President Joe Biden's press coverage has been as negative as — and sometimes more negative than — former president Donald Trump's, according to a new data-based analysis.
Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank reports that the analysis, covering more than 200,000 articles from 65 news websites, rated the coverage Biden received in the first 11 months of 2021 versus the coverage President Donald Trump got in the first 11 months of 2020.
"The findings ... confirmed my fear: My colleagues in the media are serving as accessories to the murder of democracy," Milbank writes. "After a honeymoon of slightly positive coverage in the first three months of the year, Biden’s press for the past four months has been as bad as — and for a time worse than — the coverage Trump received for the same four months of 2020."
Milbank suggests the results are alarming given that among other things, Trump presided over the world's worst response to COVID-19, embraced violent white supremacists, and refused to accept the results of a free and fair election, sparking the Capitol insurrection.
"We need a skeptical, independent press. But how about being partisans for democracy?" Milbank writes. "The country is in an existential struggle between self-governance and an authoritarian alternative. And we in the news media, collectively, have given equal, if not slightly more favorable, treatment to the authoritarians. ... Too many journalists are caught in a mindless neutrality between democracy and its saboteurs, between fact and fiction. It’s time to take a stand."