The highlights from this week’s Sunday news shows include America’s favorite news satirist, the moderators of last week’s and this week’s debates and a writer, author and former Obama donor whose recent support of Mitt Romney has earned him the scorn of liberals throughout the blogosphere. Which segments should you watch and which should you skip? Read on to find out.
• NBC's Meet the Press: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC); Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.); Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD); Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.); Mayor Kasim Reed (D-Atlanta); former governor Jennifer Granholm (D-Mich.); Alex Castellanos, GOP strategist; Tom Brokaw, NBC; Stephen Colbert, Comedy Central.
Highlight: Stephen Colbert, of course. Colbert and host Dick Gregory discussed Colbert’s perception among political figures, Mitt Romney’s ability to appear convincingly moderate and “severely conservative” and briefly touched upon his new book America Again: Re-Becoming the Greatness We Never Weren’t. Trimmed down version of the interview here.
• CBS' Face the Nation: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Romney campaign advisor Bay Buchanan; Katrina Vanden Heuvel, The Nation; Frank Luntz, Republican pollster; David Corn, Mother Jones; John Dickerson, CBS and Slate.
Highlight: Reps. Cummings and Issa separately discussed the attack on the American embassy in Libya, the Obama administration’s response and touched upon the recent hearing in which classified material was inadvertently “exposed” to the press.
•ABC's This Week: Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH); Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden; Newt Gingrich; former Senator and 2008 Democratic presidential candidate Chris Dodd; Martha Raddatz, ABC; Richard Norton Smith, presidential historian; George Will, ABC; Donna Brazile, Democratic strategist.
Highlight: Great roundtable with Sen. Portman and VP Biden’s son, but the “Do Debates Matter” panel (from the Miller Center in Virginia) featured Martha Raddatz, last week’s moderator and candidates who have debated both Romney and Obama. Substantive stuff.
• Fox's Fox News Sunday: David Axelrod, Obama campaign senior strategist; Ed Gillespie, Romney campaign senior adviser; Brit Hume, Fox News; Bob Woodward, Washington Post; Laura Ingraham, radio show host; Jeff Zeleny, New York Times.
Highlight: Nothing groundbreaking. Chris Wallace's tough questioning of David Axelrod wins by default.
• CNN's State of the Union with Candy Crowley: Senior Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs; DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL); Al Cardenas, former chairman of the Florida Republican Party; Jim Acosta, CNN; Susan Page, USA Today; Grover Norquist, Americans for Tax Reform; Bill Burton, Priorities USA.
Highlight: Although immigration was discussed briefly, goes to Grover Norquist’s defense of Mitt Romney’s tax plan. by a hair. Above is Crowley on her role as this week's debate moderator.
• CNN’s GPS with Fareed Zakaria: Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal; Danielle Pletka, American Enterprise Institute; Bill Keller, former New York Times executive editor; Kishore Mahbubani; Drew Faust, Harvard; Ric Burns, filmmaker; Antonio Mendez, Author “Argo.”
Highlight: Hard to pick. Antonio Mendez was deeply involved in the Canadian-aided effort to spring Americans from Iran during the 1970’s hostage crisis (depicted in the movie “Argo”, but Harvard President Faust’s book, "Death and the Civil War" looks like a good read. In fact, Ken Burns has made it into a film viewable from PBS' website.
• CNN’s Reliable Sources with Howard Kurtz: Keli Goff, TheRoot.com; Steve Roberts, George Washington University; David Frum, Daily Beast/Newsweek; Buzz Bissinger, Vanity Fair.
Highlight: Young, black female voices (Goff) still feel rare on Sunday morning shows, but Bissinger’s examination of the media coverage of the Obama presidency (and his reasons for supporting Mitt Romney) covered some interesting ground-go with that. Kurtz’ “Media Monitor” segment mentioned both Ann Romney and a QVC host whose on set-collapse barely phased her duty-bound co-host. The show must go on…
• NBC's The Chris Matthews Show: Liz Marlantes, Christian Science Monitor, Nia-Malika Henderson, Washington Post; Andrew Sullivan, Daily Beast; John Heilemann, New York.
Highlight: Andrew Sullivan’s recent hyperventilation over President Obama’s debate performance could make this interesting, but it faces stiff competition from the other programs.
• Univision-Al Punto: Frmr. Colombian president Alvaro Uribe; Frmr. US Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS) Luis Lauredo; Resident Commissioner/Candidate (Puerto Rico) Pedro Pierluisi; Frmr. Florida Republican Chairman Al Cardenas; Singer/Songwriter Alejandro Sanz; Univision Correspondent Ricardo Arambarri, Tim Padgett, Time Magazine.
Highlight: The whole show. The disappearance of the body of a Zetas leader killed by Mexican authorities and the recent Venezuelan elections came up in the roundtable. Cardenas (Romney surrogate) and Lauredo (Obama Surrogate) analyzed the election. Puerto Rico’s representative to Congress was interviewed here.
Former Senator Arlen Specter died this morning. In addition to his (bipartisan) legacy on the Judiciary Committee, his vote for “Obamacare” and his history of service in Pennsylvania, he should also be remembered for being something of a comedian.