One night in Omaha, last February, I met up with two friends of mine. One was a policy expert for a local elected official and the other was a journalist. I was a Spanish-speaking field operative, and I got my high from working for candidates I believed in. Not too far into my conversation with these two friends, I started feeling uncomfortable. The policy guy spoke condescendingly, with an authoritative “you obviously don’t know this so I must teach it to you” tone that made me focus heavily on the drink in front of me. The journalist just spouted stories, rumors and arbitrary sources to accuse an elected official I have respected and admired for years of something absolutely ludicrous. I vowed then to avoid any and all conversations with policy gurus and journalists.
But now CNN wants to create (or recreate, rather) a similar reality to what I just described: political droning and gossipy “stories” with no real substance to them. Recently CNN announced that, in order to reclaim its viewership and possibly credibility (that one may be a bit tough), they would be relaunching Crossfire, with talks of Newt Gingrich and Stephanie Cutter as the hosts.
I do respect Stephanie Cutter for her work and would like to see her in action, the re-launch of Crossfire seems to be a huge step away from what CNN viewers really want (credible and professional journalism). Crossfire seems to be another way for both political parties to shout at each other (isn’t that what Congress is for, nowadays?) and to condescendingly share their views with the American public.
The country doesn’t really need more loud, brash shouting matches, it needs progress. It needs to see the end to something that was promised (we’re looking back at you, Congress), and real, honest discussions, not a “I can shout louder than you” political puppet show. If CNN really thinks that the relaunch of a show like this, where political pundits can have their egos stroked and fluffed, then they’re in for a rude awakening.