Campbell Brown should have kicked off her President Obama-bashing op-ed in the New York Times with the statement she buried nearly at the bottom of her essay: “I should disclose here that my husband is an adviser to Mr. Romney; I have no involvement with any campaign, and have been an independent journalist throughout my career.”
Doing so would have saved people like me of the trouble of trying to pretend (even if only for a second) this was actually a genuine musings of an “independent journalist” and not Brown playing the role of unofficial surrogate. Sure, no one from Mitt Romney’s campaign coerced her into writing this, but I bet they sure are appreciative. Brown regurgitated all of their talking points, and keeping in line with Team Romney, misrepresented the facts in order to make her (re: their) case.
Referencing the commencement speech that Obama delivered at the all-female Barnard College, Brown wrote that the president is often “he sometimes sounds too paternalistic for my taste.” She also claimed that in his speech he “made reference to how women are smarter than men.” In response, Brown asserts, “It’s all so tired, the kind of fake praise showered upon those one views as easy to impress.”
Hey, Greta Van Susteren: Don’t slip up and get got. Campbell Brown’s coming for that number one spot.
Anyway, what’s actually exhausting is people like Brown taking statements out of context under the guise of advocating for some larger community. Obama didn’t talk about “women being smarter than men” for a “cheap applause line.” What he actually told the crowd of new graduates was, “No woman's signature graced the original document -- although we can assume that there were founding mothers whispering smarter things in the ears of the founding fathers. I mean, that's almost certain.”
Ever self-aware and self-deprecating, Obama also said during his speech: “And I'm convinced your generation possesses that will. And I believe that the women of this generation -- that all of you will help lead the way. Now, I recognize that's a cheap applause line when you're giving a commencement at Barnard.”
It’s gross distortions like these that make it easy to see why her CNN show Campbell Brown: No Bias, No Bull didn’t pan out.
It’s not Obama who is “trying too hard,” Campbell, it’s you. If you want to hammer at Obama’s ideology about the role of government and his economic policies, do so directly. Admit to your center-right point of view and do so earnestly. But miss us with this diatribe about Obama often “employing a tone that can come across as grating and even condescending when speaking to women” because that’s not true.
What I do know for certain, though, is that if you were the journalist you were posturing yourself to be, you wouldn’t even be commenting on the president…for obvious reasons.