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Monday, March 14, 2011

REPORT: Fox Gave Far More Airtime To Supporters Of King's Anti-Muslim Hearings Than To Opponents

From media matters

According to a Media Matters analysis, in the days leading up to Rep. Peter King's (R-NY) controversial hearings on Muslim radicalization, Fox News gave far more airtime to supporters of the hearings than to opponents. Fox gave more than 1 hour and 35 minutes worth of airtime to supporters, while giving roughly 30 minutes to opponents and hosted at least 28 guests who supported the hearings versus just eight who opposed them.

During Week Of King's Hearings, Fox Gave Far More Airtime To Supporters Than Opponents

From March 7-10, Fox Gave Hearing Supporters About 1 Hour And 35 Minutes Of Airtime Versus About 30 Minutes For Opponents. Media Matters examined Fox News' coverage of King's hearings during all programming from March 7 through March 10. During that period, Fox gave supporters of King's hearings at least 1 hour and 35 minutes of airtime while giving opponents of the hearings at least 29 minutes and 44 seconds of airtime. Guests expressing no clear position during discussions of the hearings were labeled as "neutral."

Guests expressing support for King's hearings outnumbered those opposing the hearings 28 to eight. Three guests expressed no clear opinion during discussion of the hearings.

guests time

guest number

METHODOLOGY:

Guests during Fox News programming from March 7-10 who expressed support for King or King's hearings were labeled as supporting the hearings while those expressing opposition to King or King's hearings were labeled as opposing the hearings. Guests who did not clearly express a position for or against were labeled as neutral.

The original data can be viewed here. Media Matters calculated the amount of time for each segment using the following criteria:

  • Segments featuring a simple interview between a single guest and a single host in which King's hearings were the only topic of conversation were timed from the beginning to the end of the segment, which included relevant questions or comments directed at the guest by the host.
  • Segments featuring a simple interview between a single guest and a single host in which King's hearings were one of multiple topics of conversation were timed from the beginning of the first sentence mentioning or referencing the hearings to the end of the last sentence referencing or mentioning the hearings, which included relevant questions or comments directed at the guest by the host.
  • Debates between two opposing viewpoints on the hearings were timed from the beginning to the end of the segment. The time was split evenly between the two viewpoints, which included relevant questions or comments by the host.
  • Panels featuring multiple guests who spoke consecutively on the hearings were timed according to the amount of time each guest spoke, which included questions or comments directed at each guest by the host.
  • Panels featuring multiple guests who spoke on multiple topics including the hearings were timed from the beginning of the first sentence mentioning or referencing the hearings to the end of the last sentence referencing or mentioning the hearings, which included relevant questions or comments directed at them by the host.
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