Just when you thought that what CNN‘s Missing Malaysian Airliner story really needed to liven things up was a fluid ounce of weed killer scientifically administered to some of the talking heads, the network abruptly brought back Crossfire this evening, as if to signal to the country that its long cable-news nightmare was over. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-WI, and Rep. Karen Bass, D-CA, joined co-hosts Newt Gingrich and Van Jones, who beamed at the camera as if their producer had brought them good news from a distant land. Crossfire had been off the air since March 11, when CNN latched on to the story of the passenger plane that mysteriously vanished somewhere en route to Beijing, and hung on for dear life as ratings soared — well, compared to CNN’s earlier ratings anyway. And, though there had been some speculation CNN chief Jeff Zucker would use the missing plane saga to quietly kill his ratings-challenged Crossfire relaunch, the network seemed to stifle that talk at its April upfront presentation when it unveiled Crossfire Reloaded among the series from its new CNN Digital Studios. At some point CNN needed Crossfire to come back, if only for congressional booking purposes — politicians do like to see themselves on cable news network shows — which, yes, factored into the decision to bring back the show, which happened tonight.
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Discussing his latest career move as star of CNN’s resuscitated Crossfire, a few days before its launch, Newt Gingrich said it is not possible to make a “neutral” documentary about Hillary Clinton. Which is just what his new network has proposed to do. Asked his thoughts on the Republican National Committee’s decision last month to block CNN from GOP presidential primary debates during the 2016 election cycle because it is working on a Clinton docu, Gingrich said he thought CNN — and NBC, which has said it is developing a Hillary Clinton miniseries — should offer equal time. “I actually don’t believe you can create a neutral documentary about Hillary Clinton,” Gingrich said. Gingrich never did say what he thought about the RNC’s decision to block CNN from the GOP primary debates; the RNC also voted to block NBC from the debates because of its Clinton miniseries project, which Gingrich also called a “documentary.
“I don’t see it as a giant deal,” he said of the CNN docu, adding, “I don’t think Hillary’s survival or failure are going to rest on these two documentaries.”
Related: CNN’s New ‘Crossfire’ To End With Kumbaya Moment
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Tapping into viewer interest that gets ginned up around the start of the broadcast network TV season, Jeff Zucker’s CNN announced this morning it’ll launch some of its most interesting new programs on Monday, September 16. That’s the week walking up to the start of the broadcast TV network’s official 2013-14 TV season, and a week in which some of the broadcasters’ new products are unveiling. CNN’s most anticipated new series, a half-hour remake of Crossfire, debuts that Monday, September 16 at 6:30 PM ET – which, in one of those incredible coincidences, is the same night ABC launches the remake of its dance competition series Dancing With The Stars.
It’s also the same night Fox unveils its remake of Washington Irving’s The Legend of Sleep Hollow, in which Ichabod Crane is now a badass action hero, returned to save us from apocalypse. Similarly, this time Crossfire stars Newt Gingrich. Joining him: Stephanie Cutter, S.E. Cupp and Van Jones. CNN said the show will “resemble the show’s original format with passionate conversation” – or, as Jon Stewart called it back in 2004, “partisan hackery” that was “hurting America.” CNN, understandably, focused on Crossfire having “cemented its status in the political and cultural lexicon” when President Bill Clinton joked during his remarks at the 1997 White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner that the newly opened Newseum featured an exhibit with “CNN’s very first Crossfire: from the … Read More »
The GOP presidential candidate became righteously indignant today over a joke that DeNiro told at a fundraiser for President Obama, which Michelle Obama attended. “Callista Gingrich. Karen Santorum. Ann Romney. Now do you really think our country is ready for a white first lady?” DeNiro said, according to web site Talking Points Memo. “Too soon, right?” Cue Gingrich, speaking today in Shreveport, La.: “What DeNiro said last night was inexcusable and the president should apologize for him.” He added that “the country is ready for a new first lady and he doesn’t have to describe it in racial terms.” The former House Speaker also drew an analogy to the attacks on Rush Limbaugh, who recently apologized for calling law student Sandra Fluke a “slut” and “prostitute” when she testified in favor of employer health plan payments for contraceptives. “If people on the left want to talk about talk show hosts,” Gingrich said, ”then everybody in the country should hold the president accountable when someone at his event says something that is utterly and terribly unacceptable as what Robert DeNiro said.” The star of Raging Bull and The Godfather 2 told TPM that his remarks “although spoken with satirical jest, were not meant to offend or embarrass anyone —- especially the First Lady.” Michelle Obama called the joke “inappropriate.”
It could – Newt Gingrich’s second wife made some sensational hypocrisy charges to ABC News’ Brian Ross in a report to be broadcast on Nightline tonight, just ahead of Saturday’s South Carolina primary. In her first interview since divorcing Gingrich in 1999, she says that while the one-time House Speaker was trying to impeach Bill Clinton for lacking moral leadership following his affair with Monica Lewinsky, Gingrich told Marianne that he was engaged in a six-year affair with an aide — his current wife Callista. ”He wanted an open marriage and I refused,” Marianne Gingrich told ABC. The news organization says that she’s speaking out now to show that “his campaign positions on the sanctity of marriage and the importance of family values do not square with what she saw during their 18 years of marriage.” Marianne Gingrich also told ABC that Newt moved to divorce her shortly after she had been diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. “He also was advised by the doctor when I was sitting there that I was not to be under stress. He knew,” she said. She added that her ex-husband has never apologized to her or said that he regrets his actions. ABC says that Gingrich did not comment on the allegations, although he has said on the campaign trail that he has “no relationship” with his ex-wife.