Home – Trump and the Muslim Ban: What Media Analysis Shows

Trump and the Muslim Ban: What Media Analysis Shows

Posted on 12-11-2015 by Megan Burnside

Donald Trump is not known for mincing words. In the wake of the San Bernardino shooting, Trump suggested the U.S. enact a travel ban for all Muslims, and media coverage exploded. Naturally, we decided to monitor the media to see what we could learn. Here are some findings from our media analysis.

Opening the Door for Trump’s Business Competitors

While presidential candidate Donald Trump seems to thrive on making such controversial pronouncements, business mogul Donald Trump may well end up regretting it. As you can see from the article sentiment chart below, Trump’s comments elicited plenty of negative feelings. 

Clicking on the negative segment in the chart allowed us to quickly explore sentiment further by checking out the actual articles. 

  • The International Business Times reports that Lifestyle, a Dubai-based home décor retailer, announced all Trump-branded products would be removed from 195 stores across the Middle East, North Africa, Pakistan and Tanzania.
  • The Washington Examiner notes that Trump’s name was whitewashed from billboards promoting the mogul’s luxury real-estate development in Dubai.
  • Hacktivist group Anonymous, which notably condemned recent terrorist attacks and targeted ISIS in response, warned Donald Trump that such a policy plays into the hands of ISIS and its supporters, saying, “The more the United States appears to be targeting Muslims, not just radical Muslims, you can be sure ISIS will be putting that on their social media campaign.” The hackers then targeted and crashed Trump’s business website—www.trumptowerny.com—with a distributed-denial-of-service attack.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that Trump’s statements as a candidate have wreaked havoc on his business interests; after similarly incendiary comments about illegal Mexican immigrants, NBC and its subsidiary Univision declined to air the Miss USA pageant, which Trump owns the rights to.

Capturing a PR Nightmare Over Time

Another chart showing entity sentiment by location shows that Trump’s statement didn’t win him many fans across the pond. Most notably, despite having recently been the site of a deadly ISIS terrorist attack, media coverage in Paris is significantly more negative than in other areas. 

That’s not to say that Trump’s proposed travel ban is winning a lot of support elsewhere. Clicking on the negative bars shows numerous articles about how people around the world are responding to Trump’s remarks.  According to Reuters news service, Israel’s Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said, “I recommend fighting terrorist and extremist Islam, but I would not declare a boycott of, ostracism against or war on Muslims in general.” Many in Israel are instead urging a travel ban on Donald Trump, who has been planning to visit Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on December 28. Meanwhile, a petition is circulating in the UK to ban Trump from future visits, and Robert Gordon University in Scotland revoked an honorary degree it conferred on Trump five years ago. While the controversy stirred up by Trump’s latest statement may not last and may end up helping his political campaign, our media analysis shows one thing for certain: Trump’s public relations professionals certainly have their work cut out for them.

Ways to Apply This Information Now

  1. Visit our microsite featuring near real-time analysis of the media coverage for U.S. presidential candidates.
  2. Sign up for a free trial of LexisNexis® Newsdesk to see how media monitoring and analysis offers important PR insights.
  3. Share this blog on LinkedIn to keep the dialogue going with your colleagues and contacts. 

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