Erin Burnett Spicing Up Show With ‘Political Strike Team’

By Alex Weprin 

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CNN’s “Erin Burnett Outfront,” which is still trying to gain traction among viewers, is trying to spice up the show by adding a recurring segment featuring a “Political Strike Team” (Note: not to be confused with The Best Political Team on Television, which is different, although some people are on both TBPOT and “Strike Team,” if that makes any sense).

What is the Political Strike Team? “The best political reporters and independent political observers that OutFront has put together, that will weigh in on issues that matter to undecided, independent and swing voters,” CNN says. Read about all the members of the team here.

“OutFront” has had an “Economic Strike Team” since shortly after launching, though the new group is obviously meant to be election-centric in this election year.

That said, we noticed a key flaw in the first question posed to the team. It asked the team about President Obama’s visit to “The View,” which is “part of a week-long appeal to women, including a commencement speech at Barnard College. Will it work or backfire?”

That question is a political strategy question, which would appeal mostly to political insiders and people closely interested in the Presidential race. In other words, people who probably already have a horse in the race, not “undecided, independent or swing voters,” who presumably won’t be basing their vote on which candidate is the better political chess player.

Not only that, but horse race  and strategy coverage utterly dominates cable news, making it extremely challenging to stand out, especially when more partisan shows can tailor their coverage to their viewer’s ideological positions.

Of course, that was just question one for the Strike Team. Presumably future questions will be of more interest to the group the segment is supposedly designed to target.