No labor representatives on Sunday talk shows

Union leaders shut out by Beltway press; all networks turn to Republicans for political analysis

Published February 24, 2011 11:30PM (EST)

John McCain on Meet the Press
John McCain on Meet the Press

It's almost official: There will be no union representatives on the Sunday morning talk shows.

Unless anyone can be embarrassed into calling up someone who isn't on the pre-approved Sunday Show list of guests (ideologically ranging from Harold Ford to George Will), no one representing labor will be on the DC-based roundtable news shows that define the terms of the debate and "set the agenda" for the Beltway press. "Face the Nation" will slobber all over New Jersey's Chris Christie, though.

The best part is that in addition to Christie, "Meet the Press" has "preliminarily" booked Scott Walker and "Fox News Sunday" has invited Mitch Daniels.

I don't know who else will be on (let's hope Lindsey Graham!) but, depressing as it is, it's not surprising: People representing labor are barely ever used as sources for business stories in the press, and labor leaders are generally outside the orbit of people that political media professionals consider important. Sunday show bookers wouldn't invite an animal rights activist, either! Or an environmentalist! Or a climate scientist. Or a reproductive health expert. Or even female elected officials.

God, Sunday shows are awful, and I have absolutely no idea how Jason Linkins watches them every week.

By Alex Pareene

Alex Pareene writes about politics for Salon and is the author of "The Rude Guide to Mitt." Email him at and follow him on Twitter @pareene

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