Senator Bernie Sanders Belongs on the Sunday Shows

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As you may know, I rant about media bias regularly, and how the Sunday talkers feature more GOP guests than Democratic. This has been a long term problem that finally caused even Rachel Maddow to rant.

I guess I'm not alone. Our friends at Brave New Films have asked TPC to share their post. With pleasure:

Senator Sanders is a bold voice, and one that’s missing every Sunday. He’s a passionate advocate for the middle class and yet his last morning show appearance came late last year.

Compare that to Sen. John McCain, who leads everyone with 10 appearances this year alone. His friends and ideological allies, Sens. Lindsay Graham and Joe Lieberman, round out the top seven interviewees this year, with six and five appearances each.

The Sunday shows often set the tone for the upcoming political week. As the same voices drone on, the Senator’s absence means the political and media elites are overlooking the forces squeezing working and middle class Americans.

Will you call or write the network producers and tell them to Bring Senator Sanders On? (Their contact information is at bottom.)

[W]hat the Senator says is popular and widespread that it shines through the media muzzle.

“Medicare for all” is something the Senator’s pushed for years. More fundamentally, Senator Sanders is one of the few leaders who understands that political debates exist in terms of individuals and lives.

[...]

Why is Senator Sanders being kept off the Sunday shows? It must be ideological discrimination because nothing else explains how the same tired trope of alleged newsmakers is trotted out each week.

Like McCain, Graham and Lieberman, the Tea Party is overrepresented on the shows too. Rep. Michele Bachmann, Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee all have far more appearances on Sunday shows than Senator Sanders. It doesn’t take much when the Senator has never been interviewed in 2011. [...]

With Bernie absent from the Sunday shows, and their trend toward booking the same politicians each week, there exists an echo chamber within an echo chamber. With a lack of diversity each week, the Sunday shows move further away from their historical origins in American broadcasting.

They were conceived as a way to justify using public airwaves. The Federal Communications Commission licenses networks the right to use public radio waves because it’s a public service. That’s been precedent since the very beginning of American broadcasting.

Ideological discrimination is bad for ratings and worse for our democracy. As the Sunday shows move away from their historical moorings, our democracy suffers from a dearth of journalistic public service.

All the while, the “crooks on Wall Street [who] caused the recession” and politicians “who go after the middle-class, working families, low-income people” – in Bernie’s words – will be wearing television makeup and living comfortably in the networks’ green rooms this Sunday.

Will you call or write producers for Face the Nation, This Week, Meet the Press and State of the Union and respectfully ask them to bring Bernie on?

Face the Nation: Carin Pratt, (202) 457-4481, ftn@cbsnews.com

Meet the Press: Iliana Drimmer, (202) 885-4598, ilana.drimmer@nbcuni.com

This Week: (212) 456-7777 (push 5 and address your message to Rick Kaplan, executive producer of This Week)

State of the Union: Michelle Jaconi, (404) 827-1500, michelle.jaconi@turner.com

Please go here for the rest.

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  • http://twitter.com/BoomerJack Jack M. Boardman

    Sunday shows skew red...YES to Sen. Sanders!