(cross-posted on firedoglake)
I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid, the person who dragged me out of bed for church every Sunday was my mother.
Frankly, I suspect that if you took a poll around this country, women would be the impetus for at least 50% of the homes getting religion on Sunday. That’s why it really burns me when every time religion, abortion, and
\”family values\” are discussed we are either under represented or not included at all. When it comes to matters of state, war and peace, national security and keeping America safe, fughettaboutit.
If you’re up early on Sunday mornings in Washington,
you can observe a weekly ritual. Around 9am, a string of chauffeured town
cars and SUVs pulls up outside the NBC studio on Nebraska Avenue in Northwest
Washington where \”Meet the Press\” is recorded, and out tumble government
officials and politicians, reporters, and pundits. They scan the weekend papers
over coffee in the green room, catch up with the women who apply their make-up,
and wait for their chance to spin or pontificate. One thing you might notice
about these select individualsÃ¢â‚¬”other than the fact that there
are very few womenÃ¢â‚¬”is that lately they are mostly conservative.
Which leads to another Sunday morning ritual: American
liberals yelling at their televisions.
No, liberals, it’s not your imagination. \”Meet
the Press\” and the other Sunday political talk shows really have leaned
more to the right in recent years. At Media Matters for America, we looked at every one of the 7,000 guests who appeared on the three major Sunday shows
from 1997 through 2005Ã¢â‚¬”Bill Clinton’s second term, George W. Bush’s
first term, and the last year. We found that the left has of late found itself
outnumbered, in some ways substantially, on the television shows that define
the Washington conventional wisdom. Liberals are already a disturbingly rare
species among what Calvin Trillin refers to as the \”Sabbath Gasbags.\”
And in some debatesÃ¢â‚¬”the war in Iraq, for exampleÃ¢â‚¬”they are in danger
of becoming extinct. … …
John Fund Again?
- by Paul Waldman, (It’s not your imagination, the Sunday shows really do lean right.)
The Sunday shows reach around 10 million people, according to Waldman. As he
states in his article, Sunday morning shows are the ticket to respectability
and pundit power, which extends to politicians who participate. The Sunday shows
divvy up the debating points between the serious players, which often follows
into the Monday morning newspapers.
It’s amazing that women who have opinions and can debate the facts are still
considered, well, bitches.
If women aren’t part of the dialogue on the Sunday shows, we won’t be part
of the solutions and power structure that makes those decisions. This matters,
especially as women are at least half of the population.
So why aren’t women equally represented on the Sunday morning
Habit? Nobody cares? Nobody is paying attention? Nonsense. The
public has to demand it, expect it and rely on hearing women’s voices on Sunday
morning. Given the importance of women in the family’s faith, you’d think the
panels would at least make an effort to invite some mothers on.
We won’t even start talking about Democratic or liberals
and progressive women, because conservatives were 58% of the Sunday political
talk show guests in 2005; 56% in 2004; 57% in 2003; 59% in 2002; 59% in 2001,
according to Media Matters study,
If It’s Sunday, It’s Conservative.
But getting back to women, we certainly aren’t being represented
because there aren’t talented women out there who can speak authoritatively
on a wide range of topics, whether it’s faith, abortion, \”family values,\”
or matters of foreign policy and national security.
To find out that female producers behind the scenes aren’t helping
make women part of the conversation, however, is down right infuriating.
First, the most exasperating. Tim Russert has three producers,
all of whom are women. So
will someone please tell me why they are always booking men? This is especially
true when the subject is faith, abortion, and \”family values.\” It’s
an outrage. Guests today include \”a Catholic priest and nun; a Jewish rabbi,
a Protestant minister, an Islamic scholar and a noted historian about the intersection
of faith, morality and politics.\” Fine, but the bottom line also reads,
one woman and five men, plus a clip of Billy Graham.
On George Stephanopolous’ \”This Week,\” Donna
Brazile is the only woman scheduled, but only for the panel discussion,
with four men as guests, as well as more men as part of the panel. But women
are rarely allowed as featured speakers on matters of state or world affairs.
There aren’t any women scheduled on Fox
News Sunday, though Mara Liasson was included in the panel segment,
though Brit Hume seems irritated every time she speaks.
Bob Schieffer’s “Face the Nation,” has no women
scheduled. And again, Schieffer’s producer is a woman.
Wolf Blitzer has Senator Diane Feinstein, the token chick. For Easter religiosity, Wolf is offering
up Rev. Jerry Falwell. Again, women evidently aren’t qualified to talk about faith on TV.
Look, I love men, absolutely love ‘em. But it takes two genders to make the
world go around. It’s also way past time that women got a chance to run things,
or at least talk about how to run things, especially on the
Sunday morning political talk show circuit. It’s doubtful we can do a worse job.