Media Blog

Boston Globe Editors: Spitzer is a Fresh Voice

From today’s Boston Globe editorial, “Back off, critics — TV news benefits from fresher voices”:

THERE ARE signs of more intelligent life in TV news, but critics, channeling what Michael Wolff of Vanity Fair called “the inside-baseball television-news diaspora,’’ are trying hard to snuff it out.

CNN, overhauling its evening lineup, recently announced a prime-time show co-hosted by former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Kathleen Parker. The blowback couldn’t have been stronger if the network had chosen Tony Hayward and Rielle Hunter. Yes, Spitzer will forever be marred by his use of prostitutes, but the demise of his political career has freed him up to be far more candid than the average moonlighting politico. Parker, a voice of common-sense conservatism, is notable for her willingness to break with the GOP herd; in 2008, she wrote that Sarah Palin lacked important qualifications for national office.

Another “Crossfire’’ this won’t be: Spitzer and Parker will probably be unpredictable and sometimes contrarian. They might even agree on some things — an entirely welcome development. Throwing ideological chum to the partisan masses will always draw ratings, but it rarely leaves viewers better informed.

The fate of CNN is of more than casual interest, because it is the lone holdout on cable news promising in-depth reporting and non-ideological analysis. Its rivals, Fox and MSNBC, have chosen to preach to the converted, fueling a culture of outrage and denunciation. Their effects on American political dialogue have been widely noted, and widely condemned. CNN is the best hope for a revival of traditional news values on cable.

Some might say “fresher voices” are needed at liberal newspapers. The rest here.

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