Press Release

Full Report

Issues 1999

Issues 1996

Guests 1999

Guests 1996

Top Twenty Issues 1999

Top Twenty Issues 1996

Top Twenty Guests 1999

Top Twenty Guests 1996


Executive Summary

Sunday morning political talk shows help set the agenda for debate in Washington. Issues concerning corporate power directly impact people’s lives, constitute substantive fodder for political discussion, and are scintillating enough to attract large television audiences. However, this quantitative study of four Sunday morning programs – Meet the Press, The Mclaughlin Group, Face the Nation, This Week – demonstrates that the shows avoid addressing issues related to corporate power.

The study found that:

  • Topics related to corporate power -- the environment, corporate crime, labor, mergers, consumer rights, corporate welfare, national health care, free trade agreements, redlining, blockbusting, multinational capital flight, tort reform, renewable energy, the commercialization of children, etc. -- make up less than 4% of the shows’ discussion topics.
  • An overwhelming majority of invited guests on the shows are lawmakers, government officials, and politicians -- a skew that tends to reinforce narrow parameters of discussion and exclude issues of corporate power.
  • Corporate influence over the networks, the shows and the guests in part explains the remarkable omission of issues related to corporate power. Multinational conglomerates own the networks, major corporations sponsor specific shows, businesses regularly pay celebrity journalist lecture fees, and massive corporations fund the campaigns of the guest newsmakers.

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