In 2005, CNN canceled Crossfire—the political version of Sports Shouting—shortly after Jon Stewart appeared on the show and declared it was “hurting America.” But eight years after pleading, “I can change, baby,” CNN went back to its abusive ways, reviving the show with telegenic charmer Newt Gingrich leading the panel.
A year later, Crossfire is off the air again—this time not for hurting America, but for boring it. Yes, the ratings-challenged retread is being cut, along with some other dead wood, as CNN cuts some 300 jobs. This, after realizing that simply reading aloud stuff they found on the Internet, then occasionally dazzling viewers with a hologram, isn’t a rock-solid business model.
Also on the chopping block: Sanjay Gupta MD, CNN Money With Christine Romans, and Unguarded With Rachel Nichols. All three hosts will remain in the network’s employ, with Romans still hosting Early Start and handling business news, Nichols remaining the network’s sports anchor, and Gupta popping up to tell us why we’re all going to die of ebola. Meanwhile, Gingrich and his Crossfire cohorts will likewise be redeployed across the network. So in a way, Crossfire will live on, so long as people’s hearts are full of vitriol and Newt Gingrich gets to shout someone down.