From a reader:
Remember that famous tete a tete John Stewart had with Tucker Carlson on Crossfire? John Klein ostentatiously said that he agreed with Stewart that the Crossfire Crew was destroying America. The CNN execs made the decision to side with the cool guy, get rid of the “crude shout shows” and go strictly with sexy news anchors, excepting Lou Dobbs. Well, I say it serves ‘em right. I grew up on Crossfire and I liked it. At least the show didn’t have the pretense that it was objective.
I think this is a bit too simple. But I do think that reader has a very good point. Many of CNN’s problems can be placed at Jon Klein’s feet and that episode was a big part of CNN’s downfall. I was “at” CNN as a contributor for much of that period and Klein’s behavior was idiotic and shameful. Tucker Carlson tried to defend his network and its flagship show (which CNN had poured millions into) and Klein opted to “side with the cool guy” as the reader puts it.