“Fake news” and “failing nytimes” are the two phrases Donald Trump tweeted most in his first 100 days in office, showing just how much the president used Twitter to target the media at the start of his administration, according to Temple University researcher Bruce Hardy and his colleagues.
Hardy, fellow professor Heather LaMarre and doctoral student Connor Phillips studied every new tweet from the @realDonaldTrump account between Trump’s inauguration on Jan. 20 and his 100th day in office on April 29. Excluding retweets, Trump tweeted 491 times during this period.
While several stories quantifying the president’s Twitter use have already appeared, Hardy and his colleagues went further by using word association techniques, density charts and other tools.
According to their findings, Trump’s tweeting in his first 100 days “translates into a deliberate and targeted war on news.”
- Trump tweeted “fake news” 32 times in his first 100 days, topping his list of favorite phrases. “Failing nytimes” was second at 16 times. By comparison, Trump tweeted his campaign slogan “Make America Great Again” only 11 times.
- Attacks on the media dominated Trump’s Twitter account. While Trump tweeted regularly about job creation and border security, and increased his tweets on healthcare during a push to pass new legislation in March, criticism of the media was consistently the topic he tweeted about most.
- The correlation of words Trump used also shows how much he focused on the media. On a scale of 0 to 1, the words “failing” and “nytimes” were highly correlated at 0.87, while the words “fake” and “news” were correlated at 0.82 and “fake” and “CNN” were correlated at 0.47.
- Trump tweeted more positive words than negative ones, and the overall sentiment on his Twitter account was positive. The Temple researchers say this is largely because Trump tweeted the word “great” 86 times in his first 100 days. His next most frequently used positive word was “honor,” at 15 times.
Since the start of the 2016 presidential race, Hardy has appeared in various news outlets to talk about Trump’s rise.