Trump Versus Biden: Comparing Television News Mentions


A chart featured in the video above shows the total daily airtime (smoothed using a 7-day rolling average) across CNN, MSNBC and Fox News that mentioned Donald Trump since July 2009 using data from the Internet Archive's Television News Archive (click here for live chart). Trump's meteoric rise to media superstardom began in June 2015 and peaked with his November 2016 election, dropping over his first year to a around 10-15% of daily airtime from October 2017 through the pandemic. Since May of this year it has been surging back to pre-2020 levels, but has dropped sharply since the election.


Despite being Vice President for half of the past decade, Joe Biden was barely mentioned on television news until February 2019 and only really took off in July of this year. His mentions have also begun to fall sharply since the election (click here for live chart).


Over the past decade, Trump has been mentioned 1.2 million times on MSNBC, 1 million times on CNN and 926,000 times on Fox News. In contrast, Biden has been mentioned 187,000 times on Fox News, 166,000 times on MSNBC and 137,000 times on CNN.


In fact, since walking down the escalator in 2015, Trump has accounted for 13.8% of all airtime on MSNBC, 12.1% of all of CNN's airtime and 11% of Fox News' airtime.


A chart featured in the video above overlays Trump's and Biden's daily mentions showing how since mid-October the two have been nearly equal in television news mentions (click here for live chart).


Since the start of this year, Trump's name has appeared in the onscreen text of the three channels more than 4,600 hours, while Biden's name has appeared a little less than half as often at 2,060 hours

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