Survey: White Males Dominate Cable-News Talk Shows

A recent survey by progressive media watch group Fair broke down the guest dynamics of six major cable-news shows, with predictable results. 

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Bill O'Reilly, former State Department Senior Adviser Christian Whiton and Col. David Hunt on The O'Reilly Factor 

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In a five-week major cable-news survey, Fair, a progressive national media watch group, uncovered some startling and unprecedented results.

For five interspersed weeks—the first two weeks of February, first week of March and first two weeks of April—the watch group monitored guests appearing on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360 and OutFront With Erin Burnett, MSNBC’s All in With Chris Hayes and The Rachel Maddow Show, and Fox’s The O’Reilly Factor and Hannity, based on gender, race and ethnicity, party affiliation, and profession.

The group found that of the 1,015 guests who clocked in on the news, about 848 (or 84 percent) were white. Maddow fared badly in this particular segment, with people of color representing only 6 percent of guests.

On Fox, people of color represented 10 percent of guests on O’Reilly and 15 percent on Hannity. Cooper’s show, as well as OutFront, also had percentages that ranged in the teens, with 14 percent and 19 percent people of color, respectively. All in did the best with diversity in terms of race and ethnicity, racking up 27 percent.

Of people of color, Fair notes, Latinos were some of the most underrepresented on the cable-news shows, making up only 3 percent of guests in the study.

In terms of the sexes, men made up about 72 percent of guests across the board. Women of color were incredibly underrepresented, making up only about 5 percent of guests.

The O’Reilly Factor had the most female representation (36 percent), with Hannity following closely behind at 35 percent.

Burnett’s show fared worst in this category, having a guest list that was only 19 percent female. Women represented 25 percent of guests on both Maddow’s and Cooper’s shows, while All in had 28 percent.

As for party affiliation, Democrats were better represented than Republicans, but, Fair notes, that was mostly because of the “lopsided nature of partisan-identified guests on MSNBC.”

Read more about the survey at Fair.

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