Just How Diverse Are the Sunday Public Affairs Shows?

By Alex Weprin 

A new study from The Green Bag, published by the George Mason University School of Law, says that the guest selection of the Sunday morning public affairs programs are not representative of the country t large, or even Congress.

The New York Times Brian Stelter examines the findings:

The study, of the five network Sunday shows from February to December 2009, found that while 14.6 percent of members of Congress were minorities, just 2.5 percent of the Congressional TV guests were minorities; and that while 16.9 percent of members were female, 13.5 percent of the guests were female.

While the data seems to be Quite damning, the producers of the Sunday shows have a compelling response:

“We are always looking to represent diverse views on our program, but ‘This Week’ is a news program and so our bookings are dictated by the news and newsmakers,” said Ian Cameron, the executive producer of “This Week” on ABC.

In other words, they want people in the news, and newsmakers. This year, that has led to them mostly booking old white guys.

What do you think, is that a compelling argument? Do Sunday shows have any obligation to book a diverse group of guests?

Let us know in the comments.