REPORT: Top Fox News programs devote scant coverage to Haiti earthquake

››› ››› MATT GERTZ, MATT MCLAUGHLIN & BROOKE OBIE

On January 13, Fox News' three top-rated programs for 2009 -- The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity, and Glenn Beck -- devoted a combined total of less than 7 minutes of coverage to the earthquake in Haiti, instead choosing to air such things as Beck's hour-long interview with Sarah Palin, Bill O'Reilly's discussion of Comedy Central host Jon Stewart, and Sean Hannity's advocacy for Massachusetts candidate Scott Brown's Senate campaign. By contrast, the content of MSNBC's three top-rated shows underscored the significance of the Haiti disaster; Countdown, The Rachel Maddow Show, and Hardball devoted a total of more than two hours to the earthquake.

MSNBC's top programs provide more than 18 times as much coverage of Haiti earthquake as Fox News' top shows

The O'Reilly Factor, Hannity, and Glenn Beck, Fox News' three top-rated programs for 2009, combined to devote a total of 6 minutes, 41 seconds of coverage to the earthquake in Haiti. Among the things they chose to air instead were Beck's interview with Palin -- to which he devoted nearly his entire show -- Hannity's continued advocacy for Brown; and O'Reilly's discussion of Stewart. Countdown, The Rachel Maddow Show, and Hardball, MSNBC's three top-rated shows, devoted 2 hours, 2 minutes and 33 seconds to the earthquake -- more than 18 times the coverage devoted by Fox News' top three shows. Other Fox News shows -- such as Special Report with Bret Baier and The Fox Report with Shepard Smith -- did devote extensive coverage to the earthquake.

Chart of total earthquake coverage

Chart of earthquake coverage by show

Fox News' three top-rated programs largely ignored earthquake

According to a Media Matters review, O'Reilly, Hannity, and Beck devoted only 6 minutes and 41 seconds of coverage to the earthquake on their January 13 editions.

Glenn Beck

Segment start

Segment end

Time

5:29:11

5:29:48

37 seconds

Total

37 seconds

The O'Reilly Factor

Segment start

Segment end

Time

8:00:20

8:00:43

23 seconds

8:01:33

8:04:06

2 minutes 33 seconds

Total

2 minutes 56 seconds

Hannity

Segment start

Segment end

Time

9:00:11

9:02:17

2 minutes 6 seconds

9:30:10

9:31:04

54 seconds

9:39:40

9:39:48

8 seconds

Total

3 minutes 8 seconds

By contrast, MSNBC's three top-rated programs provided extensive earthquake coverage

A Media Matters review finds that MSNBC aired 2 hours, 2 minutes and 33 seconds of earthquake coverage on the January 13 editions of Hardball (7 p.m.), Countdown with Keith Olbermann, and The Rachel Maddow Show.

Hardball -- 7 p.m. edition

Segment start

Segment end

Time

7:00:15

7:12:10

11 minutes 55 seconds

7:15:25

7:22:39

7 minutes 14 seconds

7:25:48

7:36:35

10 minutes 47 seconds

7:53:43

8:00:22

6 minutes 39 seconds

Total

36 minutes 35 seconds

Countdown with Keith Olbermann

Segment start

Segment end

Time

8:00:23

8:18:15

17 minutes 52 seconds

8:20:20

8:25:21

5 minutes 1 second

8:26:46

8:33:23

6 minutes 37 seconds

8:36:56

8:38:42

1 minute 46 seconds

8:41:46

8:45:00

3 minutes 14 seconds

8:47:05

8:49:20

2 minutes 15 seconds

8:50:55

8:52:02

1 minute 7 seconds

8:55:04

9:00:15

5 minutes 11 seconds

Total

43 minutes 3 seconds

The Rachel Maddow Show

Segment start

Segment end

Time

9:00:20

9:12:56

12 minutes 36 seconds

9:14:00

9:15:15

1 minute 15 seconds

9:17:39

9:29:15

11 minutes 36 seconds

9:32:47

9:43:32

10 minutes 45 seconds

9:46:26

9:48:53

2 minutes 27 seconds

9:50:58

9:51:09

11 seconds

9:52:43

9:55:50

3 minutes 7 seconds

9:59:02

10:00:00

58 seconds

Total

42 minutes 55 seconds

[All times in charts are Eastern time.]

Drew Sandquist contributed to this item.

Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel
Show/Publication
The O'Reilly Factor, Glenn Beck show, Hannity
We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.