As you may have noticed, CNN has been making an effort in recent months to re-establish itself as an objective, authoritative news network, in opposition to Fox on the right and MSNBC on the left. (It's not like they wouldn't still lean left, but sure, we'll say they're trying.) Part of this effort involved a major shake-up among the news anchors and pundits. Among other changes, Mary Matalin and James "Ragin' Cajun" Carville have been dropped (aw), as has Erick Erickson of RedState.com (meh), while NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo's son Chris has been hired (????). Also, Jake Tapper, one of the few fair-minded guys in the MSM, has been given his own show, possibly in a prime-time spot.
Now, I don't particularly care about these changes, and neither should you (unless you're a fan of one of these guys or something). But one aspect of all this is rather enlightening. Among those sacked at the network was news anchor Soledad O'Brien, or as Twitter apparently likes to call her, "Special Snowflake." I know very little about O'Brien; I seem to vaguely remember her hiring being announced as an example of current-day diversity, because she's part-black, part-Irish, part-Hispanic, which as we'll see is somewhat involved here. I think she did that "Black in America" special once or twice, or maybe more. I don't know; I honestly didn't bother to look it up. But she did read talking points from Talking Points Memo on the air once as "research," shortly before claiming that as a true "journalist," she didn't suffer from bias. So yeah.
No, it's the circumstances surrounding her firing, rather than the fact of her firing, which deserve attention. Recently, a VP for CNN complained about O'Brien's show, not on the basis of its content, or even its ratings--which would be reason enough; "Starting Point," as it's called, lags behind every other network, even MSNBC--but because the program, specifically its audience, is "too ethnic." Yes. Their beef with the show is that there are too many black people watching it. That's the sort of comment only a liberal can get away with making--and not always even then.
As soon as word of this got out, of course, the network raced to spin it away. A "clarification" from CNN Wednesday about all this "explained" that this VP was complaining about the size of the audience, not its racial composition, and that he in no way meant to suggest that ethnicity was the problem. Which makes sense. Slips of the tongue like that happen. I know that I, for one, frequently slip up and say "Negro" when I mean to say "pizza." They're very similar words, after all. What's really disgusting about this is that the handful (and I do mean handful) of minority figures at CNN, people like Roland Martin, people who can't shut up about racism when they perceive it in conservatives or any institution to their right, will not talk about this at all. Conservative bloggers and those on Twitter have been trying to pry any comment on O'Brien's firing and the "ethnic" remarks out of them, to no avail.
This whole farce displays the race issues our media has. It's no secret that the people who staff the news networks and the publications live in a cultural bubble of their own--East Coast, upper-class, and therefore lily-white. For all their liberalism, these are exactly the sort of people who would complain about something being "too ethnic." Note, for example, that although the mixed-race O'Brien has been canned, our dear Piers Morgan has not. Insufferable? Yes. Pompous? Yep. So lacking in standards that his fellow Britons don't even want him back? You got it--but to the media, he's "one of us," and that's all that matters. As long as they continue to stand up for the Left and their supposed goal of racial equality, that counts for more than whatever biases they might have personally. These are the people who continue to control so much of our information. Sucks to be us, huh?
(Oh, and by the way, this isn't the only incident of egg-on-your-face for the media this week.)