Advertisement

GOP slams media for failing to cover the positive aspects of Trump’s child detention policy

The administration has separated immigrant children from parents, banned Muslims from coming to the U.S., and barred victims of domestic violence from seeking asylum. Why can't the media spin it better?

U.S. President Donald Trump (L) gives remarks on the economy as Vice President Mike Pence (R) looks on July 27, 2018 at the South Lawn of the White House. CREDIT: Alex Wong/Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump (L) gives remarks on the economy as Vice President Mike Pence (R) looks on July 27, 2018 at the South Lawn of the White House. CREDIT: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Republican National Committee railed against the “mainstream media” on Twitter Saturday afternoon, hitting the media for its “negative” coverage of President Trump’s immigration policies.

“New study from the Media Research Center finds that 92% of news coverage related to @realDonaldTrump’s immigration policy is negative,” the GOP tweeted. “Help us hold the mainstream media accountable.”

The tweet included two links, one to a Washington Examiner story from last week about the study and another to a “Mainstream Media Accountability Survey” on the Trump campaign website.

Advertisement

The study in question hardly holds up to scientific standards. It was done by the conservative Media Research Group (MRC), who, according to the Examiner, “judged whether stories were anti-Trump by examining statements on every topic from the travel ban, proposed border wall and increased deportation.”

The group looked at comments that “could be viewed as positive or negative, from reporters, anchors, and non-partisan sources like experts or citizens.” MRC told the Examiner that they also looked at how often the media reported on how Trump’s policies affected immigrants, instead of on “Americans harmed by illegal immigrants.”

“We tallied each individual soundbite in these immigration stories, and found a heavy preference for the personal anecdotes of those seen as victims of the Trump policies: illegal immigrants and their families, or banned travelers and their families,” MRC said.

Notably, in his time in the Oval Office, Trump has instituted his promised Muslim ban, continually harped about his beloved border wall, and put in place a policy of separating migrant families at the border, a policy he later ended in favor of indefinite family detention. Many families previously separated have not yet been reunited.

Recently, the administration also recently moved to reject victims of domestic violence seeking asylum.

But the problem, according to the GOP, is actually the mainstream media. The survey they linked to Saturday contains 27 questions, including how respondents feel about different news outlets and their ability to “fairly report on our presidency” as well as whether respondents believe the media “disdains conservatives” and “dislikes Americans of faith.”

Advertisement

Question 13 asks, “Do you believe the media fails to report on Democrats’ scandals?” The next question asks, “Do you think the media has failed to report accurately on the extreme rhetoric of Democrat leaders over the past month?”

What the study and the survey fail to take into account that the coverage might be negative because the policies themselves are negative. It’s hard to put a positive spin on stories about children telling their loved ones they’re being abused by government officials in jail-like conditions.