John King: Amanpour “Does Not Have A Lot Of Experience Covering American Politics” (Update)

 

John King of the new show John King, USA was a guest on our Office Hours web show, and he discussed the new 7pmET program, ratings (more on that below) and the health care debate.

But we also asked for his take on ABC’s hiring of his colleague Christiane Amanpour for the This Week job, and while he wished her luck, he raised some concerns others have voiced recently.

ABC News staffers have talked anonymously about their concerns over the hiring, and columnists like Tom Shales have aggressively disagreed with the choice.

King’s comments were surprising for how candid he was in his assessment. While calling her a friend and colleague, he said “I wish her the best.” But:

There are a lot of questions. Christiane does not have a lot of experience covering American politics and so how does she fit in on ABC on Sunday morning? I’ll leave that to them to figure out. It is an interesting pick, it is an unorthodox choice, I think that’s just self-evident…I’ll watch how it plays out with everyone else.

More: “It’s an interesting choice for them, they really decided to go in a new direction. We’ll see how it plays out. And I would tell everybody out there, put her on your DVR and watch Candy Crowley on State of the Union.”

Raising the idea that Amanpour “does not have a lot of experience covering American politics,” is not necessarily a new storyline, but it certainly seems to show a sense by a former Sunday morning host that Amanpour can not handle the current format of This Week (as a D.C./political-focused show). That may not come into play – there could be a total revamp with an international focus. But hearing King’s take highlights the shock (and a bit of doubt) many in the industry have over the choice, even as they love Amanpour and respect her work.

We also asked King about ratings for the show, and he pointed to three weeks or three months down the road before he’d really pay attention to what they say. But after one week – TVNewser has a look at where he stands: The first week is down from the same week last year (when Lou Dobbs was host) but up from the week prior when Wolf Blitzer was anchor.

> Update: Here’s King’s full answer:

She’s also a fellow University of Rhode Island graduate, and I didn’t know that when I went to the University of Rhode Island. I met Christiane when I worked for the Associated Press sand she worked for CNN back in the very first Persian Gulf War. We were both over in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, for several, many months during the war back then. She’s a friend as well as a colleague, soon to be former colleague. I wish her the best. There are a lot of questions. Christiane does not have a lot of experience covering American politics and so how does she fit in on ABC on Sunday morning? I’ll leave that to them to figure out. It is an interesting pick, it is an unorthodox choice, I think that’s just self-evident. That’s not any special analysis from John King. I’ll watch how it plays out with everyone else. Shes a friend, a dear friend, I wish her the best, and I have no bad feelings toward ABC. It’s an interesting choice for them, they really decided to go in a new direction. We’ll see how it plays out. And I would tell everybody out there, put her on your DVR and watch Candy Crowley on State of the Union.

The interview begins around the 8 minute mark, with the Amanpour Q&A coming around the 20-minute mark:

Watch live streaming video from mediaite at livestream.com


—–
» Follow Steve Krakauer on Twitter

Have a tip we should know? tips@mediaite.com

Filed Under: