ThinkProgess has reported that appearances from congressional Republicans have far outnumbered those of their Democratic colleagues in the debate surrounding the economic recovery bill on cable television news. In a new report, Media Matters adds that economists have been largely absent from the debate on these TV programs:
[A] Media Matters for America review of the Sunday talk shows and 12 cable news programs from January 25 through February 8 found that during 139 1/2 hours of programming on Sunday mornings and weekday afternoons and evenings, of 460 total guest appearances in discussions about the economic recovery legislation and debate in Congress, only 25 were made by economists — a mere 5 percent.
The findings appear consistent with an recent observation by Crooks and Liars’ John Amato: “I’m sure you’ve heard about the hundreds of economists that are either for or against President Obama’s stimulus plan. My question to the media is: Where are they?” Matt Yglesias notes, “[I]t’s been striking to me watching things how often you’ll have what amounted to an anchor talking to a political reporter about a substantive policy question neither of them understood.”