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    February 28, 2005
    Countdown - February 28, 2005 ( 8:00-9:00 pm ET )

    "COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    Host: Keith Olbermann
    Topics/Guests:

    MICHAEL JACKSON OPENING STATEMENTS: Harvey Levin, host, creator and executive producer of "Celebrity Justice"
    BTK SERIAL KILLER CONFESSES TO SIX CRIMES: Clint Van Zandt, former FBI profiler

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: March 4 1:10 p.m.

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: KO led off the program with the most important hard news story of the day: Michael Jackson. "Your tax dollars in action", sneered Olby, as if he didn't see what's so bad about a grown man's fascination with little boys. After the chitchat with Harvey Levin, the topic swerved to the BTK killer. It was amusing to hear Olby's description of the accused. As he rattled off various facets of the suspect's persona, KO's voice jumped up several tones to emphasize the phrase "a church leader". More bloviating, this time with Cliff Van Zandt.

    #4: Bush's strategy to sell his Social Security program isn't working. And what's more, it's dishonest: Bush claims there's a 6-year gap in life expectancy between blacks and whites. But the LA Times says no, it's only a two-year difference, if you don't count things like crime-related deaths. (Perhaps if we don't include things like illness and old age the numbers will be even more amazing!)

    The real Olby fully emerged in an item about "propagandist" Ann Coulter.

    Crediting no outside source, he revealed that Coulter referred to Helen "Thompson" (yes, that's what he said) as "that old Arab" on her website, but the version of that column sent to newspapers read "that dyspeptic old Helen Thomas". Hey, where else are you going to get the hot scoop on big news like this? Possibly from the left-blog Crooks and Liars, or Olby's comrades at Media Matters, both of whom by some amazing coincidence happen to have flogged this story just today.

    After Oddball and the Top 3 Newsmakers (strangely absent any mentions of Bill O'Reilly or Jeff Gannon--but maybe the Coulter bit was supposed to compensate), #3 brought us the big explosion in Iraq. After a recycled NBC report, reliable Roger Cressey talked about the Bin Laden-Zarqawi connection, or rather Olby's suspicions about whether it's real. Then KO made note of some vaguely critical remark Colin Powell made about Rumsfeld. The resignation of the Syrian government in Lebanon, which was big news earning large blocks of live coverage this morning, got a few sentences. The Pope's health was an afterthought.

    #2: An interesting Lisa Meyers report on how jailed terorrists communicated with their followers. It's not surprising that the most interesting and significant real news was a) recycled from NBC, and b) not reported by Olby.

    Finally #1: An Oscar wrap-up with the smirking Michael Musto of the Village Voice. Musto said Chris Rock will be back because he got "good ratings" (he didn't mention they were 6% below last year), although he said Rock made Letterman look good.

    So endeth another backwards news hour. Sitting through this once a week, in the words of a great President, is "hard work".


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    Keith Gives Up Blogging on Politics

    Would that it were so...

    With Henry Hanks going into early retirement, I figured I had better circle back and check Bloggerman, Feedster, Google News and a few other search engines for KO news. Besides this from Ripclaw there was not much out there on Keith lately except his own post from a few days ago.

    Turns out Keith hasn't blogged in a few days after unburdening himself of his traumatic experience, a harrowing brush with blog-fueled paranoia. Let's have Keith set the scene:

    Something happened in December from which I'm just cooling down. It represents all the worst byproducts of this useful new form of media, and it underscores that we’re all going to have to figure out how to address them or the blogosphere will succumb to Global Warming long before the planet will.

    Gosh, that sounds horrible. What could could have happened two months ago that rocked Keith's world so badly that he is only now recovered enough to speak about it? Keith goes on:

    I got an email...from a woman who identified herself only as Alexandra, who insisted "something clearly has happened to your coverage. Looks like 'bait and switch' to me… your quote...from the Kerry attorney saying they believed Bush really won...is so far fetched, I may as well have been listening to Karl Rove or Scott McClellan..."

    Ah! This terrible tale of life in the blogosphere starts, as so many do, with a simple e-mail. Lulled by the simplicity of this opening feint, Keith "replied gently to Ms. Alexandra..."

    Who could have expected such a nefarious turn of events from such an innocent exchange? Certainly not Keith who fell unwittingly into "Alexandra's" trap. Keith continues:

    The next afternoon she was back. “Can someone get a statement DIRECTLY from Kerry’s office that ‘Hoffmeier’ (sic) is INDEED his attorney? No one’s heard his name before (though maybe Bush/Cheney lawyers, or Karl Rove might have a clue)..." As Charlie Brown used to say, arrrgh!

    Riveting. Horrofiric. It is just a wonder Keith has been able to go on MSNBC each night! Can you imagine? Keith got TWO whole e-mails, from an anonymous source, doubting the great KO.

    Now some of you may be asking how or why this e-mail has anything to do with blogs. After all, Keith just decried this "incident" as representing all "the worst byproducts of this useful new form of media (blogs)" and noted how it underscores the need to "address" these horrible byproducts. Is "Alexandra" a blogger? Does "Alexandra" read blogs? Is "Alexandra" Alexandara? We don't know - and apparently neither does Keith.

    Keith's whiny, self-indulgent post continues with irony so thick that regular readers of OlbermannWatch hardly need me to explain it.

    I wouldn't get very far if I just made the news up every day, including quotations and even entire people.

    Every day? No. But how about comparing the efforts of the KGB-backed Ukranian government to assassinate an opposition candidate to Ken Blackwell refusing to accede to every loony left claim about Ohio voting?

    I wouldn't get very far just making this stuff up out of whole cloth.

    You mean like reporting Kathy Dopp's fabricated "analysis" of vote fraud in the Florida panhandle.

    What wore me out, of course, was the idea that because I was presenting news that a viewer didn't like, I had to have sold out to one party or another, and/or fabricated it. The woman presumed that I had created a fictional character, was stupid enough to quote him on national television, and was guilty of both these crimes and had to get a note from John Kerry that I wasn't making it up.

    Keith make things up? You mean like lifting false information from blogs, presenting it as your own reporting, then failing to issue a correction when called on the error. Or maybe reporting on news from Indiana University where Keith quoted the fictional character Dr. Hosung Lee commenting on a non-existent report about a fabricated Kinsey Institute study. To paraphrase Keith's line about Dr. Lee, "KO is a pip, isn't he?"

    With no need to apply logic or reason to his rant, Keith opines "If this is the ultimate impact of the blog on the MSM, we’re only going to have a newscast once every few months. We'll be spending the intervening time preparing the footnotes and the affidavits."

    So far the impact of blogs on the MSM have been to shove frauds like Dan Rather and Eason Jordan out of a job. Is Keith starting to feel the heat?


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (4) | | View blog reactions
    Thanks guys

    I'll leave the Olby-watching in the capable hands of my associates from now on...


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    February 27, 2005
    Laura Ingraham on KO

    We're making Laura an honorary "OlbyWatcher". It takes a strong woman to admit she watches Keith. Listen here.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    OlbermannWatch in the News

    Doug Schmitz of MichNews.com in his recent article The White House Press Clubhouse: No Conservatives Allowed cites OlbermannWatch:

    When MSNBC's rabidly leftist pit bull Keith Olbermann isn’t obsessing over the phony sexual harassment charges that a CNN mole maliciously leveled against Bill O’Reilly; smearing the Swift Boat Vets; or sticking up for suspected terrorists at Abu Ghraib and Gitmo, he always manages to make up a new anti-Bush diatribe to run on his actual fake news show, which mostly involves creating wildly leftist conspiracy theories that are further exaggerated by his pro-Democrat-only guests with their own leftist agendas...

    As Olbermann (www.olbermannwatch.com) ignores Rathergate (www.rathergate.com) and Easongate (www.easongate.com), he milks his nonstop segment, "Gannongate."


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (9) | | View blog reactions
    Drudge Notes OlbyObessession with Gannon

    CABLE NEWS RACE
    THURS., FEB 24, 2005

    FNC O'REILLY 2,181,000 [VIEWERS]
    FNC HANNITY/COLMES 1,622,000
    FNC SHEP SMITH 1,386,000
    FNC BRIT HUME 1,318,000
    FNC GRETA 1,307,000
    CNN LARRY KING 1,004,000
    CNN ZAHN 673,000
    CNN AARON BROWN 551,000
    CNN COOPER 524,000
    MSNBC HARDBALL 388,000
    CNN DOBBS 379,000
    CNNHN NANCY GRACE 366,000
    MSNBC SCARBOROUGH 240,000
    MNSBC OLBERMANN/GANNON 208,000

    If cable news shows were blogs...

    Top Five Blogs (by Traffic in visits/day) at TTLB Ecosystem (2/27/05)

    1) Daily Kos 421,984
    X) MSNBC HARDBALL 388,000
    X) CNNHN NANCY GRACE 366,000
    X) MSNBC SCARBOROUGH 240,000

    2) Gizmodo 229,502
    3) Gawker 222,685
    X) MNSBC OLBERMANN/GANNON 208,000
    4) Defamer 175,071
    5) Instapundit.com 166,389


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (22) | | View blog reactions
    February 25, 2005
    Contributor Wanted

    We currently have an opening for a contributor to OlbermannWatch.

    If you can spare an hour a week to suffer through Countdown once a week so others don't have to please contact Robert Cox at robert-dot-cox-at-thenationaldebate-dot-com.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (10) | | View blog reactions
    February 24, 2005
    Countdown - Day Thursday, February 24, 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Day Mon

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    POPE BACK IN THE HOSPITAL: George Weigel, NBC News analyst and author, "Witness to Hope"
    "JUICED: WILD TIMES, RAMPANT 'ROIDS, SMASH HITS AND HOW BASEBALL GOT BIG": Jose Canseco, former Major League Baseball player and author of "Juiced"

    THE WIFE OF THE SUSPECT IN THE MURDER OF THE PREGNANT TEXAS WOMAN AND HER SEVEN YEAR-OLD SON SAYS HE'S INNCOCENT: Clint van Zandt, former FBI profiler and MSNBC analyst

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


    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: Story #5 began with the Pope's health, KO interviewed an American doctor named Richard Smith and Pope Biographer George Weigel. Most the questions were ones that could not be answered because they don't know, like how bad are his lungs, and what will happen if he can't speak for three weeks, etc. It soon became apparent that this was an unstated death watch and rather tacky at that.

    #5 was also the Bush/Putin press conference today---is this a new form of Olbyconvergence? What does the Pope have to do with Bush? I have been noticing that stories seem to be randomly lumped together under the same number, some stories don't rate a number, and mostly this countdown thing is turning into a mish mash.

    At any rate, pretty straight up reporting of Bush and Putin's press conference, with the obligatory sarcastic labeling of Bush's trip "the Bush charm offensive" and the also obligatory mention that "American soldiers died today in Iraq" at the end of the story. Oh, and later on, a cheap shot clip of Bush missing on a joke at the press conference.

    If you wanted to hear about Bush's historic speech today in front of frequently cheering crowds in Slovakia, covered fully by other news outlets, well, between hoping the Pope would die and an extended report on the fact that there was no new info on Gannon, there just wasn't time. Or maybe it was the fact that there wasn't enough of a portion of the tape where the crowd wasn't cheering Bush wildly to make it worth it for KO.

    Which brings us to number 4, the Gannon/Guckert story. It is almost bizarre to see that this story refuses to die, with almost no new information. The only new thing is an interview with Campbell Brown in which Gannon provides no new information to the story. Gannon is gay, remember, he's the gay guy that got into the White House? Gannon is gay gay gay gay gay, and he did a gay porno site. Porno porno porno porno. And he was in, he was in in in in the White House. And he was gay. Good God.

    I have to mention something that was on both Hardball and KO's show. In one piece of the clip with Campbell Brown she is asking him why he used a fake name (why didn't someone think to bring that up til now?) and he said it was hard to pronounce, and that people who saw it in writing typically mispronounced it. Campbell had him pronounce it, and she said, that was easy, Gook-ert. That was it on Countdown, but on Hardball the reporter was David Shuster covering the Brown interview, who reported Campbell's comment and then proceeded to mispronounce Guckert for the rest of the piece. That was rich.

    #3 Jose Canseco, interesting story of the big dust up over steroids that his book is causing.

    That was it on serious news, #2 were some new Tsunami photos that were fascinating, one of them was the best photo I have seen so far. #1 was at least three different stories, Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart, and a turkey that attacked a cop.

    All more important to KO and his two watchers, apparently, than the incredible and historic impact Bush is having in Europe right now.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (3) | | View blog reactions
    Keith's next target: Coulter?

    Could be:

    (By the way, if writing for a news organization with no viewers is grounds for being denied a press pass, why do MSNBC reporters have them?)


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (4) | | View blog reactions
    Imus Slams Olbermann Again

    At about 7:25am this morning on MSNBC's Imus In The Morning program, Don Imus uttered a mildly flippant comment about the Pope. Imus's cohort, Bernard McGuirk then commented that it was another "Keith Olbermann moment", presumably referring to the tasteless comedy bit about the Pope that KO did on Countdown several days ago.

    Imus shot back at Bernard, "Don't compare me to Keith Olbermann, or I'll beat the hell outta ya".

    In the prior incident in which Olbermann's name came up in conjuction with the Pope, Imus had ridiculed Keith for having low ratings.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    February 23, 2005
    Countdown - February 23, 2005 ( 8:00-9:00 pm ET )

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann for Wednesday

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    DIPLOMACY AND IRAN: Robin Wright, Washington Post correspondent
    ROYAL WEDDING TURMOIL: Laura Trevelyan, BBC correspondent

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

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE:
    The #5 story tonight was "Bitter Closure" and was well produced. It discussed the fact that the medical examiners office has ended attempts to identify the remains of 1161 victims of the 9-11 attacks. These families will be left without the closure they sought, and our hearts go out to them.

    The #4 story was about the release of a 40 year old color video taken of Martin Luther King Jr. The film was made the day after 'Bloody Sunday.' It had pictures of MLK behind the pulpit, organizing a march and walking in a march. It is the first time this video has been viewed by the public.

    The #3 story is where things began to unravel. In Dimplomacy and Iran, KO asked Robin Wright (Washington Post)what may be the dumbest question of his career: "Do we have a policy and strategy towards Iran?" Uh, no KO, who's Iran? Do we need a policy towards Iran? That's probably how I would have responded, but kudos to Robin for reminding KO that the President has been sending a clear signal on this issue. KO then fell back into the trap he was in last Wednesday: Still trying to peddle the theory we are going to war with Iran. KO contends the President is playing word games and points out that President Bush stated there were 'no war plans on his desk' when he was in Germany before the Iraq war. He then went on to cover President Bush's European trip by pointing out how many protestors showed up and what each sign said. Not a positive word about the trip.

    The #2 story... Handshakes. Boy, this is what I depend on "newscasts" for. Tell us, Monica Novotny, what are the 4 steps to a good handshake? I am certain this is more important than actually telling me something that happened today.

    **Gratuitous Jeff/John Guckert/Gannon mention.** Ahhh, it wasn't a O'Reilly moment, but it'll do.

    And the #1 story of the day, for MSNBC's "newscast of record" is... A Royal Mess. Laura Trevelyan (BBC News) tells us the story of who is going to the wedding and who is not going to the wedding. Queen-No. Charles' brothers-No. Sons-Yes.

    So which one will you be talking about tomorrow?


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (4) | | View blog reactions
    February 22, 2005
    Countdown - February 22, 2005 ( 8:00-9:00 pm ET )

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for February 22

    Host: Keith Olbermann .

    Topics/Guests:
    ---VIRGINIA MAN CHARGED IN ALLEGED PLOT TO ASSASSINATE PRESIDENT BUSH: Ashraf Nubani, attorney representing Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, the Virginia man who is being charged with the alleged assassination plot
    ---PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY RELEASES NEVER BEFORE SEEN HOME VIDEO OF JOHN F. KENNEDY: Larry Sabato, presidential historian and director for The Center for Politics at the University of Virginia
    ---PARIS HILTON'S CELL PHONE IS HACKED: Michael Musto, entertainment columnist, Village Voice

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: Updated: 10:34 a.m. ET Feb. 23, 2005

    Guests: Larry Sabato, Michael Musto, Ashraf Nubani

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: Every Tuesday when I'm forced to view Countdown for this blog, I find myself hoping that Bush and Republicans generally have a great news day. Because that will often induce Keith to tone down his veiled political carping and demagoguery, and consequently I'll have less to write about. Today was one of those days. The 9:35 segment---which is when KO usually grabs for the long knives---was all fluff tonight. Nevertheless, there were still a couple of shots that Keith got in:

    KO introduced indicted Ahmed Abu-Ali, as a 23-year-old U.S. citizen born in Texas, raised in Virginia, and an honor student who graduated valedictorian of his high school class who was allegedly tortured while in prison for 20 months in Saudi Arabia---cohorts of the US. He threw softballs to the boy's attorney, Ashraf Nubani, who said Ahmed was a good boy, repeating KO's statement that he graduated valedictorian. KO failed to hit Nubani with questions about the very extremist views of Abu-Ali, as well as some of the purported charges against the boy. Also, according to Fox's John Gibson, that was a Wahabbist school in Virginia where the boy graduated valedictorian. That's like graduating valedictorian in a nazi youth school in Germany circa 1939. Not something you should put on a resume today.

    Thus, KO dropped the ball again. He allowed Nubani to portray this affair as a freedom of speech issue. Thus, without the balance, one comes away from this news story thinking this is another Muslim-American wrongly detained.

    The second shot was about President Bush's excellent adventure in Europe. Recall how Bush was condemned for dissing the Euros? Countdown provided a forum for every Bush critic to reprimand the president for stiff-arming the Europeans. But now here's Bush in Europe attempting a reconciliation; laughing off the past animosity; etc. Being very diplomatic, as he was urged to be for the last few years by American liberals and Dems. And what does KO say about that now? He grabs the Dem talking points, dismissing the trip as Bush's "charm offensive." Bush's comment that the rumor of a US attack on Iran was false, but adding "However, all options are on the table", must have stuck in Olby's craw.

    It must have been particularly galling for the "antis", who had expected---before the stunning voter turnout in Iraq on January 30th---that this would be a trip where Bush would be crawling to the Euros to help in Iraq. And kudos to CNBC's Dennis Miller for reminding us that German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder opposed the Iraq war only to get elected, and that President Jacques Chirac opposed it merely to build a European coalition to counter-balance the power of the US, and to safeguard France's financial investments with Saddam's regime---To no one's surprise, Dogs That Didn't Bark on Countdown.

    It was such a slow day for beating up the President that Keith invited a conservative on Countdown--a rarity indeed. Larry Sabato was on to discuss the politically innocuous, recently released home movies of JFK. I will note that in KO's outtro "thank you" to Sabato, he referred to him as a "Presidential historian", but didn't plug Larry's organization, The Center for Politics.

    Following the pay per view parody that Keith did, Trey Jackson pointed out to me that Keith said, "I just want to mention, again, this is MSNBC‘s newscast of record."

    For the sake of those who feel that NBC is the most fair and balanced among the big three broadcast news nets, I would only hope that Keith's statement was intended as a joke.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Today's "Bloggermann"

    The title: "Why I stopped blogging about politics"...

    When exactly did that happen?


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    February 21, 2005
    Countdown - Monday February 21 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann for Wednesday

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: 5:45 pm Feb. 23
    Guests: Wayne Slater, Paul Rothstein, Jack Hanna

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE:
    #5 story in the backwards news hour: the Bush tapes. And who better to drag in to comment on them than Wayne Slater, author of Bush's Brain. (There's that phrase again!) KO seemed most interested in the ethics of making secret recordings. Perhaps it was the novelty value (to KO) of ethics that attracted Olby's interest. Or maybe it was his disappointment that the contents of the tapes revealed no embarrassing smoking guns for the Bush-haters who are his main constituency.

    So just six minutes in, a double OlbyConvergence: first from Bush tapes to Swift Boat vets. KO picked up the New York Times "news" that USA Next has hired consultants to build support for the Bush Social Security proposals. The "news" here is that these are the same consultants the Swift Boat vets hired. Stop the presses.

    Next we OlbyConverge to "Jeff Gannon". KO proved himself incapable of reading a direct quote from the New York Times, since the onscreen text differed from his words. But hey, it was a chance to run yet again that montage of Jeff Gannon questions, that so closely tracks the research done by Media Matters. KO spent more time rerunning Gannon clips than he did on excerpts from the Bush tapes.

    In comes the hirsute Paul Rothstein, everyone's favorite apologist for the left, to ponder whether Gannon has a viable lawsuit against anyone (despite the fact that no such suit has been drawn up, let alone filed). Counselor Rothstein opined that extraneous personal attacks on Gannon might well be a fruitful ground for a lawsuit, but Olby quickly countered by suggesting it was Gannon's fault that this stuff was out there in the first place. (The legal principle known as...OK, it's not a legal principle at all, just an Olbyism.) He didn't give Rothstein a chance to analyze his insights.

    [Isn't American Idol on tonight?]

    #4: Because of the important news that Jeff Gannon hasn't filed a lawsuit, we didn't get to the next big story until nearly twenty minutes in. Recycled NBC News weather stories. Kind of like Keith sitting on the bench while someone else is up at bat. He puts up with it because he knows he will have a chance to take a swing shortly.

    [There's still over a half hour to go until tonight's 24?]

    After an all-too-short commercial break, "Oddball" (The Laughing Stagehand was very aggressively miked tonight), the Top 3 Newsmakers (someone slipped up; Mr Bill O'Reilly wasn't mentioned), and another soothing block of paid advertising, the viewer is finally dragged, kicking and screaming, to:

    #3: Bush overseas, which Olby framed as proof that Bush critics were right all along--W would have to come crawling to the Europeans he dissed earlier. An NBC dispatch from David Gregory was a little more even-handed than that in its reportage. After mentioning that Hillary Clinton said the insurgents were losing, Olby did a run-down of recent attacks in Iraq. He swerved into the Korea story, reporting that Kim Jong Il has said he's willing to return to 6-party talks (the very course that the President has insisted upon, though KO didn't note that).

    [How much longer? Is it time for Medium yet? At this rate, it will never be ten o'clock.]

    #2: Hunter S. Thompson. John Raitt. Sandra Dee. The flying grandpa. Paris Hilton.

    #1: More hard news. Waitresses who lose weight. A gorilla lawsuit. Paper thrown at the camera.

    Finally, it's 9:00 pm Eastern. 24 is starting. The Jack Bauer Power Hour will be a breath of fresh air. But after an hour of Olby, a C-Span hearing on projected hoe-handle distribution for fiscal year 2005-2006 would be a welcome improvement.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (11) | | View blog reactions
    February 18, 2005
    Olby: 'Jeff Gannons of Fox News'

    Let us know what you really think, Keith:

    > "The most amusing part of [Frank] Rich's column was him calling Olbermann a 'real newsman,'" one insider said. "So when he was on ESPN, he was a 'real' score reader?"

    > Update: 6:50pm: "I was a real newsman at ESPN, too," Olbermann responds. "I'll match my credentials against the Jeff Gannons of Fox News any time, anywhere."
    Quite the gift for understatement...

    Related


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (20) | | View blog reactions
    Olby: 'Jeff Gannons of Fox News'

    Let us know what you really think, Keith:

    > "The most amusing part of [Frank] Rich's column was him calling Olbermann a 'real newsman,'" one insider said. "So when he was on ESPN, he was a 'real' score reader?"

    > Update: 6:50pm: "I was a real newsman at ESPN, too," Olbermann responds. "I'll match my credentials against the Jeff Gannons of Fox News any time, anywhere."
    Quite the gift for understatement...

    Related


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (18) | | View blog reactions
    February 17, 2005
    Countdown - Thursday February 17 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for February 17

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    HOW DID DUBIOUS REPORTER JEFF GANNON GET A WHITE HOUSE PRESS PASS?: Ron Hutcheson, president, White House Correspondents Association; Greg Mitchell, editor, Editor & Publisher magazine

    AMB. JOHN NEGROPONTE IS NAMED NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR: Robin Wright, Washington Post diplomatic correspondent

    WHY IS WARNER BROS. GIVING A MAKEOVER TO BUGS BUNNY AND DAFFY DUCK?: Harry Shearer, "The Simpsons"

    HOW ARE NEW YORKERS AND TOURISTS REACTING TO "THE GATES" IN CENTRAL PARK?: Monica Novotny, "Countdown" correspondent


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


    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: KO started out with the Gannon story, continuing with his sarcastic attack on the Bush administration and WH Press office. He did share some new information, including the fact that Gannon was there as far back as Ari Fleischer. KO peppered his report with the usual incredulity over this story, even claiming that Talon was a fake news site--that is a new one--and that Gannon got his press pass before the fake(sic)news site was even up.

    His first guest on the story, Greg Mitchell, reliably stuck to KO's and the Democrats lines, Bush has the worst record with the press of any President in recent history, McConnell and Fleischer say they don't know how Gannon got in but it is their responsibility (implying they are lying) yada yada yada.

    As the story progressed, it became apparent that at first Gannon was writing for GOPUSA, so there was a news site involved, although KO never corrected his earlier claim that there was no news site Gannon was reporting for at first.

    During Fleischer's tenure as Press Secretary, after Gannon asked some question that Fleischer found too reflecting of advocacy, he checked into Gannon's background, made a statement saying advocacy journalists should not be there, and denied him a pass. Bobby Eberle, the owner of GOPUSA, called Fleischer and convinced him that GOPUSA was not an official GOP site so Fleischer let Gannon stay.

    Much was made of the fact that Maureen Dowd has said she was denied a pass, although on a personal note she is one of the few writers I simply cannot read because her writing is so sophomoric and irrelevant. She goes after everyone, but in a silly manner reminiscent of a high school creative writing class, and is an embarassment to journalism as far as I am concerned.

    However, KO's next guest, someone who is in more of a position to know than just about anyone, Ron Hutcheson of Knight Ridder who is also the President of the WH correspondents Association, pretty much undermined all the criticisms that KO had brought forth. Among other things, he pointed out that the WH Press room has always been filled with "coconuts" and there are at least a dozen other ones like Gannon in there right now, and have been for thirty years.

    According to Hutcheson what this really points out is that access is very easy to get to the WH press room, and isn't that what we want? He said he wants to make access even easier, because the last thing he wants is difficulty of access, and that means that you are going to get a lot of people who ask questions from "outer space" but that that had always been going on and the alternative was worse--lack of access.

    He also took it on himself to contradict KO's point about Dowd, saying that Maureen Dowd could get in there anytime she wants, all she would have to do is call down there and show up for a daily pass. On the responsibility issue that Fleischer and McConnell have for allowing Gannon, he said that it is unlikely that they would have known because the decision is made much lower in their offices than they are, very low he said. The implication from Hutcheson was that because there are so many fruits and nuts in there anyway, the Press Secretary usually doesn't bother too much with it and lets the lowest level assistant handle it.

    It very much reminded me of the debate going on now about indecency legislation in the media---everyone hears or sees things they find offensive and sure wishes their kids didn't hear that---but what are you going to do about it without violating the first amendment? It appears the same with WH press passes, if you set down too hard a rule, you will lose the freedom of the press you need in situations like this, so you take the bad with the good.

    The most important other story tonight was the Negroponte appointment by Bush today, in which KO began the story by asking "is he the right man for the job???" immediately implying, "of course not". Gee, let's see, Condi wasn't competent, Gonzales is bad, gee, every single Republican that gets nominated for anything is no good in KO world, if KO was reporting on my write up tonight, it would be the derogatory question, is the well known Republican Napablogger the right person for the Olbywatch job??? Shock Gasp Moan!!!!

    In this case KO, the answer is Yes, he is right for the job because as usual you are wrong. Not every single Republican is automatically an object of rejection and derision because Bush appoints them. When every single Bush appointment is derided as wrong, KO loses all credibility, if he had any anyway. He is certainly wrong about Negroponte.

    The real problem here is the cynical way in which KO doesn't really care about the news or facts, he is going to appeal to his target demographic of uninvolved non voting college kids which means to KO a far left presentation of the "news" with lots of ridicule of the right. Very cynical and insulting to his audience, but here it is.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - Thursday February 17 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for February 17

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    HOW DID DUBIOUS REPORTER JEFF GANNON GET A WHITE HOUSE PRESS PASS?: Ron Hutcheson, president, White House Correspondents Association; Greg Mitchell, editor, Editor & Publisher magazine

    AMB. JOHN NEGROPONTE IS NAMED NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE DIRECTOR: Robin Wright, Washington Post diplomatic correspondent

    WHY IS WARNER BROS. GIVING A MAKEOVER TO BUGS BUNNY AND DAFFY DUCK?: Harry Shearer, "The Simpsons"

    HOW ARE NEW YORKERS AND TOURISTS REACTING TO "THE GATES" IN CENTRAL PARK?: Monica Novotny, "Countdown" correspondent


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


    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: KO started out with the Gannon story, continuing with his sarcastic attack on the Bush administration and WH Press office. He did share some new information, including the fact that Gannon was there as far back as Ari Fleischer. KO peppered his report with the usual incredulity over this story, even claiming that Talon was a fake news site--that is a new one--and that Gannon got his press pass before the fake(sic)news site was even up.

    His first guest on the story, Greg Mitchell, reliably stuck to KO's and the Democrats lines, Bush has the worst record with the press of any President in recent history, McConnell and Fleischer say they don't know how Gannon got in but it is their responsibility (implying they are lying) yada yada yada.

    As the story progressed, it became apparent that at first Gannon was writing for GOPUSA, so there was a news site involved, although KO never corrected his earlier claim that there was no news site Gannon was reporting for at first.

    During Fleischer's tenure as Press Secretary, after Gannon asked some question that Fleischer found too reflecting of advocacy, he checked into Gannon's background, made a statement saying advocacy journalists should not be there, and denied him a pass. Bobby Eberle, the owner of GOPUSA, called Fleischer and convinced him that GOPUSA was not an official GOP site so Fleischer let Gannon stay.

    Much was made of the fact that Maureen Dowd has said she was denied a pass, although on a personal note she is one of the few writers I simply cannot read because her writing is so sophomoric and irrelevant. She goes after everyone, but in a silly manner reminiscent of a high school creative writing class, and is an embarassment to journalism as far as I am concerned.

    However, KO's next guest, someone who is in more of a position to know than just about anyone, Ron Hutcheson of Knight Ridder who is also the President of the WH correspondents Association, pretty much undermined all the criticisms that KO had brought forth. Among other things, he pointed out that the WH Press room has always been filled with "coconuts" and there are at least a dozen other ones like Gannon in there right now, and have been for thirty years.

    According to Hutcheson what this really points out is that access is very easy to get to the WH press room, and isn't that what we want? He said he wants to make access even easier, because the last thing he wants is difficulty of access, and that means that you are going to get a lot of people who ask questions from "outer space" but that that had always been going on and the alternative was worse--lack of access.

    He also took it on himself to contradict KO's point about Dowd, saying that Maureen Dowd could get in there anytime she wants, all she would have to do is call down there and show up for a daily pass. On the responsibility issue that Fleischer and McConnell have for allowing Gannon, he said that it is unlikely that they would have known because the decision is made much lower in their offices than they are, very low he said. The implication from Hutcheson was that because there are so many fruits and nuts in there anyway, the Press Secretary usually doesn't bother too much with it and lets the lowest level assistant handle it.

    It very much reminded me of the debate going on now about indecency legislation in the media---everyone hears or sees things they find offensive and sure wishes their kids didn't hear that---but what are you going to do about it without violating the first amendment? It appears the same with WH press passes, if you set down too hard a rule, you will lose the freedom of the press you need in situations like this, so you take the bad with the good.

    The most important other story tonight was the Negroponte appointment by Bush today, in which KO began the story by asking "is he the right man for the job???" immediately implying, "of course not". Gee, let's see, Condi wasn't competent, Gonzales is bad, gee, every single Republican that gets nominated for anything is no good in KO world, if KO was reporting on my write up tonight, it would be the derogatory question, is the well known Republican Napablogger the right person for the Olbywatch job??? Shock Gasp Moan!!!!

    In this case KO, the answer is Yes, he is right for the job because as usual you are wrong. Not every single Republican is automatically an object of rejection and derision because Bush appoints them. When every single Bush appointment is derided as wrong, KO loses all credibility, if he had any anyway. He is certainly wrong about Negroponte.

    The real problem here is the cynical way in which KO doesn't really care about the news or facts, he is going to appeal to his target demographic of uninvolved non voting college kids which means to KO a far left presentation of the "news" with lots of ridicule of the right. Very cynical and insulting to his audience, but here it is.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    Marist college paper picks up Olby/O'Reilly dispute

    "'Countdown' Host Olbermann Fumbles O'Reilly Facts" is the headline...


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Marist college paper picks up Olby/O'Reilly dispute

    "'Countdown' Host Olbermann Fumbles O'Reilly Facts" is the headline...


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    February 16, 2005
    Countdown - February 16, 2005 ( 8:00-9:00 pm ET )

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann for Wednesday

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    WHY IS A SENIOR U.S. GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL SAYING THAT NORTH KOREA IS BLUFFING ABOUT ITS NUCLEAR WEAPONS?: John Pike, nuclear weapons proliferation expert and director of GlobalSecurity.org

    AS MANY AS 10,000 CHILDREN IN INDONESIA'S ACEH PROVINCE ARE ORPHANED IN THE WAKE OF THE TSUNAMI: Michael Kocher, International Rescue Committee

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

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: I'm going to start off tonights review where KO ended the show, because I think he used a couple of 'money' quotes that I would like to use to start this piece with:

    "Self absorbed, contradictory and he does not have every fact right." You think I'm talking about KO? Well, yes I could say this about him, but this is KO describing Jose Conseco. I would caution KO with tossing charges like these at folks (glass houses).

    "I read his book so you won't have to waste the cash or time." KO was talking about Jose Conseco and his book 'Juiced'. I find this quote eerily similar to statements we have made about KO's show here on this site. "We watch Countdown so you don't have to waste your time!"

    Speaking about the hockey league lockout, KO asks: "If a league falls in the woods does it make a sound?" I ask: "If a 'news anchor' has no audience does it make a sound?

    KO's #5 story tonight was 'terror talk'. KO pointed out that the Sec. of State, Sec. of Defense and CIA Chief all made public statements linking 'terror' to Iran. he then made a snide "here we go again" and asked "does any of this sound familiar?" Pointing out to the audience (me) to 'just change the Q to N". Roger Cressey did a relatively good job handling this by reminding KO that each of these individuals have been making these statements for quite a long time. KO went out of his way to lead the audience (me) to believe that the U.S. is posturing itself to go to war with Iran. He said the administration is using the same rhetoric that worked so well against Iraq calling it a 'remix of an old tune'. This is where Cressey let me down with this statement: The problem is "the message is accurate but the messenger may not be believed", somehow implying that we have no credibilty to defend ourselves under justifiable circumstances. There's just no logic in this.

    Now, I must say that I agree with Col. Clifford Acree who appeared on behalf of POW's from the first Gulf War. They have won a judgement against Iraq for being abused (some in Abu Graib) while being held captive. The administration is trying to stop the payment believeing the money is needed more in Iraq to secure the safety there. Even though I find both arguments compelling, Acree won me with this: "Is our government telling us they will support an Iraqi citizen before an American POW?" Case closed for me.

    The #3 story was a good look at the nearly 10,000 orphaned children in Aceh province, Indonesia. Michael Kocher (international rescue Committee) discussed efforts to get help to the children and get them into established homes of family or neighbors.

    So here's the fun question: Who at Fox News will KO attack tonight? Bill O'reilly? No. Brit Hume? No. In a segment KO called "that which satan sent" he discussed the fact that Sean Hannity has gotten a new dog and is asking listeners to submit names through his website. So KO offered this for the new dog's name: Colmes. I knew you wouldn't let me down, Keith. I always wait for the moment each night when you unfairly attack someone at Fox News. It is what makes you're show so enjoyable. I would talk about it more, but I think I'm gonna head over to the DU now........


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - February 16, 2005 ( 8:00-9:00 pm ET )

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann for Wednesday

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    WHY IS A SENIOR U.S. GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL SAYING THAT NORTH KOREA IS BLUFFING ABOUT ITS NUCLEAR WEAPONS?: John Pike, nuclear weapons proliferation expert and director of GlobalSecurity.org

    AS MANY AS 10,000 CHILDREN IN INDONESIA'S ACEH PROVINCE ARE ORPHANED IN THE WAKE OF THE TSUNAMI: Michael Kocher, International Rescue Committee

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

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: I'm going to start off tonights review where KO ended the show, because I think he used a couple of 'money' quotes that I would like to use to start this piece with:

    "Self absorbed, contradictory and he does not have every fact right." You think I'm talking about KO? Well, yes I could say this about him, but this is KO describing Jose Conseco. I would caution KO with tossing charges like these at folks (glass houses).

    "I read his book so you won't have to waste the cash or time." KO was talking about Jose Conseco and his book 'Juiced'. I find this quote eerily similar to statements we have made about KO's show here on this site. "We watch Countdown so you don't have to waste your time!"

    Speaking about the hockey league lockout, KO asks: "If a league falls in the woods does it make a sound?" I ask: "If a 'news anchor' has no audience does it make a sound?

    KO's #5 story tonight was 'terror talk'. KO pointed out that the Sec. of State, Sec. of Defense and CIA Chief all made public statements linking 'terror' to Iran. he then made a snide "here we go again" and asked "does any of this sound familiar?" Pointing out to the audience (me) to 'just change the Q to N". Roger Cressey did a relatively good job handling this by reminding KO that each of these individuals have been making these statements for quite a long time. KO went out of his way to lead the audience (me) to believe that the U.S. is posturing itself to go to war with Iran. He said the administration is using the same rhetoric that worked so well against Iraq calling it a 'remix of an old tune'. This is where Cressey let me down with this statement: The problem is "the message is accurate but the messenger may not be believed", somehow implying that we have no credibilty to defend ourselves under justifiable circumstances. There's just no logic in this.

    Now, I must say that I agree with Col. Clifford Acree who appeared on behalf of POW's from the first Gulf War. They have won a judgement against Iraq for being abused (some in Abu Graib) while being held captive. The administration is trying to stop the payment believeing the money is needed more in Iraq to secure the safety there. Even though I find both arguments compelling, Acree won me with this: "Is our government telling us they will support an Iraqi citizen before an American POW?" Case closed for me.

    The #3 story was a good look at the nearly 10,000 orphaned children in Aceh province, Indonesia. Michael Kocher (international rescue Committee) discussed efforts to get help to the children and get them into established homes of family or neighbors.

    So here's the fun question: Who at Fox News will KO attack tonight? Bill O'reilly? No. Brit Hume? No. In a segment KO called "that which satan sent" he discussed the fact that Sean Hannity has gotten a new dog and is asking listeners to submit names through his website. So KO offered this for the new dog's name: Colmes. I knew you wouldn't let me down, Keith. I always wait for the moment each night when you unfairly attack someone at Fox News. It is what makes you're show so enjoyable. I would talk about it more, but I think I'm gonna head over to the DU now........


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    MRC notes Keith vs. Brit Hume
    Olby

    From today's CyberAlert:

    MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who last October spent an entire segment distorting Vice President Cheney's remarks about Iraq and al-Qaeda, on Tuesday night dedicated a segment, punctuated with a mock "Faux News Channel" logo which matched the appearance of the real Fox News Channel graphic, to how FNC's Brit Hume supposedly took former President Franklin Roosevelt "out of context" and "twisted" FDR's words when he quoted him, as have others, as having advocated private investment in Social Security accounts. Olbermann brought aboard FDR's grandson, James Roosevelt Jr., who denounced Hume, unconvincingly, for committing "quite an amazing distortion." Roosevelt saw a hanging offense, claiming Hume's brief item "calls for a retraction, an apology, maybe even a resignation."
    UPDATE: Here is the CyberAlert on the October incident referenced above...

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    MRC notes Keith vs. Brit Hume
    Olby

    From today's CyberAlert:

    MSNBC's Keith Olbermann, who last October spent an entire segment distorting Vice President Cheney's remarks about Iraq and al-Qaeda, on Tuesday night dedicated a segment, punctuated with a mock "Faux News Channel" logo which matched the appearance of the real Fox News Channel graphic, to how FNC's Brit Hume supposedly took former President Franklin Roosevelt "out of context" and "twisted" FDR's words when he quoted him, as have others, as having advocated private investment in Social Security accounts. Olbermann brought aboard FDR's grandson, James Roosevelt Jr., who denounced Hume, unconvincingly, for committing "quite an amazing distortion." Roosevelt saw a hanging offense, claiming Hume's brief item "calls for a retraction, an apology, maybe even a resignation."
    UPDATE: Here is the CyberAlert on the October incident referenced above...

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    February 15, 2005
    Countdown - February 15, 2005 ( 8:00-9:00 pm ET )

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for January 15

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Topics/Guests:

    SOCIAL SECURITY TWISTS: James Roosevelt, former Associate Commissioner on Social Security and grandson of President Franklin D. Roosevelt
    MICHAEL JACKSON ADMITTED INTO HOSPITAL: Jane Velez Mitchell, "Celebrity Justice" correspondent
    THE ROLE OF DUBIOUS WHITE HOUSE REPORTER JEFF GANNON IN THE VALERIE PLAME INVESTIGATION: Greg Mitchell, editor, Editor & Publisher magazine

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: Updated: 2:15 p.m. ET Feb. 16, 2005

    Guest: James Roosevelt, Greg Mitchell, Jane Velez Mitchell,

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: Lisa Myers did a fair report on allegations from four vets that their employer, CusterBattle---a private contractor in Iraq "hired by the Pentagon" as Keith was mindful to inform us---was responsible for abusing Iraqi citizens. For a budding controversy, Keith could have been less judgemental about the firm in his intro and outro. Yet one must remind oneself that this is a host that does not report positive things that occur in Iraq. Case in point is Keith's refusal to discuss the fabulous news for the Administration that the Shiits failed to win a two-thirds majority, necessary to control the legislature, and consequently will be forced to negotiate and compromise with the minority factions---the hallmark of the democratic process and considered an essential experience for any population embarking on democracy, let alone one that had no understanding of those words living under totalitarian rule.

    Keith next did something that marks the first time---to my knowledge---in which he took on someone with equal access to the media megaphone. He took a shot at heavyweight Brit Hume. Albeit not the way O'Reilly would have done it (as KO is wont to compare himself to). O'Reilly would have invited Hume on his show and argued his points directly. KO instead hides behind the toddy's who advance the rant in question. In this case, KO invited James Roosevelt Jr., the grandson of President Franklyn, who claimed that several conservatives, including Hume, had intentionally rearranged the sentences in the President Roosevelt's speech to make it appear that he was advocating that Social Security would---in whole or in part---evolve into a private annuity plan.

    There's not enough space here to properly deconstruct this argument. And I'm sure Hume will fire back with both barrels himself. However, suffice to say that news agencies routinely rearrange sentences from speeches, both for brevity and for advancing the lead in a story. The end result should nevertheless not slant the meaning and intent of the speaker, which I believe Hume is not guilty of. Readers are invited to check the Countdown transcripts (link is above) to judge for themselves. Yet while James and Keith were obsessing over the sentence rearrangement, one should not overlook the very clear preface by Hume, which on it's face, refutes Keith's allegation that Roosevelt's speech was taken out of context:

    "Senate Democrats gathered at the Franklin Roosevelt Memorial today to invoke the image of FDR in calling on President Bush to remove private accounts from his Social Security proposal. But it turns out that FDR himself planned to include private investment accounts in the Social Security program when he proposed it."

    Note the phrase "planned to include", as opposed to say, "planned to replace", as James Roosevelt and KO attributed to Hume. Just for gauging Junior's sanity, I will note that he followed Al Franken's lead in calling for Hume to resign! And the Dems can't understand why they're no longer taken seriously?

    In what can be compared to the extreme conspiracy allegations against Clinton, KO is again in the vanguard of "piling on" the unfortunate former White House Reporter, Jeff Gannon. Tonight, KO gave a forum to Greg Mitchell, the editor of Editor & Publisher magazine, to advance the rumors that Gannon was remotely involved in the Valerie Plame leak, and in the process, gratuitously dropped the allegation that Gannon once worked as an escort. For a man who once resigned from MSNBC after tiring of having to report on the Monica-Clinton Affair, KO has shown a remarkable turnaround in tolerance for character assassination, even if Gannon's importance hardly compares to that of a sitting President. In that regard, one could barely contain one's laughter when KO said that Gannon "has refused to confirm or deny evidence posted on the Web site." KO then guided Mitchell happily towards today's federal appeals ruling against reporters Judith Miller and Matt Cooper. The one-sided commentary by this dynamic left-wing duo championing freedom of the press had completely ignored:

    (1) The case law established over 3 decades ago that excludes press protections against revealing unnamed sources during grand jury proceedings. And,

    (2) the very foundation of the creed itself: to uncover crime, corruption and malfeasance in government. Yet Miller and Cooper are invoking the confidentiality of their sources in order to block efforts to uncover a crime (according to most Democrats) in the White House.

    So attuned exclusively to conservative hypocracy and irony, that Olby missed #2 completely. Fair and balanced reporting would have ellicited these arguments, which in every venue I've seen them in, both Miller and Cooper have no rebuttal. Nor did the presence of Greg Mitchell lead to enlightenment on this story. Mitchell turned E&P into a liberal rag. Read here and here.

    And finally tonight, KO bested Yogi Bera with this one:

    Despite some misgivings [...] the Senate today confirmed Federal Appeals Court Judge Michael Chertoff as the nation's second secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. [...] The Senate debated Chertoff's role in developing guidelines for interrogating terrorism suspects immediately after 9/11 [...] And then it voted him in anyway, 98-0.

    To paraphrase the punchline of an old aphorism, Vat means 'misgivings'?

    Dogs That Didn't Bark:

    Any mention of the US ambassador to Syria being called back to Washington following the assassination of Syrian-critic, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. (Hint: it demonstrates the despotism and desperation of the Syrian regime and justifies the consequent hard line by the Bush Admin.), and,

    Any mention of new disclosures that Eason Jordan was chummy with loony dictator Kim Jong Il. (Hint: it would force KO to call for the release of the Davos transcripts.)


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - February 15, 2005 ( 8:00-9:00 pm ET )

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for January 15

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Topics/Guests:

    SOCIAL SECURITY TWISTS: James Roosevelt, former Associate Commissioner on Social Security and grandson of President Franklin D. Roosevelt
    MICHAEL JACKSON ADMITTED INTO HOSPITAL: Jane Velez Mitchell, "Celebrity Justice" correspondent
    THE ROLE OF DUBIOUS WHITE HOUSE REPORTER JEFF GANNON IN THE VALERIE PLAME INVESTIGATION: Greg Mitchell, editor, Editor & Publisher magazine

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: Updated: 2:15 p.m. ET Feb. 16, 2005

    Guest: James Roosevelt, Greg Mitchell, Jane Velez Mitchell,

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: Lisa Myers did a fair report on allegations from four vets that their employer, CusterBattle---a private contractor in Iraq "hired by the Pentagon" as Keith was mindful to inform us---was responsible for abusing Iraqi citizens. For a budding controversy, Keith could have been less judgemental about the firm in his intro and outro. Yet one must remind oneself that this is a host that does not report positive things that occur in Iraq. Case in point is Keith's refusal to discuss the fabulous news for the Administration that the Shiits failed to win a two-thirds majority, necessary to control the legislature, and consequently will be forced to negotiate and compromise with the minority factions---the hallmark of the democratic process and considered an essential experience for any population embarking on democracy, let alone one that had no understanding of those words living under totalitarian rule.

    Keith next did something that marks the first time---to my knowledge---in which he took on someone with equal access to the media megaphone. He took a shot at heavyweight Brit Hume. Albeit not the way O'Reilly would have done it (as KO is wont to compare himself to). O'Reilly would have invited Hume on his show and argued his points directly. KO instead hides behind the toddy's who advance the rant in question. In this case, KO invited James Roosevelt Jr., the grandson of President Franklyn, who claimed that several conservatives, including Hume, had intentionally rearranged the sentences in the President Roosevelt's speech to make it appear that he was advocating that Social Security would---in whole or in part---evolve into a private annuity plan.

    There's not enough space here to properly deconstruct this argument. And I'm sure Hume will fire back with both barrels himself. However, suffice to say that news agencies routinely rearrange sentences from speeches, both for brevity and for advancing the lead in a story. The end result should nevertheless not slant the meaning and intent of the speaker, which I believe Hume is not guilty of. Readers are invited to check the Countdown transcripts (link is above) to judge for themselves. Yet while James and Keith were obsessing over the sentence rearrangement, one should not overlook the very clear preface by Hume, which on it's face, refutes Keith's allegation that Roosevelt's speech was taken out of context:

    "Senate Democrats gathered at the Franklin Roosevelt Memorial today to invoke the image of FDR in calling on President Bush to remove private accounts from his Social Security proposal. But it turns out that FDR himself planned to include private investment accounts in the Social Security program when he proposed it."

    Note the phrase "planned to include", as opposed to say, "planned to replace", as James Roosevelt and KO attributed to Hume. Just for gauging Junior's sanity, I will note that he followed Al Franken's lead in calling for Hume to resign! And the Dems can't understand why they're no longer taken seriously?

    In what can be compared to the extreme conspiracy allegations against Clinton, KO is again in the vanguard of "piling on" the unfortunate former White House Reporter, Jeff Gannon. Tonight, KO gave a forum to Greg Mitchell, the editor of Editor & Publisher magazine, to advance the rumors that Gannon was remotely involved in the Valerie Plame leak, and in the process, gratuitously dropped the allegation that Gannon once worked as an escort. For a man who once resigned from MSNBC after tiring of having to report on the Monica-Clinton Affair, KO has shown a remarkable turnaround in tolerance for character assassination, even if Gannon's importance hardly compares to that of a sitting President. In that regard, one could barely contain one's laughter when KO said that Gannon "has refused to confirm or deny evidence posted on the Web site." KO then guided Mitchell happily towards today's federal appeals ruling against reporters Judith Miller and Matt Cooper. The one-sided commentary by this dynamic left-wing duo championing freedom of the press had completely ignored:

    (1) The case law established over 3 decades ago that excludes press protections against revealing unnamed sources during grand jury proceedings. And,

    (2) the very foundation of the creed itself: to uncover crime, corruption and malfeasance in government. Yet Miller and Cooper are invoking the confidentiality of their sources in order to block efforts to uncover a crime (according to most Democrats) in the White House.

    So attuned exclusively to conservative hypocracy and irony, that Olby missed #2 completely. Fair and balanced reporting would have ellicited these arguments, which in every venue I've seen them in, both Miller and Cooper have no rebuttal. Nor did the presence of Greg Mitchell lead to enlightenment on this story. Mitchell turned E&P into a liberal rag. Read here and here.

    And finally tonight, KO bested Yogi Bera with this one:

    Despite some misgivings [...] the Senate today confirmed Federal Appeals Court Judge Michael Chertoff as the nation's second secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. [...] The Senate debated Chertoff's role in developing guidelines for interrogating terrorism suspects immediately after 9/11 [...] And then it voted him in anyway, 98-0.

    To paraphrase the punchline of an old aphorism, Vat means 'misgivings'?

    Dogs That Didn't Bark:

    Any mention of the US ambassador to Syria being called back to Washington following the assassination of Syrian-critic, former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. (Hint: it demonstrates the despotism and desperation of the Syrian regime and justifies the consequent hard line by the Bush Admin.), and,

    Any mention of new disclosures that Eason Jordan was chummy with loony dictator Kim Jong Il. (Hint: it would force KO to call for the release of the Davos transcripts.)


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    February 14, 2005
    Countdown - February 14, 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for February 14

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    PREGNANT KENTUCKY WOMAN'S ATTACKER MAY HAVE SOUGHT FETUS: Pat Brown, criminal profiler and author of "Killing for Sport"

    ARE THE IRAQI ELECTION WINNERS THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT THE U.S. ENVISIONED AND WILL IRAQ TURN INTO A THEOCRACY?: Walid Phares, senior fellow, The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, MSNBC analyst

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: Feb 15, 2:50 p.m.
    Guests: Bill Crockett, Richard Wolffe

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE:

    MEMORANDUM
    FROM: Keith Olbermann
    TO: Rick Kaplan, David Brock, George Soros
    BCC: Brian S.
    SUBJECT: Tonight's Countdown

    It was just five decades ago that Edward R. Murrow sat down in front of the microphone and changed the face of television news. And in much the same fashion, tonight I started another week of the history-making news hour, Countdown. Because the viewing public are stupid, stupid people, they are not watching a show with a brilliant, intellectual, and extremely humble host like myself. And all of our efforts in the struggle whose aims we share will go for naught if we can't get people to tune in.

    That's why I made the top story tonight something straight out of Inside Edition: a fight to the death between two pregnant women. This may not be the most important story of the day, or even the most interesting, but considering the way people tune out Countdown in droves, maybe this will keep a few of those ignorant masses from hitting the remote just long enough for our purposes.

    I had to make Jose Canseco's steroid scandal the #4 story. Unlike foreign policy, economics, culture, and military strategy, where I am merely an expert, when it comes to sports I am the world's acknowledged authority. Based on my extensive research, I think it's pretty clear that Canseco never actually played in any division of baseball. I am saving that scoop for an upcoming entry in my personal blog over at narcissism.com.

    I hope all this tabloid stuff kept our viewers from their daily exodus, because I was able to get the good stuff into the Top 3 Newsmakers segment.

    And David, this is for you, because I did mention "Jeff Gannon" and his naked pictures from that americablog.org that you recommended to me. (And to think I once complained about too much Monica Lewinsky!) Running a half hour of trashy stories, and then getting our zingers in when they are least expected--I think this could work. George, get back to me on what you think of this.

    I framed the #3 story (Iraq elections) just as we agreed: Iraq could end up with an Islamic government just like Iran's. But I couldn't do much with Richard Engel's report--why does a great journalist like me have to make do with dispatches from inferior second-raters, recycled from NBC at that? I'm glad that I was able to get Richard Wolffe from Newsweek as a guest for this segment. He was happy to play along with my worst-case scenarios. I don't think he was aware that Dan Senor said the administration is pleased with the election results, but I wasn't about to contradict him when he was paddling in our direction.

    Whose idea was it anyhow to use Walid Phares? This guy was on Fox News once. He wrote an article for National Review, for crying out loud! That's not going to help our cause any. Luckily I was able to cancel his appearance before air time. I'm going to have to watch the bookers more carefully so that nothing like this even comes close to going on air.

    Note how I reported the business about our flying drones over Iran. I did the charge; I did Iran's formal protest. But nothing about the Pentagon denials, or even the fact that the US isn't the only country that flies drones. I doubt those ignoramuses over in Robert Cox's henhouse will even notice.

    That's really the meat of it, guys. We filled the rest of the time with more recycled NBC stuff and a hilarious segment called "Valentine's Day Stinks!". Man, that had to be the funniest bit since The Honeymooners; you could tell from that stagehand who cackled after every one of my punchlines. Well, almost every one. Many of them, anyhow. A few. Rick, I want that man's name and personnel file.

    Anyhow guys, I got all of your daily talking points in, and nobody is any the wiser. And just like that fateful day when Chet Huntley and David Brinkley said their final goodnights, so did I end another edition of Countdown in a similarly distinguished fashion, throwing paper at the camera.

    KO


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (7) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - February 14, 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for February 14

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    PREGNANT KENTUCKY WOMAN'S ATTACKER MAY HAVE SOUGHT FETUS: Pat Brown, criminal profiler and author of "Killing for Sport"

    ARE THE IRAQI ELECTION WINNERS THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT THE U.S. ENVISIONED AND WILL IRAQ TURN INTO A THEOCRACY?: Walid Phares, senior fellow, The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, MSNBC analyst

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: Feb 15, 2:50 p.m.
    Guests: Bill Crockett, Richard Wolffe

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE:

    MEMORANDUM
    FROM: Keith Olbermann
    TO: Rick Kaplan, David Brock, George Soros
    BCC: Brian S.
    SUBJECT: Tonight's Countdown

    It was just five decades ago that Edward R. Murrow sat down in front of the microphone and changed the face of television news. And in much the same fashion, tonight I started another week of the history-making news hour, Countdown. Because the viewing public are stupid, stupid people, they are not watching a show with a brilliant, intellectual, and extremely humble host like myself. And all of our efforts in the struggle whose aims we share will go for naught if we can't get people to tune in.

    That's why I made the top story tonight something straight out of Inside Edition: a fight to the death between two pregnant women. This may not be the most important story of the day, or even the most interesting, but considering the way people tune out Countdown in droves, maybe this will keep a few of those ignorant masses from hitting the remote just long enough for our purposes.

    I had to make Jose Canseco's steroid scandal the #4 story. Unlike foreign policy, economics, culture, and military strategy, where I am merely an expert, when it comes to sports I am the world's acknowledged authority. Based on my extensive research, I think it's pretty clear that Canseco never actually played in any division of baseball. I am saving that scoop for an upcoming entry in my personal blog over at narcissism.com.

    I hope all this tabloid stuff kept our viewers from their daily exodus, because I was able to get the good stuff into the Top 3 Newsmakers segment.

    And David, this is for you, because I did mention "Jeff Gannon" and his naked pictures from that americablog.org that you recommended to me. (And to think I once complained about too much Monica Lewinsky!) Running a half hour of trashy stories, and then getting our zingers in when they are least expected--I think this could work. George, get back to me on what you think of this.

    I framed the #3 story (Iraq elections) just as we agreed: Iraq could end up with an Islamic government just like Iran's. But I couldn't do much with Richard Engel's report--why does a great journalist like me have to make do with dispatches from inferior second-raters, recycled from NBC at that? I'm glad that I was able to get Richard Wolffe from Newsweek as a guest for this segment. He was happy to play along with my worst-case scenarios. I don't think he was aware that Dan Senor said the administration is pleased with the election results, but I wasn't about to contradict him when he was paddling in our direction.

    Whose idea was it anyhow to use Walid Phares? This guy was on Fox News once. He wrote an article for National Review, for crying out loud! That's not going to help our cause any. Luckily I was able to cancel his appearance before air time. I'm going to have to watch the bookers more carefully so that nothing like this even comes close to going on air.

    Note how I reported the business about our flying drones over Iran. I did the charge; I did Iran's formal protest. But nothing about the Pentagon denials, or even the fact that the US isn't the only country that flies drones. I doubt those ignoramuses over in Robert Cox's henhouse will even notice.

    That's really the meat of it, guys. We filled the rest of the time with more recycled NBC stuff and a hilarious segment called "Valentine's Day Stinks!". Man, that had to be the funniest bit since The Honeymooners; you could tell from that stagehand who cackled after every one of my punchlines. Well, almost every one. Many of them, anyhow. A few. Rick, I want that man's name and personnel file.

    Anyhow guys, I got all of your daily talking points in, and nobody is any the wiser. And just like that fateful day when Chet Huntley and David Brinkley said their final goodnights, so did I end another edition of Countdown in a similarly distinguished fashion, throwing paper at the camera.

    KO


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (7) | | View blog reactions
    February 13, 2005
    A Guckert By Any Other Name: KO Charge Taken Apart

    Following up on KO's sarcastic story the other night, Feb 10, about Jeff Gannon not being a real reporter, and all the lame jokes about "we can all be cowboys", by KO, Robert Cox at The National Debate and also of this site has written a devastating commentary debunking this fake name charge once and for all. I am posting it with his permission from the TND site, because I feel it really puts the fake name question into perspective. The fake name is the only "evidence" KO had to belittle Gannon, much like the rest of the liberal blogosphere.

    "A Guckert By Any Other Name" follows:

    A Guckert By Any Other Name Is Still A Guckert
    Much has been made by lefty bloggers of Jeff Gannon/James Guckert, formerly of Talon News, gaining access to White House briefings. Some have dwelled on Guckert's registration of suggestive internet domain names to claim that Guckert is a homosexual or a purveyor of "gay porn" and therefore a hypocrite for advancing a right-wing agenda; this hypocrisy from many of the same liberal bloggers who promote a gay-rights agenda that would criticize targeting anyone for being gay and an ACLU agenda that actively defends purveyors of pornography including so-called gay porn. Some have dwelled on conspiracy theories short on facts and long on fantasy. Most, however, have focused on James Guckert's use of the nom de plume "Jeff Gannon".

    Many on the left, and in the MSM, have done their Inspector Renault impersonation and profess to be "shocked" that a journalist would publish under a pseudonym.

    The irony here runs thick.

    The lead attack dog on "GannonGate" has been David Brock of Media Matters for America. This is the same David Brock, self-proclaimed member of the vast right-wing conspiracy, who served as attack dog on various Clinton-era scandals including "TrooperGate" and now works for uber-lefty and world famous financier George Schwartz.

    Never heard of him? Perhaps you know him better by his "fake name" - George Soros.

    Entertainers have long changed their names for a variety of reasons. Some have sought to de-ethnicize their names: Allen Konigsberg became Woody Allen, Alphonso D'Abruzzo became Alan Alda, Jacob Cohen became Rodney Dangerfield and Bob Zimmerman became Bob Dylan. Some sought to glamorize their name including Frances Ethel Gumm (Judy Garland), James Bumgarner (James Garner) and Marion Morrison (John Wayne). Lawrence Tureaud, Cherilyn LaPierre, Maria Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza, and Paul Hewson all opted for just one name: Mr. T, Cher, Charo and Bono respectively. Thomas Mapother, Todd Jones, Demetria Guynes and Jo Tejada have found success as Tom Cruise, James Earl Jones, Demi Moore and Raquel Welch

    A raft of politically active entertainers use fake names including Ramon Estevez (Martin Sheen), Moran Cho (Margaret Cho), David Van Cortland (David Crosby), and Moby (Richard Hall).

    Funeral services were held yesterday for actor activist, Ossie Davis, born Raiford Chatman Davis. His wife, Ruby Dee, was born Ruby Ann Wallace.

    Tonight on the Grammy Award's ceremony Eric Bishop and Alicia Cook will sing a few Ray Robinson tunes. In other words, Alicia Keys and Jamie Foxx will honor Ray Charles by singing a duet. The music world is full of fake names. Eileen Edwards became Shania Twain, Robert Hall became Bob Weir. Sean Combs could form his own band by adding Puffy, Puff Daddy and P. Diddy to his act. Dana Owens is not really royalty but she will be hosting the Grammies tonight under her assumed name.

    Besides the Queen of Latifah, many world leaders down have adopted pseudonyms. Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili may have had the Russian version of the WWF in mind when he took the name "man of steel" and became Joseph Stalin. Doroteo Aranga became "Pancho" Villa. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi became Mahatma Gandhi then just "Gandhi". Josip Broz Tito when straight to "Tito". Adolf Schickelgruber Hiedler did Schickelgrubers all over the world a favor by changing his name to Adolf Hitler before marching off on his murderous march towards world domination. Nguyen That Thanh became Ho Chi Minh and got his own mountain trail named after him - and later a city.

    Could peace in the middle east been achieved sooner if Abder Rauf Arafat al-Kudwa al-Husseini broken bread with Ariel Shinerman in Jerusalem? The world may never know but as Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon the answer is definitely "no". Long before Sharon appeared on the Israeli political scene, Golda Mabovitz had become Golda Meir.

    Karol Wojtyla took the name John Paul II when he became Pope and Ras Tafari Makonnen became Haile Selasse, Emperor of Ethiopia and leader of the Rastafarian faith.

    In a twist, Carmen Electra of American Idol fame changed her name from Tara Patrick before modeling nude for Playboy. With the name available, it was adopted by Linda Ann Hopkins who then changed her fake name "Tara" to "Tera" to become porn star Tera Patrick. Of course, porn names are notoriously fake: Ron Jeremy was born Ronald Hyatt and Nora Louise Kuzma took the name Traci Lords and starred in 60 porn films in 1985 at the age of 17 although she later renounced her porn past, took only "straight" acting jobs and wrote a book. She kept her porn name.

    Garik Weinstein would likely have become the greatest chess player in the world without changing his name to Garry Kasparov. Araminta Ross would have still guided slaves through the Underground Railroad had she not taken the name Harriet Tubman. The world may never know how Jacob Rubenstein was able to commit murder on live TV but they do know he was using the name Jack Ruby at the time. Of course, every school kid knows that Sam Clemens wrote under the name Mark Twain but how many know that Thomas Lawrence took the name Thomas Shaw to avoid the notoriety he cultivated as Lawrence of Arabia.

    Elijah Poole and Malcolm Little led black Muslims as Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X. Famous athletes took Muslim names: Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabaar), Bobby Moore (Ahmad Rashad), and Cassius Clay (Muhammed Ali)

    U.S. politics is replete with assumed named. Bill Blythe, Tom Wilson, and Hiram Grant entered history as President Williams J. Clinton, President Woodrow Wilson and President Ulysses Grant respectively. Grant, like Harry Truman, added an "S" to his name for marketing reasons: Ulysses S. Grant for "U.S." Grant and Harry S. Truman because, well, how are you going to trust a man with no middle name. For no obvious reason, David Dwight Eisenhower rearranged his name to become Dwight David Eisenhower. John F. Kennedy used his real name to obtain the White House but not all of his girlfriends did; Judith Inmoor is better known as Judith Exner and Norma Jean Mortensen Baker is, of course, Marilyn Monroe.

    Four vice-presidential candidates used altered names: John Fremon ran as John Fremont, Carey Kefauver ran as Estes Kefauver and Robert Shriver ran as Sargent Shriver. Only one man ran as veep with a fake name and won, Henry Wilson, who was born Jeremiah Jones Colbath, but he died before completing his four year term. Wilson got a lot of slack with his fake name; he ran on the Republican Grant-Wilson ticket in 1872, so he was not likely to get many complaints for fiddling with his name from the top of the ticket for reasons noted above and the Democrats had nothing to say at all since they did not even bother to field a candidate that year.

    Frizzell Gray ran for Congress and later became head of the NAACP as Kweisi Mfume and James Janos was elected governor of Minnesota as Jesse Ventura.

    Would basketball players still give an emphatic "YES!" on sinking a jump shot if Marvin Aufrichtig had not become Marv Albert. Could Howard Cohen have had the same impact on the NFL as Howard Cosell? Would the BBC have been as upper-crusty with Alfred Cooke rather than Alistair Cooke? Would Charles Grodinsky have gotten his own cable news talk show without shortening his name to Grodin. Would listeners wait to hear "the rest of the story" from Paul Aurandt rather than Paul Harvey. Would Jim McKay's coverage of terrorism at the 1972 Munich Olympics been diminished if he had introduced himself to viewers as James McManus.

    And let's not forget TV's most famous news anchor, Ted Baxter, was played by Ted Knight, actor and real-life Mayor of Pacific Pallisades, California, who was born Tadeus Konopka.

    Despite the long American tradition of taking on pseudonyms, the left-wing bloggers sought to advance the idea that there was something unusual about James Guckert using the names Jeff Gannon. When the lefty notion that the Bush Administration compromised White House security by granting a press pass to someone under an assumed name collapsed (both Guckert and the White House have stated that Guckert applied for his daily press passes under his legal name) the "smoking gun" became video tapes of White House spokesman Scott McClellan addressing James Guckert as "Jeff".

    By this logic, the MSM is rife with "frauds" such as Myron "Mike" Wallace, Lila "Diane" Sawyer and Mary "Cokie" Roberts none of whom use their given first names. Rupert Murdoch's real first name is Keith. Gerald Rivera went by "Jerry" as kid but changed his name to Geraldo when he began his career in investigative journalism. The patron saint of CBS News, Edward R. Murrow, changed his name from Egbert. CBS News Anchor and morning host, Hannah Storm, kept her first name but changed her last name from Storen at the suggestion of a producer at NBC.

    With all this name changing I am feeling a little left out. I can't decide whether "Mr. C" or "Coxo" works best.

    Anyone know Gaelic for "brains of steel"?


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (47) | | View blog reactions
    A Guckert By Any Other Name: KO Charge Taken Apart

    Following up on KO's sarcastic story the other night, Feb 10, about Jeff Gannon not being a real reporter, and all the lame jokes about "we can all be cowboys", by KO, Robert Cox at The National Debate and also of this site has written a devastating commentary debunking this fake name charge once and for all. I am posting it with his permission from the TND site, because I feel it really puts the fake name question into perspective. The fake name is the only "evidence" KO had to belittle Gannon, much like the rest of the liberal blogosphere.

    "A Guckert By Any Other Name" follows:

    A Guckert By Any Other Name Is Still A Guckert
    Much has been made by lefty bloggers of Jeff Gannon/James Guckert, formerly of Talon News, gaining access to White House briefings. Some have dwelled on Guckert's registration of suggestive internet domain names to claim that Guckert is a homosexual or a purveyor of "gay porn" and therefore a hypocrite for advancing a right-wing agenda; this hypocrisy from many of the same liberal bloggers who promote a gay-rights agenda that would criticize targeting anyone for being gay and an ACLU agenda that actively defends purveyors of pornography including so-called gay porn. Some have dwelled on conspiracy theories short on facts and long on fantasy. Most, however, have focused on James Guckert's use of the nom de plume "Jeff Gannon".

    Many on the left, and in the MSM, have done their Inspector Renault impersonation and profess to be "shocked" that a journalist would publish under a pseudonym.

    The irony here runs thick.

    The lead attack dog on "GannonGate" has been David Brock of Media Matters for America. This is the same David Brock, self-proclaimed member of the vast right-wing conspiracy, who served as attack dog on various Clinton-era scandals including "TrooperGate" and now works for uber-lefty and world famous financier George Schwartz.

    Never heard of him? Perhaps you know him better by his "fake name" - George Soros.

    Entertainers have long changed their names for a variety of reasons. Some have sought to de-ethnicize their names: Allen Konigsberg became Woody Allen, Alphonso D'Abruzzo became Alan Alda, Jacob Cohen became Rodney Dangerfield and Bob Zimmerman became Bob Dylan. Some sought to glamorize their name including Frances Ethel Gumm (Judy Garland), James Bumgarner (James Garner) and Marion Morrison (John Wayne). Lawrence Tureaud, Cherilyn LaPierre, Maria Rosario Pilar Martinez Molina Baeza, and Paul Hewson all opted for just one name: Mr. T, Cher, Charo and Bono respectively. Thomas Mapother, Todd Jones, Demetria Guynes and Jo Tejada have found success as Tom Cruise, James Earl Jones, Demi Moore and Raquel Welch

    A raft of politically active entertainers use fake names including Ramon Estevez (Martin Sheen), Moran Cho (Margaret Cho), David Van Cortland (David Crosby), and Moby (Richard Hall).

    Funeral services were held yesterday for actor activist, Ossie Davis, born Raiford Chatman Davis. His wife, Ruby Dee, was born Ruby Ann Wallace.

    Tonight on the Grammy Award's ceremony Eric Bishop and Alicia Cook will sing a few Ray Robinson tunes. In other words, Alicia Keys and Jamie Foxx will honor Ray Charles by singing a duet. The music world is full of fake names. Eileen Edwards became Shania Twain, Robert Hall became Bob Weir. Sean Combs could form his own band by adding Puffy, Puff Daddy and P. Diddy to his act. Dana Owens is not really royalty but she will be hosting the Grammies tonight under her assumed name.

    Besides the Queen of Latifah, many world leaders down have adopted pseudonyms. Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili may have had the Russian version of the WWF in mind when he took the name "man of steel" and became Joseph Stalin. Doroteo Aranga became "Pancho" Villa. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi became Mahatma Gandhi then just "Gandhi". Josip Broz Tito when straight to "Tito". Adolf Schickelgruber Hiedler did Schickelgrubers all over the world a favor by changing his name to Adolf Hitler before marching off on his murderous march towards world domination. Nguyen That Thanh became Ho Chi Minh and got his own mountain trail named after him - and later a city.

    Could peace in the middle east been achieved sooner if Abder Rauf Arafat al-Kudwa al-Husseini broken bread with Ariel Shinerman in Jerusalem? The world may never know but as Yasser Arafat and Ariel Sharon the answer is definitely "no". Long before Sharon appeared on the Israeli political scene, Golda Mabovitz had become Golda Meir.

    Karol Wojtyla took the name John Paul II when he became Pope and Ras Tafari Makonnen became Haile Selasse, Emperor of Ethiopia and leader of the Rastafarian faith.

    In a twist, Carmen Electra of American Idol fame changed her name from Tara Patrick before modeling nude for Playboy. With the name available, it was adopted by Linda Ann Hopkins who then changed her fake name "Tara" to "Tera" to become porn star Tera Patrick. Of course, porn names are notoriously fake: Ron Jeremy was born Ronald Hyatt and Nora Louise Kuzma took the name Traci Lords and starred in 60 porn films in 1985 at the age of 17 although she later renounced her porn past, took only "straight" acting jobs and wrote a book. She kept her porn name.

    Garik Weinstein would likely have become the greatest chess player in the world without changing his name to Garry Kasparov. Araminta Ross would have still guided slaves through the Underground Railroad had she not taken the name Harriet Tubman. The world may never know how Jacob Rubenstein was able to commit murder on live TV but they do know he was using the name Jack Ruby at the time. Of course, every school kid knows that Sam Clemens wrote under the name Mark Twain but how many know that Thomas Lawrence took the name Thomas Shaw to avoid the notoriety he cultivated as Lawrence of Arabia.

    Elijah Poole and Malcolm Little led black Muslims as Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X. Famous athletes took Muslim names: Lew Alcindor (Kareem Abdul Jabaar), Bobby Moore (Ahmad Rashad), and Cassius Clay (Muhammed Ali)

    U.S. politics is replete with assumed named. Bill Blythe, Tom Wilson, and Hiram Grant entered history as President Williams J. Clinton, President Woodrow Wilson and President Ulysses Grant respectively. Grant, like Harry Truman, added an "S" to his name for marketing reasons: Ulysses S. Grant for "U.S." Grant and Harry S. Truman because, well, how are you going to trust a man with no middle name. For no obvious reason, David Dwight Eisenhower rearranged his name to become Dwight David Eisenhower. John F. Kennedy used his real name to obtain the White House but not all of his girlfriends did; Judith Inmoor is better known as Judith Exner and Norma Jean Mortensen Baker is, of course, Marilyn Monroe.

    Four vice-presidential candidates used altered names: John Fremon ran as John Fremont, Carey Kefauver ran as Estes Kefauver and Robert Shriver ran as Sargent Shriver. Only one man ran as veep with a fake name and won, Henry Wilson, who was born Jeremiah Jones Colbath, but he died before completing his four year term. Wilson got a lot of slack with his fake name; he ran on the Republican Grant-Wilson ticket in 1872, so he was not likely to get many complaints for fiddling with his name from the top of the ticket for reasons noted above and the Democrats had nothing to say at all since they did not even bother to field a candidate that year.

    Frizzell Gray ran for Congress and later became head of the NAACP as Kweisi Mfume and James Janos was elected governor of Minnesota as Jesse Ventura.

    Would basketball players still give an emphatic "YES!" on sinking a jump shot if Marvin Aufrichtig had not become Marv Albert. Could Howard Cohen have had the same impact on the NFL as Howard Cosell? Would the BBC have been as upper-crusty with Alfred Cooke rather than Alistair Cooke? Would Charles Grodinsky have gotten his own cable news talk show without shortening his name to Grodin. Would listeners wait to hear "the rest of the story" from Paul Aurandt rather than Paul Harvey. Would Jim McKay's coverage of terrorism at the 1972 Munich Olympics been diminished if he had introduced himself to viewers as James McManus.

    And let's not forget TV's most famous news anchor, Ted Baxter, was played by Ted Knight, actor and real-life Mayor of Pacific Pallisades, California, who was born Tadeus Konopka.

    Despite the long American tradition of taking on pseudonyms, the left-wing bloggers sought to advance the idea that there was something unusual about James Guckert using the names Jeff Gannon. When the lefty notion that the Bush Administration compromised White House security by granting a press pass to someone under an assumed name collapsed (both Guckert and the White House have stated that Guckert applied for his daily press passes under his legal name) the "smoking gun" became video tapes of White House spokesman Scott McClellan addressing James Guckert as "Jeff".

    By this logic, the MSM is rife with "frauds" such as Myron "Mike" Wallace, Lila "Diane" Sawyer and Mary "Cokie" Roberts none of whom use their given first names. Rupert Murdoch's real first name is Keith. Gerald Rivera went by "Jerry" as kid but changed his name to Geraldo when he began his career in investigative journalism. The patron saint of CBS News, Edward R. Murrow, changed his name from Egbert. CBS News Anchor and morning host, Hannah Storm, kept her first name but changed her last name from Storen at the suggestion of a producer at NBC.

    With all this name changing I am feeling a little left out. I can't decide whether "Mr. C" or "Coxo" works best.

    Anyone know Gaelic for "brains of steel"?


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (47) | | View blog reactions
    February 11, 2005
    OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM MARIST COLLEGE ON KEITH OLBERMANN

    I sent an e-mail up to Marist College today and got an e-mail back...

    This is the statement President Dennis Murray made on the Olbermann-O'Reilly feud:

    Tim Massie
    Chief Public Affairs Officer
    Marist College
    Poughkeepsie, NY

    Sounds like Keith Olbermann was splitting hairs to make a point that is factually incorrect. Mike Malet, a member of the football staff in 1970, confirmed that Bill O'Reilly did indeed win the national punting title for his division in his senior year. Mr. Olbermann is making a trivial distinction to detract from a record that any athlete would be proud to list among his accomplishments.

    Dennis J. Murray
    President
    Marist College


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM MARIST COLLEGE ON KEITH OLBERMANN

    I sent an e-mail up to Marist College today and got an e-mail back...

    This is the statement President Dennis Murray made on the Olbermann-O'Reilly feud:

    Tim Massie
    Chief Public Affairs Officer
    Marist College
    Poughkeepsie, NY

    Sounds like Keith Olbermann was splitting hairs to make a point that is factually incorrect. Mike Malet, a member of the football staff in 1970, confirmed that Bill O'Reilly did indeed win the national punting title for his division in his senior year. Mr. Olbermann is making a trivial distinction to detract from a record that any athlete would be proud to list among his accomplishments.

    Dennis J. Murray
    President
    Marist College


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    The King of Unlistenable and

    The King of Unlistenable and Unlistened Radio met the Prince of Unwatchable and Unwatched Television and the result was a finger-nails-on-chalkboard, Bill O'Reilly hatefest of teacup proportions the other day on Air America Radio.

    With apparently nothing better to do (like fact-check the "news" he puts on the air) Keith has spent a good part of his on-air time parsing the meaning of the word "division" and O'Reilly's supposed motivation for using this word, self-aggrandizement.

    In the tortured mind of Olbermann - a rich, geeky, "spaz" from an elite prep school, Hackely, who grew up in the leafy suburbs of Westchester (NY), one of the wealthiest counties in the country, with the good fortune to have been born into family rich enough to pay for four years at one of the most expensive universities in the county, Cornell - this is not about whether O'Reilly played football at Marist (he did) or whether he was a punter/kicker (he was) or whether he was any good (he was). The "issue" for KO is whether O'Reilly sought to make playing for Marist seem "bigger" by using the word "division".

    In other words, Keith is once again providing an example of why he was the kind of kid who would of had the crap kicked out of him if he showed his face in O'Reilly's Long Island neighborhood.

    And that is more to the point.

    This is not about the Marist football program but about class and envy. It is Keith "Ivy League/ to the manor born" Olbermann v. Bill "hardknocks/ college scholarship basketball player" O'Reilly. It is about Keith's inability to reconcile his entitlement upbr


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    The King of Unlistenable and

    The King of Unlistenable and Unlistened Radio met the Prince of Unwatchable and Unwatched Television and the result was a finger-nails-on-chalkboard, Bill O'Reilly hatefest of teacup proportions the other day on Air America Radio.

    With apparently nothing better to do (like fact-check the "news" he puts on the air) Keith has spent a good part of his on-air time parsing the meaning of the word "division" and O'Reilly's supposed motivation for using this word, self-aggrandizement.

    In the tortured mind of Olbermann - a rich, geeky, "spaz" from an elite prep school, Hackely, who grew up in the leafy suburbs of Westchester (NY), one of the wealthiest counties in the country, with the good fortune to have been born into family rich enough to pay for four years at one of the most expensive universities in the county, Cornell - this is not about whether O'Reilly played football at Marist (he did) or whether he was a punter/kicker (he was) or whether he was any good (he was). The "issue" for KO is whether O'Reilly sought to make playing for Marist seem "bigger" by using the word "division".

    In other words, Keith is once again providing an example of why he was the kind of kid who would of had the crap kicked out of him if he showed his face in O'Reilly's Long Island neighborhood.

    And that is more to the point.

    This is not about the Marist football program but about class and envy. It is Keith "Ivy League/ to the manor born" Olbermann v. Bill "hardknocks/ college scholarship basketball player" O'Reilly. It is about Keith's inability to reconcile his entitlement upbrin


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    The King of Unlistenable and

    The King of Unlistenable and Unlistened Radio met the Prince of Unwatchable and Unwatched Television and the result was a finger-nails-on-chalkboard, Bill O'Reilly hatefest of teacup proportions the other day on Air America Radio.

    With apparently nothing better to do (like fact-check the "news" he puts on the air) Keith has spent a good part of his on-air time parsing the meaning of the word "division" and O'Reilly's supposed motivation for using this word, self-aggrandizement.

    In the tortured mind of Olbermann - a rich, geeky, "spaz" from an elite prep school, Hackely, who grew up in the leafy suburbs of Westchester (NY), one of the wealthiest counties in the country, with the good fortune to have been born into family rich enough to pay for four years at one of the most expensive universities in the county, Cornell - this is not about whether O'Reilly played football at Marist (he did) or whether he was a punter/kicker (he was) or whether he was any good (he was). The "issue" for KO is whether O'Reilly sought to make playing for Marist seem "bigger" by using the word "division".

    In other words, Keith is once again providing an example of why he was the kind of kid who would of had the crap kicked out of him if he showed his face in O'Reilly's Long Island neighborhood.

    And that is more to the point.

    This is not about the Marist football program but about class and envy. It is Keith "Ivy League/ to the manor born" Olbermann v. Bill "hardknocks/ college scholarship basketball player" O'Reilly. It is about Keith's inability to reconcile his entitleme


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    The King of Unlistenable and

    The King of Unlistenable and Unlistened Radio met the Prince of Unwatchable and Unwatched Television and the result was a finger-nails-on-chalkboard, Bill O'Reilly hatefest of teacup proportions the other day on Air America Radio.

    With apparently nothing better to do (like fact-check the "news" he puts on the air) Keith has spent a good part of his on-air time parsing the meaning of the word "division" and O'Reilly's supposed motivation for using this word, self-aggrandizement.

    In the tortured mind of Olbermann - a rich, geeky, "spaz" from an elite prep school, Hackely, who grew up in the leafy suburbs of Westchester (NY), one of the wealthiest counties in the country, with the good fortune to have been born into family rich enough to pay for four years at one of the most expensive universities in the county, Cornell - this is not about whether O'Reilly played football at Marist (he did) or whether he was a punter/kicker (he was) or whether he was any good (he was). The "issue" for KO is whether O'Reilly sought to make playing for Marist seem "bigger" by using the word "division".

    In other words, Keith is once again providing an example of why he was the kind of kid who would of had the crap kicked out of him if he showed his face in O'Reilly's Long Island neighborhood.

    And that is more to the point.

    This is not about the Marist football program but about class and envy. It is Keith "Ivy League/ to the manor born" Olbermann v. Bill "hardknocks/ college scholarship basketball player" O'Reilly. It is about Keith's inability to reconcile his entitlement


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    KO Teams with Franken to Found "He-Man O'Reilly-Haters Club"

    The King of Unlistenable and Unlistened Radio met the Prince of Unwatchable and Unwatched Television and the result was a finger-nails-on-chalkboard, Bill O'Reilly hatefest of teacup proportions the other day on Air America Radio.

    With apparently nothing better to do (like fact-check the "news" he puts on the air) Keith has spent a good part of his on-air time parsing the meaning of the word "division" and O'Reilly's supposed motivation for using this word, self-aggrandizement.

    In the tortured mind of Olbermann - a rich, geeky, "spaz" from an elite prep school, Hackely, who grew up in the leafy suburbs of Westchester (NY), one of the wealthiest counties in the country, with the good fortune to have been born into family rich enough to pay for four years at one of the most expensive universities in the county, Cornell - this is not about whether O'Reilly played football at Marist (he did) or whether he was a punter/kicker (he was) or whether he was any good (he was). The "issue" for KO is whether O'Reilly sought to make playing for Marist seem "bigger" by using the word "division".

    In other words, Keith is once again providing an example of why he was the kind of kid who would of had the crap kicked out of him if he showed his face in O'Reilly's Long Island neighborhood.

    And that is more to the point.

    This is not about the Marist football program but about class and envy. It is Keith "Ivy League/ to the manor born" Olbermann v. Bill "hardknocks/ college scholarship basketball player" O'Reilly. It is about Keith's inability to reconcile his entitlement upbringing with his failure as a cable news personality and O'Reilly's position as top dog in a highly-competitive industry. How it must gall Keith to see O'Reilly at the top of the cable ratings week-in and week-out and routinely perched atop the bestseller lists or to know that O'Reilly was a real journalist working or ABC News who covered actual news events like the Falkland War and the wars in Central America (yes, Keith you coward, O'Reilly reported from war zones not locker rooms).

    Olbermann's entire argument hinges on the "subtlety" behind the "nuance" of O'Reilly's "deception". In the Franken interview, Olbermann carefully breaks down the CURRENT structure of college football: NCAA Division I, NCAA Division I-A, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and incorrectly breaks the NAIA down into two divisions (the NAIA abandon divisions several years ago). He then discusses the difference between a "club sport" and a "varsity" sport. Keith should know all about this because in his college days he "covered" both club sports and varsity sports at his college radio station whereas O'Reilly could not possibly understand the difference. He was too busy playing on a club team (Marist Football) and a varsity team (Marist Basketball).

    If you can stand to listen to Franken and Olbermann long enough you will here Keith explain how the "divisions" in college football are all about status and TV rights. As anyone who has listened to an argument over who is the "real" college football National Champ knows full well, college football is not organized like most other sports. In 1970, the NCAA was a weak, umbrella group for various football organizations. The real power in college football was at the conference level - Big 10, Pac 10, SEC, ACC and so on. They were all regional organizations and were each responible for publishing rule books, putting together schedules, providing referees, setting the requirements, signing bowl contracts and TV contracts.

    The NCAA did not even create divisions until 1973:

    The Association's membership was divided into three legislative and competitive divisions in 1973 at the first special Convention ever held. Five years later, Division I members voted to create subdivisions I-A and I-AA in the sport of football.

    Prior to 1973 the NCAA was just one aspect of organized college sports which included indepdent teams (Notre Dame, the military academies), football associations and regional conferences that organized college football programs around the United States. Besides the NCAA there was the National Association of Intercollegiate of Athletics (NAIA), the major conferences like the SEC, Pac 10 and Big 10, conferences compomised of what are now called "Historically Black Colleges and Universities" (HBCU). And another was the National Club Football Association (NCFA) which included, in 1970 and 1971, Marist college.

    In 1973, the newly created NCAA Division II and Division III football began to incorporate a number of smaller college football programs including, over time, many colleges from the NAIA, the HBCUs and the NCFA.

    By Olbermann's definition, the National Club Football Association was not a "division" and therefore O'Reilly's use of the word is incorrect. However, Olbermann's definition of "division" does not apply either because there were NO "divisions" by his standard in 1970-71 - there was a governing body for collegiate athletics, the NCAA, which had no real power over college football and a loose affiliation of regional football conferences and football associations including the NCFA.

    Keith has great fun in riduculing the NCFA as not "real" because the school did not provide funding for equipment, coaches or scholarships.

    The truth is that most colleges even TODAY do not offer scholarships or significant financial support for football including within the NCAA divisions and it was quite common for college players to provide their own equipment and coaches when O'Reilly played for Marist.

    Keith has made much of the NCFA not being a "national" football association so as to mock O'Reilly's "national punting title" and ironically used the unfortunate analogy of saying that comparing NCFA football to college football was like saying broadcasting on a CB radio was equivalent to broadcasting on Air America Radio [note: I say unfortunate here because "real" broadcast networks like ABC and Westwood One (O'Reilly's radio network) consider Air America Radio more akin to CB Radio than anything done by the big boys).

    The truth is that during its existence, the NCFA compromised roughly 125 colleges from all over the country. As the NCAA began to assert more control over college football, many of the NCFA members were incorporated into the various NCAA divisions including Marist College. The NCFA stat sheet that Keith references on Bill O'Reilly's web site lists about 25 of the 125 schools who participated in the NCFA almost of which are currently Divisin I-A, I-AA, II or III schools today: St. John's University (NY Metro), Dusquence University (PA), Siena College (upsate NY), Loyola (LA). St. Francis (PA), New Haven (NY Metro), Westchester Community College (NY Metro), Detroit University (MI), New York Tech. (Upsate NY), St. Louis University (MO), Marist College (upstate NY), Nicholls State (LA), Seton Hall (NY Metro), Manhattan (NY Metro), Virginia Commonwealth (VA), Niagara (Upstate NY), Loran (?), Providence (RI), Kings College (PA), Pat St (?), LSU-New Orleans (LA), Canisius (Upstate NY), Utica (Utica, NY). A Google search showed more schools from all over the country including four from California.

    On his blog, Keith wrote: "The "national" part was not to be taken too literally. In O'Reilly's senior year, 1970, a disproportionate number of the schools were in the New York metropolitan area."

    This is totally false. I don't have access to the complete history of the NCFA but on the NCFA stat sheet on O'Reilly's web site there are just five schools from the New York Metropolitan area (including New Haven in Connecticut and Seton Hall in New Jersey). The rest of the schools were spread around in upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Michigan, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Louisiana. I have also documented (below) at least four schools in Califoria and six other schools from west of the Mississippi. This says nothing about the other 100+ schools that played in the NCFA.

    This may not be "national" enough for Olbermann but it a lot less regional than conferences like the SEC and Big Ten.

    KO mocks a note from the Marist football media guide that O'Reilly's team played in the NCFA "national championship game" yet Keith undermines one his main points beacuse it shows that Marist described the NCFA as a national organization long before the Super Bowl. And Keith knew that when he began mocking O'Reilly's statement that the NCFA was a national organization. Nice "journalism" Keith!

    KO also mocks the NCFA for playing it's "national championship game" in Mount Veron at a stadium I know well. My high school, Iona Prep, played there every Thanksgiving in the the annual "Turkey Bowl" against New Rochelle High School (currently one of the top-rated high school teams in New York State) which was always televised on the old WPIX/Channel 11 in New York. The stadium was not "ramshackle" but a perfectly good stadium that was heavily used for local high school and college football - and still is today.

    One other note on stadiums. If Keith wants to knock the NCFA for playing in Memorial Stadium in 1971 then what does he make of Duquesne playing Mattatuck in the National Club Football Championship game at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium, long-time home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and a bona fide NFL stadium.

    Given the truth about O'Reilly, Marist and the NCFA, the rest of the interview is nonsensical drivel coming from a washed up comedy writer stuck on a third-rate radio show trying to pass himself off as a political analyst and a washed up sports anchor on a third-rate cable news channel trying to pass himself off as a journalist.

    Given Keith's known issues with doing real reporting and research, it is no surprise that Keith did not bother to check the web before mocking the idea of the NCFA having a "national punting title". A quick Google search shows that the NFCA included colleges from all over the country, maintained detailed statistics, recorded and disseminated national rankings and selected an annual "all-america" team.

    Had Keith done his homework he might have founded this article from the Niagara University web site which notes "for financial reasons, many universities operated club football programs in this era (60's and 70's). The [Niagara] team played club football squads from Canisius, St. Bonaventure, Siena, Marist, Scranton, Utica, Detroit, Catholic, Manhattan and others.

    Or he might have founded this article from the Loyola-Marymount of California web site which reads "Playing a schedule against mostly local, small-college opponents, Loyola accumulated a 25-27 record from 1967-1973 playing at the club level. In 1969, the team rolled to a 5-1 record and were voted the best club team in the nation by the National Club Football Association.

    Or this one from the Western New England College web site which notes how a WNEC player was named to the 1980 National Club Football Association (NCFA) All-America Team.

    Or this one from the Duquesne University web site which recounts how "Duquesne's glory years at the Division I level ended with the onset of World War II, as DU was one of the first schools to cancel football to help with the war effort. The war sidelined a Duquesne program that was among the nation's elite. From 1933-45, Duquesne (71-22-2, .762) had the sixth-highest winning percentage in the nation behind Alabama, Tennessee, Duke, Fordham and Notre Dame. After playing football for four years following World War II, Duquesne did not return the gridiron until 1969 after a group of students formed a team at the club level. DU struggled to a 2-4-0 mark in '69 before Dan McCann took over and quickly made the Dukes a force to be reckoned with. McCann's 1972 Dukes finished the season 7-1-0 and ranked No. 3 nationally by the National Club Football Association. The next season, Duquesne improved by defeating Mattatuck CC in the National Club Football Championship game at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium. The title game victory capped a 10-0-0 season for DU. McCann added three more top 10 national finishes before the Dukes elevated to the Division III level prior to the 1979 season.

    Or this one from the St. Francis college web site which notes how one of their players was a "two-time National Club Football Association (NCFA) All-American during his playing career with the Red Flash from 1971-74 while playing three positions (RB/DB/P). He rushed for 3,824 yards in his career and paced the NCFA in rushing in 1974, averaging 143.6 yards-per-game. He led the nation in punting as a senior, averaging 41.8 yards-per-kick.

    I especially like this article from Loyola Marymount because it utterly destroys Olbemann's absurd carping about O'Reilly.

    If your still reading Keith, try and pay attention:

    In 1967 Loyola, driven by the support of its student body, brought football back to the Westchester campus and put together a team that competed in the National Club Football Association (NCFA). Loyola was one of four schools from California (Saint Mary's College, the University of San Francisco and the University of San Diego) to play in the NCFA. The entire association comprised of at least 125 teams nation wide and was held in the same regard as the three main levels of the NCAA and the NAIA. Within two years of coming back and joining the NCFA, the 1969 Loyola football team climbed the ladder of success and was named national champs. Thirty-four years later, LMU will recognize the team that finished 8-1 on the season and ranked No. 1. The 1969 football team will be inducted into the LMU Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 29.

    Notice how none of the teams on O'Reilly NCFA stat sheet are from west of the mississippi but the Loyola Marymount site describes four teams from California and that the Loyola Marymount team played 9 games? Hmmm. Do you think that the teams in California were playing other teams outside of California but maybe west of the Mississippi? Is it just possible that the NCFA with 125 teams spread all across the country had divisions like West and East? Is it possible that the reporter for the New York Times reported the exact context of O'Reilly's game in error? That maybe O'Reilly had it right in spirit and in nomenclature?

    Well, what to make of this, that "The entire [National Club Football] association comprised of at least 125 teams nation wide and was held in the same regard as the three main levels of the NCAA and the NAIA"? Are these other schools all in on the big "boost-O'Reilly" consipracy too?

    On his blog, KO claims that "writing in the official Super Bowl Program that you won the 'punting title' in your 'division' would be like me writing in one of those baseball program articles that I led the nation's high school baseball players in on-base percentage in 1973....I came to bat once, and got hit in the ass with a pitch."

    Actually, it would not.

    Unlike Keith, whose athletic process extended to pointing his rather ample buttocks into an oncoming pitch to spare himself the humiliation of having to swing and miss at a high school fastball O'Reilly averaged an outstanding 41.4 yards per kick. In other words, O'Reilly actually hit the football with his foot and moved the ball down field with oomph - and some regularity.

    Keith then notes "there are a few facts about these statistics that would make the sports-savvy cringe. The runner-up, a punter from New Haven named Potter, averaged only 40.7 yards per kick. But he punted 36 times to O'Reilly's 23" and adds "the 'National Club Football Association' stat sheet offers no minimum number of punts required to be eligible for the championship average for O'Reilly's senior year". KO goes on to claim that a sports statistician looking at these numbers would say that Mr. Potter of New Haven (36 punts, 40.7 average) and Mr. Primerano of St. John's (40 punts, 38.1 average), got jobbed.

    Actually, they wouldn't.

    For a man who professes to know something about sports, it is hard to overstate the level of duplicity in this passage from Bloggerman. Given that the NCFA teams played 9 regular season games, O'Reilly punted 2.6 times per game. Now surely Keith has heard of the National Football League and knows that they keep all sorts of statistics. They play 16 regular season games so help to Keith along I have presented the official stats from the NFL web site with my own calculation of punts per game based on 16 games.

    Below is the official NFL punting statistics for the 2004 football season:

    Rank/Player/Team/# Punts/Gross Avg./Punts/Game
    1 Shane Lechler OAK 73 46.7 4.6
    2 Hunter Smith IND 54 45.2 3.4
    3 Tom Tupa WAS 103 44.1 6.4
    4 Todd Sauerbrun CAR 76 44.1 4.8
    5 Mitch Berger NO 85 43.6 5.3
    6 Sean Landeta STL 40 43.3 2.5
    7 Brian Moorman BUF 77 43.2 4.8
    8 Scott Player ARI 98 43.2 6.1
    9 Mike Scifres SD 69 43.1 4.3
    10 Chris Gardocki PIT 67 43.0 4.2
    11 Brad Maynard CHI 108 42.9 6.8
    12 Chris Hanson JAC 84 42.8 5.3
    13 Craig Hentrich TEN 73 42.7 4.6
    14 Mat McBriar DAL 75 42.4 4.7
    15 Josh Bidwell TB 82 42.3 5.1
    16 Kyle Larson CIN 83 42.2 5.2
    17 Dirk Johnson PHI 72 42.1 4.5
    18 Josh Miller NE 56 42.0 3.5
    19 Matt Turk MIA 98 41.7 6.1
    20 Andy Lee SF 96 41.6 6.0
    21 Micah Knorr DEN 54 41.5 3.4
    22 Jeff Feagles NYG 74 41.5 4.6
    23 Chad Stanley HOU 73 41.2 4.6
    24 Nick Harris DET 92 40.9 5.8
    25 Chris Mohr ATL 76 40.6 4.8
    26 Dave Zastudil BAL 73 40.4 4.6
    27 Bryan Barker GB 66 40.1 4.1
    28 Derrick Frost CLE 85 40.0 5.3
    29 Darren Bennett MIN 57 39.3 3.6
    30 Steve Cheek KC 42 39.1 2.6

    I am not saying that the level of competion in college in 1970 is anywhere remotely close to the NFL today but you will note how the statisticians in the NFL have included two NFL players on the list of punting leaders who have 2.5 and 2.6 punts per game. Their yards per kick average is included on the list which is used to determine the Punting Title for the National Footballl League.

    You will also notice that O'Reilly's 41.4 yards per game stands up pretty well against NFL punters. If O'Reilly had put up the same numbers in the NFL he would have been the 23rd ranked punter in the NFL. If you took out his one muffed punt, the basis for his Super Bowl program column, O'Reilly's average would have been 43.4 yards per game and made O'Reilly the 6th best punter in the NFL, ahead of Sean Landeta, who by the way, is one of the NFL punters who averaged less punts per game in 2004 than O'Reilly did in 1970.

    The rest of the Franken-Olbermann is hardly worth listening to but I have to say I was amazed to hear Olbermann mock Gerald Ford by making a reference to Ford playing back in the days of leather helmets and that explaining his Presidency, in some lame attempt to link Ford's famous pratfalls to getting hit too many times with a soft helmet. Except that Ford was an All-American Football Player at the University of Michigan, ergo one of the best atheletes in the country, and Olbermann is the guy who, according to Wikipedia, damaged his "depth perception in 1980 by rushing to catch a subway car at New York's Shea Stadium and slamming his head into the top of the door frame."

    Talk about a spaz.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (3) | | View blog reactions
    KO Teams with Franken to Found "He-Man O'Reilly-Haters Club"

    The King of Unlistenable and Unlistened Radio met the Prince of Unwatchable and Unwatched Television and the result was a finger-nails-on-chalkboard, Bill O'Reilly hatefest of teacup proportions the other day on Air America Radio.

    With apparently nothing better to do (like fact-check the "news" he puts on the air) Keith has spent a good part of his on-air time parsing the meaning of the word "division" and O'Reilly's supposed motivation for using this word, self-aggrandizement.

    In the tortured mind of Olbermann - a rich, geeky, "spaz" from an elite prep school, Hackely, who grew up in the leafy suburbs of Westchester (NY), one of the wealthiest counties in the country, with the good fortune to have been born into family rich enough to pay for four years at one of the most expensive universities in the county, Cornell - this is not about whether O'Reilly played football at Marist (he did) or whether he was a punter/kicker (he was) or whether he was any good (he was). The "issue" for KO is whether O'Reilly sought to make playing for Marist seem "bigger" by using the word "division".

    In other words, Keith is once again providing an example of why he was the kind of kid who would of had the crap kicked out of him if he showed his face in O'Reilly's Long Island neighborhood.

    And that is more to the point.

    This is not about the Marist football program but about class and envy. It is Keith "Ivy League/ to the manor born" Olbermann v. Bill "hardknocks/ college scholarship basketball player" O'Reilly. It is about Keith's inability to reconcile his entitlement upbringing with his failure as a cable news personality and O'Reilly's position as top dog in a highly-competitive industry. How it must gall Keith to see O'Reilly at the top of the cable ratings week-in and week-out and routinely perched atop the bestseller lists or to know that O'Reilly was a real journalist working or ABC News who covered actual news events like the Falkland War and the wars in Central America (yes, Keith you coward, O'Reilly reported from war zones not locker rooms).

    Olbermann's entire argument hinges on the "subtlety" behind the "nuance" of O'Reilly's "deception". In the Franken interview, Olbermann carefully breaks down the CURRENT structure of college football: NCAA Division I, NCAA Division I-A, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and incorrectly breaks the NAIA down into two divisions (the NAIA abandon divisions several years ago). He then discusses the difference between a "club sport" and a "varsity" sport. Keith should know all about this because in his college days he "covered" both club sports and varsity sports at his college radio station whereas O'Reilly could not possibly understand the difference. He was too busy playing on a club team (Marist Football) and a varsity team (Marist Basketball).

    If you can stand to listen to Franken and Olbermann long enough you will here Keith explain how the "divisions" in college football are all about status and TV rights. As anyone who has listened to an argument over who is the "real" college football National Champ knows full well, college football is not organized like most other sports. In 1970, the NCAA was a weak, umbrella group for various football organizations. The real power in college football was at the conference level - Big 10, Pac 10, SEC, ACC and so on. They were all regional organizations and were each responible for publishing rule books, putting together schedules, providing referees, setting the requirements, signing bowl contracts and TV contracts.

    The NCAA did not even create divisions until 1973:

    The Association's membership was divided into three legislative and competitive divisions in 1973 at the first special Convention ever held. Five years later, Division I members voted to create subdivisions I-A and I-AA in the sport of football.

    Prior to 1973 the NCAA was just one aspect of organized college sports which included indepdent teams (Notre Dame, the military academies), football associations and regional conferences that organized college football programs around the United States. Besides the NCAA there was the National Association of Intercollegiate of Athletics (NAIA), the major conferences like the SEC, Pac 10 and Big 10, conferences compomised of what are now called "Historically Black Colleges and Universities" (HBCU). And another was the National Club Football Association (NCFA) which included, in 1970 and 1971, Marist college.

    In 1973, the newly created NCAA Division II and Division III football began to incorporate a number of smaller college football programs including, over time, many colleges from the NAIA, the HBCUs and the NCFA.

    By Olbermann's definition, the National Club Football Association was not a "division" and therefore O'Reilly's use of the word is incorrect. However, Olbermann's definition of "division" does not apply either because there were NO "divisions" by his standard in 1970-71 - there was a governing body for collegiate athletics, the NCAA, which had no real power over college football and a loose affiliation of regional football conferences and football associations including the NCFA.

    Keith has great fun in riduculing the NCFA as not "real" because the school did not provide funding for equipment, coaches or scholarships.

    The truth is that most colleges even TODAY do not offer scholarships or significant financial support for football including within the NCAA divisions and it was quite common for college players to provide their own equipment and coaches when O'Reilly played for Marist.

    Keith has made much of the NCFA not being a "national" football association so as to mock O'Reilly's "national punting title" and ironically used the unfortunate analogy of saying that comparing NCFA football to college football was like saying broadcasting on a CB radio was equivalent to broadcasting on Air America Radio [note: I say unfortunate here because "real" broadcast networks like ABC and Westwood One (O'Reilly's radio network) consider Air America Radio more akin to CB Radio than anything done by the big boys).

    The truth is that during its existence, the NCFA compromised roughly 125 colleges from all over the country. As the NCAA began to assert more control over college football, many of the NCFA members were incorporated into the various NCAA divisions including Marist College. The NCFA stat sheet that Keith references on Bill O'Reilly's web site lists about 25 of the 125 schools who participated in the NCFA almost of which are currently Divisin I-A, I-AA, II or III schools today: St. John's University (NY Metro), Dusquence University (PA), Siena College (upsate NY), Loyola (LA). St. Francis (PA), New Haven (NY Metro), Westchester Community College (NY Metro), Detroit University (MI), New York Tech. (Upsate NY), St. Louis University (MO), Marist College (upstate NY), Nicholls State (LA), Seton Hall (NY Metro), Manhattan (NY Metro), Virginia Commonwealth (VA), Niagara (Upstate NY), Loran (?), Providence (RI), Kings College (PA), Pat St (?), LSU-New Orleans (LA), Canisius (Upstate NY), Utica (Utica, NY). A Google search showed more schools from all over the country including four from California.

    On his blog, Keith wrote: "The "national" part was not to be taken too literally. In O'Reilly's senior year, 1970, a disproportionate number of the schools were in the New York metropolitan area."

    This is totally false. I don't have access to the complete history of the NCFA but on the NCFA stat sheet on O'Reilly's web site there are just five schools from the New York Metropolitan area (including New Haven in Connecticut and Seton Hall in New Jersey). The rest of the schools were spread around in upstate New York, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Michigan, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Louisiana. I have also documented (below) at least four schools in Califoria and six other schools from west of the Mississippi. This says nothing about the other 100+ schools that played in the NCFA.

    This may not be "national" enough for Olbermann but it a lot less regional than conferences like the SEC and Big Ten.

    KO mocks a note from the Marist football media guide that O'Reilly's team played in the NCFA "national championship game" yet Keith undermines one his main points beacuse it shows that Marist described the NCFA as a national organization long before the Super Bowl. And Keith knew that when he began mocking O'Reilly's statement that the NCFA was a national organization. Nice "journalism" Keith!

    KO also mocks the NCFA for playing it's "national championship game" in Mount Veron at a stadium I know well. My high school, Iona Prep, played there every Thanksgiving in the the annual "Turkey Bowl" against New Rochelle High School (currently one of the top-rated high school teams in New York State) which was always televised on the old WPIX/Channel 11 in New York. The stadium was not "ramshackle" but a perfectly good stadium that was heavily used for local high school and college football - and still is today.

    One other note on stadiums. If Keith wants to knock the NCFA for playing in Memorial Stadium in 1971 then what does he make of Duquesne playing Mattatuck in the National Club Football Championship game at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium, long-time home of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and a bona fide NFL stadium.

    Given the truth about O'Reilly, Marist and the NCFA, the rest of the interview is nonsensical drivel coming from a washed up comedy writer stuck on a third-rate radio show trying to pass himself off as a political analyst and a washed up sports anchor on a third-rate cable news channel trying to pass himself off as a journalist.

    Given Keith's known issues with doing real reporting and research, it is no surprise that Keith did not bother to check the web before mocking the idea of the NCFA having a "national punting title". A quick Google search shows that the NFCA included colleges from all over the country, maintained detailed statistics, recorded and disseminated national rankings and selected an annual "all-america" team.

    Had Keith done his homework he might have founded this article from the Niagara University web site which notes "for financial reasons, many universities operated club football programs in this era (60's and 70's). The [Niagara] team played club football squads from Canisius, St. Bonaventure, Siena, Marist, Scranton, Utica, Detroit, Catholic, Manhattan and others.

    Or he might have founded this article from the Loyola-Marymount of California web site which reads "Playing a schedule against mostly local, small-college opponents, Loyola accumulated a 25-27 record from 1967-1973 playing at the club level. In 1969, the team rolled to a 5-1 record and were voted the best club team in the nation by the National Club Football Association.

    Or this one from the Western New England College web site which notes how a WNEC player was named to the 1980 National Club Football Association (NCFA) All-America Team.

    Or this one from the Duquesne University web site which recounts how "Duquesne's glory years at the Division I level ended with the onset of World War II, as DU was one of the first schools to cancel football to help with the war effort. The war sidelined a Duquesne program that was among the nation's elite. From 1933-45, Duquesne (71-22-2, .762) had the sixth-highest winning percentage in the nation behind Alabama, Tennessee, Duke, Fordham and Notre Dame. After playing football for four years following World War II, Duquesne did not return the gridiron until 1969 after a group of students formed a team at the club level. DU struggled to a 2-4-0 mark in '69 before Dan McCann took over and quickly made the Dukes a force to be reckoned with. McCann's 1972 Dukes finished the season 7-1-0 and ranked No. 3 nationally by the National Club Football Association. The next season, Duquesne improved by defeating Mattatuck CC in the National Club Football Championship game at Pittsburgh's Three Rivers Stadium. The title game victory capped a 10-0-0 season for DU. McCann added three more top 10 national finishes before the Dukes elevated to the Division III level prior to the 1979 season.

    Or this one from the St. Francis college web site which notes how one of their players was a "two-time National Club Football Association (NCFA) All-American during his playing career with the Red Flash from 1971-74 while playing three positions (RB/DB/P). He rushed for 3,824 yards in his career and paced the NCFA in rushing in 1974, averaging 143.6 yards-per-game. He led the nation in punting as a senior, averaging 41.8 yards-per-kick.

    I especially like this article from Loyola Marymount because it utterly destroys Olbemann's absurd carping about O'Reilly.

    If your still reading Keith, try and pay attention:

    In 1967 Loyola, driven by the support of its student body, brought football back to the Westchester campus and put together a team that competed in the National Club Football Association (NCFA). Loyola was one of four schools from California (Saint Mary's College, the University of San Francisco and the University of San Diego) to play in the NCFA. The entire association comprised of at least 125 teams nation wide and was held in the same regard as the three main levels of the NCAA and the NAIA. Within two years of coming back and joining the NCFA, the 1969 Loyola football team climbed the ladder of success and was named national champs. Thirty-four years later, LMU will recognize the team that finished 8-1 on the season and ranked No. 1. The 1969 football team will be inducted into the LMU Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 29.

    Notice how none of the teams on O'Reilly NCFA stat sheet are from west of the mississippi but the Loyola Marymount site describes four teams from California and that the Loyola Marymount team played 9 games? Hmmm. Do you think that the teams in California were playing other teams outside of California but maybe west of the Mississippi? Is it just possible that the NCFA with 125 teams spread all across the country had divisions like West and East? Is it possible that the reporter for the New York Times reported the exact context of O'Reilly's game in error? That maybe O'Reilly had it right in spirit and in nomenclature?

    Well, what to make of this, that "The entire [National Club Football] association comprised of at least 125 teams nation wide and was held in the same regard as the three main levels of the NCAA and the NAIA"? Are these other schools all in on the big "boost-O'Reilly" consipracy too?

    On his blog, KO claims that "writing in the official Super Bowl Program that you won the 'punting title' in your 'division' would be like me writing in one of those baseball program articles that I led the nation's high school baseball players in on-base percentage in 1973....I came to bat once, and got hit in the ass with a pitch."

    Actually, it would not.

    Unlike Keith, whose athletic process extended to pointing his rather ample buttocks into an oncoming pitch to spare himself the humiliation of having to swing and miss at a high school fastball O'Reilly averaged an outstanding 41.4 yards per kick. In other words, O'Reilly actually hit the football with his foot and moved the ball down field with oomph - and some regularity.

    Keith then notes "there are a few facts about these statistics that would make the sports-savvy cringe. The runner-up, a punter from New Haven named Potter, averaged only 40.7 yards per kick. But he punted 36 times to O'Reilly's 23" and adds "the 'National Club Football Association' stat sheet offers no minimum number of punts required to be eligible for the championship average for O'Reilly's senior year". KO goes on to claim that a sports statistician looking at these numbers would say that Mr. Potter of New Haven (36 punts, 40.7 average) and Mr. Primerano of St. John's (40 punts, 38.1 average), got jobbed.

    Actually, they wouldn't.

    For a man who professes to know something about sports, it is hard to overstate the level of duplicity in this passage from Bloggerman. Given that the NCFA teams played 9 regular season games, O'Reilly punted 2.6 times per game. Now surely Keith has heard of the National Football League and knows that they keep all sorts of statistics. They play 16 regular season games so help to Keith along I have presented the official stats from the NFL web site with my own calculation of punts per game based on 16 games.

    Below is the official NFL punting statistics for the 2004 football season:

    Rank/Player/Team/# Punts/Gross Avg./Punts/Game
    1 Shane Lechler OAK 73 46.7 4.6
    2 Hunter Smith IND 54 45.2 3.4
    3 Tom Tupa WAS 103 44.1 6.4
    4 Todd Sauerbrun CAR 76 44.1 4.8
    5 Mitch Berger NO 85 43.6 5.3
    6 Sean Landeta STL 40 43.3 2.5
    7 Brian Moorman BUF 77 43.2 4.8
    8 Scott Player ARI 98 43.2 6.1
    9 Mike Scifres SD 69 43.1 4.3
    10 Chris Gardocki PIT 67 43.0 4.2
    11 Brad Maynard CHI 108 42.9 6.8
    12 Chris Hanson JAC 84 42.8 5.3
    13 Craig Hentrich TEN 73 42.7 4.6
    14 Mat McBriar DAL 75 42.4 4.7
    15 Josh Bidwell TB 82 42.3 5.1
    16 Kyle Larson CIN 83 42.2 5.2
    17 Dirk Johnson PHI 72 42.1 4.5
    18 Josh Miller NE 56 42.0 3.5
    19 Matt Turk MIA 98 41.7 6.1
    20 Andy Lee SF 96 41.6 6.0
    21 Micah Knorr DEN 54 41.5 3.4
    22 Jeff Feagles NYG 74 41.5 4.6
    23 Chad Stanley HOU 73 41.2 4.6
    24 Nick Harris DET 92 40.9 5.8
    25 Chris Mohr ATL 76 40.6 4.8
    26 Dave Zastudil BAL 73 40.4 4.6
    27 Bryan Barker GB 66 40.1 4.1
    28 Derrick Frost CLE 85 40.0 5.3
    29 Darren Bennett MIN 57 39.3 3.6
    30 Steve Cheek KC 42 39.1 2.6

    I am not saying that the level of competion in college in 1970 is anywhere remotely close to the NFL today but you will note how the statisticians in the NFL have included two NFL players on the list of punting leaders who have 2.5 and 2.6 punts per game. Their yards per kick average is included on the list which is used to determine the Punting Title for the National Footballl League.

    You will also notice that O'Reilly's 41.4 yards per game stands up pretty well against NFL punters. If O'Reilly had put up the same numbers in the NFL he would have been the 23rd ranked punter in the NFL. If you took out his one muffed punt, the basis for his Super Bowl program column, O'Reilly's average would have been 43.4 yards per game and made O'Reilly the 6th best punter in the NFL, ahead of Sean Landeta, who by the way, is one of the NFL punters who averaged less punts per game in 2004 than O'Reilly did in 1970.

    The rest of the Franken-Olbermann is hardly worth listening to but I have to say I was amazed to hear Olbermann mock Gerald Ford by making a reference to Ford playing back in the days of leather helmets and that explaining his Presidency, in some lame attempt to link Ford's famous pratfalls to getting hit too many times with a soft helmet. Except that Ford was an All-American Football Player at the University of Michigan, ergo one of the best atheletes in the country, and Olbermann is the guy who, according to Wikipedia, damaged his "depth perception in 1980 by rushing to catch a subway car at New York's Shea Stadium and slamming his head into the top of the door frame."

    Talk about a spaz.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (3) | | View blog reactions
    February 10, 2005
    Countdown - February 10, 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for February 10

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    DUBIOUS WHITE HOUSE REPORTER JEFF GANNON STEPS DOWN: Dana Milbank, Washington Post

    WILL A LARGER GOVERNMENT AND BIGGER DEFICIT ANGER SOME CONSERVATIVES?: John Harwood, Wall Street Journal political editor

    ANOTHER FEMALE TEACHER CAUGHT WITH A MALE STUDENT - ARE TEACHER SEX CRIMES A SIGN OF THE TIMES?: Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney

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

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: KO started out with a a story that has been beaten to death, the failure of intelligence on the 9-11 attack, today's new angle being a newly released portion of the 9-11 Commission report that had been previously held back for security reasons. This whole story is about the worst case of Monday morning quarterbacking I have ever seen, and KO did not disappoint in reaching for something to blame on Bush. First of all, he had on the most partisan Democrat on the Commission to discuss it, Richard Ben Veniste, one of that unique stable of former mob lawyers who then worked for Clinton and now represent the Democratic party.

    KO hammered on the fact that there were 52 different security briefings in the year prior to 9-11 by the FAA that mentioned airline threats, half of them mentioning Al Qaeda, but then when Ben Veniste mentioned there were no specific threats, and then revealed indirectly that they were all thought to be likely on foreign soil, the whole thing fell flat. Ben Veniste actually complimented the CIA by saying a few analysts a month before the attack realized that these attacks "could even happen" on US soil.

    KO must have been disappointed that Ben Veniste really didn't give him much red meat, til they hit on the "cult of secrecy" by the Bush administration in not releasing this report til today. Most of the rest of the segment dwelled upon this horrible secrecy, because there was no there there in the rest of the report.

    KO then turned to today's North Korea story, in which Kim Jong Il stated he had nuclear weapons and that he needed them as a deterrent to threats from America. KO managed to twist that into criticism of Bush by saying to his guest, John Pike of GlobalSecurity.org, that isn't this the result of Bush's policy of pre-emption? So Kim Jong Il is actually Bush's fault, see? No Keith, Il is a psycho, that is the problem, duh!

    KO then moved on to the Gannon story, the upshot of which appears to be that he used a pen name as a reporter. Didn't Dan Rather do the same? This was a typical, all innuedo and sarcastic attitude, no facts story for KO. KO claimed that Gannon was not a real reporter, and that real reporters did things like work in the WH press room. Excuse me, isn't that what Gannon was doing? That made no sense at all.

    Then he quoted some old song about being dressed as a cowboy, and we can all be cowboys---like we can all be reporters? But when you have a cleared press credential and write for a news service that has 700,000 paid subscribers---the only thing that seems to genuinely be under criticism here is that the guy was a conservative, and only liberals asking attack questions are apparently allowed in the WH press room. Can anyone say Helen Thomas? She used to give left wing speeches in the WH press room that could stand up to the gravest test of partisan lunacy that anyone could muster, I do believe.

    His guest on this, David Folkenflik, didn't help out here, confirming that Gannon had a legitimate press pass and that he only got a daily pass which did not involve as extensive a background check.

    There were a number of other brief stories, Giambi, the Pope, keep the Cosby slam alive because we sure can't let him go out there and imply that Blacks are responsible for their own lives for God's sake!, the only one of interest was a brief slam on Fox for listing a job as a fact writer on TVNewser.com. Fox is doing something new, facts, or something like that is what KO said. KO should try that himself some time.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (41) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - February 10, 2005 (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for February 10

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    DUBIOUS WHITE HOUSE REPORTER JEFF GANNON STEPS DOWN: Dana Milbank, Washington Post

    WILL A LARGER GOVERNMENT AND BIGGER DEFICIT ANGER SOME CONSERVATIVES?: John Harwood, Wall Street Journal political editor

    ANOTHER FEMALE TEACHER CAUGHT WITH A MALE STUDENT - ARE TEACHER SEX CRIMES A SIGN OF THE TIMES?: Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney

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

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: KO started out with a a story that has been beaten to death, the failure of intelligence on the 9-11 attack, today's new angle being a newly released portion of the 9-11 Commission report that had been previously held back for security reasons. This whole story is about the worst case of Monday morning quarterbacking I have ever seen, and KO did not disappoint in reaching for something to blame on Bush. First of all, he had on the most partisan Democrat on the Commission to discuss it, Richard Ben Veniste, one of that unique stable of former mob lawyers who then worked for Clinton and now represent the Democratic party.

    KO hammered on the fact that there were 52 different security briefings in the year prior to 9-11 by the FAA that mentioned airline threats, half of them mentioning Al Qaeda, but then when Ben Veniste mentioned there were no specific threats, and then revealed indirectly that they were all thought to be likely on foreign soil, the whole thing fell flat. Ben Veniste actually complimented the CIA by saying a few analysts a month before the attack realized that these attacks "could even happen" on US soil.

    KO must have been disappointed that Ben Veniste really didn't give him much red meat, til they hit on the "cult of secrecy" by the Bush administration in not releasing this report til today. Most of the rest of the segment dwelled upon this horrible secrecy, because there was no there there in the rest of the report.

    KO then turned to today's North Korea story, in which Kim Jong Il stated he had nuclear weapons and that he needed them as a deterrent to threats from America. KO managed to twist that into criticism of Bush by saying to his guest, John Pike of GlobalSecurity.org, that isn't this the result of Bush's policy of pre-emption? So Kim Jong Il is actually Bush's fault, see? No Keith, Il is a psycho, that is the problem, duh!

    KO then moved on to the Gannon story, the upshot of which appears to be that he used a pen name as a reporter. Didn't Dan Rather do the same? This was a typical, all innuedo and sarcastic attitude, no facts story for KO. KO claimed that Gannon was not a real reporter, and that real reporters did things like work in the WH press room. Excuse me, isn't that what Gannon was doing? That made no sense at all.

    Then he quoted some old song about being dressed as a cowboy, and we can all be cowboys---like we can all be reporters? But when you have a cleared press credential and write for a news service that has 700,000 paid subscribers---the only thing that seems to genuinely be under criticism here is that the guy was a conservative, and only liberals asking attack questions are apparently allowed in the WH press room. Can anyone say Helen Thomas? She used to give left wing speeches in the WH press room that could stand up to the gravest test of partisan lunacy that anyone could muster, I do believe.

    His guest on this, David Folkenflik, didn't help out here, confirming that Gannon had a legitimate press pass and that he only got a daily pass which did not involve as extensive a background check.

    There were a number of other brief stories, Giambi, the Pope, keep the Cosby slam alive because we sure can't let him go out there and imply that Blacks are responsible for their own lives for God's sake!, the only one of interest was a brief slam on Fox for listing a job as a fact writer on TVNewser.com. Fox is doing something new, facts, or something like that is what KO said. KO should try that himself some time.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (41) | | View blog reactions
    Why Report When You Can Just Read Blogs Over The Air?

    I don't want to address the bizarre story of Jeff Gannon here, especially since Dan Froomkin has a terrific roundup on the whole story in today's Washington Post. I am certainly not prepared to defend a guy who used a fake name to "report" as a "member" of The White House press corps. This is OlbermannWatch.com so I am going to focus on Keith and his "reporting" on the Gannon story tonight.


    (click image for quicktime movie)
    Jeff Gannon

    Rather than do his own reporting, Keith once again heads to the internet and, without fact-checking, does his usual rip and read from a collection of far-left blogs and other lefty outlets. Keith's "sources" tonight include such estimable media outlets as the lefty Editor & Publisher, the The Daily Kos which even John Kerry broke with during the 2004 campaign and the always high-brow World 'o Crap. KO used sources like Kos and Crap to put bits of inflammatory, unsubstantiated, personal information about "Jeff Gannon" on-air that would not pass the journalistic smell-test in a responsible newsroom.

    Yesterday, that reliably right-wing rag, The Boston Globe, quoted Kelly McBride, an ethicist at the Poynter Institute, saying "the investigation of Gannon's personal life crossed traditional boundaries and was characterized by 'mean-spiritedness and snarkiness.'"

    Countdown, however, isn't just any ordinary newsroom. This is the newsroom that not only cited a fake story on the satirical web site Hoosier Gazetta as an authoratative news source in Indiana but had Keith Olbermann claiming to have direct quotes from a non-existent professor discussing a ficticious report on a study that was made up as a joke.

    Given the various hat tips to the loony left, KO inexpicably failed to credit the Soros-funded lefty propaganda web-site, Media Matters for America, for their well-documented research into Jeff Gannon's history of tossing softball questions at Scott McLellan and, more recently, President Bush.

    Almost all of the Gannon clips Countdown aired were sourced, without credit, directly from David Brock's "crack" ("crack" not "crackhead") research staff at Media Matters for America.

    - Gannon asking about Abu Ghraib Photos v. Saddam Rape Room Photos

    - Gannon asking whether Joe Wilson owes an apology

    - Gannon asking about UN inspector reports saying that Saddam was dismanling WMD sites before and after the war.

    - Gannon asking about an angry mob at Karl Rove's house

    - Gannon asking why the President said he was "reaching out" to press corps when they were supposedly non-partisan

    - Gannon asking whether there would be work requirements in any new welfare reform legislation

    - Gannon asking whether after he left the military he marched with Jane Fonda, testified that U.S. soldiers committed war crimes or tossed away his medals.

    Since David Brock is so often shilling for Keith, the dis is hard to understand.

    What makes all of this especially humorous is Keith's attempt to dismiss Talon News because it is an online news source. In OlbyWorld you can take a blog like World 'o Crap or the Hoosier Gazette at facevalue but a web site from the right is de facto suspect. I am not defending Talon News here just pointing out yet another example Keithpocrisy.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (29) | | View blog reactions
    Why Report When You Can Just Read Blogs Over The Air?

    I don't want to address the bizarre story of Jeff Gannon here, especially since Dan Froomkin has a terrific roundup on the whole story in today's Washington Post. I am certainly not prepared to defend a guy who used a fake name to "report" as a "member" of The White House press corps. This is OlbermannWatch.com so I am going to focus on Keith and his "reporting" on the Gannon story tonight.


    (click image for quicktime movie)
    Jeff Gannon

    Rather than do his own reporting, Keith once again heads to the internet and, without fact-checking, does his usual rip and read from a collection of far-left blogs and other lefty outlets. Keith's "sources" tonight include such estimable media outlets as the lefty Editor & Publisher, the The Daily Kos which even John Kerry broke with during the 2004 campaign and the always high-brow World 'o Crap. KO used sources like Kos and Crap to put bits of inflammatory, unsubstantiated, personal information about "Jeff Gannon" on-air that would not pass the journalistic smell-test in a responsible newsroom.

    Yesterday, that reliably right-wing rag, The Boston Globe, quoted Kelly McBride, an ethicist at the Poynter Institute, saying "the investigation of Gannon's personal life crossed traditional boundaries and was characterized by 'mean-spiritedness and snarkiness.'"

    Countdown, however, isn't just any ordinary newsroom. This is the newsroom that not only cited a fake story on the satirical web site Hoosier Gazetta as an authoratative news source in Indiana but had Keith Olbermann claiming to have direct quotes from a non-existent professor discussing a ficticious report on a study that was made up as a joke.

    Given the various hat tips to the loony left, KO inexpicably failed to credit the Soros-funded lefty propaganda web-site, Media Matters for America, for their well-documented research into Jeff Gannon's history of tossing softball questions at Scott McLellan and, more recently, President Bush.

    Almost all of the Gannon clips Countdown aired were sourced, without credit, directly from David Brock's "crack" ("crack" not "crackhead") research staff at Media Matters for America.

    - Gannon asking about Abu Ghraib Photos v. Saddam Rape Room Photos

    - Gannon asking whether Joe Wilson owes an apology

    - Gannon asking about UN inspector reports saying that Saddam was dismanling WMD sites before and after the war.

    - Gannon asking about an angry mob at Karl Rove's house

    - Gannon asking why the President said he was "reaching out" to press corps when they were supposedly non-partisan

    - Gannon asking whether there would be work requirements in any new welfare reform legislation

    - Gannon asking whether after he left the military he marched with Jane Fonda, testified that U.S. soldiers committed war crimes or tossed away his medals.

    Since David Brock is so often shilling for Keith, the dis is hard to understand.

    What makes all of this especially humorous is Keith's attempt to dismiss Talon News because it is an online news source. In OlbyWorld you can take a blog like World 'o Crap or the Hoosier Gazette at facevalue but a web site from the right is de facto suspect. I am not defending Talon News here just pointing out yet another example Keithpocrisy.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (29) | | View blog reactions
    Olbermann Establishes New Bottom in Year Long Descent into Madness

    Not long ago I asked a friend at MSNBC what exactly the cable network saw in Keith Olbermann. He is not a journalist, he is a disgrace to the title of "news anchor", his ratings are a running joke - MSNBC ratings go down when he comes on and go up when he goes off - and he routinely embarrases himself by pilfering "news" from web sites and blogs, getting his facts wrong and otherwise putting our a shoddy, sloppy news show. The answer: "he's our Jon Stewart". If by that they mean Keith is a joke then maybe they have a point.

    The problem with "being Jon Stewart" is that it requires being funny - a sense of comic timing, knowing the difference between "snarky" and "bitter" oh, and good ratings. Some modicum of stage prescence helps.

    MSNBC would be lucky if Keith were "our Uncle Floyd".

    Exhibit A in Why Keith Olbermann is not anyone's Jon Stewart from last night's trainwreck of a show called Countdown.


    (click image for quicktime movie)
    Beam Me Up


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (5) | | View blog reactions
    Olbermann Establishes New Bottom in Year Long Descent into Madness

    Not long ago I asked a friend at MSNBC what exactly the cable network saw in Keith Olbermann. He is not a journalist, he is a disgrace to the title of "news anchor", his ratings are a running joke - MSNBC ratings go down when he comes on and go up when he goes off - and he routinely embarrases himself by pilfering "news" from web sites and blogs, getting his facts wrong and otherwise putting our a shoddy, sloppy news show. The answer: "he's our Jon Stewart". If by that they mean Keith is a joke then maybe they have a point.

    The problem with "being Jon Stewart" is that it requires being funny - a sense of comic timing, knowing the difference between "snarky" and "bitter" oh, and good ratings. Some modicum of stage prescence helps.

    MSNBC would be lucky if Keith were "our Uncle Floyd".

    Exhibit A in Why Keith Olbermann is not anyone's Jon Stewart from last night's trainwreck of a show called Countdown.


    (click image for quicktime movie)
    Beam Me Up


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (5) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - February 9, 2005 ( 8:00-9:00 pm ET )

    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Wednesday Feb. 9

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    DUBIOUS WHITE HOUSE REPORTER JEFF GANNON STEPS DOWN: Dana Milbank, Washington Post

    WILL A LARGER GOVERNMENT AND BIGGER DEFICIT ANGER SOME CONSERVATIVES?: John Harwood, Wall Street Journal political editor

    ANOTHER FEMALE TEACHER CAUGHT WITH A MALE STUDENT - ARE TEACHER SEX CRIMES A SIGN OF THE TIMES?: Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney

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

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: Bob Cox is going to take a look at Keith's lead story of the day - the Jeff Gannon matter so I am going to let him take that and focus on my theme of the day!

    First up: Good 'Ol Olby refers to Karl Rove as "the man long dentified as Bush's Brain". I'd like to ask: Identified by whom? I am fairly sure this was the title of an anti-Bush book published in 2003. So, does that constitute 'long identified' or has Olby let some of his (non) partisanship slip? I report. You decide! And speaking of reporting and deciding, what a great way to 'olbyconverge' right into the good stuff!

    Last night, my esteemed colleague Mr. Krasner said: "Keith is suffering from Al Franken Syndrome, a malady that afflicks desperate hosts of low-rated programs, prompting them to pick fights with their more talented and popular competition, thinking that the latter will take the bait, and the subsequent artificially created controversy will produce a buzz in the media and higher ratings for them (the aforementioned afflicted)."

    Now, I wonder what competition Mr. Krasner could be speaking of? Hmmmm. Well, I kept hearing the word 'loofah' thrown around. Yea, but that's just a common object, not referring to anyone, right?

    Well, Olby had a nice little piece about a new Law and Order show which he chose to compare to Bill O'Reilly. The law and Order show follows a 'big television figure and author' who is hit with a sexual harassment suit. Ok. With you so far. But here's the shot at O'Reilly that I consider 'out of bounds' even by Olby's standards. He ends the piece by pointing out that the fictional author is shot dead while signing books.

    Here's where Olby takes about a 4 minute break from O'Reilly pot shots to discuss the latest female teacher accused of having sex with a minor student. Good discussion, but fast, because this is more imporatant.

    Olby plugs his next 'Bloggermann' titled "Punt, Bill, Punt". Can someone, anyone, please beg him to read Olbermann watch or check out the clip from Fox and Friends. He has been completely discredited on this and refuses to relent.

    The show ends with something that I can only describe as a Howard Dean/Al Gore breakdown. Our friend Johnny Dollar is working on getting the video because words will never give you a true appreciation of exactly what happened. With the entire background covered with a still picture of O'Reilly sitting at his desk on 'The factor', Olby lost it. When I say Lost it, I mean lost it! It went a little something like this:

    Starring at the still image of O'Reilly, Olby began screaming: Beam me up, Beam me up, Beam me up Now! Please beam me up! He has a loofah! Please, please, beam me up."

    I may be the newest contributor here, but I have never seen Keith have a complete mental breakdown of this magnitude. I think Mr. Krasner's observation last night re: "Franken Syndrome" holds a lot of merit, however, look what Franken syndrome did for Al Gore and Howard Dean. I think this could be the beginning of the end of Olby's sanity, and I cannot wait for each of you to see this video. You're reactions will be priceless!

    BTW: Special thanks to J$ for allowing me to plagiarize a wonderful line he emailed me... Can you guess which one it is?


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - February 9, 2005 ( 8:00-9:00 pm ET )

    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Wednesday Feb. 9

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    DUBIOUS WHITE HOUSE REPORTER JEFF GANNON STEPS DOWN: Dana Milbank, Washington Post

    WILL A LARGER GOVERNMENT AND BIGGER DEFICIT ANGER SOME CONSERVATIVES?: John Harwood, Wall Street Journal political editor

    ANOTHER FEMALE TEACHER CAUGHT WITH A MALE STUDENT - ARE TEACHER SEX CRIMES A SIGN OF THE TIMES?: Jayne Weintraub, criminal defense attorney

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

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: Bob Cox is going to take a look at Keith's lead story of the day - the Jeff Gannon matter so I am going to let him take that and focus on my theme of the day!

    First up: Good 'Ol Olby refers to Karl Rove as "the man long dentified as Bush's Brain". I'd like to ask: Identified by whom? I am fairly sure this was the title of an anti-Bush book published in 2003. So, does that constitute 'long identified' or has Olby let some of his (non) partisanship slip? I report. You decide! And speaking of reporting and deciding, what a great way to 'olbyconverge' right into the good stuff!

    Last night, my esteemed colleague Mr. Krasner said: "Keith is suffering from Al Franken Syndrome, a malady that afflicks desperate hosts of low-rated programs, prompting them to pick fights with their more talented and popular competition, thinking that the latter will take the bait, and the subsequent artificially created controversy will produce a buzz in the media and higher ratings for them (the aforementioned afflicted)."

    Now, I wonder what competition Mr. Krasner could be speaking of? Hmmmm. Well, I kept hearing the word 'loofah' thrown around. Yea, but that's just a common object, not referring to anyone, right?

    Well, Olby had a nice little piece about a new Law and Order show which he chose to compare to Bill O'Reilly. The law and Order show follows a 'big television figure and author' who is hit with a sexual harassment suit. Ok. With you so far. But here's the shot at O'Reilly that I consider 'out of bounds' even by Olby's standards. He ends the piece by pointing out that the fictional author is shot dead while signing books.

    Here's where Olby takes about a 4 minute break from O'Reilly pot shots to discuss the latest female teacher accused of having sex with a minor student. Good discussion, but fast, because this is more imporatant.

    Olby plugs his next 'Bloggermann' titled "Punt, Bill, Punt". Can someone, anyone, please beg him to read Olbermann watch or check out the clip from Fox and Friends. He has been completely discredited on this and refuses to relent.

    The show ends with something that I can only describe as a Howard Dean/Al Gore breakdown. Our friend Johnny Dollar is working on getting the video because words will never give you a true appreciation of exactly what happened. With the entire background covered with a still picture of O'Reilly sitting at his desk on 'The factor', Olby lost it. When I say Lost it, I mean lost it! It went a little something like this:

    Starring at the still image of O'Reilly, Olby began screaming: Beam me up, Beam me up, Beam me up Now! Please beam me up! He has a loofah! Please, please, beam me up."

    I may be the newest contributor here, but I have never seen Keith have a complete mental breakdown of this magnitude. I think Mr. Krasner's observation last night re: "Franken Syndrome" holds a lot of merit, however, look what Franken syndrome did for Al Gore and Howard Dean. I think this could be the beginning of the end of Olby's sanity, and I cannot wait for each of you to see this video. You're reactions will be priceless!

    BTW: Special thanks to J$ for allowing me to plagiarize a wonderful line he emailed me... Can you guess which one it is?


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    Keith Officially Graduates from the Al Franken School of Hairsplitting

    Not since Al Franken accused Neal Boortz of "lying!!!" at 6 a.m. in the morning about which liberal talk show host he invited on his show has so much hot air been spewed about so little... Let's look at how that right-wing rag the New York Times quotes the original Super Bowl piece in question:

    In the essay, Mr. O'Reilly, formerly nicknamed "Go-Go," after the New York Giants kicker Peter Gogolak, describes the crowd's reaction to a botched kick during a game against Iona College.

    "Never mind that I won the national punting title for my division as a senior," wrote Mr. O'Reilly, who has never been loath to boast of his achievements. "Never mind that I split the uprights scores of times. In the hearts and minds of my college peers, I am the man who punted a football backwards."

    So the context here is O'Reilly telling a self-deprecating story about a rough day on the football field, and the "boast" is an aside... How did Olby describe it to begin with?
    He waxed poetic about the inspiration that his own football career at Marist College in New York provided observing that he once punted a ball backwards. But that, quoting here, "I won the national punting title for my division as a senior." [...]

    So when he says he was the top punter in his division in the country in 1970, it does not mean what it sounds like.

    Inspiration? Surely he jests. In the country? Er, no, he said "my division."

    So tonight Olby tried to save face on his blog by splitting already-split hairs:

    I pointed this out — in considerably less detail — on Monday’s edition of Countdown. The point was not that O’Reilly wasn’t a punter/placekicker for a college football team (he was), nor that he wasn’t a good one (he was; he averaged 41.4 yards per punt in 1970) — just that he’d once again conveyed an illusion of grandeur about his accomplishments. There was no “division� for him to win “the national punting title� in while with Marist’s club team in 1970.
    Never mind that Marist College itself insists he won a division... Again, not once does anyone imply that O'Reilly played in the NCAA, yet the use of term "division" for Keith automatically makes O'Reilly a liar.
    The point of all this is, like much of Mr. O’Reilly’s assertions about himself (and others), there’s a lot less than meets the eye in the statement “I won the national punting title for my division as a senior.� There was no division, the outfit was semi-national at best, and the title might have been statistically dubious.
    Still waiting for the point. Now remember, "Countdown" is supposed to be a news show...

    Olby appeared on Franken's low-rated radio talk show along with infamous liar David Brock and Martin "The budget is like Sep. 11" O'Malley... No word if "Zero Spin Zone" Franken quoted the Marist statement, but there has been no correction by Brock's website.

    NOTE: Bulldog Pundit has a few choice words for KO on his latest post.

    UPDATE: The full O'Reilly essay...

    UPDATE II: More comments here...


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    Keith Officially Graduates from the Al Franken School of Hairsplitting

    Not since Al Franken accused Neal Boortz of "lying!!!" at 6 a.m. in the morning about which liberal talk show host he invited on his show has so much hot air been spewed about so little... Let's look at how that right-wing rag the New York Times quotes the original Super Bowl piece in question:

    In the essay, Mr. O'Reilly, formerly nicknamed "Go-Go," after the New York Giants kicker Peter Gogolak, describes the crowd's reaction to a botched kick during a game against Iona College.

    "Never mind that I won the national punting title for my division as a senior," wrote Mr. O'Reilly, who has never been loath to boast of his achievements. "Never mind that I split the uprights scores of times. In the hearts and minds of my college peers, I am the man who punted a football backwards."

    So the context here is O'Reilly telling a self-deprecating story about a rough day on the football field, and the "boast" is an aside... How did Olby describe it to begin with?
    He waxed poetic about the inspiration that his own football career at Marist College in New York provided observing that he once punted a ball backwards. But that, quoting here, "I won the national punting title for my division as a senior." [...]

    So when he says he was the top punter in his division in the country in 1970, it does not mean what it sounds like.

    Inspiration? Surely he jests. In the country? Er, no, he said "my division."

    So tonight Olby tried to save face on his blog by splitting already-split hairs:

    I pointed this out — in considerably less detail — on Monday’s edition of Countdown. The point was not that O’Reilly wasn’t a punter/placekicker for a college football team (he was), nor that he wasn’t a good one (he was; he averaged 41.4 yards per punt in 1970) — just that he’d once again conveyed an illusion of grandeur about his accomplishments. There was no “division� for him to win “the national punting title� in while with Marist’s club team in 1970.
    Never mind that Marist College itself insists he won a division... Again, not once does anyone imply that O'Reilly played in the NCAA, yet the use of term "division" for Keith automatically makes O'Reilly a liar.
    The point of all this is, like much of Mr. O’Reilly’s assertions about himself (and others), there’s a lot less than meets the eye in the statement “I won the national punting title for my division as a senior.� There was no division, the outfit was semi-national at best, and the title might have been statistically dubious.
    Still waiting for the point. Now remember, "Countdown" is supposed to be a news show...

    Olby appeared on Franken's low-rated radio talk show along with infamous liar David Brock and Martin "The budget is like Sep. 11" O'Malley... No word if "Zero Spin Zone" Franken quoted the Marist statement, but there has been no correction by Brock's website.

    NOTE: Bulldog Pundit has a few choice words for KO on his latest post.

    UPDATE: The full O'Reilly essay...

    UPDATE II: More comments here...


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    February 9, 2005
    Full Text of Keith's Incorrect O'Reilly-Super Bowl Remarks

    OLBERMANN: We segue now into our nightly round-up of celebrity and entertainment news, keeping tabs. And it turns out the 2005 Super Bowl was not entirely scandal-free. This year's wasn't about the commercials, the halftime show or even the Philadelphia Eagles' pathetic clock management. It was about the Super Bowl program and Bill O'Reilly. The "Fact or Fiction" host and noted loofah user wrote the so-called end piece of the score card sold at yesterday's little game. He waxed poetic about the inspiration that his own football career at Maris College in New York provided observing that he once punted a ball backwards. But that, quoting here, "I won the national punting title for my division as a senior." O'Reilly concludes that, "I guess you could say the end zone was the beginning of the no-spin zone."

    But Mr. O'Reilly has done a little spinning of his own here. Others might call it resume padding. The football office at Maris told me today that football was not a varsity sport there until 1978. Seven years after O'Reilly graduated. When he played, it was a so-called club sport where players paid all their own expenses and schedules and most importantly, statistical record keeping were haphazard.

    So when he says he was the top punter in his division in the country in 1970, it does not mean what it sounds like. He was not in the NCAA division one or two or the smaller college NAIA Division I or Division II. O'Reilly in Marist played in something called the National Club Football Association. So writing in the Super Bowl program that you won the punting championship in your division would be like me writing in one of my articles in one of the World Series programs that I led the nation's high school baseball players in on-base percentage in 1973.

    I did, too. My on-base percentage that season was 1,000. I came to bat once and got hit in the back side with a pitch.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Full Text of Keith's Incorrect O'Reilly-Super Bowl Remarks

    OLBERMANN: We segue now into our nightly round-up of celebrity and entertainment news, keeping tabs. And it turns out the 2005 Super Bowl was not entirely scandal-free. This year's wasn't about the commercials, the halftime show or even the Philadelphia Eagles' pathetic clock management. It was about the Super Bowl program and Bill O'Reilly. The "Fact or Fiction" host and noted loofah user wrote the so-called end piece of the score card sold at yesterday's little game. He waxed poetic about the inspiration that his own football career at Maris College in New York provided observing that he once punted a ball backwards. But that, quoting here, "I won the national punting title for my division as a senior." O'Reilly concludes that, "I guess you could say the end zone was the beginning of the no-spin zone."

    But Mr. O'Reilly has done a little spinning of his own here. Others might call it resume padding. The football office at Maris told me today that football was not a varsity sport there until 1978. Seven years after O'Reilly graduated. When he played, it was a so-called club sport where players paid all their own expenses and schedules and most importantly, statistical record keeping were haphazard.

    So when he says he was the top punter in his division in the country in 1970, it does not mean what it sounds like. He was not in the NCAA division one or two or the smaller college NAIA Division I or Division II. O'Reilly in Marist played in something called the National Club Football Association. So writing in the Super Bowl program that you won the punting championship in your division would be like me writing in one of my articles in one of the World Series programs that I led the nation's high school baseball players in on-base percentage in 1973.

    I did, too. My on-base percentage that season was 1,000. I came to bat once and got hit in the back side with a pitch.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    "Olbermann's Mistake" on Fox and Friends
    (click image for quicktime movie)
    BO on KO

    E.D. Hill: ...talk about honest...I...I choose...

    Steve Doocy: ...this is a little complicated...

    E.D. Hill: ...do you have it there?...I choose to beleive that Keith Olbermann did not do this intentionally that somehow he got facts that were incorrect...but he certainly came out swinging against our good buddy Bill O'Reilly claiming...this was post Super Bowl...that Bill had really fudged how good a football player he was at Marist college.

    Steve Doocy: great...because apparently at the back of the program, Super Bowl program O'Reilly talked about how he, when he was in college apparently won the national punting title for his division and then Mr. Olbermann shot back on his program, that nobody watches, "Mr. O'Reilly has done a little bit of spinning here of his own others might call it resume padding, the football office at Marist college where he went told me today that football was not a varisty sport there in 1978, seven years after O'Reilly graduated."

    E.D. Hill: OK...well here is the statement from the President of the college he says it "sounds like Keith Olbermann is (sic) splitting hairs here to make a point that is factually incorrect. Mike Malet, a member of the football staff in 1970 confirmed that Bill O'Reilly did indeed win the national punting title for his divison in his senior year"...which is the exact statement that Bill made..."Mr. Olbermann is making a trivial distinction to detract from a record that any athlete would be basically (six) proud of (sic) to list among his accomplishments."

    Steve Doocy: So the big question is now will Mr. Olbermann apologize?

    Judge Napolitano: ohh...don't hold your breath.

    E.D. Hill: is that Bill?

    Steve Doocy: ...which number? number 12?

    Judge Napolitano: That's Bill kicking...number 12 right there...he was a punter, that's Bill.

    E.D. Hill: ...you know he should have been a quarterback because look he is six feet six inches tall.

    Judge Napolitano: he was six-six even then...even as a teenager.

    Steve Doocy: I mean look at that halo that was around him...

    Judge Napolitano: ...wait...a minute that halo is still around him.

    Steve Doocy: yeah!

    E.D. Hill: Bill drew it on himself [laughter] sorry Mr. O'Reilly

    Judge Napolitano: ...this is ridiculous...Bill you're a good man, we're happy to defend ya...

    Steve Doocy: I think that number 62's defending him, what are you talking about?

    E.D. Hill: so...I think Olbermann was probably relying on somebody who, on his staff, who just got it wrong.

    Judge Napolitano: Is Olbermann on the same time as Bill's show.

    E.D. Hill: I dont know.

    Steve Doocy: yes...I do...well...

    E.D. Hill: Are they?

    Steve Doocy: ...seven or eight...

    E.D. Hill: I dont know.

    Steve Doocy: I don't watch it...and neither does anybody else.

    Judge Napolitano: Does anybody?

    E.D. Hill: no

    Steve Doocy: alright...I do know that...I saw that...

    E.D. Hill: That was harsh, that was harsh...some people do.

    Steve Doocy: I do know...yeah...I saw on the Drudge Report thought that according to the cable ratings that came out yesterday afternoon that far more people actually get their news from The Daily Show than watch the Keith Olbermann show...but of couse the top shows in all of cable news were right here, Bill' O'Reilly, Hannity and Colmes, Greta, Brit, Shep.

    Judge Napolitano: Right!

    Steve Doocy: ...and us.

    Judge Napolitano: Fox and Friends.

    E.D. Hill: Thanks very much we beat all those other ones.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    "Olbermann's Mistake" on Fox and Friends
    (click image for quicktime movie)
    BO on KO

    E.D. Hill: ...talk about honest...I...I choose...

    Steve Doocy: ...this is a little complicated...

    E.D. Hill: ...do you have it there?...I choose to beleive that Keith Olbermann did not do this intentionally that somehow he got facts that were incorrect...but he certainly came out swinging against our good buddy Bill O'Reilly claiming...this was post Super Bowl...that Bill had really fudged how good a football player he was at Marist college.

    Steve Doocy: great...because apparently at the back of the program, Super Bowl program O'Reilly talked about how he, when he was in college apparently won the national punting title for his division and then Mr. Olbermann shot back on his program, that nobody watches, "Mr. O'Reilly has done a little bit of spinning here of his own others might call it resume padding, the football office at Marist college where he went told me today that football was not a varisty sport there in 1978, seven years after O'Reilly graduated."

    E.D. Hill: OK...well here is the statement from the President of the college he says it "sounds like Keith Olbermann is (sic) splitting hairs here to make a point that is factually incorrect. Mike Malet, a member of the football staff in 1970 confirmed that Bill O'Reilly did indeed win the national punting title for his divison in his senior year"...which is the exact statement that Bill made..."Mr. Olbermann is making a trivial distinction to detract from a record that any athlete would be basically (six) proud of (sic) to list among his accomplishments."

    Steve Doocy: So the big question is now will Mr. Olbermann apologize?

    Judge Napolitano: ohh...don't hold your breath.

    E.D. Hill: is that Bill?

    Steve Doocy: ...which number? number 12?

    Judge Napolitano: That's Bill kicking...number 12 right there...he was a punter, that's Bill.

    E.D. Hill: ...you know he should have been a quarterback because look he is six feet six inches tall.

    Judge Napolitano: he was six-six even then...even as a teenager.

    Steve Doocy: I mean look at that halo that was around him...

    Judge Napolitano: ...wait...a minute that halo is still around him.

    Steve Doocy: yeah!

    E.D. Hill: Bill drew it on himself [laughter] sorry Mr. O'Reilly

    Judge Napolitano: ...this is ridiculous...Bill you're a good man, we're happy to defend ya...

    Steve Doocy: I think that number 62's defending him, what are you talking about?

    E.D. Hill: so...I think Olbermann was probably relying on somebody who, on his staff, who just got it wrong.

    Judge Napolitano: Is Olbermann on the same time as Bill's show.

    E.D. Hill: I dont know.

    Steve Doocy: yes...I do...well...

    E.D. Hill: Are they?

    Steve Doocy: ...seven or eight...

    E.D. Hill: I dont know.

    Steve Doocy: I don't watch it...and neither does anybody else.

    Judge Napolitano: Does anybody?

    E.D. Hill: no

    Steve Doocy: alright...I do know that...I saw that...

    E.D. Hill: That was harsh, that was harsh...some people do.

    Steve Doocy: I do know...yeah...I saw on the Drudge Report thought that according to the cable ratings that came out yesterday afternoon that far more people actually get their news from The Daily Show than watch the Keith Olbermann show...but of couse the top shows in all of cable news were right here, Bill' O'Reilly, Hannity and Colmes, Greta, Brit, Shep.

    Judge Napolitano: Right!

    Steve Doocy: ...and us.

    Judge Napolitano: Fox and Friends.

    E.D. Hill: Thanks very much we beat all those other ones.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    That Sinking Feeling

    When Drudge reported ratings for Monday night that actually showed Countdown edging ever so slightly above 400,000 viewers, Olby-watchers were intrigued. Was it the relentless bait-and-switch promotion that led viewers to believe he was going to name Deep Throat? Still, since O'Reilly attracted an audience of 2,652,000, the miniscule OlbyBlip doesn't seem all that impressive.

    Now the numbers for Tuesday are out, and it's back to normal for the upside-down news hour:

    THE O'REILLY FACTOR: 2,253,000 viewers
    COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN: 223,000 viewers

    For those who are keeping score, for every viewer who watched Countdown, there were ten watching Mr Bill O'Reilly. The last time KO's ratings sunk this badly we predicted that he would ramp up the attacks on O'Reilly or other broadcasters who actually have viewers--and like Pavlov's dog, Olby didn't disappoint. Forecasting lottery winners, or Super Bowl scores, is a tricky business at best. But predicting the machinations of an insecure blowhard is a piece of cake.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    That Sinking Feeling

    When Drudge reported ratings for Monday night that actually showed Countdown edging ever so slightly above 400,000 viewers, Olby-watchers were intrigued. Was it the relentless bait-and-switch promotion that led viewers to believe he was going to name Deep Throat? Still, since O'Reilly attracted an audience of 2,652,000, the miniscule OlbyBlip doesn't seem all that impressive.

    Now the numbers for Tuesday are out, and it's back to normal for the upside-down news hour:

    THE O'REILLY FACTOR: 2,253,000 viewers
    COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN: 223,000 viewers

    For those who are keeping score, for every viewer who watched Countdown, there were ten watching Mr Bill O'Reilly. The last time KO's ratings sunk this badly we predicted that he would ramp up the attacks on O'Reilly or other broadcasters who actually have viewers--and like Pavlov's dog, Olby didn't disappoint. Forecasting lottery winners, or Super Bowl scores, is a tricky business at best. But predicting the machinations of an insecure blowhard is a piece of cake.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    February 8, 2005
    O'Reilly Calls KO "One Troubled Guy"

    Bill O'Reilly on The Factor tonight slammed Keith Olbermann calling him "one troubled guy" and calling MSNBC a "grossly irresponsible" network.


    (click image for quicktime movie)
    BO on KO

    O'Reilly: ...the usual suspects have maligned [my recent] article. The New York Times made a snide remark about it and our desperate competitor at MSNBC implied the piece wasn't true, of course, every word of it is true but that is one trouble guy over there working for a grossly irresponsible operation...


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    O'Reilly Calls KO "One Troubled Guy"

    Bill O'Reilly on The Factor tonight slammed Keith Olbermann calling him "one troubled guy" and calling MSNBC a "grossly irresponsible" network.


    (click image for quicktime movie)
    BO on KO

    O'Reilly: ...the usual suspects have maligned [my recent] article. The New York Times made a snide remark about it and our desperate competitor at MSNBC implied the piece wasn't true, of course, every word of it is true but that is one trouble guy over there working for a grossly irresponsible operation...


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

    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for February 8

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Topics/Guests:
    FEDERAL JUDGE DISMISSES THE ARMY'S "STOP LOSS" LAWSUIT: Paul Rieckhoff, Operation Truth

    A FOUR YEAR-OLD BOY DRIVES HIS MOTHER'S CAR TO THE VIDEO STORE: Doug Heugel, Sand Lake, Mich. Police Chief

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: Updated: 2:46 p.m. ET Feb. 9, 2005

    Guest: Martin Fletcher, Andrea Mitchell, Paul Rieckhoff, Jack Curry, Doug Heugel

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: KO began with the Mideast cease-fire agreement, describing it as merely oral. Keith sounded skeptical about the prospects, but NBC foreign correspondent Martin Fletcher was upbeat and expressed hope. Dog That Didn't Bark: any mention of the unrelenting insipid and naive 4-year Democrat rant that the Bush Administration would not engage Israel and the PLO in negotiations.

    Keith tackled the raging debate about the volunteer army and the ruling upholding the Pentagon's Stop-Loss program. But there wasn't a "debate". That would have been fair and balanced. So we don't know if there are two sides to the story. Instead, KO threw softballs to Paul Riekhoff. The only lesson one should take away from this is to always read every word of a contract before signing on the line that is dotted.

    Keith could not in good conscience discuss Jose Canseco's tales of steroid use in baseball without devoting a good portion of it to the allegation that President Bush was aware of steroid use among the Texas Rangers while he was part owner of the team. Keith dangled the question of "guilty knowledge" in front of NY Times' Jack Curry, but to his credit he didn't bite, and gave a fair and balanced response. No home run for Keith.

    Now that Bill Cosby has strayed off the liberal reservation by uttering offensive words like "personal responsibility", Keith should have felt no qualms about reporting on (denied) allegations that Bill "drugged and fondled" someone. I say, at least Cosby didn't rape Yuanita Broderick, an allegation still not denied by another 'Bill', to my knowledge.

    Finally, KO introed his Oddball segment, saying "ask yourself Bill, why are you afraid to report these facts?" He was referring to Bill O'Reilly. Keith is suffering from Al Franken Syndrome, a malady that afflicks desperate hosts of low-rated programs, prompting them to pick fights with their more talented and popular competition, thinking that the latter will take the bait, and the subsequent artificially created controversy will produce a buzz in the media and higher ratings for them (the aforementioned afflicted). Pie in the sky? I did say he's desperate.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (4) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - February 8, 2005 ( 8:00-9:00 pm ET )

    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for February 8

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Topics/Guests:
    FEDERAL JUDGE DISMISSES THE ARMY'S "STOP LOSS" LAWSUIT: Paul Rieckhoff, Operation Truth

    A FOUR YEAR-OLD BOY DRIVES HIS MOTHER'S CAR TO THE VIDEO STORE: Doug Heugel, Sand Lake, Mich. Police Chief

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: Updated: 2:46 p.m. ET Feb. 9, 2005

    Guest: Martin Fletcher, Andrea Mitchell, Paul Rieckhoff, Jack Curry, Doug Heugel

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: KO began with the Mideast cease-fire agreement, describing it as merely oral. Keith sounded skeptical about the prospects, but NBC foreign correspondent Martin Fletcher was upbeat and expressed hope. Dog That Didn't Bark: any mention of the unrelenting insipid and naive 4-year Democrat rant that the Bush Administration would not engage Israel and the PLO in negotiations.

    Keith tackled the raging debate about the volunteer army and the ruling upholding the Pentagon's Stop-Loss program. But there wasn't a "debate". That would have been fair and balanced. So we don't know if there are two sides to the story. Instead, KO threw softballs to Paul Riekhoff. The only lesson one should take away from this is to always read every word of a contract before signing on the line that is dotted.

    Keith could not in good conscience discuss Jose Canseco's tales of steroid use in baseball without devoting a good portion of it to the allegation that President Bush was aware of steroid use among the Texas Rangers while he was part owner of the team. Keith dangled the question of "guilty knowledge" in front of NY Times' Jack Curry, but to his credit he didn't bite, and gave a fair and balanced response. No home run for Keith.

    Now that Bill Cosby has strayed off the liberal reservation by uttering offensive words like "personal responsibility", Keith should have felt no qualms about reporting on (denied) allegations that Bill "drugged and fondled" someone. I say, at least Cosby didn't rape Yuanita Broderick, an allegation still not denied by another 'Bill', to my knowledge.

    Finally, KO introed his Oddball segment, saying "ask yourself Bill, why are you afraid to report these facts?" He was referring to Bill O'Reilly. Keith is suffering from Al Franken Syndrome, a malady that afflicks desperate hosts of low-rated programs, prompting them to pick fights with their more talented and popular competition, thinking that the latter will take the bait, and the subsequent artificially created controversy will produce a buzz in the media and higher ratings for them (the aforementioned afflicted). Pie in the sky? I did say he's desperate.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (4) | | View blog reactions
    Don Imus: Nobody Watches Olbermann

    It's one thing for journalist Cal Thomas on MSNBC's competing network to remind us that no one watches Countdown with Keith Olbermann. But it must have stung for Keith to have heard it said this morning from one of his own colleagues at MSNBC.

    At about 6:38 AM EST during his MSNBC morning program, Imus expressed disdain for Olbermann's comedy bit on Monday's Countdown comparing the Pope's blessing to Ashlee Simpson lip-sync debacle on SNL (mentioned in Johnny Dollar's Olby Guide Monday, with transcripts likely available by Tuesday afternoon) .

    Imus described Keith's bit and how the in-studio sycophants chuckled. He thought the whole deal was in poor taste and a disrespectful excercise to get laughs at the expense of the head of the Catholic religion, who had almost died recently. Imus lashed back at KO, saying that "fortunately" (perhaps for Christians and MSNBC execs alike), no one watches Keith's show.

    When the king of bad taste humor reprimands you for gratuitously bad taste, then you have an idea just how low you went. This is the second time in recent weeks in which Imus razzed Olbermann on the latter's modest viewership. He made similar comments just prior to his move to MSNBC's Secaucus studio.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (7) | | View blog reactions
    Don Imus: Nobody Watches Olbermann

    It's one thing for journalist Cal Thomas on MSNBC's competing network to remind us that no one watches Countdown with Keith Olbermann. But it must have stung for Keith to have heard it said this morning from one of his own colleagues at MSNBC.

    At about 6:38 AM EST during his MSNBC morning program, Imus expressed disdain for Olbermann's comedy bit on Monday's Countdown comparing the Pope's blessing to Ashlee Simpson lip-sync debacle on SNL (mentioned in Johnny Dollar's Olby Guide Monday, with transcripts likely available by Tuesday afternoon) .

    Imus described Keith's bit and how the in-studio sycophants chuckled. He thought the whole deal was in poor taste and a disrespectful excercise to get laughs at the expense of the head of the Catholic religion, who had almost died recently. Imus lashed back at KO, saying that "fortunately" (perhaps for Christians and MSNBC execs alike), no one watches Keith's show.

    When the king of bad taste humor reprimands you for gratuitously bad taste, then you have an idea just how low you went. This is the second time in recent weeks in which Imus razzed Olbermann on the latter's modest viewership. He made similar comments just prior to his move to MSNBC's Secaucus studio.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (7) | | View blog reactions
    February 7, 2005
    Countdown - February 7, 2005 ( 8:00-9:00 pm ET )

    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Feb. 7

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Guests: John Dean, Peter Riegert, Jerry Della Femina

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: Updated: 3:58 p.m. ET Feb. 8, 2005

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE:The most important story of the day, according to Olby, is Watergate and the mysterious Deep Throat. The news: we don't know who he is. John Dean came on (relentlessly promo'd over the course of today as "the man who knows") and, surprisingly enough, didn't know who Deep Throat is, other than that he has heard hearsay that DT is "ill":

    DEAN: I just thought, let's keep it stirred up...it's the perfect example of the epitome of an anonymous source....We won't know until that final moment comes.

    After flogging this non-story relentlessly for 13 minutes ("we could talk about this for another 17 hours", Keith gushed to convicted felon Dean) he did see fit to use an OlbyConvergence segue to a few words about the Pope's health. Olby showed his good taste by comparing the Pope's blessing to an Ashlee Simpson lip-sync job.

    #4: Emergency room treatment in 33 minutes. Thanks to the overwhelming importance of the first story, this segment ran barely three minutes. Teasers included another picture of Bill O'Reilly (the first was in the show opening).

    #3: The judge who was pulled over for drunk driving. By this point, the "news hour" is starting to resemble a random collection of those odd little stories that newspapers used to put at the bottom of the page to fill column space. Unmentioned by KO (but pointed out to us by commenter Paul S) is that this Judge just happens to be a Democrat--the only Democrat on the Ohio Supreme Court. I'm sure the omission of this fact was just an oversight. Somehow this gets morphed into a story on half-naked female prison guards in Iraq. Keith made sure the photos stayed up on the screen as the camera slowly zoomed in.

    Next came a recycled NBC report about the President's budget and a few words about Rice's trip. Obviously none of this deserved all the attention given to a truly monumental news item: Deep Throat Is Still Unknown. And then:

    OLBERMANN: Speaking of messes, Bill O'Reilly has another one, all of his own making again. Super-hyperbole at the Super Bowl.

    Yes, more videos of O'Reilly. Followed by yet another tease:

    OLBERMANN: The Super Bowl unplugged, from Bill O'Reilly's padded sports resume to the last-minute yanking of a tv commercial.

    KO's obsession is getting just a bit, well, creepy. When Olby moves into a new neighborhood, does some alternate version of Megan's Law come into play?

    #2: Interview on the death of actor John Vernon. Followed by "Keeping Tabs", where Olby finally got to talk about Bill O'Reilly, whom he called the "Factor fiction host". Mr Bill said in the Super Bowl program that he won the national punting title for his division as a senior. But Keith is a hard-hitting investigative reporter (except for vote fraud outside of Ohio) and he called Marist college to get to the bottom of this scandal. The big scoop? At that time, Marist wasn't playing in the NCAA, but in the National Club Football Association. And what's more, record keeping could be "haphazard".

    So Olby is saying what exactly? O'Reilly didn't win the punting title? No, he didn't say that. So what precisely is the "mess" that KO hammered interminably throughout the longest sixty minutes in cable news? Does it exist anywhere other than in Keith's tortured subconscious? Just what exactly is Olby's point? Please use the comments feature to explain just how this latest example of Olbermann's Obsession amounts to anything other than the square root of zero.

    #1: The go-daddy.com Super Bowl ad. It's hard to think straight after sitting through all this but I think this is the only segment of the show without some reference to Bill O'Reilly.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (11) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - February 7, 2005 ( 8:00-9:00 pm ET )

    'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for Feb. 7

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Guests: John Dean, Peter Riegert, Jerry Della Femina

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: Updated: 3:58 p.m. ET Feb. 8, 2005

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE:The most important story of the day, according to Olby, is Watergate and the mysterious Deep Throat. The news: we don't know who he is. John Dean came on (relentlessly promo'd over the course of today as "the man who knows") and, surprisingly enough, didn't know who Deep Throat is, other than that he has heard hearsay that DT is "ill":

    DEAN: I just thought, let's keep it stirred up...it's the perfect example of the epitome of an anonymous source....We won't know until that final moment comes.

    After flogging this non-story relentlessly for 13 minutes ("we could talk about this for another 17 hours", Keith gushed to convicted felon Dean) he did see fit to use an OlbyConvergence segue to a few words about the Pope's health. Olby showed his good taste by comparing the Pope's blessing to an Ashlee Simpson lip-sync job.

    #4: Emergency room treatment in 33 minutes. Thanks to the overwhelming importance of the first story, this segment ran barely three minutes. Teasers included another picture of Bill O'Reilly (the first was in the show opening).

    #3: The judge who was pulled over for drunk driving. By this point, the "news hour" is starting to resemble a random collection of those odd little stories that newspapers used to put at the bottom of the page to fill column space. Unmentioned by KO (but pointed out to us by commenter Paul S) is that this Judge just happens to be a Democrat--the only Democrat on the Ohio Supreme Court. I'm sure the omission of this fact was just an oversight. Somehow this gets morphed into a story on half-naked female prison guards in Iraq. Keith made sure the photos stayed up on the screen as the camera slowly zoomed in.

    Next came a recycled NBC report about the President's budget and a few words about Rice's trip. Obviously none of this deserved all the attention given to a truly monumental news item: Deep Throat Is Still Unknown. And then:

    OLBERMANN: Speaking of messes, Bill O'Reilly has another one, all of his own making again. Super-hyperbole at the Super Bowl.

    Yes, more videos of O'Reilly. Followed by yet another tease:

    OLBERMANN: The Super Bowl unplugged, from Bill O'Reilly's padded sports resume to the last-minute yanking of a tv commercial.

    KO's obsession is getting just a bit, well, creepy. When Olby moves into a new neighborhood, does some alternate version of Megan's Law come into play?

    #2: Interview on the death of actor John Vernon. Followed by "Keeping Tabs", where Olby finally got to talk about Bill O'Reilly, whom he called the "Factor fiction host". Mr Bill said in the Super Bowl program that he won the national punting title for his division as a senior. But Keith is a hard-hitting investigative reporter (except for vote fraud outside of Ohio) and he called Marist college to get to the bottom of this scandal. The big scoop? At that time, Marist wasn't playing in the NCAA, but in the National Club Football Association. And what's more, record keeping could be "haphazard".

    So Olby is saying what exactly? O'Reilly didn't win the punting title? No, he didn't say that. So what precisely is the "mess" that KO hammered interminably throughout the longest sixty minutes in cable news? Does it exist anywhere other than in Keith's tortured subconscious? Just what exactly is Olby's point? Please use the comments feature to explain just how this latest example of Olbermann's Obsession amounts to anything other than the square root of zero.

    #1: The go-daddy.com Super Bowl ad. It's hard to think straight after sitting through all this but I think this is the only segment of the show without some reference to Bill O'Reilly.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (11) | | View blog reactions
    February 6, 2005
    Olby Takes The Bait

    Shirley Regedale writes in the DesMoines Register that she believes James Dobson had somehow tricked NY Times journalist David D. Kirkpatrick into hyping and misrepresenting what Dobson contended about SpongeBob, the pro-gay agenda of the left and all the rest. This, she believes, is the trend: Religious conservatives make intentionally suggestive or vague statements; the liberal media fills in the gaps, claiming to know what the "fundies" meant to say or what they were really thinking. And then the onslaught of indignant people from the red states react.

    Regedale mentions Olby as one such news interpreter/slanter who took the bait and got reeled in:

    To that point, one only need read Dobson's column, "Setting the Record Straight," on the SpongeBob flap online or Family News in Focus editor Gary Schneeberger's column boasting about how Keith Olbermann was bombarded with 30,000 e-mail protests from Dobson supporters after he "mocked Dobson's concerns about the pro-homosexual history of the group behind a music video featuring SpongeBob and a host of other beloved cartoon characters."


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (23) | | View blog reactions
    Olby Takes The Bait

    Shirley Regedale writes in the DesMoines Register that she believes James Dobson had somehow tricked NY Times journalist David D. Kirkpatrick into hyping and misrepresenting what Dobson contended about SpongeBob, the pro-gay agenda of the left and all the rest. This, she believes, is the trend: Religious conservatives make intentionally suggestive or vague statements; the liberal media fills in the gaps, claiming to know what the "fundies" meant to say or what they were really thinking. And then the onslaught of indignant people from the red states react.

    Regedale mentions Olby as one such news interpreter/slanter who took the bait and got reeled in:

    To that point, one only need read Dobson's column, "Setting the Record Straight," on the SpongeBob flap online or Family News in Focus editor Gary Schneeberger's column boasting about how Keith Olbermann was bombarded with 30,000 e-mail protests from Dobson supporters after he "mocked Dobson's concerns about the pro-homosexual history of the group behind a music video featuring SpongeBob and a host of other beloved cartoon characters."


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (23) | | View blog reactions
    February 5, 2005
    Cal Thomas: Nobody Watches Olbermann

    James Dobson appeared tonight as a guest on "After Hours", the Fox interview program hosted by journalist/pundit Cal Thomas. Dr. Dobson reiterated how the news media had misquoted him saying that the Spongebob cartoon character was gay.

    (click image for quicktime movie)
    Dobson on KO

    Dobson: ...the New York Times and the LA Times, and...Keith Olbermann especially who continues to say things that are not true. I mean that guy can be vicisous...

    Thomas: I'm sorry, nobody watches him anyway...

    Dobson: ...I hope not.

    Thomas: ...that's another network, nah nobody's watching that anyway.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (4) | | View blog reactions
    Cal Thomas: Nobody Watches Olbermann

    James Dobson appeared tonight as a guest on "After Hours", the Fox interview program hosted by journalist/pundit Cal Thomas. Dr. Dobson reiterated how the news media had misquoted him saying that the Spongebob cartoon character was gay.

    (click image for quicktime movie)
    Dobson on KO

    Dobson: ...the New York Times and the LA Times, and...Keith Olbermann especially who continues to say things that are not true. I mean that guy can be vicisous...

    Thomas: I'm sorry, nobody watches him anyway...

    Dobson: ...I hope not.

    Thomas: ...that's another network, nah nobody's watching that anyway.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (4) | | View blog reactions
    February 4, 2005
    Keith's Number One Story...

    Bluto: What the fuck happened to the Delta I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer...

    Otter: Dead! Bluto's right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part...let's watch Keith Olbermann on Countdown.

    (note: OK, I made that last part up)


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Keith's Number One Story...

    Bluto: What the fuck happened to the Delta I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? "Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble." Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer...

    Otter: Dead! Bluto's right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now we could do it with conventional weapons that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part...let's watch Keith Olbermann on Countdown.

    (note: OK, I made that last part up)


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    More MRC Plaudits for Keith

    Quite the day for MSNBC... First an MRC Reality Check on Keith's colleague, and now a CyberAlert on Olby himself:

    A September 4, 1967 New York Times story headlined, "U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote: Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror," is gaining momentum as the favorite anecdote of liberal journalists interested in undermining any good feelings about the election in Iraq. On Thursday's Imus in the Morning, prompted by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, Times veteran R.W. "Johnny" Apple asserted: "I was struck by the similarity between the euphoric reaction in Washington after the elections there [Vietnam] in 1967 and the euphoric reactions to the elections in Iraq. I'll just read you one, the lead paragraph of a piece from that year in the Times..." MSNBC's Keith Olbermann read the same passage Thursday night on Countdown.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (3) | | View blog reactions
    More MRC Plaudits for Keith

    Quite the day for MSNBC... First an MRC Reality Check on Keith's colleague, and now a CyberAlert on Olby himself:

    A September 4, 1967 New York Times story headlined, "U.S. Encouraged by Vietnam Vote: Officials Cite 83% Turnout Despite Vietcong Terror," is gaining momentum as the favorite anecdote of liberal journalists interested in undermining any good feelings about the election in Iraq. On Thursday's Imus in the Morning, prompted by New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd, Times veteran R.W. "Johnny" Apple asserted: "I was struck by the similarity between the euphoric reaction in Washington after the elections there [Vietnam] in 1967 and the euphoric reactions to the elections in Iraq. I'll just read you one, the lead paragraph of a piece from that year in the Times..." MSNBC's Keith Olbermann read the same passage Thursday night on Countdown.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (3) | | View blog reactions
    February 3, 2005
    Olby Strikes Again!

    KO caught Lorie Byrd by surprise tonight and appears to have worked that 'Olbymagic' which immediately prompted her to ask the question:

    "Does the guy do any research at all?"

    Lorie soon learned the dirty little secret hinted at on this site a few times: No! He doesn't!

    Lorie does a 'bang-up' job at Polipundit and her post on tonights Countdown is a 'must-see'!

    I sure hope this run-in with KO doesn't slow her down. That nauseaus feeling will go away. I promise!


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    Olby Strikes Again!

    KO caught Lorie Byrd by surprise tonight and appears to have worked that 'Olbymagic' which immediately prompted her to ask the question:

    "Does the guy do any research at all?"

    Lorie soon learned the dirty little secret hinted at on this site a few times: No! He doesn't!

    Lorie does a 'bang-up' job at Polipundit and her post on tonights Countdown is a 'must-see'!

    I sure hope this run-in with KO doesn't slow her down. That nauseaus feeling will go away. I promise!


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - February 3, 2005 ( 8:00-9:00 pm ET )

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    AFTER 3 ½ YEARS OF TEETERING IS THE BUSH WHITE HOUSE BEGINNING TO GEL?: Howard Fineman, chief political correspondent, Newsweek, NBC News analyst; Michael Duffy, Washington Bureau Chief, Time magazine

    IS THE BUSH SOCIAL SECURITY PLAN A GOOD IDEA?: Tyler Mathisen, co-anchor, CNBC's "Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo and Tyler Mathisen"

    AN UPDATE ON THE POPE'S HEALTH: Stephen Weeke, NBC News correspondent

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

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE:
    This was without a doubt the most offensively partisan hack Countdown show that I have ever seen, and that is saying a lot. There was plenty of news for KO to twist, turn, and ignore any facts that may dispute his far left Bush hating views. But wait, I forgot, KO is the only non partisan journalist reporting news out there. Right.

    He even managed to get in a shot at Ken Blackwell, the Ohio Secretary of State, when he mentioned during a piece on possible vote fraud in Iraq that they as yet have no "Secretary of State". I doubt the younger demographic he is going for could even track with that one.

    The show started with a long piece on Bush's plan to reform Social Security, filled with cynical cheap shots and flat out inaccurate information. If there is any good reason to reform a program that is, oh, only 3.7 trillion dollars in debt you sure wouldn't hear it on Countdown. Instead we hear that Bush is altering one of the lynchpins of FDR's beloved programs--oh really, you mean the Social Security plan that FDR intended for widows that was supposed to move to private annuities? (hat tip to Gary Krasner).

    Guest Tyler Matheson chatted it up about how private accounts would not solve any problems (uh, except increasing returns from 1% to 6 or 7%, but other than that...), that ok sure, a company that was in the position that Soc Sec will be in 2042 would be called bankrupt, but it all depends on what you mean by bankrupt, and it really will only be paying less benefits (and those huge $1200 a month benefit payments it is paying now can surely be reduced without hurting anyone, right?)because, well, not to sound like Clinton with "depends on what the meaning of what is, is, and uh, one stupid thing after another to give a totally biased and dishonest view of Bush's plan.

    All of this topped off with a clip of Democrats, holy beautiful life saving Democrats, saying this is a good plan and we only have to "tinker" with it. On and on with biased nonsense to undermine Bush, it even got to the point of Matheson saying that everyone who works in the financial business has "sticky fingers" suggesting that that is what will happen to the private investment accounts anyway, those who administer them will steal all the profits. Pathetic.

    This is probably too much about this show already, considering how truly poor it was, but other segments included KO reporting on the Iraqi election by speculating, what if something goes terribly wrong in Iraq, let's hear all about the violence after the vote, there was a vote in Vietnam that looked good too, and look what happened there, yada yada yada. Not a word about what a tremendous victory it was for Bush and his policies.

    Not a bit of hope in anything KO said about anything! He even predicted that 2007 and 2008 would be "less than pleasant in the White House". On what basis he made this claim is mystifying, and why he would even be speculating about that suggests some kind of massive self pity over how well Bush is doing.

    This was one of the worst news casts I have ever seen, bar none. Totally biased, dishonest, unbelievably cynical, let's face it, KO is a loser. Please MSNBC, pull the plug on this nightmare.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - February 3, 2005 ( 8:00-9:00 pm ET )

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    AFTER 3 ½ YEARS OF TEETERING IS THE BUSH WHITE HOUSE BEGINNING TO GEL?: Howard Fineman, chief political correspondent, Newsweek, NBC News analyst; Michael Duffy, Washington Bureau Chief, Time magazine

    IS THE BUSH SOCIAL SECURITY PLAN A GOOD IDEA?: Tyler Mathisen, co-anchor, CNBC's "Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo and Tyler Mathisen"

    AN UPDATE ON THE POPE'S HEALTH: Stephen Weeke, NBC News correspondent

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

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE:
    This was without a doubt the most offensively partisan hack Countdown show that I have ever seen, and that is saying a lot. There was plenty of news for KO to twist, turn, and ignore any facts that may dispute his far left Bush hating views. But wait, I forgot, KO is the only non partisan journalist reporting news out there. Right.

    He even managed to get in a shot at Ken Blackwell, the Ohio Secretary of State, when he mentioned during a piece on possible vote fraud in Iraq that they as yet have no "Secretary of State". I doubt the younger demographic he is going for could even track with that one.

    The show started with a long piece on Bush's plan to reform Social Security, filled with cynical cheap shots and flat out inaccurate information. If there is any good reason to reform a program that is, oh, only 3.7 trillion dollars in debt you sure wouldn't hear it on Countdown. Instead we hear that Bush is altering one of the lynchpins of FDR's beloved programs--oh really, you mean the Social Security plan that FDR intended for widows that was supposed to move to private annuities? (hat tip to Gary Krasner).

    Guest Tyler Matheson chatted it up about how private accounts would not solve any problems (uh, except increasing returns from 1% to 6 or 7%, but other than that...), that ok sure, a company that was in the position that Soc Sec will be in 2042 would be called bankrupt, but it all depends on what you mean by bankrupt, and it really will only be paying less benefits (and those huge $1200 a month benefit payments it is paying now can surely be reduced without hurting anyone, right?)because, well, not to sound like Clinton with "depends on what the meaning of what is, is, and uh, one stupid thing after another to give a totally biased and dishonest view of Bush's plan.

    All of this topped off with a clip of Democrats, holy beautiful life saving Democrats, saying this is a good plan and we only have to "tinker" with it. On and on with biased nonsense to undermine Bush, it even got to the point of Matheson saying that everyone who works in the financial business has "sticky fingers" suggesting that that is what will happen to the private investment accounts anyway, those who administer them will steal all the profits. Pathetic.

    This is probably too much about this show already, considering how truly poor it was, but other segments included KO reporting on the Iraqi election by speculating, what if something goes terribly wrong in Iraq, let's hear all about the violence after the vote, there was a vote in Vietnam that looked good too, and look what happened there, yada yada yada. Not a word about what a tremendous victory it was for Bush and his policies.

    Not a bit of hope in anything KO said about anything! He even predicted that 2007 and 2008 would be "less than pleasant in the White House". On what basis he made this claim is mystifying, and why he would even be speculating about that suggests some kind of massive self pity over how well Bush is doing.

    This was one of the worst news casts I have ever seen, bar none. Totally biased, dishonest, unbelievably cynical, let's face it, KO is a loser. Please MSNBC, pull the plug on this nightmare.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Limbaugh Rips Olbermann a New One

    Calls Countdown the Kook Hour

    One could hardly imagine how anyone could demogogue that silly GI Joe doll fraudulently being used in a supposed terrorist hostage video. Yet Olbermann found a way, and Rush Limbaugh gave him a "what for" in return:

    All right, so then we moved to eight o'clock on MSNBC when it was time for the kook portion of that network. Keith Olbermann, and he finally found a way to put the spin on this story that you would expect from a kook, and that is somehow this is America's fault, blame America first. He went out and found a guest, a terrorism consultant by the name of Evan Coleman, and Olbermann said, "Is there doubt that this is a fraud?"

    Rush then quoted the following exchange between Olbermann and Coleman:

    COLEMAN: No. There's really no doubt. A close analysis of the photo itself revealed that the photo had been edited sloppily and you could actually see the pixels that had been edited. Unless this guy has a perpendicular slab of skin hanging off his face he's not real and I think what really hit the mark here was that looking at the banner that was behind him that, that banner was supposed to be the banner of Zarqawi's group, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, yet the writing on it appeared to most of us that actually know Arabic, it appeared to have been written by someone or traced by someone with no knowledge of the Arabic language. So in terms of your earlier question, I think the answer is we look like we may have another Benjamin Vanderford-style hoax here, a hoax that may have come actually from inside the United States.

    OLBERMANN: Is there any suggestion that -- besides when you just referred to that it's -- that it's not necessarily from the Middle East? Because it does -- it seems farfetched that some would-be terrorist in Iraq would really think that no one would notice that they've photographed a toy as a hostage.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (5) | | View blog reactions
    Limbaugh Rips Olbermann a New One

    Calls Countdown the Kook Hour

    One could hardly imagine how anyone could demogogue that silly GI Joe doll fraudulently being used in a supposed terrorist hostage video. Yet Olbermann found a way, and Rush Limbaugh gave him a "what for" in return:

    All right, so then we moved to eight o'clock on MSNBC when it was time for the kook portion of that network. Keith Olbermann, and he finally found a way to put the spin on this story that you would expect from a kook, and that is somehow this is America's fault, blame America first. He went out and found a guest, a terrorism consultant by the name of Evan Coleman, and Olbermann said, "Is there doubt that this is a fraud?"

    Rush then quoted the following exchange between Olbermann and Coleman:

    COLEMAN: No. There's really no doubt. A close analysis of the photo itself revealed that the photo had been edited sloppily and you could actually see the pixels that had been edited. Unless this guy has a perpendicular slab of skin hanging off his face he's not real and I think what really hit the mark here was that looking at the banner that was behind him that, that banner was supposed to be the banner of Zarqawi's group, Al-Qaeda in Iraq, yet the writing on it appeared to most of us that actually know Arabic, it appeared to have been written by someone or traced by someone with no knowledge of the Arabic language. So in terms of your earlier question, I think the answer is we look like we may have another Benjamin Vanderford-style hoax here, a hoax that may have come actually from inside the United States.

    OLBERMANN: Is there any suggestion that -- besides when you just referred to that it's -- that it's not necessarily from the Middle East? Because it does -- it seems farfetched that some would-be terrorist in Iraq would really think that no one would notice that they've photographed a toy as a hostage.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (5) | | View blog reactions
    February 2, 2005
    Countdown - February 2, 2005 ( 8:00-9:00 pm ET )

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for February 2, 2005

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    THE POPE'S ROLE IN POLITICS & FOREIGN AFFAIRS: George Weigel, author of "Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II"

    THE LATEST ON THE POPE'S HEALTH: Dr. Seth Feltheimer, New York Presbyterian Hospital

    PREVIEW OF THE STATE OF THE UNION -- DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN AGENDA: John Harwood, Wall Street Journal political editor; Craig Crawford, MSNBC political analyst and senior White House correspondent for Congressional Quarterly; Chris Matthews, MSNBC anchor and host of "Hardball with Chris Matthews"

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

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: Due to the fact that President Bush was due to give the annual State of The Union Address immediately following tonights episode of 'Countdown', I was intent on not going into the speach with any negative feelings (KO can do that to you). With this in mind, I decided I would watch the late edition which 'normally' airs at 1:00 am ET. While watching another network (can you guess which one?)discuss the upcoming speach, I received an email stating MSNBC would not be re-playing 'Countdown' tonight, instead opting to air 'After Hours' with Joe Scarborough and Ron Reagan. I applaud MSNBC's decision to not air 'Countdown' twice [isn't it hard to believe a show with ratings so low gets aired twice a night?).

    However, I have a duty to endure the arduous task of keeping an eye on KO every Wednesday and report back to you, our loyal readers, so you are spared the greasy feeling our friend KO leaves his viewers with.

    I hereby give each of you my word that I will thoroughly review the entire transcripts (when they are released) and give you the report you deserve.

    I hope each of you will understand. I just could not take the risk of watching KO immediately before watching the President speak.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - February 2, 2005 ( 8:00-9:00 pm ET )

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for February 2, 2005

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Scheduled Topics/Guests:

    THE POPE'S ROLE IN POLITICS & FOREIGN AFFAIRS: George Weigel, author of "Witness to Hope: The Biography of Pope John Paul II"

    THE LATEST ON THE POPE'S HEALTH: Dr. Seth Feltheimer, New York Presbyterian Hospital

    PREVIEW OF THE STATE OF THE UNION -- DOMESTIC AND FOREIGN AGENDA: John Harwood, Wall Street Journal political editor; Craig Crawford, MSNBC political analyst and senior White House correspondent for Congressional Quarterly; Chris Matthews, MSNBC anchor and host of "Hardball with Chris Matthews"

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

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: Due to the fact that President Bush was due to give the annual State of The Union Address immediately following tonights episode of 'Countdown', I was intent on not going into the speach with any negative feelings (KO can do that to you). With this in mind, I decided I would watch the late edition which 'normally' airs at 1:00 am ET. While watching another network (can you guess which one?)discuss the upcoming speach, I received an email stating MSNBC would not be re-playing 'Countdown' tonight, instead opting to air 'After Hours' with Joe Scarborough and Ron Reagan. I applaud MSNBC's decision to not air 'Countdown' twice [isn't it hard to believe a show with ratings so low gets aired twice a night?).

    However, I have a duty to endure the arduous task of keeping an eye on KO every Wednesday and report back to you, our loyal readers, so you are spared the greasy feeling our friend KO leaves his viewers with.

    I hereby give each of you my word that I will thoroughly review the entire transcripts (when they are released) and give you the report you deserve.

    I hope each of you will understand. I just could not take the risk of watching KO immediately before watching the President speak.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Olbermann's Fame Continues to Spread Far and Wide

    At least as far as online novels...

    Meanwhile, Santa Cruz (that bastion of conservatism) loves Keith!

    UPDATE: More from the latter article:

    Olbermann an undiscovered jewel on MSNBC
    A nice way of saying the ratings suck.
    I have a nomination for the best and least-watched nightly news program.
    Well the "least" part is pretty accurate.

    Also I'm not sure how "Countdown" is more "in-depth" than, say, "Special Report with Brit Hume."


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Olbermann's Fame Continues to Spread Far and Wide

    At least as far as online novels...

    Meanwhile, Santa Cruz (that bastion of conservatism) loves Keith!

    UPDATE: More from the latter article:

    Olbermann an undiscovered jewel on MSNBC
    A nice way of saying the ratings suck.
    I have a nomination for the best and least-watched nightly news program.
    Well the "least" part is pretty accurate.

    Also I'm not sure how "Countdown" is more "in-depth" than, say, "Special Report with Brit Hume."


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    ADMIN: Link Updates

    Dear Readers,

    I have been a bit behind in updating the blogroll for OlbermannWatch. I had to add the two new OlbyLoon sites I found yesterday so I went ahead and updated the list with links some of you have sent in over the past month or so. I also "cleaned up" the list by organizing in a way that I hope is a little more clear. Sorry for the delay; please keep sending ANY Keith links (pro or con) so we can continue our domination of the Google Rankings as part of "Plan 42A" which some of you know about already. Someone suggested we give OlbermannWatch.com contributors a name - "flying monkeys"; I modified the suggestion slightly. Hope you all like it.

    ADDED:

    KO IMDB page

    Stranded in Blue Islands

    therightguy

    New York Times: rantingprofs

    Michael Moore: Michael Moore


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    ADMIN: Link Updates

    Dear Readers,

    I have been a bit behind in updating the blogroll for OlbermannWatch. I had to add the two new OlbyLoon sites I found yesterday so I went ahead and updated the list with links some of you have sent in over the past month or so. I also "cleaned up" the list by organizing in a way that I hope is a little more clear. Sorry for the delay; please keep sending ANY Keith links (pro or con) so we can continue our domination of the Google Rankings as part of "Plan 42A" which some of you know about already. Someone suggested we give OlbermannWatch.com contributors a name - "flying monkeys"; I modified the suggestion slightly. Hope you all like it.

    ADDED:

    KO IMDB page

    Stranded in Blue Islands

    therightguy

    New York Times: rantingprofs

    Michael Moore: Michael Moore


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    Olbermann, the Obfuscator

    As Olbermann continues to fan the flames and muddy the waters over the SpongeBob controversy (see Countdown, Feb. 1), countervailing efforts persist to clear up the confusion. The hard-hitting Mullenax News weighed in by explicitly describing the hard-edge gay agenda of the We Are Family Foundation, which extended so drastically beyond the benign sounding theme of "tolerance" that it prompted attempts to have it concealed.

    Olbermann is once again mentioned as Instigator-in-Chief of obfuscation among those in the media:

    Predictably, some media members also reported that Dobson was accusing the video of having a homosexual agenda. For example, MSNBC.com's Keith Olbermann, sarcastically said (in the Jan 20th Countdown With Keith Olbermann) that "if the folks from Focus on the Family are right, it could make you, your children or maybe your furniture gay. Or tolerant." Later, Olbermann quoted Mark Barondess, the lawyer for the We Are Family Foundation, who said that any critics of the video "need medication." Olbermann quickly added: "We here found it hard to argue with him."

    Perhaps the greatest disservice a journalist can do is intentionally misrepresent and slant a story. In the second week of this controversy, Olbermann finally acknowledged Dobson's claim that he never said the cartoon character is gay. But still doesn't concede the fact that Dobson felt the video itself was harmless to children. More cynical than that is KO's entrenchment that the differences center on "tolerance vs. intolerance"; "diversity vs. hate". It does not, and he knows it.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (17) | | View blog reactions
    Olbermann, the Obfuscator

    As Olbermann continues to fan the flames and muddy the waters over the SpongeBob controversy (see Countdown, Feb. 1), countervailing efforts persist to clear up the confusion. The hard-hitting Mullenax News weighed in by explicitly describing the hard-edge gay agenda of the We Are Family Foundation, which extended so drastically beyond the benign sounding theme of "tolerance" that it prompted attempts to have it concealed.

    Olbermann is once again mentioned as Instigator-in-Chief of obfuscation among those in the media:

    Predictably, some media members also reported that Dobson was accusing the video of having a homosexual agenda. For example, MSNBC.com's Keith Olbermann, sarcastically said (in the Jan 20th Countdown With Keith Olbermann) that "if the folks from Focus on the Family are right, it could make you, your children or maybe your furniture gay. Or tolerant." Later, Olbermann quoted Mark Barondess, the lawyer for the We Are Family Foundation, who said that any critics of the video "need medication." Olbermann quickly added: "We here found it hard to argue with him."

    Perhaps the greatest disservice a journalist can do is intentionally misrepresent and slant a story. In the second week of this controversy, Olbermann finally acknowledged Dobson's claim that he never said the cartoon character is gay. But still doesn't concede the fact that Dobson felt the video itself was harmless to children. More cynical than that is KO's entrenchment that the differences center on "tolerance vs. intolerance"; "diversity vs. hate". It does not, and he knows it.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (17) | | View blog reactions
    February 1, 2005
    Kathy Dopp Lays Down The Gauntlet

    I had an e-mail discussion with Kathy Dopp of USCountVotes. She has agreed to make public a challenge she presented to me privately and we here at OlbermannWatch.com respect that. Therefore, until such time as we can come up with a qualified statistician or two who is willing to go on the record and publicly refute the analysis contained in the report linked below we are going to lay off the "loony left" cracks and accept the challenge in the spirit it was offered. Now, come on people...starting working the phones...let's reach out and get some qualified skeptics involved.

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

    Robert,

    Please feel free to post this as a challenge at OlbermannWatch.com along w/ the needed links.

    Thank you very much.

    Kathy Dopp
    http://uscountvotes.org

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

    USCountVotes would love to issue a challenge for any PhD level credentialled statistician who is affiliated with any university in America to find any statements in our "Response to Edison/Mitofsky Report" that they believe are incorrect and publicly refute it. We will be happy to respond when and if such a person can be found. Some in our group are planning to provide an addendum to our study that points up two additional substantial evidence that are provided by the E/M report that refutes their theory that "Kerry voters more likely to answer exit polls". If there is a statistician in America who will risk his academic reputation by publicly speaking out against our factual findings on the E/M report then we are very pleased to begin a public academic debate with that person."

    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
    http://www.exit-poll.net/election-night/EvaluationJan192005.pdf


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    Kathy Dopp Lays Down The Gauntlet

    I had an e-mail discussion with Kathy Dopp of USCountVotes. She has agreed to make public a challenge she presented to me privately and we here at OlbermannWatch.com respect that. Therefore, until such time as we can come up with a qualified statistician or two who is willing to go on the record and publicly refute the analysis contained in the report linked below we are going to lay off the "loony left" cracks and accept the challenge in the spirit it was offered. Now, come on people...starting working the phones...let's reach out and get some qualified skeptics involved.

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

    Robert,

    Please feel free to post this as a challenge at OlbermannWatch.com along w/ the needed links.

    Thank you very much.

    Kathy Dopp
    http://uscountvotes.org

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

    USCountVotes would love to issue a challenge for any PhD level credentialled statistician who is affiliated with any university in America to find any statements in our "Response to Edison/Mitofsky Report" that they believe are incorrect and publicly refute it. We will be happy to respond when and if such a person can be found. Some in our group are planning to provide an addendum to our study that points up two additional substantial evidence that are provided by the E/M report that refutes their theory that "Kerry voters more likely to answer exit polls". If there is a statistician in America who will risk his academic reputation by publicly speaking out against our factual findings on the E/M report then we are very pleased to begin a public academic debate with that person."

    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
    http://www.exit-poll.net/election-night/EvaluationJan192005.pdf


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    Wikipedia Tracks Two More Olby Sites

    I had a chance a few days ago to spend some time with Jimmy Wales, the guy behind Wikipedia and Wikinews. It was really amazing to hear his ideas on the future of news and how/why people contribute to Wikipedia. All of which reminded me to check the Wikipedia link for Keith Olbermann and sure enough it has grown - there are two KO fan sites out there: Olberfans bills itself as "The Online Home for Fans of Keith Olbermann" and Olbermann.org which labels itself with the more self-deprecating "An Unofficial Keith Olbermann Fan Site". Ha! As if there so many that it was necessary to keep them all straight). As usual these two "fan" sites have been added to the OlbermannWatch.com blogroll (right-hand column). If anyone has any other KO sites of note - the good, the bad and the ugly - please let me know.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Wikipedia Tracks Two More Olby Sites

    I had a chance a few days ago to spend some time with Jimmy Wales, the guy behind Wikipedia and Wikinews. It was really amazing to hear his ideas on the future of news and how/why people contribute to Wikipedia. All of which reminded me to check the Wikipedia link for Keith Olbermann and sure enough it has grown - there are two KO fan sites out there: Olberfans bills itself as "The Online Home for Fans of Keith Olbermann" and Olbermann.org which labels itself with the more self-deprecating "An Unofficial Keith Olbermann Fan Site". Ha! As if there so many that it was necessary to keep them all straight). As usual these two "fan" sites have been added to the OlbermannWatch.com blogroll (right-hand column). If anyone has any other KO sites of note - the good, the bad and the ugly - please let me know.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - Tuesday, February 1, 2005

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for February 1

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Topics/Guests:

    A STATE OF THE UNION PREVIEW: Richard Wolffe, senior White House correspondent, Newsweek

    A STUDY SHOWS BRAIN IMMATURITY CAN BE DEADLY AND THAT RISK TAKING DIMINISHES AFTER THE AGE OF 25: Dr. Drew Pinsky, adolescent health expert, host of "Loveline"

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: Updated: 2:45 p.m. ET Feb. 2, 2005

    Guest: Stephen Weekes, Carl Bernstein, Evan Kohlman, Brady Miller, Rev. Katherine Hawker, Drew Pinsky, Richard Wolffe

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: The elephant in the room for Olby (and all other perennial Bush bashers) tonight was still the uber successful elections in Iraq. The bad news that I thought he'd manage to avoid.

    Following the story on the Pope's hospitalization, KO wasted time on the novelty that Ground Hog Day coincides with the day of the State of the Union speech. That was followed by a tsunami update. That was followed by the news of a hoax in which some phonies posted the picture of a GI Joe doll and claimed it was the latest hostage taken by Iraqi terrorists, with KO interviewing two guests for that bit of world shaking news.

    KO finally did get to the Iraqi elections. He didn't discuss the vindication of Bush or the neocons. He surely would have discussed "failure", had the turnout was low, or if Iraq had been overwhelmed by terrorist attacks, etc. But the election was still the pivotal news story---at least until bush's speech this week. So what could Keith muster up about it? He quoted Iraq's President saying that it would be "complete nonsense" to ask foreign troops to leave the country now, adding that leaving Iraq is a bit too late now for dead American troops. Subtle as a train wreck.

    Finally, KO hammered the SpongeBob hoopla again. Either he has a tin ear, or else his ratings people told him he could write off the red states. KO reiterated the same themes that originally enraged conservative Christians. He again misrepresented James Dobson's complaint---alleging that Dobson sought to denigrate gays and homosexuality, rather than objecting to the use of popular cartoon characters to covertly instill in THEIR children ideas they deem antithetical to their own philosophical and religious beliefs.

    KO said: "Dr. James Dobson [...] evoked SpongeBob's name while decrying the producers of a tolerance video for elementary school kids."

    That is an inexcusably deceptive slant that KO knows is untrue. It's like saying someone is a Nazi because he praised Roosevelt in the same paragraph in which he condemned Hitler.

    And then KO has the nerve to complain about the complaint emails, which he ridicules---though there's no indication he ever verified that they actually came from Dobson's followers (the source might have been from pranksters for all anyone knows.)

    The Rev. Katherine Hawker from Missouri was sent in to support Keith. In the guise of an interview, the now well-rehearsed code-word "intolerance" was invoked without explanation or context. Hence the juxtaposing "intolerance" with "inclusion". Guess who supports which? And the repeated catch-phrase "wonder of diversity" by Hawkins. And KO quoting John H. Thomas, who refers to Dobson as promoting "intolerance over inclusion."

    Use of the adjective, "intolerance" as a noun is becoming the word-play of choice for the left side of this debate. It sounds a lot better to plea for "tolerance"; to claim that this debate is between "tolerance" and "intolerance". By contrast, the more descriptive "intolerance to gay people" or more accurately, "intolerance to instilling pro-gay lifestyles on their children", would garner for liberals decidedly less sympathy and support.

    When it comes solely to their own young children, Christian conservatives do not want homosexuality to be validated as a practice or lifestyle. Liberals generally do. I don't endorse the Christian view of homosexuality. But the only issue in the controversy is whether or not liberals should be able to instill their beliefs in the children of conservative Christians? I've yet to find a liberal who favors that. Albeit on Olbermann's show, one doesn't hear the question presented fairly in that manner.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown - Tuesday, February 1, 2005

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for February 1

    Host: Keith Olbermann

    Topics/Guests:

    A STATE OF THE UNION PREVIEW: Richard Wolffe, senior White House correspondent, Newsweek

    A STUDY SHOWS BRAIN IMMATURITY CAN BE DEADLY AND THAT RISK TAKING DIMINISHES AFTER THE AGE OF 25: Dr. Drew Pinsky, adolescent health expert, host of "Loveline"

    Read the transcript to the 8 p.m. ET show
    Updated: Updated: 2:45 p.m. ET Feb. 2, 2005

    Guest: Stephen Weekes, Carl Bernstein, Evan Kohlman, Brady Miller, Rev. Katherine Hawker, Drew Pinsky, Richard Wolffe

    OLBYWATCH GUIDE: The elephant in the room for Olby (and all other perennial Bush bashers) tonight was still the uber successful elections in Iraq. The bad news that I thought he'd manage to avoid.

    Following the story on the Pope's hospitalization, KO wasted time on the novelty that Ground Hog Day coincides with the day of the State of the Union speech. That was followed by a tsunami update. That was followed by the news of a hoax in which some phonies posted the picture of a GI Joe doll and claimed it was the latest hostage taken by Iraqi terrorists, with KO interviewing two guests for that bit of world shaking news.

    KO finally did get to the Iraqi elections. He didn't discuss the vindication of Bush or the neocons. He surely would have discussed "failure", had the turnout was low, or if Iraq had been overwhelmed by terrorist attacks, etc. But the election was still the pivotal news story---at least until bush's speech this week. So what could Keith muster up about it? He quoted Iraq's President saying that it would be "complete nonsense" to ask foreign troops to leave the country now, adding that leaving Iraq is a bit too late now for dead American troops. Subtle as a train wreck.

    Finally, KO hammered the SpongeBob hoopla again. Either he has a tin ear, or else his ratings people told him he could write off the red states. KO reiterated the same themes that originally enraged conservative Christians. He again misrepresented James Dobson's complaint---alleging that Dobson sought to denigrate gays and homosexuality, rather than objecting to the use of popular cartoon characters to covertly instill in THEIR children ideas they deem antithetical to their own philosophical and religious beliefs.

    KO said: "Dr. James Dobson [...] evoked SpongeBob's name while decrying the producers of a tolerance video for elementary school kids."

    That is an inexcusably deceptive slant that KO knows is untrue. It's like saying someone is a Nazi because he praised Roosevelt in the same paragraph in which he condemned Hitler.

    And then KO has the nerve to complain about the complaint emails, which he ridicules---though there's no indication he ever verified that they actually came from Dobson's followers (the source might have been from pranksters for all anyone knows.)

    The Rev. Katherine Hawker from Missouri was sent in to support Keith. In the guise of an interview, the now well-rehearsed code-word "intolerance" was invoked without explanation or context. Hence the juxtaposing "intolerance" with "inclusion". Guess who supports which? And the repeated catch-phrase "wonder of diversity" by Hawkins. And KO quoting John H. Thomas, who refers to Dobson as promoting "intolerance over inclusion."

    Use of the adjective, "intolerance" as a noun is becoming the word-play of choice for the left side of this debate. It sounds a lot better to plea for "tolerance"; to claim that this debate is between "tolerance" and "intolerance". By contrast, the more descriptive "intolerance to gay people" or more accurately, "intolerance to instilling pro-gay lifestyles on their children", would garner for liberals decidedly less sympathy and support.

    When it comes solely to their own young children, Christian conservatives do not want homosexuality to be validated as a practice or lifestyle. Liberals generally do. I don't endorse the Christian view of homosexuality. But the only issue in the controversy is whether or not liberals should be able to instill their beliefs in the children of conservative Christians? I've yet to find a liberal who favors that. Albeit on Olbermann's show, one doesn't hear the question presented fairly in that manner.


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

    It was a huge story, in the US and internationally. Viewers flocked to their sets to watch the dawn of democracy in Iraq, but they didn't exactly flock to Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Olby's audience hasn't exactly been thriving lately, but according to the numbers reported by TVNewser, cable news viewers considered Keith's coverage of the Iraq elections a must-miss:

    The O'Reilly Factor: 2,209,000 viewers
    Countdown with Keith Olbermann: 193,000 viewers

    The coverage brought a huge influx of viewers on CNN and especially Fox, but, bucking the trend, Olby's audience actually went down, sinking below the 200,000 mark. To make the humiliation complete, KO's nemesis Mr Bill O'Reilly beat Olby's ratings by nearly 12-to-1.

    Clearly OlbermannWatch is having an impact. No doubt Keith's cheap shots at successful broadcasters will now become increasingly frequent and even more frenzied and desperate. And we will continue to chronicle his sour calumnies and jaundiced reporting.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (3) | | View blog reactions
    Another Olby Milestone

    It was a huge story, in the US and internationally. Viewers flocked to their sets to watch the dawn of democracy in Iraq, but they didn't exactly flock to Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Olby's audience hasn't exactly been thriving lately, but according to the numbers reported by TVNewser, cable news viewers considered Keith's coverage of the Iraq elections a must-miss:

    The O'Reilly Factor: 2,209,000 viewers
    Countdown with Keith Olbermann: 193,000 viewers

    The coverage brought a huge influx of viewers on CNN and especially Fox, but, bucking the trend, Olby's audience actually went down, sinking below the 200,000 mark. To make the humiliation complete, KO's nemesis Mr Bill O'Reilly beat Olby's ratings by nearly 12-to-1.

    Clearly OlbermannWatch is having an impact. No doubt Keith's cheap shots at successful broadcasters will now become increasingly frequent and even more frenzied and desperate. And we will continue to chronicle his sour calumnies and jaundiced reporting.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (3) | | View blog reactions
    Gays To Olbermann: "You Go Girl !"

    If MSNBC execs were hoping the animosity among Christian conservatives and their sympathizers towards Olbermann might simmer down anytime soon, it doesn't appear Olby's allies will facilitate it. Under the header, Keith Olbermann, you go girl!, Washington Blade News Editor Ken Sain posted in that paper's blog on Monday a blurb complementing Olby, saying that he "has been doing the gay community a great favor." (unlike the "favor" he's doing for his bosses at MSNBC, I would venture.) WashingtonBlade.com describes itself as the "weekly news source for Washington's large and visible Gay community."

    Excerpting a portion of one of Olby's blog posts that helped ignite the backlash, Sain copied:

    More importantly, at some point, some of these people are going to wake up to find that the great secular assault they see on their children was, in fact, a bogeyman created to hide their own bad parenting. If they can't convince their own kids of the appropriateness of their religion and values, then the religion, the values, or the convincing, must not have been very good. Ask my folks if I was an easy sell---yet most of my tenets turn out to have been their tenets---not my teachers', not television's, not the secular world's.

    Keith, if pretentiousness and haughty conceit were among the tenets of your parents, then perhaps it was a much easier "sell" than you think! What if the shoe were on the other foot, Keith? What if Christian conservatives had covertly (i.e. without informing you) used popular cartoon characters to instill in YOUR children a belief in Christ and abstinence from premarital sex?! And then when you complained that your children adopted the Christian lifestyle against your wishes, you were told that you're creating a "bogeyman" in order to "hide your own bad parenting", and that "if you can't convince your own kids of the appropriateness of your secular philosophy and values, then the philosophy, the values, or the convincing, must not have been very good." (i.e. it couldn't overcome the counter programming from the mainstream Christian media).

    MSNBC execs might have read with envy Sain's closing line:
    It's always nice to watch a cat fight when you're not actually in the middle of it.

    As if to make this week even harder to bear for the aforementioned gray suits, Olby's tin-foil hat supporters weighed in Monday night with this entry by Justin Raimondo on AntiWar.com.

    Reading this post reminds one of the Seinfeld episode (#86 "The Opposite") in which George succeeds by doing the opposite of what is normally approved and accepted. That is the only way to make sense when reading this post. Consider it the opposite of what Johnny Dollar wrote in his Countdown Guide on Monday. For example, Raimondo considered it a virtue(!) that Olby reported a rumor that people in Tikrit who refrained from voting will be penalized by the government. Also consider his 'opposite' take---from that of David Frum and Steve Emerson---on the successful election and what it portends for Iraqis. And of course, Raimondo applauded KO's ridiculing of the Christian conservative complaint emails. It's doubtful rumor-monger Keith bothered to verify that the email he read on air was genuine, and did not come from pranksters on the political left.

    After exclaiming, "Go, Keith, go!" after seeing Keith advance all the agenda items of this far left wing nut, Raimondo ended his post by wondering---ironically---the same thing Olbermannwatch is wondering about the gray suits at MSNBC:

    "Hmmmm... I wonder how long they'll let him get away with it.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Gays To Olbermann: "You Go Girl !"

    If MSNBC execs were hoping the animosity among Christian conservatives and their sympathizers towards Olbermann might simmer down anytime soon, it doesn't appear Olby's allies will facilitate it. Under the header, Keith Olbermann, you go girl!, Washington Blade News Editor Ken Sain posted in that paper's blog on Monday a blurb complementing Olby, saying that he "has been doing the gay community a great favor." (unlike the "favor" he's doing for his bosses at MSNBC, I would venture.) WashingtonBlade.com describes itself as the "weekly news source for Washington's large and visible Gay community."

    Excerpting a portion of one of Olby's blog posts that helped ignite the backlash, Sain copied:

    More importantly, at some point, some of these people are going to wake up to find that the great secular assault they see on their children was, in fact, a bogeyman created to hide their own bad parenting. If they can't convince their own kids of the appropriateness of their religion and values, then the religion, the values, or the convincing, must not have been very good. Ask my folks if I was an easy sell---yet most of my tenets turn out to have been their tenets---not my teachers', not television's, not the secular world's.

    Keith, if pretentiousness and haughty conceit were among the tenets of your parents, then perhaps it was a much easier "sell" than you think! What if the shoe were on the other foot, Keith? What if Christian conservatives had covertly (i.e. without informing you) used popular cartoon characters to instill in YOUR children a belief in Christ and abstinence from premarital sex?! And then when you complained that your children adopted the Christian lifestyle against your wishes, you were told that you're creating a "bogeyman" in order to "hide your own bad parenting", and that "if you can't convince your own kids of the appropriateness of your secular philosophy and values, then the philosophy, the values, or the convincing, must not have been very good." (i.e. it couldn't overcome the counter programming from the mainstream Christian media).

    MSNBC execs might have read with envy Sain's closing line:
    It's always nice to watch a cat fight when you're not actually in the middle of it.

    As if to make this week even harder to bear for the aforementioned gray suits, Olby's tin-foil hat supporters weighed in Monday night with this entry by Justin Raimondo on AntiWar.com.

    Reading this post reminds one of the Seinfeld episode (#86 "The Opposite") in which George succeeds by doing the opposite of what is normally approved and accepted. That is the only way to make sense when reading this post. Consider it the opposite of what Johnny Dollar wrote in his Countdown Guide on Monday. For example, Raimondo considered it a virtue(!) that Olby reported a rumor that people in Tikrit who refrained from voting will be penalized by the government. Also consider his 'opposite' take---from that of David Frum and Steve Emerson---on the successful election and what it portends for Iraqis. And of course, Raimondo applauded KO's ridiculing of the Christian conservative complaint emails. It's doubtful rumor-monger Keith bothered to verify that the email he read on air was genuine, and did not come from pranksters on the political left.

    After exclaiming, "Go, Keith, go!" after seeing Keith advance all the agenda items of this far left wing nut, Raimondo ended his post by wondering---ironically---the same thing Olbermannwatch is wondering about the gray suits at MSNBC:

    "Hmmmm... I wonder how long they'll let him get away with it.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Joe Scarborough Cleans Up Olbermann's Mess

    In what may be the first indication of MSNBC's concern of growing public discontent over comments made by Keith Olbermann on Countdown and Bloggermann, Scarborough Country tonight had side-tracked the obvious top story---the successful election in Iraq---and instead opened with an interview with James Dobson. On the heals of Dobson's article published Sunday---which underscored Olbermann's journalistic failings---Joe Scarborough gave Dobson an opportunity on MSNBC to set the record straight. It was a short interview, but Dobson had enough time to explain that he never made the absurd comment that the cartoon character, 'SpongeBob' was gay. Dobson also reiterated the legitimate complaint against the circumvention---through the use of dozens of popular cartoon characters---of parents educating their children about sex.

    If misrepresentations of Dobson, and ridiculing email complainants weren't enough for Olby to do last week, Olbywatch's Johnny Dollar reported tonight (Countdown, Jan 31) that KO continued his unapologetic disdain for the concerns of Christian conservatives---seemingly counter to MSNBC's efforts to make the network 'Christian-friendly' again.


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Joe Scarborough Cleans Up Olbermann's Mess

    In what may be the first indication of MSNBC's concern of growing public discontent over comments made by Keith Olbermann on Countdown and Bloggermann, Scarborough Country tonight had side-tracked the obvious top story---the successful election in Iraq---and instead opened with an interview with James Dobson. On the heals of Dobson's article published Sunday---which underscored Olbermann's journalistic failings---Joe Scarborough gave Dobson an opportunity on MSNBC to set the record straight. It was a short interview, but Dobson had enough time to explain that he never made the absurd comment that the cartoon character, 'SpongeBob' was gay. Dobson also reiterated the legitimate complaint against the circumvention---through the use of dozens of popular cartoon characters---of parents educating their children about sex.

    If misrepresentations of Dobson, and ridiculing email complainants weren't enough for Olby to do last week, Olbywatch's Johnny Dollar reported tonight (Countdown, Jan 31) that KO continued his unapologetic disdain for the concerns of Christian conservatives---seemingly counter to MSNBC's efforts to make the network 'Christian-friendly' again.


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