There’s a First Time for Everything

Soledad O'Brien, quite possibly my favorite female journalist

            Last night I watched Soledad O’Brien’s highly anticipated news special, “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door.” Her 1-hour segment covered a small Tennessee town’s fight to shut down the construction of a local mosque that was being built to serve the local Muslim community. Because I follow O’Brien on Twitter, I was excited for Sunday evening to arrive because she had been heavily publicizing her special. O’Brien was careful not to reveal too much about her show, understandably so. As a result I was left to assume that it would mirror some of her earlier projects such as “Black In America” and “Latino In America” which were broad, objective pieces that covered each ethnicity’s current day plight in America.

I was wrong.

            O’Brien focused disproportionately on the mosque fight and the local community’s negative reaction. The viewer was not well-educated about what current day Muslim issues are (beyond separating themselves from the catastrophic 9/11 events) nor what the Muslim experience can mean across socio-economic class levels. The show was not objective, very narrow in scope and overall, simply left me disappointed.

            That is rare, seeing as to how I’m such a major fan of O’Brien’s work. Within the past two years I’ve followed her work more closely than ever and have watched her success grow with the completion of her new informative and objective television news specials. This latest “In America” special has left much to be desired.

            The one good thing that has come out of this however is that it has inspired me to do a bit more research of my own on Muslims living in America. The subject matter has piqued my interest on a topic that I am largely ignorant of. The questions that I posed earlier must have answers and it is now my social (and civic) responsibility, I believe, to seek them out.

For that I say, “Thank you, Soledad.”

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5 thoughts on “There’s a First Time for Everything

  1. Soledad O’Brien sure does hate White People…it’s obvious in everything she does!
    If you watch her look at a White when the White is talking…you can see the hate and that she thinks the White is lieing!

    She should leave America.

  2. I respect your opinion, Alicia, but Soledad is married to a white man. She has blond haired blue eyed children. I have a small feeling she doesn’t hate white people. I didn’t see the special though, so I will leave it there. Great article, cousin.

  3. You should look at her documentaries!
    I’ve never seen her do anything that didn’t condemn Whites and blatantly claim that Whites have massacred, beaten, destroyed…….
    Mexicans, Indians, Africans, women……..
    I’m going over to youtube right now to review her shows……. she hates Whites!
    See for yourself.

  4. My 2 minute research backs up my claim….see below….

    http://nicholasstixuncensored.blogspot.com/2010/01/cnn-personality-soledad-obrien-wins.html

    CNN Personality Soledad O’Brien Wins Prestigious Journalism Award

    Now to my topic: During her seven year CNN career and before that at NBC, O’Brien has been consistently terrible on immigration and race.

    What iced our award for O’Brien is her two-part documentary, Latino in America, which bombed in the ratings and had the curious effect of angering everyone including some Latinos. Her 2007 documentary, Black in America, also raised the ire of many blacks.

    Defending Latino in America, O’Brien tries to make the case that she represents a “voice for the voiceless.”

    Therein lies the secret of O’Brien’s success. No matter what the assignment O’Brien, ethnically speaking, is the right reporter for the job.

    When CNN wants a black to interview Michelle Obama, the Hurricane Katrina displaced, or Haiti’s victims, there’s O’Brien posing as a black. (See O’Brien with Obama, her “passion for justice” for New Orleans’ residents displaced by Katrina and the Haitian orphan victims here, here and here. More evidence: in this interview discussing another of her documentaries, Black in America, O’Brien identifies herself as black.)

    However, if CNN decides that it would be a good idea to run a documentary about being Latino in America”, they can call on O’Brien, (a self described Latina….

    When a highfalutin’ organization needs an ethnically all-purpose speaker, O’Brien is their girl. Her appointment calendar is booked solid because she’s everything all rolled up into one: female, African-American, Hispanic and Irish….

    …a little biographical information will help you understand why my choice is an easy one.

    O’Brien never misses a chance to literally cash in by referring to herself by her complete name, María de la Soledad Teresa O’Brien.

    Although she doesn’t speak Spanish, this gives O’Brien an excellent opportunity to define herself as a multicultural maven who’s perfect for CNN or any other mainstream media outlet. Maybe if she looks back far enough in her genealogical tree, she’ll find Asian ancestors!

    Against all evidence, O’Brien stretches to make a point of her black/Latina roots. In an interview for her official CNN biography, O’Brien states that she has: “a mass of kinky hair, light brown skin and lots of freckles.”

    Photographs of O’Brien do not support her claim. In this ethnically ambiguous photo I see a traditional hairstyle, no freckles and either light brown skin or too much make up.

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