Sunday, December 17, 2006

 

Dec. 17 Sunday News Shows Scorecard

How well are the Sunday News Talk shows presenting the progressive/Democratic point-of-view?

We look at the guests each show offers and award them a point for every one 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 and all others, a zero.

Week 6 - December 17


















































Show Guests Score WeeKTotal Cum. Total* Cum. %**
Meet the Press (NBC) Newt Gingrich 0 0-1 5-16 31.25
Fox News Sunday (FOX) Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Frederick W. Smith, chairman and president of FedEx Corp., retired General. P.X. Kelley 1 1-3 9-19 47.37
This Week (ABC) Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), General. Jack Keane, former Army Vice Chief of Staff, Congressman-elect Joe Sestak (D-PA) 2 2-3 8-17 47.06
Face the Nation (CBS) Colin Powell 1 1-1 6-15 40.00
Total for week, all shows (4 weeks) all guests 4 4-8 28-67 41.79


*Total of progressive/Democrat guests to total # of guests.
**Total percentage of shows beginning with Sunday, November 12.
Chart updated weekly each Sunday.

Notes on the Shows:

Meet the Press: NBC went 0-1 this week, headlined by Newt Gingrich, who was followed by two NY Times pundits. Gingrich, while he thinks he's bright, is really in a sort of no man's land. His conservatism was noticeably absent and his rhetoric suffered. He made himself even more irrelevant to any important political discussion - if that's even possible. His appearance was nothing more than a feeling out for him. After all, he's a political animal and he's wading into the water espousing non-partisanship. Overall, he was particularly insincere. As for Friedman and Brooks, nothing new there: they act more as mouthpieces for staying the course rather than real change. As guests, we don't count journalists, or even people impersonating them.

FOX News Sunday: OK, we're all familiar with Ted Kennedy and he's not changing his stripes. His opposition to the war in Iraq was refreshing, but the interview was really softball.

ABC: Stephanopolous' interview with Harry Reid was unremarkable. Nothing new was revealed. However, the talk with retired General. Jack Keane and Congressman Joe Sestak was noteworthy.

First off, Keane is calling for a two-phase military buildup with correlating economic packages. In simple terms, Keane wants 35-40,000 more troops in Baghdad and Anbar province and more money spent on reconstruction.

Keane is significantly off his rocker and right out of Dr. Strangelove. He's proposing around-the-clock, 24/7 US patrols and sentries in Baghdad and a renewed military assault in Anbar. It's pure lunacy.

Sestak's response was refreshingly on the other side, his points being that the US needs to redeploy, thus enhancing our security posture outside of Iraq. He cited the failure in Afghanistan, threats from Korea and elsewhere and a view of the the Middle East as a regional situation, best handled by those in the region. In total, Sestak is simply opposed to sending more troops to Iraq, a position strongly supported not only by the American public, but the Iraqi population as well.

CBS: Face the Nation featured Colin Powell, and it was a fitting finale to the Sunday smorgasbord. Powell put some real teeth and definition into the debate over putting more troops into Iraq, pointing out that the US military isn't capable of policing Baghdad and clarifying the troop "surge" as nothing more than extending deployments. In the end, though he never said it in so many words, Powell sees Iraq as nearly lost, still workable, but mostly a problem best handled by Iraqis.

Bob Schieffer's interview with Powell was the most enlightening and heartening piece offered this week. Powell's unbiased comments were refreshing and dare I say, progressive. CBS scored a +1 with Colin Powell.

What is the most outstanding feature of all the Sunday shows - and this continues week in and week out - that the discussions following the guests focus more on the 2008 presidential election rather than the war in Iraq. Every one of these shows is guilty of avoiding the obvious big issue of the day - Iraq - and maybe that's the most damning indictment against the fuliginous nature of these shows.

ABC did debate the rather dubious choice for Time magazine's Person of the Year, a cheesy mirror and the word "You", denoting that people made the biggest difference in 2006. George Will suggested that the President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would have made a good choice. I humbly submit to Wills' rationale and add that either Hugo Chavez or (my choice) Nancy Pelosi would have been equally reasonable choices. Apparently, the editors or Time want neither to offend nor commend anyone. Ultimately, their choice of everybody - actually nobody - is one of the most completely derelict actions in journalistic history.

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