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Romney, Perry say no to Sunday talk shows, yes to late night

December 23, 2011 | 12:09 pm

Jon Huntsman's rocking performance on "The Late Show" on Wednesday night was the latest example of a growing trend in American politics. In the not-so-distant past, visits to Sunday morning political talk shows such as "Meet the Press," "Face the Nation" and "This Week" were all but mandatory for presidential candidates. 

But in this election cycle, the once-mighty Sunday talk show seems less influential than in the past. Two of the current Republican hopefuls -- Mitt Romney and Rick Perry -- have avoided “Meet the Press,” “Face the Nation” and “This Week" altogether. In contrast, nearly every candidate has made an appearance on one or more late-night talk shows.

Rather than submitting themselves to tough interrogation at the hands of NBC's David Gregory or CBS' Bob Schieffer, the Republican candidates — and even President Obama — have consistently opted for other, arguably more frivolous venues, such as "The View" and "Jimmy Kimmel Live." 

Some experts argue that, by appearing on entertainment programs, the candidates are getting free publicity without having to engage in a substantive discussion of the issues. By contrast, the Sunday talk shows are rife with potential for "gotcha" moments. Still others suggest that, in the current media landscape, the line between comedian and journalist is virtually indistinguishable.

Do you think the candidates are taking the easy way out by appearing on late-night shows? Read more about this issue in today's feature story by Scott Collins and consider the evidence below.

Herman Cain denying charges of sexual harrassment on "Jimmy Kimmel Live":

 

Rick Perry delivering the Top 10 List on "The Late Show" after his debate gaffe:

 

... Mitt Romney doing the same earlier this week:

 

Rep. Ron Paul on "The Tonight Show":

 

Michele Bachmann during her controversial appearance on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon":

 

RELATED:

Late Night: Jon Hunstman rocks out on Letterman

Michele Bachmann receives apology from NBC over Jimmy Fallon gag

Romney loosens up on Letterman

— Meredith Blake

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