Breitbart to CNN? What was the network up to?

The Daily Mail’s Toby Harnden writes about Andrew Breitbart being in early discussions to co-host a crossfire type show with Anthony Wiener on CNN…

Andrew Breitbart, the conservative firebrand and new media pioneer who died suddenly at just 43, had told friends he was poised to take his jihad against the Left deeper into the mainstream media with a regular show on CNN.

Last weekend, Breitbart told friends he was in early talks with CNN about a Crossfire-style show in which he would argue from the Right alongside former US House representative Anthony Weiner taking him on from the Left.

When I first read this I thought this had to be a joke and it still seems utterly implausibe, not that CNN would consider Breitbart but that CNN would consider another disgraced politician like Anthony Wiener after getting beat up so badly in the press for hiring Elliot Spitzer.

But let’s assume for the moment that this wasn’t a joke and CNN was really in discussions for it. The obvious next question is where would CNN put the show? Would it be a weekly or M-Fr show? Probably not weekly…that’s probably not high profile enough for Breitbart. A M-Fr show seems more likely.

This would raise a second question; when M-Fr? For a possible clue we should look back to a Page Six story from early last month

We also hear that executives are thinking about developing an 11 p.m. show.

So this Breitbart story combined with the Page Six story suggests CNN is seriously looking at putting on fresh programming at 11pm. That would be somewhat odd given the tape CNN currently airs at 10pm. Obviously with Breitbart’s death a new option for 11 would have to be considered. The questions going forward are 1) will CNN continue to pursue an 11pm strategy? and 2) Will CNN still seriously consider going back to a format of show it dropped and subsequently did everything it could to distance itself from as a viable option for its brand? Time will tell…

Update: Politico’s Dylan Byers has CNN shooting down the story

Harnden reports that CNN had no comment on the matter. But a spokesperson with CNN tells me that Harnden’s report is “totally false.”

“It’s totallly false,” CNN’s Edie Emery said. “CNN was not in discussions.”


15 Responses to “Breitbart to CNN? What was the network up to?”

  1. I still think it was a joke.

  2. I’m not convinced this story is true, or at least the part about CNN actually considering it, but aside from their disgraces Weiner is at all like Spitzer. His function as a congressman was to argue down the opposition at every opportunity and he fulfilled that duty superbly. Crass and loud, can you think of anyone better than Breitbart to balance him out for a television programme?

    11:00 PM would not be a bad idea for trying out something new. If it didn’t work out they could easily go back to reruns without upsetting what they already have on the air.

  3. savefarris Says:

    I doubt this ever got past the “hey, wouldn’t this be an intersting idea” phase. No WAY CNN would give Brietbart the soapbox. Not to mention the hellstorm that would reign down from the White House, Media Matters, and all the other fellow travelers in the press would make it their life’s mission to kill the show.

  4. If nobody’s screaming about what you did then you know you didn’t do much.

  5. joeremi Says:

    Any network that would hire Dana Loesch – Breitbart’s surrogate – would hire Andrew in a heartbeat. That show would have been GREAT.

  6. I can imagine Anthony Weiner going for it, too. Reinventing his image and making a decent salary in the process, Breitbart would’ve been his best buddy.

  7. lonestar77 Says:

    I’m such an idiot. Have heard this story all day but just finally remembered the Weiner/Breitbart connection.

    Breitbart will be missed.

  8. carolmr Says:

    Would have been much more interesting than Parker/Spitzer.

  9. Woulda knocked the snot out of Hannity Squared. Except for, you know, not airing at the same time.

  10. joeremi Says:

    Breitbart nukes Weiner’s career; Weiner manages to hold onto his marriage, and now has an infant at home; then Breit drags him back onstage for a new career to feed his family with, softening Breitbart’s image in the process. I can’t believe we’re gonna miss this.

  11. What a scary prospect. It would have been an absolute screaming match for an hour a day. If you thought Spitzer was intense, Weiner vs. Brietbart would have been like Spitzer on meth. Given CNN’s recent track record with new shows (Parker/Spitzer, In the Arena, OutFront, Starting Point, Early Start) I think they need to do the exact opposite of whatever crank idea pops into their little brain.

  12. Only thing weirder would be if we had discussed this last weekend.

  13. Yeah I don’t think that was real and CNN does need to think of something at 10pm not 11pm. and would they really try something stupid twice?

  14. ^ Yes, yes they would. CNN has changed their tagline from “Worldwide Leader in News” to “You think that was a dumb idea? What until you see this…”

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