Lack of Diversity on Display as White Male Republicans Dominated the Sunday Shows in 2013



With the final Sunday in the books for 2013, we can now take a look at who appeared the most on the Sunday talk shows in 2013. When discussing the Sunday shows, we are focusing on five programs: Meet the Press, This Week, State of the Union, Fox News Sunday and Face the Nation. These are all on broadcast networks and, due to their format of being panel discussion shows with solo interviews, are supposed to offer a wide range of diverse opinions about the hot political topics of that week.

Well, when looking at the most frequent guests on these shows in 2013, it is apparent that the opinions that were most valued by these shows were from older, white, male Republicans. As Steve Benen at MSNBC so kindly highlighted on his blog Monday morning, when looking at guests who appeared 10 or times on the Sunday shows, 10 of the 13 were Republican. Only one was a woman (Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte) and only one could be considered non-white (half-Cuban Republican Senator Ted Cruz.)


Surprisingly, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) did not top this list. He ‘only’ appeared 24 times on a Sunday show in 2013, placing second. (McCain made 21 appearances in 2012.) The most frequent guest on Sunday was actually Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), who made 27 appearances. Rogers is the Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, so he was a go-to guest pretty much every week as the Republicans pushed the Benghazi ‘scandal’ to the hilt. For some reason, Newt Gingrich, who holds no office and hasn’t since the late ’90s, was scheduled the third most times, making a total of 19 appearances.

Only three Democrats appeared 10 or more times on the Sunday shows: Sen. Dick Durbin, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Joe Manchin. Other frequent Republican guests were Sen Lindsay Graham (natch), Sen. Rand Paul (of course) and Rep. Peter King (who is always on the hunt for media attention.) Other Republicans that made 10 or more appearances were the aforementioned Cruz and Ayotte, as well as Sen. Bob Corker and Rep. Michael McCaul.

As Media Matters pointed out in October, the Sunday shows lacked diversity throughout the first three quarters of the year. During that time, 63% of the guests on the shows were white men. Of those, conservatives outnumbered liberals by a two-to-one margin. Based on the final guest numbers provided by Benen, it doesn’t appear that the fourth quarter numbers will change much. Basically, if you want to get on a Sunday show, the main criteria is to be white, male and Republican.


Image: Maddow Blog

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