Does The New York Times Have A Campbell Brown Problem?

Former CNN anchor Campbell Brown has had two – count ’em, two – op-eds in the New York Times in the past month or so. The first ran on May 19 under the headline, “Obama: Stop Condescending to Women.” The second ran in Sunday’s Times under the headline, “Planned Parenthood’s Self-Destructive Behavior.”

The latter has now come under fire. Let’s start with Kathleen Geier’s piece in the Washington Monthly (via AlterNet).


Why Did NY Times Publish Hackish Op-Ed on Planned Parenthood (By Romney Advisor’s Wife)?

The piece starts out with drive-bys of Times op-ed columnists David Brooks (“that shallow, insufferably smug propagandist for the 1 percenters whose only interesting moments occur when he drops the genial nice-guy pose and shows us his snarling, viciously punitive, anti-working people side”), Maureen Dowd (“who, half the time, reads like she has the emotional maturity of Paris Hilton”), and Ross Douthat (“a know-nothing hack with serial killer eyes whose creepy, misogynist sexual politics are positively medieval”).

Geier then questions the Times op-eds’ overall “head-shaking, did-I-actually-read-that? quality.”

Nut graf:

Case in point: today’s op-ed by former CNN anchor Campbell Brown. A couple of things to note about Brown. First of all, she just had an op-ed in the Times last month — the previous one was a piece of garbage about how President Obama is allegedly condescending to women. I can’t remember, in all my years of Times-reading, another person getting two op-eds in the Times within a 5-week period. And it’s not like Brown is displaying brilliant wit or erudition or or irrefutable logic or sparkling prose style or any other outstanding quality.

Secondly, Brown is married to Dan Senor, one of Mitt Romney’s top advisers. This is not mentioned anywhere in the op ed. It damn well out to be.

About the op-ed itself: it is one of those sleazy, totally disingenuous “I’m a pro-choicer but” arguments by someone who is trying to concern troll Planned Parenthood out of existence.

Geier is not alone in gut-checking the Times’s op-ed judgment. Politico blogger Maggie Haberman called the column “provocative,” and‘s John Atlas calls Brown “cleverly devious.”

The hardworking staff gut-checked the Times Public Editor for comments, but nothing yet.

Stay tuned.

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9 Responses to Does The New York Times Have A Campbell Brown Problem?

  1. “Brown is married to Dan Senor, one of Mitt Romney’s top advisers. This is not mentioned anywhere in the op ed. It damn well ought to be.”

    Whatever else you might think of the other “points” she raises, this certainly deserves an answer. I hope Brisbane has one for you.

  2. I suspect the Romney campaign employs a lot of concern trolls — many of whom concern themselves with the NYT. A Collins piece doesn’t go by that isn’t swarmed by comments from “pro-Obama” readers who “nevertheless” think “the dog on the roof story needs to be dropped.”

    • Laurence Glavin says:

      Gail Collins was on the Charlie Rose show on WGBH-TV Monday night. Charlie asked her about the references to Seamus, and she replied that if Willard had apologized for the act back in 2008, the whole matter would have been laid to rest. But instead, Willard claimed that Seamus “begged” to be put in the carriier, and enjoyed the fresh air, thus the staying power of the story. This segment will be repeated on WBUR radio Tuesday night and will probably run on Bloomberg TV at some point. Also likely available on a pawedcast (“pawedcast” about a dog; get it?)

  3. Curmudgeon says:

    My goodness, a new dissenting voice allowed space in the New York Times.

    How terrible.

    Stop this madness, how will they ever survive?

    • Campaign Outsider says:

      But you do agree the Romney connection should be disclosed, yes, Mudge?

      • Curmudgeon says:

        Only a relation by marriage to a my wife’s idiot cousin with Yale/Harvard Business & Law pedigree who took six months to decide whether he should list an estate asset in NYC (a high-rise condo on the East Side) as exclusive or co-exclusive.

        He use to work for Bain.

        Beyond that, I hardly know the man…just like the rest of us.

      • Campaign Outsider says:

        Take your word for it, Mudge.

  4. Curmudgeon says:

    To your question, John.

    No. I don’t think that that needs to be disclosed.

    Unlike many, including some posting here on your blog, I read things for what they say first. If what is being said is partisan or hyper-partisan, I research the author and factor what I find into my assessments.

    I think a fine example of how “disclosure” can become excessive is your friend Jon Keller on his blog. He has a totally unnecessary disclosure that his son Barney is employed by a partisan group.

    Unless Jon intends to continue to support his son by keeping his son on his health insurance to the age of 56, it is absolutely irrelevant to what is being said.

    Let me ask this, other than being Chief Executive Officer and TV clicker custodian of Campaign Outsider, does what Mrs. Campaign Outsider do for a living have any bearing on how and what you think and write?

    Ok, ok, ok! Mrs Mudgie controls the clicker here, too.

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