I certainly understand newly-minted CNN head honcho Jeff Zucker wanting to clean house by firing such shrill partisan voices as Soledad O’Brien and Roland Martin. But am I the only one who’s noticed the influx of British journalists on CNN late at night? When the massive explosion at the fertilizer plant in West, Texas occurred last week, CNN’s late night coverage (around 11:30 PM pacific time/2:30 AM eastern) featured a pair of journalists in the CNN studio reporting the heartland of America with posh upper crust BBC accents with the same coolly dispassionate, distanced anthropological tone, as well, Mr. Obama himself. (Who are these strange Americans?) If you’re not a captive viewer in the airport departure lounge, if you’re say, someone from Texas who’s clicking through the cable channels to figure out what the heck just happened, who are you going to watch, Fox News, which goes out of its way – not the least of which in tone – to demonstrate its love of middle America, or this strange BBC-CNN hybrid?
Is this a trend at CNN? It certainly seems to be, from the late night coverage I’ve been seeing for the past week. Now that CNN has quit breaking news and rebranded itself as “CNN Classic,” as satirist Andy Borowitz of the New Yorker described his fellow liberal journalists there, is Zucker running the feed from CNNi (“the anti-American channel,” as Fox’s Roger Ailes once dubbed it) late at night to double-up and cut costs as the ratings continue to collapse? Is he trying out farm team second stringers from that channel or the BBC late at night to see who makes the cut? Is Piers smuggling his fellow Brits into the studio? Or is it something else entirely?