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    Olbermann Watch, "persecuting" Keith since 2004

    September 6, 2005
    From Countown for January 5,

    From Countown for January 5, 2005, the words of Keith Olbermann on MSNBC's newscast of record:

    Nationally, these are leaders who won re-election last year largely by portraying their opponents as incapable of keeping this country safe. These are leaders who regularly pressure the news media in this country to report the re-opening of a school or a power station in Iraq, and which regularly defies its citizens not to stand up and cheer when something like that is accomplished. Yet they couldn't even keep one school or power station from being devasated by infrastructure collapse in New Orleans.... Most chillingly of all, this is the law and order and terror government....

    For many of this country's citizens, the mantra has been, as we were taught in social studies it should always be, whether or not I voted for this President, he is still my President. I suspect anybody who had to give him that benefit of the doubt stopped doing so last week. I suspect also a lot of his supporters, looking ahead to '08, are looking to how they can distance themselves from the two words which will define his government, our government: New Orleans.

    No words of criticism for the mayor who had to be cajoled into calling for an evacuation and left 500 busses standing rather than using them to save the lives of his constituents. No words of criticism for the Hamlet-like Governor who couldn't make a decision on federal help for 24 hours.

    And needless to say, no super on the screen reading "analysis". Or "opinion". Or "commentary". But then, this is Keith Olbermann. Why should they start doing that now?

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (30) | | View blog reactions


    Umm...I'm pretty sure there's no need to put "analysis" or "opinion" or "commentary" over Olbermann, since pretty much everyone who watches his show already knows that opinion is what the guy offers.


    You fail to report the LENGTHY prelude to his commentary, in which KO painstakingly pointed out that this was indeed commentary. Is your ommission intentional? It sure adds emphasis to your argument. Maybe you just drifted OFF for a few moments... You should flip around a bit. Olby's hardly alone in his critique of this absurd, tragic situation. For a few days, it was even bipartisan. But now the Bushies seem to have gotten all their ducks in a row (pun intended).

    It's indeed reassuring to know that Bush will be there when they rebuild to congratulate all who get one of the new jobs that rise up in the storm's wake--and that Trent Lott will jostle George W to see to it. I look forward to W sipping juniper tea on Mr. Lott's new front porch. It'll be a fine porch, you can bet! I feel another photo op.

    Many recall a time not so long ago, when an administration could create a job or two without relying on natural disasters. Ah, but I wax nostalgic.

    Back to your objective "reporting"...keep up the good work. Your selective outrage continues to amaze.

    Of course he introduced the segment by saying it was commentary. So why not put it up on the screen? Decades ago, Howard K Smith did commentary on ABC News, and even though Frank Reynolds always stated that this was to be commentary, ABC still had "commentary" on screen throughout the segment.

    Perhaps this is why newspapers do not sprinkle editorials and op-ed columns throughout the pages of their papers, but have them on a page clearly labeled opinion. Olby's example would be like the NY Times putting its editorial in the middle of a page of news items.

    Even an ego like Bill O'Reilly can suck it up enough to tolerate the words "commentary" on screen as he gives his nightly editorial. I don't think there is any reason to grant Olby a special exemption from standard journalistic practices.

    "Also on this point, this is not typically a newcast of commentary; I can recall only twice offering such perspectives. But something Homeland Security Secretary Churdoff said at his news conference Saturday made this necessary."

    Debates about Olbermann's 'commentary count' aside, I can't imagine anyone but the absolute slowest of the slow needing some sort of chyron to designate that segment as commentary.

    Oh, you who argue that Fox or any of its key personalities are "Fair and Balanced"'re so precious! It's obviously a send-up. At some point, you're gonna' bust out laughing and say "I GOT YOU...I really had you GOIN'," then offer me a beer.

    Do you honestly expect me to believe that you feel Mr. O'Reilly is a model of objectivity, by virtue of the fact that he actually identifies a section of his show as commentary? What about the vast expanse of opinion he utters nightly devoid the super? Does the fact that he tags one part of his broadcast mitigate the intended subversion conveyed by those not so marked?

    Olby is a shill for the left. Fox News has no agenda. O'Reilly is Fair and Balanced. There is a dominant left-wing MSM bias. This administration is forthright with the American people. Bush did everything in his power to minimize the impact of Katrina. Yada, yada yada. Recite and repeat. Recite and repeat.

    O'Reilly's program is an hour of opinion, analysis, and commentary. It doesn't pretend to be a newscast. Olby's program is purportedly an hour newscast. It doesn't bill itself as an opinion/commentary/debate show.

    If Shepard Smith were to suddenly stick a commentary in the middle of The Fox Report, without even putting a "commentary" logo on screen, I would have the same view.

    When does school start so Cox can finally go to kindergarten and entertain himself there rather than fulfill his ego with this dumb blog?

    That Olbermann has personally editorialized every story on Countdown, is not new or surprising.

    That even "unbiased" anchors do commentary is not not new or surprising.

    What is new here is an anchor person making the blanket condemnation Olbermann has cast over the entire tenure of an administation. Read the piece. This isn't the sort of nuianced, thoughtful, weighed commentary of a Howard K. Smith. This is utterly politicized and over-the-top rantings of Howard Dean, of George Sorros and Air America.

    Again, THAT's novel. (But not surprising.)

    I want to add to the above by saying that if you want to read a thoroughly enjoyable, looking at everything, rough and tumble discussion of Katrina, try Mickey Kaus at Slate.

    Dear People of Earth,

    I know that irrationality is built into the sytem for all of us, but I now must demand that a consensus occur on this thread, or I will be forced leave you all to create my own Island Domain.

    Can we agree that the FIRST RESPONDERS (the Gov. of Louisiana and Mayor of New Orleans) are primarily to blame here? These points are not debatable:

    #1. If Mayor Nagin and Governor [sic] Blanco evacuate the City before the hurricane AS PER THEIR OWN PROTOCOL, nobody in New Orleans dies. That's right, NOBODY DIES. See if you can figure out the answer to this word problem:
    A hurricane is going to hit New Orleans. The local authorities call a mandatory evacuation. The city is evacuated. How many people in the city die as a result of the hurricane? QED!

    #2. If the New Orleans police force remains on duty instead of looting and running away, there would be MORE LAW AND ORDER! Another word problem:
    Police protect people against crime. There are 1000 police officers normally. If a third of the officers don't show up, and some officers decide to loot or ask British tourists on rooftops surrounded by water to "show us what you got," will overall crime and looting be greater?

    #3. If the criminal element of New Orleans had been properly addressed BY THE MAYOR IN THE PAST, less looting and killing would have occured. True/false problem:
    Being tough on crime decreases the criminal element at large in a city

    #4. Governor Blanco was responsible for the initial call-up (and lack thereof) of the National Guard. This is a fact.

    #5. Once the flood occured, the people were screwed, and catch up was the name of the game. The Federal Government is a SECOND RESPONDER and is supposed to BACK UP local authorities.

    #6. Louisiana is a STATE with LOTS OF STUFF IN IT AND PEOPLE AND COPS AND FIREMEN AND EQUIPMENT AND BUSES AND NATIONAL GUARD, all of which were inadequately mobilized by Blanco.

    #7. Nagin and Blanco are Democrats

    #8. Keith has a mental disorder

    "I now must demand that a consensus occur on this thread, or I will be forced leave you all to create my own Island Domain."

    Bon Voyage... Be sure you pack sun screen.

    Ahhhh Paul! Taking lessons form Olby, are we? Questions are posed -- threatening questions -- and we derail the discussion with an outrageously unfunny quip! Congrats Paul -- you are one with Olby.

    Anyway, the world needs people who get it wrong to galvanize those who get it right. Paul, I give you credit for hurting your cause in so many ways. The quippy nonsense, the holier-than-thou blabbering, the Krugmanesque dementia. . .it's all so delicious.

    I don't suppose you want to tell me why you disagree with any of the above points, as that would require you to fix the levee that broke in your head and flooded your brain.

    You're ill informed yet content to rush to judgment. I'm not. You slander those who disagree with you or prefer to postpone conclusion until faced with evidence (which, by the way, is what our fearless leader--and your party recommends). I won't. I wasn't there to witness what went wrong. Apparently you were. Forgive my not having the benefit if your ringside seat. I refuse to let Republican Party talking points, administration photo-ops, Fox "News," KO or anyone else lead me to a conclusion. If you have sufficient information to decide, so be it. I do not.

    This will be investigated...let's hope, fully. Even so, I refuse to accuse, indict or slander anyone (including you, my right-wing friend) until we have more information. I do SUSPECT that this administration is culpable at a very high level; especially given Bush's claim that "No one could have anticipated" the levee would be breached, when years of documentation prove otherwise. Until we know for certain, though, I submit that such conjecture is merely masturbatory.

    I didn't attack you. I merely accepted your gracious offer to go away. Now, be a gent and keep your word, eh?

    OK Paul. What eloquent drivel! Replete with words like "slander," "talking points," etcetera! Masterpiece. I see a future for you at the New York Times as Paul Krugman's research assistant.

    Regardless, I fail to see why you need an investigation to see that the MANDATORY EVACUATION did not occur, that the COPS FELL APART and the CRIMINALS went wild. Really tough to see those points. I suppose you need a commision to tell you the answer to point #7? Perhaps you need another commission to determine that the GOVERNOR is incharge of the first response? Or that she controls the National Guard?

    Paul you pathetic hack, why don't you ADDRESS THE QUESTIONS instead of bleating inanities? Do they get you anxious? Just like Olby -- "I don't like those questions, so let's ignore them." No wonder he's your hero.

    I love this little sentence of yours by the way: "You're ill informed yet content to rush to judgment. I'm not. You slander those who disagree with you or prefer to postpone conclusion until faced with evidence. . ." OK Pauly, what is your pal Olbermann doing? Is he "rushing to judgement" as he wildly accuses the Bush administration for all the ills of Katrina? (I know -- the commission on that matter is still out, right?)

    By the way, the levees all you wonderful democrats are complaining about were built by LBJ's administration (a Democrat, but you may want to wait for the commission report Paul) at CATEGORY 3 strength because it was "more cost effective." In addition, guess where the money Blanco and Nagin were getting for the levees was going? Half was diverted to support gambling ventures! Well, I guess those two morons gambled and lost now, didn't they?

    As for going away, I just got here buddy pal.

    Thanks for referring to my post as "eloquent" drivel. You're too kind.

    Exactly where did I say KO was my "hero"? Please don't deflect criticism of you to someone'a a textbook diversionary tactic, a favorite of the right-wing.

    Your "questions" don't threaten me, but your logic and attitude are indeed suspect. You're indignant because I'm willing to defer judgment until I've more evidence. I suggest you do the same...just a polite suggestion, one that will stir up lots less bile.

    LBJ is now responsible, eh. Well done. Most Republicans stop at Clinton. A tip of my hat to you. You've reset the bar.

    Be assured that my not taking your arguments apart doesn't mean I lack the ability or information. I do, however, lack the motivation.

    Regarding your refusal to seek Island the future, please don't make promises you've no intention to keep. You got my hopes up.


    Hi, again. Glad to see that you're well and have stuck with your convictions, even though I had hoped you'd come to the "light".

    Your comment: "That Olbermann has personally editorialized every story on Countdown..." isn't accurate. Watching any of the MSNBC shows that run prior to "Countdown" reveals that many of KO's stories are inserted verbatum (I assume) from line feeds. True, he editorializes many--but certainly not all of them.

    Secondly, in this case, he took care to announce what was coming. Discussion of a CG super or lack thereof aside, it was certainly set apart.

    Finally, on "This is utterly politicized and over-the-top rantings of Howard Dean, of George Sorros and Air America," I wish righties wouldn't lump us all together. You're better than that, C. This was KO, not Howard Dean, not Air America, not Sorros. Righties complain when the left says Rove or Cheney's running the show but in the next breath, accuse dems/liberals of speaking for the "Michael Moore" (or insert name here)wing of the left.

    It's been quite a while since I posted here. I sense that many of you've missed me. (I can feel the love). Maybe you can talk to the new guy (Krazy) about me. He seems to think I'm sinister.

    The sad fact is, this site echoes what was being said way back when I bailed--some new names but SOS, despite all that's happened since then. Olbywatch was dormant for a long time. And now that it seems to be breathing again, I, for one, am wondering, "why?"

    Since it seemed like Olby was taking every other week off, why shouldn't we? You're right, we are breathing again, which is more than you can say for Olbermann's ratings.

    Paul! Long time no read! Missed you! How the chads danglin'?

    And still wrestling with your demons-- Fox News, the GOP, Johnny Dollar... okay, just kidding about that last one.

    You are absolutely right, it was hyperbolic of me to say that Keith editorializes on all his stuff.

    As for the Katrina business, your reserve is very admirable. I agree there's going to be lots of blame to go around, but FEMA probably should take the prize.

    Here's a good link as to the Katrina mess:

    Dear Paul,

    This site is back because Katrina galvanized many, I suppose. After all, how much Lamestream media ballyhoo and spin can one take before fighting back. Olby is the worst of the worst, so why not start with him.

    Paul, I find it interesting that you go out of your way to respond to my post while refusing to address any of the FACTS I posted. Why would someone do that? I think we all know why. Free your mind for a minute and look at my post. There are facts there Paul. Take another look Paul. . . yes, clear the cobwebs and looooook.

    As for the rest of your snipes:

    #1 I did not "blame" LBJ for the disaster. I only pointed out that the problem has been around for 40 years. Forty contiguous years of Republican and Democrat administrations. As far as the logic of skimping on the levees 40 years ago who knows or cares at this point. So saying [quote] "I do SUSPECT that this administration is culpable at a very high level; especially given Bush's claim that "No one could have anticipated" the levee would be breached, when years of documentation prove otherwise"[/quote] is just plain stupid, and a LIE. Bush said, [quote]"I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees"[/quote] ( Are you going to argue with that? Because if you are, you better get ready to put Nagin and Blanco on trial. Of course nobody anticipated the levee breach. New Orleans had gotten by for 40 years without a levee breach, and the Louisiana authorities were hoping for the best rather than preparing for the worst.

    #2 Congress apportions money for levee maintenance. Bush just signs the bills. By the way, he HASN'T VETOED ANYTHING (something which I find ridiculous). How could he cut funding for levees when all he does is rubber stamp what congress throws his way?

    #2 My favorite consistent quote of yours is [quote] "Be assured that my not taking your arguments apart doesn't mean I lack the ability or information. I do, however, lack the motivation."[/quote] Oh yes Paul, you are so unmotivated! yet you GO OUT OF YOUR WAY to start the conversation. How interesting!

    Mr. Krazy,

    You certainly love to hear yourself write. I've not gone "out of may way." My posts have been intentionally measured. I "started the convo" toungue-in-cheek, in reaction to your comment about going away.

    Now, I repeat, when did I proclaim KO my hero?

    Way to focus on the important points Paul. Sic itur ad astra.


    I came close to posting a couple of times before the site flat-lined. I was a bit spooked after that whole he said, she said thing between Bob and m or whoever that was. Thanks for the link--it's good to read you again.

    Thus do we reach the stars?

    You've not gotten more from me because I'm not convinced it's worth my time. If you want a dialogue, I'm happy to indulge but I have rules.

    Don't put words in my mouth. Don't bombard me -- allow me time to answer. Don't insult fact, don't insult anyone. When you present a fact basic to your argument, back it up with a source. If you can't back it up, pack it up. Don't speak hypothetically. Finally, answer my questions. Expect the same from me.

    I come from a big, argumentative family...I don't need to argue with strangers. I refuse to engage in a pointless thrash match with a hardhead whose mind is already made up. If you fit that bill, it's been real; fare thee well. If not, "giddyup."

    Paul. . . .Paul Paul Paul

    Do you read your own crap? I never wanted to have a "dialogue" with you. Rather, you threw a little snipe my way a la Olby, and I responded. A simple solution to your quandry is to keep your nose clean. I don't care about your pathetic "rules" of "dialogue." Who the Hell do you think you are? Do you think you can come into a conversation and dictate everything about it? I got news for you -- this ain't "Countdown," and you ain't Olby. So stop with the drama you bizarro. Maybe you should get with the program and respond with some facts or at least an honest attempt at reason.

    P.S. congratulations on looking up "Sic itur ad astra." I would translate it as "such is the way to the stars." I think you may actually live amongst them.

    Who the Hell do I think I am?

    I'm too old to put up with crap, too young to die of natural causes and too weary to waste my time with miscreants.

    "Do you think you can come into a conversation and dictate everything about it?"

    I merely tried to negotiate terms for a civil exchange, which I might add, one shouldn't have to do. Apparently, civility isn't your strong suit.

    You obviously prefer a circle jerk to a reasoned exchange, so I won't interfere. Have fun with your like-minded friends. A little knowlege is a dangerous thing.


    Hey if you can't argue the facts might as well argue
    about the paper they are printed on.

    Paul you grotesque ideologue,

    Have you noticed that every "dialogue" you enter in becomes a bizarre web of words and powerplays? "I'm too old to put up with crap" is a classic use of age as a crowbar. How old are you Paul? Old enough to demand silence from your younger Olbywatch companions? Old enough to deserve pity? I'm sure you'll bring out some real or vague or imagined "military past" next as a hammer. Too bad lots of us have been there.

    As for "negotiat[ing] terms for a civil exchange," even you should laugh at your own words. What was "uncivil?" Perhaps your snipy retort to my initial post if anything. In all these posts, Paul, you have not said ONE MEANINGFUL THING! You owe the cybercommunication highway an appology for wasting so many of its bits.

    I don't think you belong online. Why don't you grab your megaphone and pom-poms and team up with Cindy Sheehan? I bet you'd love a free bus ride with a bunch of likeminded wackadoos.

    What's uncivil is your incessant need to insult opponents. At best, you're patronizing and at worst, caustic and demeaning. Other than that, oh, wait...that's about it.

    You're right about one thing, I've given you nothing...and it's exactly what you've earned.

    Has someone locked Krazy and Paul in here and forced them to confront one another?

    If that's the case, please open the doors and the windows or point out opposite corners of the room where they can sit and ignore each other.

    (Why is it that men always turn a blog board into an...epistolary... contest?)

    Dear Cecilia,

    This is a steel cage death match, and only one man can survive. We are stuck on this thread and unable to leave until one perishes.

    Actually, Paul just needs to avoid snide attacks and engage in a discussion, but it seems he is unable as he realizes the reality of the situation.