CNN's newest addition to its prime-time line-up, former CNBC anchor Erin Burnett, told Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz on Sunday that yes, she would be "more opinionated" at CNN than in the past. Burnett's show, "Out Front," airs for the first time on Monday Oct 3 at 7 p.m. EDT.
Kurtz interviewed Burnett at the bottom of the 11 a.m. hour on Sunday. He asked her "Are you going to be more opinionated, Erin Burnett, then you have been in your previous role as business correspondent?" She answered in the affirmative.
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However, Burnett added that "I would say point of view, to me, can be distinct from a partisan political point of view."
"[B]eing trustworthy, which I think is something I bring to the table in terms of numbers, and then you come out with a point of view of, this makes sense, this doesn't make sense, that isn't fair, that is fair – we can do that," she continued.
Last year, Burnett bizarrely compared soda pop with cocaine in an interview with a beverage company spokesperson on the "Fat Tax."
Earlier this year, Burnett claimed that the problem with the national debt is the country's revenue. "The problem is our revenue, what the government takes in, in taxes," she told NBC's Today show host Matt Lauer. "What you pay every month out of your paycheck is way smaller, in fact, it's only somewhere around $2 trillion a year."
She did, back in 2007, provide a fact rarely heard on a network news broadcast as she explained how the wealthy pay a disproportionately large share of the tax revenue in the U.S.
A transcript of the segment, which aired on October 2 at 11:38 a.m. EDT, is as follows:
KURTZ: Now nighttime cable news is very competitive, as you know. Very opinionated, as you know. People who have done the best seem to be the people who are the strongest personalities, sometimes the loudest. Certainly they don't lack for opinions. Are you going to be more opinionated, Erin Burnett, then you have been in your previous role as business correspondent?
BURNETT: I think that there is –
KURTZ: I want a yes or no answer.
BURNETT: You want a yes or a no answer?
BURNETT: Well, the answer is yes, but I would say point of view, to me, can be distinct from a partisan political point of view. So where you have very successful people yelling from the left and from the right, being passionate, enthusiastic, energetic, and pulling together – being trustworthy, which I think is something I bring to the table in terms of numbers, and then you come out with a point of view of, this makes sense, this doesn't make sense, that isn't fair, that is fair – we can do that.
KURTZ: I've read somewhere you don't want to worry about ratings. But, for example, Campbell Brown, a very talented journalist who came here from NBC News, eventually gave up her CNN show and said, I can't put up the kind of numbers that Bill O'Reilly, and at the time, Keith Olbermann, were putting up. So ratings is a reality in this business, as you know. Is this going to be a tough challenge for you?
BURNETT: Well, I'm not going to be looking at them at first, because I think we have to be – we know what we are, and we have a mission statement and we need to be consistent with that. And I think that's really important, because I think as people know what that is, and you're consistent the issues we care about, that they will come to the show. So the most important thing is to be consistent and to believe in what we're doing. And I think it will rate –
KURTZ: I bet your producers will look at the numbers.
BURNETT: – and we will tweak as we need to tweak. But I come into this with a real belief that there is space for passionate, enthusiastic, fair journalism, as opposed to that pure political point of view. And I think a 7 p.m. hour is an hour where you can still do that.