As regular readers of this blog are already well aware, week after week the Sunday talk shows, or as we like to call them here, the Sunday morning bobblehead shows, are routinely dominated by Republican politicians and guests, and the Democrats who are allowed on are far too often right-leaning Conserva-Dems.
This Friday, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow took a shot directly across the bow at her colleague Chuck Todd, his producers and the lot of them responsible for deciding who is allowed to set the agenda week after week on these Sunday shows.
Here's more on that from Steve Benen at Maddow's blog: The Great 2015 Sunday Show Race:
For the third straight year, I tallied up the guests for “Meet the Press,” “Face the Nation,” “This Week,” “State of the Union,” and “Fox News Sunday,” and in 2015, Donald Trump was the big winner, making 36 appearances (Rogers won last year with 30). To put the Republican presidential frontrunner’s tally in perspective, that works out to an average of roughly one appearance every 1.4 weeks – or three Sunday show appearances a month, every month for a year.
It’s worth emphasizing that many of Trump’s 2015 appearances came via telephone – as opposed to an in-person, sit-down interview – which may lead some to believe his overall victory should come with an asterisk. For those inclined to overlook his total, Bernie Sanders and Ben Carson were pretty busy on Sunday mornings, too, with each making 28 appearances.
Broadly speaking, once again, Republican voices easily outnumbered their Democratic counterparts last year. The above chart shows every political figure who made 10 or more Sunday show appearances this year – based on Nexis transcripts and the shows’ archives – with red columns representing Republicans and blue columns representing Democrats.
I should note that for the purposes of this study, I excluded hosts and journalists, looking exclusively at current officials, former officials, candidates for public office, domestic or foreign policymakers, or anyone fairly characterized as actively involved in the political arena. (Karl Rove’s inclusion here is admittedly debatable, but given his role in the Crossroads operation, it seemed only fair to characterize him as someone who’s “in the arena.” He has a media role, to be sure, but Rove also hopes to directly influence the outcome of the elections on which he comments.)
As longtime readers may recall, there’s a school of thought that says tallies like these are unimportant. Obviously, I disagree. For me, the five major Sunday shows represent a political institution of sorts, highlighting the kinds of voices and ideas the Beltway media considers important. The discussions held on these programs help reflect – and in many cases, shape – the conventional wisdom for the political establishment in D.C.
And every year, it seems it’s GOP voices who dominate.
That picture just gets uglier if you include all the other guests and pundits who appear on the shows as well. Good for Maddow and for Steve Benen for taking this topic on. I'm surprised her bosses at MSNBC allowed her to run it at all.
Usually the only one on her network that's allowed to take shots at the other hosts in any way, shape of form is that jackass Scarborough they've got polluting our airways for three hours every morning on weekdays.
Maddow didn't call Todd out by name, but she may as well have. He's the only one hosting a Sunday show and a show on MSNBC. Don't hold your breath for anything to change any time soon when it comes to their scheduling practices though. The executives at MSNBC seem more determined than ever to turn the entire network into another version of Fox-lite these days and NBC "news" isn't any better.
This problem is not going away any time soon, and it's definitely not going away until there's something done about the media consolidation in the United States, where a handful of companies are allowed to control far too much of everything we watch, listen to and read.