Ron Klain promotes op-ed claiming ‘sentiment analysis’ proves media treats Biden worse than Trump


White House chief of staff Ronald Klain confused readers Sunday as he promoted a Washington Post op-ed that argued President Biden gets worse media treatment than his predecessor, former President Trump, whose verbal duels with the press were weekly staples during his four-year residency at 1600 Penn.

“For your consideration,” Klain tweeted with a link to the op-ed from Dana Millbank, titled, “The media treats Biden as badly as – or worse than – Trump. Here’s proof.”

WHITE HOUSE’S RON KLAIN PANNED FOR RETWEETING POST ON ‘ULTIMATE WORK AROUND’ FOR FEDERAL VACCINE MANDATE

Millbank’s “proof” was research from Forge.ai, a data analytics unit of the information company FiscalNote. The study used algorithms focused on adjectives and their placement in articles – more than 200,000 of them – to rate the coverage Biden received in the first 11 months of 2021 and the coverage Trump got in the first 11 months of 2020. The process was referred to as “sentiment analysis.”

“My colleagues in the media are serving as accessories to the murder of democracy,” Millbank said.

“Too many journalists are caught in a mindless neutrality between democracy and its saboteurs, between fact and fiction. It’s time to take a stand,” he concluded.

President Biden speaks about the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the State Dinning Room of the White House, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Biden speaks about the bipartisan infrastructure bill in the State Dinning Room of the White House, Saturday, Nov. 6, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

But media analysts can recall that, without relying on algorithms, Trump’s relationship with the media was infamously combative. Magazines ran unflattering illustrations of the former president, while liberal networks like CNN ran editorialized chyrons such as, “Angry Trump Turns Briefing Into Propaganda Session” during an April 2020 coronavirus task force briefing. More notably, for years, liberal outlets ran with the narrative the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin to win the 2016 presidential election.

“Yep. The media is treating Biden worse than Trump, or so says the White House Chief of Staff in advocating one of the most laughable columns of the year,” Fox News contributor Joe Concha said.

“You have to be kidding me,” Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, tweeted.

TURLEY SAYS RON KLAIN’S RETWEET IS LEGAL ISSUE FOR BIDEN: ‘BREATHTAKINGLY DAFT’

Ron Klain, former White House Ebola response coordinator, speaks during a House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. President Donald Trump today spoke to the Republicans at their weekly conference lunch at the Capitol as his administration prepares a package of economic measures to combat the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Ron Klain, former White House Ebola response coordinator, speaks during a House Homeland Security Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, March 10, 2020. President Donald Trump today spoke to the Republicans at their weekly conference lunch at the Capitol as his administration prepares a package of economic measures to combat the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Others simply told Klain, “Considered and rejected.”

RealClearPolitics President Tom Bevan recalled how the media were apt to ask Biden about his favorite ice cream flavors in the infancy of his presidency. MSNBC even ran a 3-minute segment in May dedicated to Biden’s ice cream stops. 

Millbank referred to media’s treatment of Biden during this period of his presidency as “slightly positive coverage.”

The press did get a little less flattering following the administration’s botched withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. But at times during the current economic crises, liberal pundits have appeared to offer cover for Biden. 

The coronavirus coverage has also been a stark contrast from when Trump was in office; when the Republican enacted a travel ban on China and several other Asian countries at the outset of the pandemic, several pundits and outlets called it racist. But when Biden imposed a ban on travel from 8 African countries last Monday, the press was much more gracious.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 13:  Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain (L), joined by  U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden (R), speaks during a meeting regarding Ebola at the Eisenhower Executive office building November 13, 2014 in Washington,  D.C. Vice President Biden met with leaders of faith, humanitarian, and non-governmental organizations that are responding to the Ebola crisis in West Africa.   (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 13:  Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain (L), joined by  U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden (R), speaks during a meeting regarding Ebola at the Eisenhower Executive office building November 13, 2014 in Washington,  D.C. Vice President Biden met with leaders of faith, humanitarian, and non-governmental organizations that are responding to the Ebola crisis in West Africa.   (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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Klain has made headlines in the past for having an extremely active Twitter. Critics accused him of downplaying Americans’ economic hardships after he retweeted a post from a Harvard professor that summed up high inflation and the supply chain shortages as “high-class problems” in October.

He got in a bit of hot water with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals after retweeting the following message from MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle: “OSHA doing this vaxx mandate as an emergency workplace safety rule is an ultimate work-around for the Federal govt to require vaccinations.” 

The appeals court, while upholding a stay on Biden’s workplace vaccine mandate in November, concluded that Klain’s retweet was an endorsement.

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