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03-13-2006, 11:59 PM
If It's Sunday, It's Conservative: An analysis of the Sunday talk show guests on ABC, CBS, and NBC, 1997 - 2005


Executive Summary

The Sunday-morning talk shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC are where the prevailing opinions are aired and tested, policymakers state their cases, and the left and right in American politics debate the pressing issues of the day on equal ground. Both sides have their say and face probing questions. Or so you would think.

In fact, as this study reveals, conservative voices significantly outnumber progressive voices on the Sunday talk shows. Media Matters for America conducted a content analysis of ABC's This Week, CBS' Face the Nation, and NBC's Meet the Press, classifying each one of the nearly 7,000 guest appearances during President Bill Clinton's second term, President George W. Bush's first term, and the year 2005 as either Democrat, Republican, conservative, progressive, or neutral. The conclusion is clear: Republicans and conservatives have been offered more opportunities to appear on the Sunday shows - in some cases, dramatically so.

Among the study's key findings:

The balance between Democrats/progressives and Republicans/conservatives was roughly equal during Clinton's second term, with a slight edge toward Republicans/conservatives: 52 percent of the ideologically identifiable guests were from the right, and 48 percent were from the left. But in Bush's first term, Republicans/ conservatives held a dramatic advantage, outnumbering Democrats/progressives by 58 percent to 42 percent. In 2005, the figures were an identical 58 percent to 42 percent.
Counting only elected officials and administration representatives, Democrats had a small advantage during Clinton's second term: 53 percent to 45 percent. In Bush's first term, however, the Republican advantage was 61 percent to 39 percent -- nearly three times as large.
In both the Clinton and Bush administrations, conservative journalists were far more likely to appear on the Sunday shows than were progressive journalists. In Clinton's second term, 61 percent of the ideologically identifiable journalists were conservative; in Bush's first term, that figure rose to 69 percent.
In 1997 and 1998, the shows conducted more solo interviews with Democrats/progressives than with Republicans/conservatives. But in every year since, there have been more solo interviews with Republicans/conservatives.
The most frequent Sunday show guest during this nine-year period is Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who has appeared 124 times. Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) has been the most frequent guest since 2003.
In every year examined by the study -- 1997 - 2005 -- more panels tilted right (a greater number of Republicans/conservatives than Democrats/progressives) than tilted left. In some years, there were two, three, or even four times as many righttitled panels as left-tilted panels.
Congressional opponents of the Iraq war were largely absent from the Sunday shows, particularly during the period just before the war began.
In short, the Sunday talk shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC are dominated by conservative voices, from newsmakers to commentators. The data from the Clinton years indicate that the disparity cannot be explained simply by the fact that Republicans currently control the government.


Gayle in MD
03-18-2006, 08:23 AM
Interesting. The supposed left-liberal-slanted media doesn't exist, kind of like the WMD's. Just more neo-con myth.

I heard yesterday some organization did a survey of the general public to determine how well informed the average person on the street was in correlation to the news programs they watch. The most misinformed were those who watched Fox News, favored news of the right, LMAO!

Gayle in Md.

03-18-2006, 08:30 AM
A similar poll compared those who watch Fox to the Daily Show on topics of how the government works, history, curretn events... The Daily Show audience was far more informed.

The current events are so messed up and get so much spin it's a joke so I guess the best way to report it is to just lay it out there and laugh about it.

03-18-2006, 08:36 AM

Gayle in MD
03-18-2006, 09:38 AM
Thank heaven for C-Span, and the function of the written word. In this day, unless one watches live, the workings of this government, and has a personal committment to seeking out the truth from the written word of those who risk their treasured comfort and anonymity in order to expose the corruption, deceit and illegality of this administration, there is little hope for accurate assessments or appraisals of current events.

Given that we are faced with a right neocon quest for power and control, dictatorship and fascism, and their political philosophy of secrecy, and overt, covert protectionism, which endeavors to confuse and distract the public from the truth,.... real time media, free press, and journalistic access, is the ONLY hope for saving the nation.

It is enlightening to observe that this administration has gone to extreme measures in order to control and skew that very process, and the timing the release of devastating poll numbers, and the SWARMER event, coupled with the exclusion of journalists who have risked their lives througout this misguided, mishandled war, but were not allowed to film this event, is a commentary to their continuing quest to control, and mislead Americans. An orchestrated, Administration friendly projection, of the of ability and competence of Iraqi forces, can be the only answer to this most recent attempt on the part of the administration to paint the picture with their own brush, and in their own controlled way, and for their own purposes.

Akin to their policies of hiding flag draped coffins of our War Heros from our sight, the placement of phoney journalists in the press room for the purpose of asking administration friendly questions, the purchasing of propaganda laden stories, and on the heels of Rumsfeld's repeated complaints of the media's "Pictures of bombs and people dying" which is, after all, the ugly face of war, the premier showing of this new administration tactic for American approval of their obscene, premeditated quest to distract, and confuse, reminds me of their ever changing reasons for occupying a country and launching their pre-emptive attack on Iraqi soil, and killing thousands of people, all in the name of a false and ineffective, War On Terrorism, for the supposed purpose of spreading democracy, the very element of our own national honored tradition which they have so arrogantly diluted and dismantled here on our own shores, under our own flag, and with pompus righteosness, using covert unamerican activities, fear, and with complete disregard for the actual safety measures which they have failed to provide.

When one administration fails on so many fronts, there are so many issued which at once are pressing, and demand in depth study for solutions, it is no wonder that so many Americans throw up their hands, and settle for sound bytes on the evening news. They are overwhelmed, and like the dog in the church, not sure which bell to answer first.

Gayle in Md.