With all due respect to the other newspeople, it’s the year of Anderson Cooper, cable news everyman. There he is on the streets of New Orleans during Hurricane Gustav, dodging an unhinged shutter while simultaneously doing a live interview with Barack Obama via a satellite feed that keeps breaking up due to wind gusts. After a few days back at command central, he’s on the ground near Galveston awaiting Ike and asking the National Weather Center, on-camera, where’s the best spot to set up so he can cover the storm up close and personal without getting killed. On less eventful nights — and there haven’t been many of late — he displays the kind of polite pushiness we would demonstrate if only we were half as well-spoken as Cooper. He’s at his best when he’s talking down an imbroglio between Republicans and Democrats. We applaud the way he doesn’t try to completely conceal his irritation when he has to disclose, for the umpteenth time, that he’s doing X or Y segment on Obama because the show did the same for McCain the night before, or vice versa.
Jim Cramer, Mad Money With Jim Cramer, CNBC: As he’s fond of declaring, "Professor Cramer has entered the building!" And the world of investing has not been the same since. This Harvard-educated trader has the energy and smarts to cut through the elitist gibberish in a way that makes us want to quit our jobs and day-trade.
Keith Olbermann, Countdown With Keith Olbermann, MSNBC: There’s no one we’d rather recount the day’s top stories with than this energetic commentator. Not only do we get a solid sense of the most critical current events, but we always come away with a couple of great one-liners we can pass on to our peers.