Sunday, January 02, 2005

Crossfire 2.0

I just got around to watching the October 15th Jon Stewart appearance on CNN’s Crossfire. I embarrass easily and usually avoid confrontational situations of all kind--unless of course it's vitally necessary to my integrity. In those moments when it's becomes necessary to stand athwart circumstances and declare "Stop", I am at my most tenacious and cogent. For Jon Stewart, however, he is, at those moments, clinically masterful. Although he strayed from his talking points on a few occasions, Stewart let it be known that Crossfire was hurting the American political discourse and dissolving the credibility of the once vaunted CNN. I think he may be giving them too much credit.

The Transcript of the show is here, and the torrent file (media file) is here, if you should be so inclined. This now gives me an opportunity to plug a post I wrote a while back on this particular issue: the continuing absurdity of Crossfire. Writing on this blog seven months earlier, June 16, I said this of the show:

In its new incarnation, Crossfire has rapidly devolved into a screaming match, pining dueling, crazed hot-heads against each other in what seems to be a battle to the death. Hardly shrinking violets, Tucker Carlson and James Carville have done great work in turning the once staid, cerebral political program into a third rate clown show.(Bob Novak and Paul Begala, the other hosts, are less brusque)

Even with time during the holidays to watch Crossfire, I just couldn’t stomach a whole viewing. But it’s still a semi-must-see for its sheer hilarity—and then grating annoyance, and then self-defeating irrelevance.

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