Morning Media Newsfeed: Crossfire Returns | Newsday Branch Closes | Deen’s Big Interview

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CNN Brings Back Crossfire (TVNewser)
CNN has made it official: Crossfire will be returning to the channel this fall. CNN is poaching S.E. Cupp from MSNBC’s The Cycle to represent the right side of the table, alongside former house speaker and Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich. Obama campaign consultant Stephanie Cutter and former White House advisor Van Jones will represent the left side of the table. The four hosts will also contribute to CNN election and political programming. HuffPost / The Backstory CNN’s soon-to-be relaunched Crossfire will take a page from the original version of show, which aired for 19 years without a live audience. A CNN executive told HuffPost that there will be no live audience when Crossfire returns this fall, a departure from the show’s final three years before being canceled in 2005. FishbowlDC “Few programs in the history of CNN have had the kind of impact on political discourse that Crossfire did — it was a terrific program then, and we believe the time is right to bring it back and do it again,” said Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide in a release. NYT More than eight years after it was canceled, Crossfire is still one of the best-known cable news programs, but it has also been widely derided, as evidenced by the mixed reactions online to CNN’s announcement on Wednesday morning. Some media critics and commentators have denounced the program for wedging complex arguments into a left-right rubric and promoting political polarization. (In the words of Jon Stewart during his 2004 appearance on the program, “It’s hurting America.” CNN canceled the show the next year.)

Newsday Shuts Down Westchester, N.Y. Branch (TheWrap / MediaAlley)
Newsday‘s year-old Westchester site has been shut down by Cablevision effective immediately, an insider with knowledge of the situation told TheWrap. Cablevision told TheWrap that the closing was “an economic decision.” Though Cablevision will not disclose how many employees were laid off, an individual with knowledge of Newsday‘s plans told TheWrap that the layoffs will affect “a reasonably small” number of people. Another insider estimated the number may be close to 25. The Journal News / The site was launched in the spring of 2012 in an effort to compete with The Journal News and in the Lower Hudson Valley. NY Observer “Cablevision Systems Corporation Wednesday announced that it has discontinued Newsday’s digital-only Westchester local news service available in parts of Westchester County, Rockland County and the Hudson Valley,” Cablevision said in a statement. FishbowlNY “We got some bad news [Wednesday]. I’m incredibly proud of the work we did at Newsday Westchester. Enjoyed every moment (except [Wednesday’s] meeting).” Ryan Chatelain, Newsday Westchester’s digital news manager, wrote.

Paula Deen Sits Down With Matt Lauer for Uncomfortable Interview (TVNewser)
Wednesday morning, former Food Network chef Paula Deen sat down for an interview with NBC Today anchor Matt Lauer. Deen’s fall from grace began to spiral out of control last week when she decided not to show up for her scheduled interview with Lauer. “What you see is what you get, I’m not an actress, I’m heartbroken,” Deen said. “I is what I is and I’m not changing.” Bloomberg Businessweek If you believe Deen is being undeservedly punished for having made one racist comment years ago, her appearance on Today Wednesday morning will probably have reassured you. And if you believe that Deen is being rightfully punished for being insensitive to race, or worse, her appearance will probably have infuriated you. Deen was defiant and tearful during the 13-minute interview with Lauer and still seemed in shock over her crumbling empire. FishbowlNY Deen was asked if she was a racist and she replied “no.” Then, when Lauer asked her if the “n word” was offensive to black people, she gave a puzzling answer, “I don’t know, I have asked myself that so many times. It’s very distressing for me to go into my kitchens and hear what these young people are calling each other… it’s very distressing for me.” NYT The contrite denial had a desperate underlay that didn’t really help either Deen or her interrogator. Both participants had a lot on the line. Lauer’s interview with the self-forgiving queen of butter and fat was a fresh opportunity to show his worth and boost the ratings. As performers, they both proved to be their own worst enemies. Business Insider The world’s largest retailer, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., said that it wasn’t taking any new orders from Paula Deen Enterprises amid a controversy that the Southern cooking star used racial slurs in the past. Deen’s fans are going ballistic on Wal-Mart’s page on Facebook and it’s just getting started. PRNewser The public does not want Deen to tell us “I is what I is.” Despite the attempt at quaintness, those words are not authentic. We don’t believe them. Those are marketing words designed to perpetuate a caricature — one the public no longer believes is real. Those are not words spoken by an educated adult who wants to be taken seriously.