Fox News’ Anti-Romney Bias?

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Yet Wallace did single out Romney shortly after an interview with former Republican candidate Rick Perry, noting on the air that the former Massachusetts governor was the only Republican candidate he had yet to interview. “We have now interviewed all the major Republican candidates in our 2012 ‘One on One’ series–except Mitt Romney,” Mr. Wallace said at the time. “He has not appeared on this program or any Sunday talk show since March of 2010. We invited Governor Romney again this week, but his campaign says he is still not ready to sit down for an interview.” Romney obliged Wallace on December 18th, sitting down for his first Sunday morning television show appearance in nearly two years. A transcript of the interview can be found here.

The Wallace interview was fairly mundane. The same assessment cannot be made regarding Romney’s interview with Fox’s Bret Baier last November 29th. Baier honed on in several topics that made Romney uncomfortable, including the resemblance between Romney’s Massachusetts healthcare program and Obamacare, his record of flip-flopping, and the fact that New Hampshire’s largest newspaper, the Manchester Union Leader, endorsed Newt Gingrich for president while suggesting that Romney lacked conviction.

Fair questions? Perhaps. But Baier crossed the line in a subsequent appearance on Fox’s “O’Reilly Factor” when he revealed the contents of a private, post-interview conversation with Romney. Baier alleged that Romney complained that his questioning had been “overly aggressive” and “uncalled for.” “He was irritated by the interview after we were done,” Baier told O’Reilly. O’Reilly pressed the issue. “How do you know he was irritated? Did he slap you? Or what did he do?” he asked. “Well, he just made it clear at the end of the interview … He said he thought it was overly aggressive,” said Baier.

Adding to the anti-Romney intrigue at Fox was an incident best described as bizarre. In a video clip showing a picture of six out of the seven Republican candidates heading into the Iowa caucus, the photo appearing above Mitt Romney’s name was none other than president Barack Obama. Later in the broadcast, host Megyn Kelly apologized for the error. “We put a graphic on the air, that as it turns out, was incorrect,” Kelly explained. She further noted that Obama and Romney are “not the same man, not philosophically, not ideologically, not in any other way, so we apologize for that error.”

So why would Fox News be on the anti-Romney bandwagon? A number of theories are possible, but going right to the top of this list is the reality that, despite the endlessly-promoted leftist claims that Fox is a shill for the Republican party, the CMPA study reveals that this is hardly the case. Fox’s 63 percent negative bias vs. their 37 positive bias with regard to Romney is certainly less damning than the 78 percent negative vs. 22 percent positive bias demonstrated by ABC, NBC and CBS. But Romney was the only Republican presidential candidate to get a majority negative bias from all of the networks. In other words, when it comes to keeping a newscast free of opinion, Fox is merely less irresponsible than the other three news networks. Perhaps a rabid ideologue might consider the terms “less irresponsible” and “prejudicial” interchangeable. Reasonable people? Not so much.

Why is Romney getting more negative coverage than any other Republican? The simplest explanation was offered by CMPA director and George Mason University professor Robert Lichter. “The media love a horse race and hate a frontrunner,” he contends. That would be all of the media–Fox News included.

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  • Iron yank

    This article is total nonsense, anyone with an IQ over 30 can see that most in Fox News along with the Republican Establishment are schills for this guy. Come on Arnold, do you expect us to believe this report or what we see with our own eyes on Fox every night? Ann Coulter, Rove, O Reilly, Krauthammer ect ect are Romney cheerleaders its clear & plain for us to see every nite, Chris Wallace is a Liberal so its not surprising he go's after Republicans he did it to Santorum last weekend. Newt is also hit alot harder than Romney.

    • mrbean

      While of course the rest of the mainstream media have their tongues so far up Obama's A$$ that they have his hemmoroid blood on their lips and his dingleberries embedded in their chins – and they don't even deny it.

      • guest

        Best line on Barry's relationship to the MSM EVER!

        • Amused

          Give that man another "approve " , the brilliant mr.bean !

    • Marianne for Newt

      Iron — You are spot on. Fox is part of Team Romney and has served to help derail Newt. Like many other Newt supporters, I am boycotting Fox. CNN actually has far better Primary coverage…

    • Stephen_Brady

      I agree with you, Yank. As we approach Super-Tuesday, tomorrow, I counted the word "momentum" 32 times during the Brett Baier program, just tonight. Mike Huckabee … whose church I sang in, long ago … seemed to have moved by the "moisture" in Romney's eyes, as he responded to the father of a severly-wounded A-Stan vet. And what can I say about Chris Wallace? The guy seems to have been finally won over by his father …

      … I would be surprised, tomorrow morning, if the Martha McCallum didn't have a red "Romney" sign flashing behind her head, as she appeals to people to get out and vote.

    • James Marsden

      The numbers don't lie, this has been the most talked about topic at my office. It seems as though Romney is fighting the left and right wing media. With friends like that who needs enemies? For a network that claims to be Fair and Balanced, the greatest shame goes to Fox News. At least the liberal media claims to be just that, "liberal"!

    • jenifer

      Iraqi military officials have claimed hundreds of armed al-Qaeda insurgents from northern Iraq have recently crossed into Syria to join the fight against the security forces of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime. According to Iraqi officials, as the terrorists attempted to gain entrance into Syria, “dozens” of al-Qaeda fighters were arrested and three buses and a truck filled with heavy and light weapons were seized. 9.7" tablet

  • ObamaYoMoma

    Good article. I have been sending the Romney campaign regular emails warning them to stay away from Fox News for months now because it couldn't be more obvious that Fox News has been trying to harm Romney's campaign from the get go. Thankfully, Romney has stayed away from Fox News as much as possible.

    No…Fox News is not unbiased by a long shot and it is tilted to the left far more than it is tilted to the right.

    • Iron yank

      Are you kidding me, Do you even watch them? Fox is without a doubt the most pro- Romney news outlet in the nation. My god have you ever heard Brett Baers panel? Its full of Romney bootlickers, not to mention the Romney Homers that the Leprechan constantly brings on his program with to push the Romney (establishment) agenda. Please dont try to deny the obvious here. With that said, if Romney gets the nomination I will vote for him because Obama is really that bad

  • mrbean

    All of you. Foxnews is the only source on TV that at least does some minor vetting of Obama and is not in the tank for him. Obama has never been vetted ever by the mainstream media on some very serious issues he has personally and as a politician. The MSM even lies for him and gets their talking points either directly from the whitehouse or through Media Matters.

  • 58TROJAN23

    I say, "Go, Fox News," on this one. Romney is a "Rino"

    • mlcblog

      I say a RINO is better than O right now, especially one who can do numbers.

  • Indioviejo

    Fox News can not shake off its media bias. Who is a conservative at Fox? They need someone who doesn't slant the news. Don't forget that Ruppert Murdock sold 20% of Fox to Prince Al-walid. They are in business to make money, and the news presentation is big business. At the end of matter, its up to the individual to seek other sources of information for a different point of view.

    • mlcblog

      Could Al-walid's presence be the reason I am not hearing much in the way of critical looks at Muslim influence in our country and the progression of sharia law being established? It seems I am observing this on talk radio as well. Our local conservative station was bought by Arabs and suddenly no more critical talk about Muslims.

      • Indioviejo

        Yes, you get it. Money is the great corruptor, and most Americans would sell their souls to the devil if the price was right. This is why freedom is in danger everywhere in the world, because everyone pays it lip service, but few will step up to defend it

  • uaintdown

    Way to call out this lack of journalistic integrity! Thank you. It's blatantly obvious for any objective person to observe.

  • Maxie

    What do you mean by "minor" vetting? I watch O'Reilly every night and he has yet to comment on Obummy's remark "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming America!" made just before the 2008 election. The two had a one-on-one interview last year and O'Reilly never asked Obama what he meant by that comment. That should have a top priority question. The elephant in the room that Fox can't see.

  • Amused

    Who ever thought Fox was not biased ? And if Fox is biased , who then isn't ? LOL….I gues the only objective news sorce is FPM ….

  • Jeamar

    For months I've been telling several people FOX is biased against Romney. But they are so influenced by FOX's self promotion as fair and balanced, they can't believe that a conservative network like FOX would be unfair to any Republican candidates. That said, I think the mainstream media is worse. One has to listen carefully and be open minded. As my grandpa told me when I was about ten, "Believe half of what you read and none of what you hear." The remark is undoubtedly not original from him, but his advice has been my unfailing guide for over fifty years.

  • sasdigger

    I, too, strongly disagree with Mr Ahlert's proposition that networks, in particular Fox News have been overly critical of Mr Romney.

    Up until the Florida primary, Mr Romney was largely given a free ride to carpet bomb the airwaves with his negative adds against Mr Gingrich. On the other hand, if Mr Gingrich even blinked suspiciously myriad media minions pounced with vitriolic cascades of negative reflections and interpretatiions and heaped unbeleivable dirt on the poor guy.

    I was forced to point this Romney favoritism out within conservative circles and to the attention of Fox News.

    I can honestly state that Fox News took immediate steps to improve its inclusion of all Republican Primary candidates in its network coverage.

    Only recently has there been a diminutiion in even-stephen reporting as the journey through progressive and moderate states have largely been between Mr Romney and Mr Santorum. Thus, the over emphasis on these two candidates.

    In short, the Republican citizenry has resented the republican elite intrusion and to this day are disgusted with negative adds and deep-pocket donors influencing if not outright buying state primary elections.

  • Captain America

    Just watch the O'Reilly Factor for the fairest coverage. He has had all the Republican candidates on, and he treats them all the same, and asks all of them hard questions. If you want dishonest, biased coverage, well then, watch MSNBC 7 it's screaming lunatics like the execrble Rachel Maddow, for ex.