Sunday Talk Shows: News & A New Storyline

The Sunday morning news shows – NBC’s Meet the Press, ABC’s This Week, &c. – are not actually watched by that many people. But their power comes from two distinct sources. First, they interview people who actually make news. Second, they are watched by local news affiliates and newspaper reporters, so they shape the coverage of the news. This past weekend, they did both and in both cases it was bad news for John McCain.

The news came on ABC’s This Week when Alan Greenspan, the longtime former head of the Federal Reserve, told George Stephanopoulos that the current financial crisis was a once in a century event that was not yet done wreaking havoc on the rest of the economy. Within hours, his comments were headlining the Huffington.com website. Greenspan, rightly or wrongly, is considered an oracle on economic matters and his word cuts through the haze of conflicting economic prognostications: If Greenspan says the economy is in the tank, it really is in the tank.

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