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By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | July 15, 2011
Last year when CNN was talking about hiring Eliot Spitzer and Piers Morgan, I expressed my dismay at the way in which both could harm the credibility that the channel had steadfastly built through its journalism. Spitzer did prove to be an embarrassment when CNN tried to cover political sex scandals tbis year, and he is now gone for a variety of reasons, thank goodness. And now, just as I was becoming reconciled to accepting Morgan as the price I had to pay for all the sound journalism and analysis otherwise on CNN, comes Rupert Murdoch's News of the World scandal with its revelations of despicable phone hacking -- a scandal that threatens to shine a very bright light on Morgan's career as a UK tabloid editor.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | March 7, 2014
CNN's pivot to less news-talk and more documentary series in prime time got off to a mixed start with the debut of "Chicagoland" Thursday night. Despite heavy promotion, the series about the City of Chicago, with a strong focus on Mayor Rahm Emanuel, finished last behind first-place Fox and second-place MSNBC in overall audience. The total audience numbered only 629,000 viewers for CNN versus 816,000 for MSNBC and 1.43 million for Fox. Sean Hannity was the competition on Fox, while MSNBC featured Lawrence O'Donnell.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | February 24, 2014
In an effort to improve its last-place prime-time lineup, CNN is canceling Piers Morgan's nightly talk show. The cancellation, which was first reported by the New York Times, has been confirmed by CNN, though a date has yet to be set for when the former British tabloid editor will end his troubled run. Morgan was hired by Jonathan Klein, the predecessor of Jeff Zucker, who came into the top job at CNN with a mandate to improve ratings....
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | February 24, 2014
In an effort to improve its last-place prime-time lineup, CNN is canceling Piers Morgan's nightly talk show. The cancellation, which was first reported by the New York Times, has been confirmed by CNN, though a date has yet to be set for when the former British tabloid editor will end his troubled run. Morgan was hired by Jonathan Klein, the predecessor of Jeff Zucker, who came into the top job at CNN with a mandate to improve ratings....
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | December 27, 2012
Remember all the big, high-sounding media talk right after the massacre at Sandy Hook about how maybe now we will have a "national dialogue" about guns? Remember how many members of the media vowed to put aside their own little, selfish, partisan agendas and get serious about making this a safer and saner country for our children? Well, here we are 12 days out, and what's that big media conversation on guns about? Whether or not "Meet the Press" host David Gregory broke a law by waving an empty ammunition clip on the air Sunday during an interview with the NRA's Wayne LaPierre and how many people have signed petitions to deport CNN talkshow host Piers Morgan for verbally insulting any gun advocate foolish enough to come on his joke of an interview show.
NEWS
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | August 17, 2011
I will be honest, I don't know which of these two I like less -- Piers Morgan or Christine O'Donnell. Here's video of her walking off his show Wednesday after he questioned her about gay marriage and then asked why she was acting "so weird. " Call it mutual exploitation by two low-level pop culture hustlers. After a disaster of a Senate run, she needs to do something to cut through the clutter and try to get some attention for a new book that no one in their right mind should want to buy. He needs to do something besides spending every other day trying to knock down new allegations about what he knew and/or approved when it came to phone hacking and other unethical acts while he was a tabloid editor in the UK. The latest allegation involving a phone message from Paul McCartney is far from being put to rest despite Morgan's latest bursts of bravado and denials.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | October 30, 2012
A day's worth of some excellent storm coverage by CNN was all but shredded during the Piers Morgan show Monday night when meteorologist Chad Myers reported that the New York Stock Exchange was under three feet of water and the hip-shooting host ran wild with the report that turned out to be false. What a shame for all those CNN correspondents in places like Rehoboth Beach, Ocean City and Asbury Park who spent the day and night standing in cold ocean water and rain doing such a fine job of reporting the story.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | July 25, 2011
If nothing else, Monday night's dueling prime-time addresses to the nation by President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner hopefully woke more Americans up to the fact that we are at an epic moment in the nation's history. The narcissists and emotional adolescents in Congress and the White House have finally walked us to the edge of the cliff of international disgrace -- the brink of doing something shameful that this nation has never done. And at this crucial moment when we need the down-the-middle, keen analysis that CNN usually provides, what does the cable channel give us instead?
FEATURES
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun television critic | August 22, 2007
America's Got Talent, TV's highest-rated summer show, ended its second season last night with singer/ventriloquist Terry Fator taking home the $1 million prize. A Texas-based entertainer who said his dream was to headline in Las Vegas, Fator won over three other finalists: Bel Air country singer Julienne Irwin, beatboxer Antoinette "Butterscotch" Clinton and singer/guitarist Cas Haley. While 14-year-old Julienne was the first to be eliminated, the telecast was nevertheless a triumph for her. The live, two-hour program featured all the finalists performing duets with established artists in their field.
FEATURES
By [VERNE GAY] | January 3, 2008
Different in name and approach, The Celebrity Apprentice is both a whole new game and the whole old game as well. Obvious difference? Well (duh), celebrities! A boatload of 'em vying for Donald Trump's love and affection. Most important, the winner will deliver a $250,000 check to a charity of choice. There's a little bit of back-to-basics here, too (aside from its return to the Big Apple). Celebrities, for example, won't be constructing elaborate marketing plans to sell H3X Hummers, but elaborate marketing plans to sell hot dogs and the like.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | December 27, 2012
Remember all the big, high-sounding media talk right after the massacre at Sandy Hook about how maybe now we will have a "national dialogue" about guns? Remember how many members of the media vowed to put aside their own little, selfish, partisan agendas and get serious about making this a safer and saner country for our children? Well, here we are 12 days out, and what's that big media conversation on guns about? Whether or not "Meet the Press" host David Gregory broke a law by waving an empty ammunition clip on the air Sunday during an interview with the NRA's Wayne LaPierre and how many people have signed petitions to deport CNN talkshow host Piers Morgan for verbally insulting any gun advocate foolish enough to come on his joke of an interview show.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | October 30, 2012
A day's worth of some excellent storm coverage by CNN was all but shredded during the Piers Morgan show Monday night when meteorologist Chad Myers reported that the New York Stock Exchange was under three feet of water and the hip-shooting host ran wild with the report that turned out to be false. What a shame for all those CNN correspondents in places like Rehoboth Beach, Ocean City and Asbury Park who spent the day and night standing in cold ocean water and rain doing such a fine job of reporting the story.
NEWS
Susan Reimer | July 9, 2012
Americans are a bit schizophrenic on the matter of immigration this election season. We can't seem to decide whether we want to send them all back where they came from or put the child of immigrants on the Republican ticket for president. (For the record, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio calls his Cuban parents "exiles," not "immigrants," although they left before Fidel Castro took over.) In the midst of this volatile conversation - are we going to build a wall along the Mexican border or simply ask everybody in the American Southwest to carry papers?
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | June 6, 2012
UPDATES WITH LINK TO RESPONSE POST BY GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: After watching coverage of the Wisconsin recall, I am convinced more than ever that it's time for a major press gut check. We have been in real trouble for a long time with cable TV news, but we truly have reached a new low of partisanship at MSNBC and Fox News -- and confusion at CNN. It's the confusion part at CNN that has me truly worried these days. Monday night after watching cable TV, I wrote about being "dismayed" by the polarized place that MSNBC and Fox News had come to. Scott Walker, the Republican governor, wouldn't talk to MSNBC, and Tom Barrett, the Democratic challenger, wouldn't come on Fox. Who could blame them?
NEWS
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | February 18, 2012
I went to church on CNN Saturday, and it was one of the most powerful, uplifting and spiritual experiences I've had in years. Yes, watching six hours of cable TV coverage of Whitney Houston's funeral was a spiritual experience, and I am not using that word carelessly. It was profound and elevating, and the way in which media bring us together for such experiences makes up for one hell of a lot of cable TV's daily sins. CNN certainly wasn't the only cable channel with wall-to-wall coverage.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | November 2, 2011
This year, I gave up reporting cable news ratings every month. The numbers and spin tell us about the horse race to some extent. But what they mainly do is distract us from the important moral and cultural stories of the way these channels are warping our view of the world with their ideological and show biz priorities rather than any genuine commitment to news and information. But there are ratings, and then, there are ratings. And the October numbers that just came out offer a sobering snapshot of just how badly CNN's misadventures in programming are going -- even as they cheapen their news brand identity to try and find larger audiences.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | June 6, 2012
UPDATES WITH LINK TO RESPONSE POST BY GRETA VAN SUSTEREN: After watching coverage of the Wisconsin recall, I am convinced more than ever that it's time for a major press gut check. We have been in real trouble for a long time with cable TV news, but we truly have reached a new low of partisanship at MSNBC and Fox News -- and confusion at CNN. It's the confusion part at CNN that has me truly worried these days. Monday night after watching cable TV, I wrote about being "dismayed" by the polarized place that MSNBC and Fox News had come to. Scott Walker, the Republican governor, wouldn't talk to MSNBC, and Tom Barrett, the Democratic challenger, wouldn't come on Fox. Who could blame them?
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | March 7, 2014
CNN's pivot to less news-talk and more documentary series in prime time got off to a mixed start with the debut of "Chicagoland" Thursday night. Despite heavy promotion, the series about the City of Chicago, with a strong focus on Mayor Rahm Emanuel, finished last behind first-place Fox and second-place MSNBC in overall audience. The total audience numbered only 629,000 viewers for CNN versus 816,000 for MSNBC and 1.43 million for Fox. Sean Hannity was the competition on Fox, while MSNBC featured Lawrence O'Donnell.
NEWS
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | August 17, 2011
I will be honest, I don't know which of these two I like less -- Piers Morgan or Christine O'Donnell. Here's video of her walking off his show Wednesday after he questioned her about gay marriage and then asked why she was acting "so weird. " Call it mutual exploitation by two low-level pop culture hustlers. After a disaster of a Senate run, she needs to do something to cut through the clutter and try to get some attention for a new book that no one in their right mind should want to buy. He needs to do something besides spending every other day trying to knock down new allegations about what he knew and/or approved when it came to phone hacking and other unethical acts while he was a tabloid editor in the UK. The latest allegation involving a phone message from Paul McCartney is far from being put to rest despite Morgan's latest bursts of bravado and denials.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | July 25, 2011
If nothing else, Monday night's dueling prime-time addresses to the nation by President Barack Obama and Speaker of the House John Boehner hopefully woke more Americans up to the fact that we are at an epic moment in the nation's history. The narcissists and emotional adolescents in Congress and the White House have finally walked us to the edge of the cliff of international disgrace -- the brink of doing something shameful that this nation has never done. And at this crucial moment when we need the down-the-middle, keen analysis that CNN usually provides, what does the cable channel give us instead?
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