The Fox Primary By the Numbers, October 31 - November 6

Blog ››› ››› ROB SAVILLO

When Politico published its October 30 story about allegations that Herman Cain had engaged in sexual harassment, Cain turned to Fox News for damage control.

According to a Nexis search* of October 31 and November 1 for cable and broadcast news, Cain made guest appearances on Fox more than any other network; in fact, Cain's only non-Fox interviews were on CNN Newsroom and PBS' NewsHour. On those dates, Fox hosted the Republican presidential candidate four times for a total of one hour and nine minutes.

Each show (Happening Now, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, Special Report with Bret Baier, and The O'Reilly Factor) led their questioning with this topic. In particular, On the Record devoted its entire 25-minute interview to discussion of these allegations.

Since June, Cain has received the most time from the network: 8 hours and 51 minutes. Last week, Cain's Fox appearances amounted to nearly half of all airtime that Fox devoted to appearances by Republican presidential candidates.

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 35 minutes; Total appearances: 14

Most Total Airtime on Fox: Herman Cain (1 hour and 9 minutes)

Most Total Appearances: Herman Cain (4 appearances)

Fox Show with the Most Total Candidate Airtime: On the Record with Greta Van Susteren (40 minutes)

Fox Show with the Most Candidate Appearances: America Live, Happening Now, On the Record with Greta Van Susteren, and The O'Reilly Factor (2 appearances each)

Longest Candidate Interview: On the Record with Greta Van Susteren (25 minutes with Herman Cain)

Softball Question(s) of the Week: After opening with several questions about the harassment allegations during a November 1 interview (beginning with, "First of all, Mr. Cain, did you expect accusations against you once you became competitive in the race? Did you expect that?"), Fox News host Bill O'Reilly followed up with this exchange:

O'REILLY: How many years were you in the private sector earning a living? How many years?

CAIN: About 42 years. And I went from the Department of the Navy as a mathematician to the Coca Cola Company as a business analyst, the Pillsbury Company as a business analyst and an information technology executive. And then from there I became a vice president with the Burger King Corporation and then president of Godfather's Pizza. Then, President of the National Restaurant Association. And in all of those experiences, only at the restaurant association did these two anonymous accusations come up.


O'REILLY: All right, so there's nothing else on your sheet; 42 years is a long time in the marketplace.

CAIN: Yes. Yes.

O'REILLY: And those of us who have been in the marketplace know that it's a treacherous place when you're successful. There is no doubt about it.

CAIN: Yes.

O'REILLY: I mean people are jealous and -- whatever. So there is nothing else in the 42-year experience that you can anticipate you're going to have to deal with down the road?

CAIN: Absolutely. And as I have said, Bill, if something else comes up and it will, they are going to make it up.


CAIN: There are no other instances.

O'REILLY: And as long -- as long as you're not concerned about anything, we will see what happens.

CAIN: Thanks.

(A table of the October 31 - November 6 data is available here.)

The Numbers Since June 1

Total time: 56 hours and 26 minutes; Total appearances: 469

Most Total Airtime on Fox since June 1: Herman Cain (8 hours and 51 minutes)

Most Total Appearances since June 1: John Bolton (67 appearances)

Fox Show with the Most Total Candidate Airtime Since June 1: On the Record with Greta Van Susteren (9 hours and 12 minutes)

Fox Show with the Most Candidate Appearances since June 1: On the Record with Greta Van Susteren (69 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


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.

*Media Matters reviewed transcripts for network news (ABC, CBS, NBC, and PBS) and cable news (CNN, Fox News, Fox Business, and MSNBC) between October 31 and November 1. ABC, CBS, and NBC provide transcripts for their morning and evening news broadcasts. Fox News, Fox Business, and MSNBC only provide transcripts for their evening shows while CNN provides transcripts for both daytime and evening programming.

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.

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