The 12 Worst Shows on Cable News


6. Justice with Judge Jeanine (Fox News)

To understand just how pandering and shamelessly blowhardified this weekend show can be, all you really need to do is watch this (also this) self-satisfied, demagogic monologue from Jeanine Pirro:

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– Matt Wilstein

5. The Ed Show

Consider Ed Schultz the Alan Grayson of MSNBC. Much like the rest of his network, Schultz loves nothing more than to bash the GOP and conservatives whenever humanly possible, but his criticism often veers into venomous, over-the-top cartoonish rhetoric. What also distinguishes Schultz’s show are the polls he hypes with some of the most hilariously leading questions you’ll ever see. Forehead smacks all around for this one. – Josh Feldman

4. PoliticsNation with Al Sharpton

It might feel lazy simply pointing the finger at Al Sharpton as the reason for his program making this list. But there’s no way around it: It’s Sharpton. PoliticsNation itself is almost entirely unremarkable — it’s a sleepy cable news show, inoffensive in terms of production value. But then there’s Sharpton, the guy who’s supposed to breathe life into the thing. It’s obvious, however, that Sharpton does next to no prep work before going live. It really seems he doesn’t write his scripts, as he fumbles through reading off the teleprompter each show (as this video so gloriously demonstrates). Does he at least read the scripts beforehand? You’d never know it if he does. But it sure does provide SNL with comedy gold. It may feel lazy to point the finger at Sharpton, but really it’s because Sharpton is just a bad host. – Eddie Scarry

3. Hannity

Hannity is the living embodiment of talking points regurgitation. It is your one-stop shop for red-blooded conservatism and the near-constant yelling at liberals. No, seriously, the show is probably the most likely to feature shouting at and among guests of any show on Fox News. There are a lot of serious ways to debate liberals, but this show is like a right-wing, pro-wrestling-style fantasy version of debate: Caricatures slap-fighting their way through gimmicky, reductive versions of political topics. – Josh Feldman

2. Nancy Grace

Nancy Grace is a terrifying force of nature. On CNN’s lowly sister network, she has carved a niche for herself as the huffing-and-puffing, fire-breathing, ambulance-chasing, crime-porn host with a flair for “guilty until proven innocent“-style punditry. Much like Jim Cramer hawks clownish financial advice on CNBC, and Ablow hawks phony psychoanalysis on Fox, Grace pushes her inane, accusation-lobbing brand without any real repercussions. – Andrew Kirell

1. Fox & Friends

There may be no sadder sight in cable news than watching Fox’s morning power trio try and fail to prosecute a conservative talking point. (Even staunch conservatives understand the show is embarrassing.) This is a group that can’t even make the “Obama golfs while the world burns” bit work — and that should be soundcheck. But two weeks ago brought perhaps the most representative two minutes in cable news history, as Steve Doocy took to the streets and tried to enlist a group of passersby to yuk along with the hosts over gender-neutral bathroom signs. Instead he got schooled by a kid. If there’s a better encapsulation of a talking point’s inability to survive outside the carefully maintained ecosystem of the building in which it was birthed — or of cable news’ secluded artificiality in general — we’ve never seen it. – Evan McMurry

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