A major study released Thursday by the Harvard Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy found that the coverage of Mr. Trump during his first 100 days was "unsparing", with negative reports outnumbering positive ones by 80 to 20 percent.
Harvard scholars say their study analyzed "news reports in the print editions of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post, the main newscasts of CBS, CNN, Fox News, and NBC, and three European news outlets (The UK's Financial Times and BBC, and Germany's ARD)".
On the broadcast side of the media spectrum, Fox News provided the most even-handed coverage, with 52 percent anti-Trump coverage.
Patterson concluded that there's little doubt as to the motivation behind all the bad press.
But following his nomination, and as his chances improved that he might actually win the presidency over the media's favored candidate, the media chaned its tone dramatically: "Only after he had secured the Republican nomination did the press sharpen its scrutiny and, as his news coverage turned negative, Trump turned on the press".
". the fact that Trump has received more negative coverage than his predecessor is hardly surprising", Patterson said. They're in a feeding frenzy. The public's low level of confidence in the press is the result of several factors, one of which is a belief that journalists are biased.
Foreign policy and immigration tied for the most discussed topics during US media stories about the president, with health care arriving in third place. On a week-by-week basis, negative news coverage did not drop below 70%.
That's right. The mainstream media was literally twice as kind to former USA president Barack Obama during his first 100 days in office as it was to Trump.
The period when Trump received his most positive coverage was week 12 of his presidency, when he ordered a missile strike on a Syrian airbase in response to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons on civilians.
At the same time, Mr. Trump has received more press coverage in general than previous presidents.
Patterson, however, is not keen on connecting any of the data to the media's perceived liberal bias.
Trump's coverage during his first 100 days was negative even by the standards of today's hyper-critical press. The Harvard study proves it.
"The media needs different narrative frames - not just an antagonistic one", said Nicco Mele, director of Harvard's Shorenstein Center, to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
"Look at the way I've been treated lately, especially by the media", Trump said, according to CNBC news. But a head-on collision at some point was inevitable.