Violence in Afghanistan has been on the uptick lately as July became the deadliest month for U.S. and coalition forces since the war began in late 2001. And just yesterday, insurgents there killed 9 U.S. and NATO troops in roadside bomb and sniper attacks.
This morning on Fox & Friends, host Steve Doocy and guest host Peter Johnson marked the occasion by making the story about Fox News, declaring that the network was the only one covering the rising violence in Afghanistan and suggesting media bias because of all the media focus the Iraq war had once received:
JOHNSON: July was the deadliest month for U.S. forces since the war began but no one is talking about it really. When President Bush was in office, the Iraq war was front page news!
DOOCY: Absolutely. Why the difference in the coverage between Iraq and Afghanistan? [...] We are still at war and that’s why you know we cover it here on Fox but I don’t see it any place else.
All Doocy and Johnson had to do was look at any of the nation’s major newspapers this morning and they would have discovered that each one covered the most recent attacks on NATO troops in Afghanistan. The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the Associated Press all had articles on the story. But also, the major news outlets all reported that last month was the deadliest for NATO in Afghanistan since 2001 back in mid-July when the milestone was reached.
Moreover, their cries of media bias further ring hollow as Fox News’s coverage of the Iraq war was not only limited, but lacking in accuracy. A Project for Excellence in Journalism study released in May 2007 found that of the three major cable news outlets, Fox covered the height of the Iraq war the least. Even when they were covering it, the network ran absurd stories, such as this one asking if the Iraq civil war could be “a good thing.”
Another study found that in the months leading up to the Iraq war through September 2003, viewers primarily watching Fox News were “significantly more likely to have misperceptions” about the war as compared to CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, NPR, PBS, and major newspapers.
If Fox News hosts are going to make media bias claims, they could at least try a quick Google search first.