Brown concluded the 8 pm Eastern hour with remarks initially directed against the Obama administration for its campaign against Fox News. The CNN anchor thought it was “silly” for the White House to go after the 24-hour news network: “I mean, really, the White House is only just now figuring out Fox in prime-time has a conservative bias? Really? I think our friends at Fox News have been pretty up-front about it, and frankly, pretty unapologetic, for that matter. What confuses me is that if the White House is really so concerned about bias in the media, then why are they only targeting Fox?”
After playing an extended clip from her recent interview with Valerie Jarrett, where the Obama adviser refused to acknowledge MSNBC’s left-wing bias, Brown continued her criticism of the administration’s anti-Fox campaign: “Jarrett seems loath to admit that MSNBC has a bias, and that is where I think the White House loses all credibility on this issue. Just as Fox News leans to the right with their opinionated hosts in prime time, MSNBC leans left....Look, if the White House wants to lead us in a conversation about bias in the media and how we define journalism today, I would love that....It would be great to talk honestly about how we draw important distinctions between the various media outlets.”
Brown then took the opportunity to hold up CNN as apparently different from its competitors
BROWN: Some of us, like my colleagues here at CNN, are still trying to do journalism. I believe that journalists do have a crucial role to play in challenging our leaders no matter what their political persuasion, and in holding them accountable. Opinionated cable news hosts have a valid, but very different role. They either cheerlead or criticize, and in doing so, they connect with those who agree with them....They provoke one another; they fight with one another, and, yes, they entertain us, and in a polarized country, that gets big ratings.Really, Campbell? Apples and oranges? If you want to stick with the fruit comparisons, CNN and MSNBC are like two apples that are different shades of red. Your colleague Rick Sanchez, who sometimes fills in for you, is a prime example of someone who has a clear bias towards the left on many issues. How about the Palin Derangement Syndrome of Jack Cafferty? Did you forget about the Susan Roesgen’s foaming at the mouth against Tea Party protesters? How about your left-leaning political analysts Jeffrey Toobin and Roland Martin?
I’m not critical of what my friends at Fox News and MSNBC do, but it is apples and oranges when compared to what we at CNN do, and we should all just acknowledge that. And if the White House wants to leap into this debate, as they have, and talk about bias in the media, then great. But White House officials should elevate the conversation and talk about bias on the right and on the left. Because when you just target one side, you reveal your own bias, that you are only critical of those who are critical of you.
CNN has plenty of liberal bias, Ms. Brown, and pointing at your competitors’ reputations isn’t going to distract us from that truth.