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"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
Keith Olbermann is back, tanned (of course), rested, and ready to spin. He was only a minute into Countdown when he played wish-fulfillment again, describing the Haditha allegations as:
...the incident for which the entire war may ultimately be remembered.
He played a clip of "Mister Bush" making comments on the subject, leading into Dana Milbank (shorn of fancy costuming), who opined that the President was vulnerable because he allowed an "environment" where this could occur. Milbank didn't see any evidence that Bush was involved in a coverup, but Olby snatched a silver lining out of that cloud with another of his trademark leading questions:
...if he did not know, or we have to assume that, does that actually raise more disturbing issues about the chain of command, about the, about the prospect of an actual coverup within the military, as you suggest, at various levels?
OlbySpin: it would be bad if "Mister" Bush knew about this, but if he didn't, that's even worse! No surprise, Milbank agreed. The thrust of KO's interview was the "political impact", stating that "there is a bigger ceiling for potential political impact" than there was with the My Lai massacre. Yeah, whatever.
Next came "The War Tapes", a documentary made by three national guardsmen in Iraq. Olby claimed that both supporters and opponents of the war regard it as fair, and Zack Bazzi said the same thing. When Krazy Keith asked him if the media are fairly reporting the war, Bazzi basically said they're doing their best. It's not for no reason that KO chose to interview the one soldier in the film who reads The Nation.
The Big News in story #4 was a set of photos from a Jack Abramoff junket to Scotland for golf. No, we're not making this up. The doubly discredited David Shuster showed pic after pic, with highlighting to identify the people he wanted to identify. Harry Reid (D) is involved in some controversy regarding a gift he accepted (ringside tickets worth over $1000), but you wouldn't know it from watching Countdown. Neither was there any mention of Reps Jefferson (D) or Mollohan (D).
After oddball, it was a feature on Senator Clinton, who according to Olby addressed issues of "national scope and resonance". KO ran a generous helping of clips from her campaign video. She couldn't buy that kind of free PR. Oh wait, she could on MSNBC. Time on a last-place cable news channel comes cheap. Jonathan Alter praised her work as a Senator (she could be "one of the great Senators in American history"), but was a bit more sanguine about her Presidential chances. This spin echoes the far left of the Democrat Party, where the Daily Kossacks regularly vote her as their last choice in online polls. Keith joined in, critiquing her speaking style.
In the #2 slot, the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann was forced to report that Lance Armstrong was cleared of doping charges. Remember that KO has already insisted Armstrong was guilty as sin, based on the fact that he once made a commercial in contravention of an ongoing strike. That, you see, proves that he is a greedy SOB, and therefore he took steroids. Don't try to figure it out, it's OlbyLogic. So the spin tonight was, maybe he was cleared of doping allegations for one race, but that doesn't prove he didn't use drugs in some other race. Yes, Lance Armstrong is guilty until proven innocent, because Krazy Keith doesn't believe in crossing a picket line. What a maroon.
There was too much Katie Couric in the #1 segment to tolerate, so we'll head straight to the Media Matters Minute. A "far-right Republican" running for Congress was a runner-up because he dared to criticize his opponent's stands on gay rights and illegal immigrants. KO called it "gay bashing" and "Hispanic bashing". A little racial profiling there, Olby? Why do you immediately assume illegal immigrants are Hispanic? The "worst person" was John Gibson, and Olby quoted him regarding Iraq and Haditha:
If Iraqis know their own history, they know massacres have been committed in Iraq by warring parties for millennia piled on millennia. This is the part of the world that was in on the massacre game early.
But KO ended his quote in midsentence. Just to correct the record, here's the entire sentence:
This is the part of the world that was in on the massacre game early, played it often, and the last character to be up to his eyeballs in massacres was the very guy we went in to regime change, Saddam himself.
Despite the incontestable truth of what Gibson stated, Olby was his typical snide self:
Well, that's all right then. What's one more massacre, huh?
John Gibson said the massacre was "all right"?!? So you might think, only because Keith deliberately left out what else Gibson said:
I'm against massacres of civilians--I think we all are. I'm against cover-ups--you probably are too. But I'm also against taking an incident in which our troops overreact and commit an arguably criminal act and making it stand for the entire war.....The Iraq War may not be the best war we ever fought. When the dust settles we'll know for sure. But it accomplished a great goal that no one else had managed for the last 15 years at least: ridding the world of Saddam. No matter what the political spinners say, that was a great thing. And the Iraq War should be known for that fact--Saddam is gone--not for one incident of alleged revenge killing in a place called Haditha.
So, did John Gibson really say the Haditha massacre was "all right"? Did KO fairly represent his comments? Or is this just another envious smear from MSNBC's insecure, envious hack? No matter, Media Matters will obligingly put up video of Olby's slander within 24 hours time.
That's The Hour of Spin for this, the 103rd day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is still 7.
UPDATE: AllahPundit has linked this post from HotAir.com. His post is worth a read and the commenters are all clear-thinkers (so far).
"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Guest Host: Brian Unger
Keith is about to return from vacation, but we got one last installment from comedian Brian Unger. Again there were a lot of taped reports from NBC. The interview with Martin Terrazas was oddly sliced and diced, and only a few sentences actually aired. Still, it seems unlikely the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann would have had the guy on Countdown at all.
Rep Frank was allegedly there to discuss the raid on Jefferson's office, but Unger immediately dove in with an Olby-style leading question. He wondered if there was "irony" in that Republicans who support what he wrongly described as the "warrantless wiretapping of average citizens" are now upset at this search with a warrant. Unger brought up the President's intervention, which gave Frank a chance to dredge up other favorite talking points.
A segment on "the swiftboating of Al Gore" was another free PR slot for his movie in the form of a typical Countdown attack on people who dare to disagree with the all-knowing guru of green. Ken Bazinet (NY Daily News) opined that Al Gore is being attacked because "he's the perfect messenger", and his critics are "on the payroll of big oil". Environmental groups also get money from "big oil", but that was not mentioned because that's OK.
Olby is back on Wednesday. That's The Hour of Spin for this, the 102nd day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is still 7.
UPDATE: Brent Baker at Newsbusters.org: MSNBC's Unger Ludicrously Claims Al Gore a Victim of 'Swift-Boating'
Hope you all had a nice holiday weekend. The weather in New York was absolutely perfect and the steaks on the grill were cooked to perfection! What better time to clean out my KO notebook and start fresh for the summer. Here's a quick look and what has been catching my eye...
Brian transcribed this exchange from the Charlie Rose Show last Thursday.
BILL CARTER: I think what you notice what is happening in CNN is it's failing at night because it has bland people.
KEN TUCKER: Anderson Cooper bland? I beg to differ, sir.
CARTER: And MSNBC getting better, because Keith Olbermann is getting better, and he is not a bland person. So I think you need edge in those shows to distinguish them.
TUCKER: I think the Keith Olbermann feud with Bill O'Reilly...
TUCKER: ...has been one of the most entertaining news stories of the year. I mean, I could watch those guys go at it every night.
This is a TWO-FER for Brian, he gets to boost Olby and MSNBC and trash O'Reilly and Fox News - all the while keeping his hands clean by claiming he was just quoting what the guy from The Times said.
Bill Goodykoontz of The Arizona Republic tells fascinated readers who, if disaster strikes are the 4 TV news people he wants to be watching:
1. Walter Cronkite. If only he were still in the game.
2. Bob Schieffer. Ditto, after September.
3. Keith Olbermann. If Schieffer reports the news, Olbermann comments on it with wit and insight (as opposed to the bile everyone else with an attitude on cable spews).
4. Jon Stewart. And then, the day after Schieffer reports the news and Olbermann comments on it, Stewart makes fun of it. The endless cycle.
Let's put this guy Goodykoontz in charge of FEMA. In a crisis situation he wants to turn to Olby and Jon Stewart for hard news? And what the hell is a "koontz" and why is it good?
Rory O'Connor asks readers to send in suggestions for Twenty Questions for Rick Kaplan and MSNBC. Of course, I like #3. Check out the line I placed in BOLD.
3. To this viewer, MSNBC news programming seems increasingly skewed rightward on the political spectrum. I would point to the Matthews' program, his approving commentary about the administration and the GOP generally, and his failure to have regular liberal voices on his show. (Joe Klein may be a Democrat, but he does not count as a liberal voice.) And the line-up of Scarborough, Carlson and Cosby speaks for itself, although Cosby seems more obsessed with missing white women than with politics. The only evening host who seems to be trying to play it straight is Olbermann, who is aggressive with everyone, and has a wide spectrum of views on his show. Please ask Mr. Kaplan whether he agrees with this assessment. If so, does he thinks the future of successful news programming depends on emulating the Fox News model? Is he concerned that cable news will drive liberals, moderates and even conservatives who don't want their "news" with a big helping of rightwing viewpoint to get their news from internet sources?
There was a Drudge-Olby kerfluffle recently which included yet another blog complaining about Olby ripping them off...
The Loons at Think Progress led off with Drudge Falsely Smears Gore
Then Dead Spin claimed that Olby ripped them off when he named Drudge a WPIW
Looks like Keith Olbermann has been bouncing around our site again. Bully to him!
Based on this post it looks like they're right:
Here's the KO video for One Good Move blog.
Ultimately the truth came out when Newsbusters posted Olbermann, Blog Falsely Smear Matt Drudge.
Any chance we'll see a correction from Olby? Don't hold your breath.
The always optimistic Ian at Expose The Left is still waiting: Drudge Was Right, Liberal Blogs That Attacked Him Have Yet To Update
The Cable Game is reporting that Norah O'Donnell may speak truth to power but on Countdown the other night he could not seem to pronounce conservative activist Richard Viguerie's name correctly - not once but twice. Even KO got the name right, as would anyone who is in the least familar with Washington politics where Viguerie is widely known as the father of "political direct mail".
Cable Game has a bonus - a sexy photo of O'Donnell.
One blogger took a dare from a reader to watch Olby for a week and soon came to regret it.
Okay, I think I have been rather fair and on the recommendation of a liberal emailer who shall remain nameless, I have watched several episodes of Countdown With Keith Olbermann over the past month-and-a-half. Some of the conclusions I reach are as follows: Keith Olbermann has become a very bitter, cynical, often-humorless commentator whose diatribes exude a hateful and heartless snarkiness. He has shown himself to be disingenuous when presenting his segments on-air oftentimes to the benefit of his liberalistic bent...
It just gets worse for KO until he concludes "I no longer find it necessary to waste any more of my time on Mr. Olbermannâ€™s poor excuse for a television show."
Which, of course, is why we have Olbermann Watch where "we watch so you don't have to"!
COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (9:00 P.M.-10:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Brian Unger
Given the developments in Iraq and Afghanistan, Brian Unger's opening segment was properly sober. At least he can have a fairly reasonable discussion with Col Jacobs minus the snide condescension of the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann. There was a lot of tape from NBC, including a good piece on triple purple heart winner Spec Steven Clark. Following oddball we got sleaze (sexual acts in a library Caught on Tape!), sports (Barry Bonds), and celebs (Brad, Angelina, Shiloh, and the perpetually unfunny Michael Musto).
That's The Hour of Spin for this, the 101st day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is still 7.
"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (9:00 P.M.-10:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Brian Unger
Brian Unger's Countdown featured left columnist and war reporter Joseph Galloway. The excuse was a thin one: a series of email exchanges with a Pentagon spokesman. Naturally Countdown brought Galloway on to spin everything his way, but you will never see the guy from the other end of those emails on The Hour of Spin. The rest of the hour was fluff and sleaze unworthy of mention.
This concludes a week of liberal, anti-administration voices, balanced by exactly zero guests from the other side of the spectrum. This is why Countdown is the most biased "news" hour on US television. Olby apologists, unable to refute such obvious facts, instead attack Bill O'Reilly, claiming he is more biased than Olbermann, because O'Reilly only "has a guest liberal on once a month or so". It's a totally fallacious argument, but just to expose the empty bluster of the Olbermanniacs, we'll play along.
From Monday to Thursday of this week, Mr Bill's guests have included these Democrats and liberals:
From Monday to Thursday of this week, Keith Olbermann's guests have included these Republicans and conservatives:
That's The Hour of Spin for this, the 98th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is still 7.
"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (9:00 P.M.-10:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
It's 8 PM and no KO. Guess even MSNBC wasn't willing to let Olby play "anchor" for the Bush-Blair press conference.
Yes, since his last try was nothing short of disastrous, Olby was not permitted to anchor the live news conference. But he did show up at 9:00 pm with Big News: Dick Cheney may testify at the Scooter Libby trial. Since Cheney himself said that publicly three months ago, some will wonder why this is big news. But as long as it keeps The Great Leak Case in the Countdown headlines, that's all that matters.
Craig Crawford trying to explain constitutional issues is like asking Floyd the Barber to analyze quantum physics. But Olbermann's Brain giggled his way through some nonsensical commentary about executive branch power encroaching on the legislative. We don't recall him complaining when the legislative branch was trying to encroach on the executive to get papers from the Cheney energy task force. Oh, that was different.
Brain's entire contribution was fatuous, but not as much as Keith's latest Konspiracy: the press conference with Blair was just a klever kontrivance to distract attention from...from what? It was never made exactly clear, but it had to be something.
After the usual dross, celebrity fluff, and oddball videos, the Media Matters Minute continued in its tradition of being the most predictable segment in all of television. Yes, Bill O'Reilly was worst. If you want to know the details, just check the website, or wait 24 hours for Media Matters to put up the free PR video of Olbermann's Attack #93. Suffice it to say that it all hinges on Krazy Keith not knowing (or pretending not to know, or flat out lying about) the differences between the tenses: past, present, and future.
This would have been a good opportunity for Olby to apologize to Matt Drudge. Drudge reported that Al Gore drove multiple cars to a movie premiere, and Olby made him a worst person runner-up, alleging that Drudge just made it all up. Today Drudge linked to the Reuters report. Oops, looks like it wasn't Drudge who make it up. Another KO personal attack proves wrong, yet there was no correction aired, and there will be no correction from Olby on air or anywhere else, ever. Krazy just doesn't believe in corrections, because he doesn't believe in telling the truth.
With sweeps over, comedian Brian Unger will replace comedian Keith Olbermann on Friday, plus Monday and Tuesday of next week.
That's The Hour of Spin for this, the 97th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is now 7. --J$
OlbermannWatch is happy to announce the addition of David Lunde of Lundesigns.com to the ranks of OlbermannWatch contributors. David works regularly with Brian Maloney (The Radioequalizer), Debbie Schlussel, and Michelle Malkin providing photoshopped images. He is aiming to provide a new KO image each week and takes requests.
In honor of injured Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, we present David's first contribution to Olbermann Watch.
"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
#5: Supposedly the William Jefferson investigation, but first Olby led with a report that Dennis Hastert was being investigated re Jack Abramoff. But wait, no he's not because the Justice Dept denied he was being investigated. Then on to the Jefferson business with Milbank, who made a bad joke about frozen assets. KO described the search of the office as a "G-Man approach", so what does this tell us? Apparently Olby doesn't like searches with a warrant. But he doesn't like searches without a warrant. He doesn't like government acting without judicial oversight. And he doesn't like government acting with judicial oversight. Maybe that's why Lloyd Grove christened him Krazy Keith. Points to Milbank for not openly buying into the preposterous, constitutionally illiterate claims of "separation of powers" violations.
#4: One of KO's most blatantly partisan comments:
[moderates] found themselves sucked into a phony war that has cost the lives of nearly 3,000 American service personnel.
This to introduce a spot on Richard Viguerie, a "noted conservative" who actually has little influence on today's "far right", to use Olby's phraseology. He is so last century that Norah O'Donnell didn't even know how to pronounce his name. RV is upset with George Bush's leadership; he pulled the same stunt during Ronald Reagan's presidency. Regurgitated NBC video.
#3: Interview with Al Gore = PR for his new movie, recycled from the network mothership. #2: iPods for fitness training (regurgitated), Elton John, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Brittney Spears. #1: SUV crash Caught on Tape.
Worst person: Bill O'Reilly (surprise!) because he said a student refused to stand up for the pledge, when her father claims she really does. KO left out that this student was lobbying the school to stop making students do so. No matter, it's still O'Reilly Attack #92.
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 96th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is now 8.
"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
#5: Here we go again: The Great Leak Case. Olby made an olbique reference to fraudster Jason Leopold, trying to pump up his street cred by claiming he reporting something months ago that turned out to be true. KO noted that he also reported the "imminent" indictment of Karl Rove, but it hasn't happened yet. Actually, mental patient Leopold did not claim an indictment of Rove was "imminent"--he said it had already happened, over a week ago, and Rove was given 24 hours to get his affairs in order. Why Krazy Keith wants to rehabilitate this nut case is anyone's guess
#4: Voice of America doesn't have a Baghdad correspondent. KO's set-up to the "hugely embarrassing story" directly corresponds with that of a prominent blue blog. #3: Hurricane season, deadly alligators (regurgitated NBC videos); #2 Barbaro's recuperation, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Michelle Rodriguez.
Media Matters Minute: runner-up Fox News (KO didn't like a question that was posed for debate purposes). First runner-up: Matt Drudge, for linking to a parody site article about Barry Bonds. Note that Drudge merely linked, and didn't claim it to be authentic. Unlike the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann, who actually reported fake news from a parody site as fact. Worst person: Pat Robertson, who is "now selling fitness shakes". Now? He's been selling them for months.
#1: The Dixie Chicks. Olby quotes from a New York Times article about Bill O'Reilly meeting up with Natalie Maines, then cites it as an example of Mr Bill trying to "weasel out" of earlier critical comments. It's a "bully's move", replied Levy, and Keith added that "she stuck it to him good". KO reported all this as fact, but was the Maines-O'Reilly conversation as she portrayed it in the Times and as Olbermann reported it? According to this, it wasn't. Krazy Keith, of course, deliberately kept this from his audience, just as he doesn't allow points of view to air that oppose his own spin. After all, being fair and giving viewers the whole truth, why that would spoil the elegant simplicity of a carefully crafted smear. And if Olby had given all the facts, it just wouldn't have been Attack #91.
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 95th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp, and the magic number is 9.
- Guest Contributor Brandon Coates -
Want to know what kind of person would operate a webpage devoted to Keith Olbermann? Let's delve into the mind that is the braintrust behind www.keitholbermann.org
But why would someone go to the time and trouble of registering over 140 non-existent "members" at their board? That answer can perhaps be found at the discussion pages of Wikipeia.org where a very lively discussion has gone on about www.keitholbermann.org and their pathetic attemps to use Wikipedia to drive traffic to their hapless Keith Olbermann forum.
The site's owner began his shameless self-promotion of his own board months ago by announcing its creation and immediately linking to it at Wiki before heâ€™d even launched the site. He made bogus claims on the Keith Olbermann Wikipedia entry that his was the only message board on the internet devoted to Keith Olbermann on the internet and would quickly become "the major fan site". In other words, he was linking to the site from Wikipedia before the site had even been launched - and telling a stunning whopper to boot. A quick check right here at Olbermann Watch would have revealed that there were any number of message boards devoted to KO including those at Television Without Pity, two at Quick Topic, and of course, the estrogen-challenged, middle-aged â€œgirlyâ€? fans who inhabit the Democratic Underground.
When editors at Wikipedia pointed out that his promotion of his own website at Wikipedia violated two important rules - "spam" and "vanity". "Doctor Mike" responded to these charges by claiming "The style manual is in error. It is unique. The fact that I created the site does not prevent me from noting it's existance. I happened to notice it first since I wrote it. It is not spam."
When telling fish stories on Wikipedia, Michael is prone to persecution theories. Here are just a few of the replies he's had to others questioning the inclusion of his site over those other sites (you know, the ones he claims don't exist) at Wikipedia: "Please enlighten as to your personal agenda against this site?" and "The above unsigned comment must be from Robert Cox, ruthless self promoter and owner of a blog which refers to Mr. Olbermann as 'Krazy Keith'." Cox confirmed to this writer that he does not leave "unsigned comments" on Wikipedia and did not leave any with regards to KeithOlbermann.org or "Doctor Mike". When another Wikipedian tried to explain his reasons why the site should not be listed as Wikipedia, Mike replied "This, my friends is a Scientologist not only attacking Keith Olbermann, but yours truly, a Psychologist, because Scientologists not only hate Olbermann, they also hate Psychologists." Huh?
Just why would the guy behind www.keitholbermann.org be registereing phony users? A Wikipedia editor may have gotten it right when he warned Mike "If you're here to make sure that the famous Wikipedia cites you as the authority on something (and possibly pull up your sagging (Google) PageRank you'll probably be disappointed."
Take a closer look at the registration page on his website again. See all those registrations with zero posts? See all those "www" icons besides them? Where might those lead to you ask? Straight to spam link pages or sites featuring pages full of links for pharmacology and pornography websites. And what does Michael's favorite playground Wikipedia say about someone who would do this and why? "Link spam takes advantage of link-based ranking algorithms, such as Google's PageRank algorithm, which gives a higher ranking to a website the more other highly-ranked websites link to it. Hidden links or putting links where visitors will not see them in order to increase link popularity. Additionally, it is a well known fact that websites receive a boost at Google and other search engines when their sites are listed as links at the highly popular Wikipedia site.
How desperate do you have to be to spend your time creating phony users for a site no one visits in the hopes of turning Wikipedia into your own private marketing campaign?
Partisan politicos and strategists interviewed by Keith Olbermann on Countdown (MSNBC weeknights, 8:00 pm Eastern), identified by party:
"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00 P.M.-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
No one else on the planet thought Scooter Libby and The Great Leak Case was the top story, but Olby did. Lawrence ("Liar! Creepy Liar!") O'Donnell was furiously backpedaling from all his previous, and grandly wrong, predictions. But his abysmal track record doesn't matter to Krazy Keith, who still holds the delusion that O'Donnell is some sort of expert. In fact KO went on to get Larry's masterly opinions on Jack Abramoff, and even the war in Iraq! The William Jefferson (D) matter was an afterthought, relegated to a brief regurgitated NBC video. Olby didn't bring it up at all with O'Donnell. A shocker, huh?
#4 was another venture into "attack the media" fantasies with alarmist and Countdown Crony Jonathan Turley, who took the opportunity to claim that Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez is a criminal. #3 highlighted an interview with Rohe, who complained that a McCain staffer wrote a blog entry that she deemed "extremely rude". Pretty ironic, huh? Keith fawned all over her, claiming that the attitude of McCain and his staff was "children should be seen and not heard". The tip-off came at the top of the block, where KO actually headlined the story with the graphic "Truth to Power". Pretty subtle, huh?.
#2: The injured racehorse, The DaVinci Code, Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt; #1: Barry Bonds.
In the Media Matters Minute, Matt Drudge ("long-time schmuck") was a runner-up, but Mr Bill O'Reilly was the winner because he said he would boycott Mexico if they file suit against our immigration policies. Pretty evil, huh? That makes O'Reilly attack #90. The magic number is now 10.
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 94th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp.
Apparently my recent post, A word on ratings and the "25-54" demo hype struck a nerve with Brian Stelter over at TVNewser who writes "to suggest that I'm motivated by ideology or influence by certain cable news channels is offensive, baseless, and wrong" and asserts "I am not a liberal activist" and "I don't do anything "at the behest of executives at MSNBC."
Well, I'm sorry that Brian is "offended" but the facts speak for themselves.
When he writes "I am not a liberal activist", is Stelter denying that he picketed outside the headquarters of Sinclair Broadcast Group to protest their decision not to air a controversial episode of Nightline? Is he denying that he wrote about his protest and published photos of his activities on his blog?
When he writes "I don't do anything "at the behest of executives at MSNBC", is Stelter denying that he removed a post linking to Olbermann Watch "at the behest" of MSNBC executives who were upset that he linked to a post commenting on email exchange between Keith Olbermann and a producer for Tribune Broadcasting?
When he writes "I do not despise Fox News" does that mean he is disowning the myriad examples of anti-Fox News Channel commentary on his site? One does not need to look hard to find regular attacks against Fox News' most popular host, Bill O'Reilly, approving links to liberal bloggers who attack Fox News and the publication of "reader emails" attacking Fox News.
It is hardly worth debating that Brian is a liberal and that his blog is replete with anti-FNC posts. So how about the reasons he offers for focusing on the 24-54 demo?
By way of rebuttal to the phrase "at the behest of executives at MSNBC" Brian writes "I've talked to MSNBC president Rick Kaplan twice in the last nine months, and we didn't talk about ratings (or Olbermann) on either occasion" and later adds "I started emphasizing demo data at the end of 2005 as I gradually learned that the cable news nets simply do not care about total viewers" and "They (executives at MSNBC, CNBC and CNN) measure success or failure based on the demo, so I do, too"
Let's take a look at these statements.
It is irrelevant how many times he spoke with Rick Kaplan in the last "9 months" because I did not write "at the behest of Rick Kaplan". I have no idea how "9 months" figures into his thinking but he pulled that figure out of thin air. More to the point, there are more executives at MSNBC than just Rick Kaplan including Keith Olbermann who holds a corporate title beyond "news anchor". I know for a fact that Stelter has done things at Keith's "behest" so the statement is true regardless of his interactions with Kaplan. That he spoke to Kaplan twice does not preclude Stelter from doing something at the behest of Kaplan or anyone else at MSNBC but either way I never mentioned Kaplan in the first place. In other words, Kaplan is a "red herring".
At to whether Stelter began to focus on "the demo" at the behest of MSNBC, Stelter admits he has changed how he reported ratings information so at least we agree on that point. He says he "gradually learned" that the cable news nets only care about the demo and then cites "execs like" Jon Klein at CNN and Jeff Zucker and Mark Hoffman at CNBC. In other words, he cites executives from also-ran cable new networks at NBC Universal and Time-Warner.
When Stelter says he "gradually learned" about "the demo" how did he "learn" this and who was his "teacher". I'd say referencing Kaplan, Klein, Zucker and Hoffman otherwise known as "ABF" or "anyone but Fox" only proves my point that Brian has been influenced by executives at the also-ran cable news networks to shift away from reporting the "ratings "race" in a way that favored Fox News Channel. Ironically, the "demo ratings race" STILL favors Fox News Channel but allows TVNewser to portray the ratings race as "competitive". Of course, even this does not explain TVN's post from early May; Fox News won (again) the "demo" but is not even mentioned:
"TUESDAY, MAY 02 - April #'s: Olbermann #2, Grace #3, Zahn #4 At 8pm In The 25-54 Demo."
More to the point, Stelter is ignoring the fact that his change in reporting just happened to coincide with efforts at MSNBC and CNN to discourage straight-up ratings comparisons at instead stress the "demo" in their promotional efforts. Just to be clear, I am not alleging that Stelter is engaged in some active conspiracy with MSNBC. I'd prefer to belief that it simply a matter of a young guy being co-opted by various executives who picked up on his liberal, anti-FNC bias and exploited that in order to use TVNewser has part of a broader campaign to redefine "success" in the cable news ratings race by getting media watchers and TV critics to focus on a demographic where they were not as far behind.
My concern with Brian went along with it and TVNewser is now the primary outlet in the blogosphere advancing this "demo ratings race" which is then picked up on by other liberal bloggers and used to advance the absurd notion that Keith Olbermann has been a "success" at MSNBC.
If nothing else my 2,630 word post (I did not count but I am willing to take Brian's word that he did) was worth it to hear Brian post something TVN readers have never heard before. Stelter closes by noting "Fox News Channel usually wins every hour, every daypart, every day, in every category of viewership."
Well, that's a start!
"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)
Guest Host: Brian Unger
Even though we're still in the May Sweeps ratings period, when Olby wants a day off, Olby takes a day off. So to replace comedian Keith Olbermann, Countdown again brought us comedian Brian Unger. At least A-Mess-NBC doesn't bother pretending any more that the host's chair of this show is a place for journalists.
Unger is cut from the same cloth as the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann. He tosses erroneous data into the mix without batting an eye. Twice BU claimed that the Senate passed an amendment to make English the "official language". Um, no. The amendment deliberately avoided that declaration, opting for the fuzzier term "national language". Unger decreed that opposing same-sex marriage is a "divisive" issue. Polls are running almost two-to-one in favor of the "divisive opponents, a wider spread than most current controversies. But in Ungerville (a small suburb on OlbyPlanet), amnesty isn't divisive. Giving retroactive social security benefits to illegal aliens isn't divisive. But being against gay marriage is.
For the record, the Countdown:
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 91st day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp.
"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN"
Host: Keith Olbermann
"Muggers Are Like That"
The lead story on The Hour of Spin was the Hayden Hearings. Keith Olbermann claimed that Hayden was wrong about how his programs might have caught two hijackers, citing the 9/11 report. You know, the one that totally missed Abel Danger. Then Olby attacked committee chairman Pat Roberts, running this clip of the Senator:
I am a strong supporter of the First Amendment, the Fourth Amendment, and civil liberties, but you have no civil liberties if you are dead.
KO introduced this clip by claiming that the Senator was trying to intimidate Democrats:
...intimating in his opening remarks that any Democrat who would aggressively challenge General Hayden about the NSA domestic spying program, or challenge warrantless eavesdropping in any way, shape, or form, might as well change his own name to Senator Al-Qaeda.
Yeah, that sounds like a fair characterization of what he said. A montage of questions and answers followed: the clips chosen all involved NSA surveillance issues. Nothing about the CIA or his plans for the agency. Q&A Clip Count: 1 Republican (Kit Bond), 3 Democrats (Carl Levin, Russ Feingold, Ron Wyden).
John Harwood said General Hayden "did fine", then Krazy Keith brought up the Bell South demand for a retraction of the phone records story, stating:
Another tried and true tactic here: attack the media, attack reporters.
Huh? Olby just can't resist this talking point, even when it is incongruous and nonsensical. Then it was back to yesterday's news, with a regurgitated NBC report about the new ethics committee investigations. Along with talk about Abramoff, Duke Cunningham, and Delay, Chip Reid gave a little more background on the Jefferson scandal, and for the first time on Countdown mentioned Alan Mollohan (D).
In introducing the #4 item, comedian Keith Olbermann stated:
It seemed at first that President Bush's speech on immigration Monday might just evaporate into the ether.
It certainly seemed that way on The Hour of Spin, where KO studiously avoided the topic like the plague. But news of defense contractors bidding on the planned fence was too good to pass up. Olby mentioned "conservative" Congressman Sensenbrenner, because he said something critical of the President. (Keith loves the label "conservative" for Republicans, but not the label "liberal" for those on the other side of the fence, so to speak.) This led into a David Gregory one-on-one with GWB.
#3: The Jimmy Hoffa mystery revisited, Shermer agreeing with KO's suggestion that the investigation is a "waste of time and money". Then raising the speed limit on Texas highways (more recycled video), Keifer Sutherland, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Brittney Spears, and Mike Wallace. #1: American Idol again, with Maria Malito back from yesterday. The great fun here was ridiculing Trent Lott (R) because he voted for Catherine.
We predicted it. Media Matters put up Olbermann's O'Reilly attack from yesterday within the allocated 24 hours. So tonight the Media Matters Minute featured Mort Kondracke for saying (on Fox, naturally) that Qwest should have cooperated with the NSA. KO ruled that to be "fear mongering". But of course Bill O'Reilly had to be "worst person" (attack #89), and the Olby rationales got even lamer.
Mr Bill's makeup person was mugged; he said that most muggers are drug addicts, and Mexico is a key source for the drugs that come into the country. For some reason, this opinion has been deemed impermissible by the acting Chief of the thought police, Krazy Keith. Watch for video of this Media Matters Minute to be posted by Brock's boys within the traditional 24 hours.
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 90th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp.
The supposed battle for the "lucrative" 25-54 demo is like Mother's Day. Of course, everyone would agree it's a nice idea to have a day set aside to celebrate Moms but that doesn't change the fact that people promoting Mother's Day are greeting card companies, florists and restaurants. Likewise, the 25-54 demo is a "lucrative" demo for advertisers but that doesn't change the fact that this demo is a small fraction of the audience for both cable and broadcast news and the only people promoting their ratings in the 25-54 demo for cable news are cable news networks that can't compete straight up for viewers.
For those who follow these things, the primary source for cable news ratings in the blogosphere is Brian Stelter at Media Bistro's TVNewser. My memory may be a bit hazy but as I recall Brian used to primarily report raw ratings data (total viewers) and "share" data. I know I recall him reporting how many times John McEnroe "scratched" on CNBC (had a 0.0 share) so it goes back to at least Johnny Mac's show being on the air. Over the past year or so he began to shift towards reporting raw ratings data, ignoring "share" and breaking out the 24-54 demo. This seems to have set the stage for what we have now where TVNewser trumpets changes in the the 25-54 demo as the most significant metric for evaluating the success of cable news programs. The problem is that cable news viewers (like broadcast news viewers) skew older - the average age of cable news viewers are around 60 years old - and the 25-54 demo represents about one quarter of the overall viewership.
So, how to explain the change?
Simple. Brian is a liberal, despises Fox News, is in tight with executives at MSNBC and will do whatever he can to paint Fox News in a bad light while boosting MSNBC. To a certain extent, TVNewser is an outlet for MSNBC where they can both trash Fox News and boost their own shows and their network. I believe Brian began focusing on this demographic at the behest of executives at MSNBC who decided that since they had no chance of ever catching Fox News in the ratings they would try to redefine what success meant by focusing on a demographic where they were not as far behind.
Fox News is the dominant cable news channel by every measure, in every time slot, on every day of the week and has been for years but you'd hardly know that from reading Stelter's take on the ratings. I took a few minutes to skim through TVN headlines for the past three months and noted that Brian generally posts the ratings data without comment. When he does comment, however, the tone is generally "ABF" - "anyone but Fox".
Here are some recent examples of rating commentary from TVN:
The Scoreboard: Saturday, May 13 - "CNN beats FNC in primetime"
Huh? "Primetime" for cable news networks on the weekends?
The Scoreboard: Wednesday, May 10 - "Anderson Cooper had the highest viewership on CNN yesterday, beating perennial #1 host Larry King. Cooper doubled his demo lead-in at 10pm"
The Scoreboard: Sunday, May 7 - "Look how close the primetime demos are..."
TUESDAY, MAY 02 - "April #'s: Dobbs Close To Hume In Demo. Lou Dobbs had the #2 show on CNN in April, and the #1 show among viewers in the 25-54 demo. As this chart shows, Dobbs' demo audience has grown each month this year, narrowing the gap between CNN and FNC to only 22,000 viewers at 6 p.m. Brit Hume is still winning, barely."
I love this one...
TUESDAY, MAY 02 - April #'s: Olbermann #2, Grace #3, Zahn #4 At 8pm In The 25-54 Demo.
Either The O'Reilly Factor ceased to exist that night or Brian is still learning to count. Maybe Brian should skip Countdown and start watching Lawrence Welk re-runs..."ah-one and ah-two..."
THURSDAY, APRIL 13 - Dobbs Topped Hume In Demo Last Week. A tipster asks: "Did you notice that Lou Dobbs beat Special Report with Brit Hume last week in the Demo?" Well, no I didn't, but thank you for pointing it out!
Whew...that was close! Just imagine that Brian almost missed a chance to find a new way to pretend that some show "beat" Fox News.
The Scoreboard: Tuesday, April 4 - "In early prime (5 to 8pm), CNN beat FNC in the demo. In primetime (8 to 11pm), MSNBC beat CNN in the demo... "
Of course, none of these "wins" are in actual straight up ratings numbers and if you read carefully you will see that even the "wins" aren't all really "wins".
On the rare occasion when Brian is willing to acknowledge Fox News Channel's dominance he has to work in as much "good news" for MSNBC and CNN has he can muster.
The Scoreboard: Monday, April 17 - "Fox News had a great night, topping 2 million viewers in primetime. In the demo, MSNBC beat CNN in primetime. The New Orleans mayoral debate drew a respectable audience. Also notice how Lou Dobbs is CNN's #1 demo show, with 241,000 demo viewers and 885,000 total..."
This one's deceptive...
The Scoreboard: Wednesday, April 5 - "The cable news ratings world is back on its axis: FNC was #1 across the board and CNN was #2 across the board... "
It sounds like maybe somehow Fox News slipped from #1 recently but regained the top spot. Not quite.
And it's not just ratings (note left-wing sources like The Huffington Post and CrooksandLiars). Stelter is ready to pounce on any "Fox Bad" story he can find.
FNC "Ignores Page Six Extortion Story" - Fox News Channel "has all but ignored the stunning story of the New York City gossip columnist who tried to extort nearly $250K out of a business mogul -- a gossip columnist who happened to work for the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post," Huffington Post's Eric Boehlert asserts. "The story broke on Friday. It took Fox News more than 48 hours to mention the name 'Jared Paul Stern' on the air, along with just single reference to 'Page Six,' according to TVEyes.com."
FNC Ignores White House Briefing - Several e-mailers think Fox News Channel is covering the latest developments in the CIA leak case less aggressively than their cable news competitors. FNC didn't cover this afternoon's White House briefing, where Scott McClellan was quizzed about Bush's involvement in the leaks. "Why didn't they take the press briefing live like everyone else?," one e-mailer asks. "It was a good one," a second e-mailer says...
Greta Van Susteren says she scrapped a planned segment on the Libby/Bush revelations after spending two hours reading the 39-page pleading. She says the more she studied it, the more complicated it seemed, "and I want to make sure I get it right." "...It is a very important story and since so many shows were doing it, I felt comfortable being a bit more cautious and pulling back."
Yesterday on DaySide, Brit Hume asked an FNC chyron operator to remove the words "Libby tells prosecutors Bush authorized CIA leak" because he said it's unclear what happened. Crooks & Liars has the video.
Straight from the Olbermann playbook we get:
THURSDAY, APR 27 - "Smearing A Dead Man On The Factor"
Straight from Media Matters for America we get:
WEDNESDAY, APR 26 - "Snow Slams Bush In Town Hall Column?"
Here Brian links a story in the right-wing New York Sun:
TUESDAY, APR 25 - Fox's Printing Press" - A great lead in today's New York Sun:"Fred Barnes, Eric Burns, Neil Cavuto, John Gibson, E.D. Hill, Colonel David Hunt, Brian Kilmeade, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Bill O'Reilly, Bill Sammon, and Eric Shawn - the list sounds like a network schedule. But these are just some of the Fox News hosts, correspondents, or analysts who have recently published books. People often bandy about terms like 'corporate synergy.' The power of the Fox News brand may show where - and how - it's actually working."
But the link is merely a pretext for Brian to ask:
Does anyone else think it's interesting that all but one of the authors listed are male?
Brian's love-affair with Keith Olbermann is well-known although, as Brian has learned, KO can be a tough task-master. Olbermann Watch readers will recall that Brian linked to my post about an e-mail exchange KO had with a Tribune Broadcasting producer in December 2004. Keith was irate about the email being made public and just as irate that Brian had linked to my post. Brian dutifully removed the post. Not exactly journalism's finest moment.
More recently we get this comment about Fox News host Tony Snow taking the job of White House press secretary:
Olbermann & Milbank Are Going To Have So Much Fun With This
Brian publishes emails claiming "Olbermann is the key to the whole thing and just demonstrates how vital he is to their network" and "Why is MSNBC determined to lose all the liberal viewers that they could easily get a monopoly on?"
Still not convinced?
I decided to click on the TVN archive to see what Brian was writing about a year ago and ran across this post:
MONDAY, MAY 23 2005 - "I Hope MSNBC Takes These Guys Seriously" - Could MSNBC give liberals a shot at another talk show? Sirius Satellite Radio's commentators The Young Turks may have a future in TV, thanks to an e-mail campaign targeting MSNBC president Rick Kaplan, USN&WR's Paul Bedard says. Kaplan received enough e-mails that "we're going to take a look at their pitch," an MSNBC spokesperson says.
Brian helpfully adds a link to The Young Turks petition drive, instructs readers how they can lobby MSNBC President Rick Kaplan and endorses the show.
You can watch the Turks' TV show demo (and e-mail a message to Kaplan) right here. I'd watch!
Gee, really? And the premise for this little campaign?
To "break the stranglehold of Republican or conservative talk shows on the airwaves". Brian approvingly quotes the Young Turks saying "For so long, all you've seen on television are conservative hosts, conservative commentators and conservative talk shows. But now we say the time has come for regime change on American television".
For the handful out there who are still not convinced you are going to need to flash back to Memorial Day 2004 when ABC's Nightline was preparing to air "The Fallen", a show intended to mimic a 1969 Life magazine article on soldiers killed during one week of the Vietnam war and intended to have a similar impact (to undermine support for the war, this time in Iraq). When the Sinclair Broadcast Group announced that it would not air the program because it appeared to be motivated by a political agenda (which it was) Brian got in his car and drove to Sinclair's headquarters in Hunt Valley, Maryland where he proceeded to stage a one-man protest outside Sinclair's security gates. He carried a home made sign and took photos of himself protesting Sinclair's decision. Over time Brian came to realize that this overt, liberal political act undermined the supposedly non-partisan nature of his site and so removed any trace of it from his site.
Some might say "so what?" Who cares if Brian Stelter is a liberal activist, with a cozy relationship with MSNBC, who despises Fox News and has been known to edit his site to suit the whims of MSNBC on-air personalities like Keith Olbermann. After all, ratings are ratings and numbers don't lie, right?
That's true but when a network actively seeks to redefine the metrics by which it competes in the marketplace as a PR tactic and a putative "journalist" makes it his business to carry that networks water by trumpeting those same metrics in order to curry favor with executives of said network it is worth pointing out. Clear-thinking Olbermann Watch readers understand the game that left-wingers like Stelter are playing with MSNBC but the unfortunate folks who don't read Olbermann Watch every day might be led astray unless we make it our business here to point out the extent to which the left has collaborated with MSNBC to paint a colossal ratings failure (Olbermann) has being a "success".
Let's look at some facts:
- Olbermann has been dead last in the ratings for every quarter he has been on the air and that continues to be the case.
- Olbermann has always caused MSNBC to experience a drop in viewers when he comes on the air losing up to 1/3 of the Hardball audience which he has always followed.
- Even if you buy into the MSNBC/TVNewser spin about the 25-54 demo you will see that in the most recent compilation of quarterly ratings data (1Q-06) Olbermann averaged 164,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo which is a little over a third of Bill O'Reilly's viewers in the 8 PM time slot (446,000). In other words, O'Reilly trounces Olbermann straight up (1.7 mm v. 0.3 mm) and in the "coveted" demo (446,000 v. 164,000).
- The quarterly numbers might also explain why Stelter has stopped reporting "share" numbers from the Nielsen ratings - the percentage of TV viewing households watching a particular show at a particular time. Whatever the weekly fluctuation in raw numbers, primarily news driven, the share numbers have remained remarkably constant with Keith consistently coming in around a 0.2% to 0.4% share of the total viewing audience (also known as "0.002 to 0004").
To put that in perspective...
Fox News Channel shares are O'Reilly=2.0, H&C=1.4, Fox Report/Shep Smith=1.3, Greta=1.3, Brit Hume=1.3, John Gibson=1.0, Fox News Live=0.8, Fox and Friends=0.6, Studio B/Shep Smith=0.8, Dayside=0.8, Neil Cavuto=0.9. In other words, Keith's share numbers don't beat ANY show on Fox News in ANY time slot.
Let's just pretend for a moment that the 25-54 demo are as important as MSNBC/TVN would have you believe.
- If KO gets 164,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo and there are 435 Congressional districts that means he is averaging 377 viewers in each district.
- CNBC repeats of "Deal or No Deal" beat Keith handily with 189,000 viewers in the 24-54 demo
- There is not a single show on Fox News Channel that has less than 200,000 viewers in the 24-54 demo (John Gibson gets 213,000 in the 5 PM slot).
I'm still hoping to get my hands on a comprehensive set of raw ratings data so I can do my own data analysis so I will hold off on going beyond the data published by TVN at this time. Let me just say for now that a fair way to look the data is that KO's numbers have improved (low 200's to low 300's), that on a relative basis that is a large percentage increase, that the basis for the increase is a low number to begin with and that all KO has really managed to accomplish at this point is take his ratings from infitismal to abysmal.
When Olbermann Watch launched in November 2004 Countdown was getting around 220,000 viewers a night. 18 months later that figure was around 340,000 viewers a night for a net increase of 120,000 viewers over 18 months which comes out to be about 6,700 new viewers per month - this despite a disproportionate amount of "earned media" promotion from the liberal press and left-wing bloggers. You can spin that all you want but if KO can do no better than adding 6,700 viewers a month he is not going to catch O'Reilly until sometime late in the year 2023 - and by then most of those 25-54 year old viewers will be past retirement age.
UPDATE: Brian Stelter of TVNewser writes that he found this post offensive. You can read about Brian's post and my reply this his post here: Methinks TVNewser Doth Protest Too Much.
"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN"
Host: Keith Olbermann
You read it first, here on Olbermann Watch, where we've been hounding Krazy Keith for weeks for spiking the news about Congressman William Jefferson and the federal investigation into his ethics problems. On tonight's Countdown, the name William Jefferson finally made the air. The House Ethics committee is launching an investigation into Jefferson (D) and Congressman Ney (R). Olby has invoked Ney's name over and over on The Hour of Spin; Jefferson's is a Countdown World Premiere.
The one and only Dana Milbank came in to discuss this and the latest on the NSA. The infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann inquired:
House Republicans managed to avoid doing it for so long; why are they launching an ethics investigation of Congressman Ney and the one of Congressman Jefferson now? What exactly has changed?
KO, who doesn't know who's in the President's cabinet, is also blissfully ignorant of the fact that the ethics committee, unlike other committees, does not have a Republican majority. It is evenly split between both parties, so it's no more accurate to say Republicans avoided an investigation than it would be to say Democrats avoided an investigation. But we know which version fits OlbySpin.
Milbank, without his garish garb, described this as the "Franz Kafka administration", then corrected some Olby confusion between two different NSA projects. KO went on to suggest that the intelligence committee was being briefed about the NSA so that the Democrats would be "hamstrung" from asking tough questions of Hayden in tomorrow's hearings, an idea that Milbank didn't exactly sign on to. They also discussed "really ugly" poll numbers that Dana felt still leave incumbents favored for reelection, as well as the economy: it shows signs of "growing too fast".
KO then turned to war veterans running for Congress (nearly 100, of whom 55 are Democrats). A taped NBC report was a glowing feature about one of them. Take a guess which party.
The #4 slot was devoted to the controversy over the 9/11 memorial, well handled by Monica Novotny. After oddball, which included an oblique slam at you-know-who (but not substantial enough to rise to the level of attack #88), it was another trip to the sports desk: Barry Bonds, Babe Ruth, and reminiscences of a 90-year-old baseball player.
The #2 story brought us a tender, poetic reading of the lyrics to "When I'm 64", rendered as only our Keith could. That led into a regurgitated NBC report about Paul McCartney and his marriage. After that: Heather Locklear, David Spade, Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban, Bill Clinton, and American Idol (with Maria Milito).
As Countdowns go, this wasn't quite so heavy with propaganda and spin as usual. But then there was the Media Matters Minute. As we predicted, the Soros site dutifully put up video of yesterday's Olby attack, ergo tonight Keith reciprocated. And this was Attack #88. The evil O'Reilly dared to suggest that far-left activists do not like what they see as a white power structure. That makes him "worst person in the world". Watch for the video of attack #88 on Media Matters within 24 hours.
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 89th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp.
"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN"
Host: Keith Olbermann
Keith Olbermann couldn't stick to the topic of immigration even minutes after the President's Monday night speech. So it's no surprise that this topic, which Olby seems desperate to downplay if not completely avoid, was all but ignored tonight in favor of "domestic spying". A lengthy montage of clips from Tony Snow's press briefing focused entirely on the NSA, even though there were considerably more questions asked about the borders.
Howard Fineman, Shape-Shifter Pundit, thought he had a gotcha moment when he referenced what Mr Snow said about the NSA phone records. According to Howie:
He said, at one point in that sound bite there Keith, he said, "I wouldn't presume to declassify it". Whoops! That is confirming it.
Olby, eager to pounce, added an "mm-hm" and "yeah". But this is just another example of what passes for "journalism" on The Hour of Spin, where quotes are doctored to make phony points. Snow's actual words:
I am not going to stand up here and presume to declassify any kind of program.
Sorry, guys. That's not confirming anything. Another Big Moment on Countdown proves to be based on a false quotation. Just like Slippery Shuster, Fineman has joined the perjury party too, where Keith Olbermann is the Master of Ceremonies. Then, just to get in a parting shot, Howie said Snow's use of the phrase "tar baby" is another quote "he'd like to take back", and KO chimed in: "Certainly." Funny, but neither Olby nor anyone else on the Hour of Spin had a problem with that phrase when it was used on Countdown.
And then it was on to the Great Leak Case. Oooh! Oooh! Patrick Fitzgerald will be in DC on Wednesday and Friday. Stop the presses! Somehow the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann didn't bother to mention one piece of actual news that happened today. It was revealed in court proceedings that the "original" leaker (original if you don't count the times Joe Wilson himself outed his wife) was not anyone in the White House. This is one of those inconvenient items that never seems to make it into the Hour of Spin (like the five witnesses announced by the Libby defense team, or the Fitzgerald correction to a filing, or...well, you get the drift).
There was a brief clip from the new 9/11 video shown (with no mention of the role of Judicial Watch in making it public to debunk the tin foilers--no point in KO alienating his core audience). Olby also focused on Laura Bush, for choosing not to believe poll numbers, and Karl Rove, for regarding job approval ratings as different from personal approval. Cue the next Countdown Crony: Tom DeFrank. Personal approval ratings are "irrelevant"; the President's speech "checked off boxes" (KO was still fixated on the evil notion that immigrants should learn English); Rove is trying to shore up "the base" and nobody but Fitzgerald knows if he will be indicted. (Did you hear that, Slippery?)
After oddball, we got to the #3 story: a big, honking piece of cross-promotion for Saturday Night Live, Al Gore, and his new "global warming" movie. Along with clips from SNL, Olby ran the entire trailer for the flick, a nice chunk of free PR that would be worth a ton of money on a channel that actually had viewers. Jonathan Alter was there to set the Al Gore rhythms into motion, as he and Keith chatted about a possible Gore v Hillary showdown. Alter's insight: "It could happen".
As Countdown circled the drain, we got: the BBC interviews the wrong man; Richard Hatch, Paris Hilton, Brittney Spears, Regis Philbin, and the creepy Michael Musto.
As for the Media Matters Minute, we see they obediently put up video of yesterday's O'Reilly attack, so to fulfill his part of the bargain, comedian Keith Olbermann turned again to the far-left site. He managed to fill the Fox News slot (David Asman) and the conservative slot (Mark Yost, American Spectator): they dared to suggest there is heroism in Iraq that doesn't get adequate coverage. KO misattributed words to Yost (who was actually quoting a Marine), and then delivered his brilliant comeback: what about all the reporting of heroism on Flight 93? Talk about non sequiturs! Does KO think that plane crashed in Fallujah? Despite the lameness of the OlbyRebuttal, watch for his video to surface at the Soros site before 24 hours have elapsed.
The chief canine that did not yelp: immigration, and the poll that shows over 70% approve of the President's troops-to-the-border plan. Those are the polls that never get mentioned on Countdown.
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 88th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp.
"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
PRES. BUSH'S IMMIGRATION SPEECH: Chris Matthews, NBC; Richard Wolffe, Newsweek; Col Jack Jacobs
The Hour of Spin got cut down to size Monday evening: the President took up the first third of the program, with Chris Matthews on hand to further steal poor Keith's time. Olby blew his first line after Bush spoke, referring to him as "the President of the United Spates". It must be tough when every syllable isn't written out ahead of time and plastered all over the teleprompter.
KO engaged in some small talk with Matthews, and Chris revealed that he is pretty knowledgeable about how tv audiences view Countdown:
They're gonna turn the other channel tonight, a lot of them, as we talk about this.
Of course, Olby wasted no time in developing a new Krazy Keith Konspiracy theory; as soon as Chris mentioned NSA, KO decided the speech wasn't really about immigration:
Do you think, and not to get too cynical too fast, uh, in the wake of the President's, uh, comments, but do you think that, to any degree, given that this speech was not even scheduled until last Friday, that this was an attempt to change, uh, the political from the subjects that you just mentioned?
It will surprise no one that Matthews immediately shouted, "Yes!". This is still Countdown, after all. Keith went on to quote Dick Durbin, and suggested that Bush was making an issue out of immigration as a cover to sneak troops out of Iraq! Olby continued:
...the politics of scandal that the speeches for the moment displaced, coming up from Richard Wolffe of Time Magazine.
Richard Wolffe is with Time? It's going to be a while before Kaplan lets Krazy Keith anchor breaking news again. Next came Col Jacobs, who opined about the mechanics of getting Guardsmen to the border. Unfortunately for Keith's Konspiracy, the Colonel said the troops will come from the states, not Iraq. But Olby didn't give up, and even after the Colonel made that clear, he asked the question again, then complained about a "difficult situation": illegals need to learn English to become citizens. Horrors! What will that madman in the White House do next?
Next Olby tackled another favorite subject. Picture this: Dick Cheney is reading the paper, and here's an article where Joe Wilson claims he was sent to Niger at the request of Cheney's office. Cheney looks quizically at the paper, knowing he didn't send an unfriendly ambassador on any such mission, and makes notes in the margin, wondering who sent him, his wife? That, according to the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann, proves Libby knew Plame's status was not just secret, but double-secret off-the-record. Huh?
Richard Wolffe was next in the Seat of Spin, and all of a sudden he was working for Newsweek again. Wolffe called the immigration speech "balanced" and "moderate", so Keith changed the subject to The Great Leak Case. KO wanted to Wolffe to say Cheney was in danger of being named an "unindicted co-conspirator" (!), but Wolffe didn't bite on that either. OK, so change the subject again, this time to Cheney's evil notes in the margin. Bingo! Cheney was engaged in a "smear tactic", according to Wolffe. He just earned his return ticket to The Hour of Spin.
The final segment, with anti-Bush comedian Carlos Mencia, was preceded by the Media Matters Minute, wherein the "worst person" was again you know who. The Countdown O'Reilly Countdown now stands at attack #87 (only 13 away from triple digits). His crime was "comparing" (which he didn't do) Al Franken and Keith Olbermann with "assassins", and for "rewriting history" by claiming NewsCorp shouldn't have sued Franken a few years ago:
Uh Bill, who made the mistake in suing, the one mistake big enough that the judge literally laughed out loud in the courtroom? Bill O'Reilly!
Uh Keith, who is factually incorrect, wrong, and again so blinded by his own Olbsession that he will say anything, even if its patently false, to attack a competitor? Krazy Keith, undeniably the living example of bearing false witness. The truth: Bill O'Reilly never sued Al Franken. Hey Olby, did you even bother to look at the court filing before spouting off? Or do you just make this stuff up as you go along?
We can expect Media Matters to have this video clip within the next 24 hours. We can expect Olby to retract his latest lie sometime around the 12th of Never.
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 87th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp.
"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
PRES. BUSH'S APPROVAL; NSA PHONE LOGS: John Dean, fmr. White House counsel and author of "Worse Than Watergate"
WAR AGAINST THE MEDIA: Richard Wolffe, Newsweek White House correspondent
POLITICAL HEADLINES: Mo Rocca, television personality
"It's a Wonderful Leak"
The man was startled to hear someone address him. He peered through the legs of his desk but could only see someone's feet. Slowly his orange-tinted head emerged from under the workstation when he saw the smiling little gentleman looking down on him.
"Who are you?"
The little man smiled again. "You can call me 'George'".
"George?" said Keith, quizzically. "You can't be serious."
"No," said the little man. "I'm not Serious. But that's close."
Keith got up from the floor. "What do you want?"
"No, Keith, the question is, what do you want? You're headed on a dangerous path. Embittered, cynical, angry--no, don't try to deny it. We know."
Keith sat in his chair. "I can't deny it, George. I just don't see the point any more. Every night I paint my face, put on my hair, and go before millions...well, thousands of people to show them the true path. None of that 'other points of view' crap. And yet, I can't beat him. The man never mentions my name and I can't beat him! I wish I had never even started Countdown; I wish I had never been born!"
George thought for a minute, then said, "Very well, so shall it be. Come with me, Keith."
"Where are we going?"
"We're going to the MSNBC strip mall in Seacucus, to watch tonight's Countdown."
Keith was confused. "But I just did Countdown. What are you talking about?"
George smiled. "You'll see". And as they started to walk together, Keith suddenly found himself back on the Countdown set, and it was 7:58 pm again.
"Two minutes to broadcast", said a voice over the loudspeaker. And onto the set strutted a distinguished man in a suit who settled down into the anchor chair. Keith stammered: "That's--that's--that's..."
George looked at Keith: "Yes, that's him."
Keith turned from orange to red. "But he's doing my show!"
"You were never born, Keith. When MSNBC decided to do Countdown, they went with someone else." Keith started to curl up, but George continued: "Sit down, Keith, and let's watch the show."
As the program began, the host intoned: "Our #5 story tonight, first it was the allegedly covert agent, Valerie Plame. But now, a series of leaks devastating to national security have crippled intelligence efforts. Who are the leakers? What laws have they violated? And when will a special prosecutor be appointed?"
Keith's mouth hung open as he gasped, "What is he doing? The top story is how bad the Bush administration is, not the leaks. These leaks are nothing like Valerie Plame. That was a horrible leak. But the NSA leak is different. It's a Wonderful Leak!"
The host continued: "A Harris poll put the President's rating at 29%, but as an interactive poll, it is considered less reliable than those done by conventional means. Meanwhile, a Washington Post poll puts approval of the NSA phone records project at over 60%"
"No! No!" shouted Keith. "He should impugn the Post poll, because it favors the President, not the Harris poll. That's what I said. I know that's what I said."
"Sorry, Keith", replied George. "You weren't there to make that talking point. You were never born. Just watch the show."
The host introduced his guest, John Dean, and Keith brightened up. "Now we'll get some truth." But when Dean claimed that "Bush has so outdone Nixon, that Nixon almost looks innocent", something strange happened. The host started to challenge Dean's expertise. Keith started shaking visibly. "What is he doing?", asked Olbermann. When Dean claimed that Sec 2701 and 2702 of Title 18 applied, Keith calmed down. But his respite was short-lived.
The host continued: "Here, with a different point of view is Victoria Toensing." Keith's face went from orange to white: ""No! I didn't put her on. I'd never put her on! She doesn't agee with me!" But it had no effect. The constitutional expert explained that the statute cited by Dean referenced complete records, including names and addresses, not the bare numbers that were turned over. She went on to reference the statute which specifically permits phone companies to share "aggregate" data that does not include customer identifications.
This was too much for Keith. "He's letting her ruin my show! I can't take it. It's making me queasy. I think I'm going to be sick..."
Keith doubled over, but George put his hand on his shoulder. "You aren't going to vomit, Keith. You can't. You don't exist. Now sit down and continue to watch."
As the hour dragged on, Keith became more and more dispirited. He thought to himself, what happened to all my wisecracks? He distinctly remembered asking Richard Wolffe about Tony Snow's emails, suggesting Mr Snow was "trying to continue his syndicated column". But this host, this imposter, was strangely nonpartisan. Instead of an oddball segment, this arrogant interloper was reporting on actual news. He even mentioned some fellow named Jefferson, a Democrat Congressman accused of taking a bribe or two. Keith did not recognize the name, and knew he never reported on such a thing.
It got worse. His regurgitated NBC reports weren't there. This trespasser who assumed his desk didn't spend time on dogs and OJ Simpson and Mo Rocca. None of this was pleasant for Keith, and he curled up in sullen silence. But suddenly he jumped out of his chair, and cried to George: "What's that? What happened to the Worst Person in the World?"
"You see, it's like this," said George. "Without you being there, it just never occured to the network that a news hour should include personal attacks on conservatives, Republicans, and competitors. So instead, they've been doing this."
Keith was flabbergasted. "But I took a cheap shot at John Gibson in the Media Matters Minute. And instead of attacking a competitor, we get this?!? What is a 'Most Ridiculous Item of the Day'? That's supposed to be journalism? How can you have journalism if you aren't ridiculing conservatives, attacking them personally, and calling them liars? What kind of a news hour is that?"
George spoke softly: "A successful one, Keith. The ratings for Countdown have been very good. And, with a stronger Countdown lead-in, the audiences for Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson are also big. These shows have more influence and power than ever."
"No! No! NOOOOOO!" Keith ran across the set. "Stop this! It can't be true! Don't let evil win!" He spied a familiar face in the wings, and headed straight for him. "Kaplan! Kaplan! It's me. It's Olbermann! How can you let this happen? Talk to me, please! Scream at me! Chew me out! Embarrass me!"
George suddenly was standing right behind Keith."It won't do you any good," George said softly. "You aren't here. You've never been born."
Keith was apopleptic. "No, no, it can't be. Look, here." He ran to a computer and punched in an address. "Look at this: Media Matters. Look at all my videos on here. They always run clips from my show. They've awarded me ribbons and medals!"
George frowned, "Really, Keith?" As Olbermann looked over the website, there was not one Countdown video, not one Olbermann attack, not one medal for Keith Olbermann.
"I'm sorry Keith", said George. "Every time you attack a conservative, a blue blog gets another hit. But without you there to lead the charge...well, you see what happened."
Keith was on the verge of tears. "You can't let this happen. I have to have my life back. I can't allow ignorant people to be confused by all these conflicting points of view. They need my single-minded clarity, not all this perplexing balance stuff." Keith wept. He collapsed to the floor, but George simply smiled. His work was done.
When Keith opened his eyes again, everything was quiet. He was back in his office. He crawled out from under his desk, confused, befuddled, unsure of what had happened. He opened the door to his office and called out in the hall. An intern was walking by. "Hey you!", cried Keith. "Where am I?"
The intern cowered slightly. "Am I allowed to speak to you, Mr Olbermann? I didn't submit a written request."
Keith shot back, "Did you call me Mr Olbermann? Mr Olbermann!!" Keith rushed out to the Countdown set, and The Laughing Stagehand was there. "Mr Olbermann, is there a problem?" asked TLS. "A problem?", shouted Keith, laughing maniacally. Then he spotted someone else he knew. "Hey, Kaplan!" Keith ran over to the scowling executive, "It's me. It's Olbermann!" Kaplan frowned, "God, don't I know it. What the hell are you up to now? Get away from me!" Keith beamed and sissy-pranced around the set. "Am I going to have to call security?" bellowed Kaplan. Keith raced back to his office, and looked at the framed photos on the wall, the desk, and the endtable. "It's me!"
He still wasn't convinced, but Keith knew there was one sure test to see if he had his life back. He logged onto the computer and his browser went straight to his home page, Media Matters. As Keith poured over the site, he saw them: the awards, the medals that the site gave him in honor of his work for the cause. Keith was ecstatic. "David's Medals! David's Medals!" He knew he was back.
As he refreshed the page, the hit counter increased, and a small voice from somewhere came back to him: "Every time you attack a conservative, a blue blog gets another hit." Keith Olbermann knew he was one of the rare ones who had been given a second chance, a new opportunity to serve the agenda he was born to promote. It truly is a Wonderful Leak.
COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
NSA AND PHONE RECORDS: Dana Milbank, Washington Post; Jonathan Turley
SCANDALS: Ken Bazinet, New York Daily News
AMERICAN IDOL: Maria Milito, Q104.3 FM
Anyone could have predicted that Krazy Keith would hyperventilate hysterically about the "revelation" (first reported months ago in the New York Times) that the NSA keeps records of who called whom. But even we didn't expect the full-blown Olbgasm that erupted on Thursday's Hour of Spin, over phone calls:
Could it possibly be legal? Could it possibly be of the remotest relevance to the War on Terror?
We'll just go out on a limb here, and predict that whomever Olby brings in to reply to the first question, the answer will be "no". As for the second question, it's about as mysterious as asking "What time does the 6 o'clock news begin?". Is there any anti-terrorism measure in the past five years that Krazy Keith hasn't railed about? Let's unpause the Tivo and see if we're right. Bellowed Olby:
Memo to the Bush administration: "1984" was not a how-to manual.
Then came the first of many Olbfuscations:
...the phone records of tens of millions of Americans, detailed information on almost every call made and received within the United States for about the last three years.
"Detailed" information? Sounds pretty serious. But Keith, to put it charitably, is just engaging in his usual stretching of the truth. According to USA Today:
The NSA collected "call-detail" records. That's telephone industry lingo for the numbers being dialed. Phone customers' names, addresses and other personal information are not being collected as part of this program.
Dana Milbank, shorn of his goofy get-up, was quick to agree with KO that "true conservatives" (i.e. ones that agree with Keith Olbermann) oppose collecting phone records. Olbermann, of course, offered advice on how the President should have responded, and then claimed:
Clearly, they are trawling through the personal lives of millions, tens, hundreds of millions of innocent Americans.
Olby was on a roll: the President has already "used all all his 'trust-me' points", and "all the demographic breakdowns of all the polls" prove it. KO didn't mention if these polls reflected total audience or just the 25-54 demo. Milbank, eager to play into OlbySpin, tossed this rhetorical log onto the fire:
Can the President say "It's legal because I say it's legal"?
Is that what the President said? No, but Krazy Keith is happy to let the insinuation stand. Without Slippery Shuster at hand, this is the next best way to promote propaganda. Krazy Keith kalled it a KoverUp, and indulged in a bit of wish-fulfillment about Democrats impeaching the President "for making up the laws as he goes along", and because all these phone calls "are on a record somewhere". Well yeah, Einstein. They're on a record somewhere because Bill Clinton signed into law the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act in 1994.
All this fevered delerium was merely foreplay, as the #4 segment demonstrated. Remember, we made a prediction at the top of this summary that Olby would find a guest to declare the gathering of phone records illegal. Writing in real time, we had no idea that the guest would turn out to be one of the same crew KO has used over and over again to parrot his slant: Jonathan Turley. Gee, Mr Turley, could this program possibly be legal?
Frankly I don't see how it can.
Bingo! Olbermann Watch, Correct Yet Again!
There is no law that allows the government to do this type of operation.
Um, Professor Turley, are you familiar with a little item called the Patriot Act, that gives the government access to phone records? For that matter, do you realize that the companies agreed to give the NSA the records, so that the Patriot Act didn't even come into play? In fact, the 4th Amendment isn't even involved, since there was neither a search nor a seizure. Then the nutty Professor detoured into the other NSA Olbsession:
Most experts believe the domestic surveillance program, which was disclosed in December, is unlawful and indeed is a federal crime.
What do you mean, "most" experts? We watch Countdown every night and based on the news as Keith "reports" it, all experts believe it is unlawful. There are none anywhere in the known universe who think otherwise. Surely, Olby would not deliberately present only one side of an issue. Would he?
I hope they [the phone companies] are sued.
What for? Didn't you just say this is all criminal wrongdoing by the NSA? Why sue the phone companies for something that is not their fault? Unless they voluntarily cooperated with the NSA and gave them access to the records--as they did. In which case there is no search, no seizure, no 4th Amendment violation, no privacy issue, no wrongdoing by the NSA.
The infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann also got Turley to claim that that the NSA was required to go before the secret judges of the FISA Court to acquire this information. They both already forgot that these records were given, not seized. But even if they were not turned over willingly, Turley's bizarre view is not corroborated by USA Today:
Paul Butler, a former U.S. prosecutor who specialized in terrorism crimes, said FISA approval generally isn't necessary for government data-mining operations. "FISA does not prohibit the government from doing data mining," said Butler, now a partner with the law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington, D.C. The caveat, he said, is that "personal identifiers"--such as names, Social Security numbers and street addresses--can't be included as part of the search. "That requires an additional level of probable cause," he said.
And guess what, those identifiers were not included, despite Krazy Keith's fabricated description of the records as "detailed". Funny how these angles never seem to get reported on The Hour of Spin. But Jack Abramoff does...again, as KO luxuriated in the afterglow of his Olbgasm. Abramoff led off the #3 story, and how the evil man in a black hat had a meeting with the evil Rove. Duke Cunningham came up too. Ken Bazinet offered the brilliant insight that "money can buy access" and talked about computerized records and the like. KO wasn't getting his money's worth in spin from Bazinet so he tossed in this trumped up stinkbomb:
This is a lot of Republicans in a row. Could that Democratic idea here, Party of Corruption label, could that stick?
Sure, it's a lot of Republicans in a row...on Countdown! That's what happens when you dismiss Patrick Kennedy (D) with a regurgitated tape and drop the story. That's what happens when you refuse to even report on the ethics troubles of Rep Mollohan (D). That's what happens when you refuse to even mention Rep William Jefferson (D) and the people who have plead guilty to bribing him. If the Party of Corruption label doesn't stick, it won't be because Keith Olbermann didn't do his utmost to slant the news to make it stick.
#2: Russian helicopter crashes at sea, hikers rescued (rerun video from NBC), Howard Stern, Regis Philbin. #1: The latest Krazy Keith Konspiracy: American Idol Is Fixed (which boiled down to, the judges "sway" viewer opinions).
In the Media Matters Minute, since the Soros site put up more OlbyVideo, KO had to reciprocate by selecting his "worst person" from the smear site: Neil Boortz. His crime: he doesn't believe schools should be in the business of giving students psychological counseling. Undoubtedly Olby's selection of this "outrage" will please his therapist.
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 83rd day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp.
I've been so busy defending free speech in Maine - a case we won - that I haven't really had time to exercise my own over here so let me take a moment to toss up some links I ran across over the past couple of weeks.
In a must-read piece on television news, Brian Lowry at Variety compares the CableNewsNets to Norma Desmond by recalling William Holden's line to the aging silent screen star from Sunet Boulevard "There's nothing tragic about being 50. Not unless you're trying to be 25." and notes:
...the cable nets' older profiles have also yielded absurd exchanges about demographic superiority, such as the boast that more young adults view MSNBC's Keith Olbermann than CNN's Paula Zahn. Whichever midget is taller, the truth remains that the vast majority of young adults have no interest in either. What should be troubling for everyone in news is that even with all their pandering to the under-30 crowd, precious little entices them to tune in.
I think we have new intro line for Countdown..."and now you host...Keith Olbermann...the taller midget"
Here a few more tidbits worth checking out..
Kansas City Star - On my "debate" with Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales over the Keith Olbermann
fan page Wikipedia entry.
National Journal's Hotline recommends Olbermann Watch.
Rathergate adds Olbermann Watch to blogroll - thanks!
Ian over at the always excellent Expose The Left picks up on J$ catching KO in the OlbyLie of the day - that KO's ratings jumped by a third (more like 22%).
Pretend Pundit weighs in on OlbyLies
Americas News Today has more on the OlbyLies
The Daily Does notes OlbyWatch Exclusive on MoveOn.org flacking for MSNBC
Ace of Spades HQ compares the MoveOn.org inspired KO Civic Action to pledging to do the dishes.
JustOneMinute has some fun with OlbyPoodle David Shuster
I had the privelege this morning of spending some time chatting with clear-thinker Pat Campbell, host of the The Pat Campbell Show heard on 540WFLA in Orlando, FL. Pat has his own blog and will post a link to the audio here.
[CLEAR-THINKER WARNING: this link will display a disturbing photo of Keith Olbermann].
Listen as we chat about Keith Olbermann, his pathetic to build an audience by making unfounded personal attacks on Bill O'Reilly and is rather odd obessession with Jeff Gannon and Tom Cruise.
For Pat's listeners who might be new to Olbermann Watch please be advised that this site has been infested with all manner of liberal loons. Their rants, often foul-mouthed, defy logic and may cause your head to hurt if you attempt to understand their loony left mindset. For your reading pleasure we often mark such comments with OLBYLOON COMMENT WARNING LABELS - a color-coded warning system which will enable you to quickly identify inane comments made by the tinfoil hat brigade. For a complete guide to our OLBYLOON COMMENT WARNING LABELS please scroll down the right-hand side of the home page.
COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
JACK ABRAMOFF: David Shuster, NBC News
GENERAL HAYDEN: Jonathan Turley
SCANDALS AND POLITICS: Richard Wolffe, Newsweek
If you want to rile up Keith Olbermann, just shoot some holes in one of his pet theories. He's been arguing for weeks that Jack Abramoff was in and out of the White House more often than Barney, saying at one point:
about Abramoff meetings or Abramoff associate meetings in the White House, 10 months, 200 visits. Should we be shocked by that number, or shocked by the fact that weâ€˜re not shocked by that number?
But the computer logs were released today and they only showed two meetings! Krazy Keith was kross. It's a KoverUp! It's a Konspiracy! After all, Scott McClellan had said Abramoff was present for two Hannukah receptions. How dare those Kriminal Komputers not tell Keith about religious observances as well as substantive meetings?!?
Cue the doubly discredited David Shuster, on (Republican) scandal patrol. Shuster Spectulation: "connect the dots", "the picture that emerges", "seems to be the connection", "suggestions from officials". It must be Jack was there to see...Karl Rove! Hey, if you fail at implicating the President, Karl is the next best target of opportunity. Then, for the second night in a row, Olby plays the Nixon card:
disapproval numbers now rivalling Richard Nixon's
followed by a description of General Hayden:
his arguable willingness to thumb his nose at constitutional law
Will this surprise you? Jonathan Turley appeared back in December as one of the first of a string of "experts" on the legality of the NSA surveillance program. Nearly a dozen interview guests have appeared on Countdown to "analyze" the NSA issue, and every last one of them argued against the constitutionality of the program. Not one argued the opposing point of view. So naturally Turley is back in the Seat of Honor once again to accuse the President of committing crimes. The slip-and-fall lawyer railed against Democrats for not "investigating" the criminal NSA project, and said General Hayden wasted money at the NSA and was not worthy of confirmation. Another guest parrots OlbySpin: what a shocker.
In the #4 slot, the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann decided to point out that the President's approval rating is lower than that of Tom Cruise. (What is it with his fixation on Cruise?!?) This was just an irrelevant lead in discuss Jeb Bush, and those logs again, with Richard Wolffe of Newsweek. #3: wildfires and tornadoes. #2: regurgitated NBC reports on royal girlfriends and birth order, Brittney Spears, Howard Stern, Whoopi Goldberg. #1: the waterless toilet and other weird inventions (more reruns from the mothership).
Alfonso Jackson got a mention from KO, who finally revealed that Jackson says the story about a contract was simply a metaphor. (Olbermann Watch had exposed Krazy's slanted reporting yesterday--cause and effect?) Olby claimed of Jackson's spokesman:
To a Dallas newspaper she first repeated her contention that the story...was true; later in the same day she told a business journal it was a metaphor
As far as we have been able to tell, there was only one publication involved: the Dallas Business Journal. Did Olby get this wrong too? We also couldn't find any quote from her "contending" that the story was "true", then again we don't scour the blue blogs like Keith does.
More unfinished business: just as Olbermann never corrected the record when he lied that he had ratings that were 3/4 of Bill O'Reilly's, tonight he neglected to retract yesterday's lie that Countdown's April ratings were up 33% over April 2005.
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 82nd day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp.
COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
POLITICS AND SCANDALS: Craig Crawford, Congressional Weekly
SCANDAL WATCH: Ken Silverstein, Harper's Magazine
We all use math every day: to forecast the weather, to tell time. But the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann uses numbers in a more sinister fashion. Wait, we're getting ahead of ourselves. Tuesday's Countdown began with KO trumpeting a huge story--Rupert Murdoch raising money for Hillary Clinton:
A prospect no less unexpected than a warm and fuzzy friendship between Sen Clinton's husband and the first President Bush...
This comes as Big News to Olby, despite the fact that Murdoch contributed $50,000 to an Al Gore fundraiser in 2000, and also gave money to John Kerry and Ted Kennedy. But if a "journalist" doesn't even know who is in the President's cabinet, how can we expect him to be knowledgeable about anything else? Apropos of nothing all, Krazy Keith tossed in another stinkbomb:
Far easier to imagine, parallels between the current Bush Presidency and that of Richard Nixon.
This was to introduce guest Craig Crawford, and Olbermann's Brain was chuckling before the first words came out of his mouth. They discussed new (bad) poll numbers, which Brain said "reminds me of Jimmy Carter's meltdown". He went on to describe the Murdoch news as "weird", calling it "political cross-dressing" (a phrase that Pat Buchanan once used and was all but crucified for doing so). There was also talk of Kathryn Harris in Florida: KO said she is in "desperate housewives mode".
Then it was time for the (Republican) Scandal Watch: Duke Cunningham, Dusty Foggo, and, by insinuation, Porter Goss. After we hammered Keith for crediting a story to "Harper's Magazine" when it was actually from a blog by one of their writers, tonight he at least didn't use that trick. He had the blogger on, Ken Silverstein, to chat up the "deep ties" between all these people. Foggo has "links" to Wilkes, who has "links" to "Nine Fingers", and so on. Silverstein, master of the unsubstantiated rumor, did the Guilt by Association bit to concoct a "link" between Goss and the Duke Cunningham investigation, using libel protection phrases like "they're hearing", "apparently", "I think", and "there have been suggestions".
Ethics was the #4 story. Is this when we learn about Rep Mollohan (D), raking in big money from dubious sources and being investigated by the feds? Silly rabbit! It's Rick Santorum (R), who rode a plane owned by Bell South and later reimbursed them. A recycled NBC report followed, which dealt with Sen Allen (R), who also took corporate plane rides and reimbursed them for first-class airfare. Guess what? It's all entirely legal! Why bother with Rep Jefferson (D), who stands accused of taking bribes, when you can focus in on Allen and five other Republicans (with a brief mention of Harry Reid) for not breaking the law?
After oddball, KO got to his much-hyped segment on Bill O'Reilly. Yes, it's O'Reilly Attack #86, as Keith slammed Bill for saying his ratings were up over the same month last year on the nights he anchored The Factor. "You can't just count the nights you're on", sneered Olby. And on and on he went, making oh-so-hip comments, claiming that O'Reilly was "not doing well" in the ratings (at over 2 million viewers). The Laughing Stagehand cackled at references to loofahs, and then came another Olbermann fiction:
The audience for the competition--that would be us--was up by a third from last April.
It's time for another Olbermann Reality Check. Here's the truth:
Coundtown (April 2006): 419,000
Countdown (April 2005): 339,000
If the 2006 audience were up "by a third", it would have reached 452,000 viewers: Olby invented 33,000 nonexistent viewers out of whole cloth! (Using the true numbers, at this rate KO will reach O'Reilly's 2,000,000 viewers some time around April of 2030.) This kind of deception is what you can expect when a so-called "journalist" loathes the people he is "reporting" on--everything he says is suspect when it is funnelled through the biases of pathological hate.
After this smear, Olby swerved The Hour of Spin into its nightly sleaze and fluff: strip tease clubs, American Idol, Brittney Spears, UFOs, and Cruise News! All the better to avoid General McCaffrey's report, or those witnesses the Libby defense team has announced.
The "worst person" was Alfonso Jackson (R), for cancelling a contract "because of a bidder's personal political belief" (he didn't like Bush). This story exploded on all the blue blogs, and naturally Krazy Keith picked it up. But he didn't mention any details on the bidder, the nature of the contact, or anything else. This may just be because, according to the Washington Post, Mr Jackson explained that the "story" was just that: a hypothetical story told to illustrate the nature of cut-throat politics. Needless to say, KO left that part out. Like we said: every sentence, phrase, and word fragment that Olby regurgitates is immediately suspect.
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 81st day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp.
COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
HAYDEN NOMINATION: Howard Fineman, Newsweek
BARRY BONDS: Lance Williams
TOM CRUISE: Michael Musto, Village Voice
It's true that we had a big news day today, but on Countdown it's last week's news that makes headlines. Keith Olbermann sailed into the Kennedy car accident with guns blazing. Of Patrick Kennedy, he suggested this incident will become his legacy. KO brought in the reporter who broke the story, and given that Kennedy almost slammed into a police car, Olby wanted to know:
Under the worst case scenario, could negligent homicide actually come into play?
Keith was irate that the police didn't do a sobriety test, and said of Kennedy's denial that alcohol was involved:
But how would they [the police] know that?
Incensed at the rolling disclosure with a refusal to take questions, KO questioned Kennedy's handling of the situation, complaining that he didn't appear before "a panel of interviewers from a variety of news organization", adding:
Could this have been a badly fumbled attempt to actually conceal what happened?
Olby sent his minions to do an actual reconstruction of the accident and reported on the results. But the crusading journalist was still not satisfied, citing the "vast holes" in Kennedy's story. The lawyer KO interviewed agreed with him that even Congressmen should be investigated the same as "normal people", that there were many opportunities to fabricate evidence and prepare stories, and that this was all indicative of a mindset that was "secretive to the max".
Well, no. Maybe on Bizarro Planet, but not here. The comments above are not reality. They are what you would see if Keith Olbermann treated Democrat scandals like he does Republican ones. But they are genuine bits and pieces of Krazy Keith's nightly hysteria over Dick Cheney's hunting accident. Tonight there was no such journalistic curiousity about the "vast holes". In fact, the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann ignored the Kennedy story: no guests, no interviews, no raised eyebrows, no lead-story hyperventilating. Not even a regurgitated report from NBC.
In reality, KO led off Countdown by reprising one of his classic lies. In discussing Gen Hayden:
One can only hope his command of the nation's premier intelligence agency would be a lot stronger than is his grip on the US Constitution....[he] displayed a shaky understanding of the 4th Amendment at a National Press Club event in January. The man who insisted multiple times that that particular codicil to the constitution does not include "probable cause".
As we pointed out at the time, Gen Hayden was asked about the standards for search and siezure. The constitution is clear: reasonableness. Keith Olbermann keeps referring to probable cause--that's not the standard for search and siezure, it's the standard for issuing a warrant. And the General was not asked about the standard for issuing a warrant. There is a difference; there are gazillions of perfectly legal searches that take place without a warrant, because they are reasonable. Either Krazy Keith is uneducatable, or more likely, he just can't help lying.
Olby suggested the real issue with Hayden's nomination is not that he's a military man, but that he has ties to that "controversial" warrantless wiretapping program. Then he went on to make a federal case out of President Bush quipping to a German reporter that his best moment as President is when he caught a 7 1/2 pound bass. KO demanded to know of Howard Fineman:
He answered seriously about his worse moment as President; why didn't he answer seriously about his best moment? Why has this weird joke seemed to have resonated so strongly on the web and on talk radio?
Bingo! When Krazy Keith mentions "the web", he really means the blue blogs (the deeper the blue, the more KO truckles to them). And "talk radio" is OlbySpeak for the terminally ill "Air America". Howie and KO also talked about Mr Foggo (possibly implicated in the Abramoff affair) who has resigned from the CIA.
The #4 slot began with a reminiscence of the English Courts of Chancery (no, we couldn't make this up), to lead into another edition of Karl Rove Will Be Indicted. Maybe. Possibly. Unless he's not. The doubly discredited David Shuster is "convinced" that Rove will be indicted. Does this sound familiar? Like the same stuff Slippery Shuster was saying last week? Or the week before that? No matter, it's better to fill up the air with reruns of speculation rather than reporting real news on the case. Libby's defense team claims to have witnesses who will testify Wilson outed his own wife before anyone else did. (At least one of them has gone public already.) Keep Slippery Shuster reading the same tea leaves week after week, but don't report anything that might be favorable to Libby. More from Shuster about Abramoff, but nothing whatsoever about Mollohan, or William Jefferson. Keith and Dave's Excellent Scandal Watch is blind in the left eye.
The steroid case made #3, where reporters have been subpoened to find out how secret testimony leaked. KO quoted Jamie Gorelick with a straight face as she claimed she had never heard of reporters being subpoened in a leak case. #2: a phony British lord (recycled from NBC), Keith Richards, Joe Wilson, and "former CIA covert officer" (an allegation that even Prosecutor Fitzpatrick won't attest to) Valerie Plame. #1: Cruise News! with the creepy Michael Musto.
Bill Frist was the Republican in the "worst person" segment, and Michelle Malkin filled the conservative slot. The latter was deemed a "nitwit" by Keith for not knowing something about what months baseball is played. What does that make someone who can't even read the plain words of the 4th Amendment?
Another mute mutt: no mention of Barry McCaffrey's report on the state of the Iraqi Army, even though he is MSNBC's in-house expert.
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 80th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp.
COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
PORTER GOSS RESIGNATION: Jack Rice, former CIA agent; Jon Meacham, Newsweek
ODDBALL MONTH IN REVIEW
"One Rehab to Go, with Mayo!"
The best kind of news, if you're Keith Olbermann, is not news at all. It's speculation, gossip, and rumor, fueled by the blue blogs that are simultaneously Olby's favorite source and target audience. No sooner did he begin his opening spiel than he started connecting imaginary dots between the resignation of Porter Goss and a possible FBI investigation. To make it sound more authoritative, KO claimed the investigation was reported in "Harper's Magazine", and splashed that name on the screen. Actually, the unsubstantiated report was an entry in "Washington Babylon", a blog by one of the Harper's writers.
Bear in mind there is no evidence to connect Goss to the prostitutes-and-poker scandal investigation, but Olby raised it repeatedly. There was much talk about low morale and tension at the CIA, but Jon Meacham didn't bite on Krazy Keith's rumor mongering. Olby wanted to know "how bad are these developments" (including "the leak they pinned on Mary McCarthy") for the President, and Meacham gave KO what he wanted to hear.
If anyone doubts that Olbermann Watch can impact The Hour of Spin, Friday night demonstrated just how powerful we have become. After our blistering critique of Olby for spiking the latest Fox/Opinion Dynamics poll, tonight he was forced to capitulate to our fair criticism. Yet in doing so, he again found a way to lie to his viewers!
First, Krazy Keith dug up another poll (from AP) with a lower number to blunt the impact of the Opinion Dynamics findings. Then he deliberately misrepresented the poll methodology:
Either somebody's getting a discount at the gas pumps, or the President is rebounding among Fox News viewers.
Keith Olbermann knows full well that Opinion Dynamics does not poll "Fox viewers". He knows their methodology is sound, and has never seen fit to impugn their results before, let alone lie about how the polls are conducted. But this is The Hour of Spin, and no trick is too dirty if it will advance the Olbermann Agenda.
Next came Jack Rice, former CIA agent, and longtime opponent of Porter Goss (see "CIA Director Is a Liar!"). There was some talk of leak investigations, and possible replacements, but nothing that would cause any nausea in Krazy Keith. Then, the #4 story began with a graphic of the White House, under the phrase: "SURROUNDED BY SCANDAL". We're just going to take a wild guess here, and suggest that there will be no reporting of any Democrat scandals (Jefferson, Mollohan, etc.). Let's unpause the tivo and see.
Oh, it's the latest Krazy Keith Konspiracy, trying to connect Porter Goss to those prostitutes again. Brushing aside the total lack of any evidence, Olby again claimed that unsubstantiated report came from "Harper's Magazine", and tried to tie it to Goss. The Great Leak Case came up too. Oh no, does this mean the doubly discredited David Shuster is next? Sigh. Slippery Shuster was brought on to speculate about what KO himself described as "not relevant to the case": Libby was warned (by whom?) about the "implication" (whatever that is) of outing Plame. Shuster delivered the usual dose of tea leaves, things "lawyers are talking about", and how Karl Rove might be indicted. Unless he isn't. Jefferson, Mollohan, any Democrats? Not a word.
The Kennedy KoverUp was relegated to the back of the bus: the #3 story, after "oddball". KO blissfully described the discredited Congressman's account as "refreshing", not mentioning that it conflicted with earlier accounts, that it made no medical sense, and that he could have made the same statement Thursday morning if he had wanted to.
Kennedy walked away from the podium without taking any questions and headed straight for the Mayo Clinic, where those pesky reporters cannot get to him. Recalling Keith's objections to Tony Snow not taking questions on the day he was appointed, we wondered if KO would expound on the importance of openness with the press in this case. Har. Nor were we surprised when the entire story was fobbed off on Chip Reid via a taped NBC report. No expert interviews, no railing about a coverup, no demand for a thorough investigation. Those are all Countdown fodder for Dick Cheney, or for elections where Democrats lose. But not for Patrick Kennedy. Remember, this is The Hour of Spin.
From this point on, the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann served up hard news about Tonya Harding, Tom Cruise, OJ Simpson, and the Oddball Month in Review. In the Media Matters Minute, KO found another O'Reilly quote on the Soros site, bringing us to O'Reilly Attack #85. (When will KO reach the miletone figure of 100?) O'Reilly said students are not punished for using foul language in New York Schools. Media Matters said oh yes they are, because it says so in the code. Naturally, Keith Olbermann, who has the lead role on Soros Puppet Theater, parrotted their language. We don't know whether Mr Bill is right or wrong, but we do know that the existence of a code is no proof that it is enforced. Such fine points are of no concern to Krazy Keith, for whom facts are expendable whenever his chief Olbsession flares up.
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 77th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp.
COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
DONALD RUMSFELD QUESTIONED: Michael Wolffe, Newsweek
BRITTNEY SPEARS: Michael Musto, Village Voice
Is Countdown the most biased hour of news on television? Thursday's Hour of Spin offers irrefutable proof of that assertion, from the opening seconds of the program right down to the news Keith Olbermann didn't report.
It's that pitchman's spiel at the top of each show that sets the tone, and once again Krazy Keith chose an anti-administration story to highlight. As a clip ran of a speaker accusing Donald Rumsfeld of lying about WMDs, the banner on the screen read:
SPEAKING TRUTH TO POWER
That banner means that Countdown, and by extension MSNBC, has adopted the speaker's statement as truth: Secretary Rumsfeld lied "to get us into war". Comedian Keith Olbermann claimed the questioner cut Rumsfeld "to ribbons". Naturally, KO ran the entire exchange, interspersing it with cherry-picked Rumsfeld quotes that he characterized as "fact checks". After a gotcha moment about the location of WMDs, the groundwork had been laid for the spin.
The questioner asked:
Your allegation that there was bullet-proof allegation of ties between Al-Qaeda and Iraq
Did Rumsfeld make that allegation? Indeed he did.
Note: Rumsfeld never denied saying it. So why did Krazy Keith "stop the tape" to prove that he did? Simple. Olby set up a straw man and demolished it purely for propaganda effect. And then the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann said that Rumsfeld had to "change the subject", because he answered the question by pointing out Zarqawi's presence in Iraq, and in Baghdad, before the war even began.
This is not Rumsfeld lying; it's Olbermann lying. Rummy did not "change the subject". He was asked about ties, and he replied about ties, specifically Zarqawi. Another phony spin trick, but Olby trumpeted it as a "make or break moment" and claimed Rummy "got faced". KO continued to let his biases spew:
"Not in the intelligence business" might have been a Freudian slip...
Charitably, it's dementia, and not charitably, it's lying.
Are they now in a situation where they just don't have enough people who are buying this stuff to fill up a hall with them?
Is this, by any stretch of the imagination, fair reporting? It may be fair commentary, if you want to admit your show is a bash-fest of leftist opinion, which it is, and you label it that way. But comedian Keith Olbermann will swear to his grave that he is "nonpartisan", citing as proof the fact that he doesn't even vote. We must be thankful for small favors.
The #4 slot began with this morning's controversial Kennedy car crash. Olby dispensed with the story in just one minute, contrasting mightily with his nightly outrage over the investigation of Dick Cheney's hunting accident. Instead of calling in experts and railing about a coverup, he ran a regurgitated NBC piece about, what else, a Republican scandal (Duke Cunningham).
#3: Moussaoui sentencing (taped report from Pete Williams) and Zarqawi (regurgitated NBC report); #2: David Blaine's underwater trick, plus celebrities (including Cruise News); #1: the creepy Michael Musto on Brittney Spears and more celebrity fluff, introduced with another Olbermann lie:
We reached 2/3 of Bill O's ratings last night.
The actual numbers:
O'Reilly Factor: 1,959,000
We said at the top of this piece not it's not just what Keith reports, it's also what he doesn't report. To wit:
Scandals: the Duke Cunningham story is rehashed yet again, but still not one word on Countdown about the William Jefferson (D) investigation which has already produced two guilty pleas. Or the ethics problems of Rep Mollohan (D).
And polls: Olby has hyped every tick downward in the President's approval ratings. The latest hyperventilation was Tuesday. And just two weeks ago he cited a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll showing the President at record lows:
Only 33 percent of those surveyed by Opinion Dynamics for Fox News now approving of how President Bush is doing his job. A 3-point drop in just the last two weeks, a 6-point drop in this poll in the last month.... Things not any better for the Republican-controlled Congress. Approval there is just 25 percent overall.
Today that poll was updated with new numbers. The Presidential approval rating is up five points, what Olby would call "a 5-point jump in just the last two weeks", if he were to report it as he did the 3-point drop. But he didn't. The Congressional approval number now stands at 35%: a 10-point gain. But that's not news on Countdown.
Polls are only important when they are going in the direction Keith Olbermann wants them to go. When they aren't, he'll dance away from them faster than a speeding photon. This is the journalistic equivalent of cheating at poker, or a butcher putting his thumb on the scale. Olby believes he's smarter than those schlubs in the audience and they won't catch on to his trickery. And it's true that the KO apologists won't care that his offenses against journalism amount to little more than just sophisticated, devious lying. But Olbermann Watch does care, because demagogues are dangerous, and by that standard Krazy Keith may be the most dangerous man in America.
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 76th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp.
COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
PRES. BUSH MEETS WITH BI-PARTISAN GROUP OF HOUSE AND SENATE; EXXON MOBILE CEO ON "TODAY": Howard Fineman, Newsweek chief political correspondent and MSNBC political analyst
THE MOUSSAOUI VERDICT: Pete Williams, NBC News
"MY BARE LADY": Mary Carey, adult film actress
"Krazy Keith: The Oily Years"
Worried about oil prices? On The Hour of Spin, they were even bigger news than the Moussaoui verdict, if comedian Keith Olbermann's opening spiel is to be believed:
The law of supply and demand: they have all the supply, they can demand whatever the hell they want.
And with that reference to the favorite villain of conspiracy nuts, "they", Krazy Keith simultaneously shows his distaste for, and ignorance of, capitalism as well as economics 101. After a Today show clip of an Exxon executive trying to explain that companies serve their shareholders, Olby quoted a Tom Friedman column that likened Congress to Al Qaeda. All of this was a warmup for Howard Fineman, Pundit for All Occasions. KO immediately formulated a run-on question to bash the GOP:
On a political level, the Republicans would seem to be in two huge holes on this: one, they have unified control of the government, there are no Democrats to blame for this, and two, their team captains have close ties, historically, to the energy industry, even if those ties have nothing to do with this current situation, the current price of gas, is that perception alone an unshakable albatross politically?
Fineman suggested that it was an opportunity for Bush to inaugurate a "crash program" to wean the US from oil. Keith regurgitated one of his favorite complaints, that there isn't enough criticism of George Bush:
Why the anemic response from the politicians on the other side of the fence?
It's difficult keeping up with Olby's mood swings. He turns queasy at the thought of dissenting opinions, but when it's Democrats who are doing the dissenting, he wants more of it! This was followed by a recycled NBC report, rehashing news from four days ago (Bolten's Sunday speculation that not televising daily press briefings was under consideration). Hey, didn't Olby obsess about this just two days ago? No matter; on The Hour of Spin you can never flog a story too many times. Norah O'Donnell's report included clips of people who thought turning off the cameras was a bad idea, but none who thought otherwise: the perfect balance for Olbermann's echo chamber.
The #4 story was the Moussaoui trial, introduced with an especially bizarre KO vignette: the shoe bomber must have had second thoughts because he didn't explode his bomb in the bathroom. Don't bother trying to understand the point, it's OlbyLogic. Pete Williams gave a verdict report, emphasizing how "far removed" Moussaoui was from the actual attack.
After "oddball", the #3 slot dealt with no Coke in schools, and legal coke (and most other narcotics) in Mexico. A regurgitated NBC report (#2) handled the latter story, and KO updated the story with the late news that Vincente Fox will not be signing the bill into law. The soda pop story was yet another rerun from the network mothership (#3). An additional recycled tape (#4) dealt with obesity.
Rolling Stone's 1000th issue was the #2 story: once again, the budget-conscious Countdown staff relegated the coverage to another regurgitated piece (#5), this time from Matt Lauer. The #1 story was OlbySleaze at its finest: porn star Mary Carey.
At least we didn't see David Shuster on "scandal patrol". That might be because one of the dogs that did not bark was the technology executive who plead guilty to bribery. He bribed a sitting Congressman with about $400,000 for help in obtaining a contract, but the Congressman happens to have a (D) after his name. No way that's going to make Countdown, even if it is the second guilty plea in this ongoing investigation.
Another taciturn pooch: General Barry McCaffrey, one of MSNBC's own in-house experts, whose report to the US Military Academy concluded that the building up of the Iraqi Army is "a brilliant success story", despite a feeling among the troops that the press is against them. You can be sure the General's findings will not be reported by the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann. McCaffrey will be lucky if Olby even lets him in the studio again. After all, he can't risk getting all nauseous.
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 75th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp.
"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
VALERIE PLAME: Lawrence O'Donnell
JACK ABRAMOFF: Ken Bazinet, New York Daily News
POLICE TERROR INVESTIGATIONS: David Kaplan, US News and World Report
PRESIDENTIAL POLLS: Michael Fletcher, Washington Post
"Think of Laura"
Countdown begins with an opening spiel wherein comedian Keith Olbermann bellows the talking points of the evening in rapid-fire fashion. It's not unlike the patter of the carnival barker, or the pitchman out to convince the gullible to invest in his miracle snake oil. And it's about as fair and balanced.
On Tuesday night's Hour of Spin KO rattled off his spin points for the evening: Valerie Plame was doing vital research; she was outed to protect the President's "backside"; poll numbers are low; how many times Jack Abramoff visited the White House... Oh, and of course, not to forget, Cruise News!
The big Valerie Wilson scoop (that she had been working on nuclear weapons in Iran) is immediately suspect, because of the source: Slippery Shuster. But even he isn't sufficiently radical to please the MoveOn crowd that MSNBC is currying favor with to prop up Olby, so Krazy Keith brings on even Krazier Lawrence ("Liar! Creepy Liar!") O'Donnell. O'Donnell was backpedaling like crazy, making excuses for why Fitzgerald hasn't indicted anyone for the Plame leak itself. He had to backpedal, since he said months ago that such an indictment was imminent. KO tactfully refrained from mentioning that foggy prediction to his Nostradamus. Olby went on to suggest that the President "has done more to help rogue states than hurt them", apparently referring to the Plame leak? Who knows. Maybe he was talking about that White House leak to Drudge that Keith reported some time ago, the one that never happened.
But wait, there is "Big News" in the Abramoff case. The record of his visits to the White House will be released, on request of a "conservative" watchdog group. (When has Keith ever described a "liberal" watchdog group?) KO asked Ken Bazinet if the logs will show how often Abramoff met with President Bush, because if he met with him, then--aha!--that's good for another week on The Hour of Spin! Guilt By Assocation: another arrow in the Olbermann quiver.
By the way, Judicial Watch also has pending litigation regarding RU-486, immigration law enforcement, the abuse of FBI files in the Clinton administration, and allegations of intimidation by Jesse Jackson. We don't recall any of these being reported, let alone elevated to the top story, on The Hour of Spin. A real shocker, no?
The #4 story was poll numbers: Michael Fletcher of the Post was asked to speculate about what the poll numbers will be by election day, but he hedged his bets about whether either House will flip. Fletcher was fine, but Olby's obvious questions (Wow, he discovered that most people like their own Congressman!) were singularly vapid.
"Uncle Sam Is Watching" was the headline for the #3 segment, with David Kaplan of US News detailing "fusion centers". Keith ticked off some of his favorite stories of federal monitoring (Quakers, etc), but this irrelevant intro and the dramatic headline were purely for propaganda effect: the fusion centers Kaplan wrote about are not part of the Department of Homeland Security (footage of which was shown to advance the spin), not part of the FBI, and in fact not part of the federal government at all. They are projects of the local police departments, who, like most police departments, get some federal funding.
Krazy Keith perked up with the #2 story, because it was: Cruise News! And, happy day, more celebrity news followed, bleeding over into the #1 slot: Sopranos actors arrested in real life.
In the Media Matters minute, the nightly conservative/Republican bashee was Laura Ingraham. Olby pretended that Laura was evil for suggesting that liberal media were appealing to immigrants in an effort to get more viewers. He did it all in a faux-nasal voice that apparently was supposed to mimic Laura; we're surprised he didn't make fun of her cancer as well. We don't know how Ms Ingraham could ever have socialized with Krazy Keith, but we're glad she's over her Matalin Moment.
Bowsers that did not yap: the immigration debate, top Al Qaeda leader nabbed, election night in Durham, Iran threatens Israel.
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 74th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp.
If he were dead, Tom Brokaw would be rolling in his grave.
Thankfully, Tom is alive and well but one can't help but wonder what the legendary broadcast news icon would have to say if he were still managing the NBC Nightly News and learned that the cable news operations owned by his network was coordinating its promotional efforts with far-left political activists. If you thought Diana Christensen climbing into bed with the Great Ahmed Kahn and his Ecumenical Liberation Army to promote a TV show was something out of a Hollywood script think again. MSNBC recently struck gold when the leading far-left internet advocacy, Moveon.org, joined hands to promote MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann by launching a "Civic Action" campaign designed to boost the ratings of the perennial ratings also-ran. Moveon.org, which reported 3.3 million members as of December 2005, sent out an e-mail to members urging members to watch Countdown with Keith Olbermann and asking that they sign a "pledge" to watch Countdown on specific nights.
If you believe in conspiracy theories you might make some hay out of the queer timing of Keith Olbermann suddenly popping up in various news articles and interview shows, the MoveOn.org e-mail campaign and the effort to promote Keith's sudden "surge" in the ratings as some of half-baked attempt to convince television viewers that Countdown was a show worth watching.
Whatever the cause, it's no surprise to see a charter member of the KO Fan Club, Brian Stelter of TVNewser, out trumpeting the latest cable news rating information for April as vindication for Keith Olbermann and his phone booth full of fans. Unfortunately for KO boosters, numbers don't like and the actual ratings tell a different story:
For all the free media tossed Olbermann's way, Countdown has gone from a distance third when the show was launched in 2003 to a "rising" fourth in a three network race (even CNN Headline News beats MSNBC in KO's time slot). Of course, you'd never know it for all the crowing from the liberal media "amen chorus" that have been relentlessly flacking for Countdown since it first aired more than three years ago. In the land of the OlbyLoon media, the most recent Nielsen ratings are supposed to show Keith is winning. If you think this is "winning" I'd like to sell you a part-interst in the Washington Senators baseball team.
Now, as I have written previously, Countdown's numbers ARE up. When we launched OlbermannWatch in 2004, KO was getting about 200,000 viewers a night. At over 450,000 viewers, this was KO's biggest month ever (I think). And if you read Keith's press clippings and blog cheerleaders you'd be tempted to think that Keith's irreverent look at the news has finally started to catch fire.
What TVNewser and the rest of the KO Fan Club don't want you to know is that Clinton pal Rick Kaplan has MSNBC working hand-in-glove with the Loony Left to do whatever they can to "save" Keith before his contract is up in early 2007. Over the past several months, the Soros-Troika (Media Matters for America, Air America Radio and the Center for American Progress) and their allies in the left-wing blogosphere have worked closely with MSNBC producers to exhort the far let to make watching Countdown as close to a religious obligation as their secular humanist hearts can stand. As the Soros-Troika and lefty bloggers like ThinkProgress, Ameriblog, Kos and CrooksandLiars have lined up behind Olbermann, the MSNBC PR machine has gone into overdrive to pump OlbyLoon Madness to friendly media outlets like C-SPAN, The Washington Post, the L.A. Daily News , the San Francisco Chronicle and others.
If this sounds familiar maybe its because you've seen the movie. James Berardinelli, in his film review of the movie Network, describes the setting for the film, UBS-TV, as a "fictional, last-place network...struggling, coming in way behind ABC, NBC, and CBS. In an attempt to reverse its fortunes, UBS decides to...bring in someone new." You know the story (or should) but the end result is that the news division at UBS is turned over to the entertainment division which rushes to put a mentally disturbed man on the air and turning what was a legitimate news broadcast into a "cross between a variety show and an evangelical program".
Ominously, Berardinelli concludes his review, written in 1998, by noting "the movie works better when viewed in the '90s, because things that seemed far-fetched 20 years ago aren't nearly as unbelievable today. One wonders if, in another few decades, a future generation will look at this film and guess whether it was 'based on a true story.'"
At MSNBC, that day is here.
Keith "why report the news when you can read blogs over the air" Olbermann is back at it again, this time with an unusual twist. Inside Cable News is reporting:
On Friday's Countdown, there was another tit for tat between FNC talent and Keith Olbermann. It got started during the "Brian and the Judge" radio show where Brian Kilmeade and Judge Andrew Napolitano tossed a dig at Keith Olbermann. Nothing new there really. The back and forth between FNC talent and Olbermann has been going on for some time now. And I wasn't going to blog it this time because I didn't find out about it until this morning's Countdown repeat when Olbermann aired the audio clip from the FNC Radio show. But then I got word from Johnny Dollar that the source of audio clip came from an unusual location; Olbermannwatch.
J$ tells ICN: "Keith always credits Crooks & Liars when he uses their clips, but didn't credit Olbermann Watch for this one. (Surprise!)"
It is well known that Olbermann routinely lifts material from blogs and left-wing web sites like Media Matters for America. After OlbermannWatch began to catalog examples of KO's "lift and read" approach to the news, Olbermann began to credit SOME sources for his blog-based rants including John Amato's CrooksandLiars.com.
It is well known that Olbermann routinely scours OlbermannWatch and is known to be preoccupied by the insightful analysis and commentary published by OlbermannWatch contributors and commenters. He has complained for years about OlbermannWatch coverage of his show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann and attacked OlbermannWatch Editor, by name, on the air.
Time to clean out my little KO scrap file...
Why don't you take a look at some of the crap that comes out of
O'Reilly's mouth--or Hannity's or Limbaugh's?
Or Wolf Blitzer's....Tim Russert's....Robert Novak's....and of course
the beautiful Ann Coulter...Peggy Noonan...etc. etc. etc.
If anyone is 'belligerently uninformed' it is you rightwing wackjobs.
Please read 'Blinded By the Right' by David Brock. If you don't already
know that the rightwing media not only 'spin' but LIE to maintain
control of the dumbasses who vote Republican, then Brock's book may be
extremely helpful to you.
If you doubt Brock's credentials, remember that his book 'The Real Anita
Hill' was a huge rightwing hit that helped Clarence Thomas get on the
Unlike most rightwing flacks, Brock had a conscience.
I wonder how many of you rightwingers are aware of your own dishonesty,
and why you so willingly cooperate with the anti-American agenda of the
Don't you know that you're lying? Do you really believe Olbermann spins
and Hannity tells the truth?
Samuel Alito is a liar and a rightwing extremist. You would know this
if you scrutinized him with half the zeal you scrutinize Olbermann with.
Proud liberal Democrat and patriotic American
Hey you Groucho Jersey lookin retard, no one spins or
spreads lies like the Conservative dead GOP machine!
Olbermann is hitting where it counts and it must hurt
because people like you hit back! A Bush approval
rating of 34% should show you 65% of this country
feels and thinks the way Olbermann does!
Now O'Rielly abuses the right to Freedom of Speech!
Some guy calls in and brings up the topic of
"Olbermann" and all of a sudden O'Rielly hits the hang
up switch button and tells this guy that he is going
to record his phone number and have Fox Security call
his local law enforcement too pay him a visit!
Sick! You people are idiots!
The WORST President in the history of America!
To say Keith Olberman is an uber moron is understatement. I was wondering who else is as irritated with this no talent jealous hack, as I have been. I guess now I know. How many people watch this idiot's show? Three, four? Props to this website. The guy has a single digit IQ.
Hi Robert. Not a big deal; just thought you'd be interested. In his blog entry today, KO makes an impassioned plea for Buck O'Neil, and talks about how awful it is that he didn't get into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
He apparently thinks quite highly of Mr. O'Neil. Too bad he couldn't get his name right (he spells it "O'Neill"). Is this not typical KO?
Sounds like "Worst Person in the World" material to me. Could you imagine if O'Reilly or Coulter had done something like that?
Of course we know that the New York Times is, in the immortal words used to describe himself by Keith Olbermann of MSNBC to Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post, "currently aligned, not in the sense of having membership, but being in the same part of the ballpark as a lot of liberals." Good one, Keith! In that case, how I look forward to the time when that alignment will no longer be current! The Times's presence in the same part of the same ballpark made itself obvious again last week with a headline which, perhaps as recently as a decade ago, would have been inconceivable in our newspaper of record. "On His New Album, Neil Young Calls for Bush's Impeachment." Of course, there's not much news-value in that addition to the ever-growing ranks of anti-war pop stars in spite of Mr. Young's once having found it convenient to associate himself politically with Ronald Reagan. Easy come, easy go ought to be the motto for the political allegiances of the beautiful but largely brainless people of the entertainment community. But what I find much, much sadder is the Times's ever-growing attachment to the values of the celebrity culture, in whose world alone it could possibly imagine anyone cares what Neil Young thinks about George Bush.
"And ding-dong, door-to-door free breast exam man." â€”Keith Olbermann, dreaming about his dream job, Countdown, April 20
"I'm screwed." â€”Keith Olbermann, Countdown, April 19
"From Adam and Eve straight through to Suri Cruise, the painting is more than 470 feet long." - Keith Olbermann, describing a painting in India that depicts every scene in the Bible.
"COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN" (8:00-9:00 P.M. ET)
Host: Keith Olbermann
PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS: Richard Wolffe, Newsweek White House correspondent and MSNBC political analyst; Charlie Savage, Boston Globe Washington reporter
STEPHEN COLBERT'S SKIT AT THE WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENTS DINNER: Dana
Milbank, Washington Post national political reporter
ANNA NICOLE SMITH'S VICTORY: Savannah Guthrie, Court TV correspondent
"Countdown of Claptrap"
#5 story: politics and war. Comedian Keith Olbermann stated:
A turning point for President Bush. Three years after he declared "mission accomplished"...
Actually, the speech he gave on the carrier never used that phrase.
cautioning that there are going to be more tough days ahead, all of which you might have thought would have preceded an 'accomplished mission' statement.
When the news isn't good, stop the news.
Televising daily press briefings only began during the Clinton administration. The absence of cameras does not "stop the news".
If they're not televised, there's a whole different mechanic to the process of getting news out of the White House.
It's called "reporting".
The Chief Executive has now given the legislative branch the figurative finger more than 750 times since taking office by reserving the right to ignore any law that he believes in unconstitutional.
The signing statement has a long and distinguished history. Every President since Eisenhower has used them to state he would not enforce unconstitutional provisions. Bill Clinton's Justice Department argued strongly that signing statements were legitimate and even desirable, tracing their history back to FDR.
In fact, signing statements have been around a lot longer than televised press briefings.
#4 story: national rallies. A taped report from NBC's Lester Holt.
#3 story: DC correspondents' dinner. Comedian Keith Olbermann asked about Stephen Colbert:
Was there a line crossed here in some way?
Dana Milbank replied:
I just don't think he was terribly funny, and he had the misfortune of following Bush who actually did put on one of the better performances...
So naturally Olby ran extensive clips of Colbert and none of Bush. Truckling to the blue blogs is Job One on Countdown.
#2 story: "United 93" (regurgitated video from NBC) and celebrity news. Of the Limbaugh settlement, comedian Keith Olbermann announced:
Now when he whizzes all over himself at least there's a good reason for it.
The second time in the hour Krazy Keith trots out the "whizzes all over himself" line. It's so funny, let's say it twice!
#1 story: Anna Nicole Smith Puppet Theater.
Media Matters Minute: Bill O'Reilly (attack #84) is "worst", for saying there are left-wingers at NBC News.
If KO thinks this erroneous he must never look in a mirror. Didn't they install one under his desk?
And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 73rd day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp.
Robert Cox's Recommended Reading: