Cable news likes Hillary Clinton.
A Mediaite study of the three major news stations’ programming between Monday, February 3 and Sunday, February 9th found they devoted eighty segments to Clinton last week, for a total of 173 minutes—all during a week in which Clinton, who does not currently hold office and has not announced her candidacy for an election almost three years away, said and did almost nothing.
The study counted any sustained discussion that lasted more than thirty seconds and involved more than a passing reference to Clinton (thus excluding many of the Chris Christie segments that happened to reference her as a hypothetical election opponent); however, any on-screen graphic of 2016 poll numbers citing Clinton automatically counted as a segment. All repeats and show intros were excluded.
CNN narrowly led in the number of segments, with twenty-nine, beating MSNBC by one and Fox by six. However, CNN also spent about fifteen minutes more than its nearest competitor:
Of course, the tenor of the coverage differed. Fox was considerably more interested in Clinton’s Superb Owl tweet and the effect of the lingering Benghazi scandal on her campaign; MSNBC devoted far more time to Senator Rand Paul’s (R-KY) attacks on Bill Clinton as part of the War on Women narrative; while CNN focused heavily on whether Clinton would ultimately keep Joe Biden from running. Coverage was also driven by BuzzFeed’s article on Obama aides concern-trolling Clinton’s campaign.
If anything, this week, which saw the release of HRC by Amie Parnes and Jonathan Allen, could be worse.
Eternal reminder: there are 1,001 days until the 2016 election.
[Image via screengrab]
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