Was Soledad O’Brien Bailed Out by Producers on Critical Race Theory Definition?

CNN’s Soledad O’Brien’s venomously sarcastic interview with Breitbart.com editor-in-chief Joel Pollak culminated with her throwing out her definition of “Critical Race Theory” in the heat of her interview over the Obama/Bell Tapes released last night. Pollak had already requested that O’Brien define the term more than once, and at the 1:45 mark in the video below, she finally does. One problem–O’Brien’s definition appears to be lifted almost word-for-word from a wikipedia page, presumedly hurriedly communicated to Soledad in the midst of her interview.

A quick google search of O’Brien’s exact phrasing, in quotes, returns the Critical Race Theory wikipedia page as the first entry. Read and decide for yourself:

Soledad O’Brien: “Critical Race Theory looks into the intersection of race and politics and the law.”

Wikipedia entry on Critical Race Theory: “Critical Race Theory (CRT) is an academic discipline focused upon the intersection of race, law and power.”

O’Brien’s fumbling to come up with a response occurred when she attempted to challenge Pollak’s definition of critical race theory:

Soledad O’Brien: “That is a complete misreading of critical race theory. As you know, that’s an actual theory, and you could google it and someone would give you a good definition of it. So that’s not correct. So keep going.”

Joel Pollak: “In what way is it a critical misreading? Can you explain to me? Do you know what critical–Explain to your readers what critical race theory is.”

Soledad O’Brien: “I’m going to ask you to continue on. I’m just going to point out that that is inaccurate. Keep going.”

Pollak once again asked that she define it, at which point she inserted the wikipedia-esque response. See the video below.

Later in the video, O’Brien can be heard deflecting another question from Pollak, saying “You know what, someone was talking in my ear, so I couldn’t hear what you said.”

**UPDATE 8:20 PM EST: Throughout the day, there have been numerous edits to the wikipedia entry for “Critical Race Theory,” including the elimination of “white supremacy” as a key element (an element referenced by Joel Pollak during his interview with Soledad O’Brien and the existence of which O’Brien scoffed at throughout their conversation). At the time of this update, there had been 26 changes today alone; up until today, the last edit had been mid-February, and before that, just one in January.

See screenshots of the changes here.

  40 comments for “Was Soledad O’Brien Bailed Out by Producers on Critical Race Theory Definition?

  1. Robert Hersey
    March 8, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    It was so obvious that she was that it made her look worse .

    • Warren C. Bennett
      March 8, 2012 at 11:32 pm

      You kind of want to say “Cutie, just close your mouth and look pretty. Let the adults talk.”

      Of course then that other guy spoke up and proved there were more drinkers of kool-aide in the room…

    • C O Jones
      March 10, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      Liberals have relied on revisionist history for so long to sell their message they don’t see it as wrong to revise it again on the fly. A bigger problem is that in the future we will hear liberals state that Joel Pollack didn’t even know what “Critical Race Theory” is and the republican politicians they are interviewing will not know enough to refute it. I see republicans asked, “Since the economy and unemployment numbers are improving, do you think the rich should pay their fair share?” They don’t refute the premise or ask for a definition of “rich” or “fair” or talk current percentages paid. They start talking about revising the tax code!

  2. March 8, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    It’s like they think we haven’t seen “Broadcast News.” And that was before Google.

    • Defeat Liberals
      March 17, 2012 at 3:43 pm

      Soledad really makes a totally complete IDIOT out herself in the last minute or so when she “CLAIMS” that it was an ALL WHITE audience. I don’t think so…… She obviously never even watched the clip. She claimed “looking at the backs of their heads”…. What video was she watching???????

  3. James
    March 8, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    Check the Wikipedia revision history for the article. It was edited several times today! In fact, the original version had the words white supremacy in it!!

  4. Solemom
    March 8, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    She’s quite the spastic teen girl twit when she starts waving her hands around and rolling her eyes when she doesn’t like what she’s hearing. You know, like a 13 yr old know-it-all teen girl.

    • March 8, 2012 at 6:34 pm

      You hit the nail right square on the head, Solemom. You have her pinned like a ripped hem.

      • Ben Jensen
        March 9, 2012 at 1:56 pm

        “pinned like a ripped hem”- awesome!

  5. March 8, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Soledad was beside herself! Soledad is pretty worked up here, in fact, I would say she is having a little tantrum here just minus stomping her little feet. Obama embraces radicals and she can’t stand the thought that the Breitbart.com Warriors are going to finally vet Obama which is what Soledad and her liberal media stooges should have done back in 2008!!

    Joel Pollack, great job, you have successfully exposed the real racists right here in this video!

    • March 8, 2012 at 6:36 pm

      Bev, ABSOLUTELY!! She really is an idiot. Even people who aren’t closely aware of the details and facts can’t stand her, simply because she acts and speaks like a blithering idiot.

  6. D Coleman
    March 8, 2012 at 6:32 pm

    In Soledad O’Brien’s interview with Mr. Pollack che came across as uninformed, desperate, and mean. A real bully. Great work CNN! Keep these kind of people on the air. She came across as an idiot.

  7. theslob
    March 8, 2012 at 6:39 pm

    Soledad O’Brien: “That is a complete misreading of critical race theory. As you know, that’s an actual theory, and you could google it and someone would give you a good definition of it. So that’s not correct. So keep going.”

    That was her cue to her producer – Google IT already!

  8. kcs
    March 8, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    Leftists keep claiming that they are our intellectual superiors, but keep demonstrating otherwise.

    Soledad sure is fixated on the word “bombshell”.

    • Kevin
      March 9, 2012 at 3:34 am

      The point is this the president will crush you on this topic

      • DJ
        March 9, 2012 at 7:29 am

        Ha! Obama won’t talk about CRT unless forced to, and he won’t speak honestly about it. But Bell’s writing is public and can’t be “hidden.” if you really think Obama wants to discuss this subject you must be totally ignorant of what CRT scholars think. And deluded about Obama.

        But by all means, let’s have that honest conversation about race…and CRT and liberation theology and the Black Panthers. Bring it on! Heh.

  9. Neo
    March 8, 2012 at 10:14 pm

    She literally asked someone to “google it and someone would give [her]a good definition of it” right before she spouts of the wiki paragraph.

    Clever girl.

  10. Crash
    March 8, 2012 at 10:19 pm

    “She’s not pretty, she just looks that way”
    That woman is a perfect example of that old saw.

  11. Barack Obama
    March 8, 2012 at 10:25 pm


    Thanks for having my back today. Why don’t you come over the Oval Office this weekend and talk about Critical Race Theory? I’d like to put my meaty chimichanga in your cheesy taco AND your taco salad while drinking O’Douls (and maybe Billy Dee’s Colt 45 malt liqour).

    Love ya (ya slut),


  12. jakee308
    March 9, 2012 at 1:35 am

    “Critical Race Theory”

    “That’s like critical and about race and like it’s a real theory like you know?”

    Sounds like a 3rd grader response to a teacher when they haven’t read the homework.

  13. soledad o'brien
    March 9, 2012 at 5:15 am


    i’d love to, but i was under the impression that you were gay.

  14. drjohn
    March 9, 2012 at 7:26 am

    I’d love to see Thomas’ face when he learns that Pollak’s wife is black.

    What an idiot.

  15. mickey moussaoui
    March 9, 2012 at 8:07 am

    No different than Obama’s teleprompter crutch. But these illiterate libs will tell you that they are smarter than anyone else. Go figure

  16. TS
    March 9, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Wow – Soledad can tell if someone is black by looking at the back of their heads?!!

    Talk about racism!!

    This vid really exposed Soledad for being the racist, unthinking, Obama-water-carrying talking head she is. Shameful!

  17. FeFe
    March 9, 2012 at 9:09 am

    That’s what Andrew was talking about, Mr. Pollack! Watch the media’s reaction to Obama vetting. Meltdown on air! Delicious.

    In essence, take the cocktail, Martha’s Vineyard, academia, bundler, D.C., NYC fundraiser, etc. elitist gathering hole chat, add lighting and put it on air. There’s something rotten in Denmark and it’s the on air talent.

  18. March 9, 2012 at 9:31 am

    CNN has more egg on their face accusing Joel a racist when his wife is black. rotflmao

  19. This is great
    March 9, 2012 at 10:45 am

    I have to give credit to Amy Holmes. She at least understood that there was more to the story than what was shown in 2008.

  20. philwynk
    March 9, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Oh, sweetie pie, you’ve made the point that you don’t find Obama’s association with a black radical professor to be “a bombshell.” How many times do you need to say “bombshell”?

    My goodness, does somebody actually find this lady watchable?

    • philwynk
      March 9, 2012 at 10:48 am

      That was supposed to begin “Ok.”

  21. b.tom.darga
    March 9, 2012 at 10:56 am

    We don’t NEED to anything about Critical Race Theory.

    Real Americans don’t like things that are “Critical”.
    Real Americans don’t like things about “Race”.
    Real Americans ESPECIALLY don’t like high fallutin “Theories”.

    It’s name is enough to label it as anti-American. And Obama hugged it.

    Face it Soledad – youre a SLUT like all Dem whores!

  22. JP
    March 9, 2012 at 11:05 am

    My gawd, this moron.

    Two defensive moves that I learned in first grade.
    1. I know but Im not going to tell you
    2. Huh, what I didnt hear you but anyway changing topics

    She got worked over and over again and, because she is used to everyone backing away because she has a decent face when her mouth isnt moving, she did not know when to say uncle.

    • Solemom
      March 9, 2012 at 11:43 am

      JP, I think you’re giving her face too much credit. I don’t think she would be lost on the set of Planet of the Apes. Take another look.

  23. ConMan
    March 9, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    No more interviews with Soledad when she has her earpiece in.

  24. bonster
    March 9, 2012 at 4:24 pm

    Derrick Bell’s Wikipedia page has been edited several times as well.

  25. jon
    March 14, 2012 at 2:00 pm

    By going to this link you can see the side by side differences at specific instants of time:


    Now the quote above

    “Critical Race Theory (CRT) is an academic discipline focused upon the intersection of race, law and power.”

    was the first sentence of the lead. From Feb 15, 2012 until an edit on March 8, 2012. SO it is quite likely Soledad was handed a Wiki printout and read the first sentence, however the shame is that the third sentence during this period of time reads

    “First, CRT has analyzed the way in which white supremacy and racial power are reproduced over time, and in particular, the role that law plays in this process.”

    Note on October 8, 2011 the lead first sentence said – it was shortened on that day by IP address

    “Critical Race Theory (CRT) is an academic discipline focused upon the intersection of race, law and power. Originating in American law schools, critical race theory has made its way into ethnic studies, political science and education, and into a range of disciplines outside the US.”

    The point is that from October 8, 2011 until at least the end of the day March 8, 2011 what Soledad read was accurate (ignoring the subsequent two sentences). So an editor hands here the Wiki qoute, he should have seen “white supremacy” in the next two sentances and Soledad should have apologized there – but they (Soledad and her editor) took a “selective quote” to somehow prove there was no reference to “white supremacy”.

    In the heat of the moment of the interview [maybe] we could forgive this slip up by Soledad O’Brien, but fast forward now to the subsequent faux interview, when she invited a liberal professor, Emory University’s Dorothy Brown, on her television show to back her up “facts” ergo no “white supremacy”, for Soledad O’Brien to knowingly continue the falsehood is absolutely unconscionable.

    Soledad O’Brien’s prolonged her agony in her transparent attempt to rehabilitate her damaged reputation. The definition of Critical Race Theory is what it is. When both Justice Kagan and Dorothy Brown herself back up Pollak’s description (ahhh, but in writing not a scripted faux interview by O’Brien and Brown), it’s time to admit that Joel Pollak was 100% right and Soledad O’Brien was very wrong.

  26. April 22, 2012 at 1:29 pm

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  27. Mandy
    February 23, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Soledad’s sneering and mocking tone as well as her and others interruptions just revealed how fearful the MSM is of Breitbart people revealing the truth. When the MSM won’t let someone speak, we know the other person is revealing truths.

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