Saturday, November 18, 2006

 

Did Meet the Press get the message?


Last Sunday, I emailed NBC's Sunday morning political talk show, Meet the Press - posted here - and submitted the same to the emotionally-charged political free-for-all at BellaCiao.org.

The message clearly expressed my disappointment - bordering on astonishment - that even after the severe thumpin' given to the Republicans by the Dems in the midterm elections, Meet the Press had on as guests, Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman, two of the more vocal (and a decidedly minority view) proponents for the Iraq War, and my outrage that NBC continued its policy of shading toward the right, even after such a resounding victory by the progressive left.

In approximately the same time space, Media Matters for America was on the same page, complaining that NBC had once again shown bias toward the right with their choice of guests. Media Matters pointed out that the show's host, Tim Russert, mentioned that invitations were extended to both Democratic leaders, Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi and Senator Harry Reid, but the show - inadvertently or otherwise - failed to connect with such Democratic luminaries as Rahm Emanuel, Chuck Schumer, Steny Hoyer, John Murtha or others. I noted the same in a follow-up post, here.

Well, along comes the kicker in the form of a response email from Meet the Press delivered to my inbox Friday evening. I believe the message is self-explanatory, and present it in its (unedited) entirety:


Dear Mr. Gagliano,

Thank you for your email to "Meet the Press."

We have a proud history of including many different political voices and viewpoints on our program. The Sunday before the election we included Democratic Campaign Committee Chairs Rep. Rahm Emanuel and Sen. Chuck Schumer and a few weeks prior we devoted the entire newmaker portion of our program to Democratic Senator Barack Obama.

This past Sunday, as Tim Russert explained on the program yesterday, we extended invitations to both of the new Democratic leaders, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Harry Reid. Unfortunately, they both declined.

You can read Tim's comments on the transcript page of our website (), and for your convenience we included the relevant paragraph below:

MR. RUSSERT: And our viewers should know we extended invitations to the new Democratic leaders in the House and Senate, incoming Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Harry Reid. Both declined our invitation, but we hope they'll be here on a future Sunday.

This Sunday, we will be interviewing two new Democratic Senators-elect, Jon Tester of Montana and Jim Webb of Virginia. We hope you enjoy watching.

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts about "Meet the Press."

Sincerely,
Meet the Press


Whether or not ThoughtPuh-leeze or Media Matters for America had any input into the decision to have two newly-elected Democratic Senators appear this week is likely never to be known, though it is debatable. The mere fact that the Meet the Press staff had the hindsight to at least email me with this information is a good step in the right direction.

Whether the progressive left will be given a fair shake from here on out on the Sunday talk show circuit is questionable.

According to a February, 2006 Media Matters' study, "If It's Sunday, It's Conservative" which examined the Sunday morning shows on ABC, NBC and CBS from 1997 - 2005, the agenda of the right is more often presented that that of the left - and the bias was even more pronounced during the Bush administration years.

We can only hope that the mainstream begins to get the message that the Progressive Left is now the more-favored political flavor for the majority of Americans. In the meantime, we press ahead and will be keeping score:

Sunday News Shows Scorecard
How in or out of touch are the Sunday morning shows following the message of the midterm elections?

We look at the guests each show has and award them a point for every guest that is either an elected Democrat or shares the values of the progressive left and a zero for every one that does not. Generally, Democratic Party guests get a 1, Republicans a zero.

Week 1 - November 12













































Show Guests Score Total%*
Meet the Press (NBC) Joe Lieberman, John McCain 0 0-2 0
Fox News Sunday (FOX) Howard Dean, Dan Bartlett 1 1-2 50
This Week (ABC) Joe Biden, Carl Levin, Josh Bolton 2 2-3 67
Face the Nation (CBS) Harry Reid, Josh Bolton 1 1-2 50
Total for week, all shows all guests 4 4-9 44.44


*Cumulative percentage of shows beginning with Sunday, November 12.

I'll continue to update this little chart weekly.

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