Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple has re-confirmed that Fox News' supposed “objective” news coverage is filled with conservative-leaning programming.
In a March 27 blog post, Wemple watched Fox from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET -- the times that Fox officials have claimed are dedicated to objective news reporting -- and found that while there was “straight-up news coverage,” there was also “ideologically tilted coverage”:
The Erik Wemple Blog counted 14 meaty, beefy segments totaling around 64 minutes in which a rightward tilt was somewhere between slight and overwhelming. Here are some examples of how Fox News engineered the slant:
On Friday, Fox News's Alisyn Camerota substituted for the distinguished Megyn Kelly as host of “America Live,” which runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Camerota moderated a discussion between two guests on the clash between the Democrats and Republicans over the federal budget.
The discussion was ho-hum, as many discussions on the federal budget tend to be. What put it in the column of tendentious Fox News coverage was not so much how it proceeded, but what preceded it. Fox News producers chose to tease the segment with the ad below, which comes from the Congressional Leadership Fund, a group that bills itself as "focused solely and exclusively on maintaining the Republican majority in the House of Representatives."
The ad repeats a frequently invoked talking point for Republicans in the battle over government spending: Families have to balance their budgets, so why doesn't the government? When Democrats are faced with that argument, they generally point out that families carry debt in the form of mortgages and student loans and the like.
Yet Fox News didn't play a Democratic attack ad with any such talking points.
These findings don't disprove the Pew study, but they call into question Fox's claim that its 9-to-4 is objective.
Wemple went on to note that, while Fox claims a hallmark of “moderated debates between two people of opposing points of view,” many of the interview segments he watched consisted of a single guest, typically one who is conservative-leaning.
Wemple also highlighted how the personal agenda of Fox News chief Roger Ailes is reflected in Fox's “news” coverage:
One-sided coverage of Obamacare comes from the top. In his new book on Fox News chief Roger Ailes, author Zev Chafets asks the executive what he'd do if he were elected president. Killing the Affordable Care Act tops his list of priorities. His on-air lieutenants do a wonderful job of carrying forward that sentiment.