Betsy Fischer, executive producer of Meet the Press, responds to our report:
Media Matters has produced an incomplete and misleading "report" on Sunday morning television. They somehow seek to compare Sunday morning guest appearances for the Bush administration versus the Clinton administration - but for some strange reason they happen to completely omit the first term of President Clinton? Why would they do so - perhaps it's because the statistics from Clinton's first term do not support their ill-defined "conclusion?" (The guest listings for Sunday morning television going back decades are a matter of public record - and readily available in numerous libraries and databases and from the shows themselves.). In fact, we ran the Meet the Press numbers this morning in a matter of hours and found the following:
- During the first two years of the Clinton Administration - when Democrats controlled both the White House and Congress - the breakdown of ideological guests were as follows: 1993 (72 Democrats, 29 Republicans -or a ratio of (71% Dem to 29% GOP); in 1994 ( 71 Democrats and 47 Republicans - or a ratio of 60% Dem to 40% GOP). When both House of Congress shifted to Republican control in 1995 - the number Republican guest appearances also increased and resulted in almost an even number of Republican and Democratic appearances.
- In summary, for the first term of President Clinton (1993-1996), the ideological breakdown of guests on "Meet the Press" was as follows: 260 Democrats to 208 Republicans - for a ratio of 56% Dem to 44% GOP). How different is that from the first term of President Bush? Well, it's basically the same - according to Media Matters own findings - Republicans accounted for 58% of all guests on Sunday shows in President Bush's first term and Democrats accounted for 42% of appearances).
We'd respectfully request that if Media Matters wants to undertake an unbiased look at Sunday show appearances - they do just that - and include statistics from President Clinton's first term - and avoid comparing apples to oranges. Their study as presented is intellectually dishonest.