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    Olbermann Watch, "persecuting" Keith since 2004


    October 14, 2005
    Look At Me, I'm Walter Cronkite!

    We saw it coming this morning, when the White House had one of those PR events that just goes bad. The President spoke with a group of soldiers in Iraq, and it had everything: clumsy satellite delays, stilted responses, and even footage of the Pentagon PR lady coaching the soldiers on how to respond. Regardless of what other news was made today, there could be no doubt that this would be Olby's lead story.

    And sure enough, KO came through. It was a "dark day for President Bush", said Keith, and then introduced a long series of clips edited to highlight the most embarrassing moments. But we got another glimpse into the Olbermann psyche. Mr Humility, who some time ago appropriated Edward R Murrow's sign-off in an attempt to leech for himself some of Murrow's journalistic reputation, stated that he was going to give this story the "You Are There" treatment. Now he's trying to equate himself with Walter Cronkite, who may not have been fair and balanced but on his worst day never approached Olby's fanatical partisanship.

    And then Keith ran clips from what he described as "the most contentious White House press briefing in 31 years". Huh? Like he's been to any of those briefings. We've seen a lot of stormier exchanges than the ones Olby showed. Again, Keith invoked Cronkite: "You Are There". Maybe next week he'll start channeling Ted Baxter: "Good Night and Good News".

    The clips, it should be noted, showed various White House reporters pummeling Scott McClellan with questions. Among the journalists identified were Vandehei of the Washington Post, John Roberts of CBS, and Bob Franken of CNN. But when Carl Cameron of Fox was shown asking questions, he was not identified on screen. Petty? Sure. But Keith never removes anyone from his enemies list.

    Olby continued both stories into segment #4, starring Countdown Crony Dana Milbank. Quoth Keith:

    I felt personally sorry that George W Bush was put in that position today.... This great political machine. What in God's name has happened to it?

    Milbank had a brilliant explanation:

    It's the curse of Cindy Sheehan. Remember, beginning of August, he refuses to meet with her. That was just the beginning...

    Milbank also had another trenchant observation: the President blinks 40 times when he answers a question. Umm, OK. Thanks for sharing, Dana.

    Luckily story #3 was a baseball controversy, so hitting the fast forward took us directly to #2: what has happened to tv theme songs? Countdown never fails to cover all the important news of the world every night.

    The worst persons in the world turned out to be "our friends at NASA". Keith ridiculed their "Deep Impact" project that revealed considerable information about the precise make-up of comets. Somehow, it isn't at all surprising that Olby, for all his pretense, arrogance, and attempts to bask in the reflected glory of newscasters from days gone by, is at heart just another anti-intellectual. Way down deep, he's shallow.


    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (4) | | View blog reactions

    4 Comments

    FLASH: CABLE NEWS RACE
    WEDS NITE, OCT 12, 2005
    VIEWERS

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    One word of correction, Johnny. A small one.

    I had watched bits of Countdown last night and had heard Olbermann make some sort of comment about Fox New's Carl Cameron. I went to the transcripts to see how snarky it had been.

    Olbermann identified Carl Cameron, himeself.

    He said:

    "When you have to shout down Les Kinsolving and Carl Cameron -- Well, they say the experience of the British prisoners in the black hole of Calcutta in 1756 was a lot worse, but don't tell that to Scott McClellan."

    He identified Cameron with the radio talk show host Les Kinsolving, that is. Kinsolving,in turn, is identified with being a Jeff Gannon type.

    But in Olbermann's defense, Cameron does work for Fox News and you know how the news shows over there are generally filled with snarky partisan comments and one-sided spin, all guided by a ideologues as hosts.

    Oh... wait...

    Good catch, C. I was thinking more of the video clips shown, where all these other people were identified, but Cameron was not. Viewers who don't watch Fox would have no idea that guy hollering questions was Carl Cameron.

    Associating him with Kinsolving is another good catch of a typical Olby 'guilt by association' trick. I didn't notice any clips of Kinsolving though, which further muddles Cameron's identity to those who don't know him on sight.

    I was trying to remember the reaction Olbermann had to the news last year that a journalist had coached a GI at asking Donald Rumsfeld a question about body armor.

    I googled Olbermann and Pitts (the reporter) and ran across this. A bit of wisdom from former OlbyWatcher Henry Hanks. Hanks made this entry on Olbermann Watch:

    December 13, 2004
    Strange Coverage of the Pitts Scandal
    Hard to tell what Keith thinks about a reporter planting questions with soldiers here... He quotes Pitts saying that he feels that it was his best day as a journalist. Somehow I don't think Keith would hold back quite so much if the Bush Administration had planted questions with reporters...

    The link he provides is the December 9, 2004 found here:

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6667405/#041209a

    Hanks is being kind. In this bloggermann Keith obliquely salutes Pitts for having the guts to bring out an issue that the rest of the media won't cover. Even if he has to use a GI in the process....[See Hank's bit of irony above for context with today's news...]

    In yet another Bloggerman about the Pitts story, Keith defends Pitts by mention that the GI, himself, defended Pitts. Wonder if we'll see him take up the WH cause on that basis...

    "Poor Rumsfeld isn�t helping his case much. While the Pentagon was happy to seize upon the Chattanooga reporter�s confession that he spoon-fed a soldier the question about the lack of vehicle armor in Kuwait and Iraq, the soldier himself is contradicting that account. Time magazine quotes Specialist Thomas Wilson as saying that Lee Pitts of the Chattanooga Times Free Press not only didn�t give him the question, he tried to talk Wilson into finding �a less brash way of asking the question.� Wilson even said �I hope I didn�t do any damage to Secretary Rumsfeld.� "

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6667405/