- Posted September 10, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
'Crossfire' Returns Without Sparks in Debut
Monday night CNN brought back the iconic 1980s bombastic opinons and egos gone ballistic show, Crossfire. But don't expect from the opener to see the same sparks and fireworks that became a staple of the opinion-debating show we all loved to hate.
With hosts Stephanie Cutter on the left and Newt Gingrich on the right, the show talked about - what else? - Syria with Senators Bob Menendez and Rand Paul. Menendez espoused the need to give President Barack Obama authorization to use military force to punish Syrian President Bashar al Assad for use of chemical weapons. Paul took the opposing position that intervention of any kind in Syria was not what was in the best interest of the US of A and would go against the will of the people.
Cutter and Gingrich were rather mute throughout the show. At one point when Menendez was trying to make the case for hitting Syria, Gingrich wanted to butt in, but Cutter placed a hand on his forearm. The effect had an immediate result where Gingrich noticeably backed off the intensity seen in his face to interrupt the Senator who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which on a split vote sent a measure to the full Senate to OK use of force in Syria.
The entire show seemed so sedate that one would think the hosts had downed tranquilizers before taking the stage. Paul, who is known to speak his mind and do so with vigor, came across as cowed while sitting at the table. He made his points, but with no fire in the belly passion. Menendez was center stage for most of the half hour and was the most passionate, but only by degrees compared to the other three.
All four of those taking part in the debut were in agreement that the proposal from Russia and accepted by Syria to place Syrian stockpiles of chemical weapons under international control was an option worth pursuing. There was skepticism all around, however, just how serious the Syrians and Russians were.
That debate and skepticism continues this morning with "experts" weighing in on the morning news shows.
To be honest (don't you love it when people use that phrase?), at times the show was yawn inspiring.
Question is will the show become more like the Crossfire of yesteryear as it develops?
Will the teaming of Van Jones and S.E. Cupp be better television than the toned-down performances of Cutter and Gingrich on Monday evening?
The show returns tonight at its regular timeslot of 6:30 p.m. (ET).
From the Cornfield, the initial outing of the new Crossfire left me longing for what the show once was. I am not sure if the buttoned-down, more polite and genteel format will capture viewers.