The XX Factor

Campbell Brown Steps Aside Gracefully

Campbell Brown has given us a blueprint for how to step down from a very public job with grace. The CNN anchor, who is the star of her own, self-titled show, said yesterday , “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 want to watch my program, and I owe it to myself and to CNN to get out of the way so that CNN can try something else.”

What is upsetting about Brown’s departure, as the New York Times ’ Brian Stelter points out , is that her poor ratings seem to be due to her unwillingness to be histrionic. She was going head-to-head in the 8 p.m. time slot against lefty Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, who crowns someone ” the worst ” in each episode, Bill O’Reilly on Fox News, whose pig-headedness is well-documented , and Nancy Grace on HLN, who feeds off of sensational, missing young girl stories . Of her competitors, Brown said, “Shedding my own journalistic skin to try to inhabit the kind of persona that might coexist in that line-up is simply impossible for me. It is not who I am or who I want to be; nor is it who CNN asked me to be at any point.” Hopefully Brown will find a new gig soon, one where she will feel less pressure to compete with the shouting heads.