The. Greatest. Thing. In. The. World. just happened on CNN.
On her morning show, the outgoing Soledad O’Brien was all set to rip into Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes for describing President Obama as “lazy” in an upcoming biography. The quote in question was published yesterday in an exclusive excerpt given to Vanity Fair.
If past is prologue, there’s little doubt O’Brien intended to bring race into the discussion. But O’Brien obviously hadn’t done even the minimal amount of homework, you know, like reading the full Ailes quote.
Here’s the part of the Ailes quote O’Brien read on the air (the bolded portion is what O’Brien was obviously unaware of and did not read on the air):
Obama’s the one who never worked a day in his life. He never earned a penny that wasn’t public money. How many fund-raisers does he attend every week? How often does he play basketball and golf? I wish I had that kind of time. He’s lazy, but the media won’t report that. He noticed my arched eyebrows and added, “I didn’t come up with that. Obama said that, to Barbara Walters.” (What Obama said was that he feels a laziness in himself that he attributes to his laid-back upbringing in Hawaii.)
The chyron read: “Ailes lets loose. Calls president “lazy,” Biden “dumb.”
O’Brien turned to her panel and said that was “not nice” Then, after an awkward pause, this happened:
The Blaze’s Will Cain: Everyone’s latching on to the fact that [Ailes] called the president lazy. … Roger Ailes did go on to say that ‘I’m only quoting from the president directly.’ He talked about an interview that President Obama gave to Barbara Walters where he said, ‘I grew up in Hawaii, which is pretty laid back’. Roger Ailes wasn’t coming up with that on his own. He made a point of mentioning that.
Soledad O’Brien: So “pretty laid back” to “lazy” is a little bit of a leap to me.
CNN’s John Berman: Barack Obama used the word “lazy.”
O’Brien: Interesting. I didn’t know that.
Cain: He did. Obama said he feels a laziness in himself that he attributes to his laid back upbringing in Hawaii.
O’Brien: Hmm. Interesting.
It was all so beautifully awkward.
But how could she not know? How could she not have read the full paragraph — especially if she intended to take this debate where I think she intended to, which was race.
CNN needs to yank O’Brien yesterday.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC