New study finds "brownout" on Sunday talk shows: Hispanics underrepresented, black people and women too
A new study by the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts found that Hispanics were among the most underrepresented ethnic group as guests and commentators on the four big network TV Sunday morning talk shows.
Looking at nine months of broadcasts from March to November of last year, the group found just 3 percent of the 380 guests and commentators on ABC's This Week, CBS' Face the Nation, Fox News Sunday and NBC's Meet the Press were Hispanic people of any race.
Other underrepresented groups included women, who were just 22 percent of guests, black people at 8 percent of guests and Asian and Native American guests who stood combined at 1 percent.
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Hispanics are 16 percent of the total population of 308-million; black people are about 13 percent, white people are 72 percent and Asians are about 5 percent.
This lack of Hispanic participation on the sunday politics shows is especially curious given a recent story on CNN inspired by an op-ed column written by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush arguing that the Hispanic vote may well determine victory for presidential candidates in 15 swing states during November's elections.
Unfortunately, the face of Hispanic participation in many political debates has been to ask questions about immigration, and experts presented on the sunday politics shows have been mostly male and white.
"Decision 2012 is upon us and every Sunday morning Latino voices are absent from key interviews and from political discussions," said Esai Morales, actor and NHFA Co-founder in a statement. "Not only are the networks missing an important part of the story, but they are passing up an opportunity to increase Hispanic viewership across all news shows."