But a Boston Globe editorial today defends the show – still more than a month away from its premiere – and tells critics to “back off.”
The blowback couldn’t have been stronger if the network had chosen Tony Hayward and Rielle Hunter,” says the editorial. Actually, that sounds like a pretty good line-up for the first show. The editorial goes on to praise what may come from the two hosts:
Spitzer and Parker will probably be unpredictable and sometimes contrarian. They might even agree on some things — an entirely welcome development. Throwing ideological chum to the partisan masses will always draw ratings, but it rarely leaves viewers better informed.
There’s a middle ground here that the editorial ignores – somewhere between “throwing ideological chum” and a mild discussion. This is where CNN needs to take the show to get the ratings that will keep the show on the air, and continue leaving “viewers better informed.”
In the wake of Tom Shales slam of former CNNer Christiane Amanpour, there’s a mention of her in the editorial as well. Calling her a “breath of fresh air,” the ABC News host is grouped with Spitzer and Parker as representative of “a legitimate attempt by TV news executives to sell substance and offer fresh perspectives. More than just ratings are riding on their success.”
More than ratings? Maybe – but ratings are still key. And dismissing Glenn Beck as someone who doesn’t “offer fresh perspectives” or Rachel Maddow as a host who doesn’t “sell substance” is faulty logic. Spitzer, Parker and CNN in general can learn from aspects of the shows on Fox News and MSNBC that have succeeded. You can entertain an audience while simultaneously informing them.
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