MSNBC, Fox News devoted far more time to Edwards' haircuts than to Domenici announcement

››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER & JEREMY HOLDEN

On July 5, MSNBC and Fox News devoted significantly more time during their late-afternoon political and prime-time news programs to covering a July 5 Washington Post report on Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards' haircuts than they did to covering Sen. Pete Domenici's (R-NM) July 5 press conference on the Iraq war, at which he called for "a new strategy that will move our troops out of combat operations." As The Washington Post reported, "[t]he six-term lawmaker, party loyalist and former staunch war supporter represents one of the most significant GOP losses" to efforts by President Bush to "keep congressional Republicans united over the Iraq war." CNN was the only cable news network to spend more time covering Domenici's announcement than Edwards' haircuts.

Between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET on July 5, MSNBC devoted approximately 15 minutes, 28 seconds to the Edwards story and only 1 minute, 20 seconds to Domenici. Further, Fox News devoted approximately 16 minutes, 25 seconds to the Edwards story during that same time period, and only 1 minute, 40 seconds to Domenici. CNN, meanwhile, devoted approximately 12 minutes to covering Domenici and approximately 45 seconds to Edwards.

Media Matters for America reviewed each hour between between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. ET on July 5 on MSNBC, Fox News, and CNN, documenting the coverage devoted to Edwards' haircuts and Domenici's announcement. On MSNBC, Tucker, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and MSNBC Live with Dan Abrams were reviewed; Tucker was replayed at 6 p.m. ET following its original 4 p.m. ET broadcast, and Hardball was replayed at 7 p.m. ET following its original 5 p.m. ET broadcast. On Fox News, Your World with Neil Cavuto, The Big Story with John Gibson, Special Report with Brit Hume, The Fox Report, and Hannity & Colmes were reviewed. On CNN, The Situation Room, Lou Dobbs Tonight, Paula Zahn Now, and Larry King Live were reviewed. The July 5 edition of Paula Zahn Now was hosted by Glenn Beck and titled "We the People."

Also of note:

  • Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume devoted a total of 8 minutes, 26 seconds to Edwards, including a 5 minute, 56 second "All Star" discussion with Washington Post columnists Jeff Birnbaum and Charles Krauthammer and Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes. The "All Stars" did not address Domenici's announcement.
  • After the 4 p.m. ET broadcast of CNN's The Situation Room devoted 45 seconds to the Edwards story, it did not appear again on CNN during the time period examined.

The results are as follows:

MSNBC

Show (time ET)

Time on Edwards

Time on Domenici

4 p.m. Tucker

5:04


5 p.m. Hardball

2:40


6 p.m. Tucker (R)

5:04


7 p.m. Hardball (R)

2:40


8 p.m. Countdown


1:10

9 p.m. MSNBC Live with Dan Abrams


0:10

Total

15:28

1:20


Fox News

Show (time ET)

Time on Edwards

Time on Domenici

4 p.m. Your World



5 p.m. The Big Story

0:40


6 p.m. Special Report

8:26

0:52

7 p.m. Fox Report

1:45

0:48

9 p.m. Hannity & Colmes

5:24


Total

16:25

1:40


CNN

Show (time ET)

Time on Edwards

Time on Domenici

4 p.m. The Situation Room

0:45

2:31

6 p.m. Lou Dobbs Tonight


2:40

7 p.m. The Situation Room


2:26

8 p.m. "We the People"



9 p.m. Larry King Live


4:11

Total

0:45

11:08

Posted In
Elections, National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
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