The Fox Primary By the Numbers, December 12 - 18

Blog ››› ››› ROB SAVILLO

After the Republican debate last Thursday, Fox host Sean Hannity broadcast a live, post-debate special featuring several of the candidates. During his interview with frontrunner Mitt Romney, Hannity revealed that he wasn't going to challenge the candidates with any uncomfortable questions. As he meanderingly told Romney some things that he didn't know about the former Massachusetts governor before the debate, he let this slip: "I will not ask you about Romney care."

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 56 minutes; Total appearances: 20

Most Total Airtime on Fox: Mitt Romney (1 hour and 23 minutes)

Most Total Appearances: Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney (5 appearances)

Fox Show with the Most Total Candidate Airtime: Fox News Sunday (31 minutes)

Fox Show with the Most Candidate Appearances: Hannity (5 appearances)

Longest Candidate Interview: Fox News Sunday (31 minutes with Mitt Romney)

Softball Question(s) of the Week: During the December 17 edition of Huckabee, host Mike Huckabee asked candidate Michele Bachmann this:

HUCKABEE: On the Tonight Show, when Ron Paul was on this week, he made this comment. I'd like to get your reaction after we listen to it.


JAY LENO: Michele Bachmann?

RON PAUL: She doesn't like Muslims. She hates Muslims. She wants to go get 'em.

LENO: Wow. OK. That's not good.


HUCKABEE: You know, Congresswoman, you said it was not personal -- you to him -- but it sounded a little personal from him to you. And he made a pretty bold -- I would go so far as to say an outrageous -- allegation that you hate Muslims. I've never seen that in you. Respond.

BACHMANN: No, no. You're exactly right. You never have because I never have said anything that foolish. What I believe is that I love the American people. And I love this country. And I want this country to be safe, sovereign, and free. The real hate that you hear is coming from the president of Iran. He hates Jews. He hates Jews in Israel, and he hates the American people. And so do the mullahs in Iran, who've expressly stated that it is their goal to kill Jews in Israel and also to kill Americans. That's a real threat, and that's why as commander-in-chief of this nation, I will stand up and make sure that Iran never obtains a nuclear weapon. And I will stand with our ally Israel.

HUCKABEE: Let's address that specific allegation that you hate Muslims and that you want to go get them. Do you hate Muslims?

BACHMANN: Of course not. I don't hate Muslims -- that's outrageous to say that. But I do recognize that we have a very real threat -- just like when Hitler was building up the threat prior to World War 2. All of the signs were there -- they were evident. And there were people who wanted to bury their head in the sands. We're living in a time today when there's another madman, and if there's anything, Mike, that the last one hundred years has taught us, it is that when a madman speaks, we need to listen and take that threat seriously. And I do. I will stand with the American people and this country that I love.

(A table of the December 12 - 18 data is available here.)

The Numbers Since June 1

Total time: 73 hours and 55 minutes; Total appearances: 588

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 (12 hours and 10 minutes)

Fox Show with the Most Candidate Appearances since June 1: On the Record with Greta Van Susteren (87 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
December 5 - 11


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.

Posted In
Fox News Channel, Fox Business
FOX News Sunday
2012 Elections
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