Fox & Friends cites year-old poll to claim its audience is "more balanced," but more recent poll shows the opposite

››› ››› DIANNA PARKER

Fox & Friends hosts Steve Doocy, Gretchen Carlson, and Brian Kilmeade cited a year-old Pew Research Center survey to misleadingly suggest that Fox News' audience is "more balanced" between Republicans and Democrats than CNN and MSNBC, and an on-screen graphic falsely claimed that the report found that Fox News "has most unbiased coverage." In fact, similar to numerous other surveys that show that Fox's viewership skews to the right, a Pew Research Center survey from September shows that more than three times as many Republicans as Democrats consider Fox News to be their main source of news; additionally, the Pew survey Fox & Friends cited made no assessment of the slant of Fox's coverage.

Fox & Friends says study shows Fox News has a "more balanced" audience than other cable nets, has "most unbiased coverage"

Fox & Friends: "[O]ur audience really is more balanced than the other two news networks." From the October 21 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

KILMEADE: Hey, let's take a look at what the Pew Research study shows about Fox News coverage -- Pew Research not an arm of Fox News. Let's check this out. Who's watching us right now? Well, 39 percent of you are Republicans, 33 percent are Democrats, and 22 percent are independent. CNN, 18, 51, 23. That's Republican, Democrat. Fifty-one percent of CNN's audience is Democrat. Twenty-three is independent. On MSNBC, 18 percent -- the same as CNN -- are Republican, 45 Democrat, and 27 percent are independent.

DOOCY: Right. The point is, as you can see, we've got -- we've got in the 30s the number of Republicans and Democrats watching and in the 20s. And then at CNN they've got teens when it comes to Republicans. So our audience really is more balanced than the other two news networks.

On-screen graphic claimed report showed Fox News "has most unbiased coverage":

ffpolling1

Survey is a year old and did not assess whether Fox News' coverage was "unbiased"

Pew survey that hosts cited is from August 2008. The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press released a survey on August 17, 2008, showing that while MSNBC and CNN tended to attract more Democratic viewers, the "regular audience for the Fox News Channel continues to include more Republicans than Democrats. Currently, 39% of regular Fox News viewers are Republicans while 33% are Democrats; in 2006, the margin was 38% to 31%." From the survey:

ffpolling2

Report did not assess slant of news coverage. The report focused on "audience segments in a changing news environment" and respondents' news consumption. It did not address the news content or reporting of any media outlet.

Recent Pew Research Center survey shows Fox News viewership is more partisan

Pew: Fox audience "includes a larger share of Republicans than do the audiences for other news outlets." The Pew Research Center released a survey on September 13 that found that the Fox News audience "includes a larger share of Republicans than do the audiences for other news outlets." The survey found: "More than three times as many Republicans (34%) as Democrats (10%) say they get most of their national and international news from Fox. By comparison, Democrats are more than twice as likely than Republicans to cite CNN (29% vs. 13%). A similar pattern is evident for MSNBC, with more Democrats (9%) than Republicans (3%) citing it as a main news source." Nineteen percent of independents said they get most of their national and international news from Fox. From the poll:

ffpolling3

Other polls: Fox News viewers overwhelmingly favored McCain, Bush; larger share are Republicans

Rasmussen: 87 percent of Fox viewers favored McCain. An August 6, 2008, Rasmussen Reports poll found: "Eighty-seven percent (87%) of Fox News viewers say they are likely to vote for John McCain" and "[o]nly nine percent of those who watch Fox News say they will vote for Obama." Fox News partnered with Rasmussen Reports for polling during the 2008 elections on numerous state polls.

Pollster Mellman: Fox viewers supported Bush over Kerry 88 percent to 7 percent. In a March 20, 2007, The Hill op-ed, Democratic pollster Mark Mellman wrote that "in our 2004 polling with Media Vote, using Nielsen diaries, we found that Fox News viewers supported George Bush over John Kerry by 88 percent to 7 percent. No demographic segment, other than Republicans, was as united in supporting Bush. Conservatives, white evangelical Christians, gun owners, and supporters of the Iraq war all gave Bush fewer votes than did regular Fox News viewers."

Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll: 68 percent of Democrats never get their news from Fox News. A Daily Kos/Research 2000 poll conducted from August 3-6 found that 38 percent of Republicans "never" get their news from Fox News; by contrast, 74 percent of Republicans "never" get their news from CNN, and 89 percent "never" get their news from MSNBC. Sixty-eight percent of Democrats never get their news from Fox News, 37 percent never get their news from CNN, and 53 percent never get their news from MSNBC.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Steve Doocy, Brian Kilmeade, Gretchen Carlson
Show/Publication
FOX & Friends
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