Wolfy is smirking for good reason. David Zurawik, TV critic for the Baltimore Sun has some very kind words for CNN about their coverage of the situation in Libya and the Japanese earthquake, and for anchor Wolf Blitzer in particular.
Zurawik doesn’t credit CNN’s spike in ratings with the fact that there’s a lot in the news to cover. And primetime hosts Piers Morgan and Eliot Spitzer certainly aren’t doing the network any favors with their dismal numbers. Instead, Zurawik says CNN International’s managing director Tony Maddox is the one who’s made the difference with an increased use of simulcasts.
The difference, Zurawik writes, is exemplified by the pairing of Blitzer and Isha Sesay, the CNN International anchor based in Atlanta. The pair “provides a near perfect context of seriousness and energy/urgency,” Zurawik writes. “The set crackles with intensity when Blitzer is on with Sesay.”
He continues: “I have long been a fan of Blitzer. I think he is as good as TV journalism gets…when you match [Sesay] with someone like Blitzer and the sense of seriousness he brings to the presentation, it’s a perfect fit.”
Wolf is great, but it isn’t just him. Zurawik says he’s “written many times about CNN’s superior international news-gathering infrastructure” and thinks Sanjay Gupta’s reporting from Japan was “terrific.”
That’s fairly high praise for a network that hasn’t gotten much positive feedback lately. Read the whole column here.