Tag Archives: Soledad O’Brien

Women’s History Month 2013: Soledad O’Brien

6 Mar

soledad-OBrien-Today we honor and celebrate a woman whose recent push to restore journalistic integrity to cable news may have cost her her job. María de la Soledad Teresa O’Brien was born on Long Island in 1966. Her parents — an Afro-Cuban mother and Australian father — met in the Washington, DC area a decade earlier. They lived in Maryland, which did not allow mixed-race marriages, so they wed in DC and soon moved to New York. Soledad is one of six children (all of whom received degrees from Harvard).

She began her television career as an associate producer and news writer in Boston. She joined NBC in 1991 and worked a variety of on-camera and production jobs over the next decade. She settled into regular roles on MSNBC and as co-host of Weekend Today. She contributed reports to NBC Nightly News, honing her desire to move away from soft news.

Soledad joined CNN in 2003 as co-anchor of their morning news program. Smart, likeable, and possessing good journalistic instincts, she helped that show rise above standard morning fare, even as the rest of CNN began to devolve into FOX-light in a desperate ratings grab. Confused network executives moved her out of the morning show in 2007 and she spent the next few years contributing reports to other CNN programs and doing In America documentaries. When CNN scrambled to re-re-redesign their morning show in 2012, they brought Soledad back to host the two-hour news program Starting Point.

A stark contrast to most CNN programming and other morning “news” offerings, the show featured engaging conversations and showed her strengths as a real journalist. Numerous guests complained about their treatment (including the odious John Sununu), a sign that she was actually doing her job rather than letting them spew talking points. Sadly, that success — even combined with good ratings — seems to have been too much for CNN to take–JEERS to CNN. Ms. O’Brien was the only reason I watched CNN. The new network President, Jeff Zucker (who spent the previous decade destroying NBC) wants his soft news, so Soledad is out.

Her new documentary, Latino In America, will be out soon. After that, Soledad O’Brien will find her next role in broadcast journalism — not, as she put it, “cooking salmon and doing fashion shows.” Wherever she lands, her colleagues will be lucky to have her talent and mature confidence in doing journalism right.  I hope NPR is able to secure her journalistic prowess.

Hero of the Week Award: August 17, Soledad O’Brien

17 Aug

Hero of the Week

I must confess that I have never been a fan of CNN.  I  have always found the network to be biased to the right and in the past six years it has in many ways mimicked Fox (Faux) News.  What a wonderful surprise and delight to see Soledad O’Brien engaged in real journalism and completely prepared with FACTS as she counters the LIES regurgitated by the exceedingly charm free John Sununu.

Sununu predictably offered the Republican talking points about the Ryan budget plan’s impact on Medicare.  The only thing that made his blatant lies bearable was O’Brien quoting directly from Romney.  I’m consistently amazed at how many in the Republican party try to deflect from the truth with the , “look over there, something shiny,” as their voices grower louder in an attempt to bully and intimidate. Sununu is clearly the school yard bully; kudos to O’Brien for standing up to him and holding her ground as a journalist — something exceedingly rare to witness today.

Click here to watch the video of our hero Soledad O’Brien.  Warning: Brace your self while watching the Petulant, Pugnacious Pig, Sununu.

I will conclude with an address to Mr. Sununu: Dear Mr. Sununu, I’m sorry, but there is just no way you can make Romney and Ryan look like anything other than the bigoted, homophobic, misogynist, rich white boys that they are.  You see, most Americans can read and hear and we can read and hear the words coming from Romney’s mouth, even after he tries to take them back — time after time after time after time…

Jeers to Jay Leno: Enough with the Gay Jokes

26 Jan

I was disgusted by Jay Leno’s continued mocking of the LGBT community–but I don’t expect anything good from Leno to start with, so no tremendous disappointment.  The larger disappointment comes from Soledad O’Brien who questioned Jeff Whitty, but did not hold Leno accountable, nor did she interview Leno.  Sorry, but gay jokes just are not funny! Especially in the wake of now over 15 teen suicides.  Leno’s jokes send a message to everyone watching that it’s okay to laugh at people who might not live up to Jay Leno’s rigid gender expectations. Bravo to Jeff Whitty!  Shame on you Soledad O’Brien if you really don’t understand the danger here.  Click here to see the video and the article.

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