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Soledad O'Brien Is the Best Media Critic On the Internet

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | July 25, 2019 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | July 25, 2019 |


GettyImages-862996370.jpg

Earlier this week, Congress passed the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund, guaranteeing continued funding for 9/11 first responders for the rest of their lives. Jon Stewart was obviously instrumental in getting that bill passed, lending his celebrity to an important cause. And if you haven’t seen it yet, this photo of Jon Stewart smirking as Mitch McConnell walks by is priceless.

I miss Jon Stewart for a lot of reasons, chief among them his sense of humor and his anger. Mostly, though, I miss having Jon Stewart around because, more than anyone, he kept the media in check. Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show is great, but it covers the news. Jon Stewart covered the coverage of the news. He regularly destroyed not just Fox News, but all of cable news — he challenged the way they approached topics, how they devoted their resources, and frequently called them out for ignoring substance in favor of the horse race. I don’t ultimately know how much impact it had, but I have to think that cable news journalists at least gave some consideration to how much sh*t they were going to get from Jon Stewart before they took a certain approach.

But you know who does that now? And how does it really well? Soledad O’Brien. Every day. On Twitter. And unlike Stewart, O’Brien actually has years and years of cable news experience from which to draw her observations. O’Brien still does a lot of documentary work, and she appears on Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, but otherwise, when she’s not riding horses (or laid up because of a horse-riding injury), O’Brien is calling out members of the media on Twitter, often taking aim at the way Donald Trump is covered (she has a particular peeve about yes/no questions).

In any respect, yesterday during the Mueller hearings, Soledad O’Brien was out in full force, calling out members of the media left and right for ignoring the substance of the hearings and focusing on optics. O’Brien can be delightfully brutal. Here she is taking issue with Chuck Todd’s obsession with “optics”:

O’Brien was particularly irritated with a few reporters at The New York Times for the way they were framing the Mueller hearings, and her irritation has (rightfully) extended into this morning. This exchange on The NYTimes during the hearing ignited O’Brien’s irritation:

O’Brien’s words speak for themself:

Narrator: She did not get off of Twitter, although she did take a break, only to return with a few retweets to drive the point home:

And then she again called out Maggie Haberman for how she chose to frame the hearings on CNN:

Here are a couple more retweets on the issue:

The point is: O’Brien is fantastic, and before reporting or opining on current events, more journalists and pundits should ask themselves: What would Soledad do?



Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.


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