ME­DIA MIS­SION: PRO­TECT OBA­MACARE, BASH TRUMP­CARE

The Washington Times Daily - - POLITICS - BY JEN­NIFER HARPER

It’s not a bad idea to parse out strate­gic lan­guage de­ployed by news or­ga­ni­za­tions in­tent on un­der­min­ing Pres­i­dent Trump. It is a help­ful skill. Cov­er­age these days is clever — skew­ing con­tent in subtle ways, nudg­ing along a neg­a­tive nar­ra­tive about the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion which sounds vi­able to much of the public. Here’s a ster­ling ex­am­ple.

“Com­mit­ted Obama PR flacks at the broad­cast news net­works are ex­perts at us­ing bi­ased ter­mi­nol­ogy. When Pres­i­dent Obama and the Democrats changed the health care sys­tem it was con­sis­tently pre­sented as ‘re­form,’ but re­porters rarely use the word when Pres­i­dent Trump and the Repub­li­cans try to pass health care leg­is­la­tion,” says Mike Cian­della, a Me­dia Re­search Cen­ter an­a­lyst who found that in the last three months, evening news broad­casts on ABC, CBS and NBC only re­ferred to the GOP health care plan as a pos­i­tive “re­form” 30 times.

“In a con­trast that is noth­ing short of ridicu­lous, in the same time frame in 2009, these same net­works re­ferred to Oba­macare as ‘re­form’ 344 times — more than 11 times as much,” Mr. Cian­della says, adding that the net­works were me­thod­i­cally craft­ing pos­i­tive, op­ti­mistic cov­er­age.

“In con­trast, net­work jour­nal­ists never missed an op­por­tu­nity to slam the GOP health care bill in 2017,” Mr. Cian­della con­tin­ues.

“When Oba­maCare passed the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives in 2009, the net­works lauded it as ‘his­toric’ and a ‘mile­stone.’ But when the GOP bill passed the House in early May of 2017, it was a ‘big risk” and ‘ex­treme.’ This fits with the net­work trend of sys­tem­at­i­cally ig­nor­ing Oba­macare’s fail­ures.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

An­a­lyst Mike Cian­della noted this week that Oba­macare was pre­sented as ‘re­form’ by the me­dia, but Trump’s health care bill wasn’t.

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