Sunday, December 31, 2006


Sunday Talk Shows Scoreboard - Dec. 31, 2006

Notes on the Shows

The year 2006 could not end soon enough for viewers seeking substance. For the second week in a row, the network talk shows were less relevant than policy addicts would appreciate.

NBC's Meet the Press in particular has mailed in their last two shows, this week focusing on a rehash of the Ford-Nixon relationship with Tom Brokaw and Bob Woodward and devoting the latter half of the show to a year in review panel of journalists. The show did not even offer a guest worthy of a rating.

Over on FOX, at least the fair and balanced network offered balance, with guests Senator Richard Lugar (R) and Iowa Governor (and presidential hopeful) Tom Vilsack (D).

ABC, which has turned in the best effort of navigating the holiday season, delivered an exclusive interview with John Edwards and his wife Elizabeth, marking the high point of the morning.

CBS managed to out-do NBC on the bore-o-meter with reflections on Gerald Ford by former General Alexander Haig, Ben Bradlee, James Cannon and Tom DeFrank, scoring a big fat zero on all counts, since we don't count panelists as guests.

I would be remiss if I did not at least mention the triumvirate of larger-than-life figures who shuffled off their mortal coils this week. James Brown, the Godfather of Soul was certainly the least political figure of them, though his music - and that of musical artists who followed his lead - will likely outlive the legacy of the other two.

Gerald Ford lived to the ripe age of 93, and was best remembered for replacing first VP Spiro Agnew and then Richard Nixon as president... and later pardoning Nixon. But Ford represents the last Republican of a generation of politicians, WWII veterans who actually embodied the values of which they preached.

Gerald Ford was not remarkable for his honesty, forthrightness, and down-to-earth approach. There were many who shared his views of doing right for our nation. His passing reminds us of from where we came and to where we are going.

And what can one say about the planned and executed demise of Saddam Hussein except that maybe he deserved it? His hastened hanging seemed fashioned to fit the cliched maxim that deaths of major figures always happen in threes.

So long for 2006.

Dec. 31 Sunday Talk Shows Scorecard

Week 8 - December 31

Show Guests Score WeeKTotal Cum. Total* Cum. %**
Meet the Press (NBC) Tom Brokaw and Bob Woodward 0 0-2 5-20 25.00
Fox News Sunday (FOX) Senator Richard Lugar (R), Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack (D) 1 1-2 10-24 41.67
This Week (ABC) John and Elizabeth Edwards 2 2-2 11-22 50.00
Face the Nation (CBS) None rankable 0 0-0 6-17 35.29
Total for week, all shows (4 weeks) all guests 3 3-6 32-83 38.55

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

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.

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