"Trump" Versus "President Trump": A Look Back At Television News Portrayals Of Bush, Obama and Trump

When the news media mention Donald Trump, do they refer to him as "President Trump", affording him the full honors of the office or do they simply mention "Trump"? How does this compare to their treatments of Presidents Obama and Bush?

The timeline below shows the percentage of all mentions of "Trump" that were "President Trump" and the same for "Obama" and "Bush" across CNN, MSNBC and Fox News using data from the Internet Archive's Television News Archive over the past decade. While some mentions may not relate to the presidents, on television news the majority of mentions are likely related to the three presidents.

Since the July 2009 of the data, around 50% of the mentions of Barack Obama referred to him as "President Obama" – a percent that started falling sharply in mid-2015 as Donald Trump entered the race. Similarly, mentions of Bush as "President Bush" fell sharply as mentions of him overall soared. Trump has held relatively stable at around a third of his mentions, far less than Obama.

While Bush was already out of office by the time the data begins, its clear that mentions of him soar from late 2014 through early 2016.

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Mentions of Obama come in three stages: first term, second term, post-term, showing that the media's interest in Obama faded during his second term.

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Trump's trajectory shows just how much of a dominant force he's been in the media since he first entered the race in Summer 2015.

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