The Pew Research Center had the stopwatch going during cable news coverage of the typhoon in Philippines and the continuing struggles with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Coverage of Obamacare dominated on Fox News and MSNBC while Typhoon Haiyan was covered more on CNN and Al Jazeera America.
The study, which tracked 80 hours of programming from November 11-15 (one hour of midday and three hours of primetime each day), shows Fox News was far and away heaviest on Obamacare, providing about 80 times more coverage than the storm while MSNBC covered healthcare about four times more than the storm.
Al Jazeera America devoted more than twice as much airtime to the foreign storm than to healthcare problems (three hours and ten minutes to one-and-a-half hours), while CNN served as the most balanced of the four networks, spending close to five hours on the storm—with Anderson Cooper reporting from the Philippines—and a little over three-and-a-half hours on healthcare.
The study also found Al Jazeera America was the least opinion-oriented, with 41% of it’s coverage opinion-laced compared to CNN (72%), MSNBC (86%), and Fox News Channel (97%).