Soledad O’Brien was making waves Tuesday in the conservative media, which was using the CNN news anchor as evidence of liberal bias in the mainstream media.
O’Brien’s transgressions – as far as the right was concerned – were twofold: First, while filling in for Anderson Cooper on Monday night, she was seen reading from notes provided by Talking Points Memo, a liberal blog, during an interview with Mitt Romney campaign advisor Barbara Comstock. Second, on Tuesday during her own show, Starting Point, Republican guest John Sununu became so infuriated with what he perceived as Soledad’s bias in favor of Democrats that he told her, “Put an Obama bumper sticker on your forehead when you do this.”
Video of O’Brien’s heated exchange with Sununu is below.
On Tuesday, the Drudge Report linked to a story from conservative watchdog group Newsbusters about Obrien’s use of Talking Points Memo data, and Rush Limbaugh talked about that and the Sununu interview during his Tuesday-morning radio show.
“She’s been nailed twice,” Limbaugh told his estimated 15 million listeners. “This is another reason their ratings are in the tank. CNN, if you want to know why nobody’s watching, here it is.”
CNN didn’t respond to a request for comment.
At Limbaugh’s website, he posted his on-air commentary about O’Brien and included photos of her segments Monday night with Comstock and Tuesday morning with Sununu, except that in Limbaugh’s version O’Brien actually does sport a bumper sticker for President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on her forehead.
“You want to make the claim that you guys are objectively in the middle? Soledad O’Brien’s doing McCarthyism – Charlie McCarthyism. She is a puppet,” Limbaugh said Tuesday. “She doesn’t know what to ask unless she goes to a liberal blog for guidance. She has to print it out and use it on the air, and she’s one of their stars.”
A website called Viral Read got the right-wing ball rolling against O’Brien beginning Monday night, when it freeze-framed O’Brien “furiously flipping through notes,” and revealed that it was a Talking Points Memo story called “The Myth of Paul Ryan the Bipartisan Leader” that she was reading.
“She never cited it, but used its contents,” Viral Read’s Ali Akbar reported.