Former CNN Anchor Aaron Brown Slams Eliot Spitzer, Anderson Cooper

By
Photo: Erik S. Lesser/Getty Images

In an interview with TVNewser's Gail Shister, former CNN anchor Aaron Brown unloaded on many of the cable news characters who are grabbing headlines these days. Of Bill O'Reilly, he mocked: "He makes 30 million dollars a year and talks about himself as a populist. The only one better than O’Reilly is [Stephen] Colbert. He’s a better O’Reilly than O'Reilly." He calls him and Keith Olbermann "skilled entertainers who use journalism as a canvas on which to perform." (Glenn Beck, meanwhile, is dangerous because he "sits around with a blackboard and says profoundly stupid things, and he gets two million people to watch him.") All the same, these guys beat CNN because "CNN can’t succeed in a world where people want news to be entertaining ... Bill O’Reilly is inherently more entertaining than anything CNN does. It’s more fun to see an action movie than read a book."

But while he did reserve some compliments for CNN (it "is a world-class brand that would be the envy of any news organization in the world except, perhaps, the New York Times," he said. "It doesn’t win, but maybe that's not the most important thing"), he also has some complaints about his alma mater. On Eliot Spitzer, who elbowed out co-host Kathleen Parker in the 8 p.m. hour, Brown says: "He's a child. He wasn't interested in sharing the space. The weight of his personality blew her off the screen. He’s a big, bombastic cable person, but he gets his ass kicked by O’Reilly from here to the moon."

And as for CNN darling Anderson Cooper, he of the 360-degree coverage: "I know the difference between journalism and a slogan," Brown sniped. "'Keeping them honest' is a slogan." Ouch!

"We think viewer response to CNN’s recent coverage of historic events around the world on Anderson Cooper 360 and the rest of our TV and digital platforms speaks for itself," sighed CNN in response.

'I know the difference between journalism and a slogan. Keeping them honest is a slogan.' [TVNewser/Mediabistro]
CNN responds to Aaron Brown swipe [TVNewser/Mediabistro]