NO LIBERALS ON THE TEEVEE, REDUX…. In late January, as the House debated the economic stimulus package, ThinkProgress did an analysis that found a clear imbalance: the major cable networks invited far more Republican lawmakers to talk about the legislation than Democratic lawmakers. Indeed, TP found a 2-to-1 margin in the GOP’s favor.
Now that the debate has shifted to the Senate, would the networks include more Democratic voices in the discussion? Not so much.
ThinkProgress reports today that during this week’s deliberations in the Senate, “Republican lawmakers outnumbered Democratic lawmakers 75 to 41 on cable news interviews by members of Congress (from 6am on Monday 2/2 through 11pm on Thursday 2/5).” It’s not quite as bad as last week, but it’s close.
When Republicans were in the majority, and controlled the White House, Senate, and House, it was important to air the GOP perspective. Now that Democrats are in control, nothing has changed. Last week, Josh Marshall noted the “continuing Republican tilt of much of the capital press corps. Not in ideological terms perhaps, but in terms of whose opinions carry weight, whose matter and whose do not.” That was true, at the time, as House Republicans were dominating the airwaves, and as ThinkProgress demonstrates, it’s still true this week.
The next question, of course, is who’s responsible for the heavy Republican tilt of the coverage, and what Democrats plan to do about it. Greg Sargent spoke to officials in the Democratic leadership yesterday and they are “privately conceding that they are getting badly outworked by the GOP on the airwaves, and are vowing to take new measures to remedy the situation.” Greg quoted one aide who said, “[W]e are aware of the problem and are taking steps to fix it.”
Sooner would be better than later.