For Immediate Release
Jess Levin (202) 772-8162
For Fox's Top-Rated Shows, Haiti Tragedy Is Hardly News
Network's premier personalities spend less than 7 minutes covering earthquake
WASHINGTON - Today, Media Matters for America released
a study on the amount of coverage Fox News' three top-rated programs for
2009 devoted on January 13 to the
earthquake in Haiti,
finding that these shows spent a combined total of less than seven minutes on
the disaster. By contrast, the three top-rated MSNBC shows devoted a total of
more than two hours to the earthquake -- 18 times the amount of coverage on the
"The entire world is focused on the earthquake right now, and one would expect that news outlets would do the
Eric Burns, President of Media
promising 'up-to-the-minute coverage of the horror in Haiti,' Fox News
last night. It's apparent that in the midst of a humanitarian crisis,
Fox's top-rated shows would rather discuss Sarah Palin, Scott
Brown, and Jon Stewart than deliver actual news."
Factor, Hannity, and Glenn Beck, Fox News' three top-rated programs for 2009, combined on January 13 to devote a
total of 6 minutes, 41 seconds of coverage to the earthquake in Haiti:
Beck spent 37 seconds covering
O'Reilly Factor spent 2 minutes and 56 seconds covering the earthquake.
spent 3 minutes and 8 seconds covering
Instead, the network chose to air such
things as Beck's hour-long interview with recent Fox News hire Sarah
Palin, Bill O'Reilly's discussion of The Daily Show's Jon
Stewart, and Sean Hannity's advocacy for Massachusetts candidate Scott
Brown's Senate campaign. As Media
Matters noted, Fox News aired an advertisement during O'Reilly and Hannity promising "up-to-the-minute coverage of the horror
Media Matters similarly
reviewed MSNBC's three top-rated programs -- Countdown with Keith Olbermann, The Rachel Maddow Show, and Hardball with Chris Matthews -- and found that these shows devoted 2 hours,
2 minutes, and 33 seconds to the devastating
earthquake in Haiti.
- The 7 p.m. edition
of Hardball spent 36 minutes and 35 seconds covering the
with Keith Olbermann spent 43 minutes and 3 seconds covering the earthquake.
Rachel Maddow Show spent 42 minutes and 55 seconds covering the earthquake.
For more information on the study, please see:
Top Fox News programs devote scant
coverage to Haiti
Media Matters for America is a Web-based, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media.