Fox Nation Tries To Distance Fox News From Its Promotion Of Birther Conspiracy
Blog ››› ››› MELODY JOHNSON
Fox Nation pointed out in a post today that, according to the Pew's Project for Excellence in Journalism (PEJ), of the three main cable news networks (CNN, Fox News, MSNBC), MSNBC devoted the "most" time to the latest round of coverage on the birth certificate controversy while Fox News devoted the "least."
The post, which republished portions of an April 27 Mediate blog post, boasts about Fox's apparent low amount of coverage to the birther issue during the week of April 11-17, stating:
"While MSNBC's coverage may have been devoted to questioning or debunking the president's citizenship issues, that network spent the most time discussing it," said Moos.
According to the data, MSNBC devoted ten percent of its airtime last week to President Obama, and fully 92 percent of that was "airtime coded 'citizenship and religion rumors' and 'birther' coverage." By comparison, CNN and Fox devoted just five percent of their airtime to the president. Of that, PEJ says CNN's coverage of the president was 100 percent devoted to "citizenship and religion rumors," while Fox's coverage was only eight percent.
The post refers to these PEJ poll results, which provided a percentage breakdown of birther discussion by network to the Poynter Institute. The study included Fox evening shows Special Report with Bret Baier, The O'Reilly Factor and Hannity. It did not include other Fox News opinion shows that also contributed air time to the controversy, including Fox & Friends and On the Record with Greta van Susteren.
As Media Matters has documented, Fox News devoted nearly two hours and 20 minutes to birther coverage following potential GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump's embrace of the issue. This study also points out a particularly disturbing fact: in 44 out of 52 Fox News segments which contained falsehoods about Obama's birth certificate, Fox News hosts allowed those false claims to go unchallenged. In other words, in its coverage, Fox repeatedly allowed hosts and contributors to perpetuate the thoroughly debunked rumor that the president was not born in the United States.
Fox is obviously still confused about the difference between fact and fiction - and this round of gloating proves no differently.