Special Report's "all-star" panel is overwhelmingly conservative: 67% over past 3 months

Blog ››› ››› ERIC HANANOKI

When Bret Baier took over Fox News' Special Report from Brit Hume in 2009, he told the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz that "Fox has a conservative reputation 'because of our opinion shows,' but that 'Special Report' and Shepard Smith's 7 p.m. newscast feature 'a straight-down-the-middle presentation.'" Similarly, Baier told the Fresno Bee that his show is "about being true to our motto which is 'being fair and balanced.'"

"Straight-down-the-middle" and "fair and balanced" certainly don't apply to the guest make-up of Special Report's "all-star" panel. A review of the last three months of programming (April 12 to July 12, 66 editions) shows that 67.5% of Baier's panel guests are conservative. Just 10% are progressive: Juan Williams (see coding explanations here), who made 19 appearances, and Kirsten Powers, who appeared once. The rest, 22.5%, comprise neutral Washington reporters and editors.

The Weekly Standard is prominently represented among the "all-stars." 65.5% of all appearances are composed of people (Charles Krauthammer, Steve Hayes, Bill Kristol, Tucker Carlson and Fred Barnes) who appear on the masthead for the conservative publication.

Last October, the Los Angeles Times' James Rainey noted that Special Report frequently pits two conservatives against a third panelist that's less ideological, and that he "asked a Fox spokeswoman how this represented balance, and she said I seemed so set in my disapproval that it wasn't worth offering a rebuttal." Howard Kurtz noted on Monday that another "fair and balanced" Fox News broadcast, America's Newsroom, has bookings that "tilt markedly to the right."

Special Report panelists

Conservatives appearances: 135 (67.5%)

Neutral reporter appearances: 45 (22.5%)

Progressives appearances: 20 (10%)

(Conservative) Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post columnist and Weekly Standard contributing editor: 62 appearances

(Conservative) Steve Hayes, Weekly Standard senior writer: 32 appearances

(Progressive) Juan Williams, NPR analyst: 19 appearances

(Conservative) Bill Kristol, Weekly Standard editor: 16 appearances

(Neutral reporter) Mara Liasson, NPR political correspondent: 15 appearances

(Neutral reporter) Erin Billings, Roll Call associate editor: 15 appearances

(Neutral reporter) A.B. Stoddard, The Hill associate editor: 13 appearances

(Conservative) Tucker Carlson, Daily Caller founder and Weekly Standard contributing editor: 11 appearances

(Conservative) Fred Barnes, Weekly Standard executive editor: 10 appearances

(Conservative) Mort Kondracke, Roll Call executive editor: 3 appearances

(Neutral reporter) Nina Easton, Fortune Washington bureau chief: 2 appearances

(Progressive) Kirsten Powers, former Clinton administration official: 1 appearance

(Conservative) Rich Lowry, National Review editor: 1 appearance

"All-star" panel guests by date, retrieved from the Nexis database:

April 12: Charles Krauthammer, Fred Barnes, Mara Liasson

April 13: Steve Hayes, A.B. Stoddard, Charles Krauthammer

April 14: Tucker Carlson, Juan Williams, Charles Krauthammer

April 15: Charles Krauthammer, Juan Williams, Steve Hayes

April 16: A.B. Stoddard, Steve Hayes, Charles Krauthammer

April 19: Charles Krauthammer, Mara Liasson, Bill Kristol

April 20: A.B. Stoddard, Fred Barnes, Charles Krauthammer

April 21: Charles Krauthammer, Fred Barnes, Nina Easton

April 22: Charles Krauthammer, Mara Liasson, Steve Hayes

April 23: Charles Krauthammer, Juan Williams, Tucker Carlson, Steve Hayes

April 26: Charles Krauthammer, Juan Williams, Stephen Hayes

April 27: A.B. Stoddard, Charles Krauthammer, Tucker Carlson

April 28: Charles Krauthammer, A.B. Stoddard, Steve Hayes

April 29: Mort Kondracke, Nina Easton, Bill Kristol

April 30: Charles Krauthammer, Erin Billings, Steve Hayes

May 3: A.B. Stoddard, Steve Hayes, Charles Krauthammer

May 4: Juan Williams, Steve Hayes, Charles Krauthammer

May 5: Bill Kristol, Erin Billings, Charles Krauthammer

May 6: Charles Krauthammer, Mara Liasson, Steve Hayes

May 7: Charles Krauthammer, Juan Williams, Steve Hayes

May 10: Mara Liasson, Charles Krauthammer, Fred Barnes

May 11: Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Juan Williams

May 12: Charles Krauthammer, Erin Billings, Steve Hayes

May 13: Charles Krauthammer, Juan Williams, Steve Hayes

May 14: Mort Kondracke, Steve Hayes, Charles Krauthammer

May 17: Tucker Carlson, Mara Liasson, Charles Krauthammer

May 18: A.B. Stoddard, Steve Hayes, Charles Krauthammer

May 19: Erin Billings, Fred Barnes, Charles Krauthammer

May 20: Bill Kristol, Mara Liasson, Charles Krauthammer

May 21: Charles Krauthammer, Erin Billings, Steve Hayes

May 24: Mara Liasson, Charles Krauthammer, Tucker Carlson

May 25: Charles Krauthammer, Steve Hayes, Juan Williams

May 26: Erin Billings, Tucker Carlson, Charles Krauthammer

May 27: Charles Krauthammer, Steve Hayes, Erin Billings

May 28: Charles Krauthammer, Juan Williams, Stephen Hayes

May 31: A.B. Stoddard, Bill Kristol, Charles Krauthammer

June 1: Charles Krauthammer, Juan Williams, Tucker Carlson

June 2: Charles Krauthammer, Mara Liasson, Bill Kristol

June 3: Erin Billings, Tucker Carlson, Charles Krauthammer

June 4: Charles Krauthammer, Fred Barnes, Juan Williams

June 7: Bill Kristol, Mort Kondracke, Charles Krauthammer

June 8: Rich Lowry, A.B. Stoddard, Bill Kristol, Juan Williams

June 9: Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Erin Billings

June 10: Fred Barnes, Mara Liasson, Charles Krauthammer.

June 11: Charles Krauthammer, Juan Williams, Steve Hayes

June 14: Mara Liasson, Steve Hayes, Charles Krauthammer

June 15: Charles Krauthammer, Fred Barnes, Juan Williams

June 16: Erin Billings, Charles Krauthammer, Steve Hayes

June 17: Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Juan Williams

June 18: Charles Krauthammer, Steve Hayes, Juan Williams

June 21: Charles Krauthammer, A.B. Stoddard, Tucker Carlson

June 22: Charles Krauthammer, Mara Liasson, Steve Hayes

June 23: Charles Krauthammer, Erin Billings, Steve Hayes

June 24: A.B. Stoddard, Charles Krauthammer, Steve Hayes

June 25: Bill Kristol, Erin Billings, Charles Krauthammer

June 28: Erin Billings, Fred Barnes, Tucker Carlson

June 29: Tucker Carlson, Mara Liasson, Fred Barnes

June 30: Charles Krauthammer, Erin Billings, Steve Hayes

July 1: Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol, Juan Williams

July 2: A.B. Stoddard, Charles Krauthammer, Steve Hayes

July 5: Charles Krauthammer, Juan Williams, Steve Hayes

July 6: Charles Krauthammer, Mara Liasson, Bill Kristol

July 7: Charles Krauthammer, Steve Hayes, Kirsten Powers

July 8: Steve Hayes, A.B. Stoddard, Charles Krauthammer

July 9: Erin Billings, Charles Krauthammer, Bill Kristol

July 12: Bill Kristol, Mara Liasson, Charles Krauthammer

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Person
Bret Baier
Show/Publication
Special Report with Bret Baier
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