Sunday Talk Shows: Liberal or Conservative?
"I admit it -- the liberal media were never that powerful, and the whole thing was often used as an excuse by conservatives for conservative failures."
William Kristol, as reported by the New Yorker, 5/22/95
(Yes, it's an old quote, but it's still true.)
From the Washington Monthly:
If you're up early on Sunday mornings in Washington, you can observe a weekly ritual. Around 9am, a string of chauffeured town cars and SUVs pulls up outside the NBC studio on Nebraska Avenue in Northwest Washington where "Meet the Press" is recorded, and out tumble government officials and politicians, reporters, and pundits. They scan the weekend papers over coffee in the green room, catch up with the women who apply their make-up, and wait for their chance to spin or pontificate. One thing you might notice about these select individuals-other than the fact that there are very few women-is that lately they are mostly conservative.
Which leads to another Sunday morning ritual: American liberals yelling at their televisions.
No, liberals, it's not your imagination. "Meet the Press" and the other Sunday political talk shows really have leaned more to the right in recent years. At Media Matters for America, we looked at every one of the 7,000 guests who appeared on the three major Sunday shows from 1997 through 2005-Bill Clinton's second term, George W. Bush's first term, and the last year. We found that the left has of late found itself outnumbered, in some ways substantially, on the television shows that define the Washington conventional wisdom. Liberals are already a disturbingly rare species among what Calvin Trillin refers to as the "Sabbath Gasbags." And in some debates-the war in Iraq, for example-they are in danger of becoming extinct.