CNN, I Can’t Quit You (June 15, 2011)

God help me, but I adore Elliot Spitzer.

When I separated from my husband in April and moved into my own apartment, a serious decrease in income necessitated a downgrade of my cable services. Goodbye HBO, so long Showtime, and even the basic package I agreed to was a step down from the hundreds of HD channels at my disposal in a former life. No worries. I am a busy and resourceful girl and besides, the network TV stations were in the throes of wrapping up their episodic seasons.

Now that it’s June and my serials are on summer break, options for amusing myself while I eat dinner, clean the house and work out my Power Hoop, have become limited. My go-to for years has been CNN when all else fails. However with the gearing up of the 2012 U.S. Presidential election (particularly the GOP primaries), the continued unrest in the Middle East, the trial of Casey Anthony and the antics of Anthony Weiner, my always more than passing interest has taken on a life of its own.

I need help. I can’t enough of Fareed Zakaria. He may be the wisest man in the world and whether it’s his regular program GPS, or one of his illuminating specials, such as “Restoring the American Dream,” I wish I could empty his brain into mine.

The gay community scored a real coup back in May when adorable and charming weekend anchor Don Lemon came out of the closet. I think a number of my single sisters will join me in finding it terribly unfair that the two most gorgeous members of the CNN news team, including the venerable blue-eyed stallion, otherwise known as Anderson Cooper, are out of our reach. What’s left for us? Wolf Blitzer? Bah!

My love for all things CNN does not extend to John King, who for whatever reason never fails to remind of John Tesh (maybe it’s the whole “Blonde Frankenstein” thing – thank you Howard Stern), and is furthermore, a crushing bore. Ditto Soledad O’Brien, who I have noticed has become increasingly marginalized by the network since her April test in the weekly 7PM slot was deemed “unwatchable” by CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton. So why is she still there?

Wolf Blitzer and Jack Cafferty quench my thirst for curmudgeonly old men who have seen it all. Commentators and panelists David Gergen and Jeffrey Toobin never fail to elicit my interest. Ditto Roland Martin, who is always as excitable as he is intelligent.

Sanjay Gupta, you make me want to contract an unusual disease just so you’ll drop into my living room to do a special report.

And I can’t leave out my favorite CNN ladies. Dana Bash, Candy Crowley and Kiran Chetry – I heart you all.

I started and will end with an explanation of my most controversial CNN crush – Elliot Spitzer. When Parker/Spitzer debuted early this year, I didn’t give it a snowball’s chance in hell. Elliot, the former Governor of New York, remains a political punch line in many circles, and Kathleen Spitzer may be a hell of a writer, but she doesn’t give good TV. At all. The partnership had all the chemistry of a flat Diet Coke.

Mercifully, the brass at CNN realized that their true star is Spitzer. I may receive hate mail for saying so, but he fills the void in my heart left by the death of NBC’s Tim Russert. Spitzer will ask the tough questions. He knows he has nothing to lose and seems grateful enough for this career second act to leave it all on the court every evening. He will ask anybody anything and seems immune to squirming. He truly does not give a shit, and I love it! I am surprised the show is still able to book guests. That’s what I call keeping them honest.

Alright enough because clearly I could go on all day. For variety’s sake, I tried to give MSNBC a whirl last night, but the fit just wasn’t there. If watching CNN until my eyes cross is wrong, then I just don’t care to be right.


CNN Tidbits (January 5, 2010)

CNN logo

Those who know me best are aware that I readily own up to my addictions: one of which is this venerable cable news stalwart. I think my problem dates back to the 2004 Kerry/Bush election, but it took on the hallmarks of a full blown habit early in 2007 with the Democratic primaries. I got WAY into CNN during the 2008 election coverage, and somehow never left after Obama’s victory over McCain.

The anchors and pundits of CNN both fill my heart with joy, and alternately repulse me, like any good family members ought. Weekend staff members Don Lemon and Fredricka Whitfield are young, pretty and nonthreatening, same for Erica Hill, AC360‘s regular guest host. Lou Dobbs, before his recent departure, was the cranky old backward uncle I loved to argue with. Campbell Brown possesses just enough “red” leanings in her to prevent accusations of network liberalism. Then of course you have Wolf, AC, Christiane Amanpour, Sanjay Gupta and Fareed Zakaria – the channel’s All-Stars.

I mention all of this by way of acknowledgement that very few people besides myself may find interest in the latest news of which the channel is an agent, rather than a conduit. Be that as it may:

1. Kathy Griffin banned from CNN after F-bomb drop on New Year’s Eve

It is hard to find any synpathy for CNN here. You take a notoriously ribald comedienne, put her in the Big Apple live on New Year’s Eve, and you expect what, her and AC to share recipes with viewers? Of course she said something off color. This is a woman who famously stated, upon winning an Emmy, “I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus. Suck it, Jesus, this award is my god now!”

Personally, I enjoyed Griffin and Cooper the last two New Years. If I want boring and predictable, I can always switch over to Seacrest. I hope CNN gets its underwear out of a bunch and rethinks the decision.

2. Lou Dobbs Launches Members-Only Web Site

Why would I pay my hard earned dollars to read shit I didn’t want to hear when it was free? And I hear he may also run for Congress in New Jersey. That lucky Garden State.