Boston Globe Defends Amanpour, CNN 8 PM Show From Critics

By Alex Weprin 

The editorial page of the Boston Globe took on TV news and the critics that loathe it this morning.

The newspaper, in an unsigned editorial titled “Back Off, Critics – TV News Benefits From Fresher Voices,” defended CNN’s hiring of Eliot Spitzer and Kathleen Parker for its new 8 p.m. program, and ABC’s addition of Christiane Amanpour as host of “This Week.”

Calling CNN “the best hope for a revival of traditional news values on cable,” the Globe says the new 8 p.m. program will not be a clone of “Crossfire”:

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 paper also had a few words for Tom Shales, whose review of “This Week” made some news of its own:

it was a breath of fresh air to see Christiane Amanpour, the legendary foreign correspondent, move into the anchor chair of ABC’s “This Week,” single-handedly broadening the perspective of the Sunday-morning interview shows. Of course, she, too, was swatted down by some capital critics, led by Tom Shales of The Washington Post, for lacking the proper political chops. Spitzer, Parker, and Amanpour represent a legitimate attempt by TV news executives to sell substance and offer fresh perspectives. More than just ratings are riding on their success.