Crossfire... utterly debased
So, not learning their lesson from the Jon Stewart incident, Crossfire had Triumph the Insult Comic Dog on the show yesterday. The Washington Post summarizes the encounter, which I unfortunately missed, since I don't watch Crossfire. I didn't see Jon Stewart's appearance either, but I did read a transcript.
As it turns out, the problem with Stewart's critique of Crossfire was that he gives them too much credit. Commentator shows along the lines of Crossfire, even the much-beloved Firing Line, are more about theater first and edification or frank exchanges of views second (or third.) This was nowhere more clear than when SNL started a series of parody sketches in the early 90s of the McLaughlin group. The sketches weren't actually funnier than the McLaughlin group, but that's part of the problem.
If Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala (hard to believe these third stringers are all they can get for the show that used to have first-rate party hacks like Bob Novak and Bill Press) want to be taken more seriously, this isn't the way to do it. If they want second careers as straight-men for abusive comedy, this is a promising start.