Variety S Tv Editor Bemoans Collapse Of Cnn
In a devastating critique of CNN's programming and, in particular, its decision to replace Lou Dobbs with former Associated Press reporter John King, Daily Variety television editor Brian Lowry has accused the cable network of failing to provide compelling coverage of hard news, "its rhetoric notwithstanding." CNN, Lowry said, "too often brings to mind the excesses of bleed-and-lead, celebrity-obsessed local newscasts, which in their pursuit of younger demographics have merely sent discriminating viewers scurrying elsewhere for anything but weather forecasts and the occasional sports score." Lowry accused King of routinely failing to challenge interview subjects, and he anticipates that he will become another member of CNN's "mostly undistinguished roster of talent" that it surrounds "with distracting technological toys, from King's 'magic wall' to holograms to the new infatuation with gleaning viewer reaction from Twitter and comments posted online." King, he predicted, doesn't have "a puncher's chance of succeeding." With Dobbs gone, Lowry concluded, "CNN has reiterated its aspiration to represent the TV version of a newspaper's front section," a goal, he noted, that some critics insist is commercially unrealistic. "They might well be right, but we'll never know if CNN falls short not due to its strategy, but because it paid lip-service to those ideals without ever truly implementing them."