By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Brownout at CNN

I realize not everyone shares my enthusiasm for Aaron Brown’s unusual blend of intelligence, irony and befuddlement. At its best — that is, before Jonathan Klein started mucking around with it — Brown’s “NewsNight” show on CNN was the closest thing on television to NPR. Not nearly as good, mind you, but similar in tone and lack of condescension.

It’s been clear for some time that Klein wanted to whack Brown. I’d been hoping that Klein would get whacked first. It didn’t happen. Brown is out, to be replaced by Klein’s golden boy, Anderson Cooper. The only reason to watch CNN (other than when Larry King has a good guest) is gone.

I’d make Brown the anchor of an expanded network newscast. But I know it’s not going to happen. I don’t detest Cooper, and I wish him well. But I won’t be watching much, either.

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  1. Ajay

    I hardly ever watch any news channel but Brown did come across as non partisan , non condescending and knowledgable.I especially liked his recent dialogue with A Huffington about why Left is after Judy Miller’s stand on 1st Amendment——

  2. Anonymous

    Interesting … Mark had a completely opposite take on this CNN story. As one who only sees “cable” when travelling — I’m not British, so I won’t pay for TV — I don’t have a dog in this fight, but this sounds like the passing of something intellectually respectable enough to mourn.– Bill R

  3. Anonymous

    Bill, I am not sure I concur with your dig at publicly-financed British TV boradcasting.However we’d like to submit boradcasting to market tests, I do like the idea of having everyone contribute a small amount to finance a service that is akin to education in its stated mission, if done right and the Birts do have some great people behind their channels. I am not sure it is a failed experiment unless a rapacious Rush Limbaugh Ditto head would scoff at even a measly little fee as if it were a full’ fledged tax burden, as he usually to label everything he and his ilk would like curtailed.That setup keeps broadcasting above politics -as humanly possible- and beyond bias until its desire to be fair and honest clashes inconveniently with the Blair government. Then sparks fly. But I’d still take their experiment anyday over our rudderless media these days.N.

  4. BetaMistress

    If CBS can’t be bothered to hire him, maybe he can follow Olberman over to MSNBC and replace that screaming banshee Rita Cosby 🙂

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