Campbell Brown And The Beauty Of Just Walking Away


Campbell Brown is winning fans in a rather unusual way: quitting. And admitting it’s because she doesn’t have enough fans, or viewers.

Last week, Brown released an unusually candid statement about why she was leaving her CNN show, which has declined in fortunes after Campbell’s successful campaign-season run. She said, among other things,

“I could have said that I am stepping down to spend more time with my children (which I truly want to do). Or that I am leaving to pursue other opportunities (which I also truly want to do). But I have never had much tolerance for others’ spin, so I can’t imagine trying to stomach my own. The simple fact is that not enough people watch my program.”

Praise from all quarters ensured. And as Meghan Daum points out in the LA Times today, it was an interesting moment for the national obsession with winning:

It’s a little ironic given our predisposition for winners: a love-a-thon (OK, respect-a-thon) for a loser…. By refusing to be cagey about her reasons for leaving, by being brutally honest about her less-than-stellar ratings, by admitting, in essence, to failure, she pulled off something quite magnificent: She appealed to those of us who have failed at one time or another. That is to say, she appealed to all of us, something she apparently couldn’t do in the context of hosting a cable news show.

This is neither an apology nor a quiet slinking away nor a dragging it out forever. Brown actually seemed to win by losing.

She’s always seemed so formidable — her smackdown of McCain flack Tucker Bounds over Sarah Palin was epic:

So to see her manage to both appear vulnerable and in control of that vulnerability is a particularly potent experience. The question is, once you admit that things didn’t go as you hoped, what next? Well, what with her unedited badassery, may we suggest blogging?

Quitting Becomes Campbell Brown [LAT]

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