Last Thursday, Fox News again demonstrated its kid-glove approach to the Republican primary. Following an interview with candidate Michele Bachmann on Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade said later that day on his Fox News Radio show that "Michele Bachmann says she's got momentum" but that "I didn't want to say anything this morning because I didn't want to hurt her feelings, but I can't see any momentum."
Co-host Gretchen Carlson wasn't a shining example of good journalism, either. When Bachmann replied to a question about whether she would attend Donald Trump's debate -- where she explained that Trump's teasing that he may still run as an independent for president and his statements that he is "leaning toward one candidate" each "suggests the idea of bias" -- Carlson responded, "That's interesting because I had not thought of the latter part of what you just said as being possibly a conflict of interest."
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: 1 hour and 54 minutes; Total appearances: 15
Most Total Airtime on Fox: Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney (19 minutes each)
Most Total Appearances: Michele Bachmann (3 appearances)
Fox Show with the Most Total Candidate Airtime: On the Record with Greta Van Susteren (16 minutes)
Fox Show with the Most Candidate Appearances: America Live, America's Newsroom, Freedom Watch with Judge Napolitano, and Hannity (2 appearances each)
Longest Candidate Interview: On the Record with Greta Van Susteren (16 minutes with Newt Gingrich)
Softball Question(s) of the Week: From the December 8 Fox & Friends interview, Kilmeade asked just this one question to Bachmann:
Did you see the similarities between what the Occupy Wall Street movement has been chanting and what the president included in his speech in Kansas?
(A table of the December 5 - 11 data is available here.)
The Numbers Since June 1
Total time: 70 hours and 59 minutes; Total appearances: 568
Most Total Airtime on Fox since June 1: Herman Cain (11 hours and 6 minutes)
Most Total Appearances since June 1: Herman Cain (73 appearances)
Fox Show with the Most Total Candidate Airtime Since June 1: On the Record with Greta Van Susteren (11 hours and 42 minutes)
Fox Show with the Most Candidate Appearances since June 1: On the Record with Greta Van Susteren (85 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
June 1 - 5
June 6 - 12
June 13 - 19
June 20 - 26
June 27 - July 4
July 5 - 10
July 11 - 17
July 18 - 24
July 25 - 31
August 1 - 7
August 8 - 14
August 15 - 21
August 22 - 28
August 29 - September 4
September 5 - 11
September 12 - 18
September 19 - 25
September 26 - October 2
October 3 - 9
October 10 - 16
October 17 - 23
October 24 - 30
October 31 - November 6
November 7 - 13
November 14 - 20
November 21 - 27
November 28 - December 4
Media Matters searched the Nexis database for all guest appearances on Fox News Channel, Fox Business Network, and Fox News Sunday for the 10 declared and potential presidential candidates in question: Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Buddy Roemer, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum.
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 and Roemer beginning on July 21. We stopped including McCotter on September 22; he dropped out of the race that day.
We stopped including Pawlenty and Trump in the data beginning on August 14; Pawlenty dropped out of the race on that date. And while Trump stated that he would no longer seek the Republican nomination but may instead run as an independent (on June 1, the beginning of this report), we decided to drop him from the data on this date.
We stopped including Bolton in the data beginning on September 6; Bolton decided not to run on this date.
We stopped including Palin in the data after her decision not to run was made on October 5.
We stopped including Giuliani in the data after he announced on October 11 that he would not run.
We stopped including Cain in the data when he suspended his campaign on December 3.