This year’s TV season has a number of throwback moments – from Queen Latifah and Arsenio Hall returning to host talk shows to Michael J. Fox’s return to sitcom television. On the news side, CNN is presenting its own throwback TV under new boss and former NBC honcho Jeff Zucker.
“Crossfire,” the show that pitted a liberal against a conservative for spirited debate, was a big part of CNN’s early days. Now it’s back, this time starring activist/attorney Van Jones and politician Newt Gingrich. “Good debates and discussions are going to be the whole point of “Crossfire,” Jones told The Tom Joyner Morning Show. “We’re going to get a topic and go at it.”
Jones is well-known for his work as an environmental activist. He was appointed Special Advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the White House Council on Environmental Quality by President Barack Obama in 2009, a job he resigned from that same year because of conservative objection to controversial statements he’d made in the past.
That shouldn’t prove to be a problem on “Crossfire.”
‘“Crossfire’ was one of the most famous shows in the world when it went off the air in 2005. Everybody said it was too partisan. But after that, TV got worse, even crazier. Now you have whole stations where it’s just one political point of view, another political point of view, with no overlap. This is going to be a show where everybody’s going to come to the table. You can’t just attack a liberal and a liberal’s not there. You can’t just attack a conservative and the conservatives aren’t there. You have to sit across the table from somebody and go toe to toe with them for 30 minutes on a key topic of the day.”
Jones says “Crossfire” will talk Syria tonight ahead of President Obama’s speech and the possibility of military intervention in the troubled region. Jones says he hopes that a peaceful outcome can be reached.
“Last night John Kerry accidentally said ‘Well if the Syrians would give up their chemical weapons, we wouldn’t jump on ‘em.’ It was a throwaway line off the top of his head. It wasn’t even a part of his speech. The Syrians and the Russians said ‘OK, we’ll do it.’ It could be that the President putting all those warships outside of Syria may actually lead us to a peaceful outcome. Hopefully the president will lay out a vision and strategy that will get us out of this without war.”
To go to war, the President needs Congressional approval, which Jones hopes never gets put to a vote.
“Delay the vote forever. You can’t vote against the President on this, it would destroy his Presidency. We opposed George Bush for going to the United Nations with phony evidence but we didn’t go the U.N. with this yet at all with Obama. We said Bush was wrong for pulling together a flimsy, phony coalition of the willing, but we don’t have any coalition pulled together yet on this one. We said George W. Bush was wrong for having a plan to win the war, but not the peace, but right now, with Obama, we don’t have a plan for the war or the peace.
It doesn’t have to be you’re with Obama or against Obama, but delay the vote and let this thing play itself out a few more months. The way it’s going it’s going to work in Obama’s favor. You don’t have to have the vote, you don’t have to have the military strike, the Syrians and Russians are coming to the table. It can all work out well without a war. ”
“Crossfire” airs weeknights at 6:30 p.m. on CNN.