Third place cable news network CNN, which has been struggling to find a niche between the conservative Fox News and liberal MSNBC, will be the only network carrying the alternate Republican response tonight from Michele Bachmann.
When questioned about this Greg Sargent  received this response from CNN:
“The Tea Party has become a major force in American politics and within the Republican Party. Hearing the Tea Party’s perspective on the State of the Union is something we believe CNN’s viewers will be interested in hearing and we are happy to include this perspective as one of many in tonight’s coverage.”
As Sargent noted, this has some Republicans upset as they fear it portrays the party as divided at a time they need to put up a united front. But Dave Weigel pointed out that CNN has a romance brewing with the Tea Party Express since they will be sponsoring a presidential debate with the group later this year.
For CNN this only adds to the confusion of what their message really is. Up to now they have rather unconvincingly tried to portray their approach as being straight down the middle though they clearly have tilted left. Now it seems like they are trying to overcompensate by covering the Bachmann speech which will at least temporarily attract some conservatives to the network tonight.
Even if some in the GOP aren’t crazy about another SOTU response tonight this does give them another bite at the apple, so to speak, and will surely set the liberals on fire for having done so.