Axios released a study on Friday detailing that conservative media coverage of former Vice President Joe Biden has declined on social media, specifically on Facebook and Twitter, over the last several months.
NewsWhip, a website that tracks social media traffic, provided data exclusively to Axios which found that three large conservative media Biden narratives — Biden’s mental “sharpness;” issues surrounding Hunter Biden; and allegations of sexual assault by Tara Reade — have declined in social media traffic in recent months. The data found that these narratives have plummeted between January 2020 and August 2020.
Axios reporter Neal Rothschild wrote that this decline matters because these narratives “rendered a formidable media ecosystem less effective in boosting President Trump as we move into the heart of the 2020 campaign.”
The data shows that for articles published about Biden since last fall by Fox News, Breitbart, Daily Wire, Daily Caller and Western Journal, articles about Biden’s mental acuity, Hunter Biden and Burisma, and Tara Reade’s sexual assault accusations have generated the most interactions on social media (likes, comments, shares).
Axios wrote that issues surrounding Biden’s mental fitness peaked in March and then went even higher in June, bur has dropped off since then. Issues surrounding Hunter Biden serving on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma peaked last October and suddenly disappeared by March. The allegations surrounding Tara Reade hit a peak between April and May.
“Overall among these publishers, engagement on all stories about Biden peaked in April and May and has fallen 31% in June and July,” Rothschild added.
He also wrote:
Unlike other storylines that right-wing publishers have feasted on in the past — where new morsels of information reinvigorated news cycles — there have been no new revelations in the Burisma story, and Tara Reade stopped giving press interviews.
By inference, the drop in traffic to these stories could be explained by people losing interest in the stories themeselves and/or by a lack of new information and coverage about them.
However, Axios neglected to mention stories covering issues surrounding Biden’s mental acuity, which remains an ongoing narrative for many conservative media outlets, including Breitbart News.
For instance, Breitbart News wrote in June Joe Rogan Experience podcast host Joe Rogan said that left-wing media have “completely ignored” Biden’s verbal gaffes and noted that Biden is “clearly” in some form of “cognitive decline.”
Former White House Physician and congressional candidate Dr. Ronny Jackson told Breitbart News reporter Kyle Olson in July that Biden needs to take a cognitive test, but the Biden campaign will not let that happen.
Breitbart News also covered that Biden snapped at a reporter for asking the former Vice President whether he had taken a cognitive test, to which Biden he asked the reporter if he was a “junkie.”
Biden said, “No, I haven’t taken a test! Why the hell would I take a test? C’mon, man!”
He added, “That’s like saying you, before you got in this program if you take a test where you’re taking cocaine or not, what do you think? Huh? Are you a junkie?”
Axios noted that conservative media outlet’s coverage of these issues could spike again in traffic.
“Yes, but: That dynamic could change any day at the drop of a hat,” Rothschild wrote.