Departed Anchor Complaints -- Sour Grapes Or Liberated Warning?

Steve Safran at Lost Remote takes issue with former CNN anchor Aaron Brown for some comments the newsman has recently made. At a recent speech before a First Amendment forum, Brown bemoaned the current state of television news and, according to the report, suggested his parting with CNN was in party due to his complaints about the network's focus on gossip and celebrity at the expense of more important news. Safran, for one, isn't buying it:
If Aaron Brown was so concerned about the direction of news at CNN during his tenure there, why not do something about it? During a keynote, he said he had his "hey - this is a celebrity culture" epiphany during the 2001 Robert Blake murder investigation. In the near-five years that followed, Mr. Brown covered that very culture of celebrity. Brown says his dismissal was a result of his protesting CNN's coverage of gossip and celebs, but you have to think the ratings played a role. And I don't know about you -- but if I were trying to do hard news and I didn't like the soft direction my network was headed, I wouldn't stick around for years and years to see if it would change.
Safran makes a good point in that it's hard to take complaints like Brown's to heart when he wasn't bothered enough at the time to take a paycheck from CNN. Then again, it's awfully hard to make even incremental changes from the sidelines. What do you think?

Update: In an e-mail to TVNewser, Brown says the story that Safran cites is "badly and unfairly distorted":

The Oregon story is badly and unfairly distorted. I never said CNN's desire to do trash and my refusal had anything to do with my demise. I did say Fox's obsession with Natalie last summer killed us and me. The story does a great dis-service to both me and CNN, an organization I continue to admire.