Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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December 19, 2009

IF IT'S SUNDAY.... "Fox News Sunday" is touting its line-up for tomorrow's show.

It's down to the wire as Senate Democrats race to meet a self-imposed deadline on passing a health care reform bill.

We'll get a sense of the Senate when Chris Wallace sits down for exclusive interviews with Sens. John McCain, R-Ariz., Kent Conrad, D-N.D., and Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.

I guess it's time to update the big board.

For those keeping score at home, as of tomorrow, there will have been 50 Sundays since President Obama's inauguration. This will be John McCain's 17th appearance on a Sunday morning talk show since then, giving him an average of one appearance every 2.9 weeks in 2009. No other official in the country has been sought out this often.

Since the president took office, McCain has been on "Meet the Press" three times (December 6, July 12, and March 29), "This Week" three times (September 27, August 23, and May 10), CNN's "State of the Union" three times (October 11, August 2, and February 15), and "Face the Nation" four times (October 25, August 30, April 26, and February 8). His appearance on "Fox News Sunday" tomorrow will be his fourth (December 20, July 2, March 8, and January 25),

And who, exactly, is John McCain? He's the one who lost last year's presidential race badly, and is now just another conservative senator in the minority. He's not in the party leadership; he has no role in any important negotiations on any issue; and he's offered no significant pieces of legislation. By all appearances, McCain isn't even especially influential among his own GOP colleagues.

Best of all, tomorrow's "Fox News Sunday" focus is on health care reform -- a subject McCain doesn't even pretend to know anything about.

There's just no reason for the media's obsession with McCain. None. Seventeen Sunday-show appearances in 11 months? It's farcical.

Steve Benen 1:00 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (26)

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Yet another exhibit for why we shouldn't bother watching teevee news "programming".

Posted by: Big River Bandido on December 19, 2009 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

You'd think that the GOP leadership would encourage him to spare a little oxygen for Republicans who intend to run for President in 2012. Oh well.

Posted by: P on December 19, 2009 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

policy is irrelevant: he's a celebrity.

Posted by: cleek on December 19, 2009 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

He apparently has no other life, and always says yes to bookers. That's why he's on. Hell, they'd rather have Hillary any Sunday, but she has work to do.

Posted by: JMG on December 19, 2009 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

There's just no reason for the media's obsession with McCain.

I'm beginning to think they only do it to get a reaction from you, Steve.

Posted by: converse on December 19, 2009 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

He's an unrepresentative Republican, in that he's not completely insane all the time. He's the most prominent of the group, Snowe, Collins, Voinovich, and Lugar being the others. Not a deep talent pool. TV is protecting both the Republicans and the general public by not showcasing their typical members.

Posted by: John Emerson on December 19, 2009 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

I'm beginning to think they only do it to get a reaction from you, Steve.

Steve, if they are trying to piss you off, it can only mean you make them nervous.


Posted by: MissMudd on December 19, 2009 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

It may be that it makes the younger Lions of Fascim appear more marketable . Jona for 2012 ?

Posted by: FRP on December 19, 2009 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

(immense apologies to R Kelly)

Early on Sunday morning
Breakfast was on the table
There was no time to
He said to me boy hurry to Sunday school
Filled with the long of glory
We learned the holy story
He'll always have his dreams
Despite the things

This troubled world can bring.


Oh Johnny don't you know we love you sweet Johnny

Place No one above you sweet Johnny

Well Well Well

Living in the past

Sometimes it seems so funny, no money can turn your life around

Sweeter than cotton candy
Stronger than papa's old Brandy
Always that needed
Once in awhile he would break down and cry
Sometimes he'd be so
Being with us and daddy
Standing the worst of times
Breaking the
Binds with just a simple song

Posted by: neill on December 19, 2009 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, and every Ground Hog Day we roust a sleepy critter in Punxatawny, PA, to check his shadow. And every time he predicts six more weeks of winter.

How is this relevant to McCain on Sundays?

Both make for easy TeeVee. . .

Posted by: DAY on December 19, 2009 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

The Beltway McCain suckups chant in unison: "We are all mavericks! We all think and act independently!"

Posted by: calling all toasters on December 19, 2009 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Steve, this has been a very entertaining series, and someone has to be squirming just a little by now every time they book the Maverick.

I mean, you're #44!

Posted by: John O on December 19, 2009 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Let's see, Al Gore won the popular vote, and since losing 5-4 in the Supreme Court, he has won both a Nobel and an Oscar. Has he been on the gasbag shows as often in those eight years as McCain has in one? Of course, Al apparently thought a lot of the pundits were moronic dicks and wasn't good about disguising his feelings.

Posted by: john sherman on December 19, 2009 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

I no longer and will never again read *ANY* newspaper, website or blog site, nor do I or will I ever again watch *ANY* politically oriented teevee program, produced by the corporate-owned, pro-GOP Village (a.k.a. the Village Idiots). Broderites, get bent. A pox on all your vile "conventional wisdom" houses. Froomkin was 100% correct when he called the Village Idiots nothing more than "stenographers to liars."

Posted by: I Me Mine on December 19, 2009 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

As above, it's somewhat celebrity/personality driven. Allows for some narrative continuity. Also, the media has already developed the idea the mush-head is an independent thinker, so they're going with that, true or no.

What's more, he's got the requisite belligerence towards Arabs, always important in the media. And he's macho: for nebbish media-types whose mothers did not allow them to go outside in the yard, much less play sports or join the military, McCain lets them feel butch. Military jock-sniffers, you could say.

Posted by: flubber on December 19, 2009 at 1:56 PM | PERMALINK

Has anyone counted up the number of times Gore was on during 2001 or Kerry in 2005? I would love to see those numbers. My guess is about once or twice for each.

Posted by: Justin_Anderson on December 19, 2009 at 2:18 PM | PERMALINK

what happened? how did steve's weekly "friday grumpy grampa on the sunday shows blogging," get pushed into saturday? snowstorm?

Posted by: dj spellchecka on December 19, 2009 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

No problem, McCain is always good for lots of laughs.

Posted by: rbe1 on December 19, 2009 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

to john sherman:
McCain has it easier because he is also a moronic dick, so he fits right in.

Posted by: rbe1 on December 19, 2009 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Obama was inaugurated on Tuesday, January 20, 2009. There are actually 48 Sundays between January 25, 2009 and December 20, 2009, inclusive.

Proof: There are 52 weeks and 1 day in a 365-day year. January 1, 2009 was a Thursday. There are 52 Sundays in 2009. Exclude January 4, 11, 18 and December 27 and you are left with 48 Sundays.

So actually McCain appears even more frequently than Steve Benen says, i.e., once every 2.8 weeks.

Posted by: GeraldVandergrift on December 19, 2009 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

I wonder why nobody ever wants ex-President George W. Bush for his insight into the pressing issues of the day...

Posted by: qwerty on December 19, 2009 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

There must still be some water left in POTUS, Emeritus, John McCain's well. That's why they keep going back to it.

Posted by: maya on December 19, 2009 at 6:01 PM | PERMALINK

What Justin Anderson said - I know Gore basically disappeared in 2001, but seeing how often Kerry was on in 2005 would be a perfectly reasonable comparison. By any reasonable measure, Kerry in 2005 and McCain in 2009 are basically comparable figures - long-time senators with long-time presidential ambitions shattered by electoral defeat. Neither was a particularly good candidate. Both continued to serve in the Senate after their runs, but both were in the minority.

There's really no justification for McCain being on the Sunday talk shows particularly more frequently than McCain is.

Posted by: John on December 19, 2009 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

What is even more perplexing is that people I know who watch Fox News don't like John McCain.

Posted by: Baldrick on December 20, 2009 at 12:23 AM | PERMALINK

It seems straightforward enough. He's stupid, but he looks like everybody (who's white)'s grandpa and (unless you fact check what he's saying) he doesn't seem like a complete sociopath.

Posted by: TS on December 20, 2009 at 12:30 AM | PERMALINK

But he *is* a big ass blowhard.

That counts for a lot in TV.

Posted by: Paul Camp on December 20, 2009 at 12:57 AM | PERMALINK
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