CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America from Minnesota who worked as a TV journalist in Cleveland and Cincinnati, was crowned "Worst Person in the World" today by MSNBC's Keith Olbermann after stumbling in an interview with a White House official. She described Sen. Ted Kennedy as a "hostile enemy on the home front" during a FOX News Channel broadcast. Carlson is co-anchor of the network's live morning show "FOX & Friends."
The incident seemed to be a vivid on-air demonstration of Fox broadcasting's conservative tilt. It also probably taints Carlson, whose reputation as a straight reporter now seems damaged. Even the White House was non-plussed and said Kennedy was not an enemy because of political disagreements over Iraq War strategy.
Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, has introduced a bill that would place limits on America troops who can serve in Iraq. The measure would undercut President George W. Bush's move to increase by 20,000 the number of soldiers in Iraq, a White House decision that Kennedy opposes.
Olbermann often bestows the title "Worst Person in the World" to FOX personality Bill O'Reilly. During his Wednesday night broadcast, he potrayed Carlson's remark about Kennedy as out of line and biased. Carlson was an anchor and reporter at WOIO-TV in Cleveland and WCPT-TV in Cincinnati. She is a blonde, but she is not a bubblehead and has a degree from Stanford University and studied for a time at Oxford University in England.
During the 1989 Miss America pageant, the beauty queen played the violin. Her Miss America biography is here. Carlson has also worked at CBS as a journalist where she covered Oklahoma City bomber Timoth McVeigh's execution and the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City.