It seems that Soledad O’Brien, the host of CNN’s “Starting Point,” is on a roll. Each day brings another ill-prepared surrogate from one of the presidential campaigns before her, and each day she proceeds to cheerfully eviscerate their talking points before sweetly thanking them for coming on the show and sending them on their way.
On Friday’s edition of “Starting Point” O’Brien challenged “OPSEC” or “Operational Security group” spokesperson and former Navy SEAL Scott Taylor’s purported “non-partisan” status.
“I know you know some of the criticism and it is that, even though you claim to be nonpartisan, that this group is actually very partisan,” she said. “You’re a Republican, you ran for Congress in 2010 in Virginia’s second congressional district. You have a rep in your group who worked for the Bush administration, you share office space with Republican groups. How do you answer that claim of being partisan when you claim that you’re not?”
“I answer that claim by first saying this is an American issue. You yourself have reported extensively on leaks, so have ever other network that’s out there,” Taylor replied. “I understand the criticism will say, people will say, you’re a Republican. Well, I’m an American first. I’m an American before I’m a Republican.”
OPSEC has released a 20 minute video entitled “Dishonorable Disclosures,” which is harshly critical of the president’s handling of the raid to capture and kill Osama bin Laden. The video also attacks the president for a series of alleged security leaks, the blame for which right wing opponents of the president have been quick to lay at the administration’s feet.
The run-in came at the end of a week that has seen O’Brien challenging spokespeople from both sides by firing incisive questions and expecting straight answers.
One could argue that it was a straight line from former Gov. John Sununu (R-NH)’s disastrous performance on “Starting Point” on Monday to the fact that so many people now know that the phrase “Wonder if Sununu’s fired now” is a palindrome. The Romney spokesman became so flustered during his interview that he angrily exhorted O’Brien to “put an Obama bumper sticker on [her] head.”
Since then, the anchor has grilled Democratic Congressmen Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (MO) over “coded” race language in Vice President Joe Biden’s gaffe earlier in the week where he told a racially mixed audience that Republicans want to “put y’all back in chains.”
Earlier today, O’Brien took Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) to the woodshed over his failed attempt to substitute the phrase “premium support” for the word “voucher” in describing vice presidential nominee Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)’s plan to revamp Medicare.
Whatever the source of Ms. O’Brien’s extra ration of honey badger-ishness this week, we at Raw Story say bravo. Not only does it make for good television, it makes for good journalism.
Watch the video, embedded via CNN, below: