I just love the symmetry of this story: You may recall that, ten years ago, Jon Stewart mixed self-righteousness, glibness, and common fucking sense to absolutely destroy Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala and the toxic brand of divisive political partisanship they were peddling at the time (interestingly, that brand of political journalism has only worsened, since). That argument with Jon Stewart didn’t immediately kill Crossfire, but you can definitely trace its cancellation back to that appearance.
Personally, I’ve always been a little conflicted about that appearance. Stewart said what needed to be said, he scored the most points, and he rightfully scolded and humiliated Carlson and Begala for “hurting America,” but he was also a giant dick in that interview, and while it may have been necessary, it always leaves me a little unsettled, like seeing your Dad yell at Mommy at the dinner table.
(Interestingly, a month after that appearance, the idea for The Colbert Report was hatched.)
Crossfire didn’t stay cancelled forever, however. CNN brought it back last year, and it was supposed to be less shrill, and less toxic (how that is possible with Newt Gingrich on the show seems baffling to me). At any rate, it didn’t catch on, so — ten years after Jon Stewart’s appearance on Crossfire — CNN cancelled the series for a second time.