Fox Business host John Stossel continues to make a mockery of political discourse: During the July 14 edition of Stossel, he held a "debate" between presidential candidate Herman Cain and a Barack Obama impersonator. This was the third time Stossel held such an event -- his program previously pitted the same impersonator against Gary Johnson and Ron Paul in phony debates.
The mock debate gave Cain ample opportunity to make unsubstantiated claims that went unchallenged, such as: "In the United States no one does go broke because they get sick"; "climate change does not stand up to the scrutiny of legitimate science"; and "I happen to believe that college is affordable for every young person in America."
So who's winning the Fox Primary? Each week at Media Matters, we watch the interviews, crunch the numbers, and tell you what Fox is up to in the presidential campaign.
Last Week's Results
Total time: 2 hours and 33 minutes; Total appearances: 20
Most Total Airtime on Fox: Herman Cain (52 minutes)
Most Total Appearances: Ron Paul (4 appearances)
Fox Show with the Most Total Candidate Airtime: Stossel (35 minutes)
Fox Show with the Most Candidate Appearances: Fox and Friends and On the Record with Greta Van Susteren (3 appearances each)
Longest Candidate Interview: Stossel (35 minutes with Herman Cain)
Softball Question(s) of the Week: During the July 12 interview with Ron Paul, Cavuto guest host Charles Payne doesn't hold back with this compliments for the representative:
PAYNE: Ron isn't going to run. Republican Ron Paul saying that he is not running for Congress again, but he is ramping up his presidential campaign. And he's raking in big bucks in campaign cash. Look at that 4.5 million. In his first interview since the big announcement, Ron Paul joins us exclusively.
Representative Paul, congratulations, first of all. Are you sensing that this opportunity -- and forgetting about age and everything else -- but this opportunity with the Republicans right now, that -- everyone is saying there is no fire. No one is really enthusiastic about the candidates.
Yet we know that your core followers are among the most ardent out there. Are you really sensing that this is your moment to really go for it?
REP. RON PAUL (R), TEXAS: I don't think of that in that much of a personal terms as much as this is the moment for this country to do something different. And I offer something different, obviously, because I see the other candidates as all representing the status quo and not wanting any significant changes in our foreign policy or changes in our monetary policy and addressing the Federal Reserve or even addressing the entitlement system.
I'm also very keen on defending personal liberties and attacking the TSA and some of these other things. So the moment is here for that. The American people are sick and tired of it all. They got sick and tired last year and were complaining about the spending and the deficit.
But I've also been saying, if the American people are complacent enough and they can accept what is happening out in the open at the airports, with federal agents poking and prodding and X-raying us and think nothing of it, then we're in big trouble. We're in serious financial trouble, but we're in serious trouble otherwise if we're that complacent.
PAYNE: Right. Representative Paul, so essentially, what you probably consider yourself doing then is leading something akin to a second revolution because we're talking about personal liberties. Everyone is talking about the Constitution now; although, I think you were the first to talk about it. Everyone is talking about reeling in the Federal Reserve; although, you were the first to talk about it.
A lot of things that everyone is talking about now, you were a pioneer of. And maybe you're own the only one who can take these issues and really, really put them through.
PAUL: I think everybody is convinced that I believe in it because for many, many years, I voted that way. And sometimes it was by myself. So I'm delighted to have the support, and I'm delighted that the other candidates now are starting to talk this way, because they know the electorate is waking up. They're waking up to the fact that they do want some of these changes as well.
So, yes, I think it is a tremendous opportunity. And I can compare what we're doing now to four years ago. There is a significant difference. Fund-raising is easier. The volunteers are easier. And we always had loyal support, but the one thing the polls are showing -- that if we get a commitment, we have a commitment. Where others who say, "Yeah, I sort of like that candidate," but it might last a week or two, and then somebody else comes on the scene, "I sort of like that candidate."
But we know that our support is very, very solid. And they will work and donate. And our numbers are growing. So I consider that to be an optimistic sign.
(A table of the July 11 - 17 data is available here.)
The Numbers Since June 1
Total time: 19 hours and 35 minutes*; Total appearances: 149*
Most Total Airtime on Fox since June 1: Herman Cain (2 hours and 56 minutes)
Most Total Appearances since June 1: John Bolton (25 appearances)
Fox Show with the Most Total Candidate Airtime Since June 1: Hannity (3 hours and 21 minutes)*
Fox Show with the Most Candidate Appearances since June 1: Fox and Friends (23 appearances)
Longest Candidate Interview since June 1: Stossel (40 minutes with Gary Johnson)
(A table of all the data since June 1 is available here.)
Previous Fox Primary Reports
Media Matters searched the Nexis database for appearances on Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, and Fox News Sunday for the 15 declared and potential presidential candidates in question: Michele Bachmann, John Bolton, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Rudy Giuliani, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Thad McCotter, Sarah Palin, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Donald Trump.
For programs where a transcript was unavailable, Media Matters reviewed the raw video.
Changes to the reports
Media Matters added McCotter to the data beginning on June 20.
*Correction: We have dropped all DeMint data from the report. During Laura Ingraham's June 14 show, DeMint told the conservative talk radio host that he is "not considering" a run for president in 2012. Media Matters regrets the error.