Joe Biden has a net positive approval rating with the American people, but negative stories outnumber the positive by a 9 point margin.
According to the FiveThirtyEight average of polls, President Biden has a net twelve-point positive approval rating in all polls. However, a new study by Pew Research found that negative stories outnumbered positive stories by a nine-point margin in the corporate media.
Within a news story, the statements from the sources cited as well as the reporter’s own language determine the overall assessment of the Biden administration. During these first 60 days, stories were slightly more likely to carry an overall negative assessment of the administration (32%) than a positive one (23%), though just under half were neither positive nor negative (45%).
Outlets with right-leaning audiences presented a primarily negative view of the new Biden administration. In all, about three-quarters (78%) of their stories offered a negative assessment of the administration and its actions, with only 4% offering a positive assessment. Among outlets with a left-leaning audience, the assessment was a little more positive than negative (29% of stories vs. 19%), while 52% of stories were neither positive nor negative.
The fact the media coverage tends to be tilted toward the negative makes it a natural fit for Republicans are also trying to sell a negative view of the Biden administration.
A large part of the problem is that the corporate media has learned that negativity sells. Cable news especially gets viewers to stay tuned in with a constant dose of negativity and crisis that they describe as breaking news.
The media should not cheerlead for anyone. Their stories should be neutral, and these numbers are likely impacted by the constant push of a negative view of the Biden administration by Fox News and other conservative outlets. The media also gave Trump negative coverage in his first 100 days, but that negativity at least lined up with Trump’s negative poll numbers.
There appears to be a disconnect in the country currently between how voters feel about the president and the way that the media is covering him.
News consumers are increasingly being turned off by the corporate media’s negative media bias, and that helps to explain why viewership and readership is in decline for the corporate press.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association