A CNN anchor, of all people, called out senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett for her disingenuous Fox News attack and attempted backtracking.
You’ll especially love the spectacle of the Obamas’ consigliere/Chicago real estate mogul/Daley crony claiming to represent the underdog “speaking truth to power.”
Transcript via Noel Sheppard at Newsbusters:
VALERIE JARRETT, SENIOR WHITE HOUSE ADVISOR: What we’re saying is is that we want the public to understand what’s going on. When we saw the kind of distortions this summer, particularly directed at seniors, over health care reform, it was really outrageous. And I think what the president said in his message before Congress is we’re going to speak directly to the American people and make sure that they understand the truth. And so, certainly, if we see somebody distorting the truth, we’re going to call them on the carpet for that. But we don’t want to take our focus away from the core issues that are so important to the American people. Now, when there’s all that chatter and distortion and false information, we have to disseminate — we have to distinguish between truth and fiction.
BROWN: So do you think Fox News is biased?
JARRETT: Well, of course they’re biased. Of course they are.
BROWN: Well, then do you also think that MSNBC is biased?
JARRETT: Well, you know what, this is, this is the thing. I don’t want to — actually, I don’t want to just generalize all Fox is biased or that another station is biased. I think what we want to do is to look at it on a case-by-case basis. And when we see a pattern of distortion, we’re going to be honest about that pattern of distortion.
BROWN: But you only see that at Fox News. That’s all, that you’ve only spoken out about Fox News.
JARRETT: That’s actually not true. I think that what the administration has said very clearly is that we’re going to speak truth to power. When we saw all the distortions in the course of the summer, when people were coming down to town hall meetings and putting up signs that were scaring seniors to death. When we’ve seen commercials go up on television that are distorting the truth, we’re, we’re actually calling everybody out. So, this isn’t anything that’s simply directed at Fox. We really just want the American people to have a clear understanding. There’s so much at stake right now. We really don’t have a lot of time for nonsense and distortions. The American people are also smarter than that. Let them reach their own judgments based on the facts. Let’s just take health care, for example. Reasonable people could differ about the right approach. So let’s have a conversation about that. Let’s not scare people by telling them that things are going to happen that are actually not even on the table. Let’s just talk about the facts.
Look in the mirror, ma’am. You are The Power.
Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik gives Jarrett’s botched performance two thumbs down. Way down:
…watch how fast Jarrett folds when CNN anchor Campbell Brown asks her if pro-administration MSNBC isn’t just as biased. MSNBC is one of the giant holes in the administration’s argument that Fox isn’t a “real” news organization and should be ostracized. Worse, the administration’s acceptance of MSNBC and attack on Fox show how intellectually inconsistent and hypocritical the White House is willing to be in trying to bully the press and shut down criticism…
…I see many commenters mocking Jarrett’s use of the phrase “speaking truth to power.” Yes, I agree, it deserves to be ridiculed in this context. What’s the great power the White House is fearlessly standing up to — a cable channel? I think such a phrase from our collective past that has real resonance because it was once loaded with such intergrity, moral authority and wisdom when first uttered, is cheapened when used in such a blantantly and inappropriate political context. Thanks for noticing, folks.