- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Can you blame her for jumping before she’s shoved?

Amid reports that former CNN morning anchor Soledad O’Brien — having already lost her morning slot to twinkly Erin Burnett — would be the next to leave the network in an ongoing purge of high-visibility talent under new boss Jeff Zucker, anonymous, proactive “sources” have reached out to the New York Post’s Page Six with some preemptive, Soledad-positive spin.

“The deal to move Erin to the morning alongside Chris Cuomo is basically done,” the source told the popular personalities column. “Soledad had been told she’d get a prime-time slot, but that hasn’t yet happened, and now she is telling friends she is likely to leave.”

After jumping from NBC to CNN in 2003, Miss O’Brien anchored “American Morning,” before venturing into the roiling depths of identity politics as host of specials like “Black in America.” She anchored the low-rated morning show “Starting Point” from January 2012 until it was canceled earlier this month.

“Soledad is talented at producing in-depth, serious pieces of journalism, and is a tough interviewer,” the friendly source explained to Page Six. “That doesn’t seem to fit the direction the network is going.”

Added another source: “Soledad is a big star, and would only stay for the right show.”

A “tough interviewer” and “serious” practitioner of “in-depth journalism” who wouldn’t — don’t laugh — deign to overstay her welcome at a network that had opted for a new direction of softball interviews and glancing, superficial treatments of frivolous topics?

Everyone’s entitled to try to put a face-saving gloss on an embarrassing career setback.

And who among us hasn’t puffed our accomplishments in a job interview or preened in a resume?

Then again, most of us know better than to take our own resume puffery too seriously — and would be absolutely mortified to see it show up on Page Six.

That might be the difference between us and a “big star” like Soledad O’Brien.

• Daniel Wattenberg can be reached at dwattenberg@washingtontimes.com.

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