CNN: Bring Back Crossfire!


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. 

I have a question for John Boehner...

My voice is getting hoarse from yelling at the television today when the Republicans debating the Health Care Bill make statements which are patently untrue.  The primary statement is one Boehner and his biddies keep making, that the majority of Americans have come out against this bill.

Now where is it that this has been shown, John? The various polls for weeks have shown the majority of Americans for this reform. Especially, they have shown a strong favor of the Public Option, something you keep saying all Americans are against.

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The Daily Pulse: Deep Six the Gang of Six

By Lindsay Beyerstein, TMC MediaWire Blogger

Ed. note: The Weekly Pulse is becoming the Daily Pulse for September. Every weekday, we'll bring you highlights from the health care reform debate, including exclusive video interviews with leading experts and independent journalists each Friday. Even better, you can be a part of the conversation. Stay tuned to find out more!

A power shift is underway in Washington. Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick announced on Monday that a special election to replace the late Sen. Ted Kennedy would not take place until January 19, 2010. With Kennedy's seat empty, the Democrats no longer have the 60 votes they need to break a filibuster in the Senate. Up until this point, the White House was hoping for a compromise bill that the entire Democratic caucus, and maybe even a few Republicans, could agree on.

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Tired of Bad Reporting About Health Care? Break Out Your Cameras to Change the Debate

When it comes to the debate around health care, you've heard the same voices of pundits and politicians repeated on the morning and evening news.  You've seen a small group dominate the airwaves by shouting and spreading lies at town hall events.  You've even seen guns at presidential events enter the fray.  But have you seen your personal health care story told?  Or that of your friends, families, co-workers, or neighbors?

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RNC Chair Candidates Debate

This should be good. Grover Norquist's Americans For Tax Reform is sponsoring a debate of 6 of the candidates for chair of the Republican Party at 1pm EST today at the National Press Club. Among those attending are Saul Anuzis, Chairman, Republican Party of Michigan; Ken Blackwell, former Secretary of State, Ohio; Katon Dawson, Chairman, Republican Party of South Carolina; Chip Saltsman, Former Chairman, Republican Party of Tennessee; Michael Steele, Chairman, GOPAC. I presume the sixth is Mike Duncan, current RNC Chair. You can watch the festivities -- as these guys try to out conservative each other -- on CSPAN2 or over at

This ought to be an entertaining train wreck. If you're watching, follow along in the comments.

Update [2009-1-5 13:8:21 by Todd Beeton]:Grover tried to make a funny. He said the choice of Tim Kaine to head the "Democrat Party" was without made without an election: "Sort of like card check for politics." He got a huge laugh in the room. Ahh, right wing humor.

Update [2009-1-5 13:8:21 by Todd Beeton]: Michael Steele: "I'm here to tell you the glass is half full...we just need to talk to people in a different way." Yeah, that's your only problem.

Update [2009-1-5 13:35:52 by Todd Beeton]:Chip Saltsman is taking credit for winning Tennessee for Bush in 2000.

Update [2009-1-5 13:35:52 by Todd Beeton]:If you picked Mike Duncan as the guy who'd call himself the candidate of change first, you win! Yep, just like Gordon Smith and Chris Shays, the Republican incumbent is the candidate of change. Umm, and how did that work out for them?

Update [2009-1-5 13:35:52 by Todd Beeton]:In response to a question about how the Republican Party presided over an increase in the federal government, Katon Dawson said: "We need to hold Democrats accountable at every turn." Nice. Of course, that is all they really can do since they control nothing, but absolutely no acknowledgment of their own betrayal of their so-called principles.

Michael Steele speaking about attracting young people: "Democrats communicate where it matters -- in people's communities...We can Twitter and we can YouTube all we want to but we need to put in some face time." That got applause.

By the way, the debate is being Twittered at #rncdebate.

Update [2009-1-5 13:35:52 by Todd Beeton]:Favorite Republican president: unanimous Reagan.

Worst Republican president: Harding and Hoover were mentioned but most wouldn't give an answer. Cop out.

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