by Chuckie Corra, Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 12:22:03 PM EDT
Mainstream news channel ratings come out, and normally there isn't a distressing situation afterwards. This time, however, CNN faces a 40 percent drop in viewership since 2009. Pretty large huh? Say what you want about mainstream media news outlets, this isn't what this diary is about.
CNN has been in the bottom of the big 3 for awhile now. Fox News Channel has been the leader for quite some time, and we are constantly reminded of this by Mr. Bill O'Reilly and other prominent noise-makers on that network. MSNBC normally takes the second highest spot on the podium, however the difference in viewership between number 1 and number 2 is quite significant. And then there is CNN. Since the departure of Lou Dobbs, CNN has lacked any significant program along the lines of advocacy journalism
The lack of non-objectivity seems to be hurting CNN significantly. Politico has noticed this (and this is where I pulled the stats for this btw) and has outlined a few tactics for Ted Turner's cable news creation to increase viewship. One of these that I took notice to was advising CNN to bring back crossfire.
James Carville, Geraldine Ferraro, Pat Buchanan, and of course Tucker Carlson and his ridiculous bow ties. If anyone remembers Crossfire, chances are it's because of a Mr. John Stewart. The youtube sensation of John Stewart ripping apart Tucker Carlson on air marked seemingly the end of Crossfire
Stewart had a point. His claim of partisan-hackery was certainly an issue, but I personally found Crossfire to be entertaining nonetheless. I think its important to have open debates live on air between pundits, but talking points consuming the show over real issues unfortunately plagued the show in its past.
In my opinion, there is no show (with the exception of Meet the Press and other sunday news shows) that really allows for open debate with a slew of different individuals on both sides of the political spectrum, at least in the 3 big mainstream outlets. Keith Olbermann seems to never bring anyone on his show for a serious and intellectual debate, Rachel Maddow does but not very often. Chris Matthews and Harball normally has a decent track record of open debate, but still lacks a lot of consistency in my opinion and viewership from more right-wing sources are less likely to watch MSNBC... because its MSNBC.
Fox, on the other hand, as well all know is obviously truly fair and balanced. Its hard to properly emphasize sarcasm via typed words so bear with me.
Glenn Beck's biggest stride in bringing on bi-partisan debate was having the esteemed guest Eric Massa on to talk about snorkeling and fondling men. Of course, this actually was a big stride for Beck.. sadly enough. Bill O'Reilly can sometimes have a decent guest in which to "debate" but that normally involves O'Reilly yelling louder to prove a point, to the degree of nearly soiling himself. And of course, there is Sean Hannity and his "Great American Panel." You can guess who is on this "Great American Panel." Normally the token Reagan worshipers to the equivalence of Liz Cheney's and Bill Kristol's.
I love watching open and fair debate. Not constructed partisan ploys done by the other "debate" shows.
If CNN could craft Crossfire to actually contain a Fair and Balanced debate show, yes thats making a mockery of fox news, then they could potentially increase viewership significantly.
At least, I know I would be watching it nightly.