Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day

Soledad O’Brien seemed a bit frazzled last Saturday during her co-hosting of a huge Earth Day event o the Washington DC Mall. She was talking to the 250,000 people, but it didn't seem that most people were interested in speeches. They were there for the music.

Soledad O’Brien and Black Eyed Peas bandleader Will.I.Am both seemed annoyed. In fact, several reports, such as one in the Washington Post by Chris Richards wrote. “O’Brien, either frustrated by glitchy teleprompters or perhaps not clear on how a concert works, actually shushed the crowd at one point.”

The music was from No Doubt, Common, Train, My Morning Jacket, Mary J. Blige. Fall Out Boy and No Doubt and the crowd was obviously into the party and not the dozens of "dry, unimaginative speeches" by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde, foreign dignitaries, corporate sponsors and too few activists.

Perhaps the hosts' experience is a reflection of a larger problem with Earth Days these days.

Seven years ago, the Wall Street Journal wrote,“Launched in 1970 as a protest against corporate environmental misconduct, Earth Day has become a planet-hugging marketing frenzy for companies themselves. Makers of everything from snack chips to sport-utility vehicles now use April 22 to boast about their efforts to help save the planet.”

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Soledad O'Brien In Q Commons Simulcast Tonight

Q Commons began as a single conference before spinning off local franchises, in the same way that TED Talks did, and on February 26 three “global” speakers—author Malcolm Gladwell, journalist Soledad O’Brien, and television producer Mark Burnett—will make a live simulcast to 10,000 people in 75 cities around the world

In the inaugural Q event last October, more than 10,000 people in some 60 cities globally participated.

The 'Q' in Q Commons stands for questions as a way to engage audiences in dialogue around tough issues facing many of our communities.

Soledad O'Brien, who often covers race relations, will be one of the presenters for the national simulcast.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

29 Year Old Reporter Soledad O'Brien on MSNBC's 'The Site'

Here is a clip from the MSNBC program The Site from 1996 when Soledad O'Brien was the host. The show was about the new Internet and technology and MSNBC was then a very different kind of cable channel.

The Site was an hour-long TV program that debuted in July 1996 with MSNBC's launch and aired Monday through Saturday, reaching 35 million homes. The Site morphed into an entire technology channel called ZDTV, which was later renamed TechTV, and which merged to become G4.

Soledad closes out this episode with the virtual character Dev Null (voiced by Leo Laporte) singing  "Happy Together" accompanied by Andy Cahan, the keyboardist from the band that recorded that hit, The Turtles.

Soledad had anchored MSNBC's award-winning technology program The Site and also the MSNBC weekend morning show.

The Site was preempted for two weeks by news programs during the death of Diana, Princess of Wales during September 1997. That programming was very popular and changed MSNBC's approach to programming.  It was never brought back, and so the show ended without a finale.

Fans petitioned MSNBC to bring it back without success. A version of it was reincarnated, with laporte but without Soledad,  as The Screen Savers in May 1998.

Soledad had joined NBC News in 1991 and was based in New York as a field producer for Nightly News and Today. After The Site, she anchored NBC's Weekend Today starting in July 1999.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Strong Opinions on Obama's Cuba Policy

President Obama's move to normalize relations with Cuba is receiving major pushback, but he is doing what he promised voters he would do.

Senator Rubio wants to continue Cold War tactics that’ve failed the interests of the United States and the general population of Cuba. He opines that, “All this is going to do is give the Castro regime, which controls every aspect of Cuban life, the opportunity to manipulate these changes to perpetuate itself in power.” He holds onto to these antiquated views despite the fact that as far back as 2009, a Washington Post — ABC News survey told us that two-thirds of the American people supported restoration of diplomatic relations with Cuba. That number has increased.

On the other hand, Soledad O’Brien, whose mother is Cuban, puts a human face on the harm of the embargo. She tells the sad story of her mother having to miss the funerals of five of her siblings because of the restrictions on travel to Cuba through the years. How truly sad this is when our diplomatic policies fly in the face of our “family values” rhetoric.

more at

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Soledad O'Brien at USF's MLK Convocation Tonight

Soledad O'Brien will speak during the University of South Florida's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Week, held Jan. 15-23.

O'Brien, the originator of CNN's Black in America series, was selected by the student-run University Lecture Series as someone who represents and speaks to a variety of identities, and provides a wealth of experiences and knowledge, according to USF.

Her free lecture will be at the MLK Convocation tonight, January 20, at 8 p.m.