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Jake Tapper Joins Legion Of White Dudes On Sunday Shows

CNN continues the time-honored tradition.
Jake Tapper Joins Legion Of White Dudes On Sunday Shows
Image from: MediaMatters

Jake Tapper has finally landed The Thing He Always Wanted -- a gig on the Sunday Yakker shows as anchor.

CNN made the announcement earlier today:

CNN announced Tapper's promotion on Friday morning. He will take over the program in June; he'll remain the channel's chief Washington correspondent and the anchor of the weekday afternoon newscast "The Lead."

Among his peers, Tapper is seen as an authority on politics, something a program like "State of the Union" demands. He received rave reviews when he was the interim anchor of ABC's Sunday morning hour "This Week" in 2010.

"I couldn't be more excited about this election season and the new platform I will have at CNN to cover it," Tapper said in a statement. "'State Of The Union' has a rich tradition and I hope to not only build on its history but expand the definition of what a Sunday show can be."

Tapper thanked CNN Worldwide CEO Jeff Zucker "for the confidence he continues to show in me and to my colleagues at CNN for the incredible support on air and off that I've received since beginning this adventure two years ago."

When compared to others in the Sunday Yakker Pack, Tapper is probably one of the better ones, but he's got the same Villager DNA as the rest of them, which means everything gets framed through the lens of white privileged males, which means they all sit around with a lot of guests who are also white privileged males.

Check out this Media Matters graphic:

And this, from their 2014 study:

But white men aren't just dominating the programs as hosts -- they also make up the large majority of guest appearances. According to a Media Matters report analyzing the state of diversity on the Sunday news programming in 2014, white men made up the largest proportion of guests on all shows considered. The report, which analyzed the ethnicity, gender and ideology of guests on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, CBS' Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer, Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, NBC'sMeet the Press with Chuck Todd, and CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley, found that white men dominated the guests appearances on all programs considered.

As much as I would like to think of Sunday shows as irrelevant, they still aren't. They do set a narrative and tone for the week whether we like it or not. It's also true that Dana Bash wasn't much better when it came to the Villager themes, but surely there are qualified women or people of color out there who could bring a fresher and more relevant perspective to at least one of these shows?

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