The historic and long-running presidential campaigns of Senator Barack Obama and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton have injected issues of race and gender into politics as never before. With campaign coverage center stage on the cable channels, producers and critics are again assessing the diversity among pundits, who talk (and talk) about things like Mr. Obama's pastor, the Hispanic vote, Iraq and the economy.
Both MSNBC and CNN this election season have given new prominence to a handful of contributing commentators from varied backgrounds and perspectives: blacks, Hispanics and women. Whether such moves signal real progress in diversifying the punditocracy or merely reflect the needs of a particular news cycle is the question, some media experts say. The most prominent positions on television remain overwhelmingly with those who are white and male, and some critics note how striking that non-inclusion can seem during this election year.