(I thought I’d already posted this, can’t find it, so will back up and get it in the collection.)
Media Matters did a statistical study of the Sunday talking heads shows (going back to 1997, when Clinton was early in his second term), and SURPRISE! (not) found that they really do favor right wing views.
I haven’t been able to stand watching the shows for years, but Paul Waldman explains why it matters.
This is no small thing. The combined audience of the Sunday shows is around 10 million households. While that may not be quite as large as that of “American Idol,” it includes the entire Washington establishment, which looks to the Sunday shows to clarify who the important players are, which stories matter most, and what arguments can be considered seriously. The Sunday shows confer status — both on people and on ideas — with greater effect than any other news presentation. They are the place where Washington’s power elite goes to make its case, where the boundaries of debate are determined and the talking points presented and probed. When Vice President Dick Cheney wanted to make the case for war in Iraq, he took to these pulpits, famously linking the 9/11 attacks and Saddam Hussein’s regime. When a senator or member of Congress gets invited to appear, he or she has officially been designated a national figure. And when you open up a national newspaper on Monday morning, chances are you’ll see an article describing the most important or novel thing that was said the morning before on the Sunday shows.