Media Matters: Fox News coverage of equal marriage legalisation in three US states totals only one minute

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US media watchdog Media Matters reports that Fox News’ coverage of same-sex marriage bills passing in the states of Rhode Island, Delaware, and Minnesota clocked in at just one minute for all three combined.

Minnesota became the most recent US state to legalise same-sex marriage on Tuesday. It followed Rhode Island on 2 May, and Delaware on 7 May, resulting in a grand total of 12 US states that now have marriage equality.

The historic changes brought about by the laws themselves and the various issues that surrounded their passing – from Delaware Senator Karen Peterson’s coming out during her state’s vote to Minnesota Representative Peggy Scott’s tears – had figured majorly in national news.

However, Media Matters sub-group Equality Matters assessed transcripts of cable news channels Fox, CNN and MSNBC and found that the historic changes were given only brief coverage – or none at all – by Fox News.

The 1 May edition of ‘Fox Report with Shepard Smith’ devoted 16 seconds to marriage equality in Rhode Island. 44 combined seconds of coverage were given to Minnesota’s bill on  ‘Fox Report with Shepard Smith’ and ‘Special Report with Bret Baier’. No coverage was given to the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Delaware.

In total, Fox News’ coverage of the three bills passing came to one minute.

In contrast, MSNBC devoted 49 minutes in total to the three laws, while CNN devoted four.

Earlier this year Fox News host Bill O’Reilly wavered on whether he believes there is a link between homosexuality and paedophilia, and then declared his support for same-sex marriage.

In April Fox News Host Don Imus said during his programme that there was “some indication” that “Jesus may have been gay”, referring to a religious text, but not explaining why he made the claims.