Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jon Stewart's CNN Crossfire Comment: Stop Helping Politicians and Corporations!

Tags: NYT Douthat Criticizes Debates on Television, Jon Stewart, Maddow, Yoo, O'Reilly Factor, CNN Disaster, MSNBC

Americans want to understand what the hell is going on in our country and having panels is both confusing to the viewer who is not ideological. Even though PBS Newshour is boring, at least they try to help us understand the important issues before us, but be warned they are just like the networks realize who provides at least a substantial part of their support. But PBS unlike commercial television any potential conflicts of interests such their supporter Toyota each time.

As Ross Douthat of the NY Times says below,

Douthat: ... What might work, instead, is a cable news network devoted to actual debate. For all the red-faced shouting, debate isn’t really what you get on Fox and MSNBC. There’s room, it would seem, for a network where representatives from the right and left can both feel comfortable, and compete on roughly equal terms. Sort of like they did on ... “Crossfire.” ...

What cable news needs, instead, is something more like what Stewart himself has been doing on “The Daily Show.” Instead of bringing in the strategists, consultants and professional outrage artists who predominate on other networks, he ushers conservative commentators into his studio for conversations that are lengthy, respectful and often riveting. Stewart’s series of debates on torture and interrogation policy, in particular — featuring John Yoo and Marc Thiessen, among others — have been more substantive than anything on Fox or MSNBC. ...

(Actually Rachel Maddow trumps Jon Stewart in both length and complexity of her arguments and get a better sense. Sure Stewart's discussions are longer than soundbites but at most just a few minutes. You should go to longer talks such as a guest of the Bill O'Reilly Show on www.YouTube.com . Bill O'Reilly | The O'Reilly Factor - FOXNews.com Watching Stewart's Show is painful for me because his The Daily Show discussions contain mostly fluff. Jim)
Rachel Maddow prepares so well that often the guest who tries to pass on false conclusion is really embarrassed. Rachel was a Rhodes Scholar. Her discussions with those of a different view are spectacular and I learn a lot from her.

Entertainment must be an element of the showing bias towards one side or the other. Entertainment is not what PBS has. Olbermann and Maddow at http://CountDown.msnbc.com and http://rachel.msnbc.com respectively don't often have debates because the Republicans are afraid to appear because they will be confronted with a someone who is knowledgeable enough to tear apart their attempt at using tested soundbites from the Heritage Foundation or American Enterprise Institute and also a number of propaganda Think Tanks supporting corporations and billionaires such as the Oil Riches inherited from his oil late father. The son of Koch has contributed billions to over 40 organizations to Stop Global Warming Laws. Not reported widely is that the so-called fake e-mails not that and just lies by the oil companies supported lobbyists.

Of all the commentators on television, no one beats Rachel Maddow of MSNBC. She tries extremely hard to get Republicans to come on her panel and sometimes succeed by repeated attempts. She and her staff prepares very well so the guests cannot get away with tested soundbites. Unfortunately it is in Prime Time on the East Coast, but Maddow and Olbermann repeats still beat the stars at CNN. Rachel beats Larry King, but rarely the FOX Boys and Girls news. Watchers of television news want to understand rather be propagandized which CNN does too much. Old people watch the news. For example Rush Limbaugh's audience on radio had an average age of 67. Too bad they did not show a distribution curve or a median age which would have been even more informative. Rachel gets a much younger viewing audience.

Jim Kawakami, April 6, 2010, http://jimboguy.blogspot.com


Can CNN Be Saved?

Published: April 4, 2010


Listening to Jon Stewart helped destroy CNN. Now imitating him might be the network’s only hope of salvation. ...


An earlier version of this column stated incorrectly that conservative guests were invited to appear on MSNBC’s “The Rachel Maddow Show” only when they had anti-Republican views to express. Ms. Maddow has stated that invitations to guests on her show are not limited in this way and that invitations to conservative guests are often refused. The columnist has addressed the error in a blog post. -----

But she has been able to get some really good debates with those with a different mindset that she has and listens to them without interruption. Some of them have been staunch Republicans who wanted to present their own views such as McCain's opponent in the Arizona Republican primary.

It was October of 2004, the heat of the presidential campaign, when Stewart showed up on “Crossfire,” long CNN’s flagship political program, and delivered a now-legendary tirade.

“Stop, stop, stop, stop hurting America,” he told the hosts, Paul Begala and Tucker Carlson. He called them “political hacks.” He accused them of “helping the politicians and the corporations.” He compared their show to a professional wrestling match. “You’re doing theater,” he said, “when you should be doing debate.” ...

It was bad before this year; now it’s terrible. CNN’s prime-time hosts have lost almost half their viewers in the last 12 months. In February, the once-proud network slipped behind not only Fox News and MSNBC, but HLN (its sister network) and CNBC as well. Anderson Cooper sometimes gets beaten by re-runs of Keith Olbermann’s “Countdown.” ...

Even the thrust-and-parry sessions of “The Daily Show,” though, are limited by the left-right binary that divides and dulls our politics. They’re better than the competition, but they don’t give free rein to eccentricity and unpredictability, or generate arguments that finish somewhere wildly different than where you’d expect them to end up. This is what you find in the riveting television debates of the past: William F. Buckley versus Gore Vidal,Vidal versus Norman Mailer, anything involving Ross Perot. And it’s what you get from the mad, compulsively watchable Glenn Beck, who’s an extremist without being a knee-jerk partisan: You know he’s way out there on the right somewhere, but you don’t know what he’s going to say next. ... http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/05/opinion/05douthat.html?bl

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