TCA: CNN plays politics

POSTED BY STUART LEVINE

The CNN political team arrived at TCA with an plenty of enthusiasm for the current election. That rah-rah spirit for the presidential race is being mirrored around the country, and not just by the political junkies.

The first question was a great one, and put the folks on stage back on their heels a bit: Did a “Saturday Night Live” skit reshape the entire way the campaign is covered, in that Hillary was getting all the tough questions and Obama the softballs?

Gloria Borger rebuked the premise.

“Barack didn’t get as soft coverage as everyone thought. He did get some tough coverage. If you asked him if he was treated with kid gloves, he would say no. If you asked Hillary, she would say yes.”

John_kingAdded John King: “You have to remember, the Clinton campaign came in as the incumbent. It was the Clintons coming back to power, so we covered that with a skeptical eye.”

Everyone agreed the upcoming conventions will provide political fireworks, and the not the dog-and-pony shows of the past.

“Does George Bush even go on the stage?” asked Borger. “Does he do it by remote? What do you do with a president with a 28% approval rate?”

“Conventions give us a fascinating opportunity,” said King. “This is the most consequential election of my lifetime.”

Closing the sesh, one scribe asked if CNN was being too boastful every time it touts itself as the best political team on television. Wolf Blitzer defending the claim.

“We really believe that,” Blitzer chimed in via satellite from Washington, D.C. “It’s not just those on camera, but behind the camera. I have no problem branding us as the best.”

Said David Bohrman, senior VP and D.C. bureau chief: “If Wolf says it, it must be true.”

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