Out-Foxed, Again

On a winter day when bomb blasts at an Iraqi university killed dozens and the United Nations estimated that 34,000 civilians in Iraq had died in 2006, MSNBC spent nearly nine minutes on the stories during the 1 p.m. hour. A CNN correspondent in Iraq did a three-minute report about the bombings.

Neither story merited a mention on Fox News Channel that hour.

That wasn’t unusual. Fox spent half as much time covering the Iraq war than MSNBC during the first three months of the year, and considerably less than CNN, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism.

“It illustrates the danger of cheerleading for one particular point or another because they were obviously cheerleaders for the war,” said Jon Klein, CNN U.S. president. “When the war went badly they had to dial back coverage because it didn’t fit their preconceived story lines.”

So with less on-air attention being paid to Iraq during the first few months of the year, what filled the void for Fox? PEJ’s report said the network gave the death of Anna Nicole Smith significantly more air time than its rivals.

AP News

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