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Sunday news shows skew too conservative, media group says

April 17, 2012 | 10:42 pm

en. John McCain and former Sen. Fred Thompson
Do the Sunday news shows skew too far to the right? A new study by a media watchdog group says yes.

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), a New York-based liberal organization, says that NBC's "Meet the Press," CBS' "Face the Nation," ABC's "This Week" and "Fox News Sunday" are "failing miserably" at getting diverse guests.

"[F]rom June 2011 through February 2012, FAIR found a distinct conservative, white and male skew" on the shows. Eighty-six percent of the guests booked for one-on-one interviews were male and 92% were white, FAIR says. Of the guests who were identified as having a partisan affiliation, 70% were Republican.

"The Sunday morning shows are the showcase debate programs for the national news networks," FAIR's Peter Hart wrote in a statement. "It's a shame they aren't interested in having many actual debates."

In fairness, it should be pointed out that the period studied by FAIR coincided with an active GOP primary fight, which could explain the partisan skew. But FAIR says that a study in 2003--when Democrats were vying to defeat President George W. Bush--showed a conservative bias on the Sunday shows as well.

Officials with ABC and Fox News declined comment; a CBS spokeswoman could not locate someone to speak for attribution by deadline. An NBC representative did not return an email seeking comment.

What do you think of FAIR's claims?

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--Scott Collins (twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: Sen. John McCain and former Sen. Fred Thompson (shown in January) are two GOP leaders who have appeared on NBC's "Meet the Press." Credit: William B. Plowman/NBC.

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