NYT: Fox & Friends A "Megaphone" For GOP, "Powerful Platform" For Anti-Obama Attacks

Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

In a June 20 New York Times article, Jeremy W. Peters profiled Fox News morning program Fox & Friends and noted that the show "has become a powerful platform for some of the most strident attacks on President Obama" such as "[c]onspiracy theories about Mr. Obama's religion" and "a four-minute video that painted Mr. Obama as a failure."

The Republican-friendly show, writes the Times, has hosted Mitt Romney "as a guest 21 times in the last year. That's almost twice a month, vastly more than the four times each he has appeared on NBC's 'Today' and ABC's 'Good Morning America,' which draw five times the audience."

The article explained that Romney is hardly unique in this respect, with a wide array of Republicans taking advantage of the program as "high-decibel megaphone pointing directly at the Republican base." Those Republicans don't come to the show expecting tough questions; Media Matters has documented Fox & Friends' softball interviews with Republicans throughout the years (for example: Mitt Romney; Sharron Angle; Rick Scott; Scott Walker; Reince Priebus; Linda McMahon; Carly Fiorina; Scott Brown; Allen West; Sean Bielat; Paul Ryan; Mitch Daniels; Jan Brewer; and Michele Bachmann).

The Times went on to report that "[c]ritics of the show include not just Democrats and comedy outlets like 'Saturday Night Live,' but reporters, producers and executives at Fox. Ask them what they think privately, and they will often roll their eyes and mention some embarrassing mishap, like the time Steve Doocy, one of three hosts, insisted in 2007 that the president was raised Muslim." In one notable on-air example during the 2008 election, Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace appeared on the program and criticized the hosts for engaging in "two hours of Obama bashing" and for "distorting" comments Obama made about his grandmother.

The Times added that the "news division at Fox has long tried to avoid having its reporters appear on the show whenever possible."

From the Times' article:

"Fox & Friends" has had Mr. Romney as a guest 21 times in the last year. That's almost twice a month, vastly more than the four times each he has appeared on NBC's "Today" and ABC's "Good Morning America," which draw five times the audience.

Mr. Romney is hardly alone in recognizing the power of "Fox & Friends" as a high-decibel megaphone pointing directly at the Republican base. At the height of the primaries not a week went by without an appearance by one of the candidates. And when leading Republicans like Gov. Rick Scott of Florida or Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin have something to say, they do it on "Fox & Friends."

It is easy to see why. Perhaps more than any other show on the Fox News Channel, "Fox & Friends" has become a powerful platform for some of the most strident attacks on President Obama.Conspiracy theories about Mr. Obama's religion once found an uncritical ear on the show's set. Assertions that Mr. Obama leaked national security secrets for political gain are accepted as fact. And its hosts recently took time on the air to congratulate one of their producers for making a four-minute video that painted Mr. Obama as a failure.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
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FOX & Friends
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