From POLITICAL ANIMAL at Washington MONTHLY (October 23, 2009):
SUNDAY SHOW BOOKERS REFUSE TO READ POLITICAL ANIMAL…. Maybe I should start taking this personally.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been booked for yet another Sunday talk show appearance this weekend — this time on CBS’ Face The Nation. Despite a “wildly unsuccessful presidential campaign” last year and his comparative irrelevancy in the U.S. Senate, this will mark the 15th time McCain has appeared on a Sunday talk show since January.
Since the president took office, McCain has been on “Meet the Press” twice (July 12 and March 29), “This Week” three times (September 27, August 23, and May 10), “Fox News Sunday” three times (July 2, March 8, and January 25), and CNN’s “State of the Union” three times (October 11, August 2, and February 15). His appearance on “Face the Nation” this weekend will be his fourth appearance since February (October 25, August 30, April 26, and February 8).
And who, exactly, is John McCain? He’s the one who lost last year’s presidential race badly, and is now just another conservative senator in the minority. He’s not in the party leadership; he has no role in any important negotiations on any issue; and he’s offered no significant pieces of legislation. By all appearances, McCain isn’t even especially influential among his own GOP colleagues.
Now, I suspect producers for “Face the Nation” will point out that U.S. policy in Afghanistan is a very important topic right now, and argue that McCain represents the conservative Republican perspective on the issue. Perhaps.
But let’s not forget a) McCain has already discussed his position on Afghanistan on other programs very recently; b) his understanding of U.S. foreign policy is tenuous at best; c) we already know what he’s going to say, making the interview dull before it even happens; and d) there are plenty of other Republicans who agree with McCain who aren’t on every 2.6 weeks.
From MEDIA MATTERS:
The Washington Monthly‘s Steve Benen points out that this weekend, ABC’s This Week hosts Sen. John McCain. It will be McCain’s third appearance on This Week in five months, and his 13th Sunday show appearance this year. Thirteenth.
John McCain is not president, he chairs no Senate committees, he represents two percent of the U.S. population, he lacks a strong constituency even among his own party — a party that is pretty widely disliked and has taken a thumpin’ in two straight elections. He is not playing a central, or even peripheral role in the health care debate. And yet he’s on television all the time.
When can we expect rampant media talk about John McCain being “overexposed”?
UPDATE: For comparison, John Kerry was on three Sunday shows in the first eight months of 2005. The media treated Kerry like he lost a presidential campaign. They treat McCain like he won his.
From THINK PROGRESS:
Two weeks ago, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos justified booking McCain on This Week arguing that he “is the leading GOP voice on Afghanistan.” Yet McCain has consistently been off the mark when in comes to the war there. In fact, during McCain’s last Sunday appearance discussing Afghanistan, he dodged questions of the role the war in Iraq — a war he fervently supported and much of which he was also wrong about — in the deteriorating situation there.
[...] when Al Gore and John Kerry lost their presidential bids, “the media had a clear message for them: Get out of the way and let George W. Bush govern.” In fact, Kerry appeared on just three Sunday talk shows in the first eight months of President Bush’s second term.