Heard on the Hill: Congressional Guest Deficit at ‘This Week’
Consummate Washington insider George Stephanopoulos is replacing seasoned field reporter Christiane Amanpour behind ABC’s “This Week” desk. We can’t help but wonder whether the show’s lack of Congressional guests precipitated the anchor switch.
There’s no denying that Amanpour remains one of the most fearless and thought-provoking interviewers on the world stage. But the international-affairs-intensive flavor she brought to the weekend gabfest most likely auto-eliminated a wide swath of potentially chatty Members.
An examination of the five most prominent Sunday news shows revealed that “This Week” has logged the fewest Congressional guests (37) this year. NBC’s “Meet the Press” snagged far more lawmakers (58), as did CBS’ “Face the Nation” (68). The well-attended CNN “State of the Union” and “Fox News Sunday” dwarfed “This Week” with 81 Congressional guests each.
Here’s hoping Amanpour will be able to keep in touch with her most frequent foils: Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), who dropped by three times, and Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), James Clyburn (D-S.C.) and Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), all of whom sat down to gab twice.