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Donald Trump’s Indictment: A Comparative Media Analysis

June 14, 2023Simon Moss


The narrative surrounding the Donald Trump indictment is currently dominating the U.S. media landscape. With 524 sources and 4,799 narrative items, this topic has captured significant attention. The Hill stands out as the leading amplifier of this narrative. The focus revolves around the indictment of former President Donald Trump on 37 federal charges related to his alleged mishandling of classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago.

Rolling Updates

These Kudzu Narrative Intelligence briefs auto-update every few hours with fresh analysis:

Headline Issues

  1. Donald Trump Indictment: The former president is facing 37 federal charges in connection with his handling of classified documents.
  2. Classified Documents: The indictment specifically centers around allegations of mishandling classified documents seized from Mar-a-Lago.
  3. Federal Charges: Trump's indictment marks a historic moment as it represents the first time a former U.S. president has faced federal charges.
  4. Plea of Not Guilty: Despite the charges, Trump has plead not guilty and has vocally protested his innocence.
  5. 2024 Presidential Campaign: Surprisingly, Trump is planning to host a major fundraiser for his 2024 presidential campaign amidst the legal proceedings.

Insights on Top Surfaced Keywords

A comparative analysis from our Kudzu Narrative Intelligence Briefs of top surfaced keywords provides valuable insights into the Donald Trump indictment narrative. Here is an overview of the keyword frequencies across different categories:

Keywords Found Only in Left-Leaning Sources:

  1. Willful retention (178)
  2. National Archives (177)
  3. General Merrick (174)

Common Keywords across All Sources:

  1. Donald Trump (494)
  2. Classified documents (441)
  3. White House (405)
  4. Joe Biden (392)
  5. Special Counsel (386)
  6. Jack Smith (372)
  7. Justice Department (369)
  8. National security (351)
  9. Grand jury (349)
  10. Attorney General (345)

Keywords Found Only in Right-Leaning Sources:

  1. Presidential election (100)
  2. Hillary Clinton (97)
  3. Mike Pence (94)
  4. Ron DeSantis (92)

These keyword frequencies reflect the prominence of specific individuals and concepts in the narrative surrounding the Donald Trump indictment. Here are some observations:

  • The appearance of "Donald Trump" and "classified documents" as the most frequent keywords highlights the central focus of the narrative.
  • "Joe Biden" and "White House" suggest the political context and potential implications for the current administration.
  • "Special Counsel" and "Jack Smith" point to the investigative aspect of the indictment.
  • "Willful retention," "National Archives," and "General Merrick" demonstrate the emphasis on legal aspects and document handling in left-leaning sources.
  • Right-leaning sources emphasize keywords such as "Presidential election," "Hillary Clinton," "Mike Pence," and "Ron DeSantis," reflecting their focus on political dynamics and figures associated with the narrative.
Trump indictment amplification distribution by keyword dynamics

Insights for Bias in U.S. Media

A comparative analysis of the numerical differences in media coverage across political leanings reveals the following:

  • Left Bias: Left-leaning sources accounted for 1,148 narrative items, representing approximately 23.9% of the total coverage.
  • Least Bias: Narrative items classified as least biased amounted to 1,132, accounting for around 23.6% of the total coverage.
  • Left-Center Bias: Left-center sources contributed 1,056 narrative items, making up approximately 22% of the total coverage.
  • Right-Center Bias: Right-center sources accounted for 736 narrative items, comprising around 15.3% of the total coverage.
  • Right Bias: Right-leaning sources provided 682 narrative items, representing approximately 14.2% of the total coverage.

Comparing the different political leanings, we observe the following relationships:

  • Left-biased coverage is roughly double that of right-biased coverage.
  • Left-leaning and least biased coverage have similar percentages.
  • Left-center coverage is slightly lower than left-biased coverage.
  • Right-center coverage is significantly lower than both left-biased and left-center coverage.
  • Right-biased coverage is the lowest among all the political leanings.
Trump indictment amplification distribution by bias

Note: Kudzu Narrative Intelligence briefs update every few hours. Very likely, the Narrative Analysis data visualization depicted in the graphic above will have changed as well.

Image Credit: Article Header Image by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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