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“Crossfire” cancelled once again, on 10 year anniversary of last cancellation

October 16th, 2014

It seems like only yesterday Jon Stewart surprised everyone on CNN’s Crossfire by taking an ultra-serious tone with the hosts, Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala, and famously putting the show in its place for all the world to see.

Once again, the show is ending. The first time it went out with a bang — but this time it went out with a whimper. The show had been missing in action for weeks and already some of its newer co-hosts — Stephanie Cutter, Newt Gingrich, S.E. Cupp and Van Jones — have been popping up as contributors around the network’s landscape. Some staff have been moved to other programs, and the remainder have been encouraged to apply for open positions within the bureau, source say — surprising, given that CNN is in the process of slashing about 300 positions.

Crossfire, which had been exhumed in September of ’13, quickly did not catch on with viewers. It was billed as a more intelligent, less shrill iteration of the old Crossfire, which debuted in 1982 and famously was cancelled in 2005 — not so long after Jon Stewart came on the show, purportedly to promote his new book, but in reality to scold the show’s stunned hosts for “hurting America.”

The show epitomized the CNN-meme-internet era of over-hyped news, brought to light again with the Malaysian airliner crisis. Crossfire Redux went on the first of its long-ish hiatuses last March, when CNN became obsessed with a vanished airplane, and some thought it was gone for good. Then, in May — 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 instead abruptly brought Crossfire back, as if to signal to the country that its long CNN missing-plane nightmare was over. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-WI, and Rep. Karen Bass, D-CA, joined co-hosts Gingrich and Jones, who beamed at the camera as if their producer had brought them good news from a distant land.

But the show was pulled from the schedule again in July — another Malaysian airliner had caught CNN’s interest, and the network just last month said the show would remain on that break for a while, presumably to return in time for the election cycle, which clearly did not happen.

It’s yet to be seen what takes its place and what this means for cable news. Maybe we’re seeing a change back to actual news. One can only hope.

Categories: DISH & TV news

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