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State of the Sunday Morning

Political Talk Shows


2013 - 2014

Key Findings
Among the top 10 most frequent elected and administration guests on the five Sunday
shows, Republican appearances beat out Democratic ones in a landslide in 2014, 98
of these appearances are of Republicans while only 26 are of Democrats.
Conservative journalists outnumbered progressive ones on the five Sunday shows in
both 2013 and 2014.
Fox News Sunday tilted heavily to the right in every measure analyzed.
White men were disproportionally represented when compared to their representation
in the general population.

Introduction
The Sunday morning political talk shows on the four broadcast networks and CNN -- ABCs This Week
with George Stephanopoulos, CBSs Face the Nation with Bob Schieffer, Fox Broadcasting Co.s Fox
News Sunday, NBCs Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, and CNN's State of the Union with Candy
Crowley (henceforth referred to as the five Sunday shows) -- typically host high-profile political
guests week after week, and the shows themselves draw big ratings, adding up to more than 11
million viewers every Sunday for the four broadcast shows. Taken separately or together, that the
five Sunday shows host newsmakers and reach large audiences puts them in a unique position to
influence the political and media agenda each week. The guests of the five Sunday shows are
deemed important and given a platform from which many will listen, and Media Matters decided to
analyze these shows for ideology as well as gender and ethnicity demographics.
On MSNBC, Up with Steve Kornacki and Melissa Harris-Perry are the premiere Sunday morning news
talk shows. While these programs do not command the audience draws of the four broadcast shows
and follow a meaningfully different format (both are two-hour long programs that host a larger
variety of guests outside of Beltway politics), they nonetheless are a part of the Sunday morning
media landscape. For these reasons, we determined that guests' political ideology was not as
important but that their gender and ethnic diversity still mattered (as a variety of voices can only
strengthen debate); therefore, Media Matters only analyzed these programs for those demographics.
The guests invited are given a large platform from which to express their views. Those whom the
shows producers invite to speak have an opportunity to shape the news cycle and the course of
political discussion. Overwhelmingly, though, our results from 2013 and 2014 show that those voices
tend to be white and male, and ideologically, Republicans and conservatives hold advantages in
several key areas. This lack of diversity leads the Sunday shows to elevate the views of this particular
group more so than others and creates an echo chamber that validates their opinions as conventional
wisdom.

Gender and Ethnicity


Diversity of guests is an important way in which the Sunday morning talk shows can offer a varied
spectrum of opinion. The underrepresentation of historically marginalized groups -- women and
minority ethnicities -- on these programs underscores the problem.

Guests On The Sunday Shows

Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

Census
5 Sunday Political Talk Shows
MSNBCs Melissa Harris-Perry & Up

61%

38%
32%

33%

20%

22%

22%
19%

18%

18%

14%
6%
White Men

White Women

Men Of Color

Women Of Color

Media Matters analyzed seven Sunday morning talk shows -- 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 Chuck Todd, CNN's State of the Union with Candy
Crowley, and MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki and Melissa Harris-Perry -- for gender and ethnic
diversity, and the results showed a demographically skewed guest list -- with minor exception -largely in favor of white men.
Overall in 2014, white men dominated guest lists on six of the seven shows. This Week, Face the
Nation, Fox News Sunday, Meet the Press, and State of the Union showed little variation in the
proportion of white men between 2013 and 2014, which was close to or exceeding double the
proportion of white men in the general population, according to U.S. Census data1.
Up saw a significant increase in the proportion of white men between years -- from 42 to 50 percent
of guests. As during 2013, Melissa Harris-Perry in 2014 was the only program to offer greater
diversity due to its much larger proportion of African-American guests; however, the other ethnicities
were still underrepresented when compared to the general population.
Data based on 2013 estimates by the U.S. Census. Census data may add up to more than 100 percent due to
respondents selecting more than one race.
1

Fox News Sunday was the only program to host Latino men close to their representation in the
general population. This can largely be attributed to Fox News contributor Juan Williams' regular
appearances on the show's roundtable, whose appearances account for 68 percent of all appearances
by Latino men on the program.
Asian-American and Middle Eastern men and women were all significantly underrepresented on the
Sunday shows. In many cases, the raw number of such guests over the course of 2014 was in the
single digits per program -- compared to nearly (and in one case, more than) 300 white men on five
shows: This Week (310), Face the Nation (287), Fox News Sunday (276), Meet the Press (278), and Up
(285).

Guests On The Sunday Shows, Including MSNBC

Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

70%

Census
This Week
Face the Nation
Fox News Sunday
Meet the Press
State of the Union
Melissa Harris-Perry
Up

53%

35%

18%

0%

White
Men

White
Women

AfricanAmerican
Men

AfricanAmerican
Women

Latino
Men

Latino
Women

AsianAmerican
Men

AsianAmerican
Women

Middle
Eastern
Men

Middle
Eastern
Women

Gender and Ethnicity: Solo Interviews


When guests appear one-on-one with the host on six of the seven shows analyzed, they are much
more likely to be a white man. This Week, Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday, Meet the Press, State
of the Union, and Up each hosted white men in solo interviews more than double their
representation in the general population.
Ups performance was particularly troubling given that the MSNBC show had been more diverse in its
guests in the year before. The program did not have enough solo interviews to be included in the
analysis in 2013, but in 2014, Ups solo interview data closely resembled data from the five Sunday
shows.
Only Melissa Harris-Perry divvied up solo interviews more equally.
Latino men fared better among the other groups analyzed, with some representation on all seven
shows. But Asian-American and and Middle Eastern guests were severely underrepresented, even on
Melissa Harris-Perry. The raw numbers of solo interviews given to men and women of these
ethnicities were in the single digits per group across all shows.

Solo Interviews On The Sunday Shows, Including MSNBC

Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

80%

Census
This Week
Face the Nation
Fox News Sunday
Meet the Press
State of the Union
Melissa Harris-Perry
Up

60%

40%

20%

0%

White
Men

White
Women

AfricanAmerican
Men

AfricanAmerican
Women

Latino
Men

Latino
Women

AsianAmerican
Men

AsianAmerican
Women

Middle
Eastern
Men

Middle
Eastern
Women

Gender
2014, like 2013, was a disappointing year for gender diversity on the Sunday shows. And once again,
the split between men and women was nowhere close to U.S. Census data.

US Population

Gender On Sunday Shows

Women
30%

Men
49%

Women
51%

Men
70%

Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

Aside from very slight variations over the year prior, 2014 was more of the same, with men
overwhelmingly outnumbering women on six Sunday shows: This Week (73 to 27 percent), Face the
Nation (77 to 23 percent), Fox News Sunday (77 to 23 percent), Meet the Press (73 to 27 percent,
State of the Union (74 to 26 percent), and Up (65 to 35 percent.

Gender On Sunday Shows


Men

80%

77%

73%

Women

Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

77%

74%

73%

65%

60%

55%

49% 51%

45%

40%

35%
27%
20%

0%

Census

This
Week

23%

Face
The
Nation

23%

Fox
News
Sunday

27%

26%

Meet The
Press

State of
the Union

Melissa
HarrisPerry

Up

The proportion of men increased on four of the seven shows -- more so on Up, which jumped four
points between 2013 and 2014.

Gender On Sunday Shows Year To Year Comparison


Men

Women

2013

2014

Change

2013

2014

Change

This Week

72%

73%

+1

28%

27%

-1

Face The
Nation

77%

77%

No Change

23%

23%

No Change

Fox News
Sunday

78%

77%

-1

23%

23%

No Change

Meet The
Press

75%

73%

-2

25%

27%

State of the
Union

71%

74%

+3

29%

26%

-3

Melissa
Harris-Perry

53%

55%

+2

47%

45%

-2

Up

61%

65%

+4

39%

35%

-4

+2

Of the top 10 most frequent guests, eight were men: conservative columnist and Fox News
contributor George Will, Republican Representative Mike Rogers, Fox News contributor Juan Williams,
conservative pundit Brit Hume, conservative journalist Bill Kristol, Republican Representative Michael
McCaul, ABC News political contributor Matthew Dowd, and ABC News consultant Steve Ganyard. Only
two women, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile and Cook Political Report National Editor Amy
Walter made the top 10.
All Guests, 2014

Person

Gender

Ethnicity

Solo Interviews

Total Appearances

Will, George F.

Male

White

35

Rogers, Mike

Male

White

25

29

Brazile, Donna

Female

African-American

26

Williams, Juan

Male

African-American/Latino

25

Hume, Brit

Male

White

23

Kristol, William

Male

White

23

McCaul, Michael

Male

White

12

20

Female

White

20

Dowd, Matthew

Male

White

19

Ganyard, Steve

Male

White

18

Walter, Amy

Ethnicity
Ethnic diversity continued to suffer in 2014 as it did in 2013, with little
noticeable difference from year to year. While several shows saw their
proportion of non-white guests increase slightly -- This Week with 23
percent, up from 20; Fox News Sunday with 13 percent, up from 11;
Meet the Press with 22 percent, up from 21 -- this did not amount to
more than a few percentage points at most and remained significantly
below representations in the general population.

Ethnicity On Sunday
Shows

People Of Color
26%

Whites
74%

Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014


Contrasting with Census data, the five Sunday shows and now Up
hosted white guests in a significantly greater proportion than their
representation in the general population. Melissa Harris-Perry is the only program to offer guests of
color in greater proportion to both white guests and to their representation in the general
population.

Ethnicity On Sunday Shows


Whites

90%

88%

People of Color

Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

87%
78%

77%
67.5%

75%

74%

64%
55%
45%

45%
37%

22.5%

0%

23%

Census

This
Week

22%
12%

13%

Face
The
Nation

Fox
News
Sunday

Meet The
Press

26%

State of
the
Union

25%

Melissa
HarrisPerry

Up

On cable news, however, the proportion of white guests increased slightly between 2013 and 2014.
State of the Unions proportion of white guests increased by a point -- from 73 to 74 percent -- while
both shows on MSNBC increased their proportion of white guests. Melissa Harris-Perrys proportion of
white guests increased slight from 44 to 45 percent, but Up saw the largest increase from 67
percent in 2013 to 75 percent in 2014.

Ethnicity On Sunday Shows Year to Year Comparison


Whites

People Of Color

2013

2014

Change

2013

2014

Change

This Week

60%

59%

-1

20%

23%

+3

Face The
Nation

67%

67%

No Change

12%

12%

No Change

Fox News
Sunday

67%

65%

-2

11%

13%

+2

Meet The
Press

62%

59%

-3

21%

22%

+1

State of the
Union

54%

55%

+1

27%

26%

-1

Melissa
Harris-Perry

44%

45%

+1

56%

55%

-1

Up

67%

75%

+8

33%

25%

-8

Out of the most frequent guests (see table on page 11), eight of the most frequent guests are white:
conservative columnist and Fox News contributor George Will, Republican Representative Mike
Rogers, conservative pundit Brit Hume, conservative journalist Bill Kristol, Republican Representative
Michael McCaul, ABC
News political
All Guests, 2014
contributor Matthew
Dowd, ABC News
Total
Person
Gender
Ethnicity
Solo
Appearances
consultant Steve
Interviews
Ganyard, and Cook
Will, George F.
Male
White
0
35
Political Report
Rogers, Mike
Male
White
25
29
National Editor Amy
Walter. Only two
Brazile, Donna
Female
African-American
0
26
African-American
Williams, Juan
Male
African-American/
0
25
guests, Fox News
Latino
contributor Juan
Hume, Brit
Male
White
0
23
Williams and
Democratic strategist
Kristol, William
Male
White
0
23
Donna Brazile made
McCaul, Michael
Male
White
12
20
the top 10. No other
Walter, Amy
Female
White
0
20
persons of color were
on the list.
Dowd, Matthew
Male
White
0
19

Gender and Ethnicity


The cross-section of gender and ethnicity demonstrated that
the large disparity between white men and all other guests
continued in 2014 from the year before.

Gender & Ethnicity On


Sunday Shows

Everyone Else
White Men
47%
53%

Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

White men dominated guest lists on This Week, Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday, Meet the Press,
and State of the Union. On each of these shows, the proportion of white men was close to or more
than double their representation in the general population.

Gender & Ethnicity On Sunday Shows


White Men
Everyone Else

80%

Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

75%
69%

67%

60%

65%

59%

59%

55%
50%50%

40%

41%

41%
33%

32%

45%

35%
25%

20%

0%
Census

This
Week

Face
The
Nation

Fox
News
Sunday

Meet The
Press

State of
the Union

Melissa
HarrisPerry

Up

While the broadcast shows made some slight improvements, generally, the trend was the same from
year to year. The proportion of white men increased substantially on Up. Melissa Harris-Perry was
the only program to instead increase its proportion of guests other than white men.

Gender and Ethnicity on Sunday Shows Year to Year Comparison


White Men

Everyone Else

2013

2014

Change

2013

2014

Change

This Week

60%

59%

-1

40%

41%

+1

Face The
Nation

67%

67%

33%

33%

Fox News
Sunday

67%

65%

33%

41%

Meet The
Press

62%

59%

39%

41%

State of the
Union

54%

55%

46%

45%

Melissa
Harris-Perry

27%

25%

73%

75%

Up

42%

50%

58%

50%

No Change

No Change

-2

+8

-3

+2

+1

-1

-2
+8

+2
-8

Out of the most frequent guests across all seven shows (see table on page 11), seven out of 10 were
white men: conservative columnist and Fox News contributor George Will, Republican Representative
Mike Rogers, Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume, conservative journalist Bill Kristol,
Republican Representative Michael McCaul, ABC News political contributor Matthew Dowd, and ABC
News consultant Steve Ganyard.

All Guests, 2014

Person

Gender

Ethnicity

Solo Interviews

Total Appearances

Will, George F.

Male

White

35

Rogers, Mike

Male

White

25

29

Brazile, Donna

Female

African-American

26

Williams, Juan

Male

African-American

25

Hume, Brit

Male

White

23

Kristol, William

Male

White

23

McCaul, Michael

Male

White

12

20

Female

White

20

Male

White

19

Walter, Amy
Dowd, Matthew

Gender: Elected And Administration Officials


Breaking down the gender of elected and administration officials demonstrated the stark contrast
between men and women on these programs.
In 2014, more than four out of five elected and administration guests on all five Sunday shows were
men. Fox News Sunday had the greatest disparity with 93 percent of such guests being men. Both
This Week and Fox News Sunday's proportions of women elected and administration guests were in
the single digits.

Gender Of Elected And Administration Guests On The Sunday Shows


Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

Men

91%

Women

93%

87%

84%

83%

77%
55%
45%

9%
This
Week

13%
Face
The
Nation

23%

17%

16%

7%
Fox News
Sunday

Meet
The
Press

State of
the Union

Melissa
HarrisPerry

UP

Nine of the top 10 elected and administration officials on the five Sunday shows were men,
accumulating to a total of 132 out of 142 appearances. The only woman to make the top 10,
Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, had just 10 appearances in comparison.
Elected and administration guests, 2014

Person

Gender

Ethnicity

Solo Interviews

Total Appearances

Rogers, Mike

Male

White

25

29

McCaul, Michael

Male

White

12

20

McCain, John

Male

White

14

15

Graham, Lindsey

Male

White

13

King, Peter

Male

White

13

Paul, Rand

Male

White

10

11

Kinzinger, Adam

Male

White

11

Kerry, John

Male

White

10

10

Female

White

10

Male

White

10

Feinstein, Dianne
Durbin, Richard

Compared to the year prior, the data from 2014 showed a slight shift toward less gender diversity on
all five Sunday shows. This Week demonstrated the largest change among these five, with men's
proportion of elected and administration guests increasing by five percent and women decreasing by
a corresponding amount.
On MSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry dramatically increased its proportion of men in 2014 compared to
2013 -- up from 39 to 55 percent. Despite that, though, the show demonstrated that it is possible to
have near parity in media between men and women even though men make up a far larger
proportion of elected and administration officials. Up decreased its proportion of men in 2014 but
still hosted men more than three times as often as women.

Gender Of Elected And Administration Guests On The Sunday Shows


Year To Year Comparison
Men

Women

2013

2014

Change

2013

2014

Change

This Week

86%

91%

+5

14%

9%

-5

Face The
Nation

85%

87%

+2

15%

15%

No Change

Fox News
Sunday

92%

93%

+1

8%

7%

-1

Meet The
Press

82%

83%

+1

10%

17%

+7

State of the
Union

82%

84%

+2

18%

16%

-2

Melissa
Harris-Perry

39%

55%

+16

61%

45%

-16

Up

84%

77%

-7

16%

23%

+7

Ethnicity: Elected And Administration Officials


The contrast between white elected and administration guests and all other elected and
administration guests again demonstrated a large disparity.
In 2014, whites were a much larger proportion of total guests than all other guests combined -- in
every case, more than twice as much. On Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday, and State of the Union
whites were hosted more than four times as much as all other guests combined.

Ethnicity Of Elected And Administration Guests On The Sunday Shows


Whites

Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

87%

85%

People of Color

82%

77%

73%

71%

64%

36%
29%

27%
15%

13%
This
Week

Face
The
Nation

Fox News
Sunday

23%

18%
Meet The
Press

State of the
Union

Melissa
HarrisPerry

Up

All 10 of the 10 most frequent elected and administration guests were white.
Elected and administration guests, 2014

Person

Gender

Ethnicity

Solo Interviews

Total Appearances

Rogers, Mike

Male

White

25

29

McCaul, Michael

Male

White

12

20

McCain, John

Male

White

14

15

Graham, Lindsey

Male

White

13

King, Peter

Male

White

13

Paul, Rand

Male

White

10

11

Kinzinger, Adam

Male

White

11

Kerry, John

Male

White

10

10

Female

White

10

Male

White

10

Feinstein, Dianne
Durbin, Richard

While the proportion of people of color increased across the four broadcast shows, these gains were
mostly slight: This Week, Face the Nation, and Meet the Press saw this proportion increase by a
single percent year-to-year. Fox News Sunday increased its proportion of to a greater degree: from
seven percent in 2013 to 15 percent in 2014. State of the Union, conversely, saw its proportion of
white elected and administration officials increase year-to-year from 79 percent to 82 percent.
On MSNBC, both Up and Melissa Harris-Perry had a lower proportion of people of color, with their
proportions of white elected and administration officials increasing by seven and 10 percent,
respectively, year-to-year. While Ups ethnic breakdown closely mirrored those of the five Sunday
shows, Melissa Harris-Perry conversely held a much more diverse guest list, with guests of color
representing a majority on the program.

Ethnicity Of Elected And Administration Guests On The Sunday Shows


Year To Year Comparison
White People

People Of Color

2013

2014

Change

2013

2014

Change

This Week

72%

71%

-1

28%

9%

-5

Face The Nation

88%

87%

-1

12%

13%

+1

Fox News Sunday

93%

85%

-8

7%

15%

+8

Meet The Press

74%

83%

+1

26%

17%

+7

State of the Union

79%

84%

+2

21%

16%

-2

Melissa HarrisPerry

26%

36%

+10

74%

64%

-10

Up

70%

77%

+7

30%

23%

-7

Gender: Journalists
The gender divide of journalists favored men on all seven shows analyzed by large margins in 2014,
demonstrating not much of a change from the year before.

Gender Of Journalists On The Sunday Shows

Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

Men

69%
63%

58%

31%

Face
The
Nation

63%

59%

55%
42%

37%

This
Week

Women

71%

45%

41%

37%

29%

Fox News
Sunday

Meet The
Press

State of the
Union

Melissa
HarrisPerry

Up

Fox News Sunday and Face the Nation had the greatest disparity between men and women
journalists: 71 and 69 percent of journalists were men, respectively. Up and This Week hosted men
63 percent of the time each while Melissa Harris-Perry and Meet the Press followed with 59 and 58
percent of journalists being men.
State of the Union was closest to equality between men and women journalists; however, the
difference increased from a close two percent in favor of men in 2013 to 10 percent in 2014.

Gender Of Journalists On Sunday Shows - Year To Year Comparison


Men

Women

2013

2014

Change

2013

2014

Change

This Week

59%

63%

+4

41%

37%

-4

Face The Nation

72%

69%

-3

28%

31%

+3

Fox News Sunday

72%

71%

-1

28%

29%

+1

Meet The Press

66%

58%

-8

34%

42%

+8

State of the Union

51%

55%

+4

49%

45%

-4

Melissa Harris-Perry

62%

59%

-3

38%

41%

+3

Up

60%

63%

+3

40%

37%

-3

Ethnicity: Journalists
Journalists of color were severely underrepresented on all shows except for Melissa Harris-Perry and
State of the Union, showing little change from 2013 to 2014.

Ethnicity Of Journalists On The Sunday Shows


Whites

91%

85%

81%

Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

People of Color

79%

74%
61%
54%
46%

40%
29%

26%

21%

19%
9%
This
Week

Face The
Nation

Fox News
Sunday

Meet The
Press

State of the
Union

Melissa
HarrisPerry

Up

On five shows -- This Week, Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday, Meet the Press, and Up -- white
journalists far outnumbered all other journalists combined. The disparity was especially stark on
Face the Nation, where white journalists outnumbered all others nine-to-one.
State of the Union showed marked improvement between years, with the proportion of journalists of
color increasing by seven percent from 2013 to 2014. Meet the Press similarly raised its proportion of
journalists of color by seven percent; however, white journalists still accounted for 79 percent of all
journalists in 2014 on the program.

Ethnicity Of Journalists On Sunday Shows - Year To Year Comparison


White People

People Of Color

2013

2014

Change

2013

2014

Change

This Week

82%

81%

-1

18%

19%

+1

Face The Nation

93%

91%

-2

7%

9%

+2

Fox News Sunday

84%

85%

+1

16%

29%

+13

Meet The Press

86%

79%

-7

14%

21%

+7

State of the Union

68%

61%

-7

32%

40%

+8

Melissa Harris-Perry

54%

54%

No Change

47%

46%

-1

Up

74%

74%

No Change

26%

26%

No Change

Chuck Todds Effect on Meet the Press


When NBC replaced David Gregory with Chuck Todd last fall as the host of its flagship Sunday news
show, the most surprising results were in the gender and ethnic breakdown of guests.
Todd took over the show on September 7, 2014, and under his tenure, Meet the Press became
substantially more diverse. The proportion of white men to all other guests on Todds Meet the Press
was more diverse than the 2014 proportions for CNN and all other broadcast Sunday shows studied.

Gender And Ethnicity Of Guests On Meet The Press


70%

53%

Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

David Gregory
Chuck Todd

61%
54%

46%
35%

38%

18%

0%

White Men

Everyone Else

The show decreased its proportions of white men and women while increasing its proportions of
African-American men and women, Latino men, Asian-American men and women, and Middle Eastern
men. White men were down seven percent after Gregorys departure, and white women went down
one percent.
Asian-American men saw the largest gain under Todd, going from 0.3 to four percent of all
appearances. African-American women followed with a three percent increase from Gregory to Todd
-- six to nine percent.
Meet the Press, 2014
Latino men also had an
Gender
Ethnicity
David Gregory
Chuck Todd
Change
increase larger than one
percent, going from two to Men
White
61%
54%
Down
four percent between hosts.
Women

White

19%

18%

Down

Men

African-American

9%

10%

Up

Women

African-American

6%

9%

Up

Men

Latino

2%

4%

Up

Women

Latino

1%

0%

Down

Men

Asian-American

0.3%

4%

Up

Women

Asian-American

1%

1%

Up

Men

Middle Eastern

0.3%

1%

Up

Women

Middle Eastern

0%

0%

Same

Ideology
The ideological leanings of guests on any particular show will obviously influence the course of
discussion and the sorts of ideas presented to the audience. While we would not expect a program to
be perfectly balanced each and every week, we would expect that any ideological discrepancies
would even out over time; however, this was not always the case on the five Sunday shows during the
period of our review.

Ideology On The Sunday Shows


Left

Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

Right

Neutral

52%
45%

44%

44%

34% 33% 33%

32%

31%

29%
25%

This Week

23% 24%

Face the Nation

27%

22%

Fox News Sunday

Meet the Press

State of the Union

The five Sunday shows hosted fewer Republican and conservative guests in 2014 than 2013, with the
gains among neutral guests (up across all five shows, especially so on Meet the Press) and Democrats
and progressives on Face the Nation. Fox News Sunday continued to host Republican and conservative
guests at a much higher rate than Democratic and progressive ones year-to-year, and This Week gave
Democrats a slight edge in 2014. The other three Sunday shows maintained a closer balance between
guests on the left and right in 2014.

Ideology On Sunday Shows Year To Year Comparison


Left

Right

Neutral

2013

2014

Change

2013

2014

Change

2013

2014

Change

This Week

31%

31%

No
Change

31%

25%

-6

38%

44%

+6

Face The
Nation

21%

23%

+2

28%

24%

-4

51%

52%

+1

Fox News
Sunday

27%

22%

-5

49%

45%

-4

25%

32%

+7

Meet The
Press

34%

29%

-5

37%

27%

-10

28%

44%

+6

State of the
Union

38%

34%

-4

40%

33%

-7

23%

33%

+10

A Note About Ideology Methodology:


To determine a guests political leanings, we did not analyze the content of each guests speech
during their appearances. That would have introduced enormous subjectivity to the analysis. Instead,
we coded guests based on their stated self-identification or public affiliations with openly partisan or
ideological organizations.
Guests were coded as Democratic, Republican, progressive, conservative, or neutral. Party
designations were reserved for current and former officeholders, candidates, campaign staff,
political consultants associated with one party or the other, and administration officials; all others
were coded as progressive, conservative, or neutral. The neutral category does not necessarily
imply strict ideological neutrality; rather, it is a catch-all that combines centrist, independent, and
nonpartisan guests. For brevity, Democrats and progressives and been combined into a single left
category and Republicans and conservatives into a single right category in some instances.

Ideology: Solo Interviews


A show can bestow no greater importance onto a guest than that of the solo interview, which imparts
to viewers that the person in question is of such significance that a countervailing opinion need not
be provided at all.

Solo Interviews On The Sunday Shows


Left

Right

Neutral

Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

49%
45%

37%

35%

38%

36%

28%

40%

39%

26%

26%

32%

29%

28%

13%

This Week

Face the Nation

Fox News Sunday

Meet the Press

State of the Union

2014 saw an overall increase in the proportion of solo interviews given to Democrats and progressives
over that of Republicans and conservatives. Meet the Press and Face the Nation both increased their
proportion of solo interviews to guests on the left and significantly dropped the proportion of solo
interviews given to guests on the right. In the case of Face the Nation, that shift resulted in solo
interviews given to left- and right-wing guests virtually evening out. State of the Union likewise
dropped their proportion of solo interviews to right-wing guests but instead held more solo
interviews with neutral guests.
Fox News Sunday increased their proportion of solo interviews with neutral guests, but Republicans
and conservatives still enjoyed a hefty advantage over Democrats and progressives on the program.
This Weeks proportion of solo interviews to left-wing guests dropped slightly while the proportion to
right-wing guests likewise rose, but Democrats and progressives still received more solo interviews
overall.

Left

Right

Neutral

2013

2014

Change

2013

2014

Change

2013

2014

Change

This Week

37%

35%

-2

27%

28%

+1

36%

37%

+1

Face The
Nation

34%

38%

+4

45%

36%

-9

21%

26%

+7

Fox News
Sunday

14%

13%

-1

51%

39%

-12

36%

49%

+13

Meet The
Press

38%

45%

+7

42%

26%

-16

20%

29%

+9

State of the
Union

42%

40%

-2

46%

32%

-14

12%

28%

+16

Ideology: Elected and Administration Officials


A large proportion of all guests on the five Sunday shows -- 26 percent in 2014 -- are what we can
term officials sources, representatives of the presidents administration and those elected to
office.

Elected And Administration Guests On The Sunday Shows


Democrats

Republicans

Neutral

60%

Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

60%

54%

53%
50%
45%
41%

40%
36%

6%
This Week

5%
Face the Nation

34%

5%
Fox News Sunday

6%
Meet the Press

5%
State of the Union

Producers on the Sunday shows have argued -- as then-Meet the Press producer Betsy Fischer told
Media Matters for a 2006 study -- that because the administration in power has a cabinet full of
newsmakers, we should expect a Democratic advantage during a Democratic presidency and viceversa. In that study, we found that the slight edge Democrats enjoyed during the second term of
President Bill Clinton was dwarfed by the large advantage Republicans had during the first term of
President George W. Bush. The data in 2013 and 2014 show a more nuanced split among left and right
across the five Sunday shows.

In 2014, the proportion of Democrats and Republicans were largely down on all shows except for
Democrats on Fox News Sunday (held steady year-to-year), Meet the Press (a large increase from the
prior year), and State of the Union (a moderate increase from 2013).
The proportion of neutral elected and administration officials increased from the prior year in 2014.
This can largely be attributed to week-after-week appearances of Anthony Fauci, Director of the
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health, during the
2014 Ebola outbreak. (Fauci, appointed to his position in 1984, has served under both Democratic
and Republican presidents; therefore, we coded him as neutral.) Out of a total of 32 appearances by
neutral elected and administration guests, 15 were of Fauci: three on This Week, three on Face the
Nation, three on Fox News Sunday, four on Meet the Press, and two on State of the Union.
Left

Right

Neutral

2013

2014

Change

2013

2014

Change

2013

2014

Change

This Week

55%

53%

-2

45%

41%

-4

0%

6%

+6

Face The
Nation

46%

45%

-1

53%

50%

-3

1%

5%

+4

Fox News
Sunday

36%

36%

No
Change

64%

60%

-4

0%

5%

+5

Meet The
Press

50%

60%

+10

48%

34%

-14

2%

6%

+4

State of the
Union

50%

54%

+4

47%

40%

-7

3%

5%

+2

Despite this, the top 10 most frequent 2014 elected and administration guests tended to be
Republican. Only three elected and administration guests were Democrats, and they were all at the
bottom of the list. The top seven were all Republican, with Michigan Representative Mike Rogers
taking the lead with 29 appearances -- 25 of which were solo interviews.
Elected and administration guests, 2014

Person

Ideology

Solo Interviews

Total Appearances

Rogers, Mike

Republican

25

29

McCaul, Michael

Republican

12

20

McCain, John

Republican

14

15

Graham, Lindsey

Republican

13

King, Peter

Republican

13

Paul, Rand

Republican

10

11

Kinzinger, Adam

Republican

11

Kerry, John

Democrat

10

10

Feinstein, Dianne

Democrat

10

Durbin, Richard

Democrat

10

Ideology: Journalists
Journalists -- a category that includes reporters for news publications and political pundits -- are an
even larger group on the five Sunday shows; in 2014, 42 percent of all guests were journalists.
Although the vast majority of journalists are coded neutral, when journalists do have identifiable
ideological leanings, those are more likely to be conservative than progressive. This has held true
year-over-year between 2013 and 2014.

Journalists On The Sunday Shows


Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

Progressives

Conservatives

Neutral

81%
72%
58%

54%
46%
36%
28%

20% 22%
13%
6%
This Week

Face the Nation

21%

17%

18%

6%
Fox News Sunday

Meet the Press

State of the Union

Fox News Sunday was the most imbalanced, with 46 percent of journalists being conservative -- an
increase over the prior year -- and only 17 percent being progressive -- a decrease from 2013. As we
discovered in past Sunday show analyses, this disparity can largely be attributed to Fox News
Sunday's tendency to host roundtables consisting of two conservative journalists, one progressive
journalist, and one neutral journalist.
State of the Union similarly increased its proportion of conservative journalists -- from 24 to 28
percent -- and decreased its proportion of progressive journalists -- from 20 to 18 percent -- in 2014.
Conservative advantages held on the other three shows as well; though, the proportion of progressive
journalists increased on This Week and Face the Nation. Meet the Press saw a substantial increase in
neutral journalists from 2013 to 2014 -- 58 to 72 percent, respectively.

Left

Right

Neutral

2013

2014

Change

2013

2014

Change

2013

2014

Change

This Week

55%

53%

-2

45%

41%

-4

0%

6%

+6

Face The
Nation

46%

45%

-1

53%

50%

-3

1%

5%

+4

Fox News
Sunday

36%

36%

No
Change

64%

60%

-4

0%

5%

+5

Meet The
Press

50%

60%

+10

48%

34%

-14

2%

6%

+4

State of the
Union

50%

54%

+4

47%

40%

-7

3%

5%

+2

While neutral journalists taken together were a majority of journalists on four networks, the most
frequent journalist guests tended to be ideological -- and conservative. Of the top five journalists by
total appearances2, three were conservative and two were progressive. Conservative columnist and
Fox News contributor George Will took the top spot with 35 appearances -- much more than any
other journalist.
This disparity cannot be explained away by whoever happens to hold political power at the moment
-- we expect that producers would attempt to balance out journalists and pundits regardless of who
is in the White House or who holds a majority in Congress.
Journalists, 2014
Person

Ideology

Solo Interviews

Total Appearances

Will, George F.

Conservative

35

Brazile, Donna

Progressive

26

Williams, Juan

Progressive

25

Hume, Brit

Conservative

23

Kristol, William

Conservative

22

Dowd, Matthew

Neutral

19

Ganyard, Steve

Neutral

18

Noonan, Peggy

Conservative

17

Ignatius, David

Neutral

15

Todd, Chuck

Neutral

14

Mitchell, Andrea

Neutral

14

Pace, Julie

Neutral

14

Our top 10 journalists list includes 12 because Meet the Press host Chuck Todd, MSNBC reporter Andrea
Mitchell, and Associated Press Correspondent Julie Pace tied for the 10th spot with 14 appearances each.
2

Cross-section: Gender, Ethnicity, and Ideology


Breaking down ideologically coded guests on the five Sunday shows demonstrated that white men,
regardless of their political background, held a significantly higher proportion of total guest
appearances.

Gender, Ethncity, And Ideology Of Guests On The Sunday Shows


Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

40%
Left

Right

Neutral

30%

20%

10%

0%
White
Men

White
Women

AfricanAmerican
Men

AfricanAmerican
Women

Latino
Men

Latino
Women

AsianAmerican
Men

AsianAmerican
Women

Middle
Eastern
Men

Middle
Eastern
Women

White men were a plurality of Republican and conservative, Democratic and progressive, and neutral
guests in both 2013 and 2014. The proportion of right-wing and left-wing white men fell while neutral
white men increased in 2014; however, right-wing white men still held an advantage over left-wing
white men. White women in 2014 had a similar dynamic to 2013 between left and right guests,
including a slight increase in the proportion of neutral white women.
Of African-American guests, Democrats and progressives represented a larger proportion than
Republicans and conservatives in both 2013 and 2014 -- seven to 0.6 percent, respectively.

Latino, Asian-American, and Middle Eastern men and women still represented extremely small
proportions of total guests in 2014, and in some cases, these small numbers can largely be attributed
to a handful of guests -- or even just one. Eight of the 13 appearances by Asian-American women
were by Center for American Progress president Neera Tanden. Of the smallest group, Middle Eastern
guests, representing just 0.5 percent of total guests, five of the 11 guest appearances were by
Republican Representative Darrell Issa of California. Malala Fund founder Shiza Shahid was the only
Middle Eastern woman hosted during the entirety of 2014 on all five Sunday shows.
Guests by gender and ethnicity, 2014
Gender

Ethnicity

Left

Right

Neutral

Men

White

314

510

524

Women

White

105

117

220

Men

African-American

113

10

78

Women

African-American

47

42

Men

Latino

60

22

Women

Latino

13

Men

Asian-American

12

Women

Asian-American

11

Men

Middle Eastern

Women

Middle Eastern

Cross-section: Gender, Ethnicity, and Ideology


Solo Interviews
To an even greater degree than among all guest appearances, the breakdown of solo interviews by
gender, ethnicity, and ideology demonstrated that white men of all political stripes are given this
opportunity at much higher rates than any other group.
In 2014, conservative white men accounted for 29 percent of all solo interviews on the five Sunday
shows. Despite this being a decrease from the year prior -- conservative white men in 2013 received
36 percent of all solo interviews -- this groups still held the largest proportion of solo interviews.
Progressive and neutral white men both increased their proportions of solo interviews from 2013 to
2014, with neutral white men receiving the largest gain of the two, from 14 to 20 percent.

Gender, Ethncity, And Ideology Of Guests On The Sunday Shows


Jan. 5 - Dec. 28, 2014

40%
Left

Right

Neutral

30%

20%

10%

0%

White
Men

White
Women

AfricanAmerican
Men

AfricanAmerican
Women

Latino
Men

Latino
Women

AsianAmerican
Men

AsianAmerican
Women

Middle
Eastern
Men

Middle
Eastern
Women

By contrast, all other groups proportions of solo interviews in 2014 were in the single digits yearover-year. And Latino, Asian-American, and Middle Eastern men and women received the fewest raw
number of solo interviews of all groups, regardless of political background. On the conservative side,
the numbers can be attributed to a handful of the same individuals: Of the 17 solo interviews with
conservative Latino men, Republican Senators Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio account for 15. Republican
Representative Darrell Issa accounts for all five of the solo interviews given to conservative Middle
Eastern men. In contrast, progressive Latino men included Democratic Representatives Xavier
Becerra, Joaquin Castro, and Luis Gutierrez; Federal Aviation Administration Administrator Michael
Huerta; Democratic Senator Robert Menendez; and Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor -- who
together made up eight of the 10 appearances of progressive Latinos.
Solo interviews by gender and ethnicity, 2014
Gender

Ethnicity

Left

Right

Neutral

Men

White

144

172

122

Women

White

37

23

Men

African-American

27

16

Women

African-American

Men

Latino

17

Women

Latino

Men

Asian-American

Women

Asian-American

Men

Middle Eastern

Women

Middle Eastern

Methodology
We reviewed every edition of ABC'sThis Week with George Stephanopoulos, CBS'Face The Nation with Bob
Schieffer, NBC'sMeet The Press with Chuck Todd(PreviouslyMeet the Press with David Gregoryprior to
September 7, 2014), Fox Broadcasting Co.'sFox NewsSundaywith Chris Wallace, CNN'sState of the Union with
Candy Crowley, and MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki (previously Up with Chris Hayes prior to April 13, 2013)
and Melissa Harris-Perry. Guest appearances for the four broadcast and CNN programs were coded for gender;
ethnicity; whether guests appeared in solo interviews; whether they were journalists, administration officials,
or elected officials; and for their partisanship or ideology. Guests on the two MSNBC shows were coded for were
coded for gender; ethnicity; whether guests appeared in solo interviews; and whether they were journalists,
administration officials, or elected officials.
Not all percentages add up to 100 due to rounding, that some guests' ethnicity could not be satisfactorily
identified, and that some guests identify with more than one ethnicity. U.S. Census data comes from the most
recent 2013 estimates and adds up to more than 100 percent due to respondents selecting more than one race
in surveys. Census data for Middle Eastern guests could not be found as the Census does not provide that
category in its reports.
These classifications do not represent an analysis of what guests actually said when they appeared on a show
on a given date. Coding each guest's comments for their ideological slant would have introduced enormous
difficulties and opportunities for subjectivity. Instead, we simply classified guests based on their own
ideological self-identification or public affiliation with an openly partisan or ideological organization or
institution.
In the vast majority of cases, guests are clearly identifiable by their party or ideology (or as having none). Of
course, in a few instances, these decisions were not as simple to make. We therefore constructed rules that
could be applied as strictly as possible. Where a guest's identification was in question,Media Matterschose to
err on the side of listing that guest toward the left.
Following are some of the principal rules coders employed in classifying guests:

The party designations (Democratic and Republican) are reserved for current and former officeholders,
candidates, campaign staff, political consultants associated with one party or the other, and
administration officials. All others are labeled conservative, progressive, or neutral.

The neutral category does not necessarily imply strict ideological neutrality but, rather, might better
be understood as neutral/centrist/nonpartisan -- we use the term "neutral" for the sake of brevity.

When guests served in both Republican and Democratic administrations in the past, they were coded as
neutral barring any compelling reason to do otherwise. In a few cases, however, a former official who
had served under presidents from both parties became clearly identified with one ideology and were
coded accordingly.

Our "Journalist" classification applies not only to daily reporters but also to opinion columnists,
magazine writers, etc.

In the case of foreign officials and journalists, we labeled all as neutral -- even though the political
ideology of some might be identifiable -- to avoid the need to analyze the politics of other countries.
Foreign nationals were also excluded from the diversity analysis.

Active duty members of the armed forces were classified as members of the Obama administration.
Retired officers were coded as neutral absent any other affiliation.