Caught my eye...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Caught my eye...

Soledad O'Brien

...and certainly not because I have any sort of lech for Soledad O'Brien!

I wondered what her Long Island connection could have been, so I pick­ed up a copy of Long Island Pulse and learned that she was actually raised in St. James' horse farm area.

(If this be worthy of a Pulse profile, who next? Francis Henry Bloeth? Richard An­gelo? Ronald DeFeo? Colin Furgeson?)

Okay, so the woman isn't a serial slayer from Long Island, and she and her husband do live in the Smithtown area.

So let's make it official...

...I just don't like Soledad O'Brien!

I first caught sight of her in the late '90s on a program entitled "The Site" which Ziff-Davis owned ZDTV syndicated to late-night MSNBC. It was cable television's attempt to get ahead of the digital and Internet curve.

What was apparent from the jump. particularly in her nightly segment interacting with the vir­tual character "Dev Null," she considered that this was all beneath her... see this clip from 1997... the exchanges often had a hard, even nasty, edge to them.

(In the linked clip, note that the avatar is aware of her attitude, and pokes fun at her throughout.)

That show soon disappeared, but O'Brien didn't, and next showed up as one of MSNBC's fatuous talking heads where, in July 1999, she anchored hours of coverage of the Saturday af­ternoon JFK, Jr./Bessette sisters deathwatch while the Coast Guard searched the Atlantic Ocean off Martha's Vineyard for traces of their remains.

Now I will acknowledge that few of what-passes-for-news staff today are trained to do much beyond read from teleprompters, but she lost me forever that afternoon while prattling with some fellow with a Kennedy family connection and, likely desperate to avoid "dead air," tried to introduce the "relat­ed" subject of Ted Kennedy's Chappaquid­dick event of 30 years earlier.

It was tasteless and beyond inappropriate, and the interviewee quickly put her in her place.

It was an awful decision on her part, and in­stinctively she should have known so.

She hasn't done anything in the intervening years to indicate to me that Soledad O'Brien is anything other than a lightweight in the "news business," another Katie Couric-in-waiting.

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