Apr 25 2012

Sunday Shows: More than GOP TV?

It’s time to tell the TV networks: Sunday morning should be more than GOP TV. Sign FAIR’s petition today!

A new study from FAIR (Extra!, 4/12) of the Sunday morning network chat shows found a distinct conservative, white and male tilt in the guest lists. In an eight-month study (6/11-2/12) of the four shows–ABC‘s This Week, NBC‘s Meet the Press, CBS‘s Face the Nation and Fox News Sunday–FAIR found:

* In one-on-one interviews, 70 percent of partisan-affiliated guests were Republican. Those guests were overwhelmingly white (92 percent) and male (86 percent).* Roundtable debate segments weren’t much more diverse: 62 percent of partisan guests were Republican. More broadly, guests classified as either Republican or conservative far outnumbered Democrats or progressives, 282 to 164. The roundtables were 71 percent male and 85 percent white.

* U.S. government sources–current officials, former lawmakers, political candidates, party-affiliated political operatives and campaign advisers–dominated the Sunday shows overall (47 percent of appearances). Following closely behind were journalists (43 percent), most of whom were middle-of-the-road Beltway political reporters.

While the right-wing tilt might be written off as a function of the Republican presidential race, the fact is that the Sunday shows still leaned to the right, though to a lesser extent, during the Democratic primaries in 2003 (Media Matters, 2/14/06).

Whatever the political climate or stories of the moment, Sunday TV gives viewers an overwhelmingly white, male and conservative perspective on the world. Let’s call on the networks’ Sunday shows to not only balance their partisan guests, but also bring in voices from outside the two-party system to join a conversation that goes beyond establishment politicians and Beltway journalists.

Sign FAIR’s petition now!