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Monday, March 12, 2012

CNN News Programming Grades as of 3/12/12

I'll try to make this a weekly feature on here. These are my grades of the weekday programming on CNN, the network I go to for news.

Erin Burnett OutFront-98%(A+)
The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer-93%(A-)
Anderson Cooper 360-91%(A-)
CNN Newsroom(as a whole, 9 AM-4 PM)-90%(A-)
John King USA-86%(B+)
Starting Point-83%(B-)
Piers Morgan Tonight-76%(C+)
Early Start-56%(F)

My notes on the grading of the 8 shows.

1. "Erin Burnett OutFront" consistently proves itself to be the gold standard in cable news, dispatching everyone else by a wide margin. If she could just stick to regular and business news and not veer off into entertainment and sports news, the show would be well on the way to 100%. The show may not be getting the best of ratings, but I believe she'll go far and fly high. She'll make it if she tries hard, and the people are gonna love her when they see her.

2. "The Situation Room" proves to be the definitive afternoon news program(minus Brooke Baldwin's "CNN Newsroom," but I chose to grade "Newsroom" on all 7 hours, and not just the 2) on CNN. The only 2 hour program, outside of "CNN Newsroom," on CNN, it brings to the fore the big news stories of the day and features perhaps the only man who can replace the late, great Andy Rooney, Jack Cafferty, who delivers opinion and invites the audience to comment on it. My big problem is with some of Wolf's lame attempts at being modern(talking up Lynyrd Skynyrd, OutFront, March Madness, I-Pad's, etc. All of which are only one tier below Larry King's going to Snoopville.). I often wonder how an interview with Hugh Hefner would go("I read your magazine every single week," perhaps?).

3. "Anderson Cooper 360" continues to be the show CNN is raising the stakes on. AC360 is a wide assortment of news stories(regular, business, entertainment, global, etc.) designed to inform. It is a decent alternative to the O'Reilly Factor and the Ed Show(I'm not saying I particularly dislike either one), which seem to focus more on entertainment(O'Reilly) and Liberal politicking(Schultz). My main point of contention is the volume of entertainment reporting, but that is just Cooper's style, I presume.

4. This long series of news programs constitutes 7 of CNN's 17 hours of news programming. I admit I only regularly watch when Baldwin is on, and have occasionally caught "Newsroom" when Costello is on, but those times I have tuned in, it is decent news programming which leans more heavily upon their on-the-scene news reporters than other shows. And "Music Monday" is always a good segment to watch!

5. The one CNN show that leans heavily upon political news, John King delivers the news in a fair and balanced fashion, in spite of his admitted Liberal bent. The segments where he and Kate Bolduan get down in the weeds regarding "stories you may have missed" is always a good watch and is laced with good humour. My main problem with the show is how he and his wife, Dana Bash, toss reports off to each other. Does that not scream conflict of interest?

6. What little I've seen of "Starting Point" was all right. They've just got the worst problems with ratings. Doesn't help that O'Brien got into it with a Breitbart associate on Friday's program. That said, I grade based on what I've seen myself. I give this program until around the fall to turn the ship around. If they can't, then we need to look for new morning programming.

7. Passable programming. It's an entertainment show, for the most part, which isn't really my thing. He's gotten better with political commenting as of late. This one will be on for a while yet, as it is, unfortunately, the top view-getter in all of Primetime.

8. Absolute dreck. Need I say more? The show's probably got less time than "Starting Point" to prove itself worthy of continuation. Do you smell what I smell? I smell something rotting, and that's never good. And it's quite telling that CNN doesn't seem to be promoting "Early Start" these days. Stop, children. What's that sound? Everybody look what's going down.

As if I didn't already imply such, CNN is fair and balanced. Fox is not.

(Notice: Any and all nasty comments will be removed.)

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