Crossfire Review #1
The Daily Caller feels compelled to present our first, and hopefully last, review of the new version of CNN’s vaunted ‘Crossfire.’ For Review #1, we will focus on the show’s Monday debut starring President Obama’s 2012 deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, and guests Sens. Rand Paul and Bob Menendez.
To watch this latest incarnation of Crossfire is to confront, head-on, the defining unspoken reality of human existence: bad people like Stephanie Cutter can climb, in defiance of taste and public demand, to a position of success.
A loathsome creature like Stephanie Cutter, the roots jutting out from her blonde dye job as black as the recesses of her soul, can push her way onto national television to sit next to a former Speaker of the House and two sitting U.S. senators. A charmless, dead-eyed, tacky sociopath with no sense of ethics, an empty shell spewing her flat-throated bile without the slightest trace of self-awareness, can beat all of us to the front of the Darwinian line.
A figure of hatred and dishonesty, a person devoid of any pleasantness or redeeming human value, a treadmill-stomping, Starbucks-chugging monument to modern self-absorption, someone incapable of appreciating good art, fine food, or the love or kindness of her fellow man, can shove and kick and lie her way ahead of the rest of us in this misbegotten society. This unmitigated monster can appear before us, talentless, grating, fraudulently tanned, thrusting in our faces the career trophies she earned simply because we didn’t care enough to stop her from getting them.
Who is responsible for this speed-talking tragedy? Who, among us, will stand in the public square and admit “I helped cause Stephanie Cutter.” Will anyone? Should we all?
Stephanie Cutter is feminism mutated into grotesque cartoon. She is the 90-IQ suburbanite Student Council vice president smugly doodling her gel pens in the front row of the class, mixed with the ranting fever dreams of the Smith College lecture halls, doused with half a dash of unearned metropolitan haughtiness and marinated in the despicable shouting matches of post-Carville politicking. She is Carrie Bradshaw without the literacy, Chelsea Handler without the punch lines, Kirsten Powers without the prettiness, gorging her face with the spoils of ill-gotten first-world privilege. How did we allow this American with a Social Security number to power-walk through the halls of our society for 44 years (yes, Stephanie, forty-four) without recognizing the warning signs?
The ‘Crossfire’ debut dwells on the subject of Syria, with colorful Gingrich and good doctor Rand Paul and (cough) Bob Menendez debating the merits of U.S. military intervention. But their voices were lost amid the cackles and jagged bursts of violent faux-laughter put forth by makeup-coated Cutter. By the time she chokes out her staged “Ceasefire” in agreement with Gingrich at the show’s long-awaited end, we the viewers have squirmed, have sighed, have shaken our heads in suspended disbelief, have clutched our sides in indescribable, throbbing pain. She leaves us exhausted in our discomfort.
Did America request this? Could Jeff Zucker have possibly taken any focus group data before sitting Stephanie Cutter before his cameras? What perverted kind of ‘Q’ rating could have convinced these cable executives that middle-income 18-to-49 year olds desire an evening date with this catty air-kissing backstabbing specimen? Where are the John and Jane Q. Citizens crying out and calling in, “Give us more Cutter”?
Why? On behalf of every cute, shy, intelligent young woman rejected by sororities at the fuchsia nails of clipboard-toting middle managers like Cutter, we ask, ‘why?’ On behalf of every hardworking man forced to report to vaguely qualified female “corporate consultants” in a post-Anita Hill world, we ask, ‘why?’
Is that the point? Are we supposed to see visions of the worst villains from our own lives while gazing up at the specter of Cutter, conjuring in us an indescribable stew of self-disgust that will keep us coming back, masochistically, to this demented cable program like the characters of the Marquis de Sade?