During his commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy on Wednesday, President Trump advised the graduating cadets that life is not fair and that "you have to put your head down and fight, fight, fight." In the midst of controversy over his dismissal of former FBI Director James Comey and the resulting media frenzy, referred to the coverage he has received from the media. "Look at the way I have been treated lately, especially by the media," he said. "No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly. You can't let them get you down, you can't let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams."
An independent study showed that Trump’s assessment may be correct. According to a study conducted by Harvard University, Trump earned three times the media coverage in his first hundred days than the three previous presidents. Released on Thursday, the study showed that Trump was the topic of 41 percent of all news stories during the first 100 days of his administration. In the case of the previous three occupants of the White House, they dominated less than 14 percent of all news stories during the first 100 days of their administration.
The Harvard study analyzed news reports in the print editions of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. In addition, the main newscasts of CBS, CNN, Fox News, NBC, and three major European news outlets were analyzed. It determined that there was "not a single major topic where Trump’s coverage was more positive than negative."
According to the study, ninety-six percent of all immigration coverage was negative, the highest for any topic. Health care and Russia and the 2016 election tied for second place, with an 87/13 negative/positive split. However, Trump does pretty well when news media focus on the economy. In that case, 54 percent of the coverage counted as negative while 46 percent was positive.
Unsurprisingly, the Harvard study found that former Barack Obama was the only president of the past four administrations to receive positive media coverage. Trump has received, by far, the worst coverage. "Of the past four presidents, only Barack Obama received favorable coverage during his first 100 days," according to the study. Coverage for Obama for his 100 days in 2009 was 59 percent positive. For Trump, his positive numbers came in at just 20 percent. George W. Bush received 43 percent of positive coverage in his first 100 days in 2001, while Bill Clinton's positive number was 40 percent in 1993.