Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The new CNN show, part II 

A month ago, we blogged about the new CNN show, Parker/Spitzer, which had its debut last night.

Watching the show was not quite as painful as having root canal work, and there were one or two entertaining moments. There seemed to be an unusual obsession with the former Alaska governor among the hosts and guests, and many instances when everybody was talking at once, making it hard to understand anyone.

For a very NSFW and funny live blogging of the show, I would refer you to Ace.

I thought that the highlight of the show was Henry Blodget walking on to the set and sitting down with Eliot Spitzer, who had prosecuted him when Blodget was a technology equity analyst at Merrill Lynch. There seemed to be some back-and-forth that was a polite attempt to re-litigate the case, but both men expressed their mutual admiration for each other, and one half expected to see a man-hug take place. So, if that was the highlight...

I think the show may survive into 2011, but I would not bet the ranch that it will make it into 2012. I won't be a regular viewer, but then again, I don't watch much of CNN, anyway.

Part of the problem is that I can't figure out what CNN is anymore, especially during prime time. In the pre-Internet age of the first Gulf War, I thought CNN did a decent job of reporting and communicating what was going on, given the general "fog of war" problems inherent in such reporting. I don't recall much criticism then regarding any bias that crept into the reporting, though certainly the focus on Scuds and the "baby milk" factory bombing in Baghdad kept military planners busy on secondary issues.

During 9/11, CNN also did a credible job, and maybe during another time of crisis it will do so again. There is, however, a difference between having the late Bernie Shaw sit at an anchor desk, and having Rick Sanchez sit at an anchor desk (at least up until last week). In one word: credibility. If CNN's ratings during the next televised crisis continue to dip, I am not sure what happens to the network. It's conceivable that at such a point in time, the network may have been rendered obsolete.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 06, 12:48:00 AM:

"the "baby milk" factory bombing in Baghdad"

um, don't mean to nitpick but wasn't the "baby milk" factory bombing actually a cruise missile attack in the Sudan ordered by Clinton as an ineffectual retaliation for an earlier bin Laden attack?  

By Blogger Escort81, at Wed Oct 06, 02:18:00 AM:

Right, Anon, the baby milk is a confused reference -- it should be the Amiriyah shelter bombing, which was a mistake in targeting, but of course would have been a rounding error in Dresden or Tokyo during the untelevised "good war" of WWII. A fair nit to pick. I believe you are correct about the Sudan location and timing.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Wed Oct 06, 10:35:00 AM:

Don't know if these two will save CNN, but I know what would! CNN NEEDS a smarmy Brit behind a desk and criticizing Palin, baseball, and the Tea Party to attract viewers. Yeah, that'd do it.  

By Anonymous E Hines, at Wed Oct 06, 01:25:00 PM:

Where's Lynn Russell when you need her?

Oh, wait--she got fed up, too.

Eric Hines  

By Blogger Dawnfire82, at Thu Oct 07, 11:48:00 AM:

A Brit criticizing a popular American political movement? A political movement called the Tea Party? And CNN thought this would be a good idea?


They deserve to fail.  

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