So Lou Dobbs up and quit CNN last night. Brian Stelter and Bill Carter explained the split’s genesis in The New York Times: “Months ago the president of CNN/U.S., Jonathan Klein, offered a choice to Lou Dobbs … [he] could vent his opinions on radio and anchor an objective newscast on television, or he could leave CNN.”
Stelter and Carter didn’t get to interview Klein, but he should be asked: Does anyone else at CNN or Headline News suffer from such a condition? Would CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton threaten Joy Behar that she can be opinionated on The View during the day, but she has to do an “objective” show on HLN at night? Would they threaten Rick Sanchez to stop being so pro-Latino on CNN, or threaten Soledad O’Brien for being “opinionated” in the “Latino in America” documentaries?
This ultimatum reeks of Jon Klein’s wanting to satisfy the leftists running the “Drop Dobbs” campaign, just as he bowed to Jon Stewart and dumped Crossfire (and Tucker Carlson). CNN now has no host that is would in any way be confused for a conservative. The Drop Dobbs “Fairness Doctrine” types on the left are crowing that their crusade for “honest media” has triumphed.
CNN is trying to spin this as a move to the hard-news middle. Picking John King for that hour is a pretty decent way to sell that spin. But that only works if you buy that CNN is the hard-news middle all the time, which is laughable. Larry King was tougher on a beauty queen last night than any CNN personality has ever been on Barack Obama.