Study Shows Fox News Really Brings the 'Hate'

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fairly difficult
Researchers analyzed how often the cable news channels use the word.
By Curd Knüpfer and Robert Mathew Entman, The Conversation

Fox News is up to five times more likely to use the word "hate" in its programming than its main competitors, according to our new study of how cable news channels use language.

Fox particularly uses the term when explaining opposition to Donald Trump. His opponents are said to "hate" Trump, his values and his followers.

Our research, which ran from Jan. 1 to May 8, 2020, initially explored news of Trump's impeachment. Then came the coronavirus. As we sifted through hundreds of cable news transcripts over five months, we noticed consistent differences between the vocabulary used on Fox News and that of MSNBC.

While their news agendas were largely similar, the words they used to describe these newsworthy events diverged greatly.

For our study, we analyzed 1,088 program transcripts from the two ideologically branded channels—right-wing Fox and left-wing MSNBC—between 6 p.m. and 10:59 p.m.

Because polarized media diets contribute to partisan conflict, our quantitative analysis identified terms indicating antipathy or resentment, such as "dislike," "despise," "can't stand" and "hate."

We expected to find that both of the strongly ideological networks made use of such words, perhaps in different ways. Instead, we found that Fox used antipathy words five times more often than MSNBC. "Hate" really stood out: It appeared 647 times on Fox, compared to 118 on MSNBC.

Fox usually pairs certain words alongside "hate." The most notable was "they" – as in, "they hate." Fox used this phrase 101 times between January and May. MSNBC used it just five times.

To put these findings in historic context, we then used the GDELT Television database to search for occurrences of the phrase "they hate" on both networks going back to…
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