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By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun | August 7, 2010
When CNN hired Wolf Blitzer from The Jerusalem Post in 1990 to be its Pentagon correspondent, the first thing his new employers tried to do was "teach" him how to be a TV performer. "They sent me to coaching and voice lessons and all sorts of stuff — it was making me crazy," Blitzer said. "And I remember saying to my wife at the time, 'I'm never going to make this. ... I think I made a huge mistake in taking this job.' " But when Blitzer told his boss, Bill Headline, CNN's Washington bureau chief at the time, about his misgivings, Headline surprised the veteran Middle East correspondent with his answer — "Forget everything.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | June 13, 2012
UPDATED with copy of CNN memo and confirmation of cancellation ... John King's nightly show on CNN has been cancelled. King, the star of political reporting during the 2008 presidential campaign, will continue with the channel as its "lead campaign correspodent," according to an internal memo from CNN President Ken Jautz. King was chief national correspondent. Wolf Blitzer's "Situation Room," which now runs two hours, will be expanded to three hours, 4 to 7 p.m. weekdays.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | May 29, 2012
Finally, someone in the TV news business told Donald Trump he's ridiculous. Now, if they would just stop giving him airtime. Wolf Blitzer, one of the most evenhanded interviewers in the news business, had enough of Trump playing his games of complaining about the press and making unsubstantiated accusations about political opponents like President Barack Obama. When Trump opened a telephone interview by criticizing the reporting done by CNN in setting up the interview, Blitzer called him out. Here's a key part of the transcript, and you can see video below of the exchange.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | May 29, 2012
Finally, someone in the TV news business told Donald Trump he's ridiculous. Now, if they would just stop giving him airtime. Wolf Blitzer, one of the most evenhanded interviewers in the news business, had enough of Trump playing his games of complaining about the press and making unsubstantiated accusations about political opponents like President Barack Obama. When Trump opened a telephone interview by criticizing the reporting done by CNN in setting up the interview, Blitzer called him out. Here's a key part of the transcript, and you can see video below of the exchange.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | November 22, 2011
Based on the number of televised GOP candidate debates in 2008, we are just about halfway through the process with tonight's CNN-hosted debate on foreign policy. I am encouraged by the big audiences of up to 6 million tuning in for some of the debates. But I am dismayed by some of the show biz priorities the cable channels are surrendering themselves to in hopes of getting a piece of that tasty Nielsen pie. I am thinking here of CNBC using Jim Cramer as a moderator, and him sounding like Gilbert Gottfried in his first screaming, squawking question to the candidate.
FEATURES
By Carl M. Cannon and Carl M. Cannon,Washington Bureau of The Sun | October 14, 1994
Washington -- As President Clinton toured the USS Eisenhower recently, he passed through a hallway lined with the photographs of dignitaries and hotshots who had previously prowled the decks of the aircraft carrier.Occupying a place of honor, in the middle of this row of famous souls, was a framed picture of a smiling face known to every Navy officer sitting desk-bound at the Pentagon, dreaming of a command.The face of Wolf Blitzer.It became famous during the Persian Gulf War as that of the newly hired Pentagon correspondent for Cable News Network.
FEATURES
By DAVID ZURAWIK and DAVID ZURAWIK,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | May 20, 2008
ON TV American Idol airs its two-part finale at 8 tonight and 8 p.m. tomorrow on WBFF, Channel 45. The Idol effect, from top * Shifted when networks broadcast our favorite shows, (Kiefer Sutherland of 24) * Brought black and white sudiences together. (Karina Smirnoff and Mario of Dancing with the Stars) * Helped introduced young people to voting. (Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton) * Made TV more commercial than ever * Resurrected the variety show. (Julienne Irwin of America's Got Talent)
NEWS
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | February 6, 2008
Network and cable TV channels amped up the star power last night as presidential politics took over prime time. But in this age of rapidly expanding media, the news operations that did best where the ones that emphasized information and technology over personality. First came the technology used on TV screens to help tell the election-night story visually - a narrative that could have been bewildering with 24 states in play. CNN provided a font of fast-breaking information and clear-eyed analysis, particularly from correspondent John King, who pushed and pulled at a touch screen as he broke down states county by county, using an array of lines and colors.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | July 6, 2011
As one media reporter who was genuinely concerned about the turn CNN seemed to be taking last year when it hired Eliot Spitzer, I am not going to try and hide how impressed and pleased I am with the lineup the cable news network announced today. Yes, I am happy that Spitzer is gone. I thought his presence threatened the credibility and trust that CNN had built over the years through the hard and principled work of its journalists. But I am also encouraged about the future of CNN shown by its clear commitment to journalists like John King and Wolf Blitzer.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | July 31, 2011
In a countdown to crisis time like this weekend, if you can only watch one channel, once again, I would make it CNN. On one level, the argument is simple. In terms of cable, there is little or none of the blatant ideology that drives MSNBC and Fox News to make facts fit a political narrative or the world view of their perceived audience. In terms of the networks, none can commit the airtime to constantly updating the story like a webpage as new developments emerge in the way a committed cable channel like CNN can. So, I spent most of my weekend so far with CNN, and there are two aspects of the coverage especially worth talking about -- so far. First, CNN's scored one of the timeliest interviews of the summer when it had Sen. Mitch McConnell on "State of the Union" at 9 a.m. (ET)
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | January 26, 2012
Yessssssss. God is in his heaven, and for a couple of minutes Thursday night during CNN's  GOP debate, the relationship between the press and grandstanding TV politicians was finally back in balance. When moderator Wolf Blitzer asked Newt Gingrich if he would like to repeat a criticism he had made earlier this week of Mitt Romney for not being transparent enough about his finances, Gingrich put on his best headmaster face and told the veteran journalist in his most condescending tone, "... This is a nonsense question.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | November 22, 2011
Based on the number of televised GOP candidate debates in 2008, we are just about halfway through the process with tonight's CNN-hosted debate on foreign policy. I am encouraged by the big audiences of up to 6 million tuning in for some of the debates. But I am dismayed by some of the show biz priorities the cable channels are surrendering themselves to in hopes of getting a piece of that tasty Nielsen pie. I am thinking here of CNBC using Jim Cramer as a moderator, and him sounding like Gilbert Gottfried in his first screaming, squawking question to the candidate.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | July 31, 2011
In a countdown to crisis time like this weekend, if you can only watch one channel, once again, I would make it CNN. On one level, the argument is simple. In terms of cable, there is little or none of the blatant ideology that drives MSNBC and Fox News to make facts fit a political narrative or the world view of their perceived audience. In terms of the networks, none can commit the airtime to constantly updating the story like a webpage as new developments emerge in the way a committed cable channel like CNN can. So, I spent most of my weekend so far with CNN, and there are two aspects of the coverage especially worth talking about -- so far. First, CNN's scored one of the timeliest interviews of the summer when it had Sen. Mitch McConnell on "State of the Union" at 9 a.m. (ET)
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?
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and The Baltimore Sun | July 6, 2011
As one media reporter who was genuinely concerned about the turn CNN seemed to be taking last year when it hired Eliot Spitzer, I am not going to try and hide how impressed and pleased I am with the lineup the cable news network announced today. Yes, I am happy that Spitzer is gone. I thought his presence threatened the credibility and trust that CNN had built over the years through the hard and principled work of its journalists. But I am also encouraged about the future of CNN shown by its clear commitment to journalists like John King and Wolf Blitzer.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik, The Baltimore Sun | August 7, 2010
When CNN hired Wolf Blitzer from The Jerusalem Post in 1990 to be its Pentagon correspondent, the first thing his new employers tried to do was "teach" him how to be a TV performer. "They sent me to coaching and voice lessons and all sorts of stuff — it was making me crazy," Blitzer said. "And I remember saying to my wife at the time, 'I'm never going to make this. ... I think I made a huge mistake in taking this job.' " But when Blitzer told his boss, Bill Headline, CNN's Washington bureau chief at the time, about his misgivings, Headline surprised the veteran Middle East correspondent with his answer — "Forget everything.
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?
NEWS
By Gail Gibson and Gail Gibson,SUN STAFF | October 14, 2002
In more than two decades with the FBI, Special Agent Gary M. Bald always was drawn to solving complex, highly organized crimes, from mob-linked political corruption in Philadelphia to the profit-hiding schemes of Colombian drug gangs. But the highest-profile assignment for the man who this month took over as head of the FBI's Baltimore office - and quickly found himself immersed in the search for a deadly serial sniper - was to unravel a web of wrongdoing in his own organization. For the past three years, Bald led an U.S. Justice Department task force assigned to investigate an FBI agent in Boston suspected of tipping off gangster informants to pending investigations and indictments.
FEATURES
By DAVID ZURAWIK and DAVID ZURAWIK,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | May 20, 2008
ON TV American Idol airs its two-part finale at 8 tonight and 8 p.m. tomorrow on WBFF, Channel 45. The Idol effect, from top * Shifted when networks broadcast our favorite shows, (Kiefer Sutherland of 24) * Brought black and white sudiences together. (Karina Smirnoff and Mario of Dancing with the Stars) * Helped introduced young people to voting. (Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton) * Made TV more commercial than ever * Resurrected the variety show. (Julienne Irwin of America's Got Talent)
NEWS
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,SUN TELEVISION CRITIC | February 6, 2008
Network and cable TV channels amped up the star power last night as presidential politics took over prime time. But in this age of rapidly expanding media, the news operations that did best where the ones that emphasized information and technology over personality. First came the technology used on TV screens to help tell the election-night story visually - a narrative that could have been bewildering with 24 states in play. CNN provided a font of fast-breaking information and clear-eyed analysis, particularly from correspondent John King, who pushed and pulled at a touch screen as he broke down states county by county, using an array of lines and colors.
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