On Friday, Politico highlighted some of the Biden administration officials appearing on television news to tell the story of the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Looking more closely, how has each of them been deployed across CNN, MSNBC and Fox News since the start of this month through the end of the day on August 19th to discuss the withdrawal? One way of estimating the airtime of each official is to track the total seconds of airtime each day in which that official's name appears somewhere in the onscreen text. While imperfect (it includes onscreen mentions of their name even when they aren't speaking), for most officials it offers a reasonable proxy for the total airtime in which they are featured onscreen.
The timeline below shows the total daily seconds of airtime in which National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan's name appeared, showing bursts on August 10-11 and 17. MSNBC focused on him the most.
The timeline below tracks onscreen mentions of State Department Spokesperson Ned Price, showing bursts August 12, 16-17 and 19, with Fox News covering him the most, followed by CNN.
Pentagon Spokesperson John Kirby appears in bursts on August 10-13, 16-17 and 19, with Fox News and CNN giving him the most airtime.
Secretary Of State Antony Blinken largely appears in one burst on August 15, with CNN covering him the most.
Secretary Of Defense Lloyd Austin appears primarily in a single burst on August 18, with Fox News focusing on him the most, followed by CNN.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley appears largely in a single burst on August 18, with MSNBC covering him the most, followed closely by CNN and Fox News.