Why Aren’t the Sunday Shows Booking Norm Ornstein and Thomas Mann?

Greg Sargent:

Last month, Thomas Mann and Norman Ornstein published an Op edand a book making the extremely controversial argument that both parties aren’t equally to blame for what ails Washington. They argued that the GOP — by allowing extremists to roam free and by wielding the filibuster to achieve government dysfunction as a political end in itself — were demonstrably more culpable for creating what is approaching a crisis of governance.

It turns out neither man has been invited on to the Sunday shows even once to discuss this thesis. As Bob Somerby and Kevin Drum note, these are among the most quoted people in Washington — yet suddenly this latest topic is too hot for the talkers, or not deemed relevant at all.

I ran this thesis by Ornstein himself, and he confirmed that the book’s publicity people had tried to get the authors booked on the Sunday shows, with no success.

“Not a single one of the Sunday shows has indicated an interest, and I do find it curious,” Ornstein told me, adding that the Op ed had well over 200,000 Facebook recommends and has been viral for weeks. “This is a level of attention for a book that we haven’t received before. You would think it would attract some attention from the Sunday shows.’


  1. This one is real easy – both parties are being led by their radicalists. If you open the door on Republican radicalists, then you have to talk about Democratic radicalists as well and that’s not where the Networks want to go.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      The whole point of their book is that the Democratic Party isn’t radical. It’s within its historical range, whereas the Republican Party has gone completely off the reservation.

  2. I understand that – I think about 70% of the American public wouldn’t buy it and the networks, given their huge support of Obama, don’t want to open the door to any talk about radical Democrats like Pelosi and Reid.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      What a strange argument. The Sunday shows constantly host guests claiming that the other side is too radical. The difference here is that you have a fellow from the American Enterprise Institute telling the truth about the Republicans. They don’t want to air that information because they’re not going to be able to find a guest capable of pointing to any peer-reviewed political science findings making the counterpoint. There is no counterpoint. It’s actually true, but the Beltway is too committed to the false idea that both parties are equally extremist.

  3. Actually no, both parties are extremist – the problem here is you’re one of the extremists, which is normal for you.

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