CNN's Soledad O'Brien isn't used to criticism. In the world of media elites, she's a beloved figure and an award-winning news anchor. But last week, she revealed her true, decidedly non-neutral colors. And she's not happy about the hoi polloi questioning her hallowed journalistic objectivity.
On Thursday, O'Brien interviewed Joel Pollak, editor-in-chief of the late Andrew Breitbart's online empire. Breitbart's BigGovernment.com released a 1991 video of Barack Obama (then a 30-year-old law student) at a Harvard rally embracing radical racialist Derrick Bell and his push for more aggressive race-based hiring at Harvard. Bell is a proponent of critical race theory (CRT), which posits that America remains a hopelessly racist country dominated by Jews and white supremacists.
O'Brien lost her cool when Pollak shed light on Bell's fringe legal theories. Acting more like an Obama campaign surrogate than a disinterested host, she angrily jumped on Pollak's mention of CRT. "That is a complete misreading of critical race theory," she shrieked. "That's an actual theory. You could Google it and some would give you a good definition. So that's not correct!"
When viewers took to Twitter to pepper O'Brien with follow-up questions about critical race theory, the CNN star had a twit fit. She invited a liberal professor, Emory University's Dorothy Brown, on her television show to back her up and then lashed out: "See? That was our critical race theory 101. Stop tweeting me. We have moved on, people."
Not so fast, sister.
Turns out that O'Brien, a Harvard grad, has a rather emotional connection to Bell. As documented at my new Twitter curation/aggregation site Twitchy.com, O'Brien tweeted that it was a "rough day" for her when Bell passed away last fall. She wrote that she had "just started re-reading" one of his books and mourned again: "RIP Prof. Bell." O'Brien also shared tributes to Bell from fellow Harvard prof and friend of Obama Charles Ogletree. That's the same Professor Ogletree who bragged that he "hid" the Obama/Bell video during the 2008 campaign.
O'Brien failed to disclose her pro-Bell bias to viewers before her segments.
O'Brien also failed to disclose that the liberal prof who denied on her show that critical race theory had aaaaaanything to do with bashing America as a white supremacy-ruled government actually wrote the exact opposite. In one of her own books, Brown asserted that the purpose of CRT was to "highlight the ways in which the law is not neutral and objective, but designed to support White supremacy and the subordination of people of color." Oops.
O'Brien is entitled to her opinions, of course. The problem is that she masks her political activism under the banner of corporate media "diversity." Of multicultural heritage, O'Brien has won countless accolades for her "Black in America" and "Latino in America" documentaries for CNN. The medical school at historically black Morehouse College created the "Soledad O'Brien Freedom's Voice Award" to honor "outstanding catalysts of social change." The first recipient of the activist award? Soledad O'Brien, of course.
O'Brien is also a card-carrying member of two racial/ethnic-centered journalism lobbying groups: the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. These organizations are inherently politicized entities that enforce a skin color-deep ideological solidarity and push a social justice agenda of advocacy journalism. I know because I've fought their collective herd mentality for the past 20 years.
Liberal minority journalists have themselves acknowledged their slavish fealty to Obama and his progressive agenda. During the 2008 campaign, the NABJ, NAHJ and Asian American Journalists Association held a "journalists of color" confab where then-candidate Obama was welcomed with Justin Bieber-style mania. One journalist squealed, "He touched me!" after Obama's address, which was interrupted multiple times with standing ovations, cheers and whistles by the press.
Organizers were so concerned about public displays of Obamedia affection that they issued several warnings to their news professional members that the speech would be broadcast live on (Soledad O'Brien's) CNN. "Professional decorum" was encouraged. One wire story even fretted: "Can minority journalists resist applauding Obama?"
Nope, liberal minority journalists simply can't resist carrying water for Obama. That's because their journalistic unity demands political unanimity. If you don't accept the left-leaning agenda of "social change" journalism, you're enabling racism. If you don't support the pursuit of racial hiring goals as a primary journalistic and academic goal, you're selling out.
Now you know the reason for O'Brien's thin-skinned reaction to Obama's critics. When you vet the president, you vet the media. And they don't like the narrative table-turning one bit.
Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is [email protected]