"The [Sunday political] talk shows may bore many Americans, but they are crucial vehicles for the White House in setting the news agenda for the week," New York Times reporter John Tierney writes. "For the networks, the programs not only keep the news machine going on a slow day but also generate handsome profits because of their low costs -- and the fact that the big-name guests do not have to be paid. So the White House and the shows are in something of a joint conspiracy to fabricate news Sunday mornings, although they have different ideas of what it ought to be." Columbia Journalism Review's Liz Cox looked behind the scenes at the five Sunday shows -- Fox News Sunday, ABC's This Week, CBS's Face the Nation, NBC's Meet the Press, and CNN's Late Edition. She reports booking guests for the shows is highly competative with White House officials in high demand.
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