I remember when Soledad O’Brien used to be on that MSNBC tech show back in the 90s. She was always good, even from the beginning. But damn she’s gotten good.
She had Romney surrogate John Sununu on to talk about Medicare, and Sununu trotted out the standard GOP talking point that the President cut $700 bn from Medicare in Obama. Only problem? The Presiden’t didn’t cut $700bn from Medicare, and O’Brien called Sununu on it. Then things got fun.
“I understand that this is a Republican talking point because I’ve heard it repeated over and over again,” O’Brien observed. “These numbers have been debunked, as you know, by the Congressional Budget Office. … I can tell you what it says. [Obama’s plan] cuts a reduction in the expect rate of growth, which you know, not cutting budgets to the elderly. Benefits will be improved.”
“Soledad, stop this!” Sununu shouted. “All you’re doing is mimicking the stuff that comes out of the White House and gets repeated on the Democratic blog boards out there.”
“I’m telling you what Factcheck.com tells you, I’m telling you what the CBO tells you, I’m telling you what CNN’s independent analysis says,” the CNN host explained.
“Put an Obama bumper sticker on your forehead when you do this!” the frustrated surrogate shot back.
“You know, let me tell you something,” O’Brien said. “There is independent analysis that details what this is about. … And name calling to me and somehow by you repeating a number of $716 billion, that you can make that stick when [you say] that figure is being ‘stolen’ from Medicare, that’s not true. You can’t just repeat it and make it true, sir.”
O’Brien did a great job of standing up to Sununu’s bullying. She exhibited a rare breed of journalistic ethics by not taking a lie for an answer.