Well, we’ve reached the end of 2015, and it is time to tally up the numbers, do our top ten lists and recap the winners and losers. Looking at the five major Sunday news shows, to the shock of no one, former reality TV star and current Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald Trump made the most appearances.
According to USA Today’s Sunday Standings Tracker, the celebrity billionaire was a interviewed a total of 36 times during 2015. The number is even more amazing considering that The Donald did not make his first appearance on any of the shows until June, only after he announced his candidacy for the White House. He most frequently appeared on ABC’s This Week, as he was a guest 11 times throughout the year. This was followed by NBC’s Meet the Press (8), CBS’s Face the Nation (8), CNN’s State of the Union (7) and Fox’s Fox News Sunday (2).
If you are wondering why Trump only did the Fox News program twice, despite constantly showing up on other Fox broadcasts, it is because host Chris Wallace has a strict policy of no phone interviews. Unless it is a breaking news situation, he insists that guests must appear live in studio or via remote camera. The other hosts, while preferring face-to-face discussions, relented and allowed Trump to call in much of the time. (The Trumpster enjoys this method more as it allows him to filibuster and roll over the questioner.)
Both Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and GOP hopeful Ben Carson came in second place with 28 appearances. Carson showed up the most on This Week while Bernie preferred Face the Nation and Meet the Press, as he was a guest eight times on each program. Following close behind them was Ohio Governor and low-polling GOP Presidential candidate John Kasich with 27 appearances. (Yeah, I don’t know why he was called upon so much either.)
Many other bottom-feeding White House wannabes also made a bunch of stops on the Sunday circuit. Mike Huckabee (19), Carly Fiorina (18) and Lindsey Graham (16), Chris Christie (14) and Rand Paul (13) all got tons of facetime despite being stuck in the lower-tier. Hell, early dropouts Rick Perry and Bobby Jindal received a combined 20 interviews.
I’m sure you’re wondering — what about Hillary Clinton? Well, the likely Democratic nominee only showed up five times on Sunday morning. This reinforces the notion that Clinton and her camp are deliberately insulating her from the media in an effort to keep her from saying anything that can be used against her in this campaign. Sure, she’s hitting the campaign trail and is a major focus of news coverage, but the actual number of interviews she’ll grant are few and far between.
As for non-candidates, the most frequent guests — not counting regular panel members, were Rep. Mike McCaul (R- TX) and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), who both appeared 15 times. Old stalwart John McCain made ‘only’ 11 appearances while Secretary of State John Kerry made 14 trips.