Not Much Bang to CNN's Crossfire


It appears that CNN's reincarnation of Crossfire is shooting blanks.

The Baltimore Sun writes that the guests for the political show are lame to say the least.

The Sun says that one of the ways you can judge a talk show's energy and momentum -- or lack of such -- is by the guests.

When a show has strong producers and is going well, they have guests who bring energy, edge and insights to the production. The guests help make the production pop.

One of the signs of a show going bad is low-rent guests -- folks not much in demand who are easy to book and bring nothing with them to the show.

"Crossfire" had two of the latter Thursday with former New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former Maryland Gov. Bob Ehrlich. It might not be fair to call them has-beens, but I would be hard pressed off the top of my head to find two political figures less in demand by the standards of political TV than these two.

The only way Ehrlich can get on local TV in Baltimore is to buy time as he did with his last infotainment show on WMAR. This is not a guy who's going to get people switching away from Fox News or MSNBC to see what he has to say on CNN.

But there he was with Richardson Thursday in the scintillating debate:  "Is Obamacare a trick or a treat?"

Yes, that's a quote from the CNN website and the show. That's another way you can tell when a show is not going well: The framing and writing are lame.

Viewers were asked to weigh in on Obamacare as "trick or treat." Which still falls under CNN's new guideline of breaking down every sort as a "Good Thing or Bad Thing."

So, the Crossfire deathwatch has officially started. 

Is that a good thing or a bad thing?