Fox News Sunday has its priorities

FOX NEWS SUNDAY HAS ITS PRIORITIES…. The past seven days have been pretty dramatic. We’ve seen an uprising in Egypt; the domestic fight over health care has taken some important twists; and we’ve seen important new economic data. For the Sunday shows, there’s no shortage of meaty subjects to explore in detail.

And for the most part, that’s what viewers will see. ABC’s Christiane Amanpour will broadcast live from Cairo, and interview Egypt’s Ambassador to the United States. NBC’s David Gregory will have an exclusive interview with Mohamed ElBaradei. CBS and CNN will speak with several diplomats, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

Then there’s Fox News Sunday.

Despite the news in Egypt, Fox News Sunday is scheduled to cover only football this Sunday. The show’s schedule lists an interview with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell; a “fair and balanced” debate between ex-Packer Jerry Kramer and ex-Steeler Lynn Swann; a roundtable with Fox Sports commentators Terry Bradshaw, Howie Long and Michael Strahan; and a “Power Player of the Week” segment with Fox Sports’ Joe Buck.

Host Chris Wallace was asked [Friday] by radio host Mike Gallagher if he’s “going to cover some non-football stuff.” Wallace replied, “No … Can I just say one thing about [health care] and Egypt? It’ll be there next week.”

Look, I know the Super Bowl is a big national event. I also appreciate the fact that one cannot live on political news alone. Even here on this very site, not every item is substantive, covering the most pressing international developments.

But there are certain expectations for a Sunday morning public affairs show, especially given what its competitors are up to. Health care and Egypt will be there next week? Sure. But Fox has other networks — including a sports channel and the station the game will be played on. The “news” network can’t cover the, you know, news?

Media Matters added, “There’s a great deal of synergy in the scheduling: Fox News Sunday, like the Super Bowl, airs on Fox-TV. Such synergy was also on display earlier this week when Fox News devoted a half-hour of non-interrupted programming to the launch of Fox-parent News Corp.’s iPad-only publication, The Daily.”

Indeed, the half-hour of non-interrupted programming to talk about Fox’s iPad-only publication interrupted Fox’s coverage of Egypt.