Cable News Nets Pressed for More Diverse Political Talkers

A coalition of groups, including GLAAD, CAIR and Common Cause, has written to the heads of Fox News, CNN and MSNBC calling for more diversity in the guests booked for morning political talk shows.

"At a time when our communities continue to be the victims of hate crimes, the media must do better in representing the broad spectrum of America," wrote the members of the Coalition Against Hate.

CAIR, for example, said: "Networks must work harder to include Muslim representation and avoid providing platforms to those who would condition Americans to fear and hate their Muslim neighbors."

All the groups pointed to a Media Matters analysis of cable news coverage in January and March that concluded that white men were the overwhelming percentage of guests on those top cable news nets, while black, Latino, Middle Eastern, Asian-American, and LGBTQ guests are woefully underrepresented.

"At a time when these communities are disproportionately impacted by the political climate—including as targets of a growing wave of hate crimes—it is imperative that your networks do better to reflect the full diversity of our country."

While expressing deep concern, the tone of the letter was not accusatory, instead "strongly suggesting" action and saying they would be glad to get together with the news chiefs and talk about constructive solutions.

Among the other almost three dozen groups in the coalition are Public Knowledge, the National Hispanic Media Coalition and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

(Photo via Josh Hallett's FlickrImage taken on May 10, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 3x4 aspect ratio.)

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.