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Republican representatives flocked to CNN and Fox News during last week’s speaker vote saga

  • As the House GOP caucus was in chaos during their fight to appoint a speaker, Republican representatives went on cable news to argue their cases for and against now-Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy. From the beginning of the speaker votes, through 1 p.m. on Friday, when defectors began changing their votes, 36 individual Republican members of the House appeared on cable news for a total of 80 interviews. This represented a notable shift for CNN, which has long struggled to get elected Republicans on-air. And while Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s detractors only represented about 9% of the GOP caucus, they represented 25% of the total interviews across networks.

    The Republican House members most prominently appeared on Fox News, where 23 individuals went on for 38 interviews. Over 1/3 of interviewees were McCarthy detractors, with 7 coming on for 13 interviews. Of the small but loud group of anti-McCarthy House Republicans, Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) appeared the most with 3 interviews. Reps. Dan Bishop (R-NC), Byron Donalds (R-FL), Lauren Boebert (R-CO), and Scott Perry (R-PA) each appeared twice on the network.

    After largely avoiding CNN in recent history, 22 individual Republican representatives, nearly the same as on Fox News, appeared on the network for 34 total interviews over the course of the week. Those who appeared on CNN were overwhelmingly in the pro-McCarthy camp, and used the network's platform to help get out their messaging to an audience beyond Fox News. Even though not all interviews were friendly, as the network continues to bend increasingly to the right, House Republicans are seemingly feeling more comfortable appearing on the network. 

    Meanwhile Republicans continued to avoid MSNBC for the most part, with only 7 appearing for a total of 8 interviews. Notably though, extremist Rep. Boebert was one of the representatives who appeared on the network.