Shortage of Sunday morning women launches SheSource

The White House Project has released its study of the Sunday morning politics shows, and it's not looking so good for the women. Salon's got the rundown of what's happening:

The good news? The number of women spewing hot air at you while you try to eat your toast and read the Times on Sunday mornings is up from four years ago. The bad news? These improved numbers still leave only 14 percent of the total number of weekend chatterboxes with two x chromosomes.


"The absence of women on the Sunday shows matters -- a lot," this week's study asserts. "It perpetuates the invisibility of female leaders, it limits the scope of our national political debates and it leaves women underrepresented and undervalued as citizens of our democracy. In addition, the absence of female leaders on these shows gives the public the impression that women lack the credibility, expertise and authority to address our nation's most significant problems."


Anyway, while men made 186 return appearances, only 18 women were invited back, for a total of 37 repeats. You can practically fill in the identities of those 18 women off the top of your head: Rice, Bumiller, Boxer, Feinstein, Albright, Pelosi, Matalin, Dowd, Ifill. The usual suspects. (For the record, the winner of the most repeat appearances by any guest went to Joe Biden, with 18 spots in eight months. Congratulations, Joe!)

And, lest you get too cheerful about all these recognizable names, note that women were consistently featured in the less-watched later segments of each program. In the early (i.e. serious and manly) segments, their appearances rose by only a single percentage point, from 12 percent to 13 percent.

If you're a TV producer fretting, or looking to complain that you just don't know where to find smart women to come talk on your show, fret and complain no more: SheSource has been launched to shrink the gender gap in the media.

From the site's creators: "We created SheSource to help level the playing field so half the population - women - can have their voices including in the national discussion," said Chris Grumm, President & CEO of the Women's Funding Network, which specializes in programs for women and girls. "We forget sometimes what a powerful impact the media has on our lives. There may be a young woman out there who decides she wants to become a general someday because she sees Lt. General Claudia Kennedy on CNN and decides that she can do it. That's the impact we hope to make with SheSource."

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