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Blitzed by Wolf

Starting Monday, CNN CNN is dramatically shaking up its afternoon lineup with the introduction of a three-hour program -- from 3 to 6 p.m. -- called "The Situation Room" and hosted by Wolf Blitzer. Wolf Blitzer bio

Broken into three separate segments -- the first hour will focus on security issues, the second hour will concentrate on politics and the third hour will be constructed as an early evening newscast -- "The Situation Room" promises lots of action, energy, correspondents, pundits and such high tech accouterments as multiple plasma screens and video walls.


Earlier today, Blitzer, 57, the veteran newsie-turned-linchpin of CNN's new daytime strategy, chatted with Media Log about the new enterprise.


Asked about the title of the program, Blitzer said it was named after the White House Situation Room which is the nerve center in any national crisis. "They can weave in, bring in all of their people," he said. "The theory was 'hey, the president has his own 'sit' room, Why not have our own 'sit' room? Let's get [CNN reporters and analysts] all involved in a time of day when things are still fluid.'"

In talking about the philosophy of the new show, he said: "We're going to go back to basic journalism roots. I'm committed to getting hard news on the air...I'm not saying we're creating the wheel. News is news."


While Blitzer says that hard news will be mixed with commentary from CNN analysts, he also vowed that there would be no cable news shouting head moments. "I'm not going to let it deteroriate into screaming or shouting," he said. "It's not going to be a food fight or anything else."


The show, with its many moving parts (CNN hypes it as an effort to "Deliver Dynamic, Real-time Reports on Security, Politics, World Affairs") is clearly designed to create a sense of energy and urgency. But Blitzer insists the idea isn't to overdramatize the news or scare the heck out of the viewer.


"If it's a slow news day, I'm not gonna predict the world is ending because then you lose all your credibility," he asserts. "If you forgive the expression, I'm not gonna cry 'wolf' every day
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