New CNN president Jonathan Klein offered a novel theory about why there aren’t more progressives on television (Charlie Rose Show, 3/25/05): They aren’t angry enough. When asked if there could ever be a successful progressive version of Fox News Channel, Klein explained that while Fox was tapping into a brand of “mostly angry white men” conservatism,
If Klein really thinks progressives “don’t get too worked up,” it might be because he’s watching too much CNN, where centrists are often booked to stand in for bona fide progressives (Extra!, 9-10/04.) But outside the CNN studios, millions of progressives have been denouncing the Patriot Act, organizing against the Iraq War and fighting attacks on Social Security.
As for progressives being “pretty morally relativistic,” Klein’s insult seems misapplied. It’s the right and not the left that tends to condemn the killing of civilians only when the civilians are the right nationality, and thinks torture may be acceptable if the right people are torturing. (See Extra!, 9-10/95)