Sunday's bobblehead extravaganzas have felt irrelevant to me for awhile now. Every week I get up and see another Sunday with old conservative hosts hanging onto the edge of their seats while old conservative white men and women yammer on about their special and privileged point of view.
I'm sick of that. Melissa Harris-Perry and Steve Kornacki have at least tried to bring some fresh voices to the table, but they're an oasis in the desert.
This isn't just a hunch. Media Matters just finished their annual analysis and concluded that very little has changed over the past five years.
Check these statistics from the Media Matters report:
"White Men Represented The Largest Proportion Of Guests On Every Show. On the four broadcast shows and CNN, white men represented a majority of all guests: 60 percent on This Week, 67 percent on Face the Nation, 67 percent on Fox News Sunday, 62 percent on Meet the Press, and 54 percent on State of the Union. On Up and Melissa Harris-Perry, white men represented a plurality of guests at 42 percent and 27 percent, respectively. Melissa Harris-Perry deserves special mention for having a much more diverse guest list than the other programs; 26 percent of guests were African-American women, 20 percent were African-American men, and 16 percent were white women. Up also featured significantly more women and people of color than CNN or the broadcast shows. Latino, Asian-American, and Middle Eastern guests continued to rank in the single digits or not at all among every show."
Shrugging off those statistics is not an option. Those shows still depend on viewers and ratings to survive. In the hope that perhaps networks might actually care about having viewers, I've decided action is in order to pressure them for more balanced and diverse viewpoints, including progressives.
I started up a petition here. If you agree with this, please sign and share it to put networks on notice that we're interested in more diversity and less conformity.
Here's what I'm asking:
Your viewers deserve and demand to hear a diverse set of opinions from a diverse calendar of guests -- not just those of white conservatives. It's time for producers of your Sunday morning talk shows to schedule guests and hire hosts of races and political backgrounds that match the general population.
I'm going to be watching the guest lists carefully, just as I have been for the past month to see if they evolve at all. Meanwhile, if I get enough signatures on this petition, CredoMobilize will deliver it to the networks as a strong message that we're tired of being shoved in a corner while white conservatives frame the debate.
If they don't act, we'll vote with our attention and our remote controls. The more of us that speak up, the better.