UPDATES AT END OF POST: Martin and O'Brien respond.
Should media members congratulate each other for skewering a political candidate?
That's exactly what CNN's Roland Martin did Thursday as he high fived Soledad O'Brien for the previous day's interview with Mitt Romney wherein the Republican presidential candidate uttered the now infamous words, "I'm not concerned about the very poor" (video follows with transcript and commentary):
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: So Mitt Romney's comments that he made to me yesterday on the poor was also picked up by the Daily Show, and as a rule, when you're on the Daily Show as a reporter, it's a bad, bad, bad, bad, bad thing. But not last night. But not last night. Often, but not last night.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JON STEWART: Mitt Romney won big in Florida cementing his frontrunner status and today was on to the morning shows for a quick little victory lap.
MITT ROMNEY: By the way, I'm in this race because I care about Americans. I'm not concerned about the very poor, we have a safety net there. If it needs repair, I'll fix it. I'm not concerned about the very rich, they're doing just fine.
STEWART: Did you suggest that you don't need to care about the very rich because they're fine, but also equivalently the very poor because they're okay, too? Because, you know, the reason the net is there is they are not okay. It's like a doctor going, “You know, I'm not very concerned about the very healthy because they're fine or the very sick, because, you know, morphine. You know what I'm saying?”
Maybe I heard it wrong. I could have heard it wrong. Obviously, did that sound weird to anybody else?
O’BRIEN: You just said, “I'm not concerned about the very poor because they have a safety net,” and I think there are lots of very poor Americans who are struggling who would say that sounds odd. Can you explain that?
STEWART: TV news person just heard what candidate said and then stopped him and made him explain himself, like a flower blooming in the desert. Quick, someone dig that up and get it away from CNN before one of their giant holographic monitors falls and crushes it!
ROMNEY: Well, you have to finish the sentence, Soledad. I said I'm not concerned about the very poor that have a safety net, but if it has holes in it, I will repair them.
STEWART: Alright, but it’s still a f—king net.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
ROLAND MARTIN: Great segment. And you have to see this skewer Mitt Romney for it because of the opening line in terms of I’m not concerned about them, but are they really Americans? And also, this whole 90-95 percent middle class. No, 15.3 percent of the country ‘s in poverty. 22 grand for a family of four. Mitt might want to check the math and understand the number of people out there who are having a difficult time. And the last thing: how’s the middle class move? Now all of a sudden you swear the middle class makes up to $500,000 in this country. Welcome back, Mitt.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: All I have to say is should have been, could have been a victory lap…
MARTIN: Ain’t going to happen.
O’BRIEN: …and it was not.
MARTIN: Great job, Soledad. Off to Tom Joyner. [Gives her a high five]
You know, it's one thing for the Barack Obama and Newt Gingrich campaigns to do a victory lap over this faux pas.
But should employees of a so-called cable news network be doing that on the air?
"And you have to see this skewer Mitt Romney...Great job, Soledad." High five.
Does this fit with the motto "Most trusted name in news?"
We know MSNBC's Chris Matthews believes it's his job to make the Obama presidency successful, a sentiment clearly shared and demonstrated by all of his colleagues at that farce of a "news" outlet they work for.
But is CNN and its employees on this same bandwagon? Is that what Americans can expect from two out of three of the nation's so-called cable news networks through Election Day?
*****Update: O'Brien quickly responded via Twitter.
I responded that she should check the video. Stay tuned.
*****Update II: And, not at all surprisingly, Martin also responded via Twitter predictably with personal ad hominem attacks which he's well-known for.
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