Thursday, January 06, 2005

T2: tucker's judgement day

... i'll be back

So Tucker Carlson is leaving CNN after all, and Crossfire is being retired. CNN President Jonathan Klein told the Washington Post that he agrees with Jon Stewart about Crossfire and what I call "shrieking-head" TV, so he's spiking the show and Carlson's leaving the network. "There was zero fit between what he wanted to do and what we wanted to do," Klein said. " . . . Our network is about roll-up-your-sleeves journalism, powerful storytelling." How much of this was really Klein's decision to make, and to what extent Carlson had already decided to leave for MSNBC, is unclear. Certainly Carlson's moment in the anchor chair last week looked like a ploy to convince him to stay, although his performance may have backfired and worked against him. Either way, he's gone. If Klein's remarks were in part a bitch-slap at a departing diva, however, I'll say this: It couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

"This is no slap at Fox," said Klein of his comments about the shrieking heads. Yeah, right. I think this guy's off to a great start. So we can put my suggestion about rolling boycotts of CNN on hold - for now. Your next assignment, Mr. Klein: Create an internal ombudsman position. He or she can start by investigating the potential conflicts of interest represented by personal relationships like those of Daryl Kagan and radical right-wing extremist Rush Limbaugh. But don't hire Daniel Okrent for the job. MSNBC may be scouting him already.