Soledad Strikes Back

by Patrick Brennan

CNN host Soledad O’Brien gave an interview to The Hollywood Reporter yesterday in which she hit back at conservative accusations of her bias. She explains, “I don’t think I show bias in my TV show. . . . Am I a liberal or conservative? I’m neither. Like most Americans, I find politics very frustrating. Like most Americans, I’d like to hear from politicians the facts. That is what drives me.” For one, it’s quite clear that she has no interest in the facts, as I’ve explained, and instead uses her putative role of providing the facts to push various agendas, most of which involve defending President Obama from legitimate criticisms. Secondly, while I don’t expect her to admit the obvious (that she regularly provides partisan defenses of Democrats in her role as a host on an ostensibly objective news network), it would be nice if she didn’t claim that she is “neither” a liberal or a conservative. Hosts like Anderson Cooper will admit their ideological preferences but then make an earnest attempt to treat both sides fairly; O’Brien does precisely the opposite, claiming specifically that she is unbiased and interested in the facts, and then doing a particularly bad job of it by providing a leftward-slanted view of the issues.

I will concede this: She justifiably defends herself against attacks about her reading off of a printed post from Talking Points Memo, a liberal blog (something Rush Limbaugh leapt on), arguing that she was just using it to read a quotation from Ron Wyden. This is true. For once.