CNN's decision to replace commentator Lou Dobbs with veteran reporter John King may be the final test of whether traditional hard news reporting can survive against the fire and brimstone commentators who have fascinated huge audiences on Fox News, MSNBC and even CNN's sister operation, HLN, several publications observed on Thursday. The San Francisco Chroniclequoted Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism, as saying that "cable has become so ideologically focused" that it raises the question: "Can you build a primetime audience around people who are not ideologues? We don't know." Former CNN anchor Bobbie Battista had mixed feelings about the move. "The journalist in me absolutely believes in what they're doing, that it's the best strategy to be the most trusted network. The programmer in me is saying, 'Wow! That's going to be tough to win,'" she told the Atlanta-Journal-Constitution. "The move is a gamble," the Los Angeles Timesobserved. And online comments from viewers seemed to underline how big a gamble it may be. "Now CNN is totally worthless," wrote one viewer on the Arizona Starwebsite.


Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin has told Oprah Winfrey that she was immediately aware that her interview with Katie Couric was going badly during the first segment but that Republican campaign officials urged her to press on with it nevertheless. "That is why Segment 2 and 3 and 4 and maybe 5 were scheduled. The campaign said, 'Right on. Good. You're showing your independence. This is what America needs to see and it was a good interview.' And of course I'm thinking, if you thought that was a good interview, I don't know what a bad interview is because I knew it was a bad interview." Palin appeared on Winfrey's program to promote her new book, Going Rogue, in which she accuses Couric of "badgering" her and having a "partisan agenda." She also accuses ABC newsman Charles Gibson of appearing to be bored by discussions of "substantive issues" and that while interviewing her, he "peered skeptically" over his reading glasses like a disapproving school principal.


The editor of the gay-oriented website has called upon others in the gay press to go easy on Gleecast member Chris Colfer (or, as he puts it, "zip it and cut the kid some slack") on disclosing his sexual orientation. The 19-year-old actor plays a character struggling with his sexuality in the hit new series. In an editorial appearing on the AfterElton website on Thursday, Michael Jensen observed that the senior gay publication The Advocatehad inferred from a comment that Colfer had made in an interview that he was openly gay. (Asked whether he was "out" in high school, Colfer replied, "Oh, no. People are killed in my hometown for that."). However, Colfer later told USAthat he wished to keep his sexuality "private," explaining, "As much as I give away of my personal life, the less people will believe me as other characters." Jensen commented that such questioning by interviewers is inappropriate when it comes to persons under 21 and noted that Colter's remarks had triggered "some very unpleasant comments on other sites." Reporters, Jensen said, were "out of bounds" for "putting that much pressure on someone so young -- someone who might very well not have yet dealt with their sexuality."


Stepping up its competition with traditional television, the YouTube website announced Wednesday that beginning next week, many video clips will be available in full 1080p high-definition, the top quality for home-theater systems. Previously, its HD-branded clips were available in second-tier 720p, the maximum resolution for most smaller-screen HDTV sets. The website further announced that many clips already available in 720p are being re-encoded to 1080p HD.