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White men make up just 31 percent of the population, but you wouldn't know it from watching the evening cable news: More than half the guests are white men on CNN, Fox, and MSNBC, a Media Matters analysis of evening cable news in the month of April finds.

Bar graph showing proportion of white men vs. everyone else who are guests on evening news shows at CNN, MSNBC, and Fox. 62% of CNN guests are white men, 60% at Fox, and 54% at MSNBC.
Fox was the whitest network, with 83 percent of guests being white, while CNN was the most male, with 76 percent of guests being men. Overall, MSNBC had the most women and African-American guests, but there was substantial variation from show to show—while 41 and 37 percent of Chris Hayes and Rachel Maddow's guests, respectively, were women, Chris Matthews's Hardball brought in just 21 percent women. Maddow, meanwhile, had the whitest guest pool on MSNBC, though three out of four Fox shows were whiter.

A few cable news guests are explicitly brought on as spokespeople for organizations or campaigns. A few are witnesses to major events telling what they saw. But by and large, cable news guests are presented as experts. They tell us what the news means, how to assess partisan claims and counterclaims, what policy ideas to take seriously and what to dismiss. The fact that white men are dramatically overrepresented should come as no surprise—white men are dramatically overrepresented in just about every category of elite and opinion-shaper—but it sure is a powerful reminder of how, literally, white men's voices are more likely to be heard in our politics and culture.

Kudos to Chris Hayes for offering the most diverse show on evening cable news, though.

Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Mon May 13, 2013 at 11:19 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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