PublicationsApril 12, 2007

Talk Hosts Get the Most From the Mideast

The Iranian hostage situation and the argument over Iraq policy were hot topics on the cable and radio talk shows last week. But in some ways, the U.S. Speaker of the House’s decision to talk to the President of Syria shed even more light on how the talk universe really works.

PublicationsApril 5, 2007

Justice Probe Edges Hostage Drama for Talkers

There was a disagreement between the nation’s radio and cable talk hosts over the juiciest talk topic last week. The fired U.S. attorneys topped the cable menu while the 2008 Presidential race was the leading topic on radio. Meanwhile, hosts in both media sectors rattled their sabers at Iran.

PublicationsMarch 29, 2007

“Gonzo-gate” is Again the Top Talk Topic

Two major news stories, the fired U.S. attorneys story and the argument over Iraq policy, dominated the airwaves on cable and radio talk shows last week. But a look at how the talkhosts operate suggests that it can be passion and personality, rather than the issue itself that often drives the discussion. 

PublicationsMarch 22, 2007

U.S. Attorneys And Politics Dominate As Talkhosts Pick and Choose

Two Washington-centric topics that left plenty of room for disagreement and debate dominated the cable and radio talk shows last week. But a PEJ examination of the talk landscape reveals that in some cases, the hosts’ own values and preferences determine what news is fit to argue about.

PublicationsMarch 15, 2007

A Talk Tango: Anti-Clinton Hosts Praise Obama

The Scooter Libby verdict triggered a noisy debate on talk shows last week, even as the radio talkers were quiet about the problems at Walter Reed. But the real surprise may be in how some conservative hosts are treating the 2008 Democratic presidential frontrunners.

PublicationsMarch 1, 2007

The Radio Talkers Hit the Presidential Hopefuls

The endless parade of Anna Nicole Smith legal proceedings was still a source of fascination for the cable talk hosts last week. But their radio counterparts opted for another favored subject—and it was open season on the 2008 campaign season.

PublicationsFebruary 22, 2007

Talk Hosts Love to Debate Iraq

Even in a week with North Korea, Iran, Anna Nicole, and Hillary on the front burner, it’s U.S. strategy in the Iraq war that commands the talk airwaves. And the dominance of that debate reveals something about the nature of the talk show culture.

PublicationsFebruary 14, 2007

Talk Hosts Feed the Anna Nicole Frenzy

There was plenty of conversation about Rudy Giuliani and Scooter Libby on the radio and cable talk shows last week. And the debate over Iraq continued to be the biggest topic. But the mysterious death of a blonde bombshell pushed everything else to the sidelines, as the talkers took up time wondering about her appeal.

PublicationsFebruary 8, 2007

The Talk is All About War, Politics, and Pet Topics

The nation’s radio and cable talk shows can’t resist talking about the blockbuster hot button issues like Iraq and the presidential campaign. But on subjects ranging from global warming and tensions with Iran to the Scooter Libby trial and the death of Molly Ivins, the talk conversation is very much shaped by the hosts’ own agendas.

PublicationsJanuary 31, 2007

The Talk is All About Iraq, Clinton, and Bush

The cable talkers didn’t have much to say about the State of the Union address, and the liberal hosts didn’t weigh in on Clinton’s presidential bid. But war and politics still managed to dominate the talk show agenda last week—even more so than the overall news coverage.