Apparently they did take Jon Stewart seriously. The New York Times reports that CNN has cancelled Crossfire:
[New CNN president Jonathan] 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.”
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.
They’ve also gotten rid of Tucker Carlson, who is being courted by MSNBC.
My first reaction was: Wow! After reading the article, I’m a bit more contemplative. It’s hard to tell from this brief report what the real story is here, but I suspect the “information, not opinion” line is probably a crucial one. Interesting, though, that the Fox News tagline is “we report, you decide.”
There’s a bit more about this Klein fellow here and here. He majored in history at Brown, and got started in TV working as a producer for the ABC affiliate in Providence. Most famous recently for a comment about the credibility of pajama-clad bloggers, he’s apparently not a beloved figure in the blogosphere.
I’m sure this move will result in a flurry of complaints about liberal media bias. On the flip side, according to the Times‘s Paul Krugman, CNN is part of a right-wing conspiracy:
Throughout the rest of his remarks and a question-and-answer session, Krugman made several surprising statements, including that CNN was more dangerous than Fox News because people hadn’t figured out CNN also was part of the conservative movement.
Now that’s a remark that makes me think that “information, not opinion” might not be such a terrible idea. Why is it that, on both sides, there is a tendency to blame public expressions of opinions contrary to one’s own on conspiracies?
Okay, I’m completely exhausted and fearful that this entry is a bit incoherent and poorly thought-out. But I leave you with the news.