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This past weekend I had the opportunity to watch the Grist.org Presidential Forum on the Environment and enjoyed every minute (buffering 18%) despite the con-(buffering 98%)-stant problems with the stream. When I ask myself why I got so much more out of this as compared to the Last CNN debate in Las Vegas, it became clear the CNN debates are not really meant to transmit ideas, only soundbites.
Whereas "boxers or briefs" was cute 16 years ago, "diamonds or pearls" was just inane. With soldiers dying everyday in the Middle East, I had hoped a smarter format had been planned, such was not the case.
CNN lost me years ago when they drove the "Dean Yell" into the ground. Then, a long time later, they admitted they overplayed the story. They are still wrong, it was never a story to begin with. My wife told me about a protest march in DC last week and I hadn't heard about it. She told me she saw it on CNN International. Figures.
CNN suffered some tremendous losses in the past years. John Holliman was killed in a very senseless car accident in 1998. Bernie Shaw retired in 2001 to our immense loss. This leaves just two journalists at CNN; Michael Ware and Christiane Amanpour. Everyone else are posers. That is a lot of weight to put on the shoulders of just two reporters.
Then again, maybe since CNN is a sinking boat, those two are their only life preservers... and they are treading water as fast as they can.