Building off a bit of yesterday's post on the lack of diversity within the newsroom, it appears cable news' diversity problem extends beyond merely the people in the newsroom, but the people who appear as guests as well. Media Matters reports that, of the 92 guests that discussed Texas' abortion bill on cable news (the one Wendy Davis filibustered), only four of them were women's health experts. Unsurprisingly, Fox News hosted none, "while CNN and MSNBC hosted two and three, respectively."
Interestingly, Chloe of Feministing is fairly measured in her response, pointing out that it is a political debate, and having politicians on a news program to discuss the issue is fair. Fair enough, but political commenters will always be involved in conversations about lawmaking, so it seems strange to begin with a defense of that practice. She does summarize it this way:
But based on these graphs, it looks like coverage of these issues is falling into the very same trap as the lawmakers themselves: a whole bunch of people who aren’t doctors sitting around talking about reproductive health.
This pretty much sums up my feelings on the issue, and the media does a poor job of highlighting the opinions of those with actual background on the issue, favoring opinionated and bombastic personalities for good television over experts with information. ThinkProgress also noted that previous coverage of birth control on cable news highlighted male voices over female voices at a 2:1 margin. At least that was a bit more evenly balanced, but still, we're not seeing a lot of alternative perspectives among cable's guests.