Up with Chris Hayes

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  • Sunday Shows Need New Faces, New Voices

    Blog ››› ››› ROB SAVILLO

    In the first three months of 2013, the broadcast networks' Sunday morning talk shows once again skewed strongly to the right and featured a startling lack of diversity among guests. 

    For better or worse, these shows -- ABC's This Week, CBS' Face the Nation, NBC's Meet the Press, and Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday -- occupy an elevated space in the national political discussion. This is where influential people -- like senators, representatives, presidential administration officials, Fortune 500 chief executives, and leaders of prominent non-profit organizations, for example -- get to set the terms of debate and frame the issues of the week. The shows enjoy considerably high ratings as well -- approximately 10 million weekly viewers collectively, according to recent numbers from TV Newser.

    With that in mind, who the broadcast Sunday shows invite on as guests has significant implications for how discussions on major issues are framed. And once again, Republicans and conservatives have an edge over Democrats and progressives on these programs.

  • How Chris Hayes' Show Differs From Other Sunday Shows In One Chart

    New MSNBC Evening Host's Show Has Provided Much-Needed Diversity

    Blog ››› ››› ROB SAVILLO

    MSNBC is giving Chris Hayes the network's 8 p.m. primetime weekday slot beginning in April. Hayes' current program, Up with Chris Hayes, has provided a beacon of diversity compared to the Sunday morning political talk shows on other major broadcast and cable networks, which overwhelmingly feature white men.

    The Sunday morning edition of Up with Chris Hayes, which runs from 8 to 10 a.m., is currently more diverse than any of the Sunday morning talk shows on the other networks, as a Media Matters examination of guests since January 1 demonstrates. Most tellingly, white men make up 41 percent of total guests on Up with Chris Hayes (according to data from the U.S. Census, white men make up roughly 31 percent* of the U.S. population). In contrast, CBS' Face the Nation, Fox's Fox News Sunday, NBC's Meet the Press, CNN's State of the Union, and ABC's This Week host white men 66 percent, 64 percent, 64 percent, 67 percent, and 61 percent of the time, respectively.

    Further, Up with Chris Hayes has more than double the proportion of African-American guests -- 21 percent -- as compared to each of the other programs. In all, 34 percent of guests on Up with Chris Hayes are non-white. Hayes also hosts more women -- 37 percent -- than any of the other networks' shows.

    *This report originally stated that white men represented 39 percent of the U.S. general population. The correct figure is 31 percent. Media Matters regrets the error.

  • Media Coverage Of Debt Ceiling Continues To Propagate Erroneous "Blank Check" Analogy

    ››› ››› ALAN PYKE

    Media coverage of the debt ceiling frequently claims that raising the limit without simultaneous spending cuts would give President Obama a "blank check," repeating a pattern of promoting this false narrative -- or failing to correct it -- that occurred during the unprecedented brinkmanship of 2011. The phrase implies that the debt ceiling governs additional spending desired by the White House, when in fact it is a restriction on the executive branch's ability to borrow money to pay for spending measures already enacted by Congress.

  • Congressional Experts Ornstein And Mann Illustrate How GOP Is To Blame For Political Gridlock

    Blog ››› ››› SOLANGE UWIMANA

    Congressional experts Thomas E. Mann of the Brookings Institution and Norman J. Ornstein of the conservative American Enterprise Institute appeared on MSNBC's Up w/ Chris Hayes this morning to detail the Republican Party's "all-out war" against President Obama. They explained how the GOP has "been aggressively oppositional in every respect" and how it has succeeded in using parliamentary tools "to deny the majority an opportunity to act."

    Former Republican National Committee chairman Michael Steele objected, arguing that President Obama and the Democratic Party deserve just as much blame for the current political gridlock as Republicans.

    This notion that it's Obama and the Democrats who refuse to compromise on policy issues is absurd, but it is an oft-repeated claim that media outlets and conservatives fling out to deflect from, and obscure, Republican obstructionism. Indeed, as Ornstein and Mann pointed out, the fault lies entirely with the Republicans.

  • MSNBC's Up With Chris Hayes To Be First Sunday Show To Host Experts Blaming GOP For Gridlock

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Thomas E. Mann and Norman J. Ornstein, two well-respected, centrist congressional experts, will make their first Sunday talk show appearance on the June 3 edition of MSNBC's Up with Chris Hayes after being largely ignored by the media following their recent conclusion that Republicans are responsible for the current "dysfunctional" Congress.

    On today's edition of his show, Hayes announced that Mann and Ornstein would make their "long-awaited, controversial first appearance on a national Sunday news program" to discuss their Washington Post op-ed and new book detailing the causes of political gridlock in Washington.

    As The Washington Post's Greg Sargent and others have noted, Mann and Ornstein have been shut out of the Sunday morning talk shows since their April 29 op-ed. Moreover, as Media Matters' has reported, the top five national newspapers failed to mention Mann and Ornstein's recent observations about the dysfunction in Congress even though they regularly quoted the pair in past news articles.

    Media Matters also found that in the months following the publication of Mann and Ornstein's 2006 book, The Broken Branch: How Congress Is Failing America and How to Get It Back on Track (which was critical of both Democrats and Republicans), the two frequently appeared and were quoted on cable news shows, suggesting that the media is now giving Republicans a pass to avoid appearing biased.

  • MSNBC's Chris Hayes Discusses Economics Issues With Actual Economist

    Blog ››› ››› ROB SAVILLO

    Last week, Media Matters released a report detailing the lack of economists on cable evening news programs during the debt-ceiling debate. In the month prior to Democrats and Republicans reaching a compromise, only 4.1 percent of guests brought on to discuss the issue were economists. MSNBC's Up with Chris Hayes wanted to "rectify that," and on Saturday, the host brought on Robert Frank, who, Hayes noted, "is an actual economist." Frank is an economics professor at Cornell University.

    Hayes asked Frank about the tax debate and President Barack Obama's proposal (which would raise revenues by instituting a minimum tax rate for individuals who earn more than $1 million), and Frank responded that "the President's proposal makes good sense." He added that "you can't imagine how we could possibly balance the budget without additional revenues."

    In the face of calls to reduce government spending in order to balance the budget, Frank further stated that "every president in my lifetime has campaigned on a pledge to reduce wasteful government spending" but that "spending went up in every administration" anyway. He concluded, "I think without new revenue, there is no hope to balance the budget. We have got to talk about where to get new revenue, not whether we need it."

    Hayes then played a clip of Fox News host Bill O'Reilly claiming that an increase in the marginal tax rate for high-income earners might dissuade them from working at all. O'Reilly said, "If you tax achievement, some of the achievers are going to pack it in."

    To this, Frank responded:

    The idea that if you raise the tax rate at the margin -- not on every dollar you earn but at the margin on the highest earners -- from 35 percent to 40 percent that the 40 vice presidents at a company would suddenly start playing golf on Friday and not coming in trying to ascend to the next job on the corporate ladder: That's a fiction. There are lots of rewards for doing good work other than the extra dollar you get. People get extra dollars as long as the marginal tax rate isn't 100 percent. We're nowhere near that margin of choking off effort for people at the top.

    Unfortunately, such expert opinion from real economists was sorely lacking in the debate leading up to passage of the Budget Control Act, a deficiency that only left the public misinformed on the issues at hand.