Friday, September 26, 2014

Sunday Morning Talk Show Guests Lean Right

If you plan to watch the Sunday morning talk shows, you'll be hard pressed to find evidence of the so-called "liberal media." Instead, you'll see a cavalcade of conservatives. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) alone has appeared 97 times since 2009. Examining the data, The New York Times "Upshot" column reports that the tilt is to the right, not the left:

Conservative members of the current Congress have appeared more often on the network talk shows than their liberal counterparts. Senators and representatives from the conservative end of the ideological spectrum have made 57 percent of the appearances, compared with 42 percent for liberals, according to an Upshot analysis of data collected by American University.

This slightly lopsided distribution is primarily the result of three Republican senators’ frequent visits to the network shows: John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell. Because of the Republican Party’s control of the House during the past three years, its leaders and committee chairmen are presented with more opportunities to discuss the latest political news.

We matched the list of frequent guests to ideological scores generated by Crowdpac, a website that makes detailed ideological comparisons between political candidates. They extend along a line from “10 Liberal” to “10 Conservative.” The analysis excludes former members of Congress who have contractual agreements to appear on one of the five shows: “Fox News Sunday,” NBC’s “Meet the Press,” CBS’s “Face the Nation,” ABC’s “This Week” and CNN’s “State of the Union.” The appearances were compiled from data collected by the Women in Politics Institute at American University.

When the Sunday shows have turned to former members of Congress, the same ideological pattern emerges: Conservatives have made 56 percent of the appearances, compared with 41 percent for liberals. As a group, the former conservative lawmakers were slightly more liberal than their current counterparts.


Michael J. Mand said...

I know I don't need to say this, but, as you point out so convincingly, the term "liberal media" is untrue. It all depends on your sources and what you choose to let anger you. I often listen to talk radio and you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone expressing a liberal point of view. So I'm always pointing out how misguided "conservative" media is.

Jeff Tone said...

By now, "liberal media" is a term without any validity. Sarah Palin still uses it, which proves my point.