Sunday, June 9, 2013

John McCain and the Great Sunday Show Imbalance

The New York Times had an article yesterday on the tendency of the Sunday shows to feature the same set of guests (Think: John McCain) and ignore a lot of voices from Congress.  Along with the article appeared this interesting graphic detailing the number of appearances of each Senator on the Sunday shows (“Face the Nation,” “Meet the Press,” “This Week,” “State of the Union,” “Fox News Sunday” and “Al Punto") between 2010 and June 3rd of this year.

Many of us have probably complained about the party (and gender) imbalance on the Sunday shows.  Well, the NYT counted, and we have the numbers to back us up: "Of 641 total appearances by senators since 2010, 369 were by Republicans, 247 were by Democrats and 25 were by independents (22 of those by Joseph I. Lieberman.)"

Using that data, I decided to highlight some interesting statistics.
Three senators had more than 50 appearances:  the dynamic duo of John McCain (61) and Lindsey Graham (58) and then Dick Durbin (52).

Five additional senators had at least 20 appearances: Mitch McConnell (43), Chuck Schumer (35), Jon Kyl (22), Joe Lieberman (22), and Diane Feinstein (20).

Nine additional senators had at least 10 appearances: John Cornyn (17), Tom Coburn (16), Marco Rubio (15), Jim DeMint (14), Mark Warner (14), Bob Menendez (13), Lamar Alexander (11), Kelly Ayotte (11), and Rand Paul (10).

Out of these 17 senators who broke double digits, we have 5 Democrats, 11 Republicans, and 1 Joe Lieberman.
Total number of appearances by sitting female Senators: 65

Total number of appearances by John McCain: 61

Diane Feinstein (20), Kelly Ayotte, (11), Claire McCaskill (7), Amy Klobuchar (5), Kirsten Gillibrand (4), Patty Murray (4), Susan Collins (3), Mary Landrieu (3), Debbie Stabenow (3), Barbara Boxer (2), Heidi Heitkamp (2), Barbara Mikulski (1), everyone else (0)
Appearances by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: 5

Appearances by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell: 43
Combined appearances of the top 8 most frequent Senate guests: 313

Combined appearances of everyone else who has served in the Senate in this period: 328
Number of Senators serving between 2010 and today with 0 appearances: 62 (43 of them sitting senators)

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