Campbell Brown: ‘CNN Only One Still Doing Journalism’

July 21st, 2009 3:19 AM

**Video Below The Fold**

Campbell Brown, CNN Anchor | NewsBusters.orgOn an interview show called “Give and Take,” hosted by sometime TV pundit Julie Menin, CNN’s Campbell Brown patted herself and her network on the back for being “the only one that is still doing journalism” in cable land.

Menin asked Brown if she felt odd being a “political independent” in this world of cable pundits and lamented that journalism seems to be scant these days. Menin told Brown that at one time, “obviously journalists were independent.” Brown replied by assuming the truth of that “independence” and stated that she and CNN are the only ones “doing journalism” any more.

Menin’s odd assumption, though, that journalists are “political independents” is interesting because of the pervasive left-wing bias that is seen throughout the business. Does Menin think “independent” just means free of conservative ideology but otherwise free to be a liberal?

It is also amusing that Brown imagines that there is no “journalism” going on at either MSNBC or Fox News. Sure both have plenty of opinion shows, and yes they’ve both aimed at an ideologically self-identified audience, but both still do common journalism, whether Brown approves of the final product or not.

Amusingly, Brown talks of an echo chamber without the slightest sense of the one she was sitting in during the interview as Menin’s show doesn’t seem to have a history of inviting many male guests.

Brown’s self-congratulatory feeling that she is the only unbiased journalist left in the world is amusing when juxtaposed with her constant attacks on Sarah Palin as well as the mean-spirited, partisan treatment of McCain representative Tucker Bounds during the late presidential campaign, an incident she mentions in the interview.

Interesting, the host didn’t ask why Brown’s ratings were so dismal. I guess that wasn’t a “serious” enough question for Ms. “No Bias, No Bull.”

Partial Transcript:

Julie Menin: So on the CNN website your bio boldly touts you as the only non-partisan cable news host in the 8PM hour. Now, 10 years ago such a statement would have been a given because obviously journalists were independent. What is your take on the fact that CNN, the pioneer in cable news, is really marketing your political independence to distinguish itself from its competitors?

Campbell Brown: Wow. You’re right, things have changed quite a bit. I just think it’s the world we live in and there is no real metric to measure us by because CNN is the only one that is still doing journalism.

I mean I don’t mean that as a criticism of what the other guys are doing, it’s just we’re comparing apples and oranges. Fox has made a choice to go in one direction, MSNBC has made a choice to go in the other direction, and for me as a journalist, I mean that’s all I know, that’s who I am, that’s what I grew up to be from my very first job through my time at NBC – I was mentored by Tim Russert and Tom Brokaw – I don’t know how to do anything else, so I wouldn’t be comfortable anywhere else and I’m grateful that CNN is committed still to this.

You know, it is frustrating that there isn’t real competition in journalism, but look, I get it, I recognize the world we live in. Ratings are really important. You are in all likelihood gonna get a bigger rating when you do opinion rather than straight news because you have a built in audience. I mean there’re a lot of people who wanna be in an echo chamber and want their views validated. So you see that with Fox and MSNBC they have an automatic punching bag, you know, if you will. They have a loyal audience who wants to hear that perspective.