Donald Trump has a friend in Fox News, which has provided the controversial Republican candidate for president with far more airtime than any other GOP candidate.

According to the liberal watchdog Media Matters for America, Trump was on Fox News network a combined four hours and 45 minutes from May 1 through July 31. In second place, and a distant one at that, was former Fox News host and ex-Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who appeared for three hours and 21 minutes.

Huckabee was followed by former Texas Governor Rick Perry (three hours and 12 minutes), Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (three hours and eight minutes) and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (two hours and 47 minutes). Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, the onetime GOP frontrunner, got only one hour and 44 minutes.

Trump’s “constant presence on Fox News has likely aided his rise to first place in Republican primary polls,” Ben Dimiero and Rob Savillo wrote at Media Matters for America. Fox News, which has been accused of trying to usurp the Republican primary process, “has caused a rift among conservative media figures, including within Fox News,” Dimiero and Savillo wrote. “Last month, New York magazine reported that Rupert Murdoch had asked Fox News head Roger Ailes to have the network ‘back off the Trump coverage,’ which Ailes refused to do.”

Fox News hosted the first Republican presidential debate earlier this month and set the ground rules for which 10 of the GOP hopefuls would be allowed to appear. The criteria…

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