Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The bombast/"respectability" schizophrenia of CNN.


Gabriel Sherman's NEW YORK magazine article brings together a lot of over-the-years anecdotes relating to CNN, FOX NEWS, MSNBC (remembering its brief, John Gibson-powered, imitation of FOX NEWS in the last decade) and HLN and mostly concentrates on their prime-time programming.

And a point is made in the piece that CNN should probably transform into a "class" brand--to the extent of trying to woo someone like Charlie Rose over from PBS.

But, despite who's running CNN, the network tends to be too attracted to bombastic news types like Tom Foreman (the RAW POLITICS guy), Tony Harris and, of course, the now-departed Rick Sanchez.  And it looks like Anderson Cooper's being nudged to take a more confrontational stance (in a sort-of-neutral way) with GOP extremist-types.  But you and I both know that Anderson Cooper wouldn't behave like that around John Boehner and/or Mitch McConnell.

Or there's weekend anchor Fredrika Whitfield, who seems to have been told by consultants to smile just about every time she delivers a line from the prompter.  But at least Ms. Whitfield, at this stage in her career, isn't actively grating.

And I fear that grating-nerves newsjunk, under the "Keeping Them Honest" tag, is the path CNN will travel down with the ex-HLN head honcho at the helm.

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