une course vers l’abyme on alimente plus que jamais la destruction de tout ce que l’humanité a forgé en plus de cinq mille ans d’histoire. L’homme atomisé machine à consommer est le produit de cette crise, on l’endort en lui promettant comme seul horizon de bonheur «plus de pouvoir d’achat». Emmanuel Macron est l’homme de ce système: la société ouverte, inclusive, du village global, des flux sans contrôle de marchandises et des hommes – catégories bientôt synonymes. Et pourtant il ose accuser dans ces propos les «grands intérêts financiers qui dépassent parfois la place des États». On peut être stupéfait quand cela est dit par le fondé de pouvoir de la Commission de Bruxelles! Mais c’est habile pour convaincre une opinion publique rendue amnésique qu’on la protège des petits Hitler à nos portes, elle qu’on a rendue aveugle aux conséquences de l’irréparable. Cet irréparable est né quand l’économie industrielle au XIXe siècle prit le pas sur la politique au nom du Progrès, quand le capitalisme financier décréta la mise à mort des nations européennes seules capables de circonscrire sa dangerosité tant pour l’humanité que les écosystèmes. Cet irréparable est né quand des experts-comptables au service d’une oligarchie financière mondiale prirent la place des hommes d’État soucieux de défendre les intérêts de leur nation et de protéger leurs citoyens, tous leurs citoyens.

Voir également:

CNN boss: If we break away from Trump coverage ‘the audience goes away’
John Bowden
The Hill
11/01/18

CNN President Jeff Zucker said his network’s audience would dwindle if its news programming shifted away from covering President Trump.

In an interview published in the latest issue of Vanity Fair, Zucker said the reason why CNN spends much of the day reporting on Trump’s day-to-day activities and his rhetoric is viewer demand.

“People say all the time, ‘Oh, I don’t want to talk about Trump, I’ve had too much Trump,’ ” Zucker told Vanity Fair. “And yet at the end of the day, all they want to do is talk about Trump. »

« We’ve seen that anytime you break away from the Trump story and cover other events in this era, the audience goes away, » he added. « So we know that, right now, Donald Trump dominates.”

Zucker said he wants CNN to be a home for both supporters and opponents of the president, despite harsh criticism of the news outlet from Trump and other Republicans.

“On MSNBC, you rarely hear from people who do support Trump, » Zucker said. « We want to be home to both those points of view. »

« It is true some of these folks are not very good with the facts, but that’s OK in the sense that it’s our job then to call them out, » he added.

CNN is projected to report its most profitable year ever, a source familiar told Vanity Fair, though it lags behind both Fox News and MSNBC in average prime-time viewership.

Donald Trump Jr. on Thursday suggested it was time for CNN to embrace a « new business model. »
« CNN’s audience went away anyway. That’s why their ratings are so bad, » he tweeted, adding that the network should focus on his father’s « amazing wins. »

The president frequently trashes CNN and its ratings, and has taken aim at Zucker in the past. He wrote in August on Twitter that CNN’s parent company should fire Zucker over CNN’s ratings, which have improved significantly since Zucker took over.

« The hatred and extreme bias of me by @CNN has clouded their thinking and made them unable to function, » the president tweeted. « But actually, as I have always said, this has been going on for a long time. Little Jeff Z has done a terrible job, his ratings suck, & AT&T should fire him to save credibility! »

Voir encore:

POLL: Media More Divisive Than Trump
Saagar Enjeti | White House Correspondent

The Daily caller
11/01/2018

A larger part of the electorate believes the media does more to divide the country than President Donald Trump, a new Politico/Morning Consult poll finds.

Sixty four percent of voters told Politico/Morning Consult they believe the media has done more to divide the country than unite it, compared with 56 percent of those who responded similarly when discussing Trump. Opinions on divisiveness diverges significantly along party lines with the vast majority of Democrats believing the president is responsible for dividing the country and a slight majority of Republicans believing he has done more to unite it.

The poll has a sampling error of +/- 2 percentage points.

The poll comes as Trump continues to accuse a large group of the U.S. media of playing the most divisive role in American politics. “The left wing media doesn’t want to solve problems, they want to stoke resentment, it has to stop,” he declared Wednesday evening at a Florida rally.

Trump has tweeted multiple times to this effect making a distinction between the media writ large and what he calls “the fake news media.”

Voir de même:

Trump Approval Among Black Voters Rises to Record 40 Percent in Rasmussen Poll

Petr Svab
The Epoch Times

October 29, 2018

Some 40 percent of black likely voters approve of the job President Donald Trump is doing, according to the daily Rasmussen poll released on Oct. 29.

The number marks a record high, the pollster noted, and shows a rapid rise in support for the president among black voters, compared to Rasmussen’s own results from a year ago.

The poll showed 29 percent support for Trump among blacks on Aug. 6, compared with 15 percent on Aug. 3, 2017.

Reuters/Ipsos polls also have revealed an increase, though more modest, to 16.5 percent approval among blacks in an Oct. 18–22 survey, from 11 percent at the end of August.

Among all likely voters, Rasmussen has been tracking Trump job approval at around the 50 percent mark throughout October, compared to the 40 to 47 percent range being reported by other pollsters.

Why Trump

Black Americans have voted exceedingly left since the 1960s. The presidential election in 1964, especially, fixated black voters on the Democrats. The assassination of President John F. Kennedy the year before primed the nation to choose his vice president, Lyndon Johnson, to continue his legacy. Democrats also portrayed the Republican contender, Barry Goldwater, as a racist, because he opposed the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Goldwater was actually against segregation and racial discrimination, The Heritage Foundation’s Lee Edwards wrote in 2014. Goldwater had voted for the civil rights bills of 1957 and 1960, but warned, prophetically, that the 1964 legislation was written in a way that would lead to another form of racial discrimination—affirmative action.

It didn’t help that Goldwater was, to a degree, a small-government libertarian who believed that welfare would lead to moral erosion by means of government dependency. His unabashed rhetoric gave his opponents ammunition to accuse him of wanting to drastically cut welfare.

Trump, with an unabashedness of his own, received only 8 percent of the black vote in 2016. But that was still more than Goldwater or even Mitt Romney.

Trump has steered clear of talking up welfare cuts at large, taking more popular angles, such as repealing Obamacare and imposing job requirements on welfare seekers. But, perhaps more than Goldwater, he was liberally accused of racism by Democrats.

Those attacks, however, seem to be losing effectiveness. To begin with, Trump hadn’t been considered racist in the left-leaning circles of mainstream media and entertainment until he ran for president.

He’s also spent considerable effort to appeal to black voters, asking them to consider how electing Democrats for decades benefited them. Trump promised them jobs, safety, and education.

“We’re fighting every day for African-Americans, for more jobs, for higher wages, for safer communities, for great schools, and we want school choice. We got to have,” Trump said at the Oct. 27 rally in Evansville, Indiana. “We’re fighting hard. It’s going to make a big difference.”

Black unemployment, a powerful talking point, has dropped to historic lows under his administration’s “America First” economic agenda. Violent crime also slightly declined in 2017, after two years of increases.

‘Blexit’

The support of singer, producer, and businessman Kanye West has been helping Trump from another angle. West says he doesn’t agree with Trump on everything, but that it frees his mind to put on a Trump hat, as it allows him to escape the certain modes of thinking that society expects of him.

Conservative political commentators such as Candace Owens and Dinesh D’Souza have popularized the expression “the Democratic Plantation,” which draws a parallel between the racism against blacks advocated by the Democratic Party in the past and the system of government dependency represented by the welfare state advocated by the Democrats of the present.

Some effects of the efforts of Owens and others can be seen among the blacks joining the Walk Away movement to leave the Democratic Party.

Owens has recently announced a new initiative called “Blexit,” which specifically urges black Americans to leave the Democratic Party. A clothing line accompanies the movement, sporting “Blexit” and “We Free” in capital letters.

Voir de plus:

Newsonomics: Trump may be the news industry’s greatest opportunity to build a sustainable model

Readers have finally understood that their payments for the news will actually make a difference in what they and their community know. That model needs to be extended down to states and cities.
Ken Doctor
Nieman lab
Jan. 20, 2017

One of the most challenging periods in American press history begins at noon Eastern today. The cries of “Lügenpresse” (defended by the outlet until recently run by new chief strategist to the president) echo almost as much as the stiff-arm salutes in the nation’s capital in late October. The Russian propaganda service Russia Today (now nicely rebranded as RT America) somehow taking over the airwaves of C-SPAN for 10 minutes is just icing on the cake. Who knows what language cable news’ crawls will be in soon?

As we feel the ever-louder banging on the doors of a free press, we should also hear, weirdly, another knocking. That’s the knocking of opportunity.

It’s not just the “journalistic spring” that Jack Shafer predicts as the conflicts and controversies of the Trump administration prove fertile ground for investigation. It’s the opportunity to rewrite the tattered social contract between journalists and readers, a chance to rebuild a relationship that’s been weakening by the year for a decade now.

That’s not just some wishful sentiment expressed in the face of the reality of Trump. We’ve seen it proven out over the past several months, and we must grasp this chance to reset an American press that has been withering away.

In both the immediate run-up to the election, and more so in its dramatic aftermath, we’ve witnessed one greatly ironic unintended benefit of Trumpism. More than 200,000 new subscribers signed up for New York Times subscriptions, many of them not even directly solicited — they just figured out it was the right thing to do. The Washington Post saw its own double-digit percentage increase in new subscriptions, and Jeff Bezos — sensing opportunity —- has just taken the dramatic step of adding more than five dozen journalists to the

Readers opened their wallets more widely, as The Atlantic, ProPublica, The Guardian, NPR, The New Yorker, Mother Jones, Vanity Fair, and the Los Angeles Times have all reported increased public support.What’s the lesson here?

Beyond “support,” readers clearly recognize value. They reward reporting, factual reporting, secure in the knowledge that certain news brands are more immune from the fakeries, forgeries, and foolishness than others. They see their own questions being answered with dutiful reporting and thoughtful analysis. The Times, in its 2020 report, long in the works, renewed the new social contract, as it designated $5 million for deeper and wider national government coverage, given the Trump ascendance.

Readers see courage and they support it. The Times and the Post led courageously in 2016, even as the din of press attacks got louder. (And, here, let us recognize the uneven but growing courage of CNN, its reporters and its hosts, for more insistently piercing the bellows of nonsense they encounter. At the same, time, let’s recognize the potential of CNN-taming implicit in Trump’s meeting last week with AT&T chief Randall Stephenson, the would-be buyer of CNN through the acquisition of its corporate parent, Time Warner.)And, yet, all of that outpouring of post-election support still amounts to a meager down payment on what the American press needs. The national news media lives on the thread of profit. It is not “failing,” as in the Trumpian taunt, but it’s just hanging on, having absorbed financial blow after blow of digital disruption. At the local level — where all but four of the nation’s 1,375 or so dailies operate -— the unraveling is far worse.

Those dailies approached the election emaciated, their weakness exacerbated by 10 years of disinvestment. Make no mistake: Most of the U.S. daily press still returns profits. They just don’t return as much news, or reporting, or knowledge, as they used to.

Further, it’s in that local press that Americans long got their basic news, the basic facts that informed their voting habits. We can draw a straight line between the decline of the American local press and a populace whose factual ignorance has been further distorted by the polarization of democratic discourse. We may struggle to point out a few direct illustrations of that straight line, but the impact — civic and electoral — is only logical. We can’t cut the number of journalists in the American daily workforce in half — replacing the most locally knowledgeable with less experienced, lower-paid recruits — and expect no loss.Looking forward, though, it’s that local press that we must look to cover the day-by-day repercussions of health, environmental, education, and racial justice policies and laws turned upside down. We’ll see mad spin coming out of Washington, and the national media will cover that. That national media, stretched as thin as it is, has little prayer to cover what seems likely to happen in the 50 states to the formerly insured, the women facing clinic closures, the aggrieved looking to federal legal insistence on fairness and justice, and the families seeking clean drinking water. Those are stories that must be unearthed, and told, across the country.

It’s a question that comes down to a single word: capacity.

Long-time media watcher Merrill Brown pointed recently to the drained ability of American news companies to adequately report on the administration that takes power today.

“There are not enough institutions in the American journalism community that are healthy enough to deal with what the Trump administration is likely to do in its early years,” he said on Brian Stelter’s Reliable Sources on CNN a week ago. Speaking of both national and regional insufficiency, “We need more ProPublicas. We need more Jeff Bezoses. Philanthropists and investors need to be focused on how important media is, right now, during a dramatic change in government. We need more people to step up to the changes in journalism.”

Is it a news emergency? We can make a good case for that, but even if we want to classify it merely as a deepening crisis, let’s remember the advice of Rahm Emanuel as Barack Obama took over a country on the edge of depression in 2009. “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that is it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

I’ve had many conversations with those in and around the industry since the election, and there’s clearly a greater realization of this existential moment in American journalistic life, yet no singular sense of what to do.

Let me suggest we act on what we’ve learned.

First, that means recognizing the new power of the reader/journalist relationship, one underutilized by-product of the digital age. Though the national/global newspaper-based media (The New York Times, the Financial Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal, which is finally finding its feet, bringing its business acumen to tougher Trump conflict of interest reporting) still struggle with the digital transition, they’ve each crossed over. More than 50 percent of their revenue comes directly from readers; that’s up from the industry average of 20 to 25 percent just a decade ago.That not only provides them a more stable source of ongoing revenue, as digital ad markets prove increasingly troublesome — it also makes the point of journalists’ work crystal-clear. Journalists report and write to satisfy readers.

Finally, in the recent cases of Times and Post subscription spurts, paying readers have finally understood that deeper connection: My payment for the news will actually make a difference in what I know and what my community and country know.

So, on a national level, that message needs to be reinforced at every opportunity, just as John Oliver and Meryl Streep, among others, have begun to do. Another half million to a million digital subscriptions could well certify the successful digital transformation of national news outlets proving themselves indispensable to the democracy. That number now appears in reach, as we assess the progress noted in Monday’s New York Times 2020 report.

It is in local markets that the reader revenue lesson is going largely untested. Yes, most dailies have put up paywalls, but only a relative handful — mostly outside the major chains — have funded still-robust, if diminished, newsrooms. The common arithmetic I’ve described: Halve the product, double the price. Rather than invest in that reader/journalist relationship, too many companies simply milk the life of the disappearing print paper.My simple proposition: More Americans will pay more for a growing, smarter, and in-touch local news source if they are presented with one. As the local newspaper industry has shriveled, most readers have never been presented with that choice. Rather they’ve had to witness smaller and smaller papers, and then less and lower-quality digital news offerings.

It’s not simply an “It’s the content, stupid” moment. Too many news publishers have failed to create products, especially smartphone ones, that display well even what these local companies today produce. That, though, is a topic for another day.)Out of the welter of possibility in 2017, we need to see multiple tests of ramping up local quality, volume, and product. We need new scale brought back to local news reporting, which can now exploit the wonders of multimedia presentation, and do it far more cheaply than print could ever offer.

Will any of the local chain owners invest in a Bezosian long-term strategy? Already, I’ve heard discussion at the high levels of a couple of chains about the new public expectation of “watchdog journalism” and how to meet it — and benefit from it.

Will the trying-to-be-feisty independents — perhaps led by The Boston Globe with its own small bump to 70,000 paying digital subscribers and a broad reinvention plan taking shape — see Times- or Post-like rewards for their efforts? Will any of the larger public radio stations tie growing news capabilities to a kind of “news membership,” moving to fill the vacuum of news in their cities? How many local TV stations will test out the idea of becoming broader TV/digital news providers, and doing enough to get reader payment? What kind of stronger, regional roles might the likes of Kaiser Health News (health), The Marshall Project (criminal justice), and Chalkbeat (education) play? Can any of the most ambitious of LION’s 110 local member news sites step up their coverage to benefit significantly from the new reader/journalist virtuous circle?

In business — and news is a business — consumers expect the improved product to be offered first, and then to be asked to pay (or pay more) for it. That’s why we need to see the kind of investment — from investors to philanthropists, as Merrill Brown suggests.

It’s been astounding to me that so few people of wealth have come forward to rebuild the American press in digital form. Why will an Elon Musk, an early investor in newspaper entertainment product Zip2, pour hundreds of millions into space, cars, and batteries, but nothing into his local Silicon Valley news sources? For the most part, even the most sympathetic haven’t seen a sustainable model that they thought worthy of their time and money.Now, though, that model cries out before us: Majority reader revenue, built on a nationally proven next-generation content-and-product strategy. That’s the carrot. The big stick: Unless a new model is worked out soon, know-nothingism will find fewer challenges across the expanse of America’s news deserts.

Majority-reader-revenue models won’t work overnight, and, there, the bridging aid of a small fleet of foundations that have so far failed to fund a new sustainability will be key. I believe they will renew their own spirits — if and when they see building success.

Finally, let’s consider the intangible of civic pride in this strangest of political times. John Oliver made subscribing to the Times and Post and supporting ProPublica hip. Clearly, he tapped an open reservoir of goodwill. As high hundreds of thousands of people take to the streets this weekend, apprehensive of the future, and looking for accountability, the appetite for aggressive news media — national and local — may never have been as high.

Who will step forward and rise to the occasion?

Voir encore:

Why Were the 7,000 Antisemitic Incidents Under Obama Largely Ignored?
Seth Frantzman
The Algemeiner
March 1, 2017

In the last two months, almost 100 Jewish community centers and day schools have been targeted with antisemitic threats. The map of the threats is shocking. It stretches from Maine to Florida, Texas, Colorado, all the way to California and Washington. Despite more than 190 antisemitic incidents, no arrests have been made. These are terrifying times for many, and there is a feeling that antisemitism is reaching a crescendo in the US. The perception is that America has historically been safe and tolerant, but today a rising “wave” of antisemitism may be breaking on its golden door.

The US administration’s response has been tepid at best, and a case of denial at worst. Although Vice President Mike Pence stopped by a desecrated cemetery in St. Louis, it took more than a month for US President Donald Trump to make his denunciations clear, despite numerous chances to do. Trump is personally blamed for “unleashing” antisemitism during the election campaign last year. Rabbi Daniel Bogard, a victim of online antisemitic abuse, told the JTA,“There has been permission that’s been given to say these things we didn’t used to say.”

This feeds a growing narrative about the rise in antisemitism. There are more than nine million results in Google relating to “Trump antisemitism,” including the recent headlines “Report: Trump mulling axing antisemitism envoy as part of budget plan,” and “Trump suggests Jewish community is spreading antisemitic threats.”

However, Mark Oppenheimer at The Washington Post notes, “There is no good statistical evidence (yet, anyway) that Americans have grown more anti-Semitic in recent months…Overall, however, we won’t know for many more months, when the FBI and the Anti-Defamation League have better data to work with, if Nov. 9, 2016, was the start of something new or just a continuation of a regrettable but enduring legacy.”

The Anti-Defamation League has released a list of the 10 worst antisemitic incidents of 2016, though the data for that year is not yet complete. There is data, however, for previous years.

If there was a major rise in antisemitism, then the 190 incidents that the media have reported on in the first two months of 2017 should be significant. That’s 95 a month. Let’s use that as a barometer and look at the first seven years of Barack Obama’s presidency. The 2016 data, when it is released, will be influenced by the apparent rise in antisemitism during the election. But the years 2009-2015, for which we have data, are untainted by the alleged rise in attacks from Trump supporters.

There were 1,211 antisemitic incidents in Obama’s first year in office. This was after four straight years of declining antisemitism. For instance, in 2008, there were 1,352 incidents. Attacks had peaked in 2004 with 1,821.

Over the years, the number of incidents continued to decline. After an initial uptick to 1,239 in 2010, they declined to 751 in 2013. They began to rise again to 914 in 2015, the last year for which we have data. When we tally the total number of incidents between 2009 and 2015, the overall number of attacks reaches more than 7,000. However, the number of assaults increased, almost doubling during the Obama administration.

Overall, there was an average of 84 incidents a month under the Obama administration. Let’s step back for a moment and compare that to the 95 incidents between January and February 2017. That’s a 10% increase. It could be more once all the data comes in. But the media haven’t been telling us there is a slight increase; the narrative has been that there is an antisemitic wave sweeping the US. In Berlin, there was a 16% increase in antisemitic incidents by comparison. It was also “sweeping” the UK in 2014.

One of the key indicators of rising antisemitism during the Obama years was the number of physical assaults. From a low of 17 in 2012 they rose to 56 in 2015. The ADL noted a “dramatic rise” in assaults that year.

So why are headlines today claiming a “pandemic” of antisemitism in the US? Abe Foxman used the word “pandemic” to describe antisemitism in the US in 2009. “This is the worst, the most intense, the most global that it’s been in most of our memories. And the effort to get the good people to stand up is not easy,” he said in a speech that year. Jonathan Greenblatt said in November of 2016 that the US was suffering extreme levels of hate. “Anti-Jewish public and political discourse in America is worse than at any point since the 1930s,” he was quoted by JTA as saying.

Looking back almost a decade puts things in perspective. Where was the media in 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 to highlight thousands of incidents of antisemitism? 210 physical assaults on Jews. 3,900 threats against Jews and Jewish institutions. 2,900 incidents of vandalism. 180 incidents of antisemitism on campus. Every six days, a Jewish person in America was being attacked in 2015 and it went largely ignored. On average, there were threats every day against Jews and Jewish institutions over the last eight years and most of them did not receive headlines.

There were also incidents of vandalism every day on average. Why did 7,034 incidents of antisemitism not get major headlines for so long? Was it because of an agenda to protect the Obama administration from criticism, or due to complacency and people becoming inured to the phenomenon? The cesspool and swamp from which today’s hate crimes on Jewish cemeteries emerge is not in a vacuum and it may not be due to the toxic divisions of 2016; it may have deeper roots. That’s the elephant in the room: 7,000 incidents that were recorded — and reported by the ADL — which almost no one wants to talk about.

Is the media misleading us through fear-mongering about antisemitism in the United States? The data seems to show that the recent wave of threats, while unique in their target and regularity, are not a massive increase from years past. Threats occurred throughout the last decades, and many went unreported. The key indicator of physical assaults has been rising in the last years. Campus antisemitism, the ADL says, peaked in 2015. The most important thing is to present the public with real data on the number of incidents. The 24-hour news cycle tends to encourage the feeling that antisemitism is leaving people under siege, with swastikas on subways and memorials, at rural synagogues and on homes.

There is also a tendency to feed a narrative that there is a major rise in hate crimes in the United States connected with the toxic election of Trump. There may be a rise in hate crimes, but many of them are not directed at Jews; many of them are directed at Muslims and other groups, such as the Georgia couple recently sentenced for threatening African-Americans.

The reality is that the American press even ignores serious antisemitism in other countries, while reporting on its expression in the US. Video footage recently emerged of a preacher at Canada’s Al Andalous Islamic Centre — Sheikh Wael Al-Ghitawi — claiming Jews were “people who slayed the prophets, shed their blood and cursed the Lord.” Another sermon in Toronto referred to the “filth of the Jews.”

Are there videos in America of anyone preaching such hatred openly without a pushback?

This raises serious questions about how we discuss and learn from antisemitism. When people sit through a sermon and don’t raise a hand in protest when a preacher says Jews should be killed, that’s a huge problem.

What about when there are clear cases of antisemitism whose perpetrators are not charged with hate crimes? In Avignon, a man tried to light firecrackers in front of a synagogue, but was cleared of antisemitism charges. He just happened to do it in front of a synagogue, not any of the dozens of churches in the town?

This is one of but many examples.

The question is: Are we only offended by certain types of antisemitism and not others?

Voir par ailleurs:

Nicole Bacharan: «Aujourd’hui, il faut avoir peur de l’Amérique»

Politologue et historienne ayant longtemps vécu aux Etats-Unis, Nicole Bacharan commente la violence des mots et des actes sous la présidence Trump, et estime que la deuxième moitié de son mandat pourrait être fortement entravée par les enquêtes de la Chambre des représentants si celle-ci est reconquise par les démocrates
LE TEMPS
2 novembre 2018

Elle connaît Houston et New York comme sa poche pour y avoir vécu. Dans sa famille, on est Français, mais aussi Américains. Auteure de nombreux livres sur l’Amérique, Nicole Bacharan observe la scène politique outre-Atlantique avec intérêt et parfois effroi. A quelques jours des élections de mi-mandat (6 novembre) qui battent un nouveau record en termes de dépenses de campagne (5,2 milliards de dollars), cette historienne et politologue a reçu Le Temps dans son appartement parisien. Elle commente le climat de très forte tension sociale qui règne dans le pays à l’aube d’un scrutin qui pourrait avoir un impact majeur sur la deuxième moitié de la présidence de Donald Trump.

Le Temps: Pour les démocrates, l’un des enjeux majeurs des élections de mi-mandat, c’est la reconquête de la majorité de la Chambre des représentants. La majorité du Sénat étant vouée à rester en mains républicaines, quelles seraient les conséquences d’un tel scénario?

Nicole Bacharan: La première serait l’ouverture de plusieurs enquêtes. La Chambre des représentants a des pouvoirs d’enquête très larges. Je pense d’ailleurs que les enquêtes sont déjà prêtes. Vu ce qui se passe outre-Atlantique, les démocrates ne feront aucun cadeau. On peut imaginer deux scénarios. Les démocrates pourraient chercher un compromis avec Donald Trump sur les investissements dans les infrastructures, sur l’extension de Medicare (l’assurance maladie des plus de 65 ans) ou encore sur la réduction des prix des médicaments. Mais c’est très improbable dans un Washington aussi polarisé. Le président a pris des mesures, mais, sur le plan législatif, il n’a rien fait hormis la baisse des impôts. Il y a très peu de chances qu’il forge un compromis sur les projets sociaux.

Les démocrates ont déjà sorti les couteaux, préparé des enquêtes, et ils sont prêts à engager une procédure de destitution. Je serais étonnée qu’ils ne trouvent pas de chefs d’inculpation contre Donald Trump, sachant qu’une procédure de destitution peut être adoptée à la majorité simple à la Chambre des représentants. Au Sénat, une telle procédure n’aboutirait pas avec des républicains toujours majoritaires. Mais face à une Chambre sous contrôle démocrate, je ne sais pas où Donald Trump s’arrêtera pour sauver sa peau.

Quel est l’élément le plus saillant de la campagne électorale qui s’achève?

La mobilisation des femmes. Je n’ai jamais vu autant de femmes faire acte de candidature au Congrès, surtout dans le camp démocrate. Mais les circonscriptions électorales étant ce qu’elles sont, il n’y aura pas de tsunami féminin à Washington.

Les tentatives d’attentat aux colis piégés contre des personnalités démocrates, la tuerie dans une synagogue de Pittsburgh ont créé un climat délétère. Pour reprendre le titre de l’un de vos ouvrages, faut-il avoir peur de l’Amérique?

Dans la même semaine, des Noirs américains ont été tués parce qu’ils étaient Noirs, des colis piégés auraient pu tuer des figures démocrates comme Barack Obama ou Hillary Clinton, et enfin Pittsburgh a été le théâtre de la pire tuerie antisémite de l’histoire du pays. A l’époque de la présidence de George W. Bush, Elie Wiesel m’avait demandé: faut-il avoir peur pour l’Amérique? Avec ce qu’on a vu ces derniers jours, je dirais qu’il faut avoir peur pour, mais aussi de l’Amérique. On sait que c’est un pays violent où circulent 300 millions d’armes à feu. En 2016, plus de 11 000 personnes ont été tuées par de telles armes. Mais je n’ai pas souvenir d’avoir vu un tel déferlement de haine raciste et meurtrière dans un temps aussi resserré. Sous la présidence de George W. Bush, il y avait de fortes divisions, mais les gens se parlaient encore de manière civile. Je l’ai vécu. On n’avait pas le sentiment d’être remis en cause dans son être profond. Là, avec Donald Trump, c’est très différent. Les pro- et anti-Trump divergent tellement sur des valeurs essentielles qu’ils ne peuvent plus s’adresser la parole.

Donald Trump multiplie les meetings électoraux, radicalise son discours. Porte-t-il une part de responsabilité dans les événements de ces derniers jours?

Si vous regardez ses meetings, ils se déroulent tous selon le même schéma. Il dramatise la question de l’immigration, décrit les journalistes comme des ennemis du peuple et vitupère contre les alliés qui profitent de l’Amérique. Il arrive à susciter une rage incroyable chez les gens. Il a un grand talent pour manipuler les foules. Il désigne à la vindicte publique tous ceux qui représentent une opposition. L’exemple vient d’en haut. Les gens se sentent habilités à insulter, voire à tuer, des individus qui ne pensent pas comme eux. Dans ces meetings, il y a indubitablement des incitations à la violence. Les Américains ont un président qui piétine toutes les valeurs de civilité, de tolérance mutuelle propres à une démocratie, et qui a fait de la violence une valeur à part entière.

La tuerie de onze juifs dans une synagogue de Pittsburgh le week-end dernier a été un traumatisme.

Pour la communauté juive, c’est un choc énorme. Dans l’histoire américaine, il y a eu des agressions et des insultes antisémites, des périodes de quotas défavorables ou d’hostilité envers les juifs de Pologne et de Russie qui arrivaient aux Etats-Unis au début du XXe siècle. Mais les juifs ont toujours eu le sentiment de vivre aux Etats-Unis plus en liberté qu’ailleurs à l’exception d’Israël, d’être des piliers du pays. Ils ont beaucoup défendu l’intégration des migrants, se sont engagés pour les droits civiques. Ils se sont souvent considérés comme ce qu’il y avait de plus américain. Donald Trump n’a pas appelé à la violence antisémite. Mais la manière dont il a libéré la parole raciste a un impact. Quand des suprémacistes blancs criaient à Charlottesville en 2017 que «les juifs ne les remplaceraient pas» et qu’ils défilaient avec des torches enflammées rappelant Nuremberg, Donald Trump ne les a pas encouragés, mais il ne les a pas contredits.

Donald Trump (et par ricochet les républicains) va-t-il bénéficier de ce climat de haine le 6 novembre?

C’est son calcul. Il ne cherche pas à apaiser les tensions, mais à générer le plus de colère possible au sein même de son électorat. Sa technique, c’est le mensonge avéré quotidien, sans vergogne, érigé en système. Or, quand les faits ne comptent plus, cela rappelle les années 1930. C’est en tout cas ainsi que ça commence. La honte a disparu. Le migrant devient l’ennemi. Si je pouvais résumer la présidence Trump, je choisirais cette image: l’homme à la tête de l’armée la plus puissante du monde promet d’envoyer jusqu’à 15 000 soldats à la frontière américano-mexicaine face à quelque 4000 déguenillés. Il y a la grandeur de la fonction et la petitesse de l’homme. Donald Trump maintient son électorat dans une vraie paranoïa. Si vous êtes un Américain qui regarde Fox News et qui écoute le polémiste Rush Limbaugh, vous vous sentez menacé par tout. Selon moi, Donald Trump est habité par la peur. Il l’a identifiée avec un véritable génie comme un moyen qui fait sa fortune. Quand les gens n’auront plus peur, ils ne voteront plus pour lui.

Les démocrates semblent encore sonnés par la défaite d’Hillary Clinton face à Donald Trump le 8 novembre 2016. Les noms qui circulent actuellement pour la présidentielle de 2020 sont ceux de Joe Biden (76 ans), Bernie Sanders (77 ans) voire Hillary Clinton (71 ans) ou Michael Bloomberg (76 ans), l’ex-maire de New York. Où est le renouveau?

Le temps commence à presser. Un an et demi avant leur élection en 1992 et en 2008, on voyait toutefois mal Bill Clinton et Barack Obama l’emporter. Chez les démocrates, ils sont très nombreux à vouloir se lancer pour la présidentielle. Mais ils restent pour l’heure assommés par la défaite de novembre 2016, qui n’aurait pas dû avoir lieu. C’est un fait: sans chercher à l’éteindre, Barack Obama n’a pas porté la nouvelle génération. Le parti est aussi très divisé entre les héritiers d’Obama et de Clinton d’un côté et le camp Bernie Sanders de l’autre. Les premiers n’ont pas un message très emballant pour l’instant et les seconds, qui ont une volonté marquée de s’en prendre frontalement aux inégalités sociales, n’auront jamais de majorité dans un pays comme les Etats-Unis.

Il y a surtout ce constat: les démocrates ont déserté les zones rurales et la politique locale. Ils ont perdu plus de 800 sièges dans les parlements des Etats et 13 postes de gouverneur, le pire bilan depuis Eisenhower.

Les républicains n’ont rien accompli en termes législatifs. Ils n’ont pas réussi à abroger l’Obamacare, la loi sur le système de santé. Mais leur stratégie électorale à long terme s’est révélée très payante. Je pense que les démocrates ont désormais appris la leçon, même s’ils n’ont pas forcément un système en place pour renverser la vapeur.

Au Congrès, ces mêmes républicains que l’éditorialiste américain Frank Rich appelle les «Vichy Republicans» ne constituent pourtant plus un contrepoids au pouvoir exécutif. On pensait que l’Amérique avait un système de poids et contrepoids inébranlable garant du bon fonctionnement démocratique des Etats-Unis…

On se pose en effet beaucoup de questions sur l’avenir de la démocratie et de la Constitution américaine, en particulier à l’ère des réseaux sociaux. La Constitution a déjà résisté à des périodes très difficiles. L’Amérique est au bord du gouffre.

L’autre contrepoids, c’est la Cour suprême…

Oui, la nomination du juge Brett Kavanaugh à la Cour suprême a été dévastatrice. La manière très partisane dont il a répondu aux questions d’une commission sénatoriale aurait dû le disqualifier. Or il n’en fut rien. La Cour suprême n’est plus respectée. Elle est devenue une institution purement partisane, avec d’un côté des juges progressistes et de l’autre des juges non pas conservateurs, mais ultra-conservateurs. On va sans doute voir une haute cour en décalage continu avec l’évolution de la société américaine.

Les Américains ont-ils les moyens de restaurer leur démocratie?

Face à l’érosion de la vérité et à la promotion de la violence politique combinées à l’effet amplificateur des réseaux sociaux, il faudra de grandes ressources démocratiques aux Etats-Unis pour se remettre de la présidence d’un Donald Trump qui se décrit comme l’Ernest Hemingway des 140 signes, de Twitter. L’Amérique est capable de nous surprendre. En bien et en mal.

Comment expliquez-vous l’attitude très suiviste du Parti républicain?

C’est un aspect de la dégradation du climat politique outre-Atlantique dont Donald Trump n’est pas responsable. Le Parti républicain est à la dérive depuis une vingtaine d’années. On est désormais à des années-lumière du parti de Rockefeller. Il est aujourd’hui la carpette du président. Le Tea Party a pris le pouvoir en 2009 avec une haine raciale incroyable sous la présidence Obama et un refus complet de l’esprit de compromis qui est pourtant l’essence même de la Constitution américaine.

Quel est votre rapport personnel aux Etats-Unis?

En France, j’ai grandi dans un milieu franco-américain. C’était une volonté de ma mère, qui avait été une très jeune résistante durant la guerre. Ayant vécu des moments très durs, elle avait vu arriver les Américains comme des libérateurs. Elle nous disait: si tout va mal en Europe, il y a toujours l’Amérique. Au vu de cette histoire, ce qui se passe outre-Atlantique me touche affectivement et la présidence Trump est une expérience très difficile à vivre. Je vis personnellement depuis une vingtaine d’années en France, mais j’ai longtemps vécu aux Etats-Unis. J’ai habité à New York et au Texas, à Houston, un endroit que j’aime beaucoup et qui est très agréable pour les familles. Les gens y sont très gentils. J’avais l’impression que, dans les années 1980-1990, Houston était un peu la New York des années 1960 sur le plan culturel. Tout était possible. Les jeunes artistes y démarraient leur carrière.

Plus tard, à Stanford, où j’ai travaillé comme chercheuse associée à la Hoover Institution, j’ai découvert un écosystème où tout est fait pour faciliter le travail. Les bibliothèques sont ouvertes jour et nuit. Il y a un formidable mélange générationnel. Il y a des professeurs qui n’ont plus d’âge qui viennent toujours dans leur labo en déambulateur. Ils ont toujours quelque chose à apporter. Le foisonnement intellectuel est extraordinaire. Mais Stanford, c’est aussi la bulle de la Silicon Valley. Il ne faut jamais l’oublier.

Voir enfin:

News Coverage of Donald Trump’s First 100 Days

Thomas E. Patterson
Bradlee Professor of Government and the Press

Shorenstein center

May 18, 2017,

A new report from Harvard Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy analyzes news coverage of President Trump’s first 100 days in office.

The report is based on an analysis of news reports in the print editions of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, the main newscasts of CBS, CNN, Fox News, and NBC, and three European news outlets (The UK’s Financial Times and BBC, and Germany’s ARD).

Findings include:

  • President Trump dominated media coverage in the outlets and programs analyzed, with Trump being the topic of 41 percent of all news stories—three times the amount of coverage received by previous presidents. He was also the featured speaker in nearly two-thirds of his coverage.
  • Republican voices accounted for 80 percent of what newsmakers said about the Trump presidency, compared to only 6 percent for Democrats and 3 percent for those involved in anti-Trump protests.
  • European reporters were more likely than American journalists to directly question Trump’s fitness for office.
  • Trump has received unsparing coverage for most weeks of his presidency, without a single major topic where Trump’s coverage, on balance, was more positive than negative, setting a new standard for unfavorable press coverage of a president.
  • Fox was the only news outlet in the study that came close to giving Trump positive coverage overall, however, there was variation in the tone of Fox’s coverage depending on the topic.

This research is partially funded by Rebecca Donatelli, with special thanks to the USC Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy.

Listen to Thomas Patterson discuss the report with Shorenstein Center director Nicco Mele on our Media and Politics Podcast. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play, iHeart Radio or Stitcher. 
https://html5-player.libsyn.com/embed/episode/id/5365382/height/200/width/640/theme/legacy/autonext/no/thumbnail/yes/autoplay/no/preload/no/no_addthis/no/direction/backward/

Introduction and Methodology

“The press is your enemy,” said the president. “Enemies. Understand that? . . . Because they’re trying to stick the knife right in our groin.”

Donald Trump’s ongoing feud with the media is not the first time a president has felt wronged by the press. The opening words are those of Richard Nixon.[1] Virtually every president since Nixon has obsessed over what they’ve seen as unfair treatment by the press. In the first two years of his presidency, Bill Clinton persuaded Congress to enact a tax increase on upper incomes, a family leave program, NAFTA, deficit reduction, the Brady bill, a youth training program, and other initiatives, yet was mired in a slew of headlines about Travelgate, Whitewater, and other alleged wrongdoings.  In a Rolling Stone interview, Clinton exploded at his treatment by the press: “I’ve fought more damn battles here than any president in 20 years with the possible exception of Reagan’s first budget and not gotten one damn bit of credit from the knee-jerk liberal press. I am damn sick and tired of it.”[2]

What’s different with President Trump is that he’s taken the fight to the press, openly and with relish. Nixon worked largely behind the scenes, threatening to take away broadcasters’ licenses if they didn’t shape up. Ronald Reagan created what amounted to a White House news service, feeding stories directly to local news outlets in order to bypass the national press. George W. Bush extended that strategy, adding video feeds to the mix. Clinton and Barack Obama relied on one-on-one interviews with reporters in an effort to get out their side of the story. During his presidency, Obama held more than a thousand such interviews.[3]

Trump’s dislike of the press was slow in coming. When he announced his presidential candidacy, journalists embraced him, and he returned the favor.  Trump received far more coverage, and far more positive coverage, than did his Republican rivals.[4] Only after he had secured the Republican nomination did the press sharpen its scrutiny and, as his news coverage turned negative, Trump turned on the press. [5] Trump tweeted that the “election is being rigged by the media, in a coordinated effort with the Clinton campaign.”[6] It’s been a running battle ever since. On his 100th day in office, he became the first president in more than three decades to skip the White House Correspondents Dinner, choosing instead to go to Pennsylvania for a rally with supporters. Said Trump: “I could not possibly be more thrilled than to be more than 100 miles away from the Washington swamp spending my evening with all of you and with a much, much larger crowd and much better people.”

This paper examines Trump’s first 100 days in office, not through the lens of what he said about the news media, but what they reported about him. The research is based on news coverage in the print editions of three U.S. daily papers (The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post), the main newscasts of four U.S. television networks (CBS Evening News, CNN’s The Situation Room, Fox’s Special Report, and NBC Nightly News), and three European news outlets (Financial Times, based in London; BBC, Britain’s public service broadcaster; and ARD, Germany’s oldest public service broadcaster). The president’s role as a global leader, and Trump’s pledge to redefine that role, prompted the inclusion of European news in the study.[7]

The newspaper analysis covers all sections except sports, obituaries, and letters to the editor. Op-eds and editorials are included, but letters from the public are not. For television, the analysis covers the full daily content of each network’s major newscast. Network talk shows are not included. Except where individual news outlets are identified, the U.S. percentages presented in this paper are the combined averages for the seven U.S. news outlets whereas the European percentages are the combined averages for the three European news outlets.

The data for our studies are provided by Media Tenor, a firm that specializes in collecting and coding news content. Media Tenor’s coding of print and television news stories is conducted by trained full-time employees who visually evaluate the content. Coding of individual actors (in this case, Trump) is done on a comprehensive basis, capturing all mentions of more than five lines (print) or five seconds (TV) of coverage. For each report, coders identify the source(s), topic(s), and tone.

Tone is judged from the perspective of the actor. Negative stories include stories where the actor is criticized directly. An example is a headline story where Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer criticized Trump when the Labor Department’s April economic report showed that fewer jobs were created than had been predicted. Schumer was quoted as saying, in part: “Eleven weeks into his administration, we have seen nothing from President Trump on infrastructure, on trade, or on any other serious job-creating initiative.”[8] Negative stories also consist of stories where an event, trend, or development reflects unfavorably on the actor. Examples are the stories that appeared under the headlines “President Trump’s approval rating hits a new low”[9] and “GOP withdraws embattled health care bill, handing major setback to Trump, Ryan.”[10]

All Trump, All the Time

On national television, Trump was the topic of 41 percent of all news stories—three times the usual amount.

Until the early 1960s, news coverage of national politics divided rather evenly between Congress and the president.[11] That situation began to shift in 1963, the year that the broadcast television networks expanded their evening newscasts to 30 minutes and hired the correspondents and camera crews needed to produce picture-driven news. With a national audience, the networks focused their coverage on the president who, in any case, was easier than Congress to capture on camera. Newspapers followed suit and, ever since, the president has received more coverage in the national press than all 535 members of Congress combined.[12] The White House’s dominance has been such that, on national television, the president typically accounts for roughly one-eighth of all news coverage.[13]

Even by that standard, Trump’s first 100 days were a landmark.[14] On national television, Trump was the topic of 41 percent of all news stories—three times the usual amount.[15] It was also the case that Trump did most of the talking (see Figure 1). He was the featured speaker in nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of his coverage. Members of the administration, including his press secretary, accounted for 11 percent of the sound bites. Other Republicans, including Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, accounted for 4 percent. Altogether, Republicans, inside and outside the administration, accounted for 80 percent of what newsmakers said about the Trump presidency.

Figure 1. Who Does the Talking When Trump Is the Story?

Percentage of TV talking time when Trump is topic of story

For their part, Democrats did not have a large voice in Trump’s coverage, accounting for only 6 percent of the sound bites. Participants in anti-Trump protests and demonstrations accounted for an additional 3 percent.

For their part, Democrats did not have a large voice in Trump’s coverage, accounting for only 6 percent of the sound bites.

The media have been fascinated by Trump since the first days of his presidential candidacy. Our studies of 2016 presidential election coverage found that Trump received more news coverage than rival candidates during virtually every week of the campaign.[16] The reason is clear enough. Trump is a journalist’s dream. Reporters are tuned to what’s new and different, better yet if it’s laced with controversy. Trump delivers that type of material by the shovel full. Trump is also good for business.[17] News ratings were slumping until Trump entered the arena.  Said one network executive, “[Trump] may not be good for America, but [he’s] damn good for [us].”[18]

Immigration, Health Care, Russia, and the Rest

Given the number of tasks facing an incoming administration, it is no surprise that Trump’s news coverage during his first 100 days in office touched on an array of topics (see Figure 2). Immigration was the most heavily covered topic, accounting for 17 percent of Trump’s coverage.[19] Health care ranked second (12 percent), followed by the terrorism threat (9 percent), and Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election (6 percent). Presidential appointments, global trade, Trump’s family and personal life, and the economy were the other topics that received 4 percent or more of the coverage.

Figure 2. Topics of Trump’s U.S. Coverage

percentage of news coverage

Compared with American journalists, [European reporters] were more likely to question directly Trump’s fitness for office.

The seven U.S. news outlets in our study had similar agendas. Each of them devoted considerable attention to immigration, health care, and the terrorist threat. Nevertheless, there were some measurable differences. Our print outlets devoted proportionally more attention to the immigration issue and Trump appointees while the TV outlets devoted proportionally more attention to the health care issue. Fox News was an outlier on one topic—Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election. Fox gave it less than half as much attention as it received on average from the other six U.S. outlets.

The European media’s coverage of Trump had a somewhat different focus (see Figure 3). Although, like their American counterparts, immigration was at the top of the agenda, they gave relatively more space to international trade, military, and foreign policy issues, a reflection of the extent to which Europe is affected by U.S. policies in these areas. On the other hand, Russia’s interference in the U.S. election received considerably less attention in the European media than in the U.S. media.[1]

Figure 3. Topics of Trump’s European Coverage

percentage of news coverage

European reporters stood out in another way as well. Compared with American journalists, they were more likely to question directly Trump’s fitness for office. For the most part, U.S. journalists worked around the edges of that issue, as when one of them reported that “Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) suggested Sunday that he thought President Trump was suffering from poor mental health and claimed some of his Republican colleagues felt the same way.”[20] Only 3 percent of Trump’s U.S. coverage explicitly explored the issue of Trump’s fitness for office. European journalists were less restrained with the exception of BBC journalists, who are governed by impartiality rules that prohibit such reporting.[21] Journalists at ARD, Germany’s main public broadcasting outlet, are not governed by the same rules, and Trump’s suitability for the presidency was ARD’s leading topic in January, accounting for a full fifth (20 percent) of its Trump coverage. ARD stayed on the issue in its February coverage, when it consumed 18 percent of its Trump coverage. In March and April, Trump’s fitness for office got less attention from ARD, but it nonetheless accounted for about 10 percent of ARD’s coverage. Even that reduced amount exceeded the level of any of our seven U.S. outlets in any month. And ARD’s journalists were unequivocal in their judgment—98 percent of their evaluations of Trump’s fitness for office were negative, only 2 percent were positive.

[1] Trump’s first 100 days were nearing their end when Russian meddling in the French presidential election was becoming a major issue. If the French election had come earlier, it’s conceivable that the European media would have given more coverage to Russia’s involvement in the U.S. election.

Bad News, Twice Over

Trump’s coverage during his first 100 days set a new standard for negativity.

Presidents are more than the main focus of U.S. reporters. Presidents are also their main target. Although journalists are accused of having a liberal bias, their real bias is a preference for the negative.[22] News reporting turned sour during the Vietnam and Watergate era and has stayed that way.[23] Journalists’ incentives, everything from getting their stories on the air to acquiring a reputation as a hard-hitting reporter, encourage journalists to focus on what’s wrong with politicians rather than what’s right.[24] Once upon a time, the “honeymoon” period for a newly inaugurated president included favorable press coverage.[25] That era is now decades in the past. Today’s presidents can expect rough treatment at the hands of the press, and Donald Trump is no exception (see Figure 4). Of the past four presidents, only Barack Obama received favorable coverage during his first 100 days, after which the press reverted to form. During his second 100 days, Obama’s coverage was 57 percent negative to 43 percent positive.[26]

Figure 4. Tone of President’s News Coverage during First 100 Days

tone of coverage

Trump’s coverage during his first 100 days set a new standard for negativity. Of news reports with a clear tone, negative reports outpaced positive ones by 80 percent to 20 percent. Trump’s coverage was unsparing. In no week did the coverage drop below 70 percent negative and it reached 90 percent negative at its peak (see Figure 5). The best period for Trump was week 12 of his presidency, when he ordered a cruise missile strike on a Syrian airbase in retaliation for the Assad regime’s use of nerve gas on civilians. That week, his coverage divided 70 percent negative to 30 percent positive. Trump’s worst periods were weeks 3 and 4 (a combined 87 percent negative) when federal judges struck down his first executive order banning Muslim immigrants, and weeks 9 and 10 (a combined 88 percent negative) when the House of Representatives was struggling without success to muster the votes to pass a “repeal and replace” health care bill.

Figure 5. Weekly Tone of Trump’s Coverage

tone of news coverage

In Unison, Almost

Fox was the only outlet where Trump’s overall coverage nearly crept into positive territory…Fox’s coverage was 34 percentage points less negative than the average for the other six outlets.

Trump’s attacks on the press have been aimed at what he calls the “mainstream media.” Six of the seven U.S. outlets in our study—CBS, CNN, NBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post—are among those he’s attacked by name. All six portrayed Trump’s first 100 days in highly unfavorable terms (see Figure 6). CNN and NBC’s coverage was the most unrelenting—negative stories about Trump outpaced positive ones by 13-to-1 on the two networks. Trump’s coverage on CBS also exceeded the 90 percent mark. Trump’s coverage exceeded the 80 percent level in The New York Times (87 percent negative) and The Washington Post (83 percent negative). The Wall Street Journal came in below that level (70 percent negative), a difference largely attributable to the Journal’s more frequent and more favorable economic coverage.

Figure 6. Tone of Trump’s Coverage by News Outlet

Fox was the only outlet where Trump’s overall coverage nearly crept into positive territory—52 percent of Fox’s reports with a clear tone were negative, while 48 percent were positive. Fox’s coverage was 34 percentage points less negative than the average for the other six outlets.

Trump’s news coverage in the three European news outlets tilted strongly in the negative direction. Of the three, the BBC provided Trump with his best coverage, though only in relative terms. BBC’s coverage ran 3-to-1 negative over positive.  The Financial Times’ reporting was roughly 6-to-1 negative over positive. Germany’s ARD portrayed Trump in deeply unfavorable terms—98 percent of its Trump-based stories with a clear tone were negative.

Negative on All Counts

Trump’s coverage during his first 100 days was not merely negative in overall terms. It was unfavorable on every dimension. There was not a single major topic where Trump’s coverage was more positive than negative (see Figure 7).

Figure 7. Tone of Trump’s U.S. Coverage by Topic

tone of news coverage

Immigration was, at once, both the most heavily covered topic in U.S. news outlets and the topic that drew the most negative coverage. The proportion of negative news reports to positive ones exceeded 30-to-1. Health care reform and Russia’s election involvement were also subject to starkly negative coverage—in each case, the breakdown was 87 percent negative to 13 percent positive. International trade, Trump’s personal background, foreign and defense issues, Trump’s appointees, and Trump’s fitness for office were the other topics where the coverage was at least 80 percent negative.

The economy provided Trump with his most favorable coverage. Sources of positive stories were upward trends in economic growth, employment, and the stock market, as were Trump’s negotiations with firms threatening to relocate abroad. Nevertheless, when the full range of news about the economy is taken into account, the balance of coverage was slightly unfavorable—54 percent of reports were negative, while 46 percent were positive.

When Trump’s category-by-category coverage was examined for each of the seven U.S. news outlets in our study, a consistent pattern emerged. The sources of Trump’s most and least negative coverage were similar for every outlet, except for Fox News, as will be described in the next section.[2]

[2]The Wall Street Journal’s coverage less closely resembled Fox’s coverage than it did that of the other news outlets in our study. The main difference between their coverage and the Journal’s was on the issue of the economy. The Journal gave it more coverage, which, on balance, was more positive than negative. It was the only news category in which the Journal’s coverage was in positive territory. In the case of the other outlets, except Fox, no category had a positive balance of coverage.

A Ray of Sunshine

Trump had a few moments during his first 100 days when all the news outlets in our study gave him positive press, none more so than when he launched cruise missile strikes on a Syrian airbase.

Fox was the only news outlet in our study that came close to giving Trump positive coverage overall—the split was 52 percent negative to 48 percent positive. But Fox’s coverage varied widely by topic, ranging from highly negative to highly positive (Figure 8).[27] As was true at the other outlets, Fox’s reporters found few good things to say about the public and judicial response to Trump’s executive orders banning Muslim immigrants or the collapse of the House of Representatives’ first attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare. Fox’s reporting on Trump’s appointees and Russian involvement in the election was also negative in tone.

Figure 8. Tone of Trump’s Coverage on Fox News

tone of news coverage

On the other hand, trade and terrorism were news categories where Fox’s coverage was starkly different from that of the other outlets. Whereas their coverage in these areas tipped strongly in the negative direction, Fox’s coverage tipped strongly positive.

Trump’s suitability for the presidency was also a topic where Fox News was at odds with what the other outlets were reporting (see Figure 9). Fox was the only U.S. outlet where news reports that spoke directly to Trump’s fitness for office were positive on balance. The ratio on Fox was 2-to-1 favorable. The other outlets averaged 6-to-1 unfavorable, with the range varying from 24-to-1 unfavorable to 4-to-1 unfavorable.

Figure 9. Trump’s “Fitness for Office” Coverage by Outlet

Trump had a few moments during his first 100 days when all the news outlets in our study gave him positive press, none more so than when he launched cruise missile strikes on a Syrian airbase. Although some critics questioned Trump’s larger objective in ordering the strikes, his action was widely praised in the policy community, including many top Democrats (see Figure 10).[28] In this instance, the tone of the other news outlets aligned with Fox’s—in each case, positive stories outnumbered negative ones by 4-1 (see Figure 10).

Figure 10. Tone of Coverage on Cruise Missile Attack on Syria

Thoughts on Trump’s Coverage

…the fact that Trump has received more negative coverage than his predecessor is hardly surprising. The early days of his presidency have been marked by far more missteps and miss-hits, often self-inflicted, than any presidency in memory, perhaps ever.

Trump’s coverage during his first 100 days was negative even by the standards of today’s hyper-critical press. Studies of earlier presidents found nothing comparable to the level of unfavorable coverage afforded Trump. Should it continue, it would exceed even that received by Bill Clinton. There was not a single quarter during any year of Clinton’s presidency where his positive coverage exceeded his negative coverage, a dubious record no president before or since has matched.[29] Trump can’t top that string of bad news but he could take it to a new level. During his first 100 days, Clinton’s coverage was 3-to-2 negative over positive.[30] Trump’s first 100 days were 4-to-1 negative over positive.

Have the mainstream media covered Trump in a fair and balanced way? That question cannot be answered definitively in the absence of an agreed-upon version of “reality” against which to compare Trump’s coverage. Any such assessment would also have to weigh the news media’s preference for the negative, a tendency in place long before Trump became president. Given that tendency, the fact that Trump has received more negative coverage than his predecessor is hardly surprising. The early days of his presidency have been marked by far more missteps and miss-hits, often self-inflicted, than any presidency in memory, perhaps ever.

What’s truly atypical about Trump’s coverage is that it’s sharply negative despite the fact that he’s the source of nearly two-thirds of the sound bites surrounding his coverage. Typically, newsmakers and groups complain that their media narrative is negative because they’re not given a chance to speak for themselves. Over the past decade, U.S. coverage of Muslims has been more than 75 percent negative. And Muslims have had little chance to tell their side of the story. Muslims account for less than 5 percent of the voices heard in news reports about Islam.[31] So why is Trump’s coverage so negative even though he does most of the talking? The fact is, he’s been on the defensive during most of his 100 days in office, trying to put the best face possible on executive orders, legislative initiatives, appointments, and other undertakings that have gone bad. Even Fox has not been able to save him from what analyst David Gergen called the “’worst 100 days we’ve ever seen.”[32]

Nevertheless, the sheer level of negative coverage gives weight to Trump’s contention, one shared by his core constituency, that the media are hell bent on destroying his presidency. As he tweeted a month after taking office,  “The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!”

That tweet made headlines, as have many of Trump’s attacks on the press.[33] It’s understandable why journalists would report and respond to such attacks, but it could be counterproductive. A long-running battle in which Trump accuses the press of trafficking in fake news while journalists reply that their news is anything but fake would probably, fairly or not, weaken the public’s confidence in the press. Research has found that familiarity with a claim increases the likelihood people will believe it, whether it’s true or not. The more they hear of something, the more likely they are to believe it.[34]

If a mud fight with Trump will not serve the media’s interests, neither will a soft peddling of his coverage. Never in the nation’s history has the country had a president with so little fidelity to the facts, so little appreciation for the dignity of the presidential office, and so little understanding of the underpinnings of democracy. The media’s credibility today is at low ebb, but the Trump presidency is not the time for the press to pull back. The news media gave Trump a boost when he entered presidential politics. But a head-on collision at some point was inevitable. It’s happened, it isn’t pretty, and it isn’t over.

…except for his court-challenged immigration orders, the press paid only minimal attention to Trump’s executive orders…Collectively, these orders, immigration aside, accounted for less than 1 percent of Trump’s coverage, and rarely did a news report track an executive order into the agencies to see how it was being handled.

At the same time, the news media need to give Trump credit when his actions warrant it. The public’s low level of confidence in the press is the result of several factors, one of which is a belief that journalists are biased. That perception weakens the press’s watchdog role. One of the more remarkable features of news coverage of Trump’s first 100 days is that it has changed few minds about the president, for better or worse. The nation’s watchdog has lost much of its bite and won’t regain it until the public perceives it as an impartial broker, applying the same reporting standards to both parties. The news media’s exemplary coverage of Trump’s cruise missile strike on Syria illustrates the type of even-handedness that needs to be consistently and rigorously applied.

How might the press better navigate the days ahead? For starters, journalists need to keep their eye on the ball. We live in a fast-paced media era, as journalists rush to be at the crest of breaking news. Through his tweets and actions, Trump exploits this habit, enabling him to change the subject when it suits his needs. During the presidential campaign, that tactic enabled him to shed a number of damaging revelations before many voters had a chance to hear about them, much less think about them.

The press should also start doing what it hasn’t done well for a long time—focus on policy effects. Journalists’ focus on the Washington power game—who’s up and who’s down, who’s getting the better of whom—can be a fascinating story but at the end of the day, it’s food for political junkies. It’s remote enough from the lives of most Americans to convince them that the political system doesn’t speak for them, or to them.

A broadening of the scope of political coverage would require journalists to spend less time peering at the White House. Our analysis of news coverage of Trump’s first 100 days found that, except for his court-challenged immigration orders, the press paid only minimal attention to Trump’s executive orders. He issued a large number of them, covering everything from financial regulation to climate change. Collectively, these orders, immigration aside, accounted for less than 1 percent of Trump’s coverage, and rarely did a news report track an executive order into the agencies to see how it was being handled.

Since Trump’s inauguration, the press has been paying more attention to Main Street. But judging from the extent to which Trump’s voice has dominated coverage of his presidency, the balance is still off. More voices need to be aired.

Journalists would also do well to spend less time in Washington and more time in places where policy intersects with people’s lives. If they had done so during the presidential campaign, they would not have missed the story that keyed Trump’s victory—the fading of the American Dream for millions of ordinary people. Nor do all such narratives have to be a tale of woe. America at the moment is a divided society in some respects, but it’s not a broken society and the divisions in Washington are deeper than those beyond the Beltway.

The lesson of the 2016 election has been taken to heart by many journalists. Since Trump’s inauguration, the press has been paying more attention to Main Street. But judging from the extent to which Trump’s voice has dominated coverage of his presidency, the balance is still off. More voices need to be aired. Trump might be good for ratings but he’s not the only voice worth hearing. Never have journalists fixated on a single newsmaker for as long as they have on Trump. If he sees journalists as his main opponents, one reason is that between Trump and themselves there’s not much air time for everyone else. Journalists need to resist even the smallest temptation to see themselves as opponents of government. It’s the competition between the party in power and the opposing party, and not between government and the press, that’s at the core of the democratic process.[35] When spokespersons for the opposing party get a mere 6 percent of the airtime, something’s amiss.

Endnotes

[1] Nancy Benac, “Remember Nixon: There’s History Behind Trump’s Attacks on the Press,” Associated Press, February 17, 2017. The quote was originally reported by the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. https://apnews.com/8b29195631f44033ad94d8b2b74048c0/remember-nixon-theres-history-behind-trumps-press-attacks

[2] Quoted in Thomas E. Patterson, Out of Order (New York: Vintage, 1993), p. 245.

[3] Martha Joynt Kumar, “Obama Meets the Press — on His Terms,” Real Clear Politics, August 29, 2015. http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/08/29/obama_meets_the_press_–_on_his_terms_127907.html

[4] Thomas E. Patterson, “Pre-Primary News Coverage of the 2016 Presidential Race: Trump’s Rise, Sanders’ Emergence, Clinton’s Struggle,” Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, June 13, 2016. http://shorensteincenter.org/pre-primary-news-coverage-2016-trump-clinton-sanders/

[5] Thomas E. Patterson, “News Coverage of the 2016 Presidential Primaries: Horse Race Reporting Has Consequences,” Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, July 11, 2016. http://shorensteincenter.org/news-coverage-2016-presidential-primaries/

[6] Trump tweet, October 16, 2016.

[7] See Stephen J. Farnsworth, S. Robert Lichter, and Roland Schatz, The Global President: International Media and the US Government (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006).

[8] Allan Smith, “Schumer rips Trump after underwhelming jobs report: He’s ‘failed to deliver’ on his economic promises,” Business Insider, April 7, 2016. http://www.businessinsider.com/schumer-rips-trump-march-jobs-report-2017-4

[9] Jessica Estepa, “President Trump’s approval rating hits a new low,” USA Today, March 20, 2017. https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/onpolitics/2017/03/20/trump-approval-rating-low/99409570/

[10] Katie Leslie and Jamie Lovegrove, “GOP withdraws embattled health care bill, handing major setback to Trump, Ryan,” Dallas News, March 24, 2017. https://www.dallasnews.com/news/politics/2017/03/24/gop-health-care-bill-vote-peril-ryan-heads-white-house-debrief-trump

[11] Richard Davis, “News Coverage of National Political Institutions,” Ph.D. dissertation, Syracuse University, 1986, p. 58.

[12] See, for example, Stephen J. Farnsworth and Robert S. Lichter, The Mediated Presidency: Television News and Presidential Governance (Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), 29-58.

[13] Estimated from data in Jeffrey E. Cohen, The Presidency in the Era of 24-Hour News (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2008), 33.

[14] One indicator of Trump’s dominance is MediaQuant’s analysis. It records the number of times a newsmaker’s name is mentioned and then compares the relative amount of attention each of them receives. In January, 2017, Trump broke MediaQuant’s record for the most news attention afforded a newsmaker. Excluding outgoing President Barack Obama, Trump got more coverage than the next 1000 most heavily covered newsmakers combined.

[15] Media Tenor, January 20-April 29, 2017. Based on combined average for CBS, CNN, Fox, and NBC.

[16] Thomas E. Patterson, “News Coverage of the 2016 General Election: How the Press Failed the Voters,” Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, December 7, 2016. https://shorensteincenter.org/news-coverage-2016-general-election/

[17] See, for example, John Koblinian, “Trump’s First Days in White House Keep Cable News Ratings Strong,” The New York Times, January 31, 2017. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/31/business/media/trumps-first-days-in-white-house-keep-cable-news-ratings-strong.html?_r=0

[18] CBS CEO Les Moonves, February 29, 2016.

[19] Media Tenor has several hundred topic categories that are applied to news reports. The graphs and percentages reported in this paper are based on all categories that received more than 0.5 percent of the coverage.

[20] Adam Edelman, “Sen. Al Franken admits some Senate Republicans have concerns about President Trump’s mental health,” New York Daily News, April 12, 2017. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/sen-al-franken-admits-concerns-trump-mental-health-article-1.2970427

[21] Helen Boaden, draft paper, untitled, comparing U.S. and BBC journalism norms, Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, May 6, 2017. Expected publication date of summer, 2017.

[22] See, for example, Patricia Moy and Michael Pfau, With Malice Toward All? (Westport, CT: Praeger, 2000).

[23] Thomas E. Patterson, The Vanishing Voter (New York: Knopf, 2002), 70.

[24] Kathleen Hall Jamieson, Dirty Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), 215; Joe Klein, quoted in Peter Hamby, “Did Twitter Kill the Boys on the Bus?” Shorenstein Center on the Media, Politics and Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA., September 2013, p. 93. http://shorensteincenter.org/d80-hamby/

[25] Cohen, The Presidency in the Era of 24-Hour News, 35.

[26] Center for Media and Public Affairs, George Mason University, as reported in Nikki Schwab, “Media Coverage of Obama Grows More Negative,” US News, September 14, 2009. https://www.usnews.com/news/washington-whispers/articles/2009/09/14/media-coverage-of-obama-grows-more-negative

[27] There were a few marginal differences of note in the amount of attention Fox gave to various issues. Fox gave somewhat more news attention to health care and presidential appointments and somewhat less attention to immigration than did the other news outlets.

[28] See, for example, Feliz Solomon, “What to Know About the U.S. Missile Attack on Syria,” Time, April 7, 2017. http://time.com/4730231/us-missile-airstrike-attack-syria-donald-trump-bashar-assad/

[29] Center for Media and Public Affairs, Media Monitor, various dates.

[30] Farnsworth and Lichter, The Mediated Presidency, p. 37.

[31] The content and data for the Muslim example, as well as the suggestion to compare it to Trump, were provided to the author in an email on May 15, 2017 from Roland Schatz, CEO of Media Tenor. The data cited are those of Media Tenor.

[32] Gergen spoke those words on CNN, March 24, 2017.

[33] Examples: Michael M. Grynbaum, “Trump Calls the News Media the ‘Enemy of the American People,’” The New York Times, February 17, 2017; Jenna Johnson and Matea Gold, “Trump calls the news media ‘the enemy of the American People,’” Chicago Tribune, February 17, 2017.

[34] In forming their opinions, rather than through careful study, people typically rely on heuristics, as when they adopt an opinion because a trusted friend holds it. As it turns out, “familiarity” is a heuristic for many people, which is why a claim that is heard repeatedly is more likely to be believed than one that people find unfamiliar. The extent to which this is true was documented in research presented by Gordon Pennycook’s presentation at the Fake News Conference held at Harvard University on February 17, 2017. https://shorensteincenter.org/combating-fake-news-agenda-for-research/

[35] The classic analysis of the role of political parties in democratic government is E.E. Schattschneider, Party Government (New York: Rinehart, 1942), p. 1.

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