LOS ANGELES — The original political shout-fest is coming back.
CNN said “Crossfire,” which was a staple of the cable news channel for over 20 years before being canceled in 2005, will return to its schedule this fall.
“Few programs in the history of CNN have had the kind of impact on political discourse that ‘Crossfire’ did — it was a terrific program then, and we believe the time is right to bring it back and do it again,” said CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker in a statement. “We look forward to the opportunity to host passionate conversation from all sides of the political spectrum.”
“Crossfire” will keep its format of having right-wingers and left-wingers square off. Representing the right will be former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and columnist S.E. Cupp. Former Obama campaign manager Stephanie Cutter and Van Jones, founding president of “Rebuild the Dream,” a progressive think tank, will represent the left.
When it premiered in 1982, “Crossfire” then hosted by Pat Buchanan and Tom Braden, became one of CNN’s most popular shows. Over the years, its hosts have included the late Robert Novak, Mary Matalin, Michael Kinsley and James Carville.
Toward the end of its long run, “Crossfire” was accused by critics of lowering the intellectual level of discourse and being more interested in the political process than in serious issues. “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart famously went on the show in 2004 and told then-hosts Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala that “Crossfire” was “hurting America” and was nothing more than “partisan hackery.”