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Where Are the Women on Sunday?


Politico’s Erika Lovley writes today about the disproportion of Male guests to female guests on the Sunday public affairs shows. Examining ABC’s “This Week,” CBS’ “Face the Nation,” CNN’s “State of the Union,” NBC’s “Meet the Press,” and “FOX News Sunday,” American University finds that just under 14% of the legislators that have appeared on Sunday shows in 2010 have been women.

But why?

A few potential explanations:

  • Only 17% of House and Senator members are women.
  • Show producers say that women can be more difficult to book. “MTP” EP Betsy Fischer told Politico, “I’ve probably asked [Rep. Nancy Pelosi] 25 times. She is just unwilling to do it.”
  • There are fewer women in leadership roles. Lovley writes, “In addition to Pelosi, only four women in the 111th Congress — all senators — currently sit in committee or leadership roles.”

But Lovley also points out:

While congressional women are underrepresented, the shows don’t lack for female faces overall. Almost every show features at least one female guest each weekend. And the Obama administration has provided multiple appearances by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, not to mention Elizabeth Warren, who chairs the congressional oversight panel for the bank bailout.

Read the whole thing here.

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