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    Olbermann Watch, "persecuting" Keith since 2004


    October 18, 2005
    Olbermann, Raw!

    What do you do if you want to flog a story and there's no real news being made? If you're Olby, you run with rumors and speculation. Anything to make the CIA leak the top story of the day. Actual quotes from just the first two minutes of the show:

    • Fitzgerald reportedly has a senior cooperating witness
    • Someone who is giving them all that
    • That is the evidence of a conspiracy charge directed...perhaps at the Vice-President himself.
    • Rumors...that Mr Cheney might resign
    • Fitzgerald may be inching closer to a blockbuster conspiracy charge with help from a secret snitch.
    • The snitch has been tentatively identified by an online website

    But never let it be said that Countdown doesn't adhere to solid journalistic practices:

    We've confirmed separately that there was a Cheney quits rumor...

    On OlbyPlanet, that's called having two sources:
    1. There was a rumor.
    2. "We" confirmed there was a rumor.
    Hey, that's close enough for MSNBC. Unfortunately, Dana Milbank didn't play along and gave the story the horse laugh. But Keith wasn't about to give up. The moonbat lefty websites are always a good source of juicy propaganda, so Olby once again went back to that well:

    The website RawStory says the person who's supposedly been flipped on this occasion is John Hannah...

    Raw Story? Raw Story?!? The "editor" of Raw Story is the guy who brags that he has the "proof" that Bush was AWOL from the National Guard (apparently unaware that there is no such thing as AWOL from the Guard), and lists among the site's great journalistic achievements:

    the outing of Congressman David Dreier and the relevation [sic] conservative newspapers in his home district participated in a deliberate effort to keep Dreier's sexuality out of their pages

    Undoubtedly, Olby is the only host of a national "news" hour that would admit to, let alone brag about, relying on a source of this caliber. Imagine what would happen if Bill O'Reilly claimed he got a story from the Operation Rescue Gazette? But we digress. Keith's breathless reporting of Raw Story's latest "relevation" made it sound like Big News, but that old wet blanket Milbank threw cold water on this one too:

    The John Hanna rumor has been around for months. It's been circulating around blogs for months.... Nobody has any confirmation that it's true.

    Harriet Miers was the next victim to appear in KO's sights. The shock here was seeing Sen Grassley (R) appear on screen. Looks like Keith's producers are making him do stuff against his will again. Grassley has not endorsed Miers, so KO has still managed to avoid interviewing any supporters of the nominee. And Olby did make this one of the shortest interview segments we've ever seen on the Hour of Spin.

    Keith then picked up an item that echoed around moonbat circles such as Daily Kos and Think Progress. Poor Ed Schultz, the lefty talk-show host, is not going to have his program aired on Armed Forces Radio as he thought. (To be precise, it didn't start on Monday because they needed approval from Pentagon honcho Larry DiRita and he is still out of the country, but that didn't exactly make it into KO's piece.)

    For Schultz, and therefore for Olby, this was naked political payback because last week Schultz criticized the Pentagon. Like he hasn't done that before. Keith gave him a powder puff interview, but then balanced it by talking to a Pentagon spokesman. Hah! Fooled you! Or not. The day Olby balances any leftist with the other side of the story is the day the sun rises in the west.

    The premier Olbsession resurfaced in his "top three newsmakers" segment where he referenced a Bill O'Reilly interview in Newsday:

    And speaking of a big piece of poop, #1: Bill O'Reilly.

    The Laughing Stagehand cackled at that one. But wait, there's more. Since O'Reilly mentioned that a few years hence he might retire, Keith yelled "We Won!" Then he started sissy-prancing around his desk, throwing papers every which way, screaming "Happy! Happy! Joy! Joy!". The emergency desk at Bellevue immediately dispatched an ambulance.


    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (3) | | View blog reactions

    3 Comments

    Okay, I take back the bit I wrote yesterday about Keith being more fair and more personally removed from the Plame story than is Chris Matthews.

    Or do I? I'm not sure.

    Having never been a journalist, I really don't know where the lines should be in reporting things like this. I don't think it's wrong to bring up the fact that certain rumors are flying around, as long as you denote them as rumors. Finally, I'd like to hear them too, and part of being a political junkie is the fun of weighing the various ins and outs, rumblings and rumors of all things political. Political talk shows and political analysing sessions in cable shows are a place for this.

    It's hard for me to slam Keith too much for his Plame reporting because he has designated rumor as being rumor, and the rumors here haven't been the sort that wiser more responsible types do not spread. Those bad sorts of rumors are those that are devastating to their target and without concrete evidence or proof-- such as Ohio voter fraud charges, or rumors that are based on things that are easily coincidental and therefore need very solid evidence, such as playing politics with terrorists alerts rumors.

    But the rumors with the Plame matter are different, not just because they are plausible-- prosecutors do use the threat of indictment against some people as a means of using them to go after bigger targets. However that sort of rumor doesn't have a definite conclusions even if it turns out to be fact. You still have to make a mental leap to imagine the worst case scenario for its target-- Dick Cheney. So far Olbermann has been far more amiable to the 1st type of rumor-- the Democratic Underground conspiracy theory sort of rumor.

    So anyway, I don't want to come down on Keith too much for talking about the Plame story and the rumors going around. So far he hasn't shown the sort of personal appetite for WH political carnage as Matthews has-- even if he feels it in his heart, and has't consistently shown Matthews' inability to consider anything but the worst for the administration.

    I suppose the bad feeling I do get in the pit of stomach about all this, is that I know that the media would be more cautious if this were about liberal democrats. Even though cable news incessantly harped on the Lewinsky matter, Lanny Davis, Ben Viniste and other flak sorts were always invited on to ...well...flak... to keep it all about adultery rather than perjury, cover-up, and out-righth attempts to interfer with grandjury witnesses.

    That ain't never going to be the case with Republicans. The level of appetite and restraint is going to be different. But that doesn't mean that it's not journalistically ethical or that it's utterly irresponsible to talk about rumors, charges, and counter-charges no matter what member of what party you're speaking about. As long as you do concede it's rumor, as long as it's not completely over-the-top and backed by not a shred of real evidence and as long as you manage to wipe the glee off your face before the audience comes back from commercial break.

    Olby is a ticking time bomb! I love the imagery Mr. Dollar -- it is far superior to the real thing (I just can't watch Olby for ten seconds any longer).

    MSNBC is really run by lunatics. Forget Olberman and let us talk of Rita Cosby / Crosby / whatever the Hell her name is. I tuned by her for ten seconds and wanted to puncture my eardrums! How out of touch do you have to be to hire a woman with NO VOICE! She sounds like Jack Klugman after his throat surgery! I mean, that she is stupid and homely is expected given MSNBC's track record. However, at the point that they hire people who CAN'T SPEAK to do news shows, one must wonder what is happening. Is this channel a big tax write-off for Bill Gates and NBC? Is it a purposeful attempt by Karl Rove to discredit leftists? Or is this channel run by hostile aliens from another planet intent on riling up the lefty fringe? What is the business model? Is MSNBC a subsidiary of Fox news designed to discredit leftist news sources like CNN? How many people is Rita "the frog" Crosby sleeping with to maintain her job? Or is Rita related to a higer-up? How soon before Rita is doing the news with a "throat kazoo" held up to her neck?

    Has anyone noticed that Chris Matthews actually froths at the mouth? What genius decided to hire a frothing moonbat to host a TV show?

    The higher-ups at MSNBC should just give up and call the network SCTV! Maybe hire Edith Prickley to take Rita's place, strap a combat helmet on Keith and make hime do his show from a bunker, and run cartoons the rest of the broadcast day.

    I hear that the emergency broadcast system has refused to broadcast via MSNBC since that would lessen the credibility of any warning to the masses, and most of the crazies watching the show already live in bunkers and caves anyway.

    Here's more on Rick Kaplan, the man behind Olby, Matthews and Crosby / Cosby / "Croaky" / whatever! Seems Ricky loves Dan Rather and thinks the world of his "jornalistic" talent. Take a lookee here:

    http://www.mrc.org/mp3/2005/audiobias10.asp#1004

    You can even hear him tell us how wrong we are about Dan Rather:

    http://www.mrc.org/audioBias/MP3/2005/kaplan1004.mp3

    Now THIS is the man who should lead a news channel! Hurray for honesty in journalism!