Who Gets Air-Time On Sunday Morning News Shows?

There has long been a bit of controversy about who gets asked to be interviewed on Sunday morning news shows.  If it seems like the same elected officials keep showing up to be peppered with questions about the latest headlines and pressing matters that need national attention it is because that is the case week after week.  At times the official is someone who has deep institutional memory and a background that makes for insightful programing such as with Arizona Senator John McCain.  Other times the bombastic and headline seeking are allowed more time as they are so peculiar, and therefore seemingly more interesting as in the case of Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

I think it worth discussion as to how a select few continually get selected for the shows, when there is a huge number of qualified members of congress to pose questions to on any Sunday morning.

Lets look at the faces and numbers for 2013.

For 2013, the race wasn’t especially close – House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) easily came out on top, making 27 appearances this year. That works out to an average of one appearance every 1.9 weeks (or 2.25 Sunday show appearances a month, every month for a year). 

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who led the race for much of the year, ended up in second place with 24 appearances over 52 weeks. As a consolation prize, it’s worth noting that McCain made 21 Sunday show appearances in 2012, so while he couldn’t match Rogers’ 2013 tally, at least the Arizona Republican saw a significant increase.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R), who hasn’t served in public office since resigning in disgrace 15 years ago, was tied for third place with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), one of only a few Democrats to make the cut.
In all, 10 of the top 13 are Republicans, as are six of the top seven.



One thought on “Who Gets Air-Time On Sunday Morning News Shows?

  1. I would hope that once you add in administration officials, the guest list looks more balanced than this.
    Still, there are Democrats such as Elizabeth Warren, Al Franken and Russ Feingold who hardly seem shy and retiring.

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