Fact Check

Fox News Underreports Certification Of DADT Repeal

July 29, 2011 11:37 am ET

On July 22, President Obama, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen certified that repealing the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy would not affect U.S. military readiness, beginning a 60-day waiting period before the law is finally eliminated. Despite having gone out of its way to spread misinformation about DADT’s repeal in 2010, Fox was strangely quiet after it became clear on July 21 that the administration was preparing to approve certification. An Equality Matters analysis found that while CNN and MSNBC both aired multiple segments covering the story, Fox barely even mentioned the historic development.

Analysis: Fox News Underreported News Of DADT Repeal’s Certification

CNN And MSNBC Reported DADT Repeal’s Certification More Extensively Than Fox News. According to an Equality Matters analysis*, in the period between July 21 and July 24, CNN covered the administration’s certification 26 times, MSNBC covered the story 11 times, and Fox News covered the story 5 times, including a 2 a.m. rerun of an earlier mention. Moreover, CNN and MSNBC both ran a number of longer segments in order to cover the story, inviting guests like OutServe’s Jonathan Hopkins and R. Clarke Cooper, Executive Director of Log Cabin Republicans.

*Equality Matters searched news transcripts provided by Snapstream and TV Eyes for the phrase “don’t ask” and the terms “gay” and “military” between July 21 and July 24. Teases for upcoming segments were excluded. Reruns were included, though reruns of longer segments were not counted as additional segments.

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