The BuzzFlash Mailbag
April 26, 2002 - Special Crossfire Edition
Thursday, April 25, 2002 7:28 AM
Please keep Paul Begala and James Carville on Crossfire. We finally have a real debate of the political issues of the day. The other networks present only a one sided view of today's issues! I try and tune in crossfire now every day because you are presenting both sides of all the important issue's!
Took your advice. Below is email to Sue Bunda. Before Begala and Carville "Crossfire" sucked.
Original Message -----
I thought you would like to see what I wrote to Sue Bunda.
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Just a quick note to let you know I watch "Crossfire" on CNN because you have Paul Begala and James Carville as 2 of the hosts. It really is nice that you choose to have 2 outspoken people on both political sides unlike the Fox News Channel that does not offer equally strong liberal hosts as they do conservative hosts.
I am a liberal and proud of it but I also like to see BOTH sides of politics fairly presented to the American people, as you are doing on "Crossfire." The Fox News Channel purports a "fair and balanced" report, which I have often found is far from what they actually air, therefore I very seldom watch them.
Thank you for a refreshing change for the better with the new "Crossfire" and for taking the time to read this.
[tried to send to regular crossfire email address but it wouldn't go thru]
rarely watched Crossfire before you had Begala & Carville as regulars.
I love them, especially james (Confidential Note to James: i love you,
james - leave mary, she doesn't appreciate you the way I do ||| :>)
JA). B&C may seem abrasive to the free republicans but imagine how
we progressive liberals have felt about all those right-leaning big mouths
on the Fox channel for the past five years. I wish the format of Crossfire
were a bit less jarring - but as for James and Paul, they give great tit
for tat with Tucker and Novak (boooooo!). I would not ask you to remove
T&N just because I disagree with their misguided and loudly held views.
I believe in free speech for BOTH sides. For too long, the
[BuzzFlash Note: See the Editorial Update for directions on where to send your comments.]
(To Crossfire; Isaacson; Bunda:)
To those concerned, above:
The irreverent format of Crossfire cuts both ways. Anybody agreeing to appear, from either side of the political spectrum, should be prepared to sit on the dunk-tank platform and get soaked. That's what makes the program so good. Keep Begala and Carville and let nature take its course!
David Dix, Waukesha, WI
Isn't it a shame that the Freeper goons are sniveling about Paul Begala and James Carville being "unfair" on CNN's Crossfire? It's such a pity that the Freeper right-wing goons don't have anyplace that caters to their twisted agenda. I know just how the GOP leaders' campaign to attack Crossfire will play out.
They'll go on:
Rush Limbaugh show where they'll say Begala and Carville are "unfair."
Horowitz will write a column saying Begala and Carville are "unfair."
Isn't it a shame that the radical right-wing is so restricted by CNN's Crossfire that they have to boycott that show like babies because they have no way to get their radical right-wing message out? Isn't it a shame that their twisted right-wing agenda is so fragile it can't take the tiniest bit of scrutiny by someone who "might" not give it sycophantic deference?
Hey, right wing. "Get over it."
What a great show! Very dynamic. Very unique. Nothing like it on TV. No one else is saying:
And the list goes on. These are important facts the public has a right to know, but you can hear hundreds of hours of cable political commentary without a single mention of this crucial information. Hooray for Crossfire for breaking the media silence!
I'm going to support your sponsors and buy their products.
Thank you for the *NEW* Crossfire! A year or two ago, I had despaired of finding anything resembling "fair and balanced" coverage on the mainstream broadcast and cable-cast media. (And I'm sorry to say I included CNN as a cause of that despair.) All I could see, as far as I could see, was ever-increasing pandering to the Right Wing.
But the new "Crossfire" with Carville and Begala is great!
Be honest: Did you finally figure out that progressives and liberals watched
TV too, and that the dollars that we spend on advertised goods are just
as green as Right Wing
Thanks again -- my wife and I will be watching any evening we can (via DirecTV)! Here's to a new day dawning at CNN...
Atlant G. Schmidt
Thank you for finally having panelists on Crossfire that actually are capable of engaging in intelligent, spirited debate. I have yearned to listen to people talk about the various factors and views on issues rather than engaging in fallacious spin or personal attack. Government policies and actions do effect me, and the world, and as such should be debated in a thoughtful, forthright, and intelligent manner. An informed electorate is the cornerstone to a representative type of government. The new Crossfire contributes to that goal.
When I travel I turn to CNN, never to FOX. I consider FOX on par with Robertson's 700 Club in its efforts to present biased news and slanted viewpoints.
Thanks again for having Carville and Begala as panelists on Crossfire.
I sent an e-mail to James and Paul and told them to tell the GOP "If they can't run with the big dogs, stay under the porch". They know they can't hold their own when it comes to bare facts! They are such wimps!!!
I don't know how many of these emails you can possibly read with what I'm sure is an extremely busy schedule, but I just want to thank you for the revised "Crossfire". I stopped watching "Crossfire" shortly after Michael Kinsley left; not out of any animus towards the program, but because of my own busy schedule.
When I saw that Paul Begala and James Carville were to be added to the program, I knew I'd have to begin watching again. There are far too few progressives on television and those on other programs (like Fox's Alan Colmes) are little more than window dressing for a strict right-wing political agenda. I've never thought of CNN as having an obvious agenda, but there have been questionable episodes of late and less-than-stellar journalism regarding the ultimate direction our current administration is taking us...and why.
I understand that CNN is a corporate entity, and fundamentally is subject to producing dollars for AOL Time Warner, but towards that end, I think that "Crossfire" will become hot for CNN. As more and more people understand what John Ashcroft's religious fervor and the Bush Administration's corporate elitism mean for the future of this nation, they will be looking to the media for people who are not afraid of taking on the status quo. Progressive thought can and will sell!
Note the success of Michael Moore's new book and the phenomenal turnout wherever he speaks these days. Or of the revelations found in David Brock's book, "Blinded by the Right". The popularity of these books and speakers shouldn't be taken as an anomaly.
I've lived long enough, Mr. Isaacson, to realize how much of life is cyclical. For the past twenty years or so, the body politic has drifted rightward in it's identity, yet the irony is that most people still espouse progressive values; the essence of which is still yearned for by billions around the globe.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and please continue to offer "Crossfire" to those of us who refuse to "boycott" the truth.
At first, when you revamped your show and replaced Bill Press, I was upset. I then gave your show a chance, and man am I glad that I did. FINALLY! Our voices on the Democratic side are being heard by literally millions of viewers around the country. We have been exposed to a media that has been the bully pulpit of the GOP for way too long, and voters do not know what our views are on many issues that face them. NOW they do thanks to Mr. Carville and Mr. Begala.
When you have the head of the GOP Mark Racicot refusing to answer a very simple questions if he is for or against McCain/Feingold asked by Mr. Carville. That should clue the viewers of this show into whose side the GOP is really on.
It is not the job of a news network to be anyone's bully pulpit, but the seeker of the facts. Then the viewing public can make up their own mind, and not their mind being made up for them.
I am glad to see that Mr. Carville and Mr. Begala have not sold out their loyalties to our Democratic party and for it's past leaders to the almighty dollar. Like we have seen with George Stephanopolis and Dick Morris. To those latter men I say good riddance. We do not need you anymore.
Lastly, we Democrats have dollars and we do spend them. But we watch where products are being advertised. We have already launched a campaign against Fox News as seen on BuzzFlash.com where Fox's news head Roger Ailes has been totally embarrassed by us. Where he called Bob Novak in an email to me "the old man" and where he called Tucker Carlson also in an email to me, "the kid twit". And this is the network you wish to imitate? Just remember CNN, we are watching you as well.
My e-mail to CNN
Thu, 25 Apr 2002 10:36:53 -0700 (PDT)
I would like to comment on the recent fury from conservatives in reference to Mr. Begala and Mr. Carville joining your "Crossfire" show.
It appears that those that support "the right" feel that their voice is the only voice that matters in this country. They couldn't be more wrong. I have not been tuning in to any news show for the past few years. The reason being is that I felt that moderates and liberals have been left out. Since Fox "News" has taken to the air with their "fair" and "balanced" reporting, it seems that all the other cable news networks have tired to copy Fox's right wing slant.
CNN has always been my favorite news network. But I feel that many news networks have been trying to stay ahead in ratings by appealing to more vocal right wing that has been complaining about the "liberal media". But that's all changing and I proud to see that CNN has the guts to produce a REAL "Fair and Balanced" show with "Crossfire".
Please keep up the good work. "Crossfire" has renewed my interest in CNN and is becoming a regular staple in my house.
Thank you for time,
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Ms. Sue and Mr. Issacson,
is just a note to tell you that I enjoy the new "Crossfire,"
and especially that I admire your moral courage in going against the pack
by having liberals who don't dry up and blow away. I am glad to have an
alternative to some right-wing blowhard beating up straw-man liberals,
and that I'm 100% with Paul Begala when he said, "If you want namby-pamby
I understand that some Republicans and the netizens of the Free Republic.com are complaining that Crossfire is "unfair." Like millions of others, I suspect that "unfair" means "no longer rigged in favor of my team." Exhibit A seems to be the cross-examination of Marc Racicot as he tried to evade answering a question about his support for campaign finance reform (at long last, he admitted he does not). Harsh? Perhaps. But Racicot's choices were either to answer the question, fight it out like he did, or stay off the program. If you can't stand the heat, Marc, stay out of the kitchen.
The Freepers are masters of coordinated e-mail campaigns intended to intimidate those (almost everyone) with whom they disagree. You are probably suffering through one now. Please don't cave.
To: Mr. Walter Isaacson, Ms. Sue Bunda, and others whom it may concern:
The new retooled "Crossfire" is great! Paul Begala and James Carville add a lot of fire and life to an old classic format. Their presence is a direct reason that I (and many others that I know) tune in to watch.
I'm sure you'll get some heavy pressure from conservatives who feel threatened by the new excitement that Begala and Carville bring to the mix. Don't change a thing! These guys make current events and politics interesting subjects again!
You've hit on a winning combination here. More, more!
for the heads-up regarding the spineless GOP and their orchestrated "boycott"
of Crossfire. I've never written to a TV programmer before, but I like
the new Crossfire so much I thought I'd better send them my thoughts since
I know it's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.
is the first time I've ever written anyone about a TV program. But when
I read that the GOP told its members not to go on Crossfire, I couldn't
believe it. I wanted you to know I am disappointed in their trepidation,
yet hopeful that there are still some Republicans with enough fortitude
to defy their leaders and engage in a fair debate on your show.
Thank you for having the courage to put these two on the air. I am enjoying "Crossfire" again, because they are able to convey a point of view that I have not heard since Bill Clinton dared to become elected President and defeat the elder Bush. Please, keep them on the air. I was devastated when your boss went to the republicans on the hill and essentially begged them to be nice to CNN. It seemed as if the right wingers had complete control of the media. But-- you surprised me and let two strong personalities on the air. I am, once again, watching "Crossfire."
Dear Ms. Bunda:
Much as I "hate" talking heads news shows, I have fallen in love with the new Crossfire. Previously, I didn't watch more than a few minutes of CNN a week, usually while surfing if a headline or image caught my eye. Now I watch every night, and have set the VCR to tape it if I'm out.
Now I have learned through multiple online sources that FreeRepublic has declared a jihad on the new Crossfire, and that the Republican Party has instructed prominent members not to go on the new show. I don't know whether to laugh or to cry?!
I gave up on the old Crossfire, McLaughlin Report and even the Sunday morning shows because I just couldn't stomach the gross imbalance of aggressive conservatives debating pants-wetting pseudo liberals. Carville and Begala are EXACTLY the kind of pundits I want to see representing liberals like myself. My ONLY critique would be that I think you'd improve the show by replacing Tucker Carlson with someone more willing to engage instead of constantly evading the topic or doing a bait and switch.
I've also been surprised by Begala's performance. He came on the scene after I stopped watching broadcast media news, and despite being very aware of his name, I didn't realize how good a debater he is. And Snakehead vs. The Prince of Darkness is the kind of matchup usually found only on MTV celebrity wrestling!
Everyone I know here in Minnesota is desperate for real political dialogue, and now, with the new Crossfire, we have it again.
otherwise noted, all original