For ten years, Jon Stewart has been telling CNN what’s wrong with their network, and they have responding doing the very things that caused their downfall. Things like reviving Crossfire.
For some reason that nobody can seem to understand, CNN seems intent on reviving Crossfire. The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart has been an outspoken critic of the network and Crossfire. Even before the epic 2004 appearance on Crossfire when he called Tucker Carlson a dick, Stewart was pointing out what had gone wrong at CNN.
Here is what Stewart said about Crossfire during a 2003 interview with Bill Moyers on PBS,
MOYERS: Which is funnier? CROSSFIRE or HARDBALL?
STEWART: CROSSFIRE or HARDBALL? Which is funnier? Which is more soul-crushing, do you mean? Both are equally dispiriting in their… you know, the whole idea that political discourse has degenerated into shows that have to be entitled CROSSFIRE and HARDBALL. And you know, “I’m Gonna Beat Your Ass” or whatever they’re calling them these days is mind-boggling.
CROSSFIRE, especially, is completely an apropos name. It’s what innocent bystanders are caught in when gangs are fighting. And it just boggles my mind that that’s given a half hour, an hour a day to… I don’t understand how issues can be dissected from the left and from the right as though… even cartoon characters have more than left and right. They have up and down.
I mean, how… it’s so two-dimensional to think that any analysis can come from, “It’s the left and it’s the right and well, we’ve had that discussion and that’s done.”
Stewart told CNN what the problem was back in 2004 when he was on Crossfire.
BEGALA: Let me get this straight. If the indictment is — if the indictment is — and I have seen you say this — that…
BEGALA: And that CROSSFIRE reduces everything, as I said in the intro, to left, right, black, white.
BEGALA: Well, it’s because, see, we’re a debate show.
STEWART: No, no, no, no, that would be great.
BEGALA: It’s like saying The Weather Channel reduces everything to a storm front.
STEWART: I would love to see a debate show.
BEGALA: We’re 30 minutes in a 24-hour day where we have each side on, as best we can get them, and have them fight it out.
STEWART: No, no, no, no, that would be great. To do a debate would be great. But that’s like saying pro wrestling is a show about athletic competition.
CARLSON: Jon, Jon, Jon, I’m sorry. I think you’re a good comedian. I think your lectures are boring.
CARLSON: Let me ask you a question on the news.
STEWART: Now, this is theater. It’s obvious. How old are you?
CARLSON: Thirty-five. STEWART: And you wear a bow tie.
In 2010 on Larry King Live, Stewart trashed CNN, and called the network a squandered opportunity.
Stewart has continued to point out what is wrong at CNN for years. Earlier this month, Stewart called out CNN’s, “lack of direction and utter disregard for common sense.”
How has CNN responded to years of criticism from the person who has become one of the country’s top media critics?
They ignored everything that he said, and they are now looking at bringing back Crossfire.
Their answer is to bring back the one show that Stewart identified as a symptom of their disease. This kind of thinking is exactly why CNN is going to continue to fail. Jon Stewart watches a lot of cable news as part of his job. He is like many other Americans who have criticized what CNN has become.
Instead of listening to the criticism, and taking it to heart. CNN is blowing it off, and repeating past failures.
If CNN would listen to what Jon Stewart has been trying to them for the last decade, they might have a chance to be something more than the laughingstock of cable news.
But this is CNN, so America get ready for the revival of a show that you never liked much in the first place, because the folks running the network are too arrogant to listen.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association