FOX News Sunday

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  • STUDY: Sunday Shows Less Likely Than Weekday Competitors To Discuss Poverty

    Fox News Talks A Lot About Inequality And Poverty, But Promotes Policies That Would Make The Problems Worse

    ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON

    In the first quarter of 2016, prime-time and evening weekday news programs on the largest cable and broadcast outlets mentioned poverty during roughly 55 percent of their discussions of economic inequality in the United States. During the same time period, Sunday political talk shows mentioned poverty in only 33 percent of discussions of economic inequality.

  • Gov. McCrory Forced To Admit That The Conservative Media "Bathroom Predator" Myth Is False

    Chris Wallace: "But If There's No Problem, Then Why Pass The Law In The First Place?" 

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory (R) was forced to acknowledge that there has not been a single case in North Carolina in which transgender protections have been used to commit crimes in bathrooms, after Fox's Chris Wallace pressed him repeatedly.

    Previously, Gov. McCrory parroted the debunked conservative media myth that a "boy who thinks he's a girl" could go into a girls bathroom and pose a sexual assault threat. During a May 8 interview on Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace repeatedly asked the governor whether there had been any convictions in North Carolina for "using transgender protections to commit crimes in bathrooms." McCrory was forced to admit "Not that I'm aware of."

    Fox News has a history of stoking fears of sexual assault and misbehavior in restrooms to oppose equal access to public accommodations for transgender people, even promoting several fake stories about harassment in restrooms. From the May 8 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.’s Fox News Sunday:

    CHRIS WALLACE (HOST): How many cases have you had in North Carolina in the last year where people have been convicted of using transgender protections to commit crimes in bathrooms?

    GOV. PAT MCCRORY (R-NC): This wasn't a problem. That's the point I'm making. This is the Democratic Party and the left wing of the Democratic Party --

    WALLACE: But have there been any cases of this?

    MCCRORY: Not that I'm aware of.

    WALLACE: Have there been any cases in the last five years?

    MCCRORY: Why did the Democratic Party in Houston, Texas --

    WALLACE: But I guess the question is, forgive me, if I may, sir, why not just then let it go? If there's not a case of transgender people going in and molesting little girls?

    MCCRORY: I haven't used that at all. This is an issue of expectation --

    WALLACE : Well, you did say a boy who thinks he's a girl going into a girls bathroom.

    MCCRORY: And that's where there's an expectation of privacy. When you go into a restroom, or your wife goes into a restroom you assume the only other people going into that restroom or shower facility is going to be a person of the same gender. That's been an expectation of privacy that all of us have for years.

    WALLACE: But if there's no problem, then why pass the law in the first place?

    MCCRORY: There can be a problem, because the liberal Democrats are the ones pushing for bathroom laws. And now President Obama and one of my successors as mayor of Charlotte wants government to have bathroom rules. I’m not interested in that. We did not start this on the right. Who started it was the political left. In Houston, Texas, and Charlotte, North Carolina. And now, frankly, in Washington, D.C.

  • STUDY: Cable And Broadcast News Try To Cover The Economy Without Economists

    Economists Made Up 1 Percent Of Guests In The First Quarter Of 2016, While Shows Focused On Campaigns, Inequality

    ››› ››› CRAIG HARRINGTON & ALEX MORASH

    Expertise from economists was almost completely absent from television news coverage of the economy in the first quarter of 2016, which focused largely on the tax and economic policy platforms of this year’s presidential candidates. Coverage of economic inequality spiked during the period -- tying an all-time high -- driven in part by messaging from candidates on both sides of the aisle, but gender diversity in guests during economic news segments remained low.

  • Bob Woodward Says Questions Remain Unanswered About Clinton's Email, Doesn't Say What Those Questions Are

    Despite Press Conferences, Presidential Debates, And Televised Congressional Testimony, Woodward Says Clinton Needs To Tell Voters, “I’m Going To Answer All The Questions” About Email

    ››› ››› BRENNAN SUEN & ALEX MORASH

    Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward asserted on Fox News Sunday that Hillary Clinton still has questions to answer about her emails – despite Clinton holding multiple press conferences on the matter, supporting the release of more than 50,000 pages of emails to the public, facing email questions during several presidential debates, and answering more than 50 questions about her emails during 11 hours of televised testimony before the Republican-led Select Committee on Benghazi.

  • A Look Back At Fox News' Interviews With Obama Ahead Of His Sunday Network Appearance

    ››› ››› ALEX KAPLAN, BRENNAN SUEN & CRISTIANO LIMA

    Chris Wallace will interview President Obama on Fox News Sunday April 10, marking Obama's first interview with the network since 2014. In past interviews, Fox figures including Wallace, Bret Baier and Bill O'Reilly have focused on Obama's ties to "radical" figures, hyped supposed scandals, lectured Obama on race, and interrupted him repeatedly.

  • AP Highlights The Growing Backlash To Trump's Reliance On Phone Interviews

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    The Associated Press highlighted the backlash to Donald Trump's "fondness" for phone interviews, writing that the practice "is changing habits and causing consternation in newsrooms, while challenging political traditions."

    Media critics have called out news channels' new habit of granting phone interviews to Trump -- an advantage AP explains has not been granted by Sunday political talk shows to any other candidate -- arguing that the format "lacks the balance of a face-to-face exchange because the audience and the interviewer are not allowed to see Trump's expressions and reactions" and "is also more difficult to follow-up and put the subject on the spot to answer questions more directly." Bloomberg View columnist Al Hunt also pointed out that "a phone interview is a lot easier than an in-person interview, and Trump almost always does well in those situations." As AP reported, Media Matters and MomsRising have launched petitions to ask the media to end Trump's phone privilege.

    In a March 26 article, AP examined Trump's phone interview privileges with the media and the growing backlash to them, writing that the practice "often put an interviewer at a disadvantage, since it's harder to interrupt or ask follow-up questions, and impossible to tell if a subject is being coached." AP also noted that Fox News Sunday's Chris Wallace and Meet the Press' Chuck Todd are refusing to grant Trump phone interviews:

    In television news, a telephone interview is typically frowned upon. Donald Trump's fondness for them is changing habits and causing consternation in newsrooms, while challenging political traditions.

    Two organizations are circulating petitions to encourage Sunday morning political shows to hang up on Trump. Some prominent holdouts, like Fox's Chris Wallace, refuse to do on-air phoners. Others argue that a phone interview is better than no interview at all.

    Except in news emergencies, producers usually avoid phoners because television is a visual medium -- a face-to-face discussion between a newsmaker and questioner is preferable to a picture of an anchor listening to a disembodied voice.

    It's easy to see why Trump likes them. There's no travel or TV makeup involved; if he wishes to, Trump can talk to Matt Lauer without changing out of his pajamas. They often put an interviewer at a disadvantage, since it's harder to interrupt or ask follow-up questions, and impossible to tell if a subject is being coached.

    Face-to-face interviews let viewers see a candidate physically react to a tough question and think on his feet, said Chris Licht, executive producer of "CBS This Morning." Sometimes that's as important as what is being said.

    Trump tends to take over phone interviews and can get his message out with little challenge, Wallace said.

    "The Sunday show, in the broadcast landscape, I feel is a gold standard for probing interviews," said Wallace, host of "Fox News Sunday." ''The idea that you would do a phone interview, not face-to-face or not by satellite, with a presidential candidate -- I'd never seen it before, and I was quite frankly shocked that my competitors were doing it."

    [...]

    Chuck Todd, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," has done phoners with Trump but now said he's decided to stick to in-person interviews on his Sunday show. He's no absolutist, though.

    "It's a much better viewer experience when it's in person," Todd said. "Satellite and phoners are a little harder, there's no doubt about it. But at the end of the day, you'll take something over nothing."

    [...]

    Since the campaign began, Trump has appeared for 29 phone interviews on the five Sunday political panel shows, according to the liberal watchdog Media Matters for America. Through last Sunday, ABC's "This Week" has done it 10 times, CBS' "Face the Nation" seven and six times each on "Meet the Press" and CNN's "State of the Union."

    None of these shows has done phoners with Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, said Media Matters, which is urging that the practice be discontinued.

    The activist group MomsRising said the disparity "sends the message that some candidates can play by different rules, without consequences, and that's just un-American."

  • STUDY: Trump The Only Candidate To Swamp The Sunday Shows With Phone Interviews

    Blog ››› ››› ROB SAVILLO

    Update 3/27: This study has been updated to reflect appearances by the candidates on the March 27, 2016, Sunday shows. The New York Times' Jim Rutenberg reported in a March 20 column that Meet The Press host Chuck Todd says he "will no longer allow Mr. Trump to do prescheduled interviews by phone."

    Republican front-runner Donald Trump has appeared on the five Sunday morning political talk shows 65 times since the beginning of 2015, more than any other presidential candidate. The five shows have allowed Trump to be interviewed by phone a total of 30 times, but none of the other four remaining presidential candidates have been interviewed by phone a single time.

    ABC's This Week, CBS' Face the Nation, NBC's Meet the Press, Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday, and CNN's State of the Union have conducted 423 total interviews of the 22 current and former presidential candidates since the start of 2015. The five candidates still in the running -- former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Trump -- account for nearly half, or 209 interviews. Trump was first with 65 interviews, followed by Sanders in second with 58, then Kasich with 43, Cruz with 26, and Clinton with 17.

    Trump chart

    Outlets have recently come under heavy criticism for allowing Trump to call in for interviews. Baltimore Sun media critic David Zurawik told Media Matters that the phone format "really shifts control away from the interviewer." NPR media reporter David Folkenflik called the phone interviews "a signal of the extent to which the television cable networks contort themselves to accommodate Trump because he is such an unpredictable and explosive figure." 

    This Week has allowed Trump to call in for his interviews more than another other show -- 11 times total. Face the Nation followed with seven phone interviews, and Meet the Press and State of the Union have each conducted six such interviews with Trump. 23 of Trump's phone interviews were conducted during 2015 -- seven have happened this year. 

    Standing out from the other shows, Fox News Sunday did not interview Trump by phone. Host Chris Wallace explained why during an interview last August, saying, "The idea you would do a phoner with a presidential candidate where they have all the control and you have none, where you can't see them, they may have talking points in front of them. ... We are not a call-in radio show, we are a Sunday talk show and he is a presidential candidate -- do an interview on camera."

    Interviews

    Media Matters has launched a petition asking news networks to end their practice of phone interviews with Trump. 

    Appearance numbers for all current and former candidates from the start of 2015 through March 27, 2016 (or whenever the candidate ended their campaign) are below:

    Candidate Party Still Running? Total Appearances
    Bush, Jeb Republican No 15
    Carson, Ben Republican No 28
    Chafee, Lincoln Democratic No 2
    Christie, Chris Republican No 19
    Clinton, Hillary Democratic Yes 17
    Cruz, Ted Republican Yes 26
    Fiorina, Carly Republican No 18
    Gilmore, Jim Republican No 0
    Graham, Lindsey Republican No 15
    Huckabee, Mike Republican No 19
    Jindal, Bobby Republican No 7
    Kasich, John Republican Yes 43
    O'Malley, Martin Democratic No 9
    Pataki, George Republican No 3
    Paul, Rand Republican No 18
    Perry, Rick Republican No 9
    Rubio, Marco Republican No 32
    Sanders, Bernie Democratic Yes 58
    Santorum, Rick Republican No 6
    Trump, Donald Republican Yes 65
    Walker, Scott Republican No 8
    Webb, Jim Democratic No 6

    Methodology:

    Media Matters searched the Nexis transcript database and iQ media's video archive for interview appearances starting January 1, 2015, on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, CBS' Face the Nation with John Dickerson (previously Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer prior to June 7, 2015), NBC's Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, and CNN's State of the Union with Jake Tapper (previously State of the Union with Candy Crowley prior to June 14, 2015) by the 22 former and current presidential candidates on both the Democratic and Republican sides: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Lincoln Chafee, Chris Christie, Hillary Clinton, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Martin O'Malley, George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, Rick Santorum, Donald Trump, Scott Walker, and Jim Webb.

    When video was unavailable in iQ media, we checked the show's website. We also coded the five candidates still running for their parties' nominations for whether or not their interviews were conducted by phone. We counted interviews that occurred before a candidate officially announced, but we excluded any interviews after candidates end their campaigns.

  • "A Travesty Of Journalism": Experts React To Broadcast Networks' Decline In Climate Change Coverage

    Blog ››› ››› ANDREW SEIFTER

    Networks climate

    It is nothing short of stunning that in 2015, a year that featured more newsworthy climate-related events than ever before, the broadcast networks' coverage of climate change declined. The networks have a responsibility to educate the public about the impacts that climate change is having on our security, our economy, and our health.

    In response to Media Matters' new analysis of climate change coverage on ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox in 2015, members of Congress, climate scientists, environmental advocates, and other experts criticized the networks for providing too little climate change coverage and too much climate science denial.

    Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI): "In a year when nearly 200 countries around the world collectively recognized the threat of climate change and the United States made historic commitments to cut carbon pollution, major networks actually cut their media coverage of climate change. In 2015, the network Sunday shows devoted just 73 minutes to climate change, a ten percent decrease from the year before. What makes these findings even more troubling is the fact that with the little time devoted to climate change, these Sunday shows continued to mislead their audiences by including climate denial as part of the discussion. The facts are clear. Scientists, governments, and major corporations around the world have accepted the facts about climate change and are having real debates on solutions. In this consequential election year, it's time for news broadcasters to do the same."

    Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY): "As the co-founder of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition, I read Media Matters' new study and it's a wake up call to the news networks. The most important long term global and national issue shouldn't be getting short-thrift. People need more information, not less."

    Michael Mann, climate scientist at Penn State University: "It is unconscionable that so many purportedly mainstream media outlets continue to misinform the public when it comes to the matter of human-caused climate change. History will not look back kindly upon television news networks that had an opportunity to inform the public about this existential threat, and instead chose to serve as willing mouthpieces for denialist fossil fuel interests."

    Kevin Trenberth, climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research: "These results are disturbing. ... It is evident that the networks are gun shy about climate change, most likely because advertisers demand it.  It is a very sad state of affairs that the science of climate change and the continuing evidence about it is hidden from listeners.  What is done about the problem should be a separate matter entirely from whether we have a problem. Climate change is already with us and is causing mostly adverse effects every day, but the public is not well informed."

    Liz Perera, Sierra Club climate policy director: "This past year, we have seen unprecedented progress tackling the unprecedented danger that climate change poses to our families, yet the major networks seem to dedicate more time to covering the Kardashians than this public health crisis. Americans deserve to know the truth about how the climate crisis is affecting the world around us and how clean energy is helping solve the problem. Ignoring that reality only serves the interests of the big polluters and undermines the health and well-being of all American families."

    David Arkush, managing director of Public Citizen's climate program: "It is beyond shocking that broadcast network coverage of climate change declined in 2015. If we don't act quickly to mitigate climate change, it will cause devastating harm to our economy, our health, and our security. Last year's high temperatures shattered the previous record, set just one year earlier. At the same time, 2015 was probably the most momentous year in history on climate change, with a landmark Paris deal, the Obama Administration's rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline, the first-ever federal rules curbing carbon pollution from power plants, the Pope's encyclical, and more. The media should be covering climate change as if it were World War III, and they have plenty of material to work with. It's a travesty of journalism to commit such a small and declining amount of air time to the existential threat we face from runaway greenhouse gas emissions."

    Riley Dunlap, environmental sociologist at Oklahoma State University: "I am not surprised that there was more TV coverage of climate change denial in 2015, as historically there is a pattern of the 'denial machine' ramping up its efforts whenever the possibility of meaningful action on climate change seems imminent.  This began with the Kyoto Protocol in 1997, and has continued, so I'm not surprised to see more coverage of denialists last year because of the Paris [climate agreement].  The conservative think tanks and front groups behind the denial campaign, and the small number of contrarian scientists aligned with them, have great success in obtaining media exposure in general.  And they really go into overdrive when they fear that national legislation or an international treaty could be enacted.  The disappointing thing is that mainstream media still give them a forum."

  • Fox News Sunday Hasn't Hosted A Latina Guest In 3 Years

    Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LOPEZ

    Fox News Sunday has not hosted a single Latina in the past three years, a bleak data point that is representative of a much broader news media diversity problem.

    According to a Media Matters study, guests on Sunday shows in 2015 were overwhelmingly white, conservative, and male. Media Matters analyzed guest appearances in 2015 on the five network and cable Sunday morning shows -- ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, CBS' Face the Nation with John Dickerson, Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, NBC's Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, and CNN's State of the Union with Jake Tapper -- and found them lacking in Latino representation. Based on the latest U.S. Census data, Latino men amount to 9 percent of the general population, but only 3 percent of all guests on the five Sunday shows were male Latinos. Latinas, also 9 percent of the general population, amounted to only 1 percent of total Sunday show guests in 2015.

    Fox News Sunday, which had its third year in a row without a Latina guest, is a particularly egregious example. Yet 2015 saw numerous pressing policy issues that disproportionately affect Latinas, such as attempts to block access to reproductive health services (a matter of judicial debate last year and currently under review by the Supreme Court), efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, and continued wage gaps between genders.

    Newsroom diversity significantly influences news narratives. The lack of Latino representation in these discussions can not only lead to an absence of substantive coverage of the issues that matter the most to Latinos but also to inaccurate portrayals that perpetuate harmful stereotypes. In addition, experts say lack of representation could have long-lasting, harmful impacts on this demographic. Prominent Latino leaders have remarked on the need to improve Latino visibility in the media. For example, National Council of La Raza's (NCLR) Janet Murguía emphasized that Hispanic media figures have "a real understanding of the Latino community" and are therefore uniquely positioned to make "sure that our community is more informed" and "can engage at a higher level."