Almost nobody is ever fired anymore. Obviously sacked Presidential staff, agency heads and Cabinet officials announce that they are leaving to “pursue other opportunities” or to be with their families. (Recent glaring example: Desiree Rogers, who “resigned,” just coincidentally after being instrumental in allowing two gate-crashers into a White House star dinner.) Nobody believes it, of course. The same is true of actors fired from movies, TV shows, and plays for being wrong for their parts or just impossible bt work with, who then announce that it was a “mutual decision.” All of this is intended to avoid the stigma of losing a job because, well, the individual just wasn’t delivering as hoped or promised. It doesn’t work, of course: nobody is fooled, but the charade simply adds to the public belief, increasingly justified, that everyone lies, all the time.
So although Campbell Brown’s stark honesty about why she is leaving her low-rated CNN show shouldn’t be anything special, it is. It is a rare effort to get the culture back to respecting accountability, honestly and candor, especially from journalists. In an internal memo to CNN colleagues that she knew would rapidly become public, Brown announced that she was resigning before she could be fired. “I’ve never had much tolerance for others’ spin,” she wrote, and thus “can’t imagine trying to stomach my own.” No, she admitted, she isn’t leaving “to spend more time with my children” or “to pursue other opportunities.”
“Not enough people want to watch my program.”
Brava, Campbell. To paraphrase Shakespeare (in “Macbeth”), nothing in your show became you like the leaving it. Thanks for showing everyone how to be honest, even when it hurts.