The Washington Monthly's Steve Benen points out that this weekend, ABC's This Week hosts Sen. John McCain. It will be McCain's third appearance on This Week in five months, and his 13th Sunday show appearance this year. Thirteenth.
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.
When can we expect rampant media talk about John McCain being "overexposed"?
UPDATE: For comparison, John Kerry was on three Sunday shows in the first eight months of 2005. The media treated Kerry like he lost a presidential campaign. They treat McCain like he won his.
UPDATE 2: Greg Sargent has a response from ABC's George Stephanopoulos to the McCain booking:
Stephanopoulos hit back, saying he has "no apologies" for booking McCain, despite this being his third big appearance on ABC this year. In response to critics who point out that McCain lost, Stephanopoulos also claimed, interestingly, that he'd repeatedly asked John Kerry to appear after his 2004 loss, but that Kerry refused.
I don't have any trouble believing that ABC -- and probably NBC and CBS, too -- tried to book Kerry in 2005. But that's less meaningful than it may seem. They were, no doubt, trying to book him in part because he hadn't done many shows. If he had already been on five Sunday shows in a few months, would ABC have tried to get Kerry to come on? If he'd been on a dozen in eight months, would ABC have been eager to be number 13?
That I doubt very much.
Nor does Stephanopoulos' response address the fact that one week ABC is running news reports suggesting the President of the United States is "overexposed," and the next ABC is hosting a Senator who represents two percent of America for his thirteenth Sunday show this year.