Stranger to Erin Burnett: You Work for CNN? Yeah, You're 'In the Can for Obama'

If you work for CNN apparently your reputation as a liberal journalist precedes you, at least that's what CNN's Erin Burnett revealed to Conan O'Brien on Tuesday night. The OutFront host, appearing as a guest on TBS's Conan, relayed that when she told a passenger, on a recent flight, that she worked for CNN the passenger replied: "Oh yeah. In the can for Obama."

Burnett's anecdote came during a discussion of how she was forced to watch the final presidential debate on her outbound flight to appear on Conan O'Brien's late night talk show. (video after the jump)

 

CONAN O'BRIEN: What, what was your sense? Did you talk to people on the plane? What they thought?

ERIN BURNETT: Yeah, I talked to the woman next to me. She actually had the debate on but she wasn't, she just didn't have the audio on. So she was watching it. At the end she said-

(Audience laughter)

BURNETT: She said-

O'BRIEN: That's the most exciting way to watch it.

BURNETT: Yeah she said, "Who do you think won the debate?" And I said, "Oh well, you know, they both tried to do what they needed to do." She goes, "Why won't you answer my question? You were taking notes. Are you a reporter?" I said, "Yeah I'm a reporter." "Oh is that why you won't say who won the debate? Who do you work for?" I said, "CNN." She goes, "Oh yeah. In the can for Obama."


The following is the full exchange as it was aired on the October 23 edition of TBS’s Conan O’Brien:


CONAN O'BRIEN: So you watched the debate happening with a plane load of people?

BURNETT: Yeah! It was, it was a full plane load of people.

O'BRIEN: Were they, how many of them were watching the debate? Be honest.

BURNETT: Maybe about 60 percent.

O'BRIEN: Really? Okay. That's not bad.

BURNETT: But you know that's not that many undecided voters. So maybe that was it. But I sorta had a tough spot, you know?

O'BRIEN: Right.

BURNETT: I had, had a window seat.

O'BRIEN: Right.

BURNETT: And I was excited about that. My producer Will though, he said, he pulled this whole "I'm really tall" thing, "can you sit in the middle?"

O'BRIEN: Sure.

BURNETT: So I did. And you know the etiquette on the plane, you know that the person in the middle should get to have the armrests.

O'BRIEN: Yeah!

BURNETT: No, both of them took the armrests.

O'BRIEN: Okay.

BURNETT: So I watched the debate there.

O'BRIEN: You watched the debate. You had the headphones on and everything else and-

BURNETT: Yes.



O'BRIEN: What, what was your sense? Did you talk to people on the plane? What they thought?

BURNETT: Yeah, I talked to the woman next to me. She actually had the debate on but she wasn't, she just didn't have the audio on. So she was watching it. At the end she said-

(Audience laughter)

BURNETT: She said-

O'BRIEN: That's the most exciting way to watch it.

BURNETT: Yeah she said, "Who do you think won the debate?" And I said, "Oh well, you know, they both tried to do what they needed to do." She goes, "Why won't you answer my question? You were taking notes. Are you a reporter?" I said, "Yeah I'm a reporter." "Oh is that why you won't say who won the debate? Who do you work for?" I said, "CNN." She goes, "Oh yeah. In the can for Obama."

O'BRIEN: So she just was not having it.

BURNETT: She wasn't having it. But you know, she took the armrest.

O'BRIEN: All right.

Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens
Geoffrey Dickens is the Deputy Research Director at the Media Research Center.