CNN???s Wolf Blitzer did a great job tearing DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz to shreds, but alas, CNN also employs the hapless Soledad O???Brien. O???Brien somehow retained her position at the network after getting caught flat-footed during a debate with Joel Pollak of Breitbart News, in which it became uncomfortably clear she was haranguing him about ???critical race theory??? without having a clue what it actually means, and it appeared CNN???s backstage staff was frantically trying to bring her up to speed by reading a Wikipedia entry through her earpiece while she was talking.
Maybe CNN will finally assert some editorial standards after O???Brien???s latest misadventure, which was actually a mirror image of Wolf Blitzer???s wonderful encounter with Debbie Wasserman Schultz. In O???Brien???s case, her guest, Virginia Republican and Romney campaign adviser Barbara Comstock, was talking about Congressman Paul Ryan???s budget proposals. O???Brien wanted to attack what Comstock was saying, but the CNN host was clearly in over her head. She grew agitated enough to begin doing stress exercises, which a cameraman inadvertently caught.
But the really shocking moment came when a camera accidentally caught O???Brien flipping through a printout of talking points from far-left blog Talking Points Memo. O???Brien proceeded to recite material from the TPM email verbatim. She did not identify her source; on the contrary, she claimed it was a statement from the office of Senator Ron Wyden. She could have said, ???I have here a post from liberal website Talking Points Memo, entitled ???The Myth of Paul Ryan the Bipartisan Leader,??? in which they quote Senator Ron Wyden saying?????? but of course, she wasn???t about to offer viewers that degree of clarity about where her show prep comes from.
(Video courtesy of NewsBusters; the blog that originally busted O???Brien, Viral Read, appears to be down at the moment.)
CNN???s ratings are in the toilet, and this kind of pathetic performance is a big part of the reason why. If they???re going to be the video conduit for material from Talking Points Memo, they should identify themselves as such, not claim to be a ???news??? network. If they absolutely insist on retaining an uninformed, heavily biased partisan like Soledad O???Brien, they should put her in a position where she harmlessly reads pre-written material on the air, not allow her to conduct adversarial interviews. They certainly shouldn???t let her guest-host a ???prestige??? show like Anderson Cooper???s, which is what she was doing when she was caught with an email full of talking points from a left-wing blog in her hand.
Another member of the Romney team, former New Hampshire governor John Sunnunu, memorably made this point the following day, when he cut off a babble of Democrat talking points from O???Brien by telling her to ???put an Obama bumper sticker on your forehead when you do this.???