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White Men and Conservatives Command Sunday Political Talk Shows

A Media Matters review of the Sunday morning political shows finds that white males dominate the guest lists. Overall, conservatives outnumbered progressives on the four broadcast Sunday morning shows.
 
 
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Throughout 2013, Media Matters has analyzed guest appearances on ABC's This Week with George Stephanopoulos, CBS' Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer, Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, NBC's Meet the Press with David Gregory, CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley, and MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki and Melissa Harris-Perry, political talk shows that often set the media and political agenda. Media Matters has previously released analyses of the  firstsecond, and  third quarters of the year. This item will be updated as Media Matters releases additional analysis of the 2013 gender, ethnicity, and ideological demographics of the guests.

White Men Dominate Sunday Morning Shows

White Men Represented The Largest Proportion Of Guests On Every Show. On the four broadcast shows and CNN, white men represented a majority of all guests: 60 percent on This Week, 67 percent on Face the Nation, 67 percent on Fox News Sunday, 62 percent on Meet the Press, and 54 percent on State of the Union. On Up and Melissa Harris-Perry, white men represented a plurality of guests at 42 percent and 27 percent, respectively. Melissa Harris-Perry deserves special mention for having a much more diverse guest list than the other programs; 26 percent of guests were African-American women, 20 percent were African-American men, and 16 percent were white women. Up also featured significantly more women and people of color than CNN or the broadcast shows. Latino, Asian-American, and Middle Eastern guests continued to rank in the single digits or not at all among every show.

White Men Represented The Largest Proportion Of Solo Interviews. On broadcast and CNN, white men were the largest proportion of guests given a one-on-one interview with the host by a significant margin: 68 percent of solo interviews on This Week were given to white men, 76 percent on Face the Nation, 72 percent on Fox News Sunday, 73 percent on Meet the Press, and 73 percent on State of the Union. Only Melissa Harris-Perry featured a significant proportion of solo interviews with non-white guests, largely African-Americans. Few Latinos and almost no Asian-Americans or Middle Eastern guests received solo interviews. Up did not conduct enough solo interviews in the period studied to be included in the chart.

White Men Were Overrepresented On Broadcast And CNN. Using the most recent data from the U.S. Census Bureau, white men were hosted at more than double their proportion of the U.S. population on the broadcast shows -- 64 percent on broadcast compared to 31 percent in the population. White men were also overrepresented on CNN at 54 percent. Women of color were significantly underrepresented on broadcast -- only 5 percent of guests were women of color compared to 19 percent in the population. Only MSNBC -- due primarily to Melissa Harris-Perry - hosted its guests closer to their representation in the population. White women were underrepresented on all shows.

More Than 70 Percent Of Broadcast And CNN Guests Were Men. Men were fully three-quarters of all guests on the four broadcast shows and 71 percent of the guests on CNN. By contrast, on the MSNBC programs, men made up 56 percent of guests.

White People Were An Overwhelming Majority Of Broadcast And CNN Guests. On the four broadcast shows, 84 percent of guests were white. On CNN, 73 percent of guests were white. White people still held a majority on MSNBC, representing 54 percent of guests.

Top Ten Solo Interview Guests Are All Men, Only One Person Of Color. The ten guests who received the most solo guest appearances on the Sunday morning shows were all men (the list below includes 11 individuals because three guests tied with eight appearances each). Only one non-white guest, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), made the top ten.

 
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