A Media Matters for America review of Fox News guests in segments discussing health care reform on August 10 and 11 found a substantial disparity in favor of opponents of progressive efforts to reform health care. Over the two days, Fox News hosted 63 opponents and only 10 supporters.
Fox News hosted far more guests opposed to progressive health care reform efforts
Reform opponents outnumbered supporters 63 to 10. A Media Matters review of digital video and Nexis transcripts of Fox News programming during August 10 and 11 revealed the number of guests in opposition to progressive health care reform efforts to be more than six times greater than the number of guests who were supportive of such efforts.
Guests who voiced opposition to progressive efforts to reform health care, criticized House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer's August 10 USA Today op-ed, or voiced support of protests at recent town hall meetings were counted as in opposition. Guests who voiced support for progressive health care reform efforts or who criticized the protests at recent town hall meetings were counted as supportive. Guests who fit neither category were counted as neutral.
Study consistent with Fox News' coverage of health reform
Fox News continues to advance misinformation on health care reform. As Media Matters has documented in recent days, Fox News' reporting and commentary on health care reform has been riddled with falsehoods and misinformation. The stark disparity in favor of guests who oppose reform is in keeping with the network's coverage of the issue.
Media Matters reviewed digital video or Nexis transcripts of all original Fox News programming for August 10 and 11, 2009, between 6 a.m. and 10:59 p.m. ET. (Fox News airs a repeat of The O'Reilly Factor at the 11 p.m. ET hour.)
Media Matters counted all guests who appeared in segments that involved a discussion of health care reform and the debate surrounding it. Each guest's position on health care reform was derived from statements made during that guest's appearance. The few guests who criticized the town hall protests but also voiced opposition to the progressive reform efforts were coded as in opposition. In rare instances, a guest may have conflicting codes for different appearances. For example, on the August 10 edition of Special Report with Bret Baier, Mort Kondracke criticized the town hall protests but did not comment on the reform efforts and was thus coded as a supporter in that appearance. But on the August 11 edition of the same show, Kondracke voiced opposition to the Obama administration's efforts to reform health care, and was thus coded as in opposition.