About a week ago, MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan (host of the imaginatively titled The Dylan Ratigan Show) announced that he was leaving the network in order "to collaborate and join with some of these leaders to experiment and explore new ways to tell their stories." The leaders he's referring to are of course the various political movers and shakers he's had on his program. It was also announced that The Martin Bashir Show would be moving to Ratigan's 4pm slot, and a suitable replacement news hour would soon be created to fill the void Bashir left at 3pm.
As of yesterday, the void has been filled. Debuting next Monday, The Cycle will be a panel style news discussion show, with a permanent cast of four hosts and various guest contributors participating in spirited debates about the current events of the day. The four co-hosts are conservative commentator (and frequent Bill Maher guest) S.E. Cupp, author and pundit Toure (frequent contributor to The Last Word With Lawrence O'Donnell), Salon writer Steve Kornacki (who seems to appear on every MSNBC show ever aired), and hilariously named former congressional candidate turned analyst Krystal Ball. Sorry, but that name is funny and no one will convince me otherwise.
The new series has immediately drawn criticism for being deriviate of FOX News' afternoon show The Five, but The Cycle's producers dismiss that claim due to the "panel show" format being almost as old as TV news itself. When faced with further criticism about MSNBC's daytime lineup becoming more and more dependent on opinion shows and less on straight news, Executive producer Steve Friedman said this - "Cable television is programs about the news. It’s no longer the news. Nobody turns on to find out what happens, because they already know from you guys. What people are interested in is listening and watching people give their take." While that's not an entirely inaccurate statement, I'd argue that TV viewers respond less to hard news reporting now in part because they've been conditioned to by cable news' graudal de-evoluition into sideshow partisan mudslinging.
Do you think that The Cycle is a ripoff of FOX's The Five? Do you agree that cable news is a big reason why American news reporting is in such bad shape?