John McCain: TV Talk’s Indispensable Man

A few laughs on CBS‘s Face the Nation yesterday (1/23/11):

BOB SCHIEFFER: And we begin this morning welcoming back to Face the Nation for the first time in exactly one year Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the person who, by the way, has been on this broadcast more than any other politician now in office.

Well, senator, you haven’t been here in a year. What were you doing? Were you busy back in Arizona or what?

Busy and thanks for having me back on. And it’s probably the longest absence in all these years too. So I’m glad to be back.

McCain is still trailing former Sen. Bob Dole as the most frequent guest on NBC‘s Meet the Press. He’ll pass him soon enough.

The apparent inability to have a Sunday show that doesn’t feature frequent McCain appearances was best illustrated last year, when the July 4 broadcast of ABC‘s This Week touted an “exclusive” with the Arizona senator–who had appeared on NBC‘s Meet the Press exactly one week earlier.

Or this P.U.-litzer from 1999:


On April 5, network TV convened panels of experts to discuss the war on Yugoslavia. Viewers could see hawkish Sen. John McCain at 9 p.m. on CNN‘s Larry King Live, at 10 p.m. on Fox News Channel, at 11 p.m. on PBS‘s Charlie Rose show and at 11:30 p.m. on ABC‘s Nightline With Ted Koppel. The senator’s whereabouts between 10:30 and 11 p.m. could not be determined.

About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.