In a highly publicized $100 million lawsuit against her former employers at NewsCorp, Judith Regan has made various seemingly paranoid claims about a conspiracy against her at the publishing giant. The accusations seem to center on her claim that NewsCorp has a political alliance with Rudy Giuliani and has attempted to discredit her so that she can't harm Giuliani through the use of information obtained through her former relationship with Giuliani associate and former NYPD Chief Bernard Kerik.
Regan's accusations have raised some ire in both the new and the old media, both directed at her and surrounding the issue of media bias, trotting out the good old accusations that Fox News is partisan and that they are actively promoting Giuliani for the presidency to the exclusion of other candidates. At Salon.com they've even gone so far as to analyze how much airtime Giuliani has been given compared to other candidates and concluded that he's their chosen golden boy.
Not surprisingly, when an accusation like this comes up, we can turn to the blogosphere for some pretty sophisticated analysis, including Juxtable.com which has compiled a variety of raw candidate exposure stats online and in the media, and Outside the Beltway which has done a detailed breakdown by network and candidate of whom the various networks seems to be giving the most face time to. By this analysis Giuliani does seem to be the FoxNews favorite, but he's only slightly ahead of Fred Thompson. But other networks have their favorites too. MSNBC loves Biden and Dodd. CNN likes Richardson and Hunter. NBC likes McCain and Edwards. CBS likes Obama. ABC likes Edwards. With all the networks taken together McCain and Biden are actually way out ahead on overall exposure. Interestingly, front runner Hillary Clinton gets relatively little exposure in cable news and the broadcast media.
To be entirely fair, it seems an awful lot like the candidates who get a lot of media time are the ones who make themselves most available, handle themselves well in interviews and know it. And it's debatable how valuable all this exposure is, since the two frontrunners are ranked 9th and 12th in overall media exposure, while the rapidly vanishing Joe Biden is ranked second and McCain's top ranking doesn't seem to be catapulting him ahead of Giuliani or even into second place. So the whole issue of Fox News being extra nice to Giuliani may be fairly meaningless if other candidates are getting more overall exposure and all that extra exposure doesn't really help the candidate all that much.