Rick Santorum Whines About Coverage From Fox News

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Santorum took a detour to whine country today. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Complaining about media bias is as common a tactic among Republican politicians as praising the troops and using the word European as an insult. Usually the target of these complaints is MSNBC, the New York Times, or some other news outlet with a perceived vendetta against conservatives. And the GOP base eats it up. It's probably a bit harder, though, to elicit sympathy by claiming that Fox News is out to get you, which is what Rick Santorum claimed in a radio interview today:

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum accused Fox News of “shilling” for GOP front-runner Mitt Romney during a contentious interview Tuesday on the “Kilmeade and Friends” radio show.

“He’s had a 10-to-1 money advantage,” Santorum said of Romney. “He’s had all the organizational advantages. He has Fox News shilling for him every day, no offense Brian, but I see it. And yet, he can’t seal the deal because he just doesn’t have the goods to be able to motivate the Republican base to win this election.”

Any perceived favoratism among certain Fox News anchors is in the eye of the beholder, we suppose, but this is an odd thing to gripe about. Not only does Fox News have a reputation for schilling for all conservatives, but it's given Santorum a national TV platform on a regular basis throughout the primary campaign: According to a Media Matters tally, Santorum made 85 appearances on the cable news network between June 1, 2011, and January 22, 2012, more than any candidate except for Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain. And a search of Nexis transcripts shows that he's made five appearances on Fox News in just the past two weeks. Not to mention, Santorum was actually Fox News employee before he ran for president, earning $239,000 from a recurring commentator gig. And furthermore, Rupert Murdoch, the man who owns Fox News, has effectively endorsed Santorum on Twitter. It's hard to see how Santorum doesn't just come off a big crying baby-man here.