The first presidential debate is almost here, so besides the usual parade of talking heads on the Sunday shows, all of the cable "news" networks are going live on the air this evening as well. The expectations for Trump are so low that basically, if he doesn't go out there and literally fling poop across the stage, the talking heads in the media will be spinning it as a "win" for Trump and telling all of us how "presidential" he was.
I expect his surrogates to be working the refs hard on the bobblehead shows as well. I'm curious how they're going to respond to what should be widespread revulsion to his campaign's decision to invite Gennifer Flowers to attend the first debate. Here's the line up for this weekend, courtesy of the Orlando Sentinel (check your local listings for times and stations in your area):
Sen. Tim Kaine, Hillary Clinton's running mate, and Gov. Mike Pence, Donald Trump's running mate, talk to CBS' "Face the Nation" at 10:30 a.m. on WKMG-Channel 6. Other guests are House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. The program looks at polls from Missouri, Virginia and Colorado, and Bob Schieffer will weigh in.
John Podesta, Clinton campaign chair, and Lt. General Michael Flynn (Ret.) of the Trump campaign preview the first presidential debate on NBC's "Meet the Press" at 9 a.m. on WESH-Channel 2. Other guests are Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Stephanie Cutter, former deputy campaign manager for President Obama; and Steve Schmidt, former strategist for the 2008 McCain presidential campaign. The panel will be presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, radio host Hugh Hewitt, Gwen Ifill of PBS' "Washington Week" and "NewsHour" and Republican strategist Mike Murphy.
Gov. Pence and Joel Benenson of the Clinton campaign preview the debate on "Fox News Sunday" at 10 a.m. on WOFL-Channel 35. Another guest is Carla Hayden, the librarian of Congress. The panel will be Juan Williams, Gerald Seib of The Wall Street Journal, Julie Pace of The Associated Press and Rachel Campos-Duffy of The LIBRE Initiative.
Kellyanne Conway of the Trump campaign and Robby Mook of the Clinton campagin talk to CNN's "State of the Union" at 9 a.m. and noon. Previewing the debates will be David Axelrod, former Obama senior adviser, and Mark McKinnon, former senior adviser to George W. Bush and co-creator of Showtime's "The Circus." The panel will be Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., and CNN commentators Van Jones, Andre Bauer and Angela Rye.
Conway and Mook are guests on ABC's "This Week" at 10 a.m. on WFTV-Channel 9. Other guests are Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. The panel will be GOP Alex Castellanos, ABC political analyst Matthew Dowd, Maggie Haberman of The New York Times, Democratic strategist Jamal Simmons and Katrina vanden Heuvel, editor and publisher of The Nation.
Eric Trump, son of the Republican presidential nominee, talks to "Sunday Morning Futures" at 10 a.m. on Fox News Channel. Other guests are Rep. Mike McCaul, R-Texas; San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan; Orlando Police Chief John Mina; and Jeffrey Lacker, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. The panel will be Mary Kissel of The Wall Street Journal, GOP strategist Ed Rollins and Democratic strategist Stephen Sigmund.
Petro Poroshenko, president of Ukraine, and Aung San Suu Kyi, state counsellor of Myanmar, are guests on "Fareed Zakaria GPS" at 10 a.m. on CNN.
Bill Hemmer and Martha MacCallum, anchors of "America's Newsroom," talk to "MediaBuzz" at 11 a.m. on Fox News Channel. Other guests are Republican strategist Lisa Boothe, political commentator Erin McPike, Fox News contributor Julie Roginsky, Amy Holmes of Rasmussen Reports, Democratic strategist Joe Trippi and Joe Concha, media reporter for The Hill.
Seth Meyers, host of NBC's "Late Night," discusses his Trump critiques on "Reliable Sources" at 11 a.m. on CNN. Other guests are Jim Lehrer, former host of "PBS Newshour," former ABC correspondent Ann Compton and Janet Brown, executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates. The guest list also includes Eleanor Clift of The Daily Beast, Frank Sesno of George Washington University, CNN's Dylan Byers and Brian Fallon, press secretary for the Clinton campaign.
The panel on "Inside Politics," at 8 a.m. on CNN, will be Jonathan Martin of The New York Times, Molly Ball of The Atlantic and CNN's Manu Raju and Jeff Zeleny.