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CNN boasts all the usual inherent flaws of TV news and also some small unusual ones, exemplum gratum Lupi Blitzeris, but still it’s pretty good. The reporting is thorough, the evaluations intelligent, the graphics clean, the banter cordial (as opposed to cloying). Though making fun of the Magic Wall will never get old, the fact remains that the profusion of screens-within-screens adds an eye-catching depth of image and a comfortable feeling of roominess. And CNN’s mission to be comprehensive is reflected in the diversity of its on-air talent. Don’t get me wrong, some of my best friends are white men, but it’s encouraging that you can go entire hours without seeing one either at the anchor desk or on remote.
Also, Patterson thinks Campbell Brown is “hotter” than one of her cross-network colleagues and “a better interviewer” than another. Read on…
The prime-time schedule kicks off with an hour of Campbell Brown, who is a better interviewer than Brian Williams, a more “relatable” presence than Katie Couric, and hotter than Diane Sawyer. Last night, anchoring coverage of the explosion at Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia, she was as sharp as the pins on her tasteful earrings, urgent but never breathless. At the top of the 8 o’clock hour, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann was noisily spoiling for a fight about John Paul Stevens’ replacement on the Supreme Court – a prospective nominee who, not even being yet on deck, is thus far an imaginary friend. Meanwhile, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly was blathering about media bias, effectively covering coverage of coverage. Campbell, however, elicited facts and context from a former assistant secretary for mine safety, a local reporter from WCHS, and a senior executive of the National Mining Association. I love it when an interviewer solicits a clarification by saying, “You’re gonna have to forgive my ignorance.”