A Washington Post report reveals that the mainstream media largely ignored Hurricane Maria and its damage to Puerto Rico – until “President Donald Trump doesn’t care about Puerto Rico” became a story.
How did they measure media coverage?
The analysis piece headlined “The mainstream media didn’t care about Puerto Rico until it became a Trump story” used data from an MIT Media Lab project to crunch the numbers on how hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria were each covered.
What did they find?
During comparable time frames, U.S. media outlets featured 19,214 stories online about Harvey and 17,338 on Irma, while just 6,591 stories were published online about Maria. Newsrooms only started focusing on Maria when Trump slammed San Juan’s mayor on Twitter.
The MIT analysis also found that the language used to describe Maria was far less emotional compared with the way reporters wrote about Harvey and Irma. Maria was detailed in much more political language (“Congress,” “Republicans,” “debt”), while Harvey coverage talked about people with words like “family” and “victim.”
On today’s show, Glenn talked about the biased media coverage of Puerto Rico and praised the Post for its honest analysis of the problem.
“Hats off to the Washington Post,” Glenn said.