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    January 31, 2005
    Countdown - January 31, 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Jan. 31

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Topics/Guests:
    WHAT IS THE U.S. EXIT STRATEGY IN IRAQ? Tom Squitieri, USA Today

    WHAT WILL INSURGENTS IN IRAQ DO NEXT?: Steve Emerson, MSNBC terrorism analyst, author of "Jihad in America"

    Dave Attell

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: February 2, 10:40 a.m.

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: You wouldn't believe it if you didn't see it with your own eyes. What kind of OlbyConvergence does KO come up with to report on Hillary Clinton's fainting spell?

    Three years and 18 days after President Bush blacked out at the White House during a pretzel malfunction, the junior Senator from New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton, fainted five minutes into a scheduled speech...

    After this forced non-sequitur, Olby mentions the mayor of Baghdad's plans to build a statue of President Bush. No surprise, his spin twirls out of control:

    Given the fact that Major Fadell is only assuming his office because his predecessor was assasinated 27 days ago, maybe he wants to hold off on this idea a little bit.

    And all this crammed into the opening minutes before Keith even gets to reporting the election story, where his lead is not the number of people who voted, but something else:

    That the insurgents ultimately had no impact on yesterday's voting turns out to have not been for lack of effort. The number of attacks yesterday, originally reported as eight, is now estimated at 100 by the US military.

    Some fun with statistics there from Olby (what constitutes one of those 100 "attacks"?) but guest Steve Emerson didn't bite on any of KO's one-track questions:

    Are there expectations or anticipations about any ways the insurgents might change strategies as they try to resume operations?

    Let's say that yesterday was a one-day pause...Can that still have a dampening effect on the entirety of the insurgency, on their supporters, on their backers?

    Then Olby finally decides to report on the turnout:

    [Turnout was] lowest in the Sunni triangle....Some polling stations never even bothered to open. Few voters actually made it to the ones who did. Despite rumors that food rations would be taken away if residents failed to vote.

    Several negative anecdotes were hit hard, but Keith just didn't have time to mention how many people did turn out. He had more important fish to fry, like missing money that "happened under the watch of L Paul Bremer". Then, picking up on today's DNC talking points, KO has a discussion of "exit strategy" with Tom Squieteri. After an Al Jazeera item, the #5 story on the backwards countdown finally concludes. But not before Olby can plug the next segment:

    While most think the election in Iraq was a success, that has not translated into warm feelings in the neighborhood for the President.

    #4: International reaction to the Iraqi elections. Keith Miller's taped, re-cycled report again mentions the phrase of the day, "exit strategy". A David Gregory report speculates on the future of Iraq. A federal judge ruled against "enemy combattant" status. KO even puts a quote from the ruling on the screen. He does mention that this conflicts with an earlier ruling by a different judge, but did Olby give that decision the same prominence as this one?

    #3: The Michael Jackson case. 'Nuff said.

    #2: Margaret Spellings "jumped the gun" by complaining to PBS about a "Sugar Time" episode that promoted homosexuality. Snidely referring to the program as "dangerous" and "mind-warping", KO added that there was "an implicit threat to cut off funds for PBS". What better time to bring up James Dobson and SpongeBob once again? Another chance to play the video! Then Olby complained that Dobson was encouraging people to send him what KO called "spam". (Oddly enough, Keith considered emails to be "news tips" when they were about VoteFraud2004inOhioButNotPennsylvania.) KO had fun reading some of the sillier messages, as his off-camera crew laughed on cue.

    After what seemed like an eternity, Keith finally arrived at the #1 story: beer with caffeine. Does anyone think Olby was on that story long before the program began?


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - January 31, 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Jan. 31

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Topics/Guests:
    WHAT IS THE U.S. EXIT STRATEGY IN IRAQ? Tom Squitieri, USA Today

    WHAT WILL INSURGENTS IN IRAQ DO NEXT?: Steve Emerson, MSNBC terrorism analyst, author of "Jihad in America"

    Dave Attell

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: February 2, 10:40 a.m.

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: You wouldn't believe it if you didn't see it with your own eyes. What kind of OlbyConvergence does KO come up with to report on Hillary Clinton's fainting spell?

    Three years and 18 days after President Bush blacked out at the White House during a pretzel malfunction, the junior Senator from New York, Hillary Rodham Clinton, fainted five minutes into a scheduled speech...

    After this forced non-sequitur, Olby mentions the mayor of Baghdad's plans to build a statue of President Bush. No surprise, his spin twirls out of control:

    Given the fact that Major Fadell is only assuming his office because his predecessor was assasinated 27 days ago, maybe he wants to hold off on this idea a little bit.

    And all this crammed into the opening minutes before Keith even gets to reporting the election story, where his lead is not the number of people who voted, but something else:

    That the insurgents ultimately had no impact on yesterday's voting turns out to have not been for lack of effort. The number of attacks yesterday, originally reported as eight, is now estimated at 100 by the US military.

    Some fun with statistics there from Olby (what constitutes one of those 100 "attacks"?) but guest Steve Emerson didn't bite on any of KO's one-track questions:

    Are there expectations or anticipations about any ways the insurgents might change strategies as they try to resume operations?

    Let's say that yesterday was a one-day pause...Can that still have a dampening effect on the entirety of the insurgency, on their supporters, on their backers?

    Then Olby finally decides to report on the turnout:

    [Turnout was] lowest in the Sunni triangle....Some polling stations never even bothered to open. Few voters actually made it to the ones who did. Despite rumors that food rations would be taken away if residents failed to vote.

    Several negative anecdotes were hit hard, but Keith just didn't have time to mention how many people did turn out. He had more important fish to fry, like missing money that "happened under the watch of L Paul Bremer". Then, picking up on today's DNC talking points, KO has a discussion of "exit strategy" with Tom Squieteri. After an Al Jazeera item, the #5 story on the backwards countdown finally concludes. But not before Olby can plug the next segment:

    While most think the election in Iraq was a success, that has not translated into warm feelings in the neighborhood for the President.

    #4: International reaction to the Iraqi elections. Keith Miller's taped, re-cycled report again mentions the phrase of the day, "exit strategy". A David Gregory report speculates on the future of Iraq. A federal judge ruled against "enemy combattant" status. KO even puts a quote from the ruling on the screen. He does mention that this conflicts with an earlier ruling by a different judge, but did Olby give that decision the same prominence as this one?

    #3: The Michael Jackson case. 'Nuff said.

    #2: Margaret Spellings "jumped the gun" by complaining to PBS about a "Sugar Time" episode that promoted homosexuality. Snidely referring to the program as "dangerous" and "mind-warping", KO added that there was "an implicit threat to cut off funds for PBS". What better time to bring up James Dobson and SpongeBob once again? Another chance to play the video! Then Olby complained that Dobson was encouraging people to send him what KO called "spam". (Oddly enough, Keith considered emails to be "news tips" when they were about VoteFraud2004inOhioButNotPennsylvania.) KO had fun reading some of the sillier messages, as his off-camera crew laughed on cue.

    After what seemed like an eternity, Keith finally arrived at the #1 story: beer with caffeine. Does anyone think Olby was on that story long before the program began?


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    Sex Indoctrination Controversy Heating Up For Olbermann

    The SpongeBob SquarePants brouhaha generated as much smoke as heat, at least regarding the details of how it began and who said what. The mass media did a poor job of accurately presenting story. There have since been articles attempting to clear the smoke. Cox News Service did so last Saturday. And James Dobson himself posted this yesterday. My colleague just now posted (below) what Dobson said about Olbermann.

    To be fair, the ultra fast-paced "Aaron Brown-on-speed" format of Countdown is not likely to explore any complex debate with fairness. One is hard-pressed to recall the last time it had. Yet the management that just promoted the admirably fair Brian Williams must be pondering whether or not the person they thought they hired---an offbeat, smart and witty news anchor---hasn't devolved into a flippant, disrespectful left-wing ideologue.

    It's one thing to have an opinion and invite a guest with the opposite opinion as a sounding board for a good discussion. That's what most cable shows do. But it's quite another to expect anyone to sit through an hour listening to one viewpoint. That used to be the Donahue Show. Now it's Countdown.

    In the case of 'SpongeBob', KO is expressing his secularism in an arrogant manner, and his opposition to reasonable parental control of children involving attitudes about sex. Unless KO starts doing some smoke-clearing of his own, his smug superiority will leave a lasting bad taste in the mouths of many viewers.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Sex Indoctrination Controversy Heating Up For Olbermann

    The SpongeBob SquarePants brouhaha generated as much smoke as heat, at least regarding the details of how it began and who said what. The mass media did a poor job of accurately presenting story. There have since been articles attempting to clear the smoke. Cox News Service did so last Saturday. And James Dobson himself posted this yesterday. My colleague just now posted (below) what Dobson said about Olbermann.

    To be fair, the ultra fast-paced "Aaron Brown-on-speed" format of Countdown is not likely to explore any complex debate with fairness. One is hard-pressed to recall the last time it had. Yet the management that just promoted the admirably fair Brian Williams must be pondering whether or not the person they thought they hired---an offbeat, smart and witty news anchor---hasn't devolved into a flippant, disrespectful left-wing ideologue.

    It's one thing to have an opinion and invite a guest with the opposite opinion as a sounding board for a good discussion. That's what most cable shows do. But it's quite another to expect anyone to sit through an hour listening to one viewpoint. That used to be the Donahue Show. Now it's Countdown.

    In the case of 'SpongeBob', KO is expressing his secularism in an arrogant manner, and his opposition to reasonable parental control of children involving attitudes about sex. Unless KO starts doing some smoke-clearing of his own, his smug superiority will leave a lasting bad taste in the mouths of many viewers.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    James Dobson Slams Keith Olbermann

    James Dobson of Focus on the Family sets the record straight on the misinformation campaign by Keith Olbermann and his liberal cronies at NBC:

    "MSNBC's" Keith Olbermann, one of the most hostile of the commentators, characterized my account of the situation as the goofiest story of the day. He cited a lawyer for the We Are Family Foundation who said that critics of this effort "need medication." Olbermann then added, "We here found it hard to argue with him." It might not surprise you that when one of my listeners wrote Mr. Olbermann a polite but pointed email in response to his comments, he replied by saying that emails such as hers would be "treated with the lack of respect they deserve." He went on to chastise her, and wrote, "...you might ask yourself if your actions are any different than someone in a cult." And some people still wonder why Americans no longer trust the mainstream media!


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    James Dobson Slams Keith Olbermann

    James Dobson of Focus on the Family sets the record straight on the misinformation campaign by Keith Olbermann and his liberal cronies at NBC:

    "MSNBC's" Keith Olbermann, one of the most hostile of the commentators, characterized my account of the situation as the goofiest story of the day. He cited a lawyer for the We Are Family Foundation who said that critics of this effort "need medication." Olbermann then added, "We here found it hard to argue with him." It might not surprise you that when one of my listeners wrote Mr. Olbermann a polite but pointed email in response to his comments, he replied by saying that emails such as hers would be "treated with the lack of respect they deserve." He went on to chastise her, and wrote, "...you might ask yourself if your actions are any different than someone in a cult." And some people still wonder why Americans no longer trust the mainstream media!


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Loony Left Statisticians Regroup

    Kathy Dopp sent me her latest press release. Why exactly I have no idea (maybe because we are the #1 Olbermann blog on the web, Keith reads this site and she is so desperate for another trip to the well that she will even solicit an anti-Keith site) but you will see Dopp is now touting herself as "President" of US Count Votes, a group consisting of some of the usual suspects: like Steven F. Freeman and Josh Mitteldorf. I am sad to see a professor from my alma mater, Notre Dame, on the list.

    The release touts the latest "analysis" of the Exit Poll "data" (quotes to indicate that none of the exit poll data has been released so Dopp and her crew are relying on their own homebrew version of data which renders the entire excercise pointless from an academic point of view).

    The report is here.

    Continue reading for the entire press release.

    Press Release:
    Monday, January 31, 2005
    http://uscountvotes.org/ucvAnalysis/US/USCountVotes_Re_Mitofsky-Edison.pdf

    Prominent Statisticians Refute 'Explanation' of 2004 U.S. Exit Poll Discrepancies in New Edison/Mitofsky Report and Urge Investigation of U.S. Presidential Election Results.

    President Bush won November's election by 2.5% yet exit polls showed Kerry leading by 3%. Which was correct?

    "There are statistical indications that a systematic, nationwide shift of 5.5% of the vote may have occurred, and that we'll never get to the bottom of this, unless we gather the data we need for mathematical analysis and open, robust scientific debate.", says Bruce O'Dell, USCountVotes' Vice President.

    The study, "Response to Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004 Report", was co-authored by a diverse group of professors and academicians specializing in statistics and mathematics. The USCountVotes team included Josh Mitteldorf, Ph.D., Temple University Statistics Department; Kathy Dopp, M.S. in mathematics, USCountVotes President; Steven F. Freeman, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar & Affiliated Faculty, Center for Organizational Dynamics, University of Pennsylvania; Brian Joiner, Ph.D., Professor of Statistics and Director of Statistical Consulting (ret), University of Wisconsin; Frank Stenger, Ph.D. Professor of Numerical Analysis, School of Computing, University of Utah; Richard G. Sheehan, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Finance, University of Notre Dame, Elizabeth Liddle, M.A. (UK) Ph.D. candidate at the University of Nottingham, Paul F. Velleman, Assoc. Professor, Ph.D., Department of Statistical Sciences, Cornell University; Victoria Lovegren, Ph.D., Lecturer, Department of Mathematics, Case Western Reserve University; Campbell B. Read, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Department of Statistical Science, Southern Methodist University. Their study does not support claims made by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International that exit poll errors were to blame for the unprecedented 5.5% discrepancy between exit polls and official 2004 election results.

    According to this analysis by a group of senior statisticians, the new data just released by the exit-pollsters shows that the possibility that the overall vote count was substantially corrupted must be taken seriously. “Now we have statistical evidence that these reports were the tip of a national iceberg. The hypothesis that the discrepancy between the exit polls and election results is due to errors in the official election tally is a coherent theory that must be explored,� said statistician Josh Mitteldorf.

    Their paper titled "Response to Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004 Report" notes that the Edison/Mitofsky report offers no evidence to support their conclusion that Kerry voters “participated in the exit polls at a higher rate than Bush voters�. In fact, the data provided in the Edison/Mitofsky report suggests that the opposite may have been true: Bush strongholds had slightly higher response rates than Kerry strongholds.

    The statisticians go on to note that precincts with hand-counted paper ballots showed no statistical discrepancy between the exit polls and the official results, but for other voting technologies, the overall discrepancy was far larger than the polls’ margin of error. The pollsters at Edison/Mitofsky agreed that their 2004 exit polls, for whatever reason, had the poorest accuracy in at least twenty years.

    USCountVotes, a nonprofit, non-partisan Utah corporation was founded in December 2004. Its mission is to create and analyze a database containing precinct-level election results for the entire United States; to do a thorough mathematical analysis of the 2004 election results; and to fully investigate the 2004 Presidential election results. USCountVotes actively seeks volunteers and accepts donations to help make this unprecedented civic project a reality – visit www.uscountvotes.org for further information.

    For more information, contact Bruce O'Dell, Vice President of US Count Votes, in Minneapolis, MN: bruce@uscountvotes.org 612-309-1330

    The statisticians' study is available online at
    http://uscountvotes.org/ucvAnalysis/US/USCountVotes_Re_Mitofsky-Edison.pdf

    The full text of the Edison/Mitofsky report is available at
    www.exit-poll.net/election-night/EvaluationJan192005.pdf


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Loony Left Statisticians Regroup

    Kathy Dopp sent me her latest press release. Why exactly I have no idea (maybe because we are the #1 Olbermann blog on the web, Keith reads this site and she is so desperate for another trip to the well that she will even solicit an anti-Keith site) but you will see Dopp is now touting herself as "President" of US Count Votes, a group consisting of some of the usual suspects: like Steven F. Freeman and Josh Mitteldorf. I am sad to see a professor from my alma mater, Notre Dame, on the list.

    The release touts the latest "analysis" of the Exit Poll "data" (quotes to indicate that none of the exit poll data has been released so Dopp and her crew are relying on their own homebrew version of data which renders the entire excercise pointless from an academic point of view).

    The report is here.

    Continue reading for the entire press release.

    Press Release:
    Monday, January 31, 2005
    http://uscountvotes.org/ucvAnalysis/US/USCountVotes_Re_Mitofsky-Edison.pdf

    Prominent Statisticians Refute 'Explanation' of 2004 U.S. Exit Poll Discrepancies in New Edison/Mitofsky Report and Urge Investigation of U.S. Presidential Election Results.

    President Bush won November's election by 2.5% yet exit polls showed Kerry leading by 3%. Which was correct?

    "There are statistical indications that a systematic, nationwide shift of 5.5% of the vote may have occurred, and that we'll never get to the bottom of this, unless we gather the data we need for mathematical analysis and open, robust scientific debate.", says Bruce O'Dell, USCountVotes' Vice President.

    The study, "Response to Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004 Report", was co-authored by a diverse group of professors and academicians specializing in statistics and mathematics. The USCountVotes team included Josh Mitteldorf, Ph.D., Temple University Statistics Department; Kathy Dopp, M.S. in mathematics, USCountVotes President; Steven F. Freeman, Ph.D., Visiting Scholar & Affiliated Faculty, Center for Organizational Dynamics, University of Pennsylvania; Brian Joiner, Ph.D., Professor of Statistics and Director of Statistical Consulting (ret), University of Wisconsin; Frank Stenger, Ph.D. Professor of Numerical Analysis, School of Computing, University of Utah; Richard G. Sheehan, Ph.D. Professor, Department of Finance, University of Notre Dame, Elizabeth Liddle, M.A. (UK) Ph.D. candidate at the University of Nottingham, Paul F. Velleman, Assoc. Professor, Ph.D., Department of Statistical Sciences, Cornell University; Victoria Lovegren, Ph.D., Lecturer, Department of Mathematics, Case Western Reserve University; Campbell B. Read, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus, Department of Statistical Science, Southern Methodist University. Their study does not support claims made by Edison Media Research and Mitofsky International that exit poll errors were to blame for the unprecedented 5.5% discrepancy between exit polls and official 2004 election results.

    According to this analysis by a group of senior statisticians, the new data just released by the exit-pollsters shows that the possibility that the overall vote count was substantially corrupted must be taken seriously. “Now we have statistical evidence that these reports were the tip of a national iceberg. The hypothesis that the discrepancy between the exit polls and election results is due to errors in the official election tally is a coherent theory that must be explored,� said statistician Josh Mitteldorf.

    Their paper titled "Response to Edison/Mitofsky Election System 2004 Report" notes that the Edison/Mitofsky report offers no evidence to support their conclusion that Kerry voters “participated in the exit polls at a higher rate than Bush voters�. In fact, the data provided in the Edison/Mitofsky report suggests that the opposite may have been true: Bush strongholds had slightly higher response rates than Kerry strongholds.

    The statisticians go on to note that precincts with hand-counted paper ballots showed no statistical discrepancy between the exit polls and the official results, but for other voting technologies, the overall discrepancy was far larger than the polls’ margin of error. The pollsters at Edison/Mitofsky agreed that their 2004 exit polls, for whatever reason, had the poorest accuracy in at least twenty years.

    USCountVotes, a nonprofit, non-partisan Utah corporation was founded in December 2004. Its mission is to create and analyze a database containing precinct-level election results for the entire United States; to do a thorough mathematical analysis of the 2004 election results; and to fully investigate the 2004 Presidential election results. USCountVotes actively seeks volunteers and accepts donations to help make this unprecedented civic project a reality – visit www.uscountvotes.org for further information.

    For more information, contact Bruce O'Dell, Vice President of US Count Votes, in Minneapolis, MN: bruce@uscountvotes.org 612-309-1330

    The statisticians' study is available online at
    http://uscountvotes.org/ucvAnalysis/US/USCountVotes_Re_Mitofsky-Edison.pdf

    The full text of the Edison/Mitofsky report is available at
    www.exit-poll.net/election-night/EvaluationJan192005.pdf


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    January 30, 2005
    Countdown - January 30, 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Jan. 30

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: Updated: 2:04 p.m. ET Jan. 31, 2005
    Guest: Dilshad Qadir, Rod Nordland, Robin Wright

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: PENDING


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - January 30, 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Jan. 30

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: Updated: 2:04 p.m. ET Jan. 31, 2005
    Guest: Dilshad Qadir, Rod Nordland, Robin Wright

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: PENDING


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    January 29, 2005
    A Matter of Respect

    Keith Olbermann's first commentary on the "Dr. Dobson vs. SpongeBob SquarePants" bruhaha appeared to this contributor to Olbywatch at the time to be merely an easy and opportunistic attack on conservative values. But KO has since become a lightening rod in this highly divisive traditional and religious values debate. Something that perhaps the management at MSNBC may not welcome for one of their news anchors---particularly following an election which in some respects became a national referendum on the issue.

    And what pivotal issue of our times triggered the backlash against Olbermann? The silly hoopla over allegations that a children's cartoon character appears to be proselytizing homosexuality! Yes, I do call it silly. I'm as much a secularist as Olbermann. But if I endeavered to become a commentator to be taken seriously, I wouldn't rest my case solely on the easy mockery of a character like Dr. Dobson. Indeed, it appears that cultural traditionalists are grilling Keith more for his smug self-complacency than for his secularist liberal views.

    That was precisely the subject raised in yesterday's op-ed by Gary Schneeberger, editor of Family News In Focus, who writes:

    ". . . when it comes to lobbying liberal journalists like Olbermann, the sad reality is that getting them to acknowledge--let alone to respond respectfully--to our point of view is the longest of long shots." [. . . ] "Giving socially conservative, Christian thought a fair public hearing is an invitation for professional ridicule, an admission that you might not believe anymore that the answers to anything that ails you can be found in your own wit and will, and that of your equally witty, willful colleagues."

    "Scour the 'morgues'--i.e., the old clip files--of some of the newspapers where I worked before coming to Christ in 1997, and you'll find the same kind of 'I'm-so-much-cooler-than-you-are' vitriol Olbermann has spewed forth in response to your criticism of his reporting on the SpongeBob story."

    (By "your criticism", Schneeberger is referring to an email writing campaign directed at Olbermann by CitizenLink.)

    Last night, Eric Deggans' op-ed in the St. Petersburg Times Online singled out Olbermann's "Will SpongeBob make you gay?" commentary as representative of that produced by media elites: By both not understanding the concerns of traditionalists, and by taking an ill-advised attack on a popular cartoon for kids, and using it as a facile means to ridicule conservative and traditional values.

    Deggans' piece was balanced, criticizing the use of code words and demonization employed by both sides of the debate. Noteworthy was his quote from liberal professor Barbara McGraw, who has studied this culture war:

    "You're not going to have millions of people following something that is completely stupid ... and there is a legitimate point about parents raising their children according to the values they have," [...] "One of (Dobson's) key points is that liberals are using buzz words to promote an agenda that goes beyond race and religion. The mainstream media need to be sensitive to that."

    All people wish to be treated with respect and their views taken seriously. One day, Keith may find himself favoring something that the liberal intelligencia opposes. That will be that day Keith will yearn for serious arguments instead of constant ridicule and condescension.

    And if at that time, he's no longer priviledged to be a news commentator for a major network, and unable to voice his views to the masses, he might feel as culturally disenfrachised as middle-America feels today.

    Update: As astute Olbywatch reader Cecelia points out in comments, while the most vocal of KO's critics may be religious people, this issue is ultimately about the intense desire of all parents---liberal and conservative---to instill in their children the values that they hold, particularly regarding the age-sensitive subject of sexual preference and lifestyles.

    "The spirit of liberty is the spirit that is never too certain that it is right" ....Justice Learned Hand.

    Something that people without a media megaphone already appreciate, and which Keith may come to appreciate in time.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (25) | | View blog reactions
    A Matter of Respect

    Keith Olbermann's first commentary on the "Dr. Dobson vs. SpongeBob SquarePants" bruhaha appeared to this contributor to Olbywatch at the time to be merely an easy and opportunistic attack on conservative values. But KO has since become a lightening rod in this highly divisive traditional and religious values debate. Something that perhaps the management at MSNBC may not welcome for one of their news anchors---particularly following an election which in some respects became a national referendum on the issue.

    And what pivotal issue of our times triggered the backlash against Olbermann? The silly hoopla over allegations that a children's cartoon character appears to be proselytizing homosexuality! Yes, I do call it silly. I'm as much a secularist as Olbermann. But if I endeavered to become a commentator to be taken seriously, I wouldn't rest my case solely on the easy mockery of a character like Dr. Dobson. Indeed, it appears that cultural traditionalists are grilling Keith more for his smug self-complacency than for his secularist liberal views.

    That was precisely the subject raised in yesterday's op-ed by Gary Schneeberger, editor of Family News In Focus, who writes:

    ". . . when it comes to lobbying liberal journalists like Olbermann, the sad reality is that getting them to acknowledge--let alone to respond respectfully--to our point of view is the longest of long shots." [. . . ] "Giving socially conservative, Christian thought a fair public hearing is an invitation for professional ridicule, an admission that you might not believe anymore that the answers to anything that ails you can be found in your own wit and will, and that of your equally witty, willful colleagues."

    "Scour the 'morgues'--i.e., the old clip files--of some of the newspapers where I worked before coming to Christ in 1997, and you'll find the same kind of 'I'm-so-much-cooler-than-you-are' vitriol Olbermann has spewed forth in response to your criticism of his reporting on the SpongeBob story."

    (By "your criticism", Schneeberger is referring to an email writing campaign directed at Olbermann by CitizenLink.)

    Last night, Eric Deggans' op-ed in the St. Petersburg Times Online singled out Olbermann's "Will SpongeBob make you gay?" commentary as representative of that produced by media elites: By both not understanding the concerns of traditionalists, and by taking an ill-advised attack on a popular cartoon for kids, and using it as a facile means to ridicule conservative and traditional values.

    Deggans' piece was balanced, criticizing the use of code words and demonization employed by both sides of the debate. Noteworthy was his quote from liberal professor Barbara McGraw, who has studied this culture war:

    "You're not going to have millions of people following something that is completely stupid ... and there is a legitimate point about parents raising their children according to the values they have," [...] "One of (Dobson's) key points is that liberals are using buzz words to promote an agenda that goes beyond race and religion. The mainstream media need to be sensitive to that."

    All people wish to be treated with respect and their views taken seriously. One day, Keith may find himself favoring something that the liberal intelligencia opposes. That will be that day Keith will yearn for serious arguments instead of constant ridicule and condescension.

    And if at that time, he's no longer priviledged to be a news commentator for a major network, and unable to voice his views to the masses, he might feel as culturally disenfrachised as middle-America feels today.

    Update: As astute Olbywatch reader Cecelia points out in comments, while the most vocal of KO's critics may be religious people, this issue is ultimately about the intense desire of all parents---liberal and conservative---to instill in their children the values that they hold, particularly regarding the age-sensitive subject of sexual preference and lifestyles.

    "The spirit of liberty is the spirit that is never too certain that it is right" ....Justice Learned Hand.

    Something that people without a media megaphone already appreciate, and which Keith may come to appreciate in time.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (25) | | View blog reactions
    January 28, 2005
    Drum roll, please! We are #1 non-MSNBC website for Olbermann.

    It is now official. Using the same advanced technology that allowed Karl Rove to steal Ohio from the Kerry column by electronically adjusting paper ballots, we have succeeded making the OlbermannWatch the top non-MSNBC website for the Google search for Olbermann. The email to the Bloggermann's desk seeking comments about the loss of the #1 spot remained unanswered.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Drum roll, please! We are #1 non-MSNBC website for Olbermann.

    It is now official. Using the same advanced technology that allowed Karl Rove to steal Ohio from the Kerry column by electronically adjusting paper ballots, we have succeeded making the OlbermannWatch the top non-MSNBC website for the Google search for Olbermann. The email to the Bloggermann's desk seeking comments about the loss of the #1 spot remained unanswered.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Imus Fears Contagion: Proximity to Olbermann & Other NBC News Personalities Will Kill His Ratings on Radio

    Don Imus is worried that his coming move from Astoria to MSNBC's Secaucus, NJ studio complex will adversely affect his ratings on radio, as the Online Edition of the NY Post reported yesterday.

    Imus told listeners yesterday: "They think the ratings are going to be better because we're there [in Secaucus], but from essentially the same set that Keith Olbermann and those other people do their programs from."

    The Imus show simulcasts on WFAN (660 AM) radio and on MS-NBC weekday mornings. He boasted that he averaged 361,000 MS-NBC viewers last week, which was a bit higher than the 353,000 who watched Olbermann's prime-time show. He described MSNBC's programming as "horrible".

    Imus fears that having more NBC television news personalities on his show may not appeal to his broader radio listenership---estimated at 3 million. But since most of the interviews that Imus books now are NBC News personalities, one may surmise that his fear is the mere proximity to the ratings losers themselves. Perhaps that's why he singled out Olbermann by name, as Countdown's ratings are the lowest.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (5) | | View blog reactions
    Imus Fears Contagion: Proximity to Olbermann & Other NBC News Personalities Will Kill His Ratings on Radio

    Don Imus is worried that his coming move from Astoria to MSNBC's Secaucus, NJ studio complex will adversely affect his ratings on radio, as the Online Edition of the NY Post reported yesterday.

    Imus told listeners yesterday: "They think the ratings are going to be better because we're there [in Secaucus], but from essentially the same set that Keith Olbermann and those other people do their programs from."

    The Imus show simulcasts on WFAN (660 AM) radio and on MS-NBC weekday mornings. He boasted that he averaged 361,000 MS-NBC viewers last week, which was a bit higher than the 353,000 who watched Olbermann's prime-time show. He described MSNBC's programming as "horrible".

    Imus fears that having more NBC television news personalities on his show may not appeal to his broader radio listenership---estimated at 3 million. But since most of the interviews that Imus books now are NBC News personalities, one may surmise that his fear is the mere proximity to the ratings losers themselves. Perhaps that's why he singled out Olbermann by name, as Countdown's ratings are the lowest.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (5) | | View blog reactions
    January 27, 2005
    Countdown - January 27, 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for January 27


    Guest Host: Alison Stewart

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: TRANSCRIPT PENDING

    Topics/Guests:
    THE IRAQI ELECTIONS AND RECENT CALLS FOR COOPERATION FROM BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR: Richard Boucher, Assistant Secretary of State

    HOW DID LOST DRUG MONEY FIND ITS WAY INTO THE HANDS OF DALLAS SCHOOL CHILDREN AND WHAT SHOULD NOW BE DONE WITH THE MONEY?: Donald Claxton, spokesperson, Dallas Independent School District

    HIGH SCHOOL CSI-THE USE OF FORENSICS IN THE CLASSROOM TO TEACH STUDENTS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Monica Novotny, "Countdown" correspondent

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: What a refreshing difference watching Alison Stewart is. Polished and professional, she came across tonight as a genuinely nice person, being very courteous in the first segment labeled "affairs of state", which was actually mostly about the Iraq vote. She was actually pleasantly bantering with BUSH administration spokesman Richard Boucher. You would never see KO doing that. And balanced, the segment started off with the expected, all hell is breaking loose in the Iraq vote, but then honestly balanced with Bush State Dept representative Boucher. No wonder she has more viewers than KO.

    The only other story worth commenting on tonight was an extended piece on the Commuter Crash that took eleven lives in Glendale, Ca. The piece was obviously one done by NBC that was run on other shows besides being plugged into Countdown. Those pieces typically have an unknown voice over announcer with a lot of footage from the scene of the incident. When KO runs them, they conclude with a sarcastic comment, also typically in bad taste and not funny.

    Tonight Stewart added to the piece with some actual additional news, the reporting on the excellent job that the fire dept and other rescue workers at the scene had done. She also conducted an interview herself of police Sargeant Tom Lorenzo of the Glendale police department. Very straight, informative, actual news.

    Could it be that Stewart is an actual news person, and we will get some actual news out of her instead of cutting sarcasm about Republicans and manufactured stories that thrill the delusional left?

    Oh, and we are all looking forward to our Jenna Jameson moan phone answering sounds, of course. Can't wait to hear five of those go off at once on a plane.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - January 27, 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for January 27


    Guest Host: Alison Stewart

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: TRANSCRIPT PENDING

    Topics/Guests:
    THE IRAQI ELECTIONS AND RECENT CALLS FOR COOPERATION FROM BRITISH PRIME MINISTER TONY BLAIR: Richard Boucher, Assistant Secretary of State

    HOW DID LOST DRUG MONEY FIND ITS WAY INTO THE HANDS OF DALLAS SCHOOL CHILDREN AND WHAT SHOULD NOW BE DONE WITH THE MONEY?: Donald Claxton, spokesperson, Dallas Independent School District

    HIGH SCHOOL CSI-THE USE OF FORENSICS IN THE CLASSROOM TO TEACH STUDENTS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY: Monica Novotny, "Countdown" correspondent

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: What a refreshing difference watching Alison Stewart is. Polished and professional, she came across tonight as a genuinely nice person, being very courteous in the first segment labeled "affairs of state", which was actually mostly about the Iraq vote. She was actually pleasantly bantering with BUSH administration spokesman Richard Boucher. You would never see KO doing that. And balanced, the segment started off with the expected, all hell is breaking loose in the Iraq vote, but then honestly balanced with Bush State Dept representative Boucher. No wonder she has more viewers than KO.

    The only other story worth commenting on tonight was an extended piece on the Commuter Crash that took eleven lives in Glendale, Ca. The piece was obviously one done by NBC that was run on other shows besides being plugged into Countdown. Those pieces typically have an unknown voice over announcer with a lot of footage from the scene of the incident. When KO runs them, they conclude with a sarcastic comment, also typically in bad taste and not funny.

    Tonight Stewart added to the piece with some actual additional news, the reporting on the excellent job that the fire dept and other rescue workers at the scene had done. She also conducted an interview herself of police Sargeant Tom Lorenzo of the Glendale police department. Very straight, informative, actual news.

    Could it be that Stewart is an actual news person, and we will get some actual news out of her instead of cutting sarcasm about Republicans and manufactured stories that thrill the delusional left?

    Oh, and we are all looking forward to our Jenna Jameson moan phone answering sounds, of course. Can't wait to hear five of those go off at once on a plane.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    January 26, 2005
    Countdown - Wednesday January 26, 2005 (8:00-9:00 pm Eastern)

    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for January 26

    Guest Host: Alison Stewart

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    TRANSCRIPT: January 26, 2005

    Topics/Guests:

    THE FAMILY OF AMERICAN HOSTAGE ROY HOLLUMS SPEAKS OUT: Susan Hollums, ex-wife of Roy Hollums; Carrier Cooper, Hollums' daughter

    ANALYSIS OF PRESIDENT BUSH'S NEWS CONFERENCE AND A PREVIEW OF WHAT TO EXPECT FROM HIS STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS: Dana Milbank, Washington Post reporter

    ARE MORE JOURNALISTS BEING PAID BY THE WHITE HOUSE?: Margaret Carlson, Time magazine reporter


    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: Guest host Alison Stewart is easier on both the eyes and ears, and appeared to be less opinionated than our usual talking head. While covering the events in Iraq, Alison spoke with Rod Norland from Newsweek via telephone (due to security reasons?). Rod explained that he did not expect much turnout for the Iraqi election on Sunday. He based his opinion on a poll he claimed he took among 6 Iraqis that worked for Newsweek in Iraq. He stated only one planned to vote. I hope the rest of Newsweeks polls are a little more scientific.

    Alison spoke with Dana Milbank (Washington Post) about President Bush's news conference today. Milbank stated the conference was called so the President could "set straight his confusing Inaguaral address message". Alison then contradicted the statement by asking this questions: "The President called todays conference to talk about social security but kept getting questions regarding Iraq, so does this mean his domestic agenda needs to take a back seat?" This question created two problems: 1) it contradicted Milbanks reason for the conference being called and 2) I didn't know that press questions could impact what the Presidents agenda is. Talking about the news conference, Milbanks ended the bit by stating "I can't imagine this advanced the ball very much".

    The family of captured American Roy Hallums came on the show to ask for help. Our hearts and prayers go out to Roy and his friends and family.

    Next came a little collage of about 20 clips of President Bush saying "I'm looking forward" taken from todays news conference. I love the President, but I have to admit, that was a little funny.

    I'm sure Alison earned an 'I'm so proud of you' from KO when she mentioned Armstrong Williams 4 times during the conversation about Maggie Gallagher. During the discussion, Margaret Carlson from Time coined the word 'Rumsfeldian' which she stated was answering a question with a question.

    Even though Alison is more toned down than KO, she was able to work in these little nuggets, aimed at...guess who?

    "For a President who doesn't like answering questions..."
    "It isn't often President Bush admits a mistake..."

    Alison and I defintely disagree on the last segment: Ashlee Simpson. Bethany Decker from Stop Ashlee
    came on to explain her cause of getting Ashlee Simpson to stop singing. I agree with Bethany that Ashlee needs to get out of the singing business, but Alison did not stating she liked her and even bought the CD.

    On a side note, do you think KO's 280,000 strong audience is sending any business to Nissan, Ditech, Pfizer, Kraft, Dell, Toyota, HP and others advertising on this show? Hopefully they're getting a serious discount!


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (10) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - Wednesday January 26, 2005 (8:00-9:00 pm Eastern)

    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for January 26

    Guest Host: Alison Stewart

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    TRANSCRIPT: January 26, 2005

    Topics/Guests:

    THE FAMILY OF AMERICAN HOSTAGE ROY HOLLUMS SPEAKS OUT: Susan Hollums, ex-wife of Roy Hollums; Carrier Cooper, Hollums' daughter

    ANALYSIS OF PRESIDENT BUSH'S NEWS CONFERENCE AND A PREVIEW OF WHAT TO EXPECT FROM HIS STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS: Dana Milbank, Washington Post reporter

    ARE MORE JOURNALISTS BEING PAID BY THE WHITE HOUSE?: Margaret Carlson, Time magazine reporter


    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: Guest host Alison Stewart is easier on both the eyes and ears, and appeared to be less opinionated than our usual talking head. While covering the events in Iraq, Alison spoke with Rod Norland from Newsweek via telephone (due to security reasons?). Rod explained that he did not expect much turnout for the Iraqi election on Sunday. He based his opinion on a poll he claimed he took among 6 Iraqis that worked for Newsweek in Iraq. He stated only one planned to vote. I hope the rest of Newsweeks polls are a little more scientific.

    Alison spoke with Dana Milbank (Washington Post) about President Bush's news conference today. Milbank stated the conference was called so the President could "set straight his confusing Inaguaral address message". Alison then contradicted the statement by asking this questions: "The President called todays conference to talk about social security but kept getting questions regarding Iraq, so does this mean his domestic agenda needs to take a back seat?" This question created two problems: 1) it contradicted Milbanks reason for the conference being called and 2) I didn't know that press questions could impact what the Presidents agenda is. Talking about the news conference, Milbanks ended the bit by stating "I can't imagine this advanced the ball very much".

    The family of captured American Roy Hallums came on the show to ask for help. Our hearts and prayers go out to Roy and his friends and family.

    Next came a little collage of about 20 clips of President Bush saying "I'm looking forward" taken from todays news conference. I love the President, but I have to admit, that was a little funny.

    I'm sure Alison earned an 'I'm so proud of you' from KO when she mentioned Armstrong Williams 4 times during the conversation about Maggie Gallagher. During the discussion, Margaret Carlson from Time coined the word 'Rumsfeldian' which she stated was answering a question with a question.

    Even though Alison is more toned down than KO, she was able to work in these little nuggets, aimed at...guess who?

    "For a President who doesn't like answering questions..."
    "It isn't often President Bush admits a mistake..."

    Alison and I defintely disagree on the last segment: Ashlee Simpson. Bethany Decker from Stop Ashlee
    came on to explain her cause of getting Ashlee Simpson to stop singing. I agree with Bethany that Ashlee needs to get out of the singing business, but Alison did not stating she liked her and even bought the CD.

    On a side note, do you think KO's 280,000 strong audience is sending any business to Nissan, Ditech, Pfizer, Kraft, Dell, Toyota, HP and others advertising on this show? Hopefully they're getting a serious discount!


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (10) | | View blog reactions
    January 25, 2005
    Countdown - Tuesday January 25, 2005

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for January 25

    Guest Host: Alison Stewart

    Topics/Guests:

    IS HILLARY CLINTON PREPARING TO RUN FOR THE 2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION?: Karen Tumulty, Time magazine

    RESULTS OF A NEW SEX SURVEY ON TEENS AND SEX: Dr. Ruth Westheimer, psychosexual therapist

    A NEWLY RELEASED VIDEO SHOWS AN AMERICAN HOSTAGE PLEADING FOR HIS LIFE IN IRAQ: Steve Emerson, MSNBC terrorism analyst

    CELEBRATING THE BEST AND WORST MOVIES OF 2005 WITH OSCAR AND RAZZIE NOMINATIONS: Tom O'Neil, In Touch magazine, author, "Movie Awards: The Ultimate, Unofficial Guide to the Oscars, Golden Globes, Critics, Guild and Indie Honors"

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: Updated: 2:51 p.m. ET Jan. 26, 2005

    Guest: Karen Tumulty, Howard Weyers, Tom O'Neil, Steve Emerson, Dr. Ruth Westheimer

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: Stewart opened with Sen. Hilary Clinton's (D-NY) "Sister Soldier" speech on abortion, as Time Magazine's Karen Tumulty referred to it. She said Hilary is still pro-abortion and opposed to restrictions on late-term abortions, but the novelty was that Hilary spoke before a pro-abortion group, bashing Bush for being strident on the issue, and counseling her supporters to be more understanding of opponents' views. The idea that these were self-contradictory statements didn't occur to liberals Stewart and Tumulty, nor had the "E" word regarding Hilary ('Expediency'). The shallow discussion was restricted to mere political strategery.

    Equally shallow was Stewart's interview with Weyco CEO Howard Weyers. Here was a great opportunity to discuss the basic rationale that employers must pay health benefits, as opposed to conservative plans that favor more personal responsibility via individual health accounts. In other words, why must non-smokers pay the health costs of smokers? Why must prudent health conscious people pay for the hearing aids of imbiciles who blasted music through their headphones for decades? But hey, this is a "news" program with a liberal agenda. All that the young Stewart could summon to ask Weyers---who had fired smokers in his company---was, "are you sure this is legal?"

    There was a short piece by Lisa Meyers showing that Europe has become the central recruiting grounds for Al Qaeda. Dog That Didn't Bark: No discussion on how this news intersects with the oft repeated liberal harangue that Bush turned Iraq into "terrorism central".

    Finally, there was Andrea Mitchell's report on the Senate floor debate on Secretary of State Nominee Condi Rice. which merely regurgitated Barbara Boxer's (the brain-dead Senator from CA) cheap complaints and 'gotchas' that we heard at last week's hearings. Who needs KO when Boxer is on the job?


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - Tuesday January 25, 2005

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for January 25

    Guest Host: Alison Stewart

    Topics/Guests:

    IS HILLARY CLINTON PREPARING TO RUN FOR THE 2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION?: Karen Tumulty, Time magazine

    RESULTS OF A NEW SEX SURVEY ON TEENS AND SEX: Dr. Ruth Westheimer, psychosexual therapist

    A NEWLY RELEASED VIDEO SHOWS AN AMERICAN HOSTAGE PLEADING FOR HIS LIFE IN IRAQ: Steve Emerson, MSNBC terrorism analyst

    CELEBRATING THE BEST AND WORST MOVIES OF 2005 WITH OSCAR AND RAZZIE NOMINATIONS: Tom O'Neil, In Touch magazine, author, "Movie Awards: The Ultimate, Unofficial Guide to the Oscars, Golden Globes, Critics, Guild and Indie Honors"

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: Updated: 2:51 p.m. ET Jan. 26, 2005

    Guest: Karen Tumulty, Howard Weyers, Tom O'Neil, Steve Emerson, Dr. Ruth Westheimer

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: Stewart opened with Sen. Hilary Clinton's (D-NY) "Sister Soldier" speech on abortion, as Time Magazine's Karen Tumulty referred to it. She said Hilary is still pro-abortion and opposed to restrictions on late-term abortions, but the novelty was that Hilary spoke before a pro-abortion group, bashing Bush for being strident on the issue, and counseling her supporters to be more understanding of opponents' views. The idea that these were self-contradictory statements didn't occur to liberals Stewart and Tumulty, nor had the "E" word regarding Hilary ('Expediency'). The shallow discussion was restricted to mere political strategery.

    Equally shallow was Stewart's interview with Weyco CEO Howard Weyers. Here was a great opportunity to discuss the basic rationale that employers must pay health benefits, as opposed to conservative plans that favor more personal responsibility via individual health accounts. In other words, why must non-smokers pay the health costs of smokers? Why must prudent health conscious people pay for the hearing aids of imbiciles who blasted music through their headphones for decades? But hey, this is a "news" program with a liberal agenda. All that the young Stewart could summon to ask Weyers---who had fired smokers in his company---was, "are you sure this is legal?"

    There was a short piece by Lisa Meyers showing that Europe has become the central recruiting grounds for Al Qaeda. Dog That Didn't Bark: No discussion on how this news intersects with the oft repeated liberal harangue that Bush turned Iraq into "terrorism central".

    Finally, there was Andrea Mitchell's report on the Senate floor debate on Secretary of State Nominee Condi Rice. which merely regurgitated Barbara Boxer's (the brain-dead Senator from CA) cheap complaints and 'gotchas' that we heard at last week's hearings. Who needs KO when Boxer is on the job?


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    ADMIN NOTE: The New "Keith Olbermann" Tag

    We have created a new "tag" for OlbermannWatch.

    Fellow bloggers, if you want your posts about Keith Olbermann included in the various services that use "tags" like Technorati then make changes to your blog config files to publish in a tag-compliant way (e.g. for Moveable Type you simply create a new category called "Keith Olbermann" and select that category for any post you want included).

    I think there will be RSS feeds for specific tags. Here is a link for the "Keith Olbermann" tag: . I am going to put this link over to the right if you want to use it later.

    I am no expert so please don't ask me for help on this; Dave Sify of Technorati educated me on tags this weekend so check out Dave's post on tags if you need help or don't "get" tags.

    One thing I can tell you is that if you are not already set up to "ping" Technorati make sure you are pinging: http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    ADMIN NOTE: The New "Keith Olbermann" Tag

    We have created a new "tag" for OlbermannWatch.

    Fellow bloggers, if you want your posts about Keith Olbermann included in the various services that use "tags" like Technorati then make changes to your blog config files to publish in a tag-compliant way (e.g. for Moveable Type you simply create a new category called "Keith Olbermann" and select that category for any post you want included).

    I think there will be RSS feeds for specific tags. Here is a link for the "Keith Olbermann" tag: . I am going to put this link over to the right if you want to use it later.

    I am no expert so please don't ask me for help on this; Dave Sify of Technorati educated me on tags this weekend so check out Dave's post on tags if you need help or don't "get" tags.

    One thing I can tell you is that if you are not already set up to "ping" Technorati make sure you are pinging: http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown with Allison Stewart

    If it's not the solution to MSNBC's ratings problems at least it's a step in the right direction:

    Last Wednesday, Countdown with Keith Olbermann: 280,000 viewers

    Yesterday, Countdown with Allison Stewart: 340,000 viewers

    When Olby isn't there the ratings increase by more than 20%! Take long vacations, Keith, for the sake of the stockholders.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown with Allison Stewart

    If it's not the solution to MSNBC's ratings problems at least it's a step in the right direction:

    Last Wednesday, Countdown with Keith Olbermann: 280,000 viewers

    Yesterday, Countdown with Allison Stewart: 340,000 viewers

    When Olby isn't there the ratings increase by more than 20%! Take long vacations, Keith, for the sake of the stockholders.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    Insta-mention for Keith

    From Glenn Reynolds' MSNBC blog:

    We've heard a lot of charges of voter fraud since the election. Democrats -- and my MSNBC colleague Keith Olbermann -- have been complaining about Ohio.
    Sadly, no link to Bloggermann, so no Insta-lanche... many GlennReynolds.com/Instapundit readers may also wonder who this "Keith Olbermann" is...


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Insta-mention for Keith

    From Glenn Reynolds' MSNBC blog:

    We've heard a lot of charges of voter fraud since the election. Democrats -- and my MSNBC colleague Keith Olbermann -- have been complaining about Ohio.
    Sadly, no link to Bloggermann, so no Insta-lanche... many GlennReynolds.com/Instapundit readers may also wonder who this "Keith Olbermann" is...


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Olbermann for DNC Chairman?

    Overheard on IMUS this morning, in a conversation about who should be the next chairperson of the DNC:

    Bernard McGurk: "What about Keith Olbermann?"

    h/t Jason Clarke of Moorelies.com


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    Olbermann for DNC Chairman?

    Overheard on IMUS this morning, in a conversation about who should be the next chairperson of the DNC:

    Bernard McGurk: "What about Keith Olbermann?"

    h/t Jason Clarke of Moorelies.com


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    Does Keith Really Care About "Voting Integrity"?

    or was flogging Ohio vote fraud stories just a sop to the loony left?

    One way to find out is to see how much time spends on the story of felons voting illegally in Washington state and tipping the vote to the Democrats gubentorial candidate.

    ...the Seattle Times has done a partial search of the records in just two counties, King and Pierce, and found that dozens of felons voted...given the number of illegal votes that this partial search found, I think the guesstimate in this post looks quite reasonable. I still don't think Gregoire gained 1,000 votes, net, from felons voting illegally, but I am nearly certain that she gained more than 129 votes, net, that way.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Does Keith Really Care About "Voting Integrity"?

    or was flogging Ohio vote fraud stories just a sop to the loony left?

    One way to find out is to see how much time spends on the story of felons voting illegally in Washington state and tipping the vote to the Democrats gubentorial candidate.

    ...the Seattle Times has done a partial search of the records in just two counties, King and Pierce, and found that dozens of felons voted...given the number of illegal votes that this partial search found, I think the guesstimate in this post looks quite reasonable. I still don't think Gregoire gained 1,000 votes, net, from felons voting illegally, but I am nearly certain that she gained more than 129 votes, net, that way.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    January 24, 2005
    Countdown - Monday Jan 24, 2005 (8:00 pm - 9:00 pm)

    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Monday, January 24

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: January 25, 6:33 p.m.

    Guests: Mary Murphy, Gen Barry McCaffrey, Claudia Cohen

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE:With Olby on "vacation", Allison Stewart stumbled her way through the backwards news hour. Johnny Carson was the lead story. Why are we not surprised that the first person quoted with a reminiscence was...Bill Clinton?! There to chat about the late late-night king was Mary Murphy of TV Guide, a (gasp!) NewsCorp publication.

    Other stories included Iraq (McCaffrey seemed more stable away from KO's gravitational field), attacking crows (yes, they had to mention Hitchcock), and The Marriage of The Donald and The Melania.

    Olby is away for the week, so it will be interesting to see how that affects the show's ratings. Wouldn't it be hilarious if Stewart bettered KO's recent 280,000 viewers?


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - Monday Jan 24, 2005 (8:00 pm - 9:00 pm)

    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Monday, January 24

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: January 25, 6:33 p.m.

    Guests: Mary Murphy, Gen Barry McCaffrey, Claudia Cohen

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE:With Olby on "vacation", Allison Stewart stumbled her way through the backwards news hour. Johnny Carson was the lead story. Why are we not surprised that the first person quoted with a reminiscence was...Bill Clinton?! There to chat about the late late-night king was Mary Murphy of TV Guide, a (gasp!) NewsCorp publication.

    Other stories included Iraq (McCaffrey seemed more stable away from KO's gravitational field), attacking crows (yes, they had to mention Hitchcock), and The Marriage of The Donald and The Melania.

    Olby is away for the week, so it will be interesting to see how that affects the show's ratings. Wouldn't it be hilarious if Stewart bettered KO's recent 280,000 viewers?


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    January 22, 2005
    Olby Outed

    You read it here first, but now it's official. From comments by NBC's Neal Shapiro, published by TVNewser:

    ...we've always been into a range of opinions at MSNBC....Chris [Matthews] is a guy who -- I don't know how you categorize what his views are because I think he's such a curious intellect, but he's certainly not necessarily a conservative guy. And Keith Olbermann certainly isn't.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (45) | | View blog reactions
    Olby Outed

    You read it here first, but now it's official. From comments by NBC's Neal Shapiro, published by TVNewser:

    ...we've always been into a range of opinions at MSNBC....Chris [Matthews] is a guy who -- I don't know how you categorize what his views are because I think he's such a curious intellect, but he's certainly not necessarily a conservative guy. And Keith Olbermann certainly isn't.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (45) | | View blog reactions
    Keith Slams Tim Graham of Media Research Center.

    There is a nasty little exchange going on over at Poytner (a journalism web site) over the Armstrong Williams story and good old Keith is weighing in with his usual mangling of reality.

    There are many posts but here are my favorites including Keith's.

    ====================================

    From ERIC J. WEINER: In reference to Charles Kaiser's letter [below], comparing Jeff Greenfield and Armstrong Williams is like equating a speeding ticket with capital murder. Greenfield accepted a fee to moderate one of the countless boring panel discussions the Clinton administration held. Williams accepted 24 times that amount to surreptitiously use his influence as an African-American pundit to promote a specific Bush administration program within the African-American community. In other words, Greenfield was being paid to be a pundit, but Williams was being paid to act like a pundit while in reality serving as a secret p.r. flak for the Bush administation (which I have a funny feeling explains why Armstong's gig had such a higher price tag.) Neither act represents a high point in the history of journalistic integrity, but there's an obvious difference here. What Greenfield did was stupid; what Williams did was corrupt. Just going around saying, "He took money too!" doesn't make the comparison valid.

    ====================================

    From TIM GRAHAM, Media Research Center: Dear Eric Weiner, it is a little hard to accuse someone else of bad comparisons and then compare the Armstrong Williams affair to a capital murder. It does, however, illustrate how hyperbolic the reaction is.

    The hyperbole often comes from people who want to sell the notion that blacks cannot be genuinely conservative. They must, by definition, be sellouts to The Man. That's why this C-3 story ended up on A-1 in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and USA Today. It might seem ridiculous if they had put NPR's Tavis Smiley taking a free Mercedes from Daimler-Chrysler on Page One (and granted, the car wasn't worth $240,000, and he did return it). There's no question that liberal loathing of black conservatives was part of the liberal media recipe for front-paging Armstrong.

    From KEITH OLBERMANN: Regarding the letter from Tim Graham of Media Research Center about Armstrong Williams:

    The only 'selling of a notion' going on here is that being done by Mr. Graham and his fellow blinkered zealots. Namely that any malfeasant conservative must be largely or wholly the victim of a liberal plot.

    Somewhere, some day, even the MRC will have to acknowledge that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes coverage of a right-wing fraud is just coverage of a fraud.

    From CHARLES KAISER: Armstrong Williams is hardly the first beneficiary of the largesse of the Federal government. According to Editor & Publisher, during the Clinton administration, CNN correspondent Jeff Greenfield agreed to accept a fee of $10,000 from the Department of Defense to moderate a panel entitled "Reporting on Weapons of Mass Destruction: Responsibility, Reliability and Readiness." Bradley Graham of the Washington Post and Michael Oreskes were also offered expense money to participate in the panel, but both of them declined to accept it, because they recognized an ethical conflict in accepting money from the DOD. Greenfield accepted a $5,000 advance against his $10,000 fee. He only agreed to return his advance -- and forego the other $5,000 -- after Editor & Publisher exposed the arrangement. Greenfield admitted that he had been told where the money was coming from, but added, "I wasn't paying attention to what they told me." A CNN spokesman said at the time that Greenfield had violated the network's ethics policy by accepting the fee.


    From ERIC J. WEINER: In reference to Tim Graham's letter [below], I guess if you see the entire world through the prism of an epic battle between liberals and conservatives you also might be bothered by my comparison of Jeff Greenfield and Armstrong Williams, even though I think anyone who actually paid attention to what I wrote would understand the broader point I was making.

    But more specifically Mr. Graham, you don't know me, my politics, or how I voted in the most recent election. So assuming that the reason I think Armstrong Williams taking $240,000 to secretly flak a Bush adminstration policy while posing as an unbiased commentator is far worse than Jeff Greenfield accepting $10,000 to moderate a Clinton administration panel discussion is because I'm a hated liberal is ridiculous. This is a journalism issue, Mr. Graham, not a political issue. The question is, what's the public's reaction when it hears that a commentator it trusts actually is on the White House payroll? Obviously it undermines the public's already tenuous trust of the media, which is the business I'm in. So it doesn't matter to me if the person on the take is Armstrong Williams or Al Franken or Rush Limbaugh or Dan Rather. Any secret deals between politicians and the media to promote one side or the other is flat out wrong because it's no longer journalism, it's public relations. Perhaps if you stepped out of your clearly partisan mindset for a second you'd see that.

    From KEITH OLBERMANN: Regarding the letter from Tim Graham of Media Research Center about Armstrong Williams:

    The only 'selling of a notion' going on here is that being done by Mr. Graham and his fellow blinkered zealots. Namely that any malfeasant conservative must be largely or wholly the victim of a liberal plot.

    Somewhere, some day, even the MRC will have to acknowledge that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes coverage of a right-wing fraud is just coverage of a fraud.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (18) | | View blog reactions
    Keith Slams Tim Graham of Media Research Center.

    There is a nasty little exchange going on over at Poytner (a journalism web site) over the Armstrong Williams story and good old Keith is weighing in with his usual mangling of reality.

    There are many posts but here are my favorites including Keith's.

    ====================================

    From ERIC J. WEINER: In reference to Charles Kaiser's letter [below], comparing Jeff Greenfield and Armstrong Williams is like equating a speeding ticket with capital murder. Greenfield accepted a fee to moderate one of the countless boring panel discussions the Clinton administration held. Williams accepted 24 times that amount to surreptitiously use his influence as an African-American pundit to promote a specific Bush administration program within the African-American community. In other words, Greenfield was being paid to be a pundit, but Williams was being paid to act like a pundit while in reality serving as a secret p.r. flak for the Bush administation (which I have a funny feeling explains why Armstong's gig had such a higher price tag.) Neither act represents a high point in the history of journalistic integrity, but there's an obvious difference here. What Greenfield did was stupid; what Williams did was corrupt. Just going around saying, "He took money too!" doesn't make the comparison valid.

    ====================================

    From TIM GRAHAM, Media Research Center: Dear Eric Weiner, it is a little hard to accuse someone else of bad comparisons and then compare the Armstrong Williams affair to a capital murder. It does, however, illustrate how hyperbolic the reaction is.

    The hyperbole often comes from people who want to sell the notion that blacks cannot be genuinely conservative. They must, by definition, be sellouts to The Man. That's why this C-3 story ended up on A-1 in the Washington Post, the New York Times, and USA Today. It might seem ridiculous if they had put NPR's Tavis Smiley taking a free Mercedes from Daimler-Chrysler on Page One (and granted, the car wasn't worth $240,000, and he did return it). There's no question that liberal loathing of black conservatives was part of the liberal media recipe for front-paging Armstrong.

    From KEITH OLBERMANN: Regarding the letter from Tim Graham of Media Research Center about Armstrong Williams:

    The only 'selling of a notion' going on here is that being done by Mr. Graham and his fellow blinkered zealots. Namely that any malfeasant conservative must be largely or wholly the victim of a liberal plot.

    Somewhere, some day, even the MRC will have to acknowledge that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes coverage of a right-wing fraud is just coverage of a fraud.

    From CHARLES KAISER: Armstrong Williams is hardly the first beneficiary of the largesse of the Federal government. According to Editor & Publisher, during the Clinton administration, CNN correspondent Jeff Greenfield agreed to accept a fee of $10,000 from the Department of Defense to moderate a panel entitled "Reporting on Weapons of Mass Destruction: Responsibility, Reliability and Readiness." Bradley Graham of the Washington Post and Michael Oreskes were also offered expense money to participate in the panel, but both of them declined to accept it, because they recognized an ethical conflict in accepting money from the DOD. Greenfield accepted a $5,000 advance against his $10,000 fee. He only agreed to return his advance -- and forego the other $5,000 -- after Editor & Publisher exposed the arrangement. Greenfield admitted that he had been told where the money was coming from, but added, "I wasn't paying attention to what they told me." A CNN spokesman said at the time that Greenfield had violated the network's ethics policy by accepting the fee.


    From ERIC J. WEINER: In reference to Tim Graham's letter [below], I guess if you see the entire world through the prism of an epic battle between liberals and conservatives you also might be bothered by my comparison of Jeff Greenfield and Armstrong Williams, even though I think anyone who actually paid attention to what I wrote would understand the broader point I was making.

    But more specifically Mr. Graham, you don't know me, my politics, or how I voted in the most recent election. So assuming that the reason I think Armstrong Williams taking $240,000 to secretly flak a Bush adminstration policy while posing as an unbiased commentator is far worse than Jeff Greenfield accepting $10,000 to moderate a Clinton administration panel discussion is because I'm a hated liberal is ridiculous. This is a journalism issue, Mr. Graham, not a political issue. The question is, what's the public's reaction when it hears that a commentator it trusts actually is on the White House payroll? Obviously it undermines the public's already tenuous trust of the media, which is the business I'm in. So it doesn't matter to me if the person on the take is Armstrong Williams or Al Franken or Rush Limbaugh or Dan Rather. Any secret deals between politicians and the media to promote one side or the other is flat out wrong because it's no longer journalism, it's public relations. Perhaps if you stepped out of your clearly partisan mindset for a second you'd see that.

    From KEITH OLBERMANN: Regarding the letter from Tim Graham of Media Research Center about Armstrong Williams:

    The only 'selling of a notion' going on here is that being done by Mr. Graham and his fellow blinkered zealots. Namely that any malfeasant conservative must be largely or wholly the victim of a liberal plot.

    Somewhere, some day, even the MRC will have to acknowledge that sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes coverage of a right-wing fraud is just coverage of a fraud.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (18) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - Friday January 21, 2005

    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for January 21

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: TRANSCRIPT PENDING

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: PENDING


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - Friday January 21, 2005

    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for January 21

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: TRANSCRIPT PENDING

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: PENDING


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Houston Chronicle Agrees With Olbywatch

    On Friday, Chronicle columnist Kyrie O'Connor wrote that Olby's running of the entire Sponge Bob video was "a bit tiresome". Recall that on Thursday that was Olbywatch's assessment as well.

    KO gets no credit from Olbywatch for showcasing one of the more wacky of critics on the content of children's programming (Dr. james Dobson), and as O'Connor calls it, an "overblown" issue to boot (ie. alleged gay advocacy to children).


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Houston Chronicle Agrees With Olbywatch

    On Friday, Chronicle columnist Kyrie O'Connor wrote that Olby's running of the entire Sponge Bob video was "a bit tiresome". Recall that on Thursday that was Olbywatch's assessment as well.

    KO gets no credit from Olbywatch for showcasing one of the more wacky of critics on the content of children's programming (Dr. james Dobson), and as O'Connor calls it, an "overblown" issue to boot (ie. alleged gay advocacy to children).


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    January 21, 2005
    NY Times Requesting Refund from Exit Poll Consortium

    Jack Shafer - I heard NY Times is asking for a refund from the exit poll consortium.

    Jill Abramson - I can confirm that.

    later...

    Rick Kaplan - for first time MSNBC did not widely disseminate exit poll date....Tom Brokaw at a private function..."gave them a sense of what the exit polls were saying".


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    NY Times Requesting Refund from Exit Poll Consortium

    Jack Shafer - I heard NY Times is asking for a refund from the exit poll consortium.

    Jill Abramson - I can confirm that.

    later...

    Rick Kaplan - for first time MSNBC did not widely disseminate exit poll date....Tom Brokaw at a private function..."gave them a sense of what the exit polls were saying".


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    A Perfect Ten

    Just when it seemed things couldn't get any grimmer, now Olby has a new reason to throw things at the camera:

    Wednesday cable news ratings, 8:00 pm:
    THE O'REILLY FACTOR: 2,890,000 viewers
    COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN: 280,000 viewers

    Bill O'Reilly is now getting more than ten times as many viewers as KO. Even the ill-conceived Donahue show, cancelled for low ratings, never lost to O'Reilly by ten-to-one! As always, Olby lost a chunk of his lead-in audience, but this time fully one third of Hardball viewers deserted MSNBC when KO's show came on.

    How long can The Powers That Be allow Keith to bleed viewers? When will they finally pull the plug on this catastrophe? Answer unclear; ask again later.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (15) | | View blog reactions
    January 20, 2005
    Countdown - Thursday January 20, 2005

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for January 20

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: Updated: 3:00 p.m. ET Jan. 25, 2005

    Topics/Guests: Craig Crawford, John Harwood (more pending)

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: Crawford and Harwood dutifully refrained from slanting their review of the inaugural in a positive direction, calling Bush's speech "provocative" and "rhetorical". Crawford said Bush advocated "aggressive expansionism", but moments later explained what he meant by that (ie. nothing bad).

    Not going away empty-handed, Keith felt obligated to report on the protests at the inaugural, then reported how unpopular the President is. And later in the show, KO ran video of Bush's inaugural speech. It was edited to include every time the president uttered the word "freedom". Too puerile for the Daily Show. But Keith might have a future at Saturday Night Live.

    KO capped off this particularly unremarkable show by aiming at a couple of easy targets: the recent exploits of socialite Paris Hilton, followed by wacko Christian conservative Dr. Dobson (from the group, "Focus On The Family") who condemned Sponge Bob's video for children as 'pro-homosexual' propaganda.

    Keith should have refrained from showing the entire Sponge Bob cartoon. It was a bit much. But perhaps it was good filler for what was an uneventful day---with the possible exception of the Presidential Inauguration, which garnered all-day coverage by cable news, but only 10 minutes on Countdown.

    Neither Bernard Kerik nor Armstrong Williams nor the "OhioButNotPennsylvaniaVoteFraud" were mentioned throughout the show.

    update (11PM): Apparently Keith's video editing bit WASN'T too puerile for the Daily Show, because the Daily Show did the same bit later that night! When Olbermannwatch is wrong, we admit it. Apologies to Mr. Olbermann. He does indeed have a future with the Daily Show.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - Wednesday January 19 2005 (8:00-9:00 pm Eastern)

    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for January 19

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: TRANSCRIPT PENDING

    Topics/Guests:

    INAUGURATION PREVIEW-WHAT CAN PRESIDENT BUSH ACCOMPLISH IN HIS SECOND TERM?: Michael Duffy, Washington bureau chief, Time magazine

    THE U.S. WILL SHIFT FROM FIGHTING TO TRAINING IN IRAQ: Rick Francona, MSNBC military analyst

    WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER THE IRAQI ELECTIONS?: Robin Wright, diplomatic correspondent, Washington Post

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: To borrow a phrase coined on this site, KO began the show with another spectaluar 'Olbyconvergience' when he jumped from the video of Brett Scallions at the Inaugural Youth concert to... "Should we scale back the Inauguration?" Never mind the fact this has been an American tradition dating back to our first President, George Washington. KO has more faith in LA Times polls than american tradition. He then declared that President Bush is already off to a 'bumpy start' in his second term and later stated it was an "apparently misdirected start". Did I miss the inauguration? I didn't know the Presidents second term had begun already.

    I did enjoy Jennifer Grossman (former speechwriter for President George H.W. Bush). She did a good job of discussing the Presidents view of freedom and faith and how that would play into his inaugural speech.

    I am very disappointed that our vote fraud hawk was completely silent on the new revelations coming out of Wisconsin regarding vote fraud. Combined with KO's lack of interest in the Washington Governors race, it is becoming clear that the non partisan vote hound does not hunt in blue states. Where's the concern for Wisconsin, Keith?

    KO replayed Jim Maceda's NBC report on the Iraqi elections and made a brief comment that the election was sure to end in 'bloodshed'. Thanks for the optimism, Keith. KO apparently thinks that freedom comes without sacrifice. He should take a look at American history and give thanks to those who shed blood so he could pick and choose which (red) state he wants to complain about voting irregularities in.

    KO reluctantly reported that exit pollsters admitted there were 'mistakes in the early raw data that favored John Kerry'. He didn't disappoint his DU audience when he slipped in "20% of the population will never believe this". He then explained that part of the reason for the mistake was Bush supporters were less likely to particpate in the extit polls. It had to be a republicans fault those polls were wrong! Thanks for clarifying that, KO!

    KO then took the time to review America's worst inauguration experiences throughout history. He ended the show with this dig at President Bush: "One thing I can guarantee about the President's speech tomorrow, it wont match George Washington's 135 word Inagaural speech. But we can always dream". I can make the same gaurantee about KO's show tomorrow night. But I can dream to.

    Am I hallucinating, or did KO just make it through the entire show without mentioning Armstrong Williams?


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (18) | | View blog reactions
    January 19, 2005
    Another Nail in the Ohio Conspiracy Coffin

    Rampant exit poll problems confirmed (a PDF of the full report is linked from the story)...

    UPDATE: Don't forget this tidbit:

    They also said they found no evidence to suggest fraud by rigging of polling equipment.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    January 18, 2005
    Countdown - Tuesday January 18 2005 (8:00-9:00 pm Eastern)

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann for January 18

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: TRANSCRIPT PENDING


    CONDOLEEZA RICE'S CONFIRMATION HEARING AND THE DIRECTION OF AMERICAN DIPLOMACY UNDER HER LEADERSHIP: Howard Fineman, NBC News analyst, chief political correspondent, Newsweek

    THE U.S. MILITARY PLANS TO SHIFT THE FOCUS IN IRAQ FROM FIGHTING TO TRAINING: Rick Francona, U.S. army (ret.), MSNBC military analyst

    A FAILED COLON CANCER TEST GAVE PATIENTS AND DOCTORS A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY: Dr. David Lieberman, co-author of colon cancer study

    BARS ACROSS THE COUNTRY ARE HAVING "TRIVIA NIGHT" WHERE INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS COMPETE TO WIN: Monica Novotny, "Countdown" correspondent

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: I almost fainted watching his first piece tonight. He actually reported a major political story without slamming Republicans. In fact, God help me if I am going senile, it may have even been, oh dear olbywatchers, can it be, is it possible that he gave Condi Rice and the Republicans a fair shake over the hearings today? KO actually seemed to criticize the Democratic Senators questioning Rice at the confirmation hearings, referring to the hearings as a retroactive referendum on going to war in Iraq. KO actually nailed what happened--they are refighting the election campaign, and said most watchers would see this as the Democrats being obstructionist. KO-- "The questions sounded like the outside edge of a war crimes tribunal". Wow.

    He and guest Howard Fineman even went on to say that they think these Democrats are just going to go to war on the entire Bush agenda, because why not, the Democrats left in office are the "hard core" ones and what do they have to lose? This is a first for KO, actually reporting what happened.

    Elation turned rapidly to disappointment, however, as KO went from this fairly presented piece over to one of his current favorite whipping boys. He must have seen Johnny's shock yesterday that he skipped over Kerik & Williams, and attempted to lamely make up for it tonight. The shocking news: Kerik is going to the inaugural ball. Slam joke-every party Kerik goes to gets paid for in secret. Another real knee slapper.

    The most of the rest of the show was filled with his usual oddball stories, near the end he brought up the "Thornburgh' report again, announcing that 3 of the four people CBS was supposed to let go were still at CBS. Mapes has been fired, the other three were asked to resign and have not as yet. Moonves says he is meeting with their lawyers, etc. KO also reported that Moonves is considering replacing Rather with something or someone to appeal to a yourger format and younger audience. KO stated in a joking manner "hey guy, you can't do that, that is my side of the street!".

    So now we know perhaps, KO sees himself as going for the Stewart/Comedy Central college crowd, ergo all the dumb, hip, "with it' sarcasm.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    January 17, 2005
    Countdown - Monday January 17 2005 (8:00-9:00 pm Eastern)

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for January 17

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: Jan 18, 7:06 p.m.
    Guests: Col Jack Jacobs, Michael Musto

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: Right off the bat Olby runs with Seymour Hersh's latest collection of unnamed sources and confidential informants. It appears that we're snooping around in Iran. Good old Sy; he can still churn them out. Col Jack Jacobs gave Olby a wake-up call:

    If we're not doing it, we should be....It is not news.

    Of course not; that's why it's KO's lead story!

    Item: The President's approval rating is up 4%. Immediately countered with:
    Item: 53% doubt Iraq will have a stable government.
    Item: Sen Kennedy disapproves of the Iraq policy. [This is also not news.]
    After an excerpt from a David Gregory interview with the President, Keith found a soundbite from John Kerry about how terrible the voting process is, then added:

    Sen Kerry also announced tonight that the Red Sox apparently won the World Series.

    Somehow KO didn't bring up either Bernard Kerik or Armstrong Williams. What is he up to?

    #4 on the Countdown: Newly-released tapes of JFK at the ADA discussing civil rights. KO took a shot at a local Mississippi Tax Commission Office that took the day as a joint celebration of two birthdays: MLK and Robert E Lee. "Obviously there's a racial component," ruled Judge Olbermann. We wonder why the obvious connections to Bernard Kerik and Armstrong Williams weren't mentioned.

    #3: Iraq elections, violence over there, will there be violence over here? Mostly recycled NBC News reports, including one on the security prep for Thursday's inauguration. An ideal time to bring up VoteFraud2004inOhioButNotPennsylvania! But, nothing. Does this mean KO is done counting the ballots? Does he finally have...closure? Didn't Armstrong Williams visit Ohio once? Why is Keith avoiding this story? His corporate masters must have clamped down on him.

    #2: A gut-wrenching adoption battle over a three-year-old child. This sounds more like Inside Edition or the Today show. Oh wait, it is the Today show, as Olby runs their interview with the adoptive parents who lost their child. Bernard Kerik figures into this somehow; why doesn't Keith realize that?

    Olby's subject matter lurches into the tsunami telethon. Even though last week Olby was complaining that the telethon was just giving "free publicity" to O'Reilly, Keith decided to give Mr Bill even more gratis PR:

    We can measure just how much broadcasting largest ego was inflated by it.

    KO then goes on to repeat a quote from Mr Bill, once again lifted (without attribution) from a blog.

    And the #1 story? The Golden Globe Awards. Which just happens to be broadcast by...NBC. The corporate masters at work again.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    January 16, 2005
    ADMIN: Changes in the Commenting process - usage of TypeKey

    As you most likely noticed earlier this week we have attempted to deal with the comment spam by enforcing TypeKey registration. If you use Internet Explorer as your browser, you also noticed that for some strange reason even after you sign into TypeKey to make a comment, Olbermannwatch still requests you to sign-in again. While this problem is triggered by IE, the reason for it is the error in the design of the MovableType software that powers this blog. That, of course, means that the only solution is one of the following workarounds:

    1. Use a less braindead and more configurable browser - Download Firefox.
    2. If you insist on using Internet Explorer, go to Tools->Internet Options->Privacy. You will see a box marked "Web Sites". Click on "Edit" button to override the privacy policy for the website. Type "thenationaldebate.com" into the address bar, and click "Allow".

    You are all set to use TypeKey authentication for Olbermannwatch.com.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (5) | | View blog reactions
    January 14, 2005
    Olby Unfiltered

    True to form, as a guy who just can't hold a job, KO has bounced from employer to employer over the years. Stints at MSNBC, CNN, ESPN, ABC, Fox...these are well-remembered embarrassments, especially in the boardrooms of the organizations who made the mistake of hiring him. But how many recall what Keith was doing for the latter half of 2002? That was when we got some glimpses of the "real" KO, through the medium of his column in Salon.com.

    Salon is the agit-prop site presided over by David Talbot, who is to lefty propaganda what David Duke is to hooded sheets. And if you have any lingering doubt about Salon's mission in life, just check their list of "contributing writers", a veritable Who's Who of the far left: Joe Conason, Eric Boehlert, Sidney Blumenthal, Arianna Huffington, Robert Scheer...a "fair and balanced" lineup that runs the ideological gamut from A to B.

    That Olbermann would join this gang of miscreants should come as no surprise to regular readers of this site (although it might serve as enlightening to those who cling to the belief that KO is just an impartial anchorman rather than an "analyst"). Skimming through some of the OlbyArticles that can still be found at Salon turns up some items that reflect in interesting ways on some of KO's current obsessions (and raise new questions about NBC's notion that he could ever be an "anchor").

    For example, on the subject of Ann Coulter (Keith despises her so much that recently he smashed an Ann Coulter doll to pieces--on air!):

    ...a veritable out-of-control firehose of venom, whipping around crazily, streaming invective wherever she happens to point.

    Keith goes on to assign partial blame Coulter for the 9/11 attacks, because of her "small but significant role" in distracting the country from the looming terrorist threat. And then there's NewsCorp whose crime was printing an erroneous blind item in a gossip column and later issuing an apology:

    I worked for News Corp. -- for its Fox network and one of its cable sewers, Fox Sports Net, for three years. They were swine.

    It must have been the retraction that upset Olby. We know he usually doesn't bother with them himself. Even though he once thought otherwise:

    No retraction, no correction, no acknowledgment of doubt...No scolding of the correspondent, no spinning by his colleagues to place it in some kind of context. Nothing.

    There are other OlbyThoughts that have a strange resonance vis-a-vis some of his recent antics. Olbermann's wisecracks about celebrities ("Keeping Tabs" segment)? How about his cheap shots at Bill O'Reilly? No Countdown would be complete without both, yet he was singing a different tune for Salon:

    This is about the institutionalized ridiculing of public figures, especially actors, politicians and athletes. It is safe to say that all respect has been erased...

    We're sure "respect" is the first thing one thinks of with regard to Olby's jabs at those who are more successful than he is. And then there's RatherGate, a scandal Keith has already dropped in favor of the Armstrong Williams kerfuffle. Rather's responsibility? Heyward's culpability? KO couldn't care less. But there is a different view:

    Where is the reprimand against Infinity Broadcasting? Or its mogul, Mel Karmazin? What's his punishment?...One cannot overestimate the convenience for broadcasters and executives of this process of letting responsibility fall between the cracks. The prima donnas of management whose lust for publicity makes us mere on-air folks look Amish don't get blamed. The on-air folks don't get fired.

    KO's own words, unfiltered, from Olbermann: The Salon Months.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    Olbermann Changes Subject to Fox and Swift Vets

    Here is what Keith said in a discussion of the CBS report:

    OLBERMANN: To some degree, do you think CBS got caught in this here because they had otherwise played within the journalistic rules? I mean if you look at the swift boat ads last summer, full of distortions, some demonstrably untrue content in there. Yet they were run as gospel by many news outlets, even though they were by definition designed to influence the election. But you‘re not going to see Fox News appointing an independent investigation into its own journalistic ethics or lack there of over those ads.
    Now let's look at how Fox News' premiere broadcast handled the Swift Boat controversy:
    [CHRIS] WALLACE [to Van Odell of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth]: But here's a man who says John Kerry has not been honest about what happened in Vietnam, and in '96 he said he acted courageously.

    Let me show you a statement by another one of your members, Adrian Lonsdale. Let's take a look at what he says now in one of your ads and what he said in 1996. Here it is.

    (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

    ADRIAN LONSDALE, SWIFT BOAT VETERANS FOR TRUTH: He lacks the capacity to lead.

    It was mainly won because of the bravado and the courage of the young officers that ran the boats, the swift boats and the Coast Guard cutters. And Senator Kerry was no exception. He was among the finest of those swift boat drivers.

    (END VIDEO CLIP)

    WALLACE: Again, here's a man who now lacks the capacity to lead, according to Mr. Lonsdale, but back in 1996 showed courage, bravado and was one of the finest swift boat drivers.[...]

    WALLACE: How do you explain these 180-degree contradictions in what these two men are saying now and what they said eight years ago?[...]

    WALLACE: But wait a minute. Another member of your group, Larry Thurlow, who was also in that same action, also received a Bronze Star, and his citation also says there was enemy fire.

    I want to show you something else. These are the after-action reports from March 1969. These are the reports of the action. These did not come from an individual person. They talk about -- and let's take a look at it.

    They say that the boats received heavy A.W. -- automatic weapons -- and S.A. -- small arms -- from both banks. And they say that all of your boats sustained battle damage, including Thurlow's boat and Kerry's boat.

    These are the documents.

    ODELL: I've seen them. And these were written from Kerry's spot reports.

    But I want to tell you this: There was no damage. The damage that was reported on Thurlow's boat, and the damage that was reported on the 94 boat, which were windows blown out, that happened the day before in an ambush on March the 12th.

    I can tell you this. I mean, I was up at the highest point. I could see all around. I could see what was going on. I fired a few hundred rounds when the mine first went off. And after that we quit firing because -- and then we spent an hour in the kill zone, and nobody was shot or wounded.

    WALLACE: Wait a minute. I mean, I've got here the recommendation that was written in real-time, 10 days after, to recommend a Bronze Star for John Kerry; also the one that was written for Larry Thurlow. I've got the after-action reports.

    Do you have a single document, a single piece of evidence from 1969 that shows that John Kerry made up this story?

    ODELL: Well, I have the fact that I wasn't wounded in that 5,000 meters of fire that he wrote about in here. I do not have a single document. But these came from spot reports...

    WALLACE: The answer is no, you do not have a single document.

    ODELL: No, I do not.

    WALLACE: There's not a single document from 1969 to prove your story.

    ODELL: Just seven eyewitness accounts.

    WALLACE: From 35 years after the fact.

    And here's how the eeevil O'Reilly handled it:
    "Talking Points" believes the personal attacks on both John Kerry and President Bush are wrong. I agree with Mr. Bush that Kerry's Vietnam service was noble. And I believe that the president and the senator are both patriots.[...]

    The truth about the swift boat deal is this. Many Americans don't want to know the truth. They just want their ideology reinforced on both sides. The Washington Post has done the best reporting on the issue. And its conclusion is we'll never know the truth about Kerry's service. Too many conflicting reports. And it doesn't matter anyway. He volunteered for combat. He got his medals. That's the record.

    O'Reilly did an independent investigation of his own and came to much the same conclusion as the Post.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (10) | | View blog reactions
    The Latest From MRC CyberAlert

    Keith makes it again:

    MSNBC's Keith Olbermann expressed disappointment that Democrats delivered what he termed a "tepid" response to the WMD news. On Countdown, Olbermann proposed to USA Today reporter Tom Squitieri: "There was, speaking of the Democrats, there was a kind of a run of the mill response from the Minority Leader, Ms. Pelosi, in the House, about how the President, let me read it, 'needs to explain to the American people why he was so wrong for so long about the reasons for war.' But that, I mean, that seemed pretty tepid. Are the Democrats intending to try to make more hay out of this?"

    Squitieri agreed with Olbermann's assessment: "It did seem tepid indeed, Keith, and I think they are trying to, as I said, Representative Tauscher wants a hearing in the Armed Services Committee, which actually is not a bad committee on Capitol Hill to have this hearing. There are Republicans and Democrats on that committee who would like to see how this money was spent. It's been going on for a long time, this question of weapons of mass destruction. We all know Condi Rice's things about mushroom clouds in our cities if we don't take action in Iraq and all that. The reason for going to war has changed over the months, but the money spent has not. And now with the issue of counterinsurgency every day killing U.S. troops, that money has to be diverted to that purpose. That, in large part, is why they stopped the search. There was nothing to be found, and they needed to spend the money elsewhere."
    Olbermann: "And it's always American money."
    Squitieri: "Oh, yeah."


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Pot Meet Kettle

    Is Brian Stelter at TVNewser really the person to be criticzing Bill O'Reilly for getting a date wrong about a Countdown broadcast?

    Ignoring the fact that O'Reilly misidentified Olbermann (an anchor, not analyst) and got the date wrong (Monday, not "yesterday"), here's what Olbermann asked Alex Jones...

    I suspect Johnny Dollar might be able to shed some insight on this.

    PS, Olbermann "plays" an anchor but I don't think there is much doubt that Countdown is an opinion show disguised as a news broadcast. Is O'Reilly wrong because Rick Kaplan says Keith is a "news anchor"?


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (3) | | View blog reactions
    January 13, 2005
    Countdown - Thursday January 13 2005 (8:00-9:00 pm Eastern)

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: TRANSCRIPT PENDING
    Guest: PENDING

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE:

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for January 13

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    THE LATEST IN THE WAR ON TERROR

    THE LATEST RELIEF EFFORTS IN THE TSUNAMI DISASTER

    TRIVIAMANIA-THE POPULARITY OF TRIVA GAMES: Monica Novotny, "Countdown" correspondent

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: TRANSCRIPT PENDING


    OLBYWATCH GUIDE:

    The above were the listed topics for tonight from earlier in the day, which changed considerably by show time. Their lack of certainty about what to air certainly showed tonight.

    KO continued to demonstrate that he is out of his depth with political news tonight, and overall it was a weak show. Yes, he slammed Bush asap over the election in Iraq, and continued to feature the Armstrong Williams story (ever heard of CBS, KO? It's a network news show, anchor named Dan Rather?) and overall lacked energy. It was same old same old with the Bush bashing, but even that ran out of steam after the first two stories and the rest seemed like about sixteen unfunny odd ball stories. A mentally ill teddy bear? Puh leeze!

    The one bright spot was his report on the baseball steroid scandal, where his depth of background showed. He was of course sarcastic, but his sarcasm, relating to the players and the owners never shaking hands unless there is a strike to avoid, hit both sides and helped to illuminate the story, not make you shake your head over what an ideologue this guy is.

    KO's problem with politics is that he is constantly making extremely one sided sarcastic comments on his stories about Bush or Republicans, with no sense that once in a while they might be right about something, or that Democrats may worthy of a few sarcastic comments themselves. It is one way, all the way, and it gives a sense that KO doesn't really understand the context of the stories he is reporting on. Highlighting the Armstrong Williams story while ignoring Dan Rather is but one of many examples.

    His report on the Bush adminstration putting out the word to lower expectations was olbyconverged with his story on Williams, where he said we can raise expectations that Williams will get in even bigger trouble. Get it? Expectations? Yawn. Man was that clever. Is this the spot where we are supposed to laugh?

    Looks like we are moving into an Armstrong Williams centered universe, move over Sun, KO needs a Republican bashing story he can run with until, until, until another Republican makes a mistake he can massage into another week or more of non news blather. The blather on Williams tonight was, will the Senate investigate him? The astounding answer from John Harwood of the WSJ---"I don't know !!!!"

    Memo to Keith from Bill O'Reilly, who has a much better show than you do, and is a lot more balanced. Not every story has to have a sarcastic comment, or a slam on something you deem politically to the right. You can just report the news, if all else fails.

    Which he did finally on a nice piece tonight on the mud slide in La Conchita, with an extensive interview of the father there who went out for ice cream and tragically lost his entire family. A voice over person did almost the whole story, however, and Keith was only on at the beginning, but at least in his seven seconds he didn't try to squeeze in a sarcastic comment on that horrible tragedy like he did two nights ago, or a slam on the Orchard there which has absolutely nothing to do with this story. Maybe that's an idea, cut KO to seven seconds on each story. Air(head) America, here he comes!


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (25) | | View blog reactions
    A Literal Count Down

    When MSNBC gave Keith Olbermann the anchor role for Countdown, they probably didn't expect that KO would preside over a literal count down--of viewers. In Wednesday's ratings, as revealed by TVNewser, Olby continued to show what his warm personality and appealing humility can do for MSNBC's audience.

    Up against the powerhouse CNN competition of Paula Zahn, KO again found himself in a distant third place. O'Reilly over at Fox had 2,514,000 viewers (thanks no doubt to Keith's constant publicity for his show), Zahn attracted 550,000, and Olby? He brought up the rear with 288,000, below the 0.3 that was his recent low watermark. Sounds like another nine-to-one advantage for the dreaded Mr Bill.

    But the real humiliation comes when you measure the most coveted demographic: viewers between the ages of 25 and 54. O'Reilly of course trounced everyone, but Zahn achieved a respectable 289,000. Keith Olbermann managed to bank a measly, ignominious, embarrassing 64,000.

    Keith, with this pitiable performance, you are the weakest link. Goodbye!


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Imus Slams Keith

    From Ricky West:

    This morning, Kerry supporter Don Imus was discussing Memo-gate and went off on some of the MSNBC prime-time shows, especially "Countdown". He gave Matthews some slack, but held nothing back on Olbermann, whom he hinted was staying after Armstrong Williams when the obvious big story of the day was CBS and Dan Rather's stain-without-the-blue-dress. The phrase "embarrassed for them [the MSNBC shows" sticks in my mind.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    January 12, 2005
    Profile of MBA Tsunami Video Hosting Initiative

    A rare, brief digression into do-goodism...

    Online Journalism Review today published an article by Mark Glaser, Tsunami Video Alliance Portends Future Distribution for Amateurs, which profiled the MBA Tsunami Video Hosting Initiative.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - Wednesday January 12, 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for January 12

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: TRANSCRIPT PENDING

    Topics/Guests:

    SHOULD PEOPLE LIVING IN DISASTER AREAS BE FORCED TO MOVE?: James Lee Witt, former FEMA director

    WMD SEARCH ENDS IN IRAQ: Tom Squitieri, U.S. intelligence and
    Pentagon reporter, USA Today

    PRESIDENT BUSH PROMOTES "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND" AND PROCLAIMS THE IMPORTANCE OF THE LORD IN BEING PRESIDENT: Howard Fineman, Newsweek, MSNBC political analyst

    A SPACECRAFT HEADS TOWARDS COMET TEMPLE ONE FOR A CRASH AND STUDY SESSION: Derrick Pitts, Franklin Institute Observatory

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: First of all let me say Thanks to Robert Cox for allowing me to 'take one for the team' by watching tonights episode of Cable TV's Lowest Rated Program! Saving you the PAIN of having to do the same.

    KO lead into the Mudslide story with: California Gov. Shwarzenegger made a 'Controversial Promise' today to 'help residents get back into their homes'. Am I missing something here? When did it become controversial to help people afflicted by natural disaster? KO wanted desperately to blame the mudslide on a local orchard located on top of the hill, but James Witt didn't bite. He reminded KO of the heavy rains California has been experiencing.

    At 15 minutes in, KO has already found a way to take a shot at Bill O'Reilly, Gov. Shwarzenegger, Armstrong Williams, President Bush and Tommy Thompson. KO called Sec. Thompson the 'picture of radiant fitness' leading into the discussion of the Dept. Of Health and Human Services release of new diet information today.

    Next up came this little dig: "In the wake of the Armstrong Williams campaing, is this a good time for the President to launch another PR campaign?" KO was talking about President Bush speaking today about NCLB and Social Security. Once again folks, I might be wrong, but isn't the President suppose to promote his agenda? The bottom of the TV screen had the title 'spokesman-n-chief'. KO is trying to make the lame assertion that the President should abandon his agenda because of Armstrong Williams.

    KO finishes the hit piece on President Bush by saying we know this is a "damn the torpedoes administration."

    KO just found absolutely nothing wrong with Gregoires stolen 129 vote win for Governor of Washington. The same non-partisan KO who has been disturbed by the President's 118,000+ margin of victory in Ohio. Why no concern about Washington? It couldn't be because Gregoire is a democrat, could it? I mean KO is non-partisan, right?

    You can really see the disgust in KO now that O'Reilly will be on MSNBC helping with the tsunami telethon. It is apparent now that KO cannot understand how his competition from FOX just became part of a project his network is producing. It's almost as if he is crying out at NBC "pick me, please, pick me. I'm better than O'Reilly, even if I have the lowest ratings on TV."

    Thanks for the non-partisan, hit job on republicans Keith.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    More Egg on Keith's Face

    On his blog last night, Olby joined George Clooney in bashing Bill O'Reilly for putting the tsunami telethon on notice after the many problems with the September 11 telethon, exposed by O'Reilly three years ago... Hours earlier, however, O'Reilly confirmed that he would join the telethon after being reassured that all the money would go to the victims... And Olby wasn't the only one to make a faux pas:

    But due to crossed wires--Clooney's camp was unaware of the radio-issued acceptance--George, a volunteer talent wrangler for the event, initially sounded very perturbed.

    One day after addressing a lengthy missive to O'Reilly, in which he accused the broadcaster of undermining the telethon with remarks on his cable show, and challenged him to appear at the fundraiser, Clooney dashed off another note.


    "We're not playing games here, we're trying to save lives," Clooney wrote, reacting to O'Reilly's iffy-response to the invite on Monday's O'Reilly Factor. "It's as simple as this: you're either with this joint effort or against it."

    In a bit of bad timing, Clooney's demand for an immediate "yes" or "no" was issued to reporters almost two hours after O'Reilly had accepted. NBC later confirmed the multi-media talker was on board for the benefit.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    January 11, 2005
    Countdown - Tuesday January 11, 2005

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for January 11

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Topics/Guests:

    CALIFORNIA MUDSLIDES & RESCUE: Sgt. Sean Conroy, Ventura, Calif. Police Department

    PRESIDENT BUSH NOMINATES MICHAEL CHERTOFF FOR SECRETARY OF HOMELAND SECURITY: Craig Crawford, Congressional Quarterly and MSNBC political analyst

    THE CONTROVERSY SURROUNDING CONSERVATIVE SYNDICATED COLUMNIST AND TALK
    SHOW HOST ARMSTRONG WILLIAMS: Margaret Carlson, Time magazine

    A FAMILY FINDS A WAY TO RAISE MONEY ON EBAY FOR THEIR NINE YEAR-OLD SON, WHO IS BATTLING CANCER: Monica Novotny, "Countdown" correspondent

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: updated: 1:56 p.m. ET Jan. 12, 2005

    Guest: Scott Hall, Margaret Carlson

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: KO lead off with the header that more Americans are dead and missing from the California floods and mud slides than from the tsunami in the Indian Ocean. It's doubtful KO realized that with this headline angle to this story, and by bumping the tsunami from the top story slot, he tends to help conservatives neutralize the criticism from liberals that Bush allocated more US aid to the Florida hurricane victims.

    Today's White House announcement of Michael Chertoff as the Nominee For Homeland Security Secretary offered Keith a "twofer" (two-for-one) Republican bash. He first named-dropped Bernard Kerik---who had been KO's favorite pinatta---before vaguely referring to Chertoff's connections to the "prisoner abuse scandals"---whatever that means. Keith said that Chertoff's memo signed off on "water-boarding". What KO omitted to say was that the treatment applied to terrorists isn't considered by the US Congress to be "torture", and that Chertoff was referring to Al Qaeda detainees, and not Iraqi detainees.

    KO's regular lapdog guest, Craig Crawford tried to lend a hand by referring to the nomination as "not a consensus choice". Jeez, there's partisan Bush at it again---nominating Republicans to his cabinet!!

    Yesterday, through OLBYconvergence, KO elevated the incident of a conservative political pundit failing to disclose payments he received from the Dept. of Education to a level of importance of a major network news producer admitting (in emails) that she (Mary Mapes) sought a news story with the intent of affecting the Presidential election, by alleging---5 weeks before the election---that the President was guilty of a felony.

    Tonight, Keith thought it more important to continue with the Armstrong Williams' payolla thing, and drop any more mention of the fallout over the "ThornbergAndNotBoccardi" Report of the so-called investigation of 60 Minutes II. Why? Because of "second-hand" reports that there were more payouts by the Department to others to support their policies---a violation of Federal law, as well as revelations from London's Financial Times that members of Iraqi Prime Minister-elect Alawi's political party had paid a $100 gift to news reporters at their news conference in Iraq.

    It's hard to imagine Mr. Williams, after all that he's experienced over this scandal, would have expected his misdeed would rise to the level of comparison to Memogate and the Bush Administation's supposed fledgling efforts in Iraq. But then one must not underestimate the range of "OLBYconvergence".

    KO reported that Sinclair Broadcasting fired Armstrong Williams, but didn't mention yesterday CBS's failure to act in similar fashion and fire Dan Rather. Apparently, comparisons go only so far when one uses a "news program" to advance a political agenda.

    Guest Margaret Carlson wasn't too cooperative with Keith. She seemed to question the assumptions in David Corn's piece in the Nation that there were other instances of payoffs. Nor did she bite into Keith's tease that maybe Republicans are concerned about this mess expanding beyond Williams. Although she did offer him a bone, saying that "this story won't go away anytime soon."

    Dog that (still) didn't bark: Hilary Clinton's verteran political fundraiser was indicted by a federal court January 7th, about the same time the Williams' scandal broke. One can only imagine the way KO could have conflated this Hilary campaign finance scandal with the one involving the Marc Rich pardon and those four Hasidic Jews that had their prison sentences shortened by President Clinton after they delivered votes in their community for Hilary Clinton's Senate run. But alas, Keith is a liberal news anchor; not a fair and balanced one.

    There's something KO has in common with Al Franken. He doesn't feel complete without snipping at the heels of Bill O'Reilly. But tonight, it remained unclear exactly WHY Keith was snipping. Apparently, the egotistical Bill O'Reilly said he will seek to ascertain that the celebs fronting the January 15th Telethon for the Red Cross effforts in the tsunami relief efforts will remain on the up-and-up, and do what they promise with the money. (O'Reilly was out in front of the criticism of the 9-11 charities, one will recall.) Other than shilling for bigtime celeb George Clooney, it's anyone's guess what KO sees anything wrong with what O'Reilly is demanding---which is accountability.

    Anyway, KO referred to this latest exhibition of Bill's hubris as his continued self-destructive behavior. However, the far wittier and smarter Keith should act accordingly and ignore the egotist at Fox. Because talking about Bill just reminds people how far behind in the ratings Countdown is to The O'Reilly Factor.

    Dog That Didn't Bark: KO didn't report that the 37 voters who alleged vote fraud in the Presidential election withdrew their lawsuit in Ohio State Supreme Court today. Countdown is a very upbeat show, and Keith doesn't like to report bad news.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    CyberAlert on Olbermann's Reaction to the Rathergate Report

    Another one for the ages:

    MSNBC's Keith Olbermann insisted on Monday night that the case of Armstrong Williams taking money from the Bush administration combined with the CBS panel finding no political bias behind CBS's hit job on President Bush, discredits the idea of any liberal media bias. Olbermann also portrayed CBS as a victim compared to the perpetrators at FNC since CBS News "played within the journalistic rules" while "you're not going to see Fox News appointing an independent investigation into its own journalistic ethics or lack thereof" for running the Swift Boat ads which were "full of distortions."


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    Keith Makes the Top 10 in Another "Countdown"

    This one for the worst media distortions of 2004 (Keith is #10):

    On his August 2 MSNBC program Countdown, Keith Olbermann devoted an entire segment to speculation that Bush re-election politics lay behind a terror threat warning that the Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge issued the day before. Apparently angry that the warning was publicized in the days following the Democratic National Convention, Olbermann revealed his paranoid mindset: “History tells us Presidents have exaggerated threats to the public safety to gain political advantage or simplify complex needs of strategy. Ask Lyndon Johnson. Ask William McKinley. Do we need to ask George W. Bush?�


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Is Scarborough Talking About Keith?

    Hmmmm...


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    January 10, 2005
    Countdown - Monday, Jan 10, 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Jan 10

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: 1:50 AM, Jan 12 2005
    Guest: Deborah Potter, Alex Jones, Richard Wolffe

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: It took less than two minutes for KO to put a political spin on the RatherGate report:

    It was probably as close to a win for CBS as was conceiably possible. A vivisection, co-chaired by a former Republican attorney general of the United States, found no political motivation...

    All right class, why did Olby bring up Thornburgh? Why did he go out of his way to mention he is a Republican? Why did Thornburgh get star billing in this sentence, while his co-chairman gets no mention at all? Why does KO keep calling it "The Thornburgh Report"? Could it be Olbermann's way to try to paint this as a "win for CBS"? Is KO trying to say that even a Republican says Rather is not biased? Bueller? Anyone?

    Incredibly, KO tried to get Deborah Potter to diminish this scandal on the grounds that everybody does it:

    This rush to get a story on the air. For as long as there has been journalism this has been the siren's call, the rocks on which a thousand careers have crashed.

    Needless to say, none of Olby's questions to her even hinted that there might be any [whispered:] "bias". But he was quick to play a clip of co-chairman Baccardi (I wonder how he likes KO calling this "The Thornburgh Report"). Baccardi said bias had nothing to do with it. (How exactly does he know?) Then, with that sleight-of-hand that only KO can perform, he slips Armstrong Williams into the conversation, and introduces his next guest (Alex Jones, a media "expert" from, where else, NPR and PBS):

    How do these two stories, Armstrong Williams and the Thornburgh [again with Thornburgh!] findings about CBS fit into that matrix that insists the media is largely tilted to the left?

    I'll spare you the predictable reply.

    Of course, no Countdown would be complete without the obligatory, envious slap at Olbermann's far more successful competitors:

    The Swift-Boat ads, last summer, full of distortions, some demonstrably untrue content in there, yet they were run as gospel by many news outlets, even though they were by definition designed to influence the election. But you're not going to see Fox News appointing an independent investigation into its own journalistic ethics or lack thereof over those ads.

    Hello? McFly?
    Are you equating a paid political advertisement with a fraudulent news report? And are you going to appoint a committee to investigate MSNBC's airing of the ads?

    Surely things can't get any worse. Oh wait, Olby has another guest. Perhaps someone to provide a little balance? No, it's one of Newsweek's lefty scriveners who is going to elaborate on Keith's allegation that there has been a "sea change" in public opinion on Iraq. Make him go away. Who will be next? Al Franken? Michael Moore? I can't take another minute of Olbermann Hell. I'm outta here.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (9) | | View blog reactions
    KO Frazzled - Where To Begin?

    So much dirt, so little time...a cornucopia for Keith tonight:

    Keith could cover The Conyers Report which is now out, but it is being ignored by the MSM, although William Raspberry is all atwitter.

    Or Armstrong Williams who was caught whoring himself on behalf of the Bush Administration, got fired, and is now pointing fingers without naming names.

    Or Ken Blackwell soliciting illegal campaign contributions.

    Or a a cursory look at the CBS News Rathergate Report with a strong emphasis on the claim that "conservative bloggers" were the source of all that trouble and that the memos are not necessarily fake.

    Or maybe a story about the Bush Administration's Iraq Death Squads.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    A Man After KO's Hear - John Kerry Having It Both Ways (again)

    The big news here is that Kerry intends to propose legislation to federalize presidential elections despite the obvious Contstitutional problem that states have always determined how electors are chosen in the Electoral College. And thus we get to see the real reason that politicians like Conyers, Jesse Jackson, Jr. and now Kerry have been fanning the flames of left-wing lunacy over "vote fraud" in Ohio - to create a new means to contend outcomes they don't like in federal court and so find a way to get a case in the hands of lefty courts like the Ninth District in San Francisco.

    Isn't any surprise that after conceding the election and admitting that Bush won Ohio, John Kerry is out there "under the radar" trying to have it both ways.

    On January 5th, John Kerry sent out an email to 3 million of his supporters where he stated:

    I will not be taking part in a formal protest of the Ohio Electors...our legal teams on the ground have found no evidence that would change the outcome of the election.

    In the same e-mail Kerry said there were widespread reports of irregularities, questionable practices by some election officials and instances of lawful voters being denied the right to vote but does not cite a single one.

    He then adds It's critical to our democracy that we investigate and act to prevent voting irregularities and voter intimidation across the country. We can't stand still as Congressional leaders seek to sweep well-founded voter concerns under the rug...

    Vote intimidation? Well-founded voter-concerns? Is Kerry giving credency to the tin foil hat crowd? I might agree with "well-funded" voter concerns but "well-founded"?

    Kerry even throws a sop to Michael Moore's favorite congressman when he says A recent report from Representative John Conyers (D-Michigan) reveals very troubling questions that have not yet been answered by Ohio election officials.

    Troubling "questions"? How about substance? Is Kerry saying that the crackpot claims of the loony left have merit? If so which ones? Be specific. You know he won't be specific because the claims of the loony left have been widely discredited.

    You can read the entire, Kerryesque letter below...


    ============================================================

    Dear Friend,

    No American citizen should wake up the morning after the election and worry their vote wasn't counted. No citizen should be denied at the polls if they are eligible to vote. And, as the greatest, wealthiest nation on earth, our citizens should never be forced to vote on old, unaccountable and non transparent voting machines from companies controlled by partisan activists.

    Tomorrow, members of Congress will meet to certify the results of the 2004 presidential election. I will not be taking part in a formal protest of the Ohio Electors.

    Despite widespread reports of irregularities, questionable practices by some election officials and instances of lawful voters being denied the right to vote, our legal teams on the ground have found no evidence that would change the outcome of the election.

    But, that does not mean we should abandon our commitment to addressing those problems that happened in Ohio. We must act today to make sure they never happen again.

    I urge you to join me in using this occasion to highlight our demand that Congress commit itself this year to reforming the electoral system. A Presidential election is a national federal election but we have different standards in different states for casting and counting votes. We need a national federal standard to solve the problems that occurred in the 2004 election. I will propose legislation to help achieve this.

    Florida 2000 was a wake up call. But the Republicans who control Congress ignored it. Will they now ignore what happened in 2004?

    There are nearly 3,000,000 of you receiving this email. We accomplished so much together during the campaign. Now let's use our power to make sure that at least one good thing comes from the voting rights problems of the 2004 election. If we want to force real action on election reform, we've got to demand that congressional leaders hold full hearings. Make sure they hear from you and help hold them accountable.

    Speaker Dennis Hastert: 1-202-225-0600
    Leader Bill Frist: 1-202-224-3135

    And please report that you've made your call right here:
    http://www.johnkerry.com/signup/electoral_reform.php

    I want every vote counted because Americans have to know that the votes they stood in line for, fought for, and strived so hard to cast in an election, are counted. We must make sure there are no questions or doubts in future elections. It's critical to our democracy that we investigate and act to prevent voting irregularities and voter intimidation across the country. We can't stand still as Congressional leaders seek to sweep well-founded voter concerns under the rug.

    Please join with me in calling Speaker Hastert and Leader Frist and telling them that you want action on election reform now.

    A recent report from Representative John Conyers (D-Michigan) reveals very troubling questions that have not yet been answered by Ohio election officials. I commend the Democratic National Committee for its announcement this week that the DNC will be investing resources and reaching out to non-partisan academics in a long term study of Ohio voting irregularities. I am only sorry that we haven't seen the same from Ohio Secretary of State Blackwell and GOP officials.

    Congress must play a positive, proactive role on this issue. That's why I will soon introduce legislation to reform our election system, ensuring transparency and accountability in our voting system and that all Americans have an opportunity to vote and have their vote counted.

    Please remember to let us know that you made your call when you're done. We're hoping to ensure House and Senate leaders' offices hear our demand for action on election reform in meaningful way. Please take a moment to let us know you have made your call here: http://www.johnkerry.com/signup/electoral_reform.php

    Thank you,

    John Kerry

    P.S. Thanks to all those who participated in our USO "phone home" campaign last week. The totals are coming in from the USO, and they are thrilled with your generosity and support for our brave men and women in uniform. We will send you totals as we get them.


    ============================================================


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    January 7, 2005
    Countdown - Friday Jan 7, 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Jan 7

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    THE LATEST FROM SOUTH ASIA: Charles Sabine, NBC News correspondent

    WHY IS GENERAL LUCK BEING SENT TO IRAQ AND WHAT DOES HE HOPE TO ACCOMPLISH?: Col. Jack Jacobs, MSNBC military analyst

    CONSERVATIVE COMMENTATOR ARMSTRONG WILLIAMS WAS PAID BY THE WHITE HOUSE TO PROMOTE "NO CHILD LEFT BEHIND": Greg Topo, USA Today

    THE MEDIA ETHICS BEHIND A REPORTER TAKING BRIBES FROM GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS: Deborah Potter, former network correspondent and president of NewsLab, a media watchdog organization

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: TRANSCRIPT PENDING
    Guest: PENDING

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: Gee? Does is sound like Keith has an open mind on the Armstrong Williams story?


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (33) | | View blog reactions
    January 6, 2005
    A Big Olbermann Watch Welcome to Michael Haley

    Michael Haley of Napablogger has agreed to condemn himself to watching Countdown every Thursday so you don't have to. Pity the fool!

    So our line up is now:

    Monday - Johnny Dollar
    Tuesday - Gary Krasner
    Wednesday - Bob Cox
    Thursday - Michael Haley
    Friday - Alex Yuriev

    Bloggerman/Online - Henry Hanks

    We could still use a couple more contributors (including someone to take the Wednesday slot from me) so if you are as worried about Keith Olbermann as we are and prepared to take a stand let me know.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - January 6, 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Topics/Guests:

    ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE ALBERTO GONZALES FACES SENATE HEARING: Dan Eggen, Washington Post

    DEMOCRATS STILL OBJECTING TO THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION RESULTS: Craig Crawford, senior columnist, Congressional Quarterly, MSNBC political analyst

    GOVERNOR SCHWARZENEGGER PROPOSES OVERHAUL OF CALIFORNIA REDISTRICTING: Karen Breslau, San Fransisco bureau chief, Newsweek

    THE SEARCH FOR MISSING AMERICANS IN THE TSUNAMI DISASTER: Dean Radford, vice president of global security and intelligence for International SOS

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE:

    First of all, let me thank Bob Cox for the welcome, after watching Countdown with full attention for the first time, I can understand his warning. Danger Olby One Kenobi, rank delusions ahead.

    Although KO claims to be non partisan, as in this email interview with Mark Glaser who asks him why he is the first (and only) one reporting on the Ohio "fraud", KO makes the incredble statement ">>>Relative to my being first, I think it's largely because I'm not a full-time political guy and not a partisan.<<<

    His partisanship reeks through even his supposedly humorous stories. He had some excellent footage of the Tsunami and the disaster at the beginning of his show, but had to get in a dig at the Bush administration by asking his correspondent on the scene, Dean Yates, about those (namely, but unsaid, the Bush administration) who say that this is an opportunity to show the world they are humanitarian.

    The question is phrased to give maximum humiliation to Powell and others when the expected come back, none of these poor villagers have ever even heard of the United States and couldn't care less, is instead answered that yes, all the people receiving help in Indonesia know that *all* the help is coming from the United States, and that the U.S. is the only ones who can get in there and give them help. "Unnh" KO grunts, clearly disappointed by that answer.

    These kinds of ridiculing questions and extremely biased 'tells' in his approach to every story is what made me stop watching him so long ago, after enjoying him as a sports guy for years. But I forgot, he is totally non partisan. Right.

    He started the Gonzales piece by saying that Gonzales poo poo'd the Geneva conventon against torture--actually what Gonzales did was say it didn't apply because terrorists don't meet the definition of soldiers--and while he will trash Gonzales with little ridiculing comments like this, there is never anything from the other side. The national terror alert system---stolen from the rainbow. Dumb, but anything to bash the Republican Administration.

    But let me get to the story he has spent so much time on recently, the so called Ohio Electoral fraud. KO and Craig Crawford spent most of their time defending themselves and slapping each other on the back for wanting this electoral protest to take place in the Congress. They assured themselves that if the shoe were on the other foot that the GOP would also be doing the same. Don't sooner or later you actually have to have some evidence that there was some kind of fraud? Interspersed between one black Congressman screaming that some people had to wait in line four hours to vote in Ohio...In the Rain!!!...followed by John Lewis of Georgia screaming black people died to win the vote...ah when was that? 1885?

    KO, Moveon.org and the Democrats would be funny if it weren't so offensive. They are clearly delusional, no one takes this seriously, and the sad thing is that the people who do believe this get their delusions fed more and more by KO's false legitimizing of nonsense like this. Why is Moveon.org not living up to its name? More like staystuck.org.

    If they really cared and were genuinely non partisan they would be doing other things than trying to undermine Bush's clear electoral victory. This is neither the appropriate time or place to be calling for voting reform, and therefore one can only conclude that that is not what this is about. This is about undermining Bush, about adding depth to the phrase, Sore Loserman, not fixing anything.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (11) | | View blog reactions
    January 5, 2005
    Countdown - Wednesday Jan. 5, 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Jan. 5

    Guest Host: Chris Jansing

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    CONCERNS LINGER OVER CHILD TRAFFICKING IN THE TSUNAMI DISASTER AREA: Chip Lyons, president of U.S. fund for UNICEF

    ARE THERE TERRORIST GROUPS IN BOSTON?: Eric Stakelbeck, writer and senior terrorism analyst with The Investigative Project

    RICHARD GERE HAS RECORDED A NEW TV COMMERCIAL URGING PALESTINIANS TO VOTE: Tom O'Neal, senior editor, In Touch Weekly

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: TRANSCRIPT PENDING
    Guest: PENDING

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: No Keith but you don't get a nice Richard Gere story.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    Lefties Step Up Pressure on Ohio Vote Challenge

    I go this note from Wes Boyd at MoveOn.org

    When Congress reconvenes this Thursday to ratify the 2004 Presidential election, Representative John Conyers (D-Michigan) will object to the vote count in Ohio, and if even one Senator joins him, Congress will have to debate the widespread voting problems that have been exposed. Nobody expects this election to be overturned, but it's time in this country to seriously grapple with the issues of voting rights, un-auditable computerized voting, and the suppression of minority votes.

    Call your Democratic Senators today and ask them to join Representative Conyers in challenging the 2004 voting process. With your support, they can step forward and force this important debate. Just call:

    Senator Charles Schumer: 202-224-6542
    Senator Hillary Clinton: 202-224-4451

    Please let us know you've made these calls at:

    http://www.moveon.org/callmade14.html


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (15) | | View blog reactions
    Mystery Surrounds Olbermann Source

    In his relentless pursuit of the VoteFraud2004inOhioButNotPennsylvania story, Keith Olbermann has relied on a key source for some of his many journalistic scoops (such as the "fair chance" revelation, rumored to be under serious consideration by the Pulitzer committee).

    Now it appears KO's source is himself embroiled in controversy. Will this be one of the stories you'll be talking about tomorrow? Will it be one of the stories Keith will be talking about tonight?


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - Tuesday Dec. 4, 2004 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Dec. 4

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    THE LATEST ON THE TSUNAMI DISASTER: George Wehrfritz, Newsweek

    WHY HAS IDENTIFYING THE VICTIMS OF LAST WEEK'S TSUNAMI BECOME INCREASINGLY MORE DIFFICULT?: Dr. Cyril Wecht, forensic pathologist

    THE EXCELLENT GRIP AND NO GRIME OF GECKOS: Kellar Autumn, biologist and lead author on the study of geckos

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: Updated: 2:53 p.m. ET Jan. 5, 2005

    Guests: General Barry McCaffrey, Robert Marquand, Cyril Wecht, Kellar Autumn, Mary Murphy

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: KO devoted a big chunk to the ongoing tragedy in Southeast Asia. But almost 200,000 fatalities from the tsunami didn't detract Keith from his mainstays: alleged Republican vote fraud and sniping at the Administration.

    First up, Keith reported on attacks that occurred in Iraq, including a suicide car bomb attack that killed three Brits in Baghdad yesterday. He referred to the attackers as "insurgents" a few times, which tends to blur distinctions between what we traditionally understand as an "insurgent", and a religious fanatic following the directives of radical clerics intent upon destroying infidels everywhere.

    Composite meanings of "insurgent" are. . . WordNet Dictionary: "Participant in an armed rebellion against the constituted authority (especially in the hope of improving conditions), Synonyms: freedom fighter". Legal definitions point out that an insurgent may be one who justly opposes the tyranny of constituted authorities. States as an example: the colonists who opposed the tyranny of the English government were insurgents, not rebels.

    At any rate, there are two catagories of "insurgents" in Iraq. Perhaps a minority of the attackers are the aforementioned religious radicals---like the report on the suicide car bomber. They don't conform to any of the definitions of "insurgents". But most of the attackers are Sunnis from the former regime, and convicts that Saddam released from prison before the invasion. None of these people conform to any definition of "insurgent", because they attack solely for money. They get paid for each attack they perform, and their "salary" per bombing has been steadily increasing over the past year. They also attack their own countrymen, and not just the foreigners.

    "Terrorist Mercenaries" might best describe these attackers. At least Keith didn't refer to them as "Iraq's Minutemen", as Michael Moore had done.

    Of course KO got his licks in on Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales. He referred to the story that broke yesterday in which retired Army General John Shalikashvili and 11 other former military officers announced their opposition to the Gonzales nomination, claiming that he endorsed detaining suspected terrorists without protections accorded prisoners of war. They also cited concerns that failure of the US to treat prisoners in accord with the Geneva Convention will result in abuse of captured US troops.

    KO failed to note that the Gonzales' memo actually referred to Al Qaeda terrorists, and not regular armies from sovereign nations who are signatories to Geneva protections, and who are covered by its provisions. Terrorists are not legally entitled to, nor should be afforded protections normally accorded to prisoners of war, else there would be no incentive for signatories of Geneva to make any effort to comply with the provisions. Gonzales was also providing legal opinion, and not formulating public policy. His opinion was in accord with the US Senate and prior administrations that deemed actions that made unlawful combattants uncomfortable was not on its face, illegal or cruel.

    Earth to Keith: Treating members of Al Qaeda any better will not ensure that they will refrain from torturing their captives. And if they beheaded that saintly woman who worked for C.A.R.E. in iraq, it's unlikely they'll treat captured Coalition troops any better, regardless how we treat them.

    Jeez, at least on this issue, Chris Mathews in the prior hour was favored with reality checks from C. Boyden Grey, Frank Gaffney, and Tony Blankley. One can't expect that from KO's usual stable of guests.

    Finally, it wasn't an Olbermann show without a bow to the left wing cranks pushing VoteFraud2004inOhioButNotPennsylvania. KO "reported" that rumors continue to fly that a Senator may join a dozen Congressmen in challenging the Ohio electors on Thursday. But it won't be Sen. John Kerry, because he will be in Jordan. Wonderful. KO isn't a rumor mongerer. That would make his show no better than Entertainment Tonight. Instead, he "reports" that there are rumors!

    KO reported that Republicans responded in Ohio's Supreme Court to a petition from 37 Ohio voters seeking to invalidate the Ohio election results, while in the Washington state gubinatorial election, KO noted that it's the Republicans challenging the Democrat's victory, citing 8500 more ballots cast in 5 counties than there are registered voters! No equivalence should be inferred, as a reversal for the former is highly unlikely, while the later is at least possible. Besides, KO would prefer not to dwell on voter registration fraud, which happens to be a legitimate---albeit a frequently cited Republican---complaint.

    The Number One story in the countdown was whether or not late night talk-show pioneer Johnny Carson was healthy. Apparently, he appeared slightly overweight in a recent paparazzi photo of him. T.V Guide's Mary Murphy assured Keith that Carson was mentally fit and physically OK. Keith seemed genuinely relieved to learn this. REALLY relieved, and not like those disingenuous hosts on Entertainment Tonight!


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (6) | | View blog reactions
    January 4, 2005
    When Even Kos Calls You Nuts Look Out!

    The Daily KOS is the first stop on the loony left tour of the blogosphere so you know something is up when even Kos is backing away from the Ohio vote fraud conspiracy theorists.

    I don't normally recommend Kos but he is unusually lucid on this topic. Read the whole thing but here are what I thought were the highlights:

    So why didn't I find the Ohio stuff compelling? Because the wacked out conspiracy theories hijacked the issue, taking it away from the obvious travesties -- the long lines in Democratic precincts, attempted voter intimidation, etc., to the realm of fantasy.

    It's kind of hard to be reality-based when people are claiming that Kerry won with no hard evidence to the contrary. Was there fraud? Sure. There always has been. Was the GOP ready to steal the election if necessary? No doubt. But they didn't have to steal this one. This wasn't 2000. Bush rode his f---d up war to victory, whether we like it or not. History will judge us right, but until then, we're stuck with the results.

    All the crying wolf is hurting the cause for electoral reform. This has been painted as a partisan issue pushed forth by wacko liberals who think Kerry won the election when Bush won.

    Since it is safe to reason that Keith is a regular Kos reader let's hope he gets the message.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Media Bloggers Association Announces Tsunami Video Hosting Initiative

    The Media Bloggers Association, in partnership with Zubr Communications, launched today the Tsunami Video Hosting Initiative, a public service offered in response to concerns over bandwidth issues facing bloggers doing a tremendous public service by providing video of the tsunami to the world.

    The Tsunami Video Hosting Initiative is a "distributed content-broker" system that matches web hosts willing to donate server space and bandwidth with bloggers and other Tsunami video sources looking to defray their cost of hosting Tsunami video. ZubrCom has led the way by donating its services in development of the Content-Broker system as well as server space and transfer capacity.

    "When the word went out that bloggers needed help dealing with the high cost of bandwidth from hosting Tsunami video," said Robert Cox of the Media Bloggers Association, "the MBA saw an opportunity to fulfill its mission by supporting citizen's media and hyperlocal news reporting by bloggers. Rather than leave it to bloggers to beg for cost reductions from their ISPs, the MBA is matching willing ISPs with willing bloggers and other video sources."

    Web Hosts can donate specified amounts of storage and bandwidth. All donors will receive a mention on the Tsunami Video Hosting Initiative home page.

    "When a request for a video arrives, the Content-broker matches it with a list of those willing to provide the video, keeping track of usage," says Alex Yuriev, CTO of Zubr Communications, "when the usage exceeds the contributor's donation, Content-broker stops using that path. A client code had been written for contributors to validate requests against the quotas that we maintain to prevent unauthorized hotlinking so bandwidth does not go out of control. Ideally, hosts would let us run Perl CGI to prevent hotlinking."

    Bloggers or other video sources with questions can get more information or e-mail Robert Cox of the Media Bloggers Association at info-at-mediabloggers.org.

    Network providers, web hosting companies and those who would like to donate server space and transfer capacity with questions can get more information or e-mail Alex Yuriev of Zubr Communications at alex-at-corp.zubrcom.net.

    For more information, please visit the Tsunami Video Hosting Initiative home page.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    January 3, 2005
    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Jan. 3, 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Jan 3, 2005

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Updated: TRANSCRIPT PENDING
    Guests: Jonathan Turley, Mo Rocca

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: It appears that Keith thinks the tsunami a little more important than he did a week ago, when he only devoted 11 minutes to the item. This time it was both the #5 and the #4 stories. (Does it bother anyone that the inane format of this hour makes the most important news of the day #5 and something frivolous and trivial #1?) For the most part Keith let the disaster story tell itself, although after running an amateur video he oddly commented:

    We apologize for the inadvertent broadcasting there of an obscenity.

    Inadvertent? From a video tape? Whatever. Then, since NBC slept on the tsunami story for days before bothering even to send a reporter to the scene, KO had to rely on outside sources. He got a phone report from a journalist for Agence France Presse (but of course!); a call from a Washington Post reporter degenerated into indecipherable digital noise.

    The Jonathan Turley interview was interesting--but not as interesting as the one Turley did with Fox on the identical subject last week (to a much larger audience). Last week's news, this week! But just when it seemed Keith might disappoint us entirely, he gave us a tantalizing bit of breaking news:

    On Thursday of this week there will be a fair chance that a member of the US Senate will co-sign what will be at least a symbolic challenge to the electoral votes from the state of Ohio.

    Yes, the news is that there will be a "fair chance". Keith is not your average, mild-mannered reporter: he tells you not just what happened, but what might happen, based on his impeccable sources--in this case, John Conyers! We must have missed KO's reporting about how there's a "fair chance" that a meteor could hit Mount Rushmore, or that a penny could land on heads eight times in a row. Is the chance that Bill Clinton is a rapist fair, or better than fair? Tomorrow, on Countdown!


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions