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September 11, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

CNN decided to relaunch its political-debate show Crossfire a week early so as to take advantage of the controversy over President Obama’s plan to launch a limited strike against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces as “punishment” for his alleged use of chemical weapons against insurgents. The cable news network’s decision appeared to backfire in the face of widespread opposition to the president’s plan from both the right and left, the two sides facing off in Crossfire. The Huffington Post described the debate as “notably not contentious.” The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple said that “the proceedings felt like any old cable- or network-news talkfest.” Dylan Byers, the columnist, remarked that the two co-hosts appeared “remarkably uncomfortable.” The result was not quite a bust. Fox News Channel, which ran a Special Report with Bret Baier about Syria, drew more than 2.4 million viewers. Crossfire drew 581,000, according to Nielsen Research. Nevertheless, that was up 44 percent from the previous week.