CNN’s Soledad O’Brien is no stranger to controversy or rightful journalistic scrutiny. She’s frequently been exposed for reading Wikipedia or talking points on the air, always disparaging a conservative guest on her program.
Tonight, she was the substitute host for Anderson Cooper, a program that boasts of its reputation for “keeping [politicians] honest.” During her interview with Virginia House of Delegates Republican member Barbara Comstock, O’Brien became visibly flustered and was actually caught doing finger stress exercises as she attempted to insert editorial commentary while her guest, a former skilled Republican operative, defended the House GOP budget, designed by Budget Chairman Paul Ryan.
Accidentally, a cameraman captured O’Brien furiously flipping through notes, only to cut out seconds later. What was she viewing?
Footage proves it was a printed email, talking points and opposition research.
The contents? There was a blog post from Talking Points Memo, the popular liberal blog. She was reading The Myth of Paul Ryan The Bipartisan Leader. She never cited it, but used its contents. In fact, she claimed to be reading a direct statement from Senator Ron Wyden’s (D-OR) office, but was in fact reading this excerpt from the blog:
The Romney campaign’s lone evidence that Ryan is a bipartisan leader amounts to a vague blueprint he co-wrote with Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) late last year that mirrors key elements of his Medicare plan. Wyden voted against Ryan’s budget and said Romney’s characterization of their work was dishonest.
“Governor Romney is talking nonsense. Bipartisanship requires that you not make up the facts,” Wyden’s office said in a statement. “I did not ‘co-lead a piece of legislation.’ I wrote a policy paper on options for Medicare. Several months after the paper came out I spoke and voted against the Medicare provisions in the Ryan budget. Governor Romney needs to learn you don’t protect seniors by makings things up, and his comments sure won’t help promote real bipartisanship.”
In the very same segment where she then interviewed Obama deputy campaign manager Stephanie Cutter, she used no notes, no research, and what are generally accepted as softball questions.
O’Brien loves Twitter. Ask her why she used opposition research emailed to her to question the Romney campaign surrogate.
“@Soledad_OBrien why did you use oppo research/liberal blog to question Romney campaign on Ryan Plan?! http://akbar.co/NuGFQL h/t @ali”