CNN’s Soledad O’Brien wins Media Matters stamp of approval

Jeff Poor Media Reporter
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Media Matters for America usually reserves its online real estate for haranguing the Fox News Channel and conservative talk hosts for what its activist writers perceive as “conservative misinformation.” But on Tuesday, the left-wing messaging group took time out to praise a CNN host.

Over the past 24 hours, CNN “Starting Point” host Soledad O’Brien has been criticized for using a left-wing website’s talking points in a back-and-forth with pro-Romney guest and Virginia House of Delegates member Barbara Comstock. She also faced on-air criticism from Romney surrogate and former New Hampshire Gov. John Sununu for being too pro-Obama with her questions and commentary.

The question has been whether or not O’Brien was acting in good faith. But Media Matters blogger Melody Johnson applauded her confrontation with Sununu. (RELATED: TheDC’s complete coverage of Media Matters for America)

“Right-wing media have repeatedly claimed that the Medicare savings included in Obama’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) ‘gutted’ the Medicare program,” Johnson wrote. “However, on CNN’s Starting Point, when Romney senior adviser John Sununu claimed that Obama “gutted Medicare by taking $717 billion out of it,” O’Brien was quick to correct him.”

Johnson insisted that more journalists should follow O’Brien’s example.

“The right-wing media either doesn’t understand the [Affordable Care Act]’s effect on Medicare, or is blatantly misleading about it,” she wrote. “Either way, O’Brien was correct to challenge this false claim, and it’s time for the rest of the media to follow suit.”

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