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Sunday Shutout: the lack of Gender & Ethnic diversity on Sunday Morning Talk Shows
Source: Media Matters
Not only are the Sunday morning talk shows on the broadcast networks dominated by conservative opinion and commentary, the four programs -- NBC's Meet the Press, ABC's This Week, CBS' Face the Nation, and Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday -- feature guest lists that are overwhelmingly white and overwhelmingly male.
And the top-rated Sunday show -- Meet the Press -- shows the least diversity of all. The NBC program is the most male and nearly the most white (Face the Nation beats it out by 1 percentage point), and it has the highest proportion of white males to all other guests.
A breakdown of the guests who appeared on the Sunday shows in 2005 and 2006 shows that men dominate these shows. In fact, men outnumber women by a 4-to-1 ratio on average.
The divide is even starker when it comes to race/ethnicity: On average, there were nearly seven white guests for every guest of any other race/ethnicity. On Meet the Press and Face the Nation, there were nearly nine white guests for every guest of another race/ethnicity.
Fox News Sunday and This Week have a slightly higher degree of diversity than the other two programs, which are virtually identical. This Week's higher proportion of Asian-Americans can be attributed to the frequent appearances of Newsweek International editor Fareed Zakaria in the program's roundtable discussion. Fox News Sunday's higher proportion of African-Americans can be attributed to the weekly appearance of National Public Radio senior correspondent Juan Williams. (Williams accounted for 99 of the 126 appearances by an African-American on the program during these two years.) Aside from those notable exceptions, approximately nine out of every 10 guests on the Sunday shows are white.