Latinos Missing From Sunday Morning News Shows

by Angelo Falcón on October 20, 2015

Republican consultant Alex Castellanos is among the Latinos most frequently used as a pundit on television news shows

I was talking the other day to an old friend, journalism professor Miguel Perez (and NAHJ Hall of Famer), about media coverage of Latino issues. He pointed out, and I agreed, that the English-language television news talk shows, especially those on Sunday mornings, seem to not only have almost no Latinos as guests, but when they do they seem to be disproportionately Republicans even though Latino voters overwhelmingly vote Democratic.


This is not the first time I hear this and it resonated with my experience watching these shows. I looked around to see if anybody had studied this, but all I could find were studies like the one Media Matters did in July that documented how few Latino guests were on the Sunday morning news shows (only 4 percent between January and May of this year) and how they mostly spoke only about immigration.


As I was thinking about this, I came across a list of this Sunday’s guests posted online by a Matt Mackowiak and thought I would see how well Latinos were represented on these shows yesterday, you know, just as a reality test. Well, I counted a total of 110 guests, of which only 6 were Latino (5.5 percent of the total). This varied from a low of 4.1 percent of Latino guests for the cable news shows to 7.5 percent for the broadcast network shows. Considering that the Latino population now makes up about 18 percent of the U.S. population, this is pretty bad. 


But then I took a closer look at those 6 Latino guests. The result was that Miguel’s observation of some sort of Republican bias seemed to be supported. Of course, this is only one day of shows and perhaps this would change if you took a longer view, but the results are interesting nonetheless because I chose yesterday totally at random (in other words, I didn’t see any of these shows). 


As you can clearly see, there seems to be both a Republican and Cuban bias in the selection of political Latino guests. Although in polls, 20 percent of Latinos identify as Republican, among the guests, 83 percent were Republicans. Although less than 4 percent of Latinos are Cuban, 50 percent of the guests were. Mexican-Americans, which make up over 60 percent of the Latino population, only made up no more than a third of the guests (one of the two is a Mexican-Italian-Jewish hybrid).


Again, this is just a one day snapshot, so one should be careful not to generalize, but it is interesting. It would be useful to look at this issue on a longer timeframe to see if such bias does exist and to discuss its political implications. Is a political minority in the Latino community getting a disproportionate attention from the news media? And, if so, why and does it matter?


The Data


The Networks  


NBC’s “Meet the Press”:

Ted Cruz

Adam Schiff and Mike Pompeo

roundtable: Alex Castellanos, Ron Fournier, Andrea Mitchell and Amy Walter


ABC’s “This Week”:

Bernie Sanders;

Ben Carson;

Adam Kinzinger;

Tulsi Gabbard;

roundtable: Matthew Dowd, Donna Brazile, Bill Kristol and Katrina vanden Heuvel


CBS’s “Face the Nation”:

Trey Gowdy;

Elijah Cummings;

David Axelrod;

roundtable: Bob Woodward, Nancy Cordes, Mark Halperin and Jeffrey Goldberg


“Fox News Sunday”:

Donald Trump;

roundtable: Brit Hume, Lisa Lerer, George Will and Charles Lane;

“Power Player of the Week” with “Barefoot Contessa” Ina Garten


PBS’s “To the Contrary” with Bonnie Erbé:

Roundtable: Eleanor Holmes Norton, Kim Gandy, Sabrina Schaeffer and Manal Omar


Cable Stations 


Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures” (10am ET / 9am CT):

Susan Brooks;

James Jeffrey;

First Data CEO Frank Bisignano;

Niall Ferguson;

roundtable: Ed Rollins, Judith Miller and Robert Wolf


Fox News’ “MediaBuzz” (11am ET / 10am CT):

Mercedes Schlapp;

WUSA’s Andrea McCarren;

Jackie Kucinich;

Brit Hume,

Rich Lowry,

Julie Roginsky and

David Zurawik


CNN’s “Inside Politics” with John King (SUN 8:30am ET):

Roundtable: Peter Baker, Matt Viser, Julie Hirschfield Davis and Nia-Malika Henderson


CNN’s “State of the Union” (9am ET / 12pm ET):

Hillary Clinton (taped Friday);

Mitt Romney;

roundtable: Tad Devine, Ana Navarro, Bakari Sellers and Amanda Carpenter


CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS”: (SUN 10am ET / 1pm ET):

Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko;

Ray Kelly;

Kenya president Uhuru Kenyatta;

Anne-Marie Slaughter and

Princeton’s Andrew Moravcsik


CNN’s “Reliable Sources”: (SUN 11am ET):

Ben Carson business manager Armstrong Williams;

Carl Bernstein;

Douglas Brinkley;

Larry Flynt and

WaPo columnist Alyssa Rosenberg;

author R.L. Stine;

Bill Carter;

OculusVR Inc. founder Palmer Luckey


C-SPAN: “The Communicators” (SAT 6:30pm ET):

WIRED technology reporter Andrew Greenberg …


“Newsmakers” (SUN 10am ET):

AEI president Arthur Brooks, questioned by James Hohmann and Alex Roarty …


“Q&A” (SUN 8pm & 11pm ET):

Author and former public relations executive Don Cogman (“Run Mitch, Run”)


MSNBC’s “Melissa Harris-Perry”: (SUN 10am-12pm ET):

The University of Texas’ Victoria DeFrancesco Soto;

The University of Connecticut’s Noë l A. Cazenave;

John Jay College’s Jon Shane;

Black Lives Matters’ Monica Dennis;

ProPublica’s Paul Kiel;

New York Democratic Party executive director Basil Smikle, Jr.;

Republican strategist Susan Del Percio;

The Guardian’s Sabrina Siddiqui;

artist Che “Rhymefest” Smith


MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation with Rev. Al Sharpton”: (SUN 8-9am ET):

Adam Smith;

Rachel Maddow;

U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce president & CEO Javier Palomarez;

Ed Rendell;

Joy Reid;

Rich Galen


MSNBC’s “UP with Steve Kornacki”: (SUN 9-10am ET):

McClatchy’s Jonathan Landay;

Lilly Ledbetter




NPR “Weekend Edition Sunday” (SUN 8am-10am ET): Host: NPR’s Rachel Martin:

Former U.S. Amb. to Afghanistan Ronald E. Neumann;

World Food Programme executive director Ertharin Cousin;

NPR international correspondents Philip Reeves (Islamabad) and Anthony Kuhn (Beijing);

“For The Record” segment on charter vs. public schools;

actors Brie Larson (Room) and

Peter Sarsgaard (Experimenter );

writer Malcolm Gay (The Brain Electric);

Louisville Orchestra music director Teddy Abrams


WUSA 9’s “Capital Download” with Derek McGinty and Susan Page: (SUN 8:30am ET):

Sanders campaign senior adviser Tad Devine;

Ethics and Public Policy Center’s Henry Olsen;

roundtable: Heidi Pryzbyla and Craig Gilbert


SiriusXM’s “No Labels Radio” (SUN 6am ET & 9pm ET):

No Labels Problem Solvers Convention episode from New Hampshire: Hosted by Ron Christie:

Mack McClarty;

Al Cardenas;

Mike Fitzpatrick;

Sean Patrick Maloney;

actor Wayne Knight;

John Engler;

Evan Bayh;

Miss America’s Most Outstanding Teen Allie Nault;

Practically Republican strategist Dave Spencer;

actor Dean Norris;

The Hill’s A.B. Stoddard

This piece first appeared in the NiLP Report on Latino Policy & Politics

Filed under: National Politics

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