The day after Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said that “even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” Fox News mentioned the comment twice, devoting just over two minutes of coverage to it. Meanwhile, CNN gave the topic an hour and 20 minutes of coverage and MSNBC covered the topic for 2 hours and 7 minutes.
Mourdock Said God Is At Work When Rape Leads To Pregnancy, Stands By Comment
During October 23 Debate, Mourdock Said “Even When Life Begins In That Horrible Situation Of Rape, That It Is Something That God Intended To Happen.” During an October 23 debate for Indiana's U.S. Senate seat, the candidates were asked if abortion should be allowed in cases of rape or incest. Mourdock replied, in part, “I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.” [Associated Press, 10/24/12]
AP: “Mourdock Stands By Rape, Abortion Remark.” The AP reported in a follow-up article that Mourdock “refused to apologize for saying that rape resulting in pregnancy is 'something God intended.' ” The AP article noted that while Mourdock regretted that “some may have misconstrued and 'twisted' his comments,” he “stood behind the original remark in Tuesday night's debate.” The article quoted Mourdock saying, “I spoke from my heart. And speaking from my heart, speaking from the deepest level of my faith, I would not apologize. I would be less than faithful if I said anything other than life is precious, I believe it's a gift from God.” [Associated Press, 10/24/12]
Fox Gave Mourdock Statement Two Minutes Of Coverage, While CNN, MSNBC Gave Statement Hours Of Coverage
The Day After Mourdock's Comments, Fox News Devotes Two Minutes, 12 Seconds To Mourdock Comments. On October 24, the day after Mourdock's comment at the debate, Fox News aired two segments about the controversy. In the first, a 37-second segment, Special Report anchor Bret Baier made a brief mention of the controversy in the context of the presidential election. The second, on The Fox Report, lasted for one minute and 35 seconds.
CNN, MSNBC Devoted Substantial Coverage To The Controversy. CNN spent an hour and 20 minutes covering Mourdock's comment on October 24, beginning on its early-morning show Early Start and running through Piers Morgan Tonight. Likewise, MSNBC devoted two hours and seven minutes to the controversy.
This chart has been corrected.
Media Matters watched programming on CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC on October 24 and counted the time each network spent discussing Mourdock's comments.