Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has been booked for yet another Sunday talk show appearance this weekend — this time on CBS’ Face The Nation. Despite a “wildly unsuccessful presidential campaign” last year and his comparative irrelevancy in the U.S. Senate, this will mark the 15th time McCain has appeared on a Sunday talk show since January.
The Washington Monthly’s Steve Benen and Media Matters’ Jamison Foser have previously expressed confusion about McCain’s popularity on the Sunday show circuit:
Foser: “John McCain is not president, he chairs no Senate committees, he represents two percent of the U.S. population, he lacks a strong constituency even among his own party — a party that is pretty widely disliked and has taken a thumpin’ in two straight elections. He is not playing a central, or even peripheral role in the health care debate. And yet he’s on television all the time.”
Benen: “But it’s the Sunday shows’ obsession with McCain that continues to be so absurd. … McCain isn’t playing a role in any important negotiations; he hasn’t unveiled any significant pieces of legislation; he isn’t being targeted as a swing vote on any major bills; and he’s not a member of the GOP leadership. He’s just another far-right senator, with precious little to say that couldn’t have been predicted in advance. Indeed, we already know exactly what he’s going to say this week.”
Two weeks ago, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos justified booking McCain on This Week arguing that he “is the leading GOP voice on Afghanistan.” Yet McCain has consistently been off the mark when in comes to the war there. In fact, during McCain’s last Sunday appearance discussing Afghanistan, he dodged questions of the role the war in Iraq — a war he fervently supported and much of which he was also wrong about — in the deteriorating situation there.
Foser has noted that when Al Gore and John Kerry lost their presidential bids, “the media had a clear message for them: Get out of the way and let George W. Bush govern.” In fact, Kerry appeared on just three Sunday talk shows in the first eight months of President Bush’s second term.