I want to thank George Mathews for his letter, “Media bias confirmed by study” (June 1), calling attention to a recent Harvard study that he felt provided “documented proof of the liberal media bias.” Intrigued, I located the study at shorensteincenter.org and read it with interest, though I came away with a somewhat different impression — the report states that “Although journalists are accused of having a liberal bias, their real bias is a preference for the negative.”

The study shows that the coverage of President Trump’s first 100 days in office has, indeed, been extremely negative, but the authors point out that any attempt to assess whether the mainstream media covered Trump in a fair and balanced way would “have to weigh the news media’s preference for the negative, a tendency in place long before Trump became president. Given that tendency, the fact that Trump has received more negative coverage than his predecessor is hardly surprising. The early days of his presidency have been marked by far more missteps and miss-hits, often self-inflicted, than any presidency in memory, perhaps ever.”

Since Mathews cited that study to prove his point, I assume he feels it is objective and reliable, though I doubt he would agree with the study’s assessment that “Never in the nation’s history has the country had a president with so little fidelity to the facts, so little appreciation for the dignity of the presidential office, and so little understanding of the underpinnings of democracy.”

Don McCarthy, Auburn

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