The general impression is rooted in fact: the Sunday shows love Republicans. “Meet the Press,” “Face the Nation,” “This Week,” “State of the Union,” and “Fox News Sunday,” hoping to reflect and help shape the conventional wisdom for the political world, collectively favor GOP guests over Democratic guests every year, but who were the big winners in 2013?
The above chart shows every political figure who made 10 or more Sunday show appearances this year, with red columns representing Republicans and blue columns representing Democrats. For 2013, the race wasn’t especially close – House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) easily came out on top, making 27 appearances this year. That works out to an average of one appearance every 1.9 weeks (or 2.25 Sunday show appearances a month, every month for a year).
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who led the race for much of the year, ended up in second place with 24 appearances over 52 weeks. As a consolation prize, it’s worth noting that McCain made 21 Sunday show appearances in 2012, so while he couldn’t match Rogers’ 2013 tally, at least the Arizona Republican saw a significant increase.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R), who hasn’t served in public office since resigning in disgrace 15 years ago, was tied for third place with Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), one of only a few Democrats to make the cut.
In all, 10 of the top 13 are Republicans, as are six of the top seven.
I’ll leave it to others to speculate as to why the Sunday shows seem so preoccupied with Republican guests, but I will note that MSNBC has some fine programming on weekends, featuring a diverse group of stories and guests unseen elsewhere.