The transition from Al Gore's low-rated Current TV cable channel to Al Jazeera America will conclude on Tuesday, August 20, when the newest addition to the Qatar-based international news network will be sent into about 40 million homes in the U.S.
Ever since the purchase was made public in early January, Ehab Al Shihabi -- the channel's executive in charge -- has been attempting to hire high-profile staff members, including long-time Cable News Network reporters Ali Velshi and Soledad O'Brien, to draw viewers to the new network, even though it doesn't yet have a chief executive or chief programmer.
She's been off the set of Starting Point for less than two months, but former CNN host Soledad O'Brien is stirring up controversy yet again. In a Harvard Institute of Politics video, O'Brien arrogantly lectured "white people" who want her to "just see beyond race."
O'Brien, now a visiting fellow at Harvard University's Graduate School of Education, gave her reaction to the "white" critics of her documentaries on race: "And I was like, again, 'okay white person, this is a conversation that you're clearly uncomfortable with. And I have no problem seeing race, and I think we should talk about race.'"
This morning’s episode of Starting Point on CNN wouldn’t be complete without host Soledad O’Brien doing what she does best: cheerlead for the Obama administration. Yesterday, the president chastised the American people for forgetting about the tragedy in Newtown last December, and said this was a critical moment for the nation to back his anti-gun agenda.
So of course O'Brien this morning invited slain Sandy Hook teacher Victoria Soto’s sister Jillian on the program to discuss the new ad released by Mayors Against Illegal Guns. The MAIG ad shamelessly plays on the emotions of Americans, specifically residents of Connecticut, in order to do damage control for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s failed campaign to ban assault weapons and so-called high-capacity magazines.
It could easily be argued that one of Barack Obama’s biggest cheerleaders at CNN since the day he threw his hat into the presidential ring in 2007 has been Soledad O’Brien.
This is why one had to laugh uproariously when she ended her final Starting Point show Friday hypocritically saying, “I think if I’ve learned anything over the past year it's that facts matter and we shouldn't be afraid to have tough and honest conversations" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s controversial ban of large soda and sugary drinks was overturned March 11, yet the liberal media continued to promote such a ban.
NBC portrayed Bloomberg’s law as a noble fight for the health of New Yorkers. CNN “Starting Point” anchor Soledad O’Brien threw away her objectivity in an interview by announcing she had been a “long supporter” of the soda ban. CNN host Piers Morgan also chimed in support for the overturned law. But MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” co-host Mika Brzezinski had a complete meltdown, referencing it as a “serious issue” and calling sugar “poison” four times and “toxic” twice.
When a New York state Supreme Court justice on Monday invalidated a New York City law that prevented the “sale of sweetened drinks in containers larger than 16 ounces” at certain establishments, it came as no surprise that conservatives hailed the ruling as a victory “for liberty-loving soda drinkers.”
However, even as Mayor Michael Bloomberg promised to appeal judge Milton Tingling's ruling, several liberals joined the celebration, including the Teamsters, which declared the decision a “big victory” for the union, and CNN's John King, who mocked “Nanny Bloomberg” by tweeting a picture of a huge 52-ounce cup of soda.
Count Soledad O'Brien as another CNN supporter of Mayor Bloomberg's nanny state efforts to crack down on big sodas. Even while interviewing both a supporter and an opponent of Bloomberg's ban on Tuesday's Starting Point, O'Brien revealed that she's been "a long supporter of it."
"I've been a long supporter of it. I actually think it's a good idea. But I do think the judge has some interesting points," O'Brien said of the ban, which was struck down by the New York Supreme Court on Monday. On Monday night, CNN's Piers Morgan defended the city's ban on the sale of sugary drinks over 16 ounces.
While being ignorant of the facts is not as bad for a journalist as deliberately suppressing them, not knowing what you’re talking about can be far more embarrassing—and amusing.
Soledad O’Brien, the soon-to-be-former host of CNN’s “Starting Point,” proved that point definitively yesterday when she revealed that she had basically no knowledge of the new favorite story among left-of-center journalists, the supposed racism of Fox News president Roger Ailes.
CNN harped on the controversy over Fox News head Roger Ailes calling President Obama "lazy" and Vice President Biden "dumb as an ashtray." The network covered it on five shows on Wednesday and Thursday, but three of the shows ignored that Ailes used Obama's own words.
In making the "lazy" remark, Ailes cited a 2011 interview with Barbara Walters where Obama said that "deep down, underneath all the work that I do, I think there's a laziness in me." Erin Burnett was the only CNN anchor to promptly give that context in her report; on Thursday's Starting Point, conservative panel member Will Cain first brought it up, and co-host John Berman affirmed it.
Only an hour after Pope Benedict XVI announced his resignation from the papacy, and not ten minutes into Monday's Starting Point, CNN's Soledad O'Brien hosted the director of an anti-Catholic documentary who has called Pope Benedict a "criminal" and a "deeply flawed human being."
Director Alex Gibney was O'Brien's first guest on her show. His new film on the clerical sex abuse scandal has been criticized as distorted and misleading and "an anti-Catholic broadside masquerading as a documentary." O'Brien praised it as "riveting, absolutely riveting," however, and let him criticize Pope Benedict.
CNN anchors dropped journalistic integrity and went into full attack mode against supporters of the ban on gay Boy Scouts on Wednesday morning.
When the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins questioned why the Scouts should change their long-standing policy, anchor Soledad O'Brien blurted out "Because it's discriminatory," before adding "Because they think it's discriminatory." She then asked "My final question for you, do you worry you are on the wrong side of history on this?"