Exactly 10 years ago on October 15, Jon Stewart appeared as a guest on CNN’s Crossfire. Stewart’s scathing criticism of the hosts and the show destroyed the show in such a way that it was cancelled shortly after. It was brought back many years later, but on Wednesday, on the 10th anniversary of Stewart’s?interview, Crossfire was cancelled again.
During the interview 10 years ago,?Jon Stewart?made an impassioned?plea to hosts Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala to stop their screaming and bickering — he called it “theater” — and try to have a real debate, the kind that is needed in the American news media..
He proceeded to tell them that he thinks their show is bad. He went further to say that the show was?”hurting America.”?Stewart accused the pair of “partisan hackery” and said:
“I’m here to confront you because we need help from the media and it’s hurting us.”
Conservative host Carlson rudely and arrogantly dismissed Jon Stewart, but it was to his detriment, because apparently his new boss at CNN, president Jonathan Klein, agreed with Stewart. He said so when he cancelled the show in 2005.
Mr. Klein said he wanted to move CNN away from what he called “head-butting debate shows,” which have become the staple of much of all-news television in the prime-time hours, especially at the top-rated Fox News Channel.
“CNN is a different animal,” Mr. Klein said. “We report the news. Fox talks about the news. They’re very good at what they do and we’re very good at what we do.”
Mr. Klein specifically cited the criticism that the comedian Jon Stewart leveled at “Crossfire” when he was a guest on the program during the presidential campaign. Mr. Stewart said that ranting partisan political shows on cable were “hurting America.”
Mr. Klein said last night, “I agree wholeheartedly with Jon Stewart’s overall premise.” He said he believed that especially after the terror attacks on 9/11, viewers are interested in information, not opinion.
Watch Stewart’s epic takedown of Crossfire below.
Tiffany Willis is a fifth-generation Texan and the founder and editor-in-chief of Liberal America. An unapologetic member of the Christian Left, she has spent most of her career actively working with ?the least of these? and disadvantaged and oppressed populations. She’s passionate about their struggles. To stay on top of topics she discusses,?like her?Facebook page,?follow her on Twitter, or?connect with her via LinkedIn. She also has?a?grossly neglected personal blog?and a?literary quotes blog that is a labor of love. Find her somewhere and join the discussion.