Meet The Press, Face The Nation, and This Week chose to go pro-Republican, and now they are dying because America is moving to the left.
Meanwhile, fans complain about the recurrence of familiar guests — Sen. John McCain again? — who simply relay party talking points that often go unchallenged.
Political veterans, congressional aides, former administration officials and longtime journalists all attested to the Sunday shows’ decline. The programs are no longer the agenda-setting platforms of days past, they said. Instead, the broadcasts have become a venue for lawmakers to push familiar talking points and for talking heads to exchange conventional wisdom. Occasionally there is an interview or discussion that will make headlines — Vice President Joe Biden’s endorsement of gay marriage, which preceded President Barack Obama’s own announcement, comes to mind. But that has become the exception rather than the rule.
The Obama administration has turned an especially cold shoulder to the programs. Past administrations would dole out key newsmakers almost every week. The George W. Bush administration frequently sent the likes of Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and others on the show in an effort to shape the national conversation.
Politico suggested that the Obama administration prefers to target their message to their people. The Obama White House has used Internet, social media, and regional news outlets more than the Beltway media establishment, but Politico completely ignored the fact that Obama, Democrats, and the left are not welcome on the Sunday shows.
White conservative men dominate the Sunday shows. 77% of the guests with 10 or more Sunday show appearances in 2013 were Republicans. It isn’t that liberals, progressives, and Democrats don’t want to be on the Sunday shows. It’s that the Sunday shows appear to have little interest in them. A Sunday program would rather book John McCain for 60th time than have on Sen. Bernie Sanders.
There are lots of Democratic governors and members of Congress who would love to appear on a Sunday show, but the problem is that all of the Sunday shows have bought into the Republican myth that America is a conservative nation. This belief is demonstrated by the overrepresentation of conservative white men on the shows.
If Meet The Press, Face The Nation, This Week, etc. wanted to be relevant to the majority of the country, the shows would feature more women, African-Americans, and Hispanic guests. The Sunday shows have devolved into white guys interviewing white Republicans and more white inside the Beltway journalists sitting around spouting their often inaccurate groupthink and conventional wisdom.
The Sunday shows represent the small percentage of the country that watches Fox News and votes Republican. They don’t represent the changing demographics of the country. As the country goes more left, the Sunday shows are moving to the right. Meet The Press, Face The Nation, This Week, State Of The Union, and Fox News Sunday are dying a slow death because they don’t understand that Republican America isn’t real America.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association