Obama, Romney Given Unequal Airtime on Cable Networks Ahead of Election: Study

Obama Vs. Romney Headshots Split - H 2012
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Obama Vs. Romney Headshots Split - H 2012

CNN, MSNBC and Fox News Channel greatly differ in the amount of airtime allotted to each candidate in the days before Tuesday's election.

Television news networks are showing some of the final stump speeches for the presidential candidates, but what you see depends on where you look.

The liberal group Media Matters for America said Monday that the left-leaning MSNBC aired 79 minutes of speechifying by President Obama from Thursday through late Sunday afternoon, compared with 44 minutes of Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

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There was a larger disparity on Fox News Channel, which is popular with conservatives. During the same period, Fox aired 27 minutes of the Democratic incumbent and 168 minutes of Romney making his case.

Media Matters says CNN aired 66 minutes of Obama and 53 minutes of Romney.

The findings come on the heels of a Pew Research Center study that found MSNBC to be more negative toward Romney than Fox News is toward Obama.

Meanwhile, a study by the Center for Media and Public Affairs released last week showed that the late-night talk show hosts on the major broadcast networks  made far more jokes in their opening monologue about the GOP's presidential nominee than they did the incumbent president over a recent monthlong period.