NBC has just announced that John McCain will — finally — appear on "Meet The Press" this Sunday, October 26th.
I say "finally" because McCain has not appeared on the Sunday program since the campaign declared unofficial war on NBC, declining invitations for himself and vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin from interim MTP host Tom Brokaw, and granting "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Wiliams the last of the Big Three network interviews with Palin, by a substantial margin.
In August, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis wrote a letter to NBC News president Steve Capus, complaining of comments made by Andrea Mitchell on MTP (and throwing in an MSNBC jab for good measure). This is also after Palin's speech at the Republican National Convention, where she attacked the mainstream media, and the crowd started to chant, "NBC! NBC!"
Since then, McCain has appeared on CBS' "Face The Nation" with Bob Schieffer on Sept. 7th, "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos on Sept. 28th, and "Fox News Sunday" on October 19th. Hhe also appeared on "Fox News Sunday" the weekend before the RNC, defending his choice of Sarah Palin for Republican vice-presidential nominee.
By contrast, Palin has not been made available for an interview on any of the Sunday morning shows. She has, however, appeared on "Saturday Night Live."
The release is below. ETP has asked NBC if Governor Palin might appear, if she was invited, and what the response to that invitation was (including the rationale, if any, for refusal). I will update this post accordingly.
Update: "Meet The Press" spokesperson Jenny Tartikoff responded via email: "Meet The Press has a long history of Republican Vice Presidential nominees appearing on our program, and we have had a standing invitation out to Governor Palin to come on and continue that tradition."
Update II: Jonathan Martin at Politico noted last week that McCain was last on the show in January, and notes that the only other Republican vice presidential nominee since 1952 to bypass MTP was Dan Quayle in 1988.
TOM BROKAW TO INTERVIEW REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE SEN. JOHN MCCAIN IN A "MEET THE PRESS" EXCLUSIVE ON SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26
"Meet the Press" to Originate Live From Waterloo, Iowa
(New York) - October 13, 2008 - With just nine days to go until the election, Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) will sit down with NBC News' Tom Brokaw for a Sunday morning exclusive interview on "Meet the Press" this Sunday, Oct. 26. The program will originate live from NBC affiliate KWWL-TV in Waterloo, Iowa. Senator McCain's last appearance on the program was nine months ago on Jan. 27, 2008.
The political roundtable will feature insights and analysis on the final days of campaigning with Charlie Cook of the National Journal and Chuck Todd and Kelly O'Donnell of NBC News.
"Meet the Press" airs Sundays from 9-10 a.m. ET on the NBC-TV network; 10:30-11:30 a.m. ET in New York and Washington. The program also re-airs at 6 p.m. ET Sundays and 2 a.m. ET Mondays on MSNBC on cable. To check the time in your area, on NBC-TV or radio, check the list below. This Sunday, the program will be seen live in Waterloo, Iowa at 8 a.m CT.
Please check local listings or the "Meet the Press" website (www.mtp.msnbc.com) for television and radio broadcast times in your area.
Tom Brokaw is the interim moderator of "Meet the Press." Betsy Fischer is the executive producer and Michelle Jaconi and Rebecca Samuels are the producers.