Thursday, April 03, 2014

Fox Kept Cutting Away From Democrats During Benghazi Hearing

 EMILY ARROWOOD/Media Matters For America

Fox News repeatedly cut away from live coverage of a House Benghazi hearing when Democrats held the floor. 
Former deputy CIA director Michael Morell testified on April 2 before the House Intelligence Committee about the 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya. Fox afforded extensive live coverage to the hearing, beginning with opening statements from Chairman Mike Rogers (R-MI), Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-CA), and Morell.
For nearly an hour, Fox stayed live on the hearings without interruption, airing over 20 minutes of questioning from the Republican chairman. But when Rogers yielded the floor to Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff (CA) to question Morell, Fox cut away to hear "analysis" from a network contributor, breaking live footage for the first time.
As the hearing went on, a pattern emerged -- out of the five Democrats who asked questions at the hearing, four saw Fox break live coverage less than a minute into their time, with the network choosing instead to air commentary or go to commercial break. Fox allowed the questioning of only one Democrat, Ruppersberger, to air for over 60 seconds. In contrast, the network aired a majority of Republican congressmen's questions, cutting away from only one Republican, Rep. Joe Heck (NV).
In all, Republicans were granted live coverage for an average of 5 minutes of questioning, while time given to Democrats averaged 3:16 minutes (an average heavily helped by coverage of Ruppersberger's questions). 
Fox has repeatedly campaigned for more Benghazi hearings, no matter their efficacy, and celebrated when their demands were answered. It only follows that the network would politicize its coverage of these repetitive hearings as well. 
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