- Posted September 22, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
What are you watching?
'Reliable Sources' Fizzles
For many years I have been a loyal fan and reliable viewer of CNN's "Reliable Sources" on Sunday mornings. The show until a few months ago had been hosted since its inception by Howard Kurtz.
After a few miscues or mispeaks in the last year, Kurtz moved from CNN to Fox News. Since his departure, CNN has relied on guest hosts.
The guest hosts, each in his or her own right, have been notable and worthy journalists. What the everchanging guest hosts have not been is as cutting or interesting as Kurtz. No, I haven't switched over to Fox to catch the new show nor have I plans to do so.
The sooner CNN can latch onto a permanent replacement, the better, I believe. The replacements thus far, much like those in the movie of the same name, are just not hitting the spot for me.
Perhaps it's the personalities. Perhaps I am too attached to Kurtz. Perhaps I am jaded having once been a news print hound in my other life.
Each Sunday morning I tune in hoping that the critiques, the editoralizing, the discussion of how to and how not to will be biting and to the heart of journalism. Each Sunday morning I switch the channel when the show ends at noon disappointed wanting more that doesn't seem to be coming.
A couple of the shows seemed to have a bit of spice, a bit of seasoning that whetted the appetite. But that licking of lips in hopes of a feast quickly dimminished as the main course remained dry and bland.
The difference I believe is how Kurtz and his guests had a way with connecting with the public at-large. The current guest hosts, while knowledgeable of the industry, don't convey the same ability to connect with the viewing audience, unless the target is other journalists.
One of my favorite authors/journalists was James Kilpatrick. Kilpatrick often espoused that as a journalist or a writer one must write to the audience.
Sure you want to use those million-dollar words that are lined in ivy leaf, but if the audience or intended target is more into slang, hot dogs and beer, then make sure your prose is understood and not left stranded in the nether lands of the stratosphere. Bring it down to Earth. Don't leave your audience running to a dictionary with every other phrase or sentence.
Thus far since Kurtz's departure, the guest hosts have not found that happy medium from where I sit in the Cornfield. There is a disconnect with the general viewing public and those on the inside of the media. The gap which is naturally there between reporters and the public is widening, but not necessary.
From the Cornfield, I want to keep watching, but CNN needs to settle on a permanent host and one with the ability to connect to not just the press, but every day folk. If the network doesn't act soon, the remote will be not far away as viewers keep flipping channels.