The Pew Research Center conducted a study to measure how the major cable news networks covered the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) as compared to other breaking news like the typhoon in the Philippines. The difference between Fox News and their competitors was striking.
The Pew study monitored broadcasts that included an hour of midday programming and three hours of prime-time each day, from November 11-15. Both MSNBC and CNN programmed a fair amount of reporting for both stories, with CNN giving a little more time to the typhoon and MSNBC giving more time to ObamaCare. But Fox News was alone in devoting almost no time to the typhoon while blanketing their air with ObamaCare.
For those who would argue that, unlike Typhoon Haiyan, ObamaCare is an issue that affects the American people, they should note that the United States is committing significant financial, military, and human resources to the recovery efforts in the Philippines. And any international tragedy on the scale of this typhoon, with estimates of as many as 10,000 fatalities and hundreds of thousands dislocated, is a story that requires coverage and has ramifications that impact the rest of the world, including the U.S.
The Pew study also included another angle that affirms the strident bias of Fox News. The substance of the coverage that Fox gave to ObamaCare was almost entirely dominated by opinion. The study reported that “when it came to commentary and opinion versus reporting or fact-based statements,” Fox News coverage was 97% opinion. It may be safe to assume that the other 3% was reporters identifying themselves and asking the audience to stay tuned for more “after a word from our sponsors.”