If it’s Sunday…

IF IT’S SUNDAY…. CBS News’s “Face the Nation” is touting its line-up for tomorrow’s show.

Coming Up: Jan. 24, 2010: Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.; Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill.

And a roundtable discussion on the Supreme Court campaign ad ruling with CBS News’ Nancy Cordes and Jan Crawford.

Yes, we’ve reached the first anniversary of President Obama’s inauguration, so it’s time once again to have John McCain appear on yet another Sunday morning talk show.

For those keeping score, this will be McCain’s 19th appearance on a Sunday morning talk show since Obama took office 12 months ago. That’s an average of one appearance every 2.9 weeks for a year — more than any other public official in the country.

Since the president’s inauguration, McCain has been on “Meet the Press” three times (December 6, July 12, and March 29), “This Week” three times (September 27, August 23, and May 10), “Fox News Sunday” four times (December 20, July 2, March 8, and January 25), and CNN’s “State of the Union” four times (January 10, October 11, August 2, and February 15). His appearance on “Face the Nation” will be his fifth in the last year (January 24, October 25, August 30, April 26, and February 8).

Congratulations, “Face the Nation,” you’re now in the lead.

And who, exactly, is John McCain? He’s the one who lost the 2008 presidential race badly, and is now just another reactionary conservative senator in the minority. He’s not in the party leadership; he has no role in any important negotiations on any issue; and he’s offered no significant pieces of legislation. By all appearances, McCain isn’t even especially influential among his own GOP colleagues.

There’s just no reason for the media’s obsession with McCain. None. Nineteen Sunday-show appearances in 12 months? It’s farcical.

Of course, if “Face the Nation” is going to go to the trouble of having McCain on once again, Bob Schieffer could, in theory, ask the senator to explain why he humiliated himself during a Senate Homeland Security Committee hearing this week. For those who missed it, McCain insisted that Christmas/underwear bomber Umar Abdulmutallab bought a one-way ticket from Nigeria to Detroit. That’s completely wrong. When National Counterterrorism Center Director Michael Leiter tried to explain reality, McCain became visibly annoyed, forcing Leiter to apologize for being correct.

If our media culture made sense, television producers wouldn’t reward this.