During the Democratic National Convention, which took place between July 26 and July 29, Media Matters for America monitored coverage by FOX News Channel, CNN, and MSNBC and calculated the amount of time each aired convention speeches live. FOX News Channel aired one hour and 16 minutes less of speeches from the convention live than did CNN and one hour and 47 minutes less than did MSNBC.
|Total||3 hours, 40 minutes||4 hours, 56 minutes||5 hours, 27 minutes|
The disparity in airtime on FOX News Channel versus CNN and MSNBC was attributable, in large part, to the difference in time given to speeches by the following Democratic leaders:
Former President Jimmy Carter: FOX News Channel aired just over four minutes of Carter's speech; CNN and MSNBC aired almost 14 minutes.
Former Vice President Al Gore: FOX News Channel aired 45 seconds of Gore's speech; CNN and MSNBC aired 13 minutes.
Senator Edward Kennedy: FOX News Channel aired a little more than four minutes of Kennedy's speech; CNN and MSNBC aired 25 minutes of his speech.
Ret. General Wesley Clark: FOX News Channel aired none of Clark's speech; CNN aired about two minutes and MSNBC aired almost 11 minutes.
Reverend Al Sharpton: FOX News Channel aired two and a half minutes of Sharpton's speech live; CNN aired almost 20 minutes, and MSNBC aired almost 17 minutes.
Reverend Jesse Jackson: FOX News Channel aired none of Jackson's speech; CNN and MSNBC aired approximately 10 minutes.
On the July 31 edition of FOX News Watch (FOX News Channel's weekly news program that “cover[s] the coverage”), panelist Cal Thomas (who is a FOX News Channel host and a conservative syndicated columnist) said that conservatives would “scream and yell” if FOX News Channel covers the Republican National Convention in the same manner and noted that, in order to be “fair and balanced,” the coverage should not differ:
THOMAS: If cable networks do the same thing at the Republican convention and interrupt or not cover Republicans, I think the conservatives out there, especially those who are fans of this network are going to scream and yell. So if you're going to be fair and balanced, I think you have not to cover at least as much of the Republican speakers as you've not covered of the Democratic speakers.