[CNN] has in fact recently transformed itself into the Cadaver News Network. Between its non-stop coverage of Michael Jackson’s demise (that was a guy who really knew how to make an exit), the 24/7 coverage of the death of Teddy Kennedy that has now (probably temporarily) usurped it and the age of most of its commentators and viewers, CNN is one of those ideas I feel as though I have seen gone through its full life cycle — from laughing stock to parody of itself.
Candidly, it’s hard to imagine the world without CNN and when global crises strike — as most recently in the case of the Iranian uprisings — it can roll out its really good journalists and provide the sort of coverage that revolutionized the business. But it has never really figured out in almost three decades of existence what to do the rest of the time. Some of its answers to that question, like Larry King, are both superannuated and intoxicated with sheer trivia (otherwise how do you explain the appearance of Kate Gosselin, a woman who any respectable news organization ought to treat like intellectual ebola virus, something that once in your system pretty much dooms your credibility to bleed out through every orifice?)