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Friday, July 18, 2008

Kings on Friday

Last week, Larry King got his own square in Hollywood. Wolf Blitzer showed a clip from the dedication on The Situation Room.

We haven’t seen a whole lot of John King on CNN recently. He was among those that were at the 2008 Summer TCA Tour. Kate O’Hare spoke with him and has posted several audio files of their conversation. Here’s a clip from her discussion with him about the Magic Wall.

He is also working on a documentary about John McCain.

Steven Bochco and John King at the 2008 Summer TCA Tour Turner Party.
(Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)

John King can be heard regularly on Monday mornings on the Bill Press Show. This past Monday, about mid way through the segment, there was a mention of a Washington Post article that talks about King’s comments from the 2008 Summer TCA Tour.

Here are few excerpts from the article that was mentioned:

That's when John King jumped in, saying, "We're far from perfect, and we try to learn from lessons every single day."

Um-hum. Right after the "Saturday Night Live" skit.

"But I would also remind you that we have to cover the game at the moment," King continued. "And the Clinton campaign started by presenting itself almost as the incumbent: 'We are inevitable. We are a powerhouse. We have more money. We have more organization. We have a stronger, more tested candidate. . . . The Clintons are coming back to power.'

"That was their pitch, and so we covered them as the fortress Clinton."

"I've done six of these, and this is by far the most consequential election of my lifetime, and if we can't find a way to make that interesting and compelling, well, then I should go back to tending bar," said King, getting more interesting by the minute.

Just when the CNN newsies were getting to the clapping-their-little-hands-in-excitement stage, one grumpykins critic started chastising them for their enthusiasm.

"Isn't your job to take what they say, to analyze it, to hold it against their former quotes, to show how the policies may change, and screw the drama?" Mr. Crankypants asked. "Isn't your job to help people make . . . their own decision on their votes, instead of just trying to make these conventions interesting?"

"I would argue -- I'm going to cut out of the line here -- I would argue not to screw the drama: Marry and challenge the drama," responded King, who is now definitely our favorite person on cable news.

"It's their convention. They have the right to do whatever they want at their convention and we have a right to cover it," he said.

"To me, the issues -- Iraq, Afghanistan, international relations, the Middle East, climate change, taxes, health care -- the undone list from both the Clinton administration and the Bush . . . neither one could get big things done because Washington is this polarized game of politicians spitting at each other right now. If we don't challenge that, then we're not doing our job.

"I think you can do that within the drama."

On Thursday morning, King was on EPSN Radio’s Mike & Mike. ESPN has posted the podcast of the conversation on their website, but you need to be an Insider member to access it.

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