Why CNN Changes Things Up With Its Debates

Mediaite’s Joe Concha wonders why Jake Tapper isn’t doing the Democratic Presidential Candidate debate…

But the real question is: Why isn’t Jake Tapper working this debate as well? He is the face of the network when it comes to all-things-politics.

No he isn’t. He could be. But he’s not. That’s the thing about CNN and politics…it treats politics like it does all its other stories…it floods the zone with too many people covering too many angles.

There is no single go to person at CNN. There hasn’t been since Bernard Shaw retired.

It’s now more of an oligarchy of four to seven people depending on the story. We are talking essentially Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, Jake Tapper, John King (moreso before he lost his show), Don Lemon (for all the wrong reasons), Chris Cuomo, and Christiane Amanpour.

Who has been anchoring CNN’s election nights the past decade or so? Cooper and Blitzer.

CNN spreads the wealth around to its top guns and has for over a decade. It’s the way the network is now.

CNN’s bench is wider than FNC’s in this regard. That is no slight against FOX…it’s just a fact. CNN overdoes everything including how many chefs it uses for its politics coverage. FNC concentrates its politics coverage amongst a small central core. CNN dissipates it amongst as many top line people as it can get away with, regardless of suitability.

It is as much a difference in style as it is in substance between the two networks.

So I wasn’t surprised to see Cooper and Lemon fronting CNN’s Democrat debate. Would Tapper make the more natural fit? Of course. But so would Blitzer. So would King. At least one or both will get their turn soon enough.

As long as Jake Tapper doesn’t have a prime time show and Wolf Blitzer hasn’t retired, don’t be expecting Tapper to have the lead role in politics coverage. Instead, expect him to be just one of CNN’s more prominent cogs in its big political coverage machine.

6 Responses to “Why CNN Changes Things Up With Its Debates”

  1. […] ICN:  Tapper is out, while Coop and Don Lemon are in…but why not? […]

  2. Well said Spud. I share your assessment about Jake Tapper.

    Plus if the many untrusting critics of Tapper from the left on Twitter are any indication, perhaps the DNC felt more comfortable with Cooper and Dana Bash with Don Lemon in a minor role reading questions posted on Facebook.

    There is a reason Jake is held in such high regard by so many on the right. He’s perceived as friendly Republicans and Conservatives regardless whether this is justified,

  3. Who moderates the debate isn’t as important as the format. The fact CNN is going with 4 moderators says to me we are going to have them and not the debaters be the focus of the debate. You can expect to see a lot of AC handing off to DL who will read a Facebook question from a viewer. I hope I’m wrong but I expect not.

  4. as usual the conch is clueless. look out, he can’t take it.

  5. Joe is not clueless. He presents his arguments well. I don’t agree with all of them but they (mostly) are well thought out.

  6. “He’s perceived as friendly Republicans and Conservatives regardless whether this is justified”

    Actually, he’s perceived as fair. And, he’s almost just as tough on Dems as he is on Republicans. That’s why he’s respected. Liberals are used to everyone outside of FNC being allies and defenders of theirs, as opposed to being journalistically fair.

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