CNN 'Starting' Over
How do you build a television news audience in the hyper-competitive morning market? It sure helps to make some actual news, as CNN's new show Starting Point is aiming to prove this year.
The show isn't delivering the big ratings Fox News or MSNBC attract in the morning, but it's aiming to make itself a necessary stopover on the morning circuit -- one that's already made news during the 2012 presidential primaries.
Mitt Romney chose CNN's show to declare he was "not concerned about the very poor," back in February, a flub that put Romney on defense and earned Starting Point host Soledad O'Brien credit.
Co-host John Fugelsang made news the next month when his question led Romney advisor Eric Fehrnstrom to compare the general election to shaking an Etch A Sketch. The interview went viral, and Fehrnstrom's comments instantly became a rallying cry for both Romney's Republican rivals and President Obama's campaign.
And O'Brien doesn't have a problem picking a fight. Last month, she took on Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., over his assertion that members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus were Communists. O'Brien demanded names, and West stumbled. Washington Post media blogger Erik Wemple called the interview "Edward R. Murrovian."