One in the bag for Jon Stewart

by Henry Farrell on January 6, 2005

“CNN cancels Crossfire”:

bq. Mr. Klein said the decisions to part company with Mr. Carlson and to end “Crossfire” were not specifically related, because he had decided to drop “Crossfire” regardless of whether Mr. Carlson wanted to stay on.

bq. Mr. Klein said he wanted to move CNN away from what he called “head-butting debate shows,” which have become the staple of much of all-news television in the prime-time hours, especially at the top-rated Fox News Channel.


bq. Mr. Klein specifically cited the criticism that the comedian Jon Stewart leveled at “Crossfire” when he was a guest on the program during the presidential campaign. Mr. Stewart said that ranting partisan political shows on cable were “hurting America.”

bq. Mr. Klein said last night, “I agree wholeheartedly with Jon Stewart’s overall premise.” He said he believed that especially after the terror attacks on 9/11, viewers are interested in information, not opinion.

Update: “Giblets”: laments our great loss.

bq. So Giblets is sitting down in front of the library TV with a box of commandeered Cheezoids to enjoy the intellectual repaste that is CNN’s Crossfire when he sees a news item telling him that soon there will BE no Crossfire! Outrage, perfidy, treason! What will replace it? Coverage of actual news? Can you even CALL it “news” without whack-a-mole sound effects, cartoonish repetition of talking points and a prompted studio audience? Delirium, lunacy, madness!



rosalind 01.06.05 at 4:35 pm

Wow. That is the best. thing. ever. Next up: Jon Stewart should announce that we need a new president on some CNN news show.


abnu 01.06.05 at 8:33 pm

And now, your moment of Zen.


AC 01.06.05 at 8:55 pm

Well, I wouldn’t celebrate until it’s replaced with a show that actually debates issues. Crossfire was like the Monty Python Argument Clinic.


Badtux 01.06.05 at 9:04 pm

I guess CNN’s new President has realized that if you’re going to be criticized as being a ‘biased liberal outlet’ no matter how far to the right you try to go because you ocassionally cover facts that are not flattering to those in power, you might as well BE a ‘liberal’ outlet (i.e., reality-based content, as vs. opinion-based content).

Of course, how long that lasts is anybody’s guess…

– Badtux the Cynical Penguin


fyreflye 01.06.05 at 9:26 pm

Viewers are more interested in information than opinion? So why is Fox #1?


tom 01.06.05 at 9:39 pm

CNN can’t compete with Fox for the right wingosphere. MSNBC tried that and it hasn’t worked. There is a big liberal niche, yearning for safe harbor. Exploit it.


Shai 01.06.05 at 11:45 pm

I was sick yesterday and by chance caught some of crossfire. It looked like Stewart already had an effect, or they knew the axe was over their head. Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala were having a semi reasonable discussion, agreeing more than disagreeing, but there was no punch to it at all and it bombed with the crowd.

I switched to Judge Joe Brown (relationship gossip disguised as small claims court)


Jake McGuire 01.07.05 at 12:25 am

Krispy Kreme also tried to blame the Atkins Diet for their poor financial results. I wonder what the ratings trend for Crossfire has been like of late, and how much of a convenient excuse / opportunity to get digs in at former asshole employees the Jon Stewart thing was.


Observer 01.07.05 at 10:20 pm

For some reason left Blogistan is crowing over this as if it is some sort of victory.

Hey, people, Novak and Carlson have other TV gigs. Begala and Carville do not.

Furthermore, Begala and Carville were the only liberals co-hosting news shows in the U.S. (Even though they were counter-balanced by conservatives the freepers bitched mightily that they were even on the air, calling CNN “Communist News Network” and the like.)

Now all that are left are the endless cadre of conservatives and millionares-pretending-to-be-centrists.


Uncle Kvetch 01.08.05 at 7:06 pm

Hey, people, Novak and Carlson have other TV gigs. Begala and Carville do not.

No big loss, in my opinion. Maybe getting them out of the way will make room for some actual bona fide progressives on TV. Extremely unlikely, I know, but there’s nothing to be gained from having squishy, triangulating Clintonites like Carville represent “the left.”

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