Propaganda & Mass Persuasion: Sunday Morning News

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Sunday Morning News

Each week, five Sunday news show producers eagerly work to get the right guest or the best guest on their show. Hundreds of phone calls, and many favors are to be called in order to insure that your show has the top guests to discuss the top issues. The producers cannot book someone to early in the week, so that they do not get stuck with an irrelevant guest, by they must also not wait to long in order to insure that the competing news show does not book the wanted guest. The five main shows that are on Sundays, Fox News Sunday, ABC’s This week, CBS’s Face the Nation, NBC’s Meet the Press, and CNN’s Late Edition, are all competing for the who’s who of guests, to have commentary on the issues in the news that week.

The Most sought after guests are White House officials, preferably senior officials, which are appointed by the assistant White House Press Secretary, Adam Levine. He decides who is “offered” to the news station and who goes to which news station. He states that the officials get rotated to all the five stations, but many argue how strictly and fairly they get rotated. Although they say and try to keep a rotation of guests they do keep in mind the networks ratings and which station will be more advantages to them and the issues they want to promote. “I’m sure they think about ratings and where guests will be seen by the most viewers.” says Meet the Press’s Fischer, about the Bush White House press administration.

The White House has full control on who goes out to speak on the news stations and at what station. No matter how connected a news producer may be, no favors can get them the guest that they want when they want, but they are at the mercy of the White House decision's. The White house “rotation system” as it is called is completely controlled by the White House, and it serves their purpose and needs.

It is evident that the booking guests is not on a fair, and sharing of guests ideal and that those reporters that are better connected or on higher rating shows will get the desired guest more often than other news shows. Although the White House is not always strict with the rotation of their representatives, this all depends on the administration and the issues at hand. The issues impact how the White House deals with the news programs, more sensitive issues are controlled more, and other issues need more promotion and debate. During the Clinton scandal, there were less White House representatives offered to the news shows. In contrast to the Bush administration, which after September 11, offered more officials to the news shows, in order to get the messages about the war spoken on and debated as the White House wanted.

Due to the competition for booking guests, White house officials tend to do more than one show on Sunday news, having a guest do only one show on one net work is rare. The White House likes this, because it serves them better, having the person they want speak on issues to many different audiences, buy being booked by different news shows.


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