Buy Text-Link-Ads here
Recent Comments

    follow OlbyWatch on Twitter


    John Gibson Welcomes Back the Infamous, Deplorable Keith Olbermann

    tonyome wrote: Bwaaaaaaa - "Olbermann burned a lot of bridges at MSNBC". No shit? <a href=... [more](20)


    Welcome Back, Olby!

    syvyn11 wrote: <a href=" [more](9)


    Former Obama Support/Donor Releases Song Supporting Romney/Ryan: "We'll Take It Back Again" by Kyle Tucker

    syvyn11 wrote: @philly I don't see that happening. ESPN has turned hyper left in recent... [more](64)


    Blue-Blog-a-Palooza: Ann Romney Edition!

    djthereplay wrote: By mkdawuss on August 29, 2012 6:17 PM Will John Gibson be having a "Red-B... [more](4)


    No Joy in Kosville...Mighty Olby Has Struck Out

    djwolf76 wrote: "But the FOX-GOP relationship (which is far more distinguished and prevalen... [more](23)

    KO Mini Blog

    What's in the Olbermann Flood Feed?
    Subscribe to Olbermann Flood Feed:

    KO Countdown Clock

    Warning: mktime() [function.mktime]: It is not safe to rely on the system's timezone settings. You are *required* to use the date.timezone setting or the date_default_timezone_set() function. In case you used any of those methods and you are still getting this warning, you most likely misspelled the timezone identifier. We selected 'America/New_York' for 'EST/-5.0/no DST' instead in /home/owatch/www/ on line 5
    KO's new contract with MSNBC ends in...
    0 days 0 hours 0 minutes "My Faves" Set Favorited Photos from other Flickr Users

    Got OlbyPhotos? See some on Flickr? DO NOT email us. Send us a FlickrMail instead. Include a link to the photo. If we like the photo you will see it displayed in the Olby Flickr Flood above.

    New to Flickr? Sign up for a FREE Flickr account!

    Got some OlbyVideo? See some on YouTube? DO NOT email us. Send us a YouTube Messages instead. Include a link to the video. If we like the video you will see it displayed in our favorites list in our YouTube page.

    New to YouTube? Sign up for a FREE YouTube account!

    Red Meat Blog
    Keith Olbermann Quotes
    Countdown Staff Writers

    If they're not on Keith's payroll...

    ...they should be...

    Crooks & Liars
    Daily Kos
    Huffington Post
    Media Matters for America
    News Corpse
    No Quarter
    Raw Story
    Talking Points Memo
    Think Progress
    Keith Lovers

    MSNBC's Countdown
    MSNBC Transcripts
    MSNBC Group at MSN

    Drinking with Keith Olbermann
    Either Relevant or True
    Keith Olbermann is Evil
    Olbermann Nation
    Thank You, Keith Olbermann

    Don't Be Such A Douche
    Eyes on Fox
    Liberal Talk Radio
    Oliver Willis
    Sweet Jesus I Hate Bill O'Reilly

    Anonymous Rat
    For This Relief Much Thanks
    Watching Olbermann Watch

    Keith Olbermann Fanlisting Site I
    Keith Olbermann Fanlisting Site II
    Keith Olbermann Links
    Sports Center Altar
    Nothing for Everyone

    Democratic Underground KO Forum
    Television Without Pity KO Forum
    Loony KO Forum (old)
    Loony KO Forum (new)
    Olberfans Forum (old)
    Olberfans Forum (new)
    Keith Watchers

    186k per second
    Ace of Spades HQ
    Cable Gamer
    Dean's World
    Doug Ross@Journal
    Extreme Mortman
    Fire Keith Olbermann
    Hot Air
    Inside Cable News
    Jawa Report
    Johnny Dollar's Place
    Just One Minute
    Little Green Footballs
    Mark Levin
    Media Research Center
    National Review Media Blog
    Narcissistic Views
    Pat Campbell Show
    Radio Equalizer
    Riehl World View
    Sister Toldjah
    Toys in the Attic
    The Dark Side of Keith Olbermann
    World According to Carl

    Thanks for the blogroll link!

    Age of Treason
    Bane Rants
    The Blue Site
    Cabal of Doom-De Oppresso Libre
    Conservative Blog Therapy
    Country Store
    Does Anyone Agree?
    The Drunkablog!
    Eclipse Ramblings
    If I were President of USA
    I'll Lay Down My Glasses
    Instrumental Rationality
    Kevin Dayhoff
    Last Train Out Of Hell
    Leaning Straight Up
    Limestone Roof
    Mein BlogoVault
    Peacerose Journal
    The Politics of CP
    Public Secrets: from the files of the Irishspy
    Rat Chat
    Return of the Conservatives
    The Right Place
    Rhymes with Right
    Six Meat Buffet
    Sports and Stuff
    Stout Republican
    Stuck On Stupid
    Things I H8
    Verum Serum

    Friends of OlbyWatch

    Aaron Barnhart
    Eric Deggans
    Jason Clarke
    Ron Coleman
    Victria Zdrok
    Keith Resources

    Google News: Keith Olbermann
    Feedster: Keith Olbermann
    Technorati: Keith Olbermann
    Wikipedia: Keith Olbermann
    Wikipedia: Countdown
    Wikiality: Keith Olbermann
    Keith Olbermann Quotes on Jossip
    Keith Olbermann Photos
    NNDB Olbermann Page
    IMDB Olbermann Page
    Countdown Guest Listing & Transcripts
    Olbermann Watch FAQ
    List of Politics on Countdown (by party)
    Mark Levin's Keith Overbite Page
    Keith Olbermann's Diary at Daily Kos
    Olbermann Watch in the News

    Houston Chronicle
    The Journal News
    National Review
    San Antonio Express
    The Hollywood Reporter
    The Journal News
    Los Angeles Times
    American Journalism Review
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    St. Petersburg Times
    Kansas City Star
    New York Post/Page Six
    Washington Post
    Associated Press
    New York Daily News
    Online Journalism Review
    The Washingon Post
    Hartford Courant
    The New York Observer
    The Washington Post

    Countdown with Keith Olbermann
    Great Moments in Broadcast Journalism
    Great Thanks Hall of Fame
    Keith Olbermann
    MSM KO Bandwagon
    Olbermann Watch Channel on You Tube
    Olbermann Watch Debate
    Olbermann Watch Image Gallery
    Olbermann Watch Polling Service
    OlbyWatch Link Roundup
    TVNewser "Journalism"

    July 2013
    September 2012
    August 2012
    April 2012
    March 2012
    February 2012
    January 2012
    December 2011
    November 2011
    October 2011
    September 2011
    August 2011
    July 2011
    June 2011
    May 2011
    April 2011
    March 2011
    February 2011
    January 2011
    December 2010
    November 2010
    October 2010
    September 2010
    August 2010
    July 2010
    June 2010
    May 2010
    April 2010
    March 2010
    February 2010
    January 2010
    December 2009
    November 2009
    October 2009
    September 2009
    August 2009
    July 2009
    June 2009
    May 2009
    April 2009
    March 2009
    February 2009
    January 2009
    December 2008
    November 2008
    October 2008
    September 2008
    August 2008
    July 2008
    June 2008
    May 2008
    April 2008
    March 2008
    February 2008
    January 2008
    December 2007
    November 2007
    October 2007
    September 2007
    August 2007
    July 2007
    June 2007
    May 2007
    April 2007
    March 2007
    February 2007
    January 2007
    December 2006
    November 2006
    October 2006
    September 2006
    August 2006
    July 2006
    June 2006
    May 2006
    April 2006
    March 2006
    February 2006
    January 2006
    December 2005
    November 2005
    October 2005
    September 2005
    August 2005
    June 2005
    May 2005
    April 2005
    March 2005
    February 2005
    January 2005
    December 2004
    November 2004


    Olbermann Watch Masthead

    Managing Editor

    Robert Cox
    olby at olbywatch dot com


    Mark Koldys
    Johnny Dollar's Place

    Brandon Coates

    Chris Matthews' Leg
    Chris Matthews' Leg

    Howard Mortman
    Extreme Mortman

    Trajan 75
    Think Progress Watch


    Doug Krile
    The Krile Files

    Teddy Schatz

    David Lunde

    Alex Yuriev

    Red Meat

    Technorati Links to OlbyWatchLinks to

    Technorati Links to OlbyWatch Blog posts tagged with "Olbermann"

    Combined Feed
    (OlbyWatch + KO Mini-blog)

    Who Links To Me

    Mailing List RSS Feed
    Google Groups
    Subscribe to Olbermann Watch Mailing List
    Visit this group

    Add to Google
    Add to My Yahoo!
    Subscribe with Bloglines
    Subscribe in NewsGator Online

    Add to My AOL
    Subscribe with Pluck RSS reader
    Add to Technorati Favorites!

    Subscribe in myEarthlink
    Feed Button Help

    Know something about Keith Olbermann?

    Send it to us!

    July 31, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • THE MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT: Richard Wolffe, Newsweek

    That vaunted Olbermann News Judgment was back in evidence tonight, as early as the opening spiel. Olby ticked off the top stories: MidEast conflict (with the obligatory anti-American note: "have we been painted into a corner?"), Katie Couric's airplane adventure, Lindsay Lohan off sick from her new film, and Mel Gibson.

    Olby characterized the Israeli position as "defiant", cited "anger" and "outrage" over casualties in Lebanon, then introduced taped reports (Martin Fletcher, Richard Engel). The Wolffe Man opined that because Israel has hit civilians, they have lost the "PR battle". KO was quick to cite Chuck Hagel, who is calling for a cease-fire, and Krazy wondered how "significant" it is that he broke with the President. Based on Hagel's track record, not very.

    In the #4 segment, Olby raised the question of whether Israel "miscalculated" in responding to Hezbollah. A taped David Gregory report followed, and again Krazy Keith played the little game where he offered Gregory "great thanks", as if the videotape playback machine could actually hear him.

    The infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann introduced "oddball" by complaining about some news executive. She had criticized Huntley and Brinkley, and Reverend Olby sermonized that her remarks were "unconscionable and unprofessional". Because it's wrong, just wrong, to criticize other broadcasters. We wonder, if making one negative statement is "unconscionable and unprofessional", what would attacking someone 102 times be?

    Olbermann's nose-dive into celebrity journalism came quickly: the #3 story. First up, Mel Gibson, which KO introduced with the tacky tag-line: "the dashin' of the Christ". After a recycled NBC report, Tom O'Neil from InTouch magazine dished the dirt. Both KO and Tom declared that Gibson's career is over, with Herr Olbermann name-dropping a famous scandal of years past ("Is this almost Fatty Arbuckle levels?"). Of course, Mr Arbuckle's "scandal" regarded unsubstantiated rape charges that finally were dismissed by a jury in six minutes of deliberation, and Arbuckle did eventually return to films. So we're unclear exactly how that relates to Mr Gibson. Krazy offered the suggestion that if Gibson were to go on Bill O'Reilly's show to do a mea culpa, "at least Mel could claim he's drunk". And if you think Countdown is not going to keep flogging this story, tune in tomorrow for Mel Gibson Puppet Theater. No, we are not making this up. This must be how Dan Abrams plans to address the fact that MSNBC's viewers are nowhere near as smart or educated as Bill O'Reilly's.

    #2: Flight delays (via another regurgitated NBC report), a lead-in to more celebrity news: Katie Couric on an airplane! Followed by Ben Affleck, Kid Rock, and Pamela Anderson. And the #1 story, the Great Lindsay Lohan Labor Dispute, covered by a recycled NBC report and, in person, the creepy Michael Musto. The latter announced that Mel Gibson's audience is "deeply anti-Semetic", and chatted about "peeing on a script" and "camel poop". Keep it up, Dan. Those educated viewers must be flocking to A-Mess-NBC.

    Rick Santorum (R) was a runner-up "worst person"; no liberal or Democrat was included in this "nonpartisan" segment. The "winner" was a traveler who took Olby's luggage by mistake. Does this mean that some hapless passenger now has Keith's little black book? His email? His own personal copy of Mein Kampf? The mind boggles at the possibilities. But alas, that was not to be; Krazy Keith got his bag back within 40 minutes. That isn't much longer than the amount of time he spent kvetching about it on national (though little-seen, except by the uneducated) television.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (27) | | View blog reactions
    Pew Poll: MSNBC viewers dumbest; O'Reilly smartest

    A study by The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that MSNBC viewers were the least likely to be able to correctly answer three simple "current events" questions. With just one in five viewers able to name the majority party in the Congress and identify Condeleeza Rice and Vladimir Putin, MSNBC (21%) edged out CNBC (23%) viewers as the dumbest of the dumb. CNN (31%) viewers were the smartest, followed closely by Fox News (28% viewers).

    The three "high knowledge" questions were:

    1) Which party has a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives (Republicans)

    2) What is the name of the current U.S. Secretary of State (Condoleezza Rice)

    3) What is the name of the current president of Russia (Vladimir Putin)

    Pew reports "The most informed audiences belong to the political magazines, Rush Limbaugh's radio show, the O'Reilly Factor, news magazines, and online news sources." Weekly Standard readers tied with the The New Republic for the top spot overall at 50. Rush Limbaugh listeners were the smartest radio audience at 48. The O'Reilly Factor viewers were the smartest cable news audience at 41.

    Pew either did not bother to ask or could not find viewers of Countdown with Keith Olbermann which is traditionally among the very lowest rated of the cable news shows. Also notable for its absence is Air America Radio which has ratings similar to Olbermann - pathetically anemic.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (133) | | View blog reactions
    Olbermann Drops Book Plans

    No, not that book...the other book. You know, the novel he was writing with Anthony Godby Johnson about baseball - the kid who turned out not to exist.

    A reader posted a link to this New York Post article about Robin Williams new movie, "The Night Listener", a film based on a book of the same name by Armistead Maupin.

    You can bet this is a movie KO is not likely to add to his Top 10 list for 2006 (emphasis added):

    In 1992, Maupin had befriended Vicki's adopted, AIDS-stricken son, Anthony Godby Johnson, after reading a galley of his autobiography, "A Rock and a Hard Place: One Boy's Triumphant Story." Moved by the harrowing memoir of child abuse, the "Tales of the City" scribe offered to blurb the book, and immediately hit it off with the dying - but effervescent - 14-year-old when they first spoke on the phone...As digital voice analysis would later show, Anthony was Vicki - the highly skilled perpetrator of a sweeping, 15-year public scam that touched thousands of people, including marquee names such as Oprah Winfrey, Keith Olbermann, Fred "Mr." Rogers, Mickey Mantle and Jermaine Jackson...

    Meanwhile, the boy's strength in the face of extraordinary medical complications - an amputated leg and testicle, a stroke, shingles, constant pneumonia - inspired many celebrity supporters. They were all happy just to chat with the sick boy over the phone or by e-mail, respecting Vicki's edict about how her son was too sick to see anyone at all - ever.

    "Keith Olbermann doesn't like to talk about it," says Maupin. The sportscaster had reportedly been collaborating with Tony on a novel about baseball.

    That's actually a double-shot on Keith "Edward R. Murrow" Olbermann. Not only did his finely-honed journalistic skills fail (once again) to detect fraud but he's described as "sportscaster" not "news anchor".

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (13) | | View blog reactions
    July 29, 2006
    Windmills or Bandwagon?: Virginia Newspaper Slams Olbermann's Nazi Salute

    The Virginian-Pilot has published an editorial condemning Olbermann for the use of Nazi imagery to promote his floundering television show.

    Here's the money quote:

    Keith Olbermann , take note. Olbermann, the MSNBC host, has a running feud with Fox News' Bill O'Reilly . It's pretty funny. The routine goes like this: O'Reilly says something outrageous, Olbermann lampoons him, then O'Reilly overreacts. It never fails, and O'Reilly never learns. Recently, Olbermann appeared at a meeting of the Television Critics Association. He whipped out a Bill O'Reilly mask and gave a Nazi salute. Not funny.

    Here's the rule of thumb: Whenever a political debate gets to the point where someone invokes Nazis or Hitler, it's time to stop. There is no connection between Hitler and ... well, pretty much anything or anyone else. Maybe Pol Pot. Maybe Serbia. Maybe Sudan. But that's about it. But not Bill O'Reilly.

    They allow moderated comments on their web site so I posted one. Hopefully the will print it...


    Excellent editorial but...

    The Olbermann Nazi Salute was far worse than simply "not funny". As noted in the Miami Herald the Nazi Salute was pre-planned as part of NBC's promotional strategy for their cable news channel. Worse, the supposed basis for the stunt - that Bill O'reilly has defended Nazis is knowingly false and malicious.

    That GE executives would permit NBC to stoop to using Nazi imagery to boost ratings at their floundering cable news channel is a disgrace.


    Of course, sharp-eyed readers will note how the editorial depicts the "feud" from Olbermann's point of view:

    O'Reilly says something outrageous, Olbermann lampoons him, then O'Reilly overreacts. It never fails, and O'Reilly never learns.

    At the Pilot, O'Reilly is Charlie Brown to Olbermann's Lucy. O'Reilly says "outrageous" things then "overreacts" and "never learns". Keith "lampoons". Somehow they missed the part where Olbermann makes things up, bases charges on erroneous transcripts lifted from blogs, touts propaganda from Media Matters for America, takes things out of context or, in the most recent case, flat out lies. The fail to note that Olbermann routinely slanders his opponents, especially O'Reilly. However, it does say something when even an MSM paper like the Virginia-Pilot takes issue with Olbermann's Nazi Salute. Too bad it's for the wrong reason - that it was "not funny".

    The Olbershphere weighs in...

    The Cable Game - mainstream America, in the form of the Virginian-Pilot op/ed page, is revolted too...

    ICN - Still more Nazi salute stuff...

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (26) | | View blog reactions
    July 28, 2006
    Olbermann on CBS Late Late Show

    Keith joins Craig Ferguson on the Late Late Show (that's after Letterman on CBS). Keith and Craig may have loads to talk about; when Ferguson first began working the UK Comedy Circuit in the nineties he went by the name Bing Hitler

    Once again, I am ponying up a free copy of Keith Olbermann's new book (seriously) to the OlbyWatch Reader who can guess how many times Olbermann will say "O'Reilly" during his appearance. I open the bidding at 8.


    KO Review

    Dressed like the professor on Gillians Island, Keith was once again lost at sea on a late night talk show. Like Leno, lot's of "Really's?" and "Rights" from Ferguson in response to Keith's "jokes"... Mel Gibson was arrested he said "dont' blame me, Jesus was driving (thud), "fundamentalists don't believe in gravity" (clank) about al Qaeda appearing in Pet Shop Boys videos (clunk).

    In fairness to Keith his was much more relaxed (perhaps because he was the second guest on the Late, Late show, on past one in the morning and few were watching). He did get off a few good lines including one about bringing "reality TV" concepts to the voting process (vote another candidate off each week) but, once again, rambled on so long that they had to edit down the segment and go straight to the hard break at the end of the show.

    KO Makes Olbermann Watch reference

    Earlier in the week, we wrote on Olbermann's appearance on Leno:

    KO swung and missed with "got out here in time for the freeways to melt"

    KO swung again and missed with "Al Gore was wrong that global warming would take 10 years - more like 10 minutes"
KO was caught looking on "forecast tomorrow, 60% fog in the morning, 60% the four horseman of the apocalypse"

    When the Pet Shop Boy/al Qaeda joke fell flat KO said:

    I tried to go culture and...a swing and a miss

    NOTE TO KEITH: Keep reading OlbyWatch. We love having you here!

    Keith Largely Passes on O'Reilly

    We have a winner! In a shocker (to everyone but Steve), Olbermann failed to utter the name "Bill O'Reilly" once during the entire show confining himself to the occasional pronoun as in "He's an idiot". There were two taped mentions so those don't count which means SteveMG is the "lucky" winner of KO's new book!!! Congratulations.

    Reeling from the pressure brought to bear by Olbermann Watch, KO steered clear of any Nazi references, this time tossing the old "Coit Tower" canard for the uninitiated and perplexed audience.

    KO: there was a bill passed by the City Council of San Francisco that said you can't have - a voluntary thing - you're not supposed to have military recruiters on high school campuses in San Francisco. A voluntary thing but you know we just don't what you to do that. You want to send 'em across the street that's great but not on the campus. It adds something like you can get a better grade if you sign up for the military. His response to that was to say "Well OK al Qaeda if you want to attack anybody in the United States we're going to defend every place but San Francisco". Isn't that a little bit of an over reaction to...? (nervous laughter).

    Of course, Keith is lying. What KO failed to mention is that while the resolution that passed was a "sense of the city" resolution, what O'Reilly was reacting to was the ongoing effort to BAN military recruiting on ALL high school and college campuses in San Francisco - not some "voluntary" program. KO also failed to mention that the "College Not Combat" organization is yet another front group for those lovable lugs, the international communists, who have been drafting resolutions for school boards and city council across the United States as part of its master plan to totally demilitarize the United States. The stated goal of those behind the College Not Combat initiative is to ban campus military recruiting and that they pushed the City Council resolution in San Francisco (they have other such resolutions in motion in Seattle and elsewhere) as part of a step by step "consciousness raising" process (the standard left-wing tactic) akin to boiling a frog. This point is even mentioned in the San Francisco Chronicle article to which Media Matters linked in their piece.

    By the way, I am not using the term "communists" here as hyperbole. These folks really are part of the alive but barely kicking international communist movement which is organized around International A.N.S.W.E.R. yet another front group, but good luck trying to get them to admit that as they know that if Americans really understood who they are, what they believe and what they are attempting to implement here and around the world they would be rejected out-of-hand by Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike.

    According to George Soros Media Matters for America, O'Reilly said:

    Hey, you know, if you want to ban military recruiting, fine, but I'm not going to give you another nickel of federal money. You know, if I'm the president of the United States, I walk right into Union Square, I set up my little presidential podium, and I say, "Listen, citizens of San Francisco, if you vote against military recruiting, you're not going to get another nickel in federal funds. Fine. You want to be your own country? Go right ahead. And if Al Qaeda comes in here and blows you up, we're not going to do anything about it. We're going to say, look, every other place in America is off limits to you, except San Francisco. You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead.

    I do not think it was appropriate to for O'Reilly to go so far as to say "You want to blow up the Coit Tower? Go ahead." But he was clearly not advocating that. He was using hyperbole wrapped in a hypothetical inside an outburst to make a point - that San Francisco was trying to have it both ways - they want to ban military recruiting (the "College Not Combat" initiative "discouraged" military recruiting but, as noted above, was drafted as a first step towards a ban) but they want to be protected by the same military they disavow. O'Reilly was laying out the logical consequences of the international communist agenda - that if we have no military recruiting we will have no soldiers and there will not be anyone to protect San Francisco and that will mean open season on U.S. citizens not just in San Francisco but around the world and so the actions of the City Council in San Francisco is the first step in putting all Americans at risk. As O'Reilly is one of them he is upset about it. His point was that it was totally irresponsible for elected officials to be actively in engaged in efforts to undermine the U.S. military during a time of war (or ever, for that matter) and that if they were successful those chickens would come home to roost. What he expressed was the frustration that those chickens are more likely to come to roost where he lives (New York) than San Francisco.

    San Francisco did not ban military recruiting on college campus because, under current law, had they done so they would lose federal funding for their colleges. In other words, they want to disavow the U.S. military, they want to deter students from joining the military, but they still want all the money.

    BTW, you can look for efforts from the international communists to de-couple federal dollars from military recruiting on college campuses once they have gotten enough local governments to go along with their international communist agenda.

    KO Trivia

    We got a little KO trivia - that he interviewed for the job to replace Pat Sajak on the CBS Late Show, that he has a unibrow and shaves in between his eyebrows. Also, and KO fans know this, but he is doing a voiceover on Family Guy during the fall season.

    KO Admits Supporting Al Gore

    Ferguson asked "What side do you dress on...politically?"

    And we got the usual "I've been accused of being a liberal" drivel and then the tired "I did 218 shows about Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky and no one accused me of being a liberal then" without mentioning that he threw a hissy fit in a speech at Cornell revealing publicly that he had quit his job for "moral" reasons (i.e., he quit in protest over reporting on the Clinton Sex Scandal, reporting that he now claims shows his "independent" bona fides).

    KO continued "It's very interesting how you can be pigeon-holed . I like to think of myself politically as 'correct'. All those Al Gore bumper stickers, they weren't a good investment but..

    And then we got the big lie...

    KO: I tried...I try to not the degree you can be neutral now a days...for instance, I don't vote.

    Ferguson: You don't vote at all?

    KO: I don't vote because I don't think I should have a rooting interest in the outcome of an election.

    Ferguson: Isn't it your duty as a citizen to vote?

    KO: ...If everybody who's in the news stayed away from the ballot box I don't think we'd have a significant decline, people would still have that bias that's perceived one way or another but you could say "well I didn't vote...I don't contribute...I'm try to stay out of it to the degree that I can. I don't have a rooting interest other than what happens to the country.

    Olbermann Advocates Poll Tax

    Just days after President Bush reauthorized the Voting Rigths Acts of 1965 for another 25 years, Keith Olbermann is pining for the good old days of the Poll Tax:

    KO: Australia, if you don't vote you get fined and I mean it's like eleven dollars or something but you have to get a receipt from the voting booth and you mail that in with your tax return or they send you a bill...we could translate that here..and as soon as you get that receipt you get twenty five dollars off your tax return...

    One can only wonder what civil rights leaders might think of Keith's plan for a regressive "poll fine" which would only be refunded to tax payers who voted. Apparently Keith did not get the memo that a large chunk of the Democratic base doesn't pay taxes and that quite a few of those are African Americans so that the effect of his "plan" is to revive the Jim Crow laws under a new guise. Talk about "open mouth, insert eyebrow". Jeez, how dumb can you be?

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (44) | | View blog reactions
    MSM KO Bandwagon #91: London Calling

    Oliver Burkemen of the UK's infamous left-wing rag, The Guardian, chews up a few pages from the Media Matters playbook, adds a dash of hyerbole and produces a prototypical KO-BOR "feud" piece where everything from Olbermann is taken as gospel whike O'Reilly and FNC take it on the chin at every turn.

    Here are a few of Burkemen's whoppers..

    The Olbermann Nazi Salute provoked a "furious response"from Fox's chairman, Roger Ailes.
    [not a single report from TCA described Ailes's reply to a question on Olbermann as anything other that matter-of-fact]

    O'Reilly "has a habit" of telling guest to shut up.
    [I don't have the count but I believe this has happened about three or four times in ten years]

    O'Reilly extended an "open invitation" for al Qaede to attack San Francisco
    [O'Reilly said if the City government was not willing to allowing military recruiting in San Francisco they should not expect help from the military if they are attacked by terrorists]

    Olbermann is a "professional ironist"
    [is that what he is?]

    "Legal documents" included a transcript of a telephone call O'Reilly had made
    [unsubstantiated accusations, but here taken at face value]

    The attacks on O'Reilly have caused "detectible surges" in KO's ratings.
    [KO's ratings have been on a straight line down since the Winter Olympics ended]

    There is an "unmistakeable rightwing bias" in FNC's coverage
    [while the politcal talk shows lean right, studies have consistantly found FNC news coverage is among the most objective coverage in the U.S.]

    O'Reilly and Ailes are "unable to control their tempers"
    [O'Reilly does have a temper, there has never been any indication he is unable to control it and lumping in Ailes based on a reaction he did not have to a question at TCA is aburd]

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part XI

    The cable news blog industry is buzzing with the sudden appearance of mystery blogger "Dylan" at TVNewser.

    > An e-mailer asks an innocent question: "Could Dylan be a Media Bistro replacement for Brian Stelter who has been rocked recently by the "Live Plus" scandal?"


    > a tipster says "the word around Stelter's dorm room is that "Dylan" is actually a psuedonym that Brian has adopted to deal with future journalistic transgressions. The plan is to respond to all future criticism with "Blame Dylan". But a second tipster asserts "Wow, a whispering campaign has begun on Dylan? Be careful with that, it could be just some muddying of the waters."

    Update: 5:33pm: "There is nothing to this and nothing to look into," a Media Bistro spokesperson says. "Sounds like a tip from a competitor who is envious of 'TVNewsers' great success."


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    MSM KO Bandwagon #93: KO Serves up mud and liberal TV Critics Say "Yum"

    This time it's Daily News staff writer Helen Kennedy taking a big bite out of the MNSBC PR sandwich. Kennedy provide a textbook example of the well-documented anti-Fox, pro-Liberal, pro-KO bias of most members of the TV Critics Association.

    In this piece, every Olbermann attack line is played straight and his characterizations of O'Reilly taken as received wisdom. Anyone who has followed Olbermann's increasingly desperate antics knows that Olbermann originally sought out a feud in the hope of generating interest in himself and his show and has stated publicly that he believes, despite ample evidence to the contrary, that his ratings increase when he attacks O'Reilly. After a few ill-advised retorts, O'Reilly has largely ignored Olbermann. In other words, Olbermann is constantly pitching the "feud" story to the media which is more than happy to oblige Olbermann and his liberal agenda. Today, Kennedy opens wide for Keith.

    In this piece, the feud is portrayed as harmless and amusing ("long-running feud", "rumpus", "fun", "comic relief".) and not only mutual but something sought out by O'Reilly (the complete opposite of the case). When Olbermann attacks O'Reilly its all positive: "gleefully taunting", "snarky", "Ivy League", "blithely". Words associate with O'Reilly in the article are are all negative ""self-regarding", "Worst Person in the World", "embarrassing details", "the Big Giant Head". Even O'Reilly's occasional responses are described using negative language - "O'Reilly frequently fails to ignore".

    It's no surprise that when she mentions Olbermann Watch this blog is falsely described as a gathering of "O'Reilly fans" who "trash" Olbermann's "every utterance". As Olbermann Watch readers know this is a site ABOUT Olbermann not O'Reilly; the only reason O'Reilly gets mentioned at all is because Olbermann is constantly raising the subject and doing so by making false or misleading statements. Poking holes in Keith's liberal propaganda does not make one an O'Reilly fan but the label does serve Kennedy's goal of dismissing all criticism of her beloved Keith.

    The dog that is once again not barking is contained in this passage:

    [O'Reilly's] called Olbermann - whose name he never says on the air - a "smear merchant," complains about MSNBC's "cheap shots" and has warned NBC brass that he would "go into greater detail about the problems besetting that network" unless Olbermann is reined in.

    To date, not a single TV critic has bothered to explore whether Olbermann's justification for his tasteless Nazi Salute - that O'Reilly had "defended Nazis" and called American victims of a Nazi atrocity "war criminals" - is true (hint: it is not). Instead they have done what Kennedy does here: parroted Olbermann's "when do you stop beating your wife" accusations, inserted an an old quote taken out of context, tried to make it look responsive to Olbermann's latest claims and painted O'Reilly as defensive and evasive (and therefore "guilty").

    If Kennedy was an honest journalist instead of an pro-KO, anti-Fox, liberal she would have researched Olbermann's "defending Nazis" claim, discovered that it was false and said so herself.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (7) | | View blog reactions
    OlbermannWatch 1 Windmills 0

    I told readers the other day that I might be tilting at windmills in questioning why GE executives would condone NBC's use of Nazi imagery to promote its cable news channel.

    One reader went so far as to write:

    I admire your case. I don't, however, see it getting much traction. Bill O'Reilly hasn't and probably won't comment on it outright. Roger Ailes has weighed in, and not in the harsh terms I would have seem to be carrying this one alone.

    I may not be as alone as it might appear.

    The Wall Street Journal: "Crazy Keith"

    "MSNBC can spin this all they want but it's hard to understand how Olbermann thought this was a good idea at a time when real news anchors are in harm's way as Israel is attacked by the Muslim incarnation of the Nazis," says Robert Cox, who monitors the antics of the MSNBC anchor at

    The New York Daily News: Talking heads butt! What fun!

    O'Reilly fans gather at a blog called Olbermann Watch to trash the MSNBC host's every utterance.

    Olbermania: Why is This Man on Television?(emphasis added):

    How else could one explain his latest desperate ploy for attention, donning a mask of Bill O'Reilly while doing a Nazi salute? Now, via Olbermann Watch, we learn that NBC and the "Countdown" staff planned the entire thing...Of course, Bob Cox and the other OW folks might be lying. After all, it's quite possible Olbermann came up with the joke right after relaxing with his Bill O'Reilly hand puppet backstage.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (50) | | View blog reactions
    WSJ's Opinion Journal: Crazy Keith's Nazi Salute

    The always excellent Political Diary, a subscription-based e-mail newsletter from The Wall Street Journal's Editorial Page and, weighs in on Olbermann's Nazi Salute.

    Today, John Fund writes:

    MSNBC's Keith Olbermann is a witty guy and his nightly show bashing President Bush and all things Republican often demonstrates just why liberal talk radio has largely flopped -- it doesn't have people as talented as Mr. Olbermann.

    But then even liberal talk radio might not put up with Mr. Olbermann's antics, which last week involved appearing before several hundred TV critics and holding up a face mask of arch-rival Bill O'Reilly of Fox News while raising his right arm and delivering what he called a "hilarious" Nazi salute.

    "MSNBC can spin this all they want but it's hard to understand how Olbermann thought this was a good idea at a time when real news anchors are in harm's way as Israel is attacked by the Muslim incarnation of the Nazis," says Robert Cox, who monitors the antics of the MSNBC anchor at

    Roger Ailes, the CEO of Fox News, was also not amused. He appeared before the same meeting of the Television Critics Association yesterday. After much prodding, he called the MSNBC host's behavior "over the line... the use of corporate assets for a personal vendetta" against Mr. O'Reilly. "Clearly he has no viewers except those he gets when he attacks Fox News," he concluded.

    Indeed, if success is the best revenge for slights, Mr. Ailes plans to revel in it this fall when top-rated Fox will mark its 10th anniversary with a "Thank You America" tour. Fox hosts will fan out across the
    country to do live versions of their shows from ten cities, including Boston, Chicago, Dallas and San Diego. No word yet on whether Mr. Olbermann plans to shadow the tour by making funny faces behind the Fox anchors as they do their location shots.

    You can subscribe to Political Diary for $3.95 per month and start receiving the daily e-mail.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (75) | | View blog reactions
    July 27, 2006


    Guest Host: Brian Unger


    • WARS - ISRAEL VS. HEZBOLLAH AND IRAQ WAR: Col. Jack Jacobs, U.S. Army (ret.)
    • TERROR ATTENTION: Juliette Kayyem, terrorism expert
    • POLITICS - POSITIONING FOR '06: Dana Milbank, Washington Post

    The Unjournalist is in for KO again today. Comments are open. The Hour of Spin approaches.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (2) | | View blog reactions
    GE & NBC Universal resort to using Nazism to promote MSNBC

    NAMEFor those few who might still harbor some doubt that the Olbermann Nazi Salute is part of a calculated PR strategy by MSNBC to spead slanderous lies about Bill O'Reilly let me make the case. As I do so, please keep in mind that this is the marketing strategy for the cable arm of the news division of NBC Universal which, in turn, is owned by General Electric is the seventh largest corporation in the United States, the eleventh largest corporation in the world and a corporation with sales far in excess of the GDP of most nations.

    What a company like General Electric is doing engaged in a knowingly false and malicious campaign to defame a competitor by calling him a Nazi apologist through a PR campaign orchestrated at the highest levels of NBC is beyond me. Perhaps Neil Cavuto can ask Jack Welch what he thinks of this next time he appears on Your World.

    You should also keep in mind that I have already demonstrated conclusively that these accusations by NBC executives (Olbermann is just the mouth piece) are knowingly false and entirely without merit.

    Exhibits Follow...

    Exhibit A

    SATURDAY JULY 22, 12:04 PM ET Olbermann Performs Pre-Planned Nazi Salute

    Olbermann, onstage, was kidding around about a mild controversy about whether photographers would be permitted to cover the Saturday breakfast.

    ''So we thought we'd help you out, those of you who needed a good photograph of -- '' and he held up the O'Reilly mask, over his face. The critics laughed.

    ''And, of course, there's a more familiar one,'' Olbermann said, keeping the mask in place while shooting his arm up in a Heil-Hitler salute. The critics laughed again. ''With that bit of structured comedy out of the way, I suppose there's some questions,'' Olbermann said, and the press conference began.

    Exhibit B

    TUESDAY JULY 25, 10:54 AM ET Olbermann sends an email to Brian Stelter of TVNewser (emphasis added):

    Olbermannn writes a love note saying "we'll be distributing this quote today".

    'Over the line?' Where was Roger when O'Reilly defended the Nazi SS stormtroopers from Malmedy in World War II? The SS shot 84 American POW's there in 1944, and three different times in the last year, Bill called has called those dead Americans war criminals. I guess there is no line at Fox News."

    where "we" refers to NBC executives and the MSNBC PR department

    Exhibit C

    TUESDAY JULY 25, 11:00 AM ET Olbermann sends an email to Jim Romenesko of the Poynter Institute:

    Response to Ailes. "Over the line?" Where was Roger Ailes when Bill O'Reilly defended the Nazi SS stormtroopers from Malmedy in World War II? The SS shot 84 American POW's there in 1944, and three different times in the last year, Bill called has called those dead American heroes war criminals. I guess there is no line at Fox News.

    Exhibit D

    TUESDAY JULY 25, 6:44 PM ET During a taping of the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Olbermann sets up showing the pre-planned Olbermann Nazi Salute:

    Olbermann: Fox said "no pictures of our guys at the press tour" so I thought "well I'll give them a picture of the Fox guys. I'll just wear a Bill O'Reilly mask and they can use that picture...everybody sat down, we all had a big meeting about it beforehand and everything worked great until...the next picture was taken [Olbermann Nazi Salute photo displayed]

    where "we" refers to NBC executives and the MSNBC PR department; the pause between "until" and "the next picture" is meant to humorusly convey the idea that the capture of the Olbermann Nazi Salute image was inadvertant.

    Exhibit E

    TUESDAY JULY 25, 6:44 PM ET During a taping of the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Olbermann goes on a Nazi rant, much of which is edited out, but not before this line gets on their air later that night:

    On the air, in the last year, Bill O'Reilly has defended the Nazis from World War II on three separate occasions",

    Exhibit F
    THURSDAY JULY 27, 7:22 AM ET Don Imus falls into line for the MSNBC brass and pimps for Olbermann:

    Imus, “Apparently Keith is on a feud with Bill O'Reilly.�

    McGuirk: That's gotten very ugly.

    Imus: It's not going well for Mr. O'Reilly, does O'Reilly respond at all?

    McGuirk: Well he does in a way by reporting on theratings. He mentions MSNBC but never mentions Olbermann by name. Who actually put an O'Reilly mask on at some broadcast conference and did a Nazi salute. You know it's gnawing at Bill O'Reilly but he would just love to kick Olbermann in
the teeth. But he won't dignify him with a response.

    Imus: Well he had the opportunity to kick Olbermann in the teeth and didn't seize that. Cause Olbermann said he was at some affair where O'Reilly was and there were twenty feet apart. Apparently O'Reilly was staring at Keith. So Keith looked back over at him like, yea bitch, and O'Reilly looked away and looked down at his shoes. Wouldn't lock eyes with Keith.

    Exhibit G

    THURSDAY JULY 27, 8:24 AM ET Having been given a "talking to" for failing to work in the line developed by the MSNBC PR department, Imus tries again. Although Bernard McGuirk isn't so ready to go along, this time Imus performs like a trained seal:

    McGuirk: ...Really ugly though really ugly.

    Imus: What did Keith do?

    McGuirk: He was at a broadcast function recently he put a mask of O'Reilly in front of his face and did the Nazi salute. Which was harsh.

    Imus: According to Keith, Bill O'Reilly on three separate occasions on his program was actually defending Nazi's, did you know that.

    McGuirk: Ah come on.

    Imus: Just reporting the facts.


    I don't have the exact quote, I sent an email to The Imus Show Blog asking them to post a transcript of the exchange and/or audio or video so I can post it here and link it. If they have it and make it available I would edit this post with the exact quote and link any audio or video they post

    UPDATE: The Imus Blog has posted on the exchange but did not include the "O'Reilly defending Nazis" bit. I've asked them to put up the entire exchange and once they have it will replace the above with the exact transcript of how Imus worked in the line crafted by the MSNBC PR department.

    UPDATE: As noted above, once The Imus Blog had the transcripts up I would link them and clean up this post with the exact quotes. In the meantime Glenn Garvin wrote a piece on KO's Nazi salute in which KO admits that that the Nazi salute was pre-planned as part of the promotion for MSNBC. As that happened first I added that in as "Exhibit A" and moved the other "exhibits" down one notch.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (137) | | View blog reactions
    July 26, 2006
    OlbyWatch Getting Results: AP corrects Olby "email hacking" claim

    Who's looking out for you?

    Why, Olbermann Watch of course.

    After several days of lobbying we were able to bring the AP around to the idea that a clarification of their story last Saturday was in order. Read on...and enjoy!

    OlbyWatch readers will recall that AP reporter Beth Harris wrote Saturday "Olbermann said his phone number has been distributed at Fox and his e-mail hacked into." This raised more than a few eyebrows in the Olbersphere where many folks took this to mean that Olbermann was claiming that Fox News had hacked into this email account (and thus was possibly blaming Fox for this sundy email "scandals").

    In our fastidious pursuit of excellence, we held off commenting on this possibly explosive accusation until we had a chance to look into the matter. I obtained a copy of the transcript from the presser and wrote an email to Harris:



    I would like to get a clarification of your recent article on Keith Olbermann.

    You wrote:

    Olbermann said his phone number has been distributed at Fox and his e-mail hacked into.


    In the context of the piece as it appeared in the Philly Inquirer, this reads as if Olbermann was claiming that Fox News "distributed" this phone number and "hacked" into his email account. Is this what he said? Are you aware that he is accusing Fox News of a crime - breaking into his email account? Was there any sort of follow up to this accusation by any reporters in the room?

    Also, are you aware that Keith Olbermann has embroiled in controversies related to his email account including criticism of Rita Cosby, some vituperative responses to some "attack" emails and an alleged tryst with a fan from Florida? There was a story put out by a former colleague (A. Whitney Brown) that MSNBC staff had sent the emails. Now Keith is saying his email was hacked - maybe by Fox News. That your article appears to connect Fox News to this claim seems more than newsworthy. Could you expand on this a bit?

    I look forwarded to your reply.

    Thank you for you time and consideration.


    Later that day, I published a clarification of what KO actually said and thus found myself in the odd position of defending Olbermann.

    I heard back from Harris on Monday, through a third-party, and learned her first instinct was that the sentence was clear to a careful reader and that no clarification was needed. I went back to her again, pointing out that while she had a valid point, there were plenty of folks out there who had a very different understanding which suggested that for many folks it was not clear what Olbermann had said. To her great credit, Harris put out a "clarification" on the AP wire earlier today:

    Clarification: Olbermann's Feud story

    Associated Press

    PASADENA, Calif. - In a July 22 story, The Associated Press reported that MSNBC host Keith Olbermann said his phone number has been distributed at Fox and his e-mail hacked into because of his critical comments about Fox News' Bill O'Reilly and other conservatives.

    The story should have been clearer about the e-mail reference, which was not intended to suggest Fox hacked into Olbermann's e-mail. Olbermann's fuller quote at the Television Critics Association's summer meeting: "My e-mails have been hacked into. My phone number has been distributed at Fox. I mean, there have been some really kind of invasive things, but if you sit down and you talk about it, well, they're annoying things and that's about it."


    This is not the first I've tangled with the AP over corrections.


    TVNewser and ICN both linked to the clarification and - surprise - both failed to credit Olbermann Watch for our role in lobbying Harris for the correction.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (18) | | View blog reactions
    Understanding the MSM KO Bandwagon

    Via Spud at ICN, via Romenesko, I was directed to Miami Herald TV Critic Glenn Garvin's report filed from the TV Critics Association event.

    For those who still question my contention that liberal TV critics are engaged in a rather obvious campaign to do anything they can to boost Keith Olbermann in the hopes of advancing their own liberal agenda take a good look at Garvin's account of their boorish behavior in Pasadena.

    The money quote:

    Ailes made his comments during an appearance Monday evening before North American television critics, a hostile audience that generally makes no secret of its contempt for his network. Fox News panels here have often been something closer to hand-to-hand combat than to news conferences, and this one was no exception.

    About two-thirds of the 150 critics left the room before Ailes took the stage, several of them openly voicing their scorn for what they say is Fox News' conservative spin.

    Ailes quickly returned their fire with a brief promotional film featuring blurbs from critics and TV writers (Bill Carter of The New York Times wrote that Fox News Channel was created ''to give Mr. Ailes a toy to play with, though, given the current state of Fox News as described by some insiders, it may be less a toy than an imaginary friend'') predicting a quick and painful death for Fox News when it first went on the air in 1996.

    These are the same folks who line up to hear pearls of wisdom from notable failures in the television business but can't stand to be in the same room with a television executive who has turned a start-up cable news network into of the most successful, profitable enterprises in their industry. At the very least you might think they would want to pass on some tips to their pals at MSNBC and CNN on how to run a successful cable news network.

    UPDATE: UltraLoon Peter Ames Carlin, TV Critic for the lefty Oregonian newspaper objects to Garvin's characterization of the TV Critics walkout before Ailes appearance.

    UPDATE: Glenn Garvin is having none of it and drops in an Olby reference for good measure. fairly boggles my mind to imagine that Ailes could have gotten an uproarious laugh from the critics by comparing the host of a rival network's show to Hitler, as MSNBC's Keith Olbermann did a couple of days earlier

    UPDATE: Howard Kurtz is backing Garvin's account - One person who was there tells me Garvin had it right, which doesn't exactly make the critics look fair and balanced.

    UPDATE: Aaron Barnhart of the Kansas City Star says Garvin is all wet and claims to have the tape that proves it. This post is noteworthy because Barnart backed up his post with "raw tape" mp3s of the "scrum" after Ailes presentation.

    UPDATE: Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center demands an apology from the TCA to Roger Ailes.

    UPDATE: Brian Lowry of Variety takes the indirect route to challenging Garvin by taking issue with Brent Bozell's "open letter" to the TCA demanding an apology to Roger Ailes.

    UPDATE: Hal Boedeker of The Orlando Sentinel says Garvin got it wrong - there was no walkout just a bunch of fatigured TV critics

    UPDATE: Lisa de Moraes of The Washington Post says Garvin has a vivid imagination.

    UPDATE: Glenn Garvin corrects de Moraes in a letter to Romensko, saying he did not report "anyone heckled Roger Ailes" or use "the expression 'walked out.' He continues "Neither that, nor the combative exchanges that followed...were the product of my imagination."

    The Olbersphere weighs in...

    The Cable Game - [Fox News recent ratings surge] must make these overgrown toddlers referenced in Glenn Garvin's must-read Miami Herald piece on Fox chief Roger Ailes' address at the TCA even more in need of a nap and a bottle...

    The Cable Game - so now the critics who walked out of the Fox session at the TCA are realizing that maybe their elementary-school antics are making them look what do they do? Why, they employ the timeless passive-aggressive tactic of attacking the messenger!...

    TVN - "Further Ammo For" FNC's "Contention That It's Treated Unfairly In The Press"

    ICN - Garvin’s response in particular is interesting because it gives more color to what was going on at the FNC TCA event…


    "One of the areas in which your competition feels you might be vulnerable is in demographics where they point to your ratings and say that you tend to, particularly on primetime, load up on older viewers who are outside the demographic and that your lead over them in the key demographics that really drives revenue isn't as great. Does that concern you?

    TVN then tries to spin that as "proof" that he has been right to portray the cable news ratings race as a battle over the 25-54 demo.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (16) | | View blog reactions


    Guest Host: Brian Unger


    • U.S. FOREIGN POLICY PROBLEMS: Gov. Bill Richardson (D-N.M.)

    As world-changing events rage on, Dan Abrams's Olbergrupenfuhrer vacations in Berechtsgarden, and the heavy lifting of reporting actual news falls again to the Daily Show comedian. Comments are open.

    Since unjournalist Unger chats with Bill Richardson tonight, it's time to update The List (partisan politicos and strategists interviewed on Countdown, identified by party):

    • May 22: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • May 30: Rep Barney Frank (D)
    • June 9: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • June 15: Bob Schrum (D)
    • June 16: Rep John Murtha (D)
    • June 19: Al Gore (D)
    • June 20: Sen Jack Reed (D)
    • June 20: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • June 23: Al Gore (D)
    • July 5: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • July 12: Barbara Boxer (D)
    • July 13: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • July 26: Bill Richardson (D)

    The Hour of Spin approaches.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (30) | | View blog reactions
    Olbermann Defends Nazi Salute with Lies and Slander

    NAMEKeith Olbermann has responded to the recent furor over his Nazi Salute at the Television Critics Association gather last weekend by blaming, of all people, NBC Nightly News Anchor Brian Williams and Fox News Host Bill O'Reilly for his obscene antics. Clearly feeling the heat for a stunt that even Olbermann supporters have disavowed, Olbermann told Tonight Show host Jay Leno last night that Williams told him "do something creative" so he came up with the idea of donning a paper cut-out Bill O'Reilly mask and giving the Nazi Salute. Later, Olbermann claimed that Bill O'Reilly "defended the Nazis from World War II on three separate occasions", a claim he had advanced earlier in the day in a letter sent to noted media blogger Jim Romenesko of the Poynter Institute.

    And incredulous Leno asked "Oh, really?"

    Olbermann replied "Yes, I wish I were making this up."

    To his credit, Leno's instincts were right. Olbermann was making it up.

    As we shall see, Bill O'Reilly did confuse an alleged atrocity at Chenogne, Belgium [where American troops reportedly executed captured German troops] with another alleged atrocity at Malmedy, Belgium [where German troops reportedly executed captured American troops]. The Chenogne atrocities have been portrayed as "revenge killings" for the Malmedy atrocities which had occurred two weeks before. Olbermann is fatuously attempting to portray O'Reilly's errors in confusing Malmedy and Chenogne as "defending" Nazis and labeling victims of German atrocities as "war criminals" in some sort of inane, desperate plea for attention as the clock winds down on his contract at MSNBC.

    Readers can excuse Leno for not being familiar with Olbermann's absurd accusations because they were aired on Keith's show which is the equivalent of a tree falling in a forest. For those who missed (in other words for all of you), watch below how KO transforms 18 seconds of video from The O'Reilly Factor taken completely out of context and transforms them into a seven minute and forty-nine second propaganda film that would have made Dan Rather or Leni Riefenstahl proud.

    It might appear useful that in order to better understand the claims and counterclaims about the Malmedy Massacre to know that there is no agreement today on precisely what happened at Malmedy and why or what happened in the aftermath at Chenogne but the consensus seems to be that although the numbers of soldiers involved and the sequence of events is unclear, American troops were murdered by German troops at Malmedy and, in retaliation, German troops were murdered by American troops at Chenogne. In the case of the American troops, it is alleged that orders came down from the command of the 11th Armored Division to take no prisoners. There is what purports to be a first hand account of the atrocities at Chenonge on the web but as best as I could tell there was never any "war crimes" trial and no official report was ever filed. The accounts of these incidents might be cited as an example of how history is written by the victors.

    The article Keith cited in his piece, Michael Reynold's comprehensive and authoritative article for World War II magazine, published on The History Channel web site, World War II: Massacre At Malmedy During the Battle of the Bulge makes it clear that there is nothing clear about what happened at Malmedy:

    The delightful Belgian town of Malmédy will forever be associated with the most infamous massacre of American troops in World War II. And yet, but for the presence of an Associated Press correspondent there in early January 1945, it is doubtful that this terrible incident would have ever achieved international notoriety. "Nazis Turned Machine Guns on GI POWs" wrote Hal Boyle in his January 1945 Stars and Stripes article, and from that first graphic account sprung a plethora of books and articles about the so-called Malmédy Massacre. Few of these accounts are based on fact, and most are embellished and inaccurate.

    It is unlikely that we shall ever know the precise sequence of events at the Baugnez crossroads, near Malmédy, on December 17, 1944, or the reasons for them. The secret lies with the guilty and the dead. Nevertheless, many corroborated facts are known and a careful analysis of these facts can bring us closer to the truth of what happened.

    Two weeks later, on January 1st, 1945, came the events to which O'Reilly appears to have been referring - the Chenogne Massacre in which U.S. troops allegedly lined up and killed 60 German POWs. Other reports claim that unarmed German soldiers were allegedly shot by Americans while attempting to surrender, in one case some while attempting to flee a burning building. There is not a lot of substantive documentation for this incident online but there was mention of what appears to be a part of the Chenogne incident in The Washington Post from December 18, 1994:

    Atrocities occurred. On Dec. 17, a German SS unit machine-gunned 72 captured American soldiers in the town of Malmedy. A dozen who escaped hid in a cafe; the SS set fire to the building and shot those who emerged. Five days later, U.S. troops shot and killed 21 Germans fleeing a burning house under a Red Cross flag at Chenogne, according to historian Martin Gilbert.

    It should come as no surprise that there is not a lot of information available about the Chenogne Massacre. The U.S. military, war corespondents, politicians and other officials often conspired during World War II to suppress such information on the grounds that it might undermine morale among the troops and on the home front.

    This was very much to the point of Bill O'Reilly's June 27, 2005 column for Jewish World Review, entitled The limits of dissent in which O'Reilly alluded to but did not specifically mention three atrocities committed during the Sicilian campaign under General Patton's command which, if known at the time, would have certainly resulted in his losing his command and never taking the field again. The famous "slapping incidents" which did result in Patton losing his command were chicken feed in comparison - incidents that were also hushed by reporters who took it upon themselves to suppress the incidents (they were later revealed when a columnist back in the U.S. got wind of the story and published it).

    In his JWR column, O'Reilly argued that some statements by Bush critics were irresponsible and undermined the war on terror. He cited remarks by Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) comparing interrogations at Guantanamo Bay to the behavior of Nazis which were widely publicized in news outlets throughout the Arab world. O'Reilly observed that in World War II there was government censorship and cited several examples of revenge killings and torture by U.S. troops that were hushed up during WWII:

    After German SS troops massacred 86 American soldiers at Malmedy in Belgium on Dec. 17, 1944, some units like the U.S. 11th Armored Division took revenge on captured German soldiers. In the Pacific, relatively few Japanese prisoners were taken in the brutal island fights. But the folks back home never heard about those things or what techniques were used to interrogate prisoners who might know where the next ambush would be. The American military did what they had to do in order to win. As General Patton once said to his army: "I do not advocate standing Germans up against the wall and shooting them — so shoot the sons of b——— before you get them to the wall."

    On October 3, 2005 (not October 28 as reported elsewhere), Bill O'Reilly drew on the JWR column when he interviewed General Wesley Clark, a Fox News Channel analyst.

    In the course of the discussion O'Reilly said:

    O'REILLY: General, you need to look at the Malmedy massacre in World War II and the 82nd Airborne that did it.

    This statement has been advanced by Olbermann as the first example of O'Reilly "defending" Nazis and labeling as "war criminals" those Americans murdered at Malmedy by German troops. A video can be found here.

    What you will see upon review of the full transcript is that O'Reilly erred twice. O'Reilly called the "Chenogne Massacre" the "Malmedy Massacre" and referenced the 82nd Airborne instead of the 11th Armored Division. O'Reilly most likely mixed up the 11th Armored and the 82nd Airborne because Clark had mentioned the 82nd Airborne moments before in a different context. O'Reilly did not issue a clarification for this show but later explained his mix up of Chenogne and Malmedy in May 2006 by saying that what he meant to say was that Americans committed atrocities in the aftermath of Malmedy, which by all accounts appears to be true. That would seem to apply here as well.

    When you consider the full context of the discussion you will see that O'Reilly is attempting to rebut to a claim put forward by Clark who is explaining his support for a recent court ruling in which the court ordered the government to release additional Abu Ghraib photos. Clark is arguing that the military is no longer the honorable military that he served in because Abu Ghraib went up the chain of command and that this was unprecedented - at least during the 34 years he served in the military. O'Reilly attempts to counter that point by noting that the Chenogne Massacre was allegedly the result of specific orders within the chain of command of the 11th Armored Division to "take no prisoners" or "take no SS prisoners".

    There would be absolutely no reason for O'Reilly to attempt to win the argument on that point by making the inverted claim that American troops murdered German troops at Malmedy. There would be every reason for O'Reilly to attempt to win by putting forward the example of Chenogne because it would, in fact, undermine Clark's claim to some degree (Clark's claim only extended to his years of service going back 34 years; World War II ended 60 years before). Regardless, there is absolutely no basis for Olbermann's claims that O'Reilly is "defending Nazis" or accusing the men killed at Malmedy of being "war criminals". It would have been correct to say that O'Reilly was accusing some members of the 11th Armored Division of being war criminals but that would not serve Olbermann's purpose because it appears to have been true.

    With that said, here is a transcript of the exchange:


    October 3, 2005
    General Proposes Solution for Iraq
    FOX News military analyst General Wesley Clark on live remote from Little Rock, Arkansas
    (this is the original raw transcript which contained several transcription errors noted on the Media Matters for America site. I have attempted to correct the raw transcript but if anyone finds any additional errors in the raw transcript please let me know)


    O'REILLY: OK. Now let me ask you about this Hellerstein ruling last week that at the behest of the ACLU, Hellerstein says, yes, the government has to put out more Abu Ghraib pictures. Now, you heard Myers say nothing new. Just more of the same. We all know from the "Newsweek" debacle this is going to enflame. Because crimes of passion need a lighter. They need a flame. This would provide it. More Americans are going to die. I have not heard anybody come out and condemn Hellerstein's ruling, any politician, anybody from the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld, nobody. Just me. I'm outraged. What do you think?

    GEN. WESLEY CLARK, FOX NEWS MILITARY ANALYST: A lot of us don't know what's in those pictures and we don't know what to say.

    O'REILLY: You don't believe Myers?

    CLARK: Let me go back to the other side of it.

    O'REILLY: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.

    CLARK: Wait a minute, Bill. The other side of it is what is happening in Iraq? You know, it wasn't just Abu Ghraib. You've got a captain now in the 82nd Airborne who says that this kind of torture and beating up people and so forth was condoned by his unit; the chain of command is protecting it.

    O'REILLY: Hey, general, you know what war is about?

    CLARK: No, I don't know what it's about, Bill. Because the United States Army that I served in proudly for 34 years, we did not beat up and torture prisoners.

    O'REILLY: General, with all respect, there were atrocities in Vietnam.

    CLARK: Yes. And they were trials and they were punished.

    O'REILLY: And World War II and World War I and the Civil War and the Revolutionary War.

    CLARK: They were not by the chain of command.

    O'REILLY: Yes, they were.

    CLARK: No, they weren't. No they weren't.

    O'REILLY: Lieutenant Callie and Medina in Vietnam?

    CLARK: They were not condoned by the chain of command. Those guys were court martialed.

    O'REILLY: With all due respect...

    CLARK: ... all the way up the chain of command.

    O'REILLY: General, you need to look at the Malmady (ph) massacre in World War II and the 82nd Airborne.

    CLARK: You're looking at World War II. I'm looking at a volunteer army fighting a war against terror and if you're going to win, you've got to have a higher standard.

    O'REILLY: You want those picture pictures out? You want these pictures?

    CLARK: I want our Army to live up to American values.

    O'REILLY: So everybody does. You want the pictures out?

    CLARK: We don't torture people. So I think we need a complete investigation to see where this goes all the way up to the top level with the chain of command and up to the White House.

    O'REILLY: Fine, no problem. Yes or no, general? Do you agree? Do you agree...

    CLARK: I would like to see the pictures, Bill.

    O'REILLY: You want to see the pictures.

    CLARK: I want to see...

    O'REILLY: Even if would put Americans in danger, you want to see them?

    CLARK: I'll tell you what's put Americans in danger, is not having the Geneva Convention in force.

    O'REILLY: All right. That's theory, General. We've got guys over there now. That's theory; we've got guys over there. Just rethink it. I disagree with you on that.

    CLARK: No...

    O'REILLY: I appreciate you coming on.

    CLARK: Well, I want to hear you come back on my ground. I want to see what we can do to really clean this up. We can't win this war on terror by torturing people.

    O'REILLY: I agree with that, but I don't want to put our guys in the field in any more danger than they already are.

    CLARK: I certainly don't want to put them in danger either.

    O'REILLY: OK. Hellerstein is wrong.


    Several months later, on May 30, 2006, Bill O'Reilly was again interviewing General Wesley Clark this time in regard to John Murtha's statements about the alleged atrocities in Haditha, Iraq. And once again O'Reilly confused Malmedy and Chenogne. In the course of the discussion O'Reilly said:

    O'REILLY: In Malmedy, as you know, US Forces captured SS forces who had their hands in the air and they were unarmed and they shot them down. You know that. It's on the record and documented.

    This statement has been advanced by Olbermann as the second example of O'Reilly "defending" Nazis and labeling as "war criminals" those Americans murdered at Malmedy by German troops.

    What you will see upon review of the full transcript is that O'Reilly simply misspoke. Had he begun with "After Malmedy..." he would have been correct. If he had begun with "In Chenogne..." he would have been correct. But he did not and was not correct in what he said; he rightly issued an on-air clarification during a subsequent viewer mail segment.

    O'Reilly responded to a viewer email by saying:

    In the heat of the debate with General Clark my statement wasn't clear enough... after Malmedy some German captives were executed by American troops

    This is, from all reports, correct.

    Again,when you considered the full context of the discussion you will see that O'Reilly is attempting to rebut to a claim put forward by Clark. This time that the alleged atrocities in Haditha are a sign that the Bush policy in Iraq is "on the edge of feasibility" and "an indicator that the stress on the units is such that standards of discipline and performance are breaking down at the margin". O'Reilly is attempting to counter that by noting that there have always been atrocities in war and that the occurence of atrocities is not correlated to the feasibility of a particular governmental policy at a given time in history.

    And again, there would be absolutely no reason for O'Reilly to attempt to win the argument on that point by making the inverted claim that American troops murdered German troops at Malmedy. There would be every reason for O'Reilly to attempt to win by putting forward the example of Chenogne and adding to a list of other alleged atrocities by American forces over the years because it would support his point and undercut Clark's point. Regardless, there is absolutely no basis for Olbermann's claims that O'Reilly is "defending Nazis" or accusing the men killed at Malmedy of being war criminals.

    With that said, here is a transcript of the exchange:


    May 30, 2006
    Murtha on Haidth Investigation
    FOX News military analyst General Wesley Clark on live remote from Washington, DC
    (this is the original raw transcript, if anyone finds any additional errors in the raw transcript please let me know)


    BILL O'REILLY: ...over the weekend, Congressman Murtha, who continues to duck "The Factor", spoke harshly about the investigation of some Marines who may have murdered some Iraqi civilians. Murtha even scolded ABC's Charles Gibson.


    REP. JOHN MURTHA (D), PENNSYLVANIA: Charlie, this has been going on \ six months. I mean, they've been trying to -- they know the day afterwards. Don't make excuses for the military. This thing has been going on for six months.


    O'REILLY: Now what is Murtha's intent here? Is this an I told you so because he opposes the war? The Marines respectfully asked us to wait until they had concluded their investigation. I said that was fair. But Murtha is obviously bomb throwing. Again, why? Murtha should answer that question because 95 percent of the military is performing heroically overseas in the chaos of war. Perspective and fair play are vitally important. And that's the Memo. Now for the top story tonight, another view of this. Joining us from Washington, FOX News military analyst General Wesley Clark. General, if you were on active duty over in Iraq, and you heard Congressman Murtha, you know, don't stick up for the military, Charlie, you know, and really bomb throwing, agitating in my opinion, what would you think about that?

    GEN. WESLEY CLARK, FOX NEWS MILITARY ANALYST: Well, I don't think I'd interpret it that way, not quite like you put it, Bill. I think that what Congressman Murtha is doing is a legitimate function of the legislative branch. He's not part of the executive branch of government. And he's getting fed information from the inside. He obviously has had a lot of people who have talk to him about this. He's not making this up. And that's the way he sees it. And he wants to get the facts out. Look, when these things start to happen, and all of my sources in and around the Pentagon indicate that, in fact, something like this incident did happen, it was murder, people were covered up. Now I haven't seen the investigation. But people who have -- are familiar with the facts are reporting these things. And when it happens like that, it's an indicator that you are on the edge of feasibility of your policy. It's an indicator that the stress on the units is such that standards of discipline and performance are breaking down at the margin.

    O'REILLY: See, I disagree.

    CLARK: And it's a real warning for us.

    O'REILLY: I disagree. In Iwo Jima, in the Battle of the Bulge, Malmedy, all these things, and you're a military historian. You know, these happen. It happens in every war. It's happened in every army. And you're right. It's a breakdown caused by stress. And the breakdown has to be dealt with by the military extremely quickly, effectively.

    CLARK: Yes.

    O'REILLY: Murderers, if they're deemed guilty in a military court of justice, have to be punished. But to draw a wider implication, general, when 95 percent, and I think you'd agree with that figure, of American forces overseas under tremendous stress, are performing heroically every day, to draw a wider implication at this juncture brutally unfair, both to our forces and to our country. What say you?

    CLARK: I say that, first of all, you'll have to show me and prove to me that there were ever any American soldiers in Belgium, and Normandy, or in Iwo Jima, who murdered civilians. Secondly, I think you're too low when you say 95 percent of the forces are performing effectively. I'd say 99.5 percent of the forces are performing effectively. Maybe higher. But when you have incidents like this, and you have chains of command under enormous stress, that is an indicator that things aren't going right. You've got to be sensitive of those indicators. You've got to fix the problem. Otherwise, it's going to get worse.

    O'REILLY: OK...

    CLARK: This is a long term problem.

    O'REILLY: ...nobody is disagreeing with that.

    CLARK: Well that's my position.

    O'REILLY: And in Malmedy, as you know, U.S. forces captured S.S. forces, who had their hands in the air. And they were unarmed. And they shot them down. You know that. That's on the record. Been documented. And Iwo Jima, the same thing occurred. The Japanese attempted to surrender, and they were burned in their caves.

    CLARK: Bill, that's a lot different than this.


    CLARK: These are no forces.

    O'REILLY: Listen, what I'm trying to say to you is neither of those things, in the Battle of the Bulge or in Iwo Jima reflected negatively on our military, as far as its total performance was concerned. It was men under stress snapping. That's what this is. This isn't abu Ghraib. Abu Ghraib was cowardice, in my opinion. Off the chart, irresponsible cowardice to do that. Here...

    CLARK: I think we have to see this investigation unfold.

    O'REILLY: Right, but Murtha isn't doing that, general.

    CLARK: There's a big difference between...

    O'REILLY: But Murtha isn't doing that.

    CLARK: ...a fire fight and some guy who suddenly, after he has been shooting at you, throws up his hands, says oh, now you can't shoot me because I've put down my weapon. That's one thing. It's another thing, if it's true as reported, that they broke into homes...

    O'REILLY: OK, but whoa, whoa...

    CLARK: ...and shot men, women, and children.

    O'REILLY: I don't want to...

    CLARK: That's not the same thing.

    O'REILLY: The Marines came to me and said, hey, Mr. O'Reilly, would you do us a favor and wait until we release our report? Because I had confronted Donald Rumsfeld on this very issue and used the Mai Lai massacre as a starting point. And I said to the Marines fair enough, fair enough. I will let you put out your report before I start to advance a story. Murtha, a U.S. congressman, goes on and indicts the entire military on a national program. And I'm mad about it. And Murtha doesn't have the stones to come on this program and back up what he says.

    CLARK: I think Murtha has every right to say what he's saying. He's not saying...

    O'REILLY: In the way he said it?

    CLARK: He's saying that what he's heard. That's the legitimate function of the legislative branch of government, just like it could have been your function. Look, when another commander in chief was under investigation, the news media had no problems talking about it. Now when our soldiers are under investigation, there have always been cases where people have pushed for that. This is a function -- this is the way government works. And...

    O'REILLY: I think you have to be tempered in your remarks, general.

    CLARK: I think he is tempered in the sense that he has expressed a great deal of respect for the men and women in uniform. John Murtha is a long-time supporter of our armed forces.

    O'REILLY: Don't stick up for the military, Charlie? Don't stick up for the military, Charlie? Come on.

    CLARK: You know what he's saying, Bill.

    O'REILLY: I know what he's saying...

    CLARK: This is about a specific incident of misconduct.

    O'REILLY: No, this is about...

    CLARK: And there's no one in the military who's going to condone that conduct.

    O'REILLY: I'm going to give you the last word, general, but this is about Murtha saying I told you so, it's a bad war. That's what it's about. It's about him. Go ahead. I'll give you the last word.

    CLARK: Bill, I think - here's my last word. I'm glad you've come around. Iraq was an unnecessary war. Here's the other point. It's a failure by the way the president defined the mission. The problem is how do we move gracefully from this position? What we've said is we need to turn this over to the Iraqi government...

    O'REILLY: All right.

    CLARK: ...and begin responsible redeployment. But we've got to protect the men and women in uniform and the integrity of our institutions.


    CLARK: John Murtha is worried about that and so am I.

    O'REILLY: And I don't - I...

    CLARK: And you should be, too.

    O'REILLY: You're bending over backwards to give him the benefit of the doubt Maybe I'm wrong.

    CLARK: I'm just telling you the way I see it.

    O'REILLY: I know. Maybe I'm wrong about it. I'd like to talk to the man face to face like we're talking here. General, thanks as always.

    CLARK: Well, let's talk some more, Bill.


    Olbermann has claimed that O'Reilly "defended" Nazis and labeled as "war criminals" those Americans murdered at Malmedy by German troops on three occasions. I am unaware of what he is referring to as a third instance but I will be happy to dispose of that claim as well if someone will be so kind as to point it out to me. Perhaps it was broadcast in some secret frequency known only to Olbermann, his fellow OlbyLoons and small dogs.

    I said earlier that it might appear useful that in order to better understand the claims and counterclaims about the Malmedy Massacre. In the context of the discussions with General Clark in October, 2006 and May, 2006 we can now see that they are entirely irrelevant. In neither case was O'Reilly asserting what Olbermann has claimed - that the SS Troops at Malmedy were murdered by American troops. Instead, it is clear that O'Reilly misspoke in referencing the "Chenogne Massacre" as the "Malmedy Massacre". It was appropriate for O'Reilly to provide an on-air clarification to his viewers but there is nothing in any of this which even remotely supports the ludicrous claim advanced by Olbermann that O'Reilly fabricated a story of an atrocity by U.S. troops, "defended Nazis" or called the U.S. troops murdered at Malmedy "war criminals".

    Did O'Reilly make errors?

    Yes, in October 2005 and May 2006

    Did O'Reilly correct the record?

    He did not correct the record after the error in October 2005. He did correct the record after May 2006.

    Did O'Reilly ever "defend" the Nazis?


    Did O'Reilly ever call those Americans killed in the Malmedy massacre "war criminals"?


    Is Keith Olbermann lying?


    Will this analysis make any difference to the bloggers, Wikipedians, liberal talk show hosts and assorted anti-Fox News vigilantes in the traditional media make any difference?


    This is a tall tale that is too good to fact-check and so has now entered the collective consciousness of the OlbyLoon left-wing fringe. It seems clear to this writer that this was Olbermann's express intent. If O'Reilly is forced to explain why he is not defending Nazis then Keith "wins". If O'Reilly keep his powder dry, as he has done so far, Keith "wins" because his lies become part of the ever-expanding cannon of LoonThink.

    The problem for Keith is that while this may present the illusion of a winning strategy for Olbermann - building support among the radical left in some obsure attempt to boost his abysmal ratings - it is raising some serious doubts about Olbermann within the management of NBC News as he sets about debasing what was once a venerable news organization.

    Now that you know the facts, you might want to take a second look at the Olbermann video in order to more accurately gauge the full magnitude of the deceit in which Olbermann is engaged.


    One last thing...

    In a classic attempt to toss out a "red herring", Olbermann has also claimed that Fox News Channel nefariously altered the transcript of the May 30, 2006 show to change the word "Malmedy" to "Normandy". Having spent a good deal of time reading through transcripts from Fox News and MSNBC in order to prepare this piece I can tell you that all of these raw transripts are replete with all sorts of errors from simple typos, to the phoenetic spellling of proper nouns and names to wholesale deletion of passages. That the transcriptions typed a well-known location like "Normandy" in place of the less-known "Malmedy" is hardly a shock to anyone who actually reads these transcripts. Fortunately, I do not need to spend time on that because J$ has already thoroughly debunked Olbermann's claim on his personal blog.


    video h/t Newsbusters


    The Olbershphere weighs in...

    The Cable Game - a meticulously researched, rock-solid debunking/rebuttal to MSNBC host Olbermann's slanderous claims on sister network NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" that Fox News' Bill O'Reilly "defended Nazis."

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (18) | | View blog reactions
    July 25, 2006
    Olbermann on Leno Tonight

    Keith joins Jay Leno on the Tonight Show along with a girl he could never touch (Jaime Pressly) and an appropriately named musical group, Los Lonely Boys. I am ponying up a free copy of Keith Olbermann's new book (seriously) to the OlbyWatch Reader who can guess how many times Olbermann will say "O'Reilly" during his appearance on The Tonight Show. I open the bidding at 12

    Boy writing up KO's appearance on Leno is about as painful as watching it. It's late so let me give it my best and hope you all can come up with more in the comments.

    At least in my area, Keith's appearance was preceded by a promo for Countdown. Synergy at its finest! Even better the promo had two shots of Ann Coulter with the eye patch!

    It was not an auspicious beginning for KO when Jay tossed in an Olbermann - O'Reilly joke (gas is so expensive that KO and BOR are carpooling these days - har, har) that fell flat, referenced the "feud" and got little response from a mostly bewildered audience wondering "what feud" and then closed out the monologue by forgetting to list Olbermann in the "we'll be right back with..."

    KO swung and missed with "got out here in time for the freeways to melt"
    KO swung again and missed with "Al Gore was wrong that global warming would take 10 years - more like 10 minutes
    KO was caught looking on "forecast tomorrow, 60% fog in the morning, 60% the four horseman of the apocalypse

    You know it's bad when Jay keeps saying "Really?" after each joke (as opposed to laughing, for you OlbyLoons)

    In a bit of surprise (to me, anyway), Jay asked about the TV Criticis Association event in Pasadena, went straight to the Bill O'Reilly mask and then the photo of KO doing his famous Nazi salute. In another bad start for KO, he then proceeds to blame Brian Williams for encouraging him to do "something creative". KO then introduced the Nazi salute photo which MIGHT put to the rest the OlbyLoons theories that the the image was a fake. As the photo was displayed, KO got his first (and only) laugh of the night and a smattering of applause from the same Loons who laughed at Jay's really lame Al Gore joke in the monologue. Sensing he was now on a roll, KO tried joking about how he was waving to a guy in the back and was caught midway between "yoo" and "hoo" (Jay: "Really?") and then trotted out the Nazi Malmedy candard yet again (Jay: "Really?").

    Perhaps the line of the night came next "I wish I was making this up" (Jay: "Really?"). I will leave it to J$ to finish this one off in the comments section.

    When Leno picked up the slack and asked if Keith had met O'Reilly, KO got off his only genuinely funny line about O'Reilly ("he can't go out during daylight hours") and told the Joe Torre Charity story yet again. At this point things got so bad for Keith that even I started to feel sorry for him. He tried to make O'Reilly avoiding eye contact with KO funny but after the third imitation Jay broke with "Really?"

    On a sad note, Leno, forced to play the loyal NBC employee actually took one for the team and lied - "your show actually does quite well" to which Keith replied "thank you" as in "thank you for whoring yourself out for me".

    Keith then explained the format of the show and they played some clips from Oddball. Jay then went all serious on Keith asking him Condi Rice and the Mideast Peace Process I think I liked the past where Keith said it seemed pretty clear what was going to happen and it should be wrapped up in a couple of weeks. Someone better tell that to Dan Abrams because they have been running scare headline in everyone of the handful of hours they are broadcasting live on MSNBC.

    It was pretty clear that someone at the network MADE Leno book Olbermann. I hope Keith enjoyed himself because according to the KO Countdown Clock it is likely his last appearance.

    Anyone care to comment on how Keith kept talking about being fired? Or Keith dancing around the Israel issue moments after Jay showed the Nazi salute? Or maybe how the appearance did more to promote O'Reilly than it did to promote Countdown?

    I tivo'd it and will grab some video tomorrow. There was one shot I want to put up of Keith raising his eyebrows to the audience after "meeting" Jamie Pressly as if to say "hubba, hubba".

    For those scoring at home, I counted 4 "Bill O'Reilly's" and 1 "Bill" so let's call that 4 1/2.

    one good move has the entire video

    The Olbersphere weighs in...

    Newsbusters - with video
    Media Research Center - with video
    Relevant Torture - Jay's questions even sounded like they were written by Keith's "lovely" publicist.
    Drunk with Olby
    Rathergate - blamed Brian Williams for his abuse of the Holocaust

    Outside the Olbersphere...

    Champ Des Reves - Not the brown suit! You looked like a 6-foot, 4-inch Hershey bar!
    Slams Olbermann over Nazi Salute

    It was way back last week, so maybe it's understandable that his memory has dimmed, but MSNBC host Keith Olbermann's recollections of the playful Nazi salute he gave at a Saturday breakfast of TV critics are, shall we say, imprecise.

    UPDATE: Becky at Relevant Torture links to news from me who writes "I asked yesterday about what was omitted via a bad edit during Keith Olbermann's Tonight Show appearance the other night. My spies tell me it was an explanation of Bill O'Reilly's defense of Nazi killers during World War II...essentially the same story told on the page to which I linked [what he linked was the Media Matters account of Olbermann's rant in early June].

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (123) | | View blog reactions
    KO Magic


    This brilliant bit of animated gif is provided courtesy of the kind - and very funny - folks over at Instapunk. If you enjoy this as much as I did be sure and click the link and leave a comment on their site.

    It just goes to show that Keith Olbermann is the gift that keeps on giving. Hope you all enjoy this as much as I did. Please note that I turned off the comments on this so if you want to comment on it you'd do it on the Instapunk site as a way to thank them giving permission to display this image here.

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


    Guest Host: Brian Unger


    • PRIME MINISTER MALAKI VISITS WASHINGTON: Pat Buchanan, MSNBC political analyst
    • REPUBLICANS VS. PRESIDENT BUSH: Dana Milbank, Washington Post

    What a time for Countdown to drag out Buchanan: the ex-Republican is both anti-Iraq War and anti-Israel. A perfect booking! Meanwhile, Dan Abrams continues his wildly successful revitalization of A-Mess-NBC. While Olby is off cavorting with this Hollywood pals, Abrams again permits a purported "news hour" to be hosted by an ex-Comedy Central entertainer. All he needs to complete the picture is a laugh track--and with The Laughing Stagehand he's already got a head start on that.

    It's all working marvelously well for Abrams. In the midst of a war, turn Joe Scarborough's show into a low-rent rip-off of A Current Affair, and follow that with prison reruns throughout the night. The channel's confused staff must long for the stability and canny programming skills of Rick Kaplan. Meanwhile, KO has more to worry about than Bill O'Reilly. Even when Olby's not up against Bill but a different "worst person in the world", Krazy Keith is still a miserable failure.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (6) | | View blog reactions
    Enough with the Nazi references!

    I think we can all agree with the sage when he writes...

    Don't say "Nazi" ever again in your life. There's no place for the reference in this culture. Not about the Republican tactics, not about the Democratic tactics, not about Guantanamo Bay. The Republicans are not the SS, and the Democrats are not the Gestapo, and Gitmo is not Buchenwald...

    More over, this particular moment in our history is no time to pour more ice into the crevices of our national political discourse. We have enough of the makings of fighting in the streets, enough of the rancor that preceded the caning of Senator Sumner on the floor of the Senate in 1856, without people throwing the devils of the 20th Century into the mix.

    In fact, it would be a really good idea, for the sake of the country, steer out of this skid of Party First and Country Second that now pervades both sides [and is] carrying the disease of branding other American leaders - no matter how wrong-headed some of those "others" might seem to you - with the same kind of vitriol that enabled the rise of the Nazis in Germany.

    Stop it, stop it now, stop it for good.

    Amen, brother

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (24) | | View blog reactions
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part X


    Tick, Tick, long will it take Brian to rowback and provide a cite for his source on Olby's "reply" to Ailes in this post?

    NOTE: the two links you see in the TVN post point to previous TVN posts (on Ailes remarks in Pasadena and one from the Malmedy kerfluffle on June 1; posted on TVN on June 2). They are not links to Romensko's page on Poynter...yet.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (8) | | View blog reactions
    MSM KO Bandwagon #88

    Diego Vasquez of Media Life Magazine serves up yet another healthy does of KOLove from the MSM with his witty and inciteful piece, The Olbermann factor: Keith doing Bill

    The Fox News Channel host...has become Olbermann’s personal punching bag over recent months. Whether that’s coincidental or causing “Countdown’s� recent ratings surge is debatable but certainly interesting.

    h/t Missy

    Missy was so distaught over this bit of puffery that I felt compelled to defend her honor by writing an email to Mr. Vasquez:


    Mr. Vasquez,

    I read your recent article on Keith Olbermann where you speculate as to the cause "'Countdown’s' recent ratings surge".

    I have to wonder if you are aware that from their peak during and immediately after the 2006 Winter Olympics, parts of which were broadcast on MSNBC, the ratings for Countdown with Keith Olbermann have been in steady DECLINE over the past four months.

    Over the past two months he had dropped back into fourth place in a three network race (he is also behind Nancy Grace on HLN). In order to make itself seem more competitive, the PR department at MSNBC has taken to promoting Countdown's ratings in the "25-54 Demo"; Countdown has now slipped back to behind Paula Zahn in the much-touted demo.

    As I cover Keith Olbermann on my site, I am sure my readers would be fascinated to learn more about this "recent ratings surge" to which you refer?

    Robert Cox
    Olbermann Watch


    We will post a link to the correction and apology here.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (12) | | View blog reactions
    Ailes Slams KO, KO Slams Back

    I've updated Olbermann's Nazi Salute with links to Ailes slam on KO in Pasadena and Keith's reply in a letter to Jim Romenesko at the Poynter Institute. I'd like to keep all of the Nazi Salute links in one place so please go there to find the links and comment.

    h/t to Gary

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    KO Countdown Clock

    Many of you have asked how much longer until we get "relief" from Keith Olbermann at MSNBC. While he is certainly capable of flaming out at any moment, his contract with MSNBC runs until March 1, 2007. To give Olbermann Watch readers some hope, we've installed a helpful KO Countdown Clock in the upper right corner of the home page. Check back each day to watch as the seconds tick off another episode in the storied career of Keith Olbermann.

    Thanks to Lance Dutson of Maine Web Report for installing this handy web version of a Cuckoo Clock.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (112) | | View blog reactions
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part IX

    On Monday, TVNewser falsely reported that FNC's Bridget Quinn is on maternity leave. A short while later, ICN spoke to FNC communicated with FNC directly and reported "Brigitte Quinn is not on maternity leave, as was incorrectly reported by the TV Newser blog. Quinn asked to have her hours cut back so that she may deal with a personal family issue. Her request has been granted, so viewers will see less of her each week on FNC."

    This is hardly the first time a TVN rumor report has turned out badly - and likely won't be the last since TVN routinely publishes unsubstantiated, anonymous "tips" without bothering to fact-check them first. To his credit, at least this time Brian used a strikethough to correct the post instead of simply deleting it. Maybe next time he will link to the source of the correction and thank the source for providing the CORRECT information as is considered good form in the blogging community.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (9) | | View blog reactions
    July 24, 2006


    Guest Host: Brian Unger!


    • MIDEAST CRISIS: Jonathan Alter, Newsweek

    Once upon a time Aaron Brown covered news on CNN. Then there was the Space Shuttle disaster, and Mr Brown was nowhere to be seen. He had an important golf game. Nowadays he has a lot of free time to spend on the golf course. So it is that during the biggest news story of the year, the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann just doesn't have time to anchor his own show. Jay Leno and the Hollywood crowd take precedence over that annoying business in the Middle East. In the tradition of Edward R Murrow, of course.

    So we get another night off (for this relief, much thanks), and leave analysis of Unger's spinning to our clear-headed commenters. But that in no way means we can completely ignore Olbermann's latest lies.

    Keith dismisses ratings as meaningless and unimportant, but if that's the case, why does he continue to lie about them? To wit:

    In total audience, we can be beaten [by O'Reilly] on a given night 7-to-1, 3-to-1, somewhere in that range usually. Three-to-one is a good night that we're down by in total audience.

    The latest monthly [June] ratings:

    The O'Reilly Factor: 2,141,000
    Countdown with Keith Olbermann: 286,000
    O'Reilly Superiority Ratio: 7.5 to 1

    But in that demographic number [25-54], we have in the last year moved from third place at 8 p.m., past CNN, into second place, which is, if not unprecedented at MSNBC, it is unprecedented in the last 100 years, 200? OK, five years. (Laughter.)

    8:00 pm Cable News Race, 25-54 Demo, 2005 vs 2006:

    June 2005 monthly ratings 25-54 demo:

    The O'Reilly Factor: 511,000
    Paula Zahn Now: 193,000
    Nancy Grace: 191,000
    Countdown with Keith Olbermann: 121,000

    June 2006 monthly ratings 25-54 demo:

    The O'Reilly Factor: 402,000
    Paul Zahn Now: 167,000
    Nancy Grace: 136,000
    Keith Olbermann: 106,000

    I'm a little loose with the numbers, as you can tell. On an average night, we might come in somewhere around 150,000, 250,000 in the demographic number. And O'Reilly is somewhere between 400.

    Latest monthly [June] ratings in the 25-54 demo:

    The O'Reilly Factor: 402,000
    Countdown with Keith Olbermann: 106,000

    Virtually everything Krazy Keith told the Kansas City Star about his ratings was a lie! O'Reilly's advantage in total viewers averages more than 7-1, not some fictional vague ground between 3-1 and 7-1. Olby wasn't in third place a year ago. He's not in third place now, and has certainly not moved up to second place. He's right where he was a year ago: fourth in a four-way race, both in total viewers and the 25-54 demo. Finally, his demo numbers do not come in between 150-250,000 on an average night. Try 106,000, Keith.

    Olbermann has a habit of lying about his ratings, and the MSM have a habit of never calling him on it. But the spin stops here.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (43) | | View blog reactions
    July 23, 2006
    Olbermann's Nazi Salute

    NAMEAs Islamo-Fascists fire rockets into Israel as part of their plan to wipe Israel off the face of the map, Keith Olbermann is thousands of miles away from the front lines entertaining his own band of shock troops - those psuedo-journalists who label themselves "TV Critics" - with a "hilarious" Nazi salute, hoping to equate the trouncing he is getting in the cable news ratings race with a genocide that saw the murder of 12 million people including more than 6 million Jews.

    UPDATE: J$ orders up a healthy does of KO Hypocrisy on his effectively moot Anti-Nazi Metaphor Campaign

    UPDATE: OlbyWatch Radio - I will be live on the Pat Campbell radio show at 8:05 to 8:20AM ET to discuss KO, his Nazi salute and all things Olby. Pat's blog is here. There is a live stream here (you have to register but it's free)


    UPDATE: KO Attacks Olbermann Watch (again!). Aaron Barnhart, TV Critic for the Kansas City Star and media blogger at TVBarn, has a run down of his exchange with Olbermann at the new infamous Pasadena Presser. Turns out some of the KO quotes that made it into the AP and other reports were actually KO's response to Barnhart's questions based on Olbermann Watch and our report on KO's 100th Attack on Bill O'Reilly:

    QUESTION: Keith, to follow up on that. Right in front of you. When you made the Bill O'Reilly "the Worst Person in the World" for the hundredth time, I got an e-mail from a guy who runs a blog called "Olbermann Watch," pointing out this milestone. Do you worry about the blogosphere? Do you pay attention to bloggers? Do you worry that they might take something that you say and extract some sort of revenge, the way they did with Dan Rather?

    KEITH OLBERMANN: There's, I guess, a risk for all of us -- and by all of us, I mean everybody in the world -- that the blogosphere is going to take revenge...People are devoting a lot of time, a lot of money, a lot of energy, and not necessarily getting any results in terms of readership...For every blog that there might be somebody criticizing me, of that one in particular, is the one I know of, there's another one or two other ones where they're desperately and unfairly favorable to me. So if you take it in the whole context, I don't really worry about it...

    [I edited the reply to focus on the OlbyWatch-centric portion, you can read the full quote here]. Aaron loves comments so feel free to ask him what it was like being front and center for KO's Nazi salute!!!


    UPDATE: Roger Ailes is defending O'Reilly, slamming Keith - Associated Press, Broadcasting & Cable

    UPDATE: Keith Olbermann responds to Ailes in a letter to Romenesko which attacks O'Reilly over the Malmedy kerfluffle while citing that bastion of journalistic reknown -!

    The Olbersphere Weighs In (updated as posts become available)

    Inside Cable News
    Drunk with KO
    For This Relief
    Relevant Torture
    Kooky KO Forum
    Democratic Underground
    Expose The Left - Thanks for the link to OlbyWatch!
    Doug Krile
    Jim Rose - Thanks for the link to OlbyWatch!
    The Cable Game - Thanks for the link to OlbyWatch!
    TVNewser - Thanks for the link to OlbyWatch!
    Relevant Torture
    The Cable Game

    Breaking Out of the Olbersphere

    Daily Kos - Thanks for the link to OlbyWatch!
    GOP Bloggers - Thanks for the link to OlbyWatch!
    Ankle Biting Pundits
    Captain's Quarters - Thanks for the link to OlbyWatch!
    Right Wing News
    Outside the Beltway - Thanks for the link to OlbyWatch!
    Lone Star Times
    Ankle Biting Pundits
    Instapundit - Thanks for the link to OlbyWatch!
    Ace of Spades HQ - Thanks for the link to OlbyWatch!
    The American Mind - Thanks for the link to OlbyWatch!
    Extreme Mortman - Thanks for the link to OlbyWatch!
    RatherGate - Thanks for the link to OlbyWatch!
    Stuck On Stupid
    Drudge Retort
    Wizbang! - Thanks for the link to OlbyWatch!
    The Radio Equalizer - Thanks for the link to OlbyWatch!

    Breaking out of the Blogosphere

    Broadcasting & Cable
    Pat Campbell radio show
    Kansas City Star

    FNC's Ailes Responds To Olbermann

    Associated Press
    Broadcasting & Cable

    Olbermann Responds to Ailes

    Letters Sent to Romenesko
    Date/Time: 7/25/2006 11:25:46 AM
    Title: No line at Fox News
    Posted By: Jim Romenesko

    From KEITH OLBERMANN: Subject -- Response to Ailes. "Over the line?" Where was Roger Ailes when...


    HIGHLIGHT: Drunk with KO has had one too many tonight, putting forward the "photoshop" defense for the Olby Nazi Salute. A commenter sums it up nicely "Getty Images. Since when do they have a reputation for photoshopping? Go to broadcast & cable. The article is there that mentions the Nazi Salute. Are you people this desperate or this stupid?"

    HIGHLIGHT: The Kossack Are Coming! Daily Kos linked to Olbermann Watch (twice) and called clear-thinking OlbyWatch readers "right wing rank and file morons" who are "frothing at the mouth to destroy a man's career". Newsflash KosLoons! Olbermann is going a fine job of destroying his career on his own. He certainly doesn't need any help from us.

    HIGHLIGHT: Ace of Spades HQ "Top Ten Ways In Which Keith Olbermann Alleges Bill O'Reilly Is Just Like Hitler": "#10 - Hitler's greatest crime was oppressing people with strong ratings in key demos." You read the rest of this very funny post here

    HIGHLIGHT: TVNewser is heard from, including a link to Olbermann Watch. I have a question: did everyone who emailed him FORGET TO TURN OFF THE CAPS KEY??? or is he just doing that for effect? What I liked even better was the TVN Caption Contest where readers were asked to provide a caption to Olbermann holding the O'Reilly mask over his face. Brian did not appreciate the humor behind some of the submissions - some "were just plain mean, and not all that funny". Here are a few of my favorites:

    "Olbermann demonstrates his position at 8pm."
    " this is what it's like to have people watch you."
    "I'm just getting started -- wait until you see my Nazi salute!"
    "Maybe, just maybe, if I wear this mask, my 8pm show can beat O'Reilly's 4am repeat."
    "For my next trick, I will pull ratings out of the back of Bill O'Reilly's picture."
    "Dan Abrams unveils new plan to trick viewers into watching MSNBC."
    "Olbermann fades into the shadows..."

    HIGHLIGHT: FNC's Ailes Responds To Olbermann and Olbermann responds to Ailes (by attacking O'Reilly)

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (154) | | View blog reactions
    Who Hacked Olby's Email?

    Like others, I took note of what appeared to be an accusation that Fox News had hacked Keith Olbermann's email in Beth Harris's article on KO's comments in Pasadena yesterday about his email being hacked and somehow that being tied to Fox News. I was hesistant to post on this line until I had a chance to check into further. I emailed Harris and checked around with my sources. I have yet to hear back from the AP but a source provided this transcript of Olby's comments:

    I'm always the guy who doesn't keep his head down and bangs into walls and overheads and such. I never worry about the consequences of it. ... There have been some abuses. There have been -- my e-mails have been hacked into. My phone number has been distributed at Fox. I mean, there have been some really kind of invasive things, but if you sit down and you talk about it, well, they're annoying things, and that's about it.

    It's pretty clear KO was NOT saying that someone from Fox News hacked into his e-mail account. I'm still not clear what it means that his phone number was distributed at Fox and I'd be fascinated to know how Olby would know this or whether he can back it up.

    As to the hacked email account - is this yet another trail balloon floated in some vain hope of distancing himself from OlbyEmailGate? Is Keith now saying he did not write the "vituperative" emails for which he later apologized? Was the Cosby/suitecase full of rocks crack a set up from a maleavolent hacker? Or is this all just one more stop on the KO Oblivion Express?

    Ed. Note: I changed the time stamp on this post so that the Olbermann Nazi Salute story would be at the top of the page as we begin a new week - that is THE story for now and I liked how that Olby Salute photo looked at the top of the page.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (30) | | View blog reactions
    Olbermann's Anti-Nazi Crusade

    Keith Olbermann raised his arm in a Nazi salute, holding a cardboard cutout of Bill O'Reilly before his face. This was his way of getting attention from the press, distracting from the ongoing scandal of The Olbermann Letters, and smearing O'Reilly as some sort of rampaging fascist.

    But is this the same Keith Olbermann? The same Keith Olbermann who has crusaded against broadcasters, politicians, and others who throw around Nazi comparisons to demonize their opponents? How does Olby's latest stunt track with the moralizing lectures he has delivered against others? The Olbermann Watch Research Division has the answer to that question.

    NAMEThe infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann has never hesitated to attack others who cheapen the horrors of Nazi Germany by applying the label to present day controversies. Senator Rick Santorum, one of Olby's favorite targets, got a sermon from The Future of Television on May 23, 2005:

    ...a tape turned up of him comparing The New York Times to Nazis... is Senator Santorum's threshold for comparing things to Nazis a little lower than we thought?

    On another occasion he berated an emailer who called him a Nazi (without bothering to mention when he himself compared Ken Starr to Heinrich Himmler). But the most salient comments come from the Definitive Olbermann Exposition on the subject of Nazi comparisons:

    There's no place for the reference in this culture.... Apologize profoundly and profusely, burst into tears if you will, but the analogies are wrong, offensive, and deeply hurtful. And I speak as a European of protestant descent.

    More over, this particular moment in our history is no time to pour more ice into the crevices of our national political discourse. We have enough of the makings of fighting in the streets, enough of the rancor that preceded the caning of Senator Sumner on the floor of the Senate in 1856, without people throwing the devils of the 20th Century into the mix.

    In fact, it would be a really good idea, for the sake of the country...if the three distinguished gentlemen resigned, or at least announced they would not run again. Because apologies or not, they are at best, carrying the disease of branding other American leaders - no matter how wrong-headed some of those "others" might seem to you - with the same kind of vitriol that enabled the rise of the Nazis in Germany.

    Stop it, stop it now, stop it for good.

    Now the question is, does Keith Olbermann's advice apply to everyone except Keith Olbermann?

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (10) | | View blog reactions
    MSM KO Bandwagon #73, #74

    And the hits just keep on coming - more MSM promotion this weekend for the TV Critics Fave Keith Olbermann.

    The AP took a double-shot of the KO Kool Aid this weekend with two stories about the supposed "feud" between Keith Olbermann and the host of TV show with five times the audience size.

    As OlbyWatch noted previously, David Bauder backed his way into the KO v. Successful Host feud by using the Fox News PR department as a hook whereas Beth Harris bit hook, line and sinker on KO's hilarious hijinks at a recent NBC promotional press conference. She wrote:

    Olbermann opened his session by whipping out a mask of O'Reilly - a poke at Fox asking journalists to accept handout photos of TCA news conferences from photographers the network had hired.

    Just how boring does the life of a TV Critic have to be to find KO amusing? Pretty boring. Case in point, I heard back from Verne Gay at Newsday who says he wrote his recent KO piece AS IF the ratings at MSNBC were not so awful because everyone knows it and its boring to keep writing about it. He adds that he considers Countdown a "success" because he likes the show but admits the numbers for the show are "dreadful". Which begs the question - then write a column that makes it sounds as if KO is on some kind of roll with Countdown?

    h/t to John and T

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (8) | | View blog reactions
    July 21, 2006
    Fox News Wishing You well

    David Bauder at AP writes:

    If someone at Fox News Channel wishes you well, watch your back. The seemingly benign sentiment is a creative signature of Fox's public relations, usually accompanied by a kneecapping. It's something like a kiss from a Mafia don.

    MSNBC host Keith Olbermann was the latest to visit the wishing well. When The New York Times recently asked Fox its opinion of Olbermann, who has repeatedly used Bill O'Reilly as a pinata on his nightly news countdown, spokeswoman Irena Briganti replied...

    Click here to read the rest - enjoy!

    UPDATE: the entire Olbersphere is weighing in on this one...

    Relevent Torture: ...Irena Briganti ends her hilariously snarky statement regarding Keith...

    ICN: Bauder goes on to list some of the people who have been bestowed the FNC “wish well�...

    TVN: Visiting The Fox News 'Wishing Well'

    The Cable Game

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (31) | | View blog reactions


    Guest Host: Brian Unger


    • THE MIDDLE EAST CONFLICT: Col. Jack Jacobs, U.S. Army (ret.) and MSNBC military analyst
    • THIS PAST WEEK AT THE WHITE HOUSE: Mo Rocca, TV personality

    Comedian Unger replaces comedian Olbermann on tonight's Hour of Spin. Hey, it's a slow news day--especially at A-Mess-NBC. So we get the night off, but the comments thread will be open to compare the truth/lies ratio of Brian Unger to that of the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann. In the meantime, here's a little nugget from the Olbermann Watch Research Division.

    NAMEWhen John Voinovich (R) came out against John Bolton for UN representative, Krazy Keith's Kountdown was all over the story. Olby trumpeted Voinovich's opposition repeatedly on The Hour of Spin:

    • April 19 [with video clip]
    • April 21
    • May 9
    • May 12 [lead story, video clip]
    • May 25 [lead story, video clip]
    • May 26
    • May 27

    What happened this week? Voinovich published an op-ed in the Washington Post reversing course, declaring his support for Bolton. Just in case an obscure publication like the Post might not get the attention of super-reporters like Keith, the Senator also held a press conference. It was all over the wires yesterday, big news that real television journalists did not hesitate to cover. As a result, Bolton's recess appointment is about to be sent to the Senate for a new confirmation vote.

    Keith Olbermann cited Voinovich over and over and over when the Senator was against Bolton. So how did he report the news that Voinovich had changed his mind? He didn't.

    The Hour of Spin: Journalism at its Finest.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (25) | | View blog reactions
    July 20, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • MIDEAST WAR DEVELOPMENTS: Mark Potter, NBC correspondent
    • BARRY BONDS INDICTMENT WATCH: TJ Quinn, New York Daily News


    "For This Spin, Great Thanks"

    He had to look long and hard, but the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann found some spin to spout in the opening spiel:

    Is anybody happy with the administration's stance toward the hostilities? A conservative think tank now blasts Mr Bush's foreign policy.

    #5 began with Olby noting a television interview with Nasrallah, "the Secretary-General of Hezbollah", as KO put it. Keith gave much play to Kofi Annan's call for a cease-fire, but Mark Potter dismissed it. After Potter's report ("Again Mark, great thanks"), a taped report from NBC about the evacuations. Olby followed it with a few clips from the recently returned. One Tarek Dika talked about the bombings in outraged terms, but KO didn't bother to tell viewers that the guy is a radical pro-Palestinian political activist (Vice-Chair of "Students Allied for Freedom and Equality").

    The #4 slot began with yet another clip from Kofi's UN speech, a response from John Bolton, and an alleged Condi Rice summit to plan for a cease-fire. For honest, down-the-middle, spin-free analysis, Olbermann dug up a newspaper reporter...from a Lebanon newspaper! Gotta hand it to Olby--he'll scour the earth to find someone to parrot his spin. And there's no question it's his spin, since KO stated flat out to Hisham Melhem:

    Unfortunately, we have no indication that Israel is anywhere near seeking a cease-fire.

    Whom would a cease-fire benefit? The terrorists and the aggressors who attacked Israel in the first place. So KO wants to do exactly that which would most help their cause. As for the return of the hostages? To quote OlbyFave Kos: Screw 'Em! And let's not forget to find something here that's bad for Bush:

    Right now it does not seem to be overwhelmingly evident that the Bush administration is overwhelmingly interested in influencing anybody in the region...what risk does that put the Bush administration at in terms of, of having influence on what happens yet?

    Melhem delivered anti-Israel talking points, and KO was, of course, awed by his perspicacity ("Great thanks for your insights tonight, sir"). Gag! Next came a taped report from Pete Williams on Hezbollah in the USA. KO was appreciative ("Pete Williams in the Washington newsroom, great thanks"). Um Keith, Pete was on tape. He couldn't hear you.

    The #3 story was about the horrible situation the conflict has placed Bush. Yes, that's right, we're back to it being "Mister" Bush's crisis again. A Vice-President of the American Enterprise Institute is mad at the administration, and on OlbyPlanet that means the entire right wing of the party is deserting him. This one person's statement in an interview is what KO elevated to an opening spiel headline. And now that can be seen to have been a lie. It was not a "conservative think tank" that spoke out against Bush--it was one person. Sometimes it's instantly obvious, sometimes it takes a while, but eventually every one of Keith's untruths will be exposed as another Olbermann lie.

    So frantic was Krazy Keith to concoct anti-administration propaganda, he tried to spin the catastrophic situation in Darfur. Today "Mister" Bush called on Sudan to approve a UN peacekeeping force, but to KO it was a chance for a cheap shot:

    You know things are bad when the administration's global crisis of choice is Darfur, the one eclipsing all others in terms of sheer carnage.

    So if "Mister" Bush ignores Darfur, that's bad. If "Mister" Bush focuses on it, then "you know things are bad". Heads, Olby wins. Tails, "Mister" Bush loses. Krazy went on:

    In another sign of desperation perhaps, "Mister" Bush finally addressing the NAACP.

    With Fineman present to conform to the planned spin of the night, loaded questions were hardly necessary, but KO never could resist:

    Is there anyone firmly in the President's corner these days?

    Have we ever seen an administration facing so many different kinds of crises all at the same time?

    No attention paid this week to the, to the blocking of the inves-, the revelation that the President blocked the investigation by the Judicia-, the, uh, the Department of Justice into the NSA there some cover that's been provided the President inadvertently here?

    After the interview concluded ("As always sir, great thanks for your time"), it was time for Barry Bonds Is Still Not Indicted. Sort of an analogue to Krazy's fevered Karl Rove coverage, who is also still not indicted. KO interviewed TJ Quinn ("As always sir, great thanks for your time"). Then on to head-butting and the two-faced kitty.

    In the Media Matters Minute, Mr Bill again because blah blah blah, and it's blah blah blah. Brock put up Olby's video from yesterday right on schedule, so tonight's deathless commentary will appear within the next 24 hours, as contracted.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (77) | | View blog reactions
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part VIII


    Row, Row, Row Your Back...

    Today, for the first time, TVNewser has hinted, however cryptically, at his newfound reliance on Live Plus ratings data. The "scoreboard" post for July 18 includes the notation "(L+SD)". Yet, nowhere does TVN explain to readers what "L + SD" means, why has elected to use Live Plus Same Day ratings (according to an email he sent to Olbermann Watch, it is because Live Plus Same Day is what MSNBC uses to evaluate Keith Olbermann's "success"), when he first began to use Live Plus ratings and why he has chosen to use "L+SD" instead of the more common "L + SW" (Live Plus Same Week).

    There is no right or wrong answer as to which ratings are better. Our concern at Olbermann Watch has never been whether Live or Live Plus ratings more accurately gauge audience size. We are far more interested in TVN's well-documented habit of playing fast and loose with information published on the Media Bistro site, his lack of credibility among those who pay close attention to his shenanigans and his absence of journalistic standards. The Live/Live Plus switcheroo is just the latest in a long line of such hijinks at TVN including back-dating of posts, manipulating time-stamps, sereptious editing and wholesale deletion of posts that his "handlers" find offensive.

    Today's bit of journalistic trickery is known as a "rowback". Former New York Times Public Editor Dan Okrent explained "Rowback" this way:

    The one definition I could find for this ancient technique, from journalism educator Melvin Mencher, describes a rowback as ''a story that attempts to correct a previous story without indicating that the prior story had been in error or without taking responsibility for the error.'' A less charitable definition might read, ''a way that a newspaper can cover its butt without admitting it was ever exposed.''

    In the case of TVN's most recent "scoreboard" post, he has quietly added the "L + SD" notation in response to recent criticism here on Olbermann Watch without explaining why it is there or what it means. He has not taken responsibility for his previous failure to disclose his switch from Live to Live Plus nor he has gone back and edited his previous posts in which he published Live Plus data. In other words, the "L + SD" notation is not for the benefit of TVN readers but a ploy to silently respond to valid criticism while setting the stage for later being able to rebut future criticism by pointing out that he does disclose his use of Live Plus without acknowledging that for some undefined period he was not and that there may be many posts that present Live Plus data as if it is Live data.

    There IS a simple, forthright way out of this mess but for some reason Brian refuses to run a "mea culpa" post, specify where and for how long he has been passing off Live Plus data as Live data and taking his lumps.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (28) | | View blog reactions
    July 19, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • MIDEAST CRISIS DEVELOPMENTS: Brian Williams, host of NBC "Nightly News"
    • PRES. BUSH VETOES STEM CELL RESEARCH: Dana Milbank, Washington Post

    Olby began the hour trumpeting "breaking news" that actually broke nearly three hours beforehand. How stale was this "breaking news"? Richard Engel mentioned it in his report--and his report was, like most on Countdown, taped earlier in the day. KO talked live to Mark Potter, and did a segue to a chat with Brian Williams, pre-taped for your viewing pleasure. It felt strange to see a first segment with so little OlbySpin, which was the case mainly because Olby did so little talking.

    In the #4 slot war coverage continued with the plight of Americans trapped in Lebanon, an evacuation that was "very slow to get started" and "seems confused even now". He ran soundbites from several upset people who had not yet been evacuated, but none from the thousand-plus Americans who are safely out of the troubled land. Nothing NBC's Dawn Fratangelo said supported Keith's claim that the evacuation was "confused". In fact, she told KO that things seemed organized, with "no sense of panic". Those damn journalists, not parroting OlbySpin. As soon as this war is over, it's back to John Dean and Michael Musto.

    #3: The US has avoided any direct diplomatic involvement, like sending Condi to the region. Olby managed to put his own spin on it by using a value-judgment-loaded phrase: "diplomatic foot-dragging". Andrea Mitchell politely declined to use KO's wording, preferring to characterize it as "rope-a-dope". Keith, of course, was concerned about whether Israel's military response is "proportional".

    In the #2 slot, KO was back in his element. Bush did something to please the "radical right" (stem cell funding), and it will backfire on him somehow. It was all "scientific doublespeak", according to Olby, who added:

    Mister Bush appearing to be confounded by exactly which rights are endowed by the Creator in the Declaration of Independence.

    Then KO played a clip where "Mister" Bush stated: "We are all created equal, and endowed, by our Creator, with the right to life."

    What the Declaration of Independence says: "All Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life..."

    Maybe we're missing something here, but how exactly was "Mister" Bush "confounded" about "which rights" are endowed by the Creator? Doesn't the Declaration clearly say Life is one of those rights? What in the Wide World of Sports was Krazy Keith talking about?

    The infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann went on to chat with Milbank (lacking splashy threads) about what a bad move this was for "Mister" Bush, "bordering on hysteria". Afterward the topic changed to hockey and Cruise News! #1 was even more from the exclusive, Pulitzer-worthy Brad Pitt interview.

    In the Media Matters Minute, O'Reilly was back as a runner-up, thereby filling the Fox News quota for the evening. KO ridiculed Mr Bill's suggestion that Rush Limbaugh's customs detention was "a set-up". To do so, comedian Keith Olbermann conveniently ignored the fact that Bill was not talking about someone else putting the medicine in the trunk (as Olby falsely claimed) but rather the near-instantaneous leaking of the details to local and national press. If we were counting, this would be O'Reilly Attack #102. But we're not counting. Really.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (82) | | View blog reactions
    July 18, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • WAR IN THE MIDEAST AND THE NEO-CON OPPORTUNITY: Lawrence Korb, former assistant secretary of defense under Pres. Reagan and senior fellow for the Center for American Progress
    • PRES. BUSH BLOCKS NSA PROBE: Pete Williams, NBC justice correspondent

    Always eager to find some sort of partisan spin in any story, Keith Olbermann bellowed in his opening spiel:

    Are the neo-cons drooling? Is this seen as an opportunity to make American political hay out of Middle East reality chaos?

    Well, does Olby see this as an opportunity to make partisan hay out of Israel's war on terror? Apparently so. The Hour of Spin began with some taped reports from NBC, plus an actual, real, live person in Beirut reporting on the waiver of evacuation fees. (Oops, there goes one of the evening's planned spin points.)

    After just one commercial break, substantive war coverage gave way to the "political impact" of it all. The Wolffe Man said the President wants to make this "look like a UN operation". KO was ready with the snark:

    What a difference three years and 600 miles can make.

    And of course the patented Olby leading question, with the obligatory slant making everything somehow bad for Bush:

    Should it want to intervene at some point, has the administration squandered any of its leverage in this region? Has Iraq made it less likely that Israel's neighbors would accept some sort of deal brokered by the US?

    KO skipped oddball to report on various other stories, including the stem cell controversy (calling the embrios "clusters of cells"). Then a plug for the #3 story, where Olby said "neo-cons" want the US to join the war and attack Syria and Iran.

    "The neo-cons back in business", headlined Olby, referring to "their failed policy". Whom does he cite as calling for the US to join in the war? James Woolsey--Bill Clinton's CIA Director! Um, Mr Olbermann, Woolsey is not a neo-con. He's not an anything con. He's a Democrat. Then he cites Secretary of State Rice, who never made any such proposal. Finally, he cites Bill Kristol, and knowing he has nothing to show he ever made any such proposal either, he runs a clip from Fox News Sunday where Kristol says Israel is in fact "fighting four of our five enemies", and then has Juan Williams replying to Kristol:

    You just want war, war, war. And you want us in more war. You wanted us in Iraq, now you wanted us in Iran, now you want us to get into the Middle East...

    Get this: KO uses a clip from someone who is characterizing what Kristol says--not Kristol's words, but the words of someone who disagrees with Kristol. The shabbiest of evidence, and the tawdriest kind of propaganda. Kristol has, in fact, stated that the US should stand behind Israel, but has never suggested that we should join in the war.

    Oh, and Keith? Do you even know what a "neo-conservative" is? Not only is Woolsey (the only person who actually advocated what you were talking about) not a neo-con--neither is Bill Kristol. And neither is Condoleeza Rice. But hey, what do facts matter to the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann?

    The evening's designated spinner, Larry Korb, was there to answer Keith's questions about "fulminating" by those dastardly neo-cons. Korb took shots at Cheney and the Iraq war ("false pretenses"). Then another Olby Leading Question. Citing Woolsey and Kristol, tossing in Gingrich for good measure, KO asked:

    Are not these and other people who are involved in this point of view the same folks who told us that Iraq was going to be a cakewalk, and do they have remaining credibility?

    Korb's shocking response: "No. They have no credibility." He went on to complain that Rice is delaying her trip over there and should try to get a cease-fire. Screw the hostages; let 'em rot. Korb knows better how to effect the return of Israeli hostages than Israel does. Not once but twice Korb was described by Olby as having been with "the Reagan administration". But for Carter James Woolsey was Undersecretary of the Navy, and we know he ran the CIA for B.J. Clinton. So why did KO twice mention Korb's Reagan connection, and ignore Woolsey's more substantial Democrat background?

    The spin continued as Krazy Keith tried to make big news out of old news. He screeched about how this revelation was deliberately timed for today because there was a war on. Unfortunately, this "revelation" came from the Attorney General in previous scheduled testimony at a previously scheduled committee hearing. So how could this have been deliberately timed? Don't try to make sense out of it. It's OlbyLogic.

    The revelation? Justice Department lawyers didn't get clearance to investigate the NSA surveillance program. Did we mention that it's old news? You'd think Olby would remember, because he made such a big deal about it two months ago:

    the Bush Justice Department dropped the domestic spying investigation, because the investigators were denied security clearances.

    Pete Williams was there to explain the story. The White House wouldn't give Office of Professional Responsibility the top-secret clearances needed to have access to the program. (Um, that's what top-secret is all about.) Of course, Olby is ready with another loaded question:

    Do you think additional questions are going to be raised now about whether the President had authority to block that internal investigation by justice...?

    That of course is a pure propaganda question. Does anyone in their right mind believe the President doesn't have "authority" over security clearances? Of course not.

    With a #1 segment all about Oprah Winfrey, that leaves the Media Matters Minute. Tonight's victims included "the insane" Michael Savage (runner-up), and "worst person": "the Coultergeist". This is already so tired and lame, but apparently, after going over the 100 mark with Mr Bill, comedian Keith Olbermann has found a new bete noir.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (53) | | View blog reactions
    A Word on ratings and the use of "Live Plus"

    This post is a follow-up on A word on ratings and the "25-54" demo and the recent "controversy" over my post pointing out that TVNewser had taken to using ratings data that inflates the ratings for Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Brian Stelter of TVNewser has argued that my claim that he is "inflating" ratings data is "false" and demanded a "correction" yet subsequently admitted in an email (published in the comments section of my post) that he IS using a new type of ratings data provided by Nielsen Media Research called "Live Plus" which does, in fact, inflate the ratings data for Countdown. That he is also inflating the ratings data for other cable news shows is beside the point. The real issue is his failure to disclose his switch from "Live" to "Live Plus" ratings, to footnote his ratings posts to indicate that he is reporting "Live Plus" data from Nielsen Media Research and his justification for the surreptitious ratings switcheroo - that MSNBC prefers to use "Live Plus Same Day" ratings to evaluate Keith Olbermann's "success". A secondary issue is the false implication that "Live Plus" ratings are some agreed upon standard of how to measure viewership. In fact, the complete opposite is the case as we shall see.

    My concern is not whether Live or Live Plus are better measures of the audience for a TV show but the much heralded "journalistic integrity" of TVNewser - or lack of it - where all Brian has is his "credibility".

    The new "Live Plus" ratings, which can include Live Plus Same Day and Live Plus 7 (there has also been talk of Live Plus Three), are being promoted in an attempt by SOME television networks to justify charging more money in the "upfronts" where networks sell a guaranteed number of viewers to advertisers. The "Tivo Effect" has compounded the long-term ratings decline of the major networks (other factors include the rise of the Fox network, more cable channels, the internet, video gaming, etc.). "Live Plus" is an attempt to account for viewers who are no longer watching the broadcast television or doing so in real-time.

    From reading Brian's comments on Olbermann Watch and the post he linked to Inside Cable News, you might get the idea that "Live Plus" is simple arithmetic - adding "actual" live viewers to the number of "actual" Tivo viewers who playback a show within 24 hours of recording the show. In fact, "live" viewers has, for the past 20 years, not actually measured live viewers but "Live Plus VCR", a standard pushed by the networks long ago. As it turned out, one-third of shows recorded on VCR are never watched and the commercials are skipped in two-thirds of those that are watched. Nielsen came up with a complex algorithm meant to translate the remainder into some approximation between VCR viewers and live viewers and the advertisers have been complaining ever since.

    With more options, things have become even more complicated. Nielsen Media Research recently announced it will "develop and deploy technology to measure the new ways consumers are watching television, such as on the Internet, outside the home, and via cell phones, iPods and other personal, mobile devices."

    This only serves to highlight the many misperceptions about how Nielsen gathers and reports ratings data. It is not the purpose of this article to clarify them but simply note that the old-fashioned notion of a Nielsen family scribbling in a daily diary has been replaced for many "Nielsen families" by Local People Meters which is used in the largest markets, Set-Meters which are used in larger, middle-sized markets which include various versions of an "Active/Passive meter", and paper and internet diaries in smaller, middle-sized markets. Paper diaries are still used exclusively in the smaller markets. Some of these measuring tools require viewers to push buttons on devices or fill out forms to note how many viewers are in the room when a show is on the TV. Typically, the more sophisticated the technology the more accurate the viewer behavior information; more information is captured and reported in larger markets, primarily on the east and west coasts.

    The controversy over "Live Plus" ratings began in earnest seven months ago when Nielsen first began to offer an expanded ratings system with three sets of ratings: "traditional live ratings; "live plus same-day," which accounts for same-day DVR viewing; and, most controversially, "live plus seven days," which accounts for recording then watching shows within a week of their original airings."

    The ad buyers challenged this , asking "whether any viewing after the date intended is worth anything to...marketers that prefer to buy commercial time on Thursday nights, like retailers, automakers and movie studios, all of them seeking to stimulate demand for the coming weekend." The bargaining between the networks and advertisers began in earnest shortly thereafter, in anticipation of the 2006-07 "upfronts" period this past May. ABC, which is in the strongest negotiating position with shows like "Desperate Housewives", "Lost" and "Gray's Anatomy", was the first network to announce that it would not sell spots to companies that did not use the new Nielsen data. Ad buyers have argued that since there is no way of knowing how many DVR users are skipping commercials these recorded shows should not be factored into ad prices. Shortly after publishing the "Live Plus" data, Nielsen admitted there were strange anomalies in the data. Nielsen has acknowledged that their sample set of DVR viewers is too small and thus the data is causing "aberrations" Meanwhile, Nielsen has already laid the groundwork for an entirely new ratings paradigm based on "commercial ratings" which will attempt to measure how many viewers are actually watching a particular minute during which an advertisement is being aired (with adjustments for time-shifted viewing). Clearly "Live Plus" ratings are not only NOT an agreed upon standard but are highly controversial. Further, the networks (including NBC Universal which owns MSNBC) are attempting to sell ads based on the "Live Plus Seven" ratings data not "Live Plus Same Day" which Brian now says he is using in his ratings reports.

    Maybe what TVNewser should really be reporting is the ad rates being charged by the cable news networks, how much inventory they are selling, what their total revenue is from ad sales, what their total revenue is from cable provider fees, what their cost structures are like, and their EBITDA numbers. After all, ratings are merely a proxy for financial results. But don't hold your breath because Fox News is, by far and away, the winner in the one category that actually counts in the TV business.

    Nate Anderson at arstechnica provides an excellent summary of the Live Plus controversy:

    Television ratings are big business. They are the basis for the ad rates set by television networks and paid by ad agencies, and are therefore often a source of contention between the two groups, which have diametrically opposed goals (charge more money vs. spend less money). Ratings, for obvious reasons, are turned over to a third party who is charged with providing objective information that both groups can trust. In the world of television, that company is Nielsen Media Research, and they have recently kicked up a bit of controversy between the networks and the ad agencies over the subject of time-shifted content...Networks enjoy the bump in ratings they get when DVR is measured, but the advertisers aren't so happy. Why? Because they know that most DVR users skip the commercials.

    It is also worth mentioning that based on the demographics of Tivo owners (younger, more affluent, etc.), factoring in DVR usage will tend to give a bigger bump to a show with a larger percentage of its audience in the younger demos (read: Countdown with Keith Olbermann).

    The efforts of the networks to push Live Plus has not gone well. By the end of May, Ad Week was reporting that negotiations in the upfront market had stalled over whether to use "Live Plus 7" ratings data in pricing ads:

    "Everybody's talking, but nobody is listening," said one network sales executive. "Live Plus 7 is the big hurdle. The agencies are pretty dug in on the side that says Live Plus 7 should not be used at all, while all the networks are taking a strong position on the opposite side. It feels like all the agencies have been talking with one another, because they are all taking the same position."

    However this battle settles out, one thing is clear - the "Live Plus" controversy involves the big broadcast networks selling prime-time television programming and the haggling has been over whether to use "Live" or "Live Plus 7" ratings data. The ratings data now being used by TVNewser, "Live Plus Same Day" has received scant mention in the coverage of this ongoing debate and is not, in fact, used to sell ads that reach the majority of cable news viewers. The reason for this is simple - Fox News reaches a large majority of the cable news viewing audience and they do not believe that "Live Plus" ratings data is relevent to news viewing so they do not charge for ads using that data:

    Paul Rittenberg, SVP Sales for Fox News Channel, recently told Jack Meyers of Media Village:

    "Our whole sales pitch is news viewing is live," says Rittenberg. "There is effectively no difference in live and live plus one. We are willing to use whatever data advertisers want. If that shifts money our way it will be great."

    As Rittenberg points out, there is currently no big difference between Live and Live Plus Same Day - the post I cited showed a difference of 5,000 viewers for Olbermann - although many expect the difference to grow as more DVRs are sold and Nielsen has more DVR owners in its sample set. So, there is nothing WRONG with using the Live Plus Same Day numbers as is the case these days at TVN. The problem is when you are using one set of data one day and a different set the other day without making sure your readers are fully informed as to the change and the basis for making the change. Worse still is when you are making month-on-month and quarter-on-quarter comparisons and not being clear which sets of data you are comparing or referencing from post to post and day to day.

    It may be there but...

    I went back through the TVN archives to December 1, 2005 looking for a post that announces the switch from Live to Live Plus ratings data (Nielsen began releasing Live Plus ratings in December 2005). I could not find one. I did ask Brian to provide a link to such an announcement but he declined to respond. A TVN apologist in the OlbyWatch comments section claimed that Brian DID disclose the change but has yet to provide a link supporting his claim.

    I did find one post from March 2006, A Note About Ratings Data , which said "Ratings data can be sliced a thousand different ways" and that "the difference between time period data and program data" are the two most common ways. Brian promised "to mention the specific type of data in all posts." From what I could find, since this post, Brian RARELY indicates the type of data he is parsing to form the claims put forward in his dramatic ratings headlines. Likewise, there is no footnote or explanation that ratings data in more recent posts is based on Live Plus not Live ratings data.

    Now, if someone out there does come across a post where TVN Is discussing his embrace of Live Plus ratings data please post a link in the comments section below and I will update this post accordingly. That said, to the best of my knowledge TVN has not disclosed when or why he made the switch from Live to Live Plus. Regardless of whether he has ever mentioned this, it is certainly the case that the ratings post I linked the other day contained no disclaimer about Live Plus ratings data.

    In the meantime, I will stand on my position that TVNewser is inflating the ratings for Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Based on his emails where he explains his rationale for using Live Plus ratings (he said it's how MSNBC evaluates the "success" of Olbermann), I believe it is fair to say that the use of Live Plus came as a result of some communications with executives at MSNBC. In other words, yet another example of Brian playing fast and loose with the information he is publishing at the behest of television executives from networks who feed him information, and say nice things about him on their own networks and in the press.

    Brian may have a legitimate point that since his use of Live Plus ratings inflates ALL of the ratings data it is misleading to imply that he is ONLY inflating the ratings for Countdown. It was not, however, my intention to mislead anyone. And that is not even close to my statement being "false". From reading the post I linked or any other posts that I could find on his site, there is no way this reader would know why his numbers did not match up with the live ratings data that he has used since he first began publishing ratings data and which are still the only accepted standard in the industry. His providing a link to a post from a third-party (ICN) only highlights the problem. He KNEW that his use of Live Plus data was a source of confusion for readers and yet he failed to clarify the matter on his site. Now he wants to complain because his lack of clarity has caused further confusion.

    It seems to me that Brian should be concerned that readers are confused about his selective use of ratings data. I would recommend that he spend less time complaining on this site and more time disclosing which documents he is using as his source (a link to a scanned copy each day would be nice) and make it a point to footnote his ratings to make clear when he is using Live, Live Plus One, Live Plus Seven, Period Data and Program data. Until he starts to properly source and footnote his data, he has no grounds for whining that his sloppy presentation of ratings information is challenged.

    I trust this post sufficiently clarifies the issue.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (19) | | View blog reactions
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part VII

    I wonder if this type of "reporting" is what Brian Willliams had in mind when he called TVNewser a must read [emphasis added].

    Attention all interns: TVNewser wants your Intern Tales. What's it like working at a cabler like FNC, CNN, MSNBC, or CNBC? How about a broadcast net like NBC, ABC or CBS? Who's nice? Who's not so nice? Who's a complete asshole? What are the best parts of the job -- and what are the worst? TVNewser wants to know.

    Apparently, "who's a complete asshole" is considered good journalistic form at Towson State's University's journalism program. Even better, not only offering but encouraging anonymous sourcing of opinion and single-soured information that that can't be corraborated:

    I won't print your name or e-mail. For complete anonymity, use the anonymous tip box, located on the upper right side of this page. (I'll have no idea who you are.)

    Brian adds helpfully: "...keep the identifying info to a minimum."

    Yep, God forbid TVNewser sources be accountable for their own words!

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (7) | | View blog reactions
    July 17, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • WAR & DIPLOMACY - PRES. BUSH'S STYLE VS. PRES. CLINTON'S STYLE: Brian Williams, host of NBC's "Nightly News" and former White House correspondent for part of Pres. Clinton's presidency
    • ARE WE REALLY ON THE BRINK OF WORLD WAR 3?: Lt. Col. Rick Francona, U.S. Air Force (ret.) and NBC Middle East military analyst
    • VALERIE PLAME WILSON'S LAWSUIT: former Ambassador Joe Wilson

    "The Worst of Times"

    The Mideast war was the top story tonight. Don't get excited, it's another one of those stories his producers are forcing him to cover. Keith was all set to spotlight the discredited Joe Wilson tonight, but that war got in his way once again.

    After summarizing the day's events, Olby ran a lengthy clip of the President's street language to Blair, then a clip from Bill Clinton (recycled from the network mothership). An interview with Brian Williams followed; it was taped earlier, though KO pretended it was live. The spin started with Olby's first leading question, which, no surprise, took aim at the President.

    Contrasting Clinton and Bush, KO asked:

    Is there a sense there in Israel that President Bush has done done enough diplomatic work to help bring about peace in that reason, at least compared with his predecessors?

    Williams didn't even dignify Olby's tendentious query with an answer, responding about something else entirely. KO asked about the President's expletive, and Williams said in Israel their minds are on other matters.

    Much to our surprise, the #4 segment was still the war. Apparently those producers also forced the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann to bump the Wilson spot past the half-hour break. That's OK, since Olby had a chance to jab at Newt Gingrich for declaring that the current hostilities may be the start of World War III:

    That there is a political benefit to raising the spectre of apocalyptic destruction not lost on Mr Gingrich...

    Col Rick Francona, NBC military analyst, was there as KO tossed another of his leading questions his way:

    Considering there are signs that Israel might be talking cease-fire here, is the, is the use of the phrase World War III at this point inflammatory, irresponsible?

    Considering that Gingrich said that on Sunday morning, when there was no talk of a cease-fire, is Keith Olbermann's question dishonest and propagandistic? Bingo! Francona disagreed with Newt but, to his credit, went out of his way not to accept Olbermann's descriptive terms.

    After oddball and the half-hour break, the much-hyped "exclusive" interview with the discredited Joe Wilson. Setting it up, Olby said Novak's original column "triggered a crisis of confidence" in the Bush administration. Then Keith pulled one of his little tricks. Citing Novak's statement that Novak didn't believe Valerie Plame was "covert", KO said:

    That of course contradicts what the Special Prosecutor, Mr Fitzgerald, said.

    Wrong! In fact, it may be another Olbermann lie. Fitzgerald's indictment, referred to by KO, said Plame was "classified". That is not the same thing as covert. In fact, when asked by the press if Plame was covert, Fitz flatly refused to apply that description to her. So Novak's statement did not contradict Fitz at all. OK, we convinced ourselves. It is another Olbermann lie.

    When Keith questioned The Great Man, he did everything but put the words in Wilson's Mouth:

    Is that the point, or a point, of this lawsuit, to clarify for the record who did what and why?

    The Great Man spoke. Novak's not to be trusted. They were exacting "personal revenge" on him. He's been the object of threats. All in all, no news resulted from this agenda-flogging. No challenging Wilson on his inconsistencies with the Senate Intelligence Committee and the document it found proving Plame suggested him, contrary to his assertions. No questioning Wilson about how he claimed he spotted forged documents months before the documents were even discovered. KO's interview was more than toothless--he took his teeth out and put them in a glass under his desk (where he would crawl later to retrieve them).

    #2: The heat wave (recycled report), tsunami, Barbaro. #1: The exclusive interview with Brad Pitt!

    In the Media Matters MInute, Olby called Ann Coulter a "screaming fraud", blaming her for people who send white powder to the New York Times. KO, who relies on the Media Matters summaries (often misleading and inaccurate) apparently didn't actually check the transcript of what Annie said, and bellowed:

    She went on another radio show to suggest staffers of the New York Times be executed.

    Coulter's exact words:

    And do you think there is any possibility any action will be taken against The New York Times for something that could have gotten them executed, certainly did get the Rosenbergs executed?

    Annie suggested that legal action should be taken against the Times. That is a bit different from her inciting people to kill staffers at the Old Gray Lady. But such fine distinctions are lost on comedian Keith Olbermann, whose spin grows lamer and more desperate by the day.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (91) | | View blog reactions
    Two Words for Dan Abrams

    Last night, Matt Drudge commented on MSNBC and Krazy Keith, and suggested a brilliant programming move [mp3 audio]:

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (8) | | View blog reactions
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part VI

    NAMELast week, when we published Ratings You WONT Find on TVN - #74 what we meant was that TVNewser was not likely to draw attention to the fact that Paula Zahn was back on top after KO's brief fling with ratings glory in the absolutely-crucial-life-has-no-meaning-without-it-world-renowned-25-to-54-demo. What we didn't realize is that not only would TVN not bother to note the "news" that KO has dropped back to third just days after a slobbering piece in The New York Times touting KO's rise to #2 (in the demo) but he would actually INFLATE Countdown's ratings (in the demo).

    Countdown got 162,000 homes in the demo - not 167,000.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (36) | | View blog reactions
    MSM Jumps on KO Bandwagon Example #43 & #44

    Verne Gay of Newsday apparently took a second helping of the MSNBC Kool-Aid. Not satisfied with a puff-piece on KO but circled back to KO in his obsequious profile of MSNBC.

    He was once among the most lauded sportscasters on television (for ESPN) then - pop! - that ended in the early '90s.

    KO left ESPN in 1997.

    MSNBC now also has a bona fide success story

    KO's ratings have been on a one way trip down since Countdown peaked admist the rising tide of MSNBC coverage of the Winter Olympics - in both the all-important-24-54-demo AND the irrelevant ALL demo.

    [Olbermann is] a savvy broadcaster-agent provocateur who is drawing 400,000 viewers to "Countdown With Keith Olbermann"

    Apparently Gay did not get the memo - that ALL demo doesn't matter (unless KO's numbers in the 25-54 demo are sinking then total viewers is very important - whatever number can be used to flog the show as some kind of "success").

    Despite the recent management upheaval, there's even the vaguest sense of stability emanating from its Secaucus headquarters these days

    There may be SOMETHING emanating from the swamplands of New Jersey but it sure ain't "stability". In the past few weeks, MSNBC has flipped Scarborough and Cosby in the 9p and 10p slot, cancelled live reporting in the 9a slot in favor of taped Countdown, then skipped Countdown tapes most days since Abrams took over, cancelled the Abrams report, dropped Tucker out of primetime, cancelled Rita Cosby and replaced her with taped "MSNBC investigates" segments. Even setting aside Kaplan being fired, Phil Griffin being brought back and Abrams getting the GM spot, it's hard to see how Gay concludes that there is ANY sense of anything other than more of the same at MSNBC - chaos.

    But what does Olbermann, whose contract expires in March, want?

    What IS the deal with KO's contract. One day I hear it was extended, the next that he has a new contract and now again that his deal ends during 1Q07. Does anyone know what is really going on with KO's deal with MSNBC?

    I will not make any predictions out loud or even in my own brain ... because it has no validity."

    Finally, we get a dollop of truth from the MSM and something we can agree on with Keith!

    "Countdown," he says with an Olbermanniacal flourish, "is getting vast ratings in the ratings that matter - 25-54, and at 8 I have the second most" after "The O'Reilly Factor."

    Maniacal is about right. Sounds like even KO can't say "vast ratings" success with a straight face.

    "Countdown?" Olbermann is "on fire. That show needs almost nothing."

    Nothing except a relentless PR campaign, major help from a supportive and sympathetic liberal media, mass mailings by political action groups and a blog-based marketing frenzy. All of which has resulted in a ratings DECLINE for Countdown since the March peak.

    MSNBC would do well to keep in mind that this did not work for Air America Radio, it has not worked that last three times they tried a PR blitz for KO and it's not working this time (Countdown ratings for total viewers and the 25-54 demo are DOWN since launching phase one of the KO Marketing Campaign in February and DOWN still more since phase two was launched in the wake of the Kaplan firing.)

    Even though KO agrees that his predictive ability is not valid, mine is and I am going to predict that Countdown will be beaten like a drum by Zahn in total viewers for July and edge out by Zahn for last place in the 25-54 demo. However, since over all cable news viewers will be up due to the crisis in the Middle East, Countdown ratings will go up (just not as much as CNN and FNC) so you can expect TVN and MSNBC to switch their focus from "the demo" to KO's quarter-on-quarter growth from 2005 and from the low point in 2Q06. Remember, consistant analysis is not the point - boosting KO's liberal agenda is. And, remember, you heard it here first.

    UPDATE: J$ noticed this line from the article:

    "Countdown," he says with an Olbermanniacal flourish, "is getting vast ratings in the ratings that matter - 25-54, and at 8 I have the second most" after "The O'Reilly Factor." saying "second most after O'Reilly" he's really saying he's THIRD, not SECOND. Because second would be "the most after O'Reilly". What a piece of spin! But then we check the June cable ratings (the latest monthly numbers) and we find:

    O'Reilly: 394,000
    Zahn: 148,000
    Nancy Grace: 137,000
    Olbermann: 123,000 (first most after FNC and CNN!!!)

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (12) | | View blog reactions
    July 15, 2006
    MSNBC's Trip to Oblivion


    h/t Erin at Relevant Torture

    This cartoon is a satire of Doug Marlette's cartoon for The Tulsa World

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    July 14, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • THE DEATH OF THE BUSH DOCTRINE: Richard Wolffe, Newsweek
    • THE GREAT LEAK CASE: Erwin Chemerinski, plantiff attorney
    • THE COULTERGEIST: Doug Neumann, Cedar Rapids Gazette
    • SURI CRUISE: Michael Musto, Village Voice

    "Karma Chameleon"

    With the conlict in the Mideast heating up, the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann had to find an anti-Bush spin. Just 15 seconds into the program, KO headlined the war story:

    The White House in Crisis!

    Well yeah, that makes sense. It's not a crisis in Lebanon, or Israel, or the Gaza strip. It's George Bush's crisis. Seconds later, regarding the Israeli UN Ambassador referring to Hebzollah, Hamas, Syria, and Iran as an "axis of terror", Olby bellowed:

    The administration gets some of its own rhetoric thrown back in its face!

    Krazy Keith is really scraping the bottom of the spin barrel here. The guy was speaking at the UN, not leveling a charge at the Bush administration. Olby went on to claim that Israel's actions threaten "the viability of the Bush doctrine on foreign policy", and borrowed from a DNC talking point to suggest the region hasn't been "on Bush's radar". When the Wolffe Man showed up, KO was desperate to get some first-rate spin going, since thus far his efforts had been lame at best. So he gave it a shot.

    Olby asked Wolffie if the President "would have blanched" when the Israeli ambassador referred to an "axis of terror", adding:

    Is that not another flaw in the doctrine, that if, that if this country can declare an axis of evil, another country can declare an axis of terror, or whatever they want to call it?

    We know that whatever Bush, or the Republicans (or Fox News for that matter) do, KO will find some way to claim that it's a stupid, incompetent, bad move. Now he's taking the Israeli Ambassador's implied compliment (using a variation of the President's memorable phrase) and twisting it into another Bush blunder. Is Wolffie enough of a Countdown Crony to go along with something this farcical? Yup:

    This has been the problem really from the get-go.

    Then KO tried to get the Wolffe Man to agree that Bush hasn't been "paying enough attention" to the region, but Wolffe talked about how the international community in general has been "tolerating these kinds of behavior from Hezbollah for far too long", and all of a sudden, it was "Great thanks, sir".

    When was the last time Olby squeezed two long-form stories into the first block of The Hour of Spin? Two entirely different, unrelated items? We can't recall, but it happened tonight. In the blink of an eye, with no commercial break, he went from Israel and Lebanon to The Great Leak Case. Why?

    Olby introduced Chemerinki, conventiently leaving out the fact that he is a Democrat partisan who will change positions on a dime. What, we exaggerate? Judge for yourself. Back in 1997, when Bill Clinton (D) was President, Erwin wanted to abolish the US Senate filibuster, even claiming it could be unconstitutional. Just eight short years later, the President is an (R), and all of a sudden, the filibuster is a treasured tradition of history, and any attempt to do away with it is nothing more than "power politics". Is that hypocritical and partisan enough for you?

    Erwin claimed that even though the Supreme Court ruled that one cannot sue the President, this is way different. It's the Vice-President. Based on Erwin's chameleon-like ability to reverse core convictions, we wonder what opinion he held on this in 1997. He went on to note that this lawsuit has "always been planned", it's not a "political case", it's about an "abuse of power", and he wants to expose "the sordid story". Then another plug for The Great Man himself, due to appear on Countdown next week. With the Wilsons suing so many people, how hard could it be to ask one of their lawyers to appear on The Hour of Spin too? If you believe the discredited Keith Olbermann would ever do that, you need a new tin foil hat.

    In the #4 slot: Huh? We're back to the Mideast again, complete with recycled network reports. Now it becomes clear why Krazy Keith stuck two unrelated stories in the first program block. KO so badly wanted to flog the Wilson story by giving it pride of place, but that damn war was getting in his way. So he interrupted coverage of the top story of the evening, just to get Erwin and his one-sided propaganda fest in before the first commercial break. Olbsessions take precedence over the breakout of war: only on OlbyPlanet.

    After oddball, it was time to bring up Ann Coulter again, with the obligatory references to Joe McCarthy. A small newspaper in Cedar Rapids dropped her column. How small is this paper? Well, its circulation (about 63,000) means it has fewer readers than Olby has viewers. That's small! KO conducted a flimsy interview with the heroic editor, who had very little to say to almost everything Keith asked. Why air such uninformative chit-chat? Remember the overriding goal: flog the story, advance the spin.

    The #2 block was another fine example of Keith Olbermann's eagerness to cross-promote. This time it was generous excerpts from Tom Brokaw's "global warming" special (just like he did for Al). Then Barry Bonds and Peter Gammons, and then #1--surely the highlight of the evening for Keith--Cruise News! And with the disturbing Michael Musto yet!

    In the Media Matters Minute, it was time to attack Fox again: Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera for joking about the Mafia hit intended to rub out Geraldo ("Couldn't he have killed Jerry Springer?"). Jokes about shooting tv people are not funny, sermonized Olby. Libertarian John Stossel was "worst" for his views on organ transplants. Yesterday's segment made it onto Media Matters before noon today (as predicted by Olbermann Watch), but it's a weekend coming up, so video of the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann will probably not make its inevitable appearance on the Soros site until after the start of business on Monday.

    A week of putting up with OlbySpin has left us drained. So here's a homework assignment for our clear-headed readers. Are Bill O'Reilly and Geraldo Rivera the only people on television who have made frivolous comments like the Springer quote above? Has KO himself done so? How about his pals at Air America? We'd like to know if comedian Keith Olbermann has lectured them as well. Meanwhile, we've got 71 Olby-free hours to enjoy. For this relief, much thanks.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (51) | | View blog reactions
    Olbermann Hits Century Mark in O'Reilly Attacks

    When Keith Olbermann named Bill O'Reilly co-Winner of Wednesday's Worst Person in the World - along with radio show host Laura Ingraham - it represented the 100th personal attack against O'Reilly since the show was launched in the first quarter of 2003. O'Reilly and Ingraham were honored for criticizing The New York Times.

    For the past year, Johnny Dollar of Olbermann Watch has been marking the run up to the big 1-0-0 setting off a near frenzy among the OlbyLoons who worship all things Keith. Reached for comment at his bunker somewhere east of the Mississippi, J$ was glad to have put the Countdown countdown behind him once and for all.

    "Some doubted whether he would reach this milestone before being cancelled," said Dollar, "but I was confident that given Keith's power of self-delusion he would keep pounding out the same hackneyed material even as ratings tumbled off their post-Winter Olympics peak. When it comes to flailing and failing KO rarely disappoints."

    Recently, Fox News spokeswoman, Irina Brigante, recently commented on Olbermann's obsession with O'Reilly to the New York Times.

    "Because of his personal demons, Keith has imploded everywhere he's worked," Ms. Briganti said. "From lashing out at co-workers to personally attacking Bill O'Reilly and all things Fox, it's obvious Keith is a train wreck waiting to happen. And like all train wrecks, people might tune in out of morbid curiosity, but they eventually tune out, as evidenced by Keith's recent ratings decline. In the meantime, we hope he enjoys his paranoid view from the bottom of the ratings ladder and wish him well on his inevitable trip to oblivion."

    It was a little over six months after Olbermann's trip to oblivion began - shortly after the U.S. invasion of Iraq - when MSNBC News Anchor Keith Olbermann made his first disparaging on-air comments about the top-rated Bill O'Reilly, amid a panoply of unchecked internet rumors and left-wing propaganda. The man whose ratings The New York Times recently called a "great growth story" has credited his supposedly booming numbers to a barrage of personal attacks aimed at the top-rated news opinion journalist. A recent study from Olbermann Watch Research demonstrates that up until three months ago, Olbermann's ratings were mushrooming at an astonishing rate of close to 7,000 viewers per month. Since then he has given up all those gains and remained firmly mired in fourth place in a three network race (he's also ranked behind Nancy Grace on Headline News).

    Over the years, Olbermann has seen his ratings ebb and flow from miniscule to infinitesimal and back again but has convinced himself that unrelenting attacks on an actually successful cable news host may well be the path towards ratings glory.

    He's been a sports anchor, radio reporter, and news anchor. And, as he celebrates his 100th attack on Bill O'Reilly, he remains the stuff of legend - in his own mind.

    To make the occasion, we here at Olbermann Watch will observe a moment of silence at 8 pm Eastern Standard Time and we invite our readers to do the same.

    Ace of Spades HQ
    Expose The Left
    The Cable Game
    Dean's World

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (6) | | View blog reactions
    The Bandwagon Rolls on - AOL Daily Pulse Roundup: O'Reilly v. Olbermann

    On July 11th, AOL jumped on the OlbyWagon with a Daily Pulse poll that sought to associate Last Place Olbemann with two of the most successful cable hosts working today - Bill O'Reilly and Jon Stewart, in the obviously desperate hope that some how getting KO's mug on the same web page as two of the nation's biggest TV stars would boost his ratings by osmosis.

    Predictably the OlbyLoons were out in force pounding their tom toms in the hopes of help KO score another big imaginary win in a meaningless race (sound familiar?). The usual cast of characters lined up: Newshounds, Democratic Underground, DU Redux, The Smirking Chimp, Daily Kos, Crooks and Liars.

    So, what happened? It backfired, of course.

    The Vote for Olby Blog Campaign mustered a measly 266,879 votes for their "Who would you rather watch?" vote, two-thirds of Olbermann's ENTIRE AUDIENCE for that same night and more than 100,000 voters than KO had viewers in the "coveted demo" on July 11th. It's pretty pathetic when more people vote in your online poll than actually watch your show (in the demo). The figures were EVEN LESS for the second question, "Who has the brighter future?"

    Want more insight into the OlbyLoon mentality? Go read the Daily Pulse blog here and here.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (1) | | View blog reactions
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part V

    Brian is Remembering "The Site" on MSNBC:

    She posed those questions to Dev. The Site also featured what was the first -- and probably still is the first -- computer-generated character on cable news. An avatar named Dev Null interacted with O'Brien and answered technology questions submitted by viewers.

    "the first -- and probably still is the first"?

    Yeah, that's how it works. If you are the "first" of something in 1996 the you are fairly likely to be the first of that same thing in 2006 (now that this has been pointed out, can we count on another surreptitious edit to fix the error or the old "I was just kidding" standby?).

    Anyone catch Brian on MSNBC where Tucker Carlson did his best to provided a little ShillLove, proclaiming Brian's "power" and "accuracy" to the world? Isn't funny how CNBC, MSNBC and USA TODAY all go out of their way to talk about Brian's accuracy and crediblity? All part of the playbook! They ought to start doing these TVN promos...I mean interviews...from that bed Al Franken and Arriana Huffington used to crawl around in on Comedy Central.

    I can't tell what I liked more - Brian talking about his "credibility" and how, if were ever to make a mistake about a personnel moves, he'd be "finished" OR lying to Carlson that there is no network that won't talk to him after repeatedly bitching about Fox News not talking to him AND blaming them for his erroneous report that a Fox News EP had moved to a new show just a couple of days ago.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    July 13, 2006
    Ratings You WONT Find on TVN - #74

    According to the newly opened Olbermann Watch Research Department...


    She also trounces him in the totally irrelevant ALL demo.

    July 10

    Olbermann 8 PM (0.3 25-54: .2, 155,000 homes) v. Zahn 8 PM (0.6 25-54 .2, 201,000 homes)

    July 11

    Olbermann 8 PM (0.4 25-54: .2, 162,000) v. Zahn 8 PM (0.6 25-54 .2, 176,000 homes)

    July 12

    Olbermann 8 PM (0.4 25-54: .2, 194,000 homes) v. Zahn 8 PM (0.6 25-54 .2, 219,000 homes)

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (22) | | View blog reactions


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • ISRAEL TARGETS BEIRUT; AL-QAEDA ANNOUNCES THAT THEY ARE IN KASHMIR; AFTERMATH IN MUMBAI: Richard Wolffe, Newsweek White House correspondent and MSNBC political analyst

    Even we didn't think the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann could possibly shove the emerging war in the Middle East to the back burner just to flog The Great Leak Case. But we should have known: it is impossible to overestimate the biases of America's most dangerous demagogue. Countdown is almost certainly the only "news hour" on television to make the frivilous Wilson suit its top story. We did wonder, however, what attorney Krazy Keith could possibly dig up to hype this feeble political machination. The answer should have been obvious to us: nobody. So KO went, for a "legal" analysis, to everyone's favorite disbarred lawyer, John Dean!

    Keith plugged the felon's "remarkable new book", and the ex-con preposterously claimed the suit was a "strong case". No surprise there, since felon Dean also admitted he long ago recommended that they sue. The ex-con babbled on, but frankly, what value is the "expert" opinion of a disbarred lawyer?

    Keith name-dropped that he got an email from Joe Wilson, and suggested that maybe they should sue Robert Novak too. Hey, it's "attack the media" again! No concerns of any "chilling effect", though. The disbarred lawyer didn't explain how the Wilsons were going to prove something (a conspiracy to discredit) that a special prosecutor with unlimited funds and three years hasn't been able to prove. Neither did he address the peculiar, incendiary, politically worded complaint, dismissed by actual legal experts as, at a minimum, weird.

    Then it was time for political analysis, and that means Krazy Keith's favorite lunatic, Lawrence ("Liar! Creepy Liar!") O'Donnell. Olby long ago stopped identifying him as a "Democratic" strategist, possibly in the feeble hope that we wouldn't notice. But Olbermann Watch misses nothing. Time to update The List (partisan politicos and strategists interviewed on Countdown):

    • May 22: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • May 30: Rep Barney Frank (D)
    • June 9: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • June 15: Bob Schrum (D)
    • June 16: Rep John Murtha (D)
    • June 19: Al Gore (D)
    • June 20: Sen Jack Reed (D)
    • June 20: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • June 23: Al Gore (D)
    • July 5: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • July 12: Barbara Boxer (D)
    • July 13: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)

    Does anyone think this list is, well, just a teensy bit one-sided?

    O'Donnell shocked KO by opining that "this is a very weak case", and believes it will likely be tossed out of court. He delivered for Olby by talking about the great damage civil depositions could do to the administration, but then explained that those depositions might not be a walk in the park for the Wilsons either. You know you are on OlbyPlanet when Dean actually makes Larry O seem moderate. All of this must be taken with a grain of salt, since O'Donnell is not an attorney. But then again, neither is felon Dean.

    Olby News Alert!


    It's another stunning journalistic "get" for comedian Keith Olbermann. He announced that next week The Great Man himself will appear on Countdown. Joe Wilson. In person! Dan Abrams must be so proud. KO also bragged that one of Wilson's slip-and-fall lawyers will appear for an interview tomorrow. Talk about hype. It's tonight's top story even over an outbreak of war. It gets flogged again tomorrow with the plaintiff's mouthpiece (and no opposing point of view). Then next week, more, More, MORE!

    The war, pushed back to the #4 slot, was disposed of via a taped report from NBC. Then it was tonight's "attack the GOP" segment, where KO attempted to equate a NewsMax ad for military-style camouflage hats with the recent DNC ad showing flag-draped coffins. Who exactly will Krazy Keith get to deliver the Dem's talking points on this issue? That job fell on NBC's Chip Ried. Olby started right off by regurgitating an old ploy from his shopworn box of tricks (this move, no matter what it is, is bad for the GOP):

    Did all they do really here is draw attention to an obscure campaign ad that would not have received any attention if they kept quiet here? Did they get played by the Democrats in that old familiar fashion?

    Chip's response was music to Keith's ears ("you're absolutely right"). KO wanted him to rip on John Boehner, who said military coffins are not the same as 9/11 images used by the GOP in the past. Ried tried to summarize the different sides ("they say", "they believe") but his sympathies crept through. Next Olby complained that:

    No one seems to be objecting to the fact that there are flag-draped coffins. Would it seem a little less disingenuous, could somebody really steal the march here, for somebody criticizing this to just drop in one line starting with: of course we wish there were no coffins to show...

    So Republican criticisms, and the objections of war veterans and serving military, are dismissed by Keith as "disingenuous". And his suggested wording? He only wants it to apply to the people criticizing the ad, not to the people running the ad itself!

    #2: Mice on an airliner (recycled local tv video), snakes, a two-headed cat (more recycled local tv video), Barbaro, Red Buttons. In the #1 slot: Jennnifer Aniston, Angelina Jolie, and more stories "my producers are forcing me to cover". At least that's what Keith "I answer to nobody" Olbermann claimed.

    In the Media Matters Minute, KO demonstrated again just how "apolitical" this segment is. A Republican Congresswoman was "worse", and conservative Brent Bozell was "worser" (for criticizing the New York Times support of "Gay Games"). Olby's kiss on the cheek to the Soros site will be rewarded, in quid-pro-quo fashion, with free PR video at Media Matters, to be posted within the next 24 hours.

    And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 144th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (42) | | View blog reactions
    July 12, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • ONE-ON-ONE WITH BARBARA BOXER: Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)
    • ROBERT NOVAK SPEAKS OUT: David Shuster, "Hardball" correspondent
    • WHAT'S RUDY GIULIANI UP TO?: Howard Fineman, Newsweek

    "What a Piece of Work Is This Man"

    Tonight we got a spinapalooza of bias, hypocrisy, and reckless slander from Krazy Keith. Plus it was "Attack the Media" night again on Countdown. "Attack the Media" is bad when conservatives criticize somebody's report. But in the Bizarro world of OlbyPlanet, "Attack the Media" is good when Keith Olbermann righteously bashes a competitor with six times his viewership.

    The Hour of Spin began with KO referencing Donald Rumsfeld's "odd sense of humor", when a National Guardsman asked him for better vehicles. Bellowed Olby:

    Donald Rumsfeld makes a joke out of it!

    For the record, Rummy's reply. After going on and explaining a bit about the budget and where it goes:

    I can't answer why your particular unit ends up with one of the oldest pieces of equipment, but I'll bet you Gen Casey can.

    All those Marines who chuckled at the Secretary's response (is this what Keith considers a "joke"?) must also have an "odd" sense of humor. At least it would appear odd to the likes of Olbermann. Then there was some talk about the strange locales that have been added to the Homeland Security list of possible terror targets, including a popcorn factory. Thus it was that Sen Boxer appeared for an exciting one-and-one with the Spinmeister. This means it is time to update The List (partisan politicos and strategists interviewed on Countdown):

    • May 22: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • May 30: Rep Barney Frank (D)
    • June 9: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • June 15: Bob Schrum (D)
    • June 16: Rep John Murtha (D)
    • June 19: Al Gore (D)
    • June 20: Sen Jack Reed (D)
    • June 20: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • June 23: Al Gore (D)
    • July 5: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • July 12: Barbara Boxer (D)

    Barbara Bouncer let loose with a torrent of DNC talking points: Homeland Security is the department "that brought you Katrina". We need to change the Congress. Yes, she turned this into a Democrat campaign ad, and Olby allowed it. Hell, he probably encouraged it. Then it was on to Iraq and post-traumatic stress and time for O'Reilly Attack #99. KO said a "commentator of large mouth and small brain" addressed the subject and ran a clip from The O'Reilly Factor where Bill asked a question of Col David Hunt, who said Boxer knows better, that soldiers on depressants cannot go into combat, and that there's some lying going on. At that point, OlbySpin whirled into hyperdrive:

    Senator, give me your reaction to Mr O'Reilly and Col Hunt.
    Stop the tivo! Why is he asking for a reaction to Mr Bill? All O'Reilly did is ask if Boxer's assertions were correct. No matter. The mere fact that Mr Bill has a guest on who isn't sympatico with the latest progressive talking points is enough for KO to prod his guest to smear with impunity. But is Boxer really so dense as to fall into that trap? Will she go after O'Reilly, or confine her comments to the Colonel's opinion?
    Well all I can say is, they don't know what they're talking about.

    They? Who's they? What did O'Reilly say? He asked a freaking question! Bouncer went on to contradict the Colonel's statement, and says troops are going into combat while medicated with anti-depressants. Then the Senator continued:

    And the other thing they called me a liar on...

    Again, who's the "they"? She went on to quibble about some statistic, and rambled on about supporting the troops, mental health, and stopping the name-calling (are you listening, Olby?). Added KO:

    Of course, when we're talking about mental health that is not Mr O'Reilly's strong point to begin with.

    Apparently Olbermann wasn't listening. Then it was more campaigning: "our party voted", an amendment "by John Kerry", "we are for change". Thus ends a segment so biased that it would have embarrassed Baghdad Bob. Presumably now we will see elected officials like Sen Santorum and Rep Hoekstra invited on Countdown to rebut Keith's smears of them?

    Any mention of The Great Leak Case means the return of Slippery Shuster. First KO grudgingly ran clips from Brit Hume's exclusive interview, then Dave showed up to "analyze". It's a matter of who you believe, he told us, either Bill Harlow of the CIA, or Novak, who had discrepancies with Rove, Harlow, and maybe even primary source Mr X. Just as he did yesterday, Shuster went out of his way to impugn Novak's integrity, suggesting he was not credible but Harlow was. But he said not one word about Harlow's discrepancies: Harlow said Valerie Plame had done nothing regarding Wilson's selection to go to Niger. But the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee proved that to be a lie by turning up a document where she explicitly suggested him for the job. Isn't that a discrepancy, Slippery? Why do you only report on Novak's discrepancies?

    The double standard on OlbyPlanet is always fascinating, and of course hypocritical. Scooter Libby cannot be trusted because he has discrepancies with reporters like Tim Russert and the scribblers from the New York Times. The reporters are presumed truthful, the bureaucrat not. Now all of a sudden, it's the bureaucrat who is portrayed as righteous, and the reporter who is smeared. But there's no bias here, not on the "nonpartisan" Countdown.

    Other than that, both KO and Shuster carefully avoided Novak's other comments about the existence (or lack of it) of a conspiracy to discredit Joe Wilson. Or the fact that Plame was not covert, and that's why nobody, not even Mr X, was charged. This kind of selective reporting is what sets The Hour of Spin apart. Then the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann said there was something else that "raised journalistic eyebrows" (not an inconsiderable feat in his case). KO spoke of Novak's conversation with Harlow:

    If your source does not deny something and in fact seems to inadvertently confirm it by saying "don't run with it", I know I would have, at any stage of my career, including WBBR at Cornell, have had a hard time getting that past my bosses as a solid source. This is Jayson Blair-like, is it not?

    Shuster immediately agreed. Why skip another change to slander Novak? Of course, it wasn't Mr X who told him don't run it. It was Harlow, whom Novak turned to just to get a confirmation. And here's what Olbermann doesn't tell you about Novak's conversation with Harlow. When Novak first asked about Plame, Harlow said he'd have to take the question and get back to him. Harlow called back and asked him not to print the name. But that's not all he said. Quoting Novak himself:

    He said it is very unlikely she will ever go to Europe.
    Stop the tivo! Isn't that a little bit more than "don't run with it"? Olbermann compares Robert Novak to Jayson Blair, based on a false characterization of the conversation. Harlow actually said much more than "dont run with it", enough that even an addle-pated Cornell student who bumped his head once too often should be able to figure out what was going on. But to Olbermann it's an opportunity to again attack the media, since the target is someone who doesn't parrot OlbySpin. This is one of the most despicable smears KO has unleashed--and that's saying something.

    After that repellent display of character assassination, we felt like taking a shower. But duty demands that we stay on the job to report that oddball was followed by political news. KO was upset that Rudy Giuliani was campaigning for Rick Santorum, a guy who's way behind in the polls. Hey, we can understand that. We don't know why TVNewser, TV Guide, the MSM, and Dan Abrams are all campaigning for a guy who's way behind in the ratings.

    Speaking of polls, remember how Olby kept detailing every little Bush drop and downturn in the polls. When the Fox News poll came out showing him over 40%, all of a sudden the Presidential poll numbers on Countdown took a backseat. Tonight KO cited a Gallup poll about 2008 preferences (it ranked Rudy as the top GOP contender), but today's Gallup Poll found Bush job approval at the 40% mark for the first time since February (back when KO was hyping poll numbers ad nauseam). So do you think nonpartisan Keith reported on this Gallup poll number? Here's a hint: NO!

    With Fineman ready to conform himself to the approved line, Olbermann resorted to a tactic he usually saves for President Bush. (Since Giuliani is so popular, damage control was essential.) It's the one where whatever he does, it's somehow a bad move. Tonight's example:

    If Rudy Giuliani has designs on becoming the next President of the United States, is Senator Santorum the guy he wants to be associating himself with?.... Is he not going to, at some point, have to reconcile that, that, those stances on those issues that are so significant to the far-right, that just showing up for Rick Santorum, especially if Rick Santorum continues to crash and burn here, is it going to be enough just to, just to have been sitted, seated next to him with his hand behind his back?

    Then KO brought up Ann Coulter's comments about the Jersey Girls, and came up with another gem:

    To denounce it, Giuliani would have to blast Ann Coulter. But is not ignoring it ultimately worse than picking either an endorsement or a denunciation?

    How old is this story, anyhow? How many days has Keith been flogging it? Did Krazy Keith ask Barbara Boxer to denounce Dick Durbin's comparison of US troops to Communists and Nazis? Did he ask her to denounce Cindi Sheehan for calling terrorists in Iraq "freedom fighters"? Did he challenge Boxer because she neither endorsed nor denounced Harry Belafonte's claim that Bush is the world's greatest terrorist? Oh well, he probably just ran out of time. Sheesh!

    #2: Soccer head-butting (recycled from ITV), baseball, Barnard Hughes, and the "infamous Rupert Murdoch", getting blamed for something a columnist wrote in the New York Post. #1 was all about Vladimir Putin, with that expert on international affairs, Mo Rocca.

    In the "worst person" segment, press persons for a Republican (natch!) committee were "worser" because they put out a press release about an upcoming global warming documentary, and dared to criticize the reporter. When will these people learn? You want to attack a reporter, make sure it's Robert Novak. That's perfectly fine. Criticize anyone else and Olbermann will slam you for spouting "lies and crap".

    Wait! Stop the presses! It's an Olby News Alert!


    Yes, the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann has done it! Another milestone for television journalism. O'Reilly Attack #100. Pop those champagne corks, Dan Abrams!

    O'Reilly's "worst person" status was shared with Laura Ingraham, because they were critical of the New York Times for publishing Donald Rumsfeld's vacation house photo. Bellowed Olby:

    They never mention that Mr Rumsfeld gave the Times permission to take and publish the photo, or that now even the Secret Service says publishing it represented no threat to anyone or anything.

    Talk about not mentioning stuff, Olby never mentioned that the photo shows a birdhouse, and the article goes out of its way to point out that a security camera is secreted in it. And Olby didn't bother to quote the Secret Service directly. Could it be because their statement didn't jibe with KO's false characterization:

    As you can imagine, we would prefer less information than more in that regard. However, we take necessary steps to provide security wherever one of our protectees lives, and do our best to be as unobtrusive as possible to neighbors and the general public.

    So did Rumsfeld give the Times permission to identify the hidden security camera? And is it true, as some have reported, that the Secret Service has upped security there since the publication? Don't expect any of that to be addressed by comedian Keith Olbermann, the most dangerous demagogue in America.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (79) | | View blog reactions
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part IV


    Thanks to J$ for pointing me to the most recent incarnation of this post. I could not find it because the URL was changed.

    This is the original URL with the 1:19 PM time stamp:

    The Ticker: King, Olbermann, Holt/Brown...

    It is still on the Media Bistro server but is no longer listed on the TVN home page or in the archives (don't worry Brian I took a screen grab of that too). The archive now lists this post instead:

    The Ticker: Greta, King, Holt/Brown...

    That post is also available here (note how the URL has been changed but the time stamp is the same)

    Longtime TVN readers know this kind of rewrite and manipulation of timestamps is par for the course over there but a word of advice to Brian - next time you are going to curry favor with Olbermann and MSNBC by taking down posts they don't like make sure to check ALL the files on the server first.

    Now, what was that about your credibility being all you have?

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (14) | | View blog reactions
    BREAKING NEWS - Olbermann Almost Ties O'Reilly in the Demo

    You will recall that the Olbersphere was on the edge of their collective seats waiting for the answer to the question on everyone's lips: Will KO's 8 PM Broadcast beat O'Reilly in the coverted 4 AM "demo"?

    In what can only be called a tremendous moral victory for Olbermann, KO in Primetime was only narrowly edged out by the 4 AM Factor repeat. If just 17,000 more people had read their email on Monday KO could have knocked off O'Reilly once and for all.


    Olbermann 8 PM (0.3 25-54: .2) v. O'Reilly 8 PM (2.0 25-54: .5)
    Olbermann 8 PM (0.3 25-54: .2) v. O'Reilly 11 PM (1.0 25-54: .3)
    Olbermann 8 PM (0.3 25-54: .2, 155,000 homes) v. O'Reilly 4 AM (0.3 25-54 .2, 172,000 homes)


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (14) | | View blog reactions
    MSM Jumps on KO Express Example #42


    Not to be outdone by a story in the Times and a poll on AOL, TVGuide offers readers a story AND a poll. In just the latest example of the MSM lining up to spread the OlbyLove, TV Guide praises Olbermann's "sardonic wit" which drives the "successful and frequently hysterical" Countdown with Keith Olbermann and lumps Olby with the actually funny Jon Stewart.

    What's useful about following this trip through the liberal media ecosystem is how you can follow the trail from TVNewser's constant proclamations about KO "growing" and "beating CNN" and "catching O'Reilly briefly" to stories like The Times piece claiming KO is a "great growth story" to TVGuide labelling the show as "successful". Now we can all debate the importance of the demo or how you measure growth. I might even be willing to entertain a discussion on whether Dan Abrams faith in Keith Olbermann is likely to ever be rewarded. But the claim today in TVGuide that Countdown is a "successful" show is just plain ludicrous.

    h/t Susan at Relevant Torture

    What can we expect next as the MSM rallies behind Olbermann? A sitdown with Charlie Rose? A 60 Minutes profile? The cover of Time or Rolling Stone? Rest assured, you have not seen the last of MSM OlbyLove this summer. There is just one problem. As has been shown time and time again, no matter what they hype, at the end of the day KO disappoints. If anyone tuning into Countdown is really expecting some version of The Daily Show or the Colbert Report they are going to be quickly disabused of this notion and tune out which explains why these periodic fits of OlbyLove are necessary in the first place - KO can't build and sustain an audience.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (43) | | View blog reactions
    ICN Gets Religion

    Spud is laying down the law at ICN on What is appropriate and what is not. The comment is apparently somehow being related to Olbermann Watch which is (again) being tied to the allegations made on the "For This Relief" blog. Apparently there is not a big premium placed on getting facts straight over there but, for the record, we have nothing to do with that blog or that blogger.

    I cannot tell exactly what it is that prompted the new ICN policy because Spud has deleted the offending comments but I can explain ICN's policy.

    1) The private life of a news anchor or host is off-limits if the subject does not make print.

    2) If something private does make print it is still off-limits the only exception being that if it (a) made print for good reason and (b) it relates directly to the broadcast of the show.

    3) If an ICN reader attempts to put any such information on the site, those comments will be deleted.

    At what is an apparent slap at Olbermann Watch (among others), spud goes on to say "Other sites and news outlets have their own set of standards about what they feel should get print and I won't judge their reasons for doing so. But this is how I feel ICN should be run. And I expect my readers to take that into account and react accordingly."

    It's great that ICN is embracing this high standard for journalistic exellence. Now, if Spud will get down off his high horse for just a moment perhaps he will reconcile his policy with his numerous posts regarding unsubstantiated, unproven allegations made by Andrea Mackris with regard to Bill O'Reilly. For example...

    March 20, 2006: Analyzing O'Reilly in which spud calls Columbia J. School Dean Nick Lemann's hit piece on Bill O'Reilly in The New Yorker a "must read", an article which goes to great lengths to weave in unsubstantiated claims about O'Reilly and his private conduct are in no way directly relate to what goes is broadcast at FNC.

    June 17, 2006: Question of the Weekend in which Spud asks "Is there a double standard at work here with how Olbermann was treated and how O'Reilly is treated?" and then invites readers to compare media coverage of Andrea Mackris' allegations and the KO emails reported by Lloyd Grove (and provided unexpurgated on Olbermann Watch). Not to defend KO but the KO emails were intended to be private communications and in no way directly relate to what goes is broadcast at MSNBC.

    June 29, 2006: Olbermann gives advice to Bill in which Spud "forgets" to delete the comment referencing Andrea Mackris.

    March 27: EW's Feud Of The Week in which Spud "forgets" to delete the comment calling O'Reilly "perverted" and, again, refrencing Andrea Mackris.

    January 31, 2006: Opinion: O'Reilly threatens NBC in which spud "forgets" to remove a comment calling Olbermann a "perverted old man" and suggests "comeone needs to dig a little deeper into his personal life" and the tit-for-tat O'Reilly response which again references Andrea Mackris.

    November 18, 2005: Bill O'Reilly (hearts) Lis Whiel? in which Spud links the other NYDN gossip column, Rush and Molloy who, write "It's the sort of language that former O’Reilly producer Andrea Mackris might have cited in that lawsuit she filed against him last year".

    February 24, 2006: Still more petition stuff in which Spud publishes two more references to Mackris.

    March 10, 2006: O'Reilly Afraid of Olbermann's Name? Part 2 in which Spud "forgets" to delete another mention of Mackris in the comments.

    March 9, 2006: O'Reilly afraid of Olbermann's name? in which Spud "forgets" to delete another mention of Mackris in the comments.

    I could go on by mentioning all the gossip driven posts about Olbermann, O'Reilly and various other cable news personalities - none of which meet ICN's standard for journalist integrity but why bother. ICN is just showing it's true colors as a liberal media shill trying to pass himself off as a psuedo-objective "journalist". Sorry,'re going to have to sell your story walking.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (67) | | View blog reactions
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part III


    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part II

    If anyone has the video, I will host it.

    Joe Kernan of CNBC's Squawk Box just addressed the supposed controversy over his supposed belief that the fictional Aquaman movie (see, HBO Entourage) was real and that the Disney film Pirates of the Carribean II had opened bigger than Aquaman. The clip they played made it quite clear that he was joking - he even referenced Entourage (the clip making the rounds is a subsequent report where he does not mention Entourage, thus taken out of context, it forms the basis for the claim).

    Kernan was reacting to a story in The New York Daily News which cites TVNewser as a source for the story. TVN linked to a heretofore unknown (to me) blog called Marketing is my Middle Name.

    If you have a grab of TVN's original post and "correction" post, I will host it.

    I only know about this "controversy" because in writing my post yesterday about Brian blaming Fox News for his erroneous reports about FNC personnel moves, the Kernan item was in the same post.

    I only mention it because it is yet another example of a TVN rowback on its erroneous reporting. I don't want to turn this site into "TVN Watch" but as one of the primary apologists for MSNBC and Keith Olbermann, the supposed credibility of TVN has some bearing on this site. That MSM'ers like Brian Williams, Dan Abrams and Peter Johnson of USA Today are out there trying to tell the public that TVN is some kind of font of journalistic integrity, it is worth noting that long-time TVN readers know that there is an extensive history of revisionism at TVNewser from manipulating time stamps on posts, to surreptiously editing posts that later prove erroneous, to removing links, to purging entire posts either because they are later proven wrong or at the behest of TV executives not happy with TVN reports.

    Yesterday, there was a post on TVN with a headline which went something like "He Was Just Kidding" which referenced/corrected the original report on Tuesday, July 11th. That post/headline is no longer on the site. Olbermann Watch readers will recall how TVN removed a link to our post about an email exchange KO had with a TV producer in DC after Olbermann complained to Brian - eventually removing the post altogether. Just the other day, TVN linked to the infamous "For This Relief" blog only to remove the link within an hour claiming that he did so because the URL was serving up a "404 error". Not only did TVN remove the link but he removed any mention of Olbermann in the post as well. Based on past history, should TVN be surprised when knowledgeable readers conclude that this is yet another example of TVN rewriting the news to suit KO and his pals at MSNBC?

    Reading TVN is like reading Wikipedia without the transparency of the "history" tab where you can see previous versions of the entry. We may have to recruit a new contributor for Olbermann Watch whose sole job will be to take screen grabs of every post on TVN and compare them to what is on the site a week later. Or maybe TVN will embrace genuine editorial integrity and post a corrections policy, create a "corrections" category, clearly label corrections, use strikethroughs to correct errors instead of erasing them or substituting the correct information after the fact, and stop removing posts/links that MSNBC and Keith Olbermann don't like.

    When you go tell one of the biggest newspapers in the country "credibility is all I have" you had better be able to back that up.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (5) | | View blog reactions
    July 11, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • WHAT IS RUDY GULIANI UP TO?: Dana Milbank, The Washington Post national political reporter

    "Numbers Don't Lie, but Keith Does"

    Olby did it again. He just can't help it. His Olbsession with Fox News has led him right into another whopper of a lie. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Let's begin at the beginning.

    You can always rely on Krazy Keith to slip some sort of fallacy or distortion into his opening spiel, and tonight he didn't disappoint:

    Who is Robert Novak's source? Sources? Will he be revealing them Wednesday night?...And legalistically and journalistically, who told Novak he could give it, or them, up?

    Olby had to really stretch to get a dig in on Novakio, and that's just what he did here. He went from a question ("Will he reveal his source?") to an unfounded assumption ("Who told him he could do so?"). He doesn't know if Novak will be revealing any names on Wednesday night. So where did Krazy get the idea that somebody told Novak he could do so? He made it up!

    Yes, The Great Leak Case was the lead story on The Hour of Spin. KO noted that Novak said he still cannot reveal who his original source was. So what's with the bellowing about will Novak reveal something on Wednesday? Pure OlbyHype. Cue: David the Doctorer Shuster. He speculated about Richard Armitage being the unnamed leaker. Then it was time for the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann ratchet up the spin:

    Bill Harlow [CIA] had to have known, uh, that Valerie Plame was under cover...

    Good ol' Keith. Ever faithful to the talking points. Even Fitzgerald doesn't claim she was covert, so Olby uses the non-legal term "under cover".

    Does the fact that he was a confirming source with Novak mean now that, that he, meaning Harlow, could face some kind of prosecution in this?

    Now legally, the answer to that question is obvious. If Fitzgerald isn't prosecuting the original source because he found no crime to charge, how could be possibly prosecute a confirming source, someone who basically shook his head yes after the cat was already out of the bag? Why would Olby ask such a dumb question? Maybe to give The Doctorer a chance to ramp up the spin:

    Bill Harlow has denied Bob Novak's account of their conversation, and that's significant because it casts questions about Bob Novak and his integrity.

    Catch that? Harlow says one thing, Novak says another. That contradiction means Novak's integrity is in question, but not Harlow's. Judge Shuster has ruled that Novak's lying. Now you know why they call him Slippery. With all the long knives out for Novakio, we wonder why neither Slippery nor Krazy even touched on several salient disclosures in the column:

    • Fitzgerald has known who the original leaker was since he talked to Novak.
    • That first disclosure was inadvertent.
    • Novak learned Valerie Plame's name from Joe Wilson's entry in Who's Who.

    Next was Milbank, devoid of decorative duds. Dana made the odd statement that something bad happened but nobody is being prosecuted because "it's almost impossible to prove". Bzzzt! Wrong answer! Novak identified the prime leaker. Fitzgerald knew the name even before that. It's a snap to prove his identity in court. What makes prosecution impossible is that he couldn't find a law that made the leak a crime.

    Some nattering ensued about whether Novak and the Bush administration got through this whole mess "unscathed", and Dana opined that any damage would be slight. You can just imagine KO's face falling as he spoke. Here he devoted night after night to flogging the story, even when there was no news reason to do so. His experts told him that there would be all these indictments, Karl Rove included. And he's left with...this? Oh, he is fortune's fool.

    Say, what was Keith talking about anyhow when he said Novak might reveal something "on Wednesday"? You wouldn't know it by watching Countdown, because after that bit of hype at the top of the show, Olby never did explain what he was talking about. We'll tell you what KO wouldn't: it's Bob Novak's interviews on two Fox programs tomorrow evening (Special Report and Hannity & Colmes). Now why would Keith leave that out?

    Mr Humility then just had to respond to all the emails he has been "inundated" with since the Monday show. People, he claimed, were saying that they didn't like the "new format" with KO turning the bulk of the show over to someone else. Right. Olby blamed it all on a "dinner reservation". What, the hotel wouldn't let him go up to the room after 9:00 pm?

    #4: Terrorists attacks in India. Most inconvenient, since just yesterday Olby and his parrot were pooh-poohing the threat of terrorism. To avoid any embarrassment, KO rushed through this story in about 60 seconds, and let recycled video from NBC take it from there. Iraq and Afghanistan also got brief mentions, followed by oddball.

    #3: It's attack the military time again. "Skinheads" are infiltrating the army by the "thousands", according to the notoriously unreliable Morris Dees. Olby treated the SLPC press release as if it were a scientific study, but Col Jack Jacobs was there to bring a little common sense to the table. He tried to explain the "law of large numbers" to Keith, who insisted that "even one moderately trained white supremicist" can do a lot of damage, citing Timothy McVeigh. The second-stupidest question of the night, and the Colonel did an admirable job keeping a straight face as he explained to Krazy Keith that our soldiers are not armed with fertilizer bombs. KO got Jacobs to admit that relaxing standards could cause problems down the line. More breaking news from Countdown.

    #2: Baseball and Barry Bonds, Barbaro, Leann Rimes, Pink Ployd, and a slur against the great Jackie Chan. #1: The suicide explosion in New York.

    In the "worst person" segment, Olby complained about a Fox spokesman quoted in the puff-piece Times article. After all, this spokesman used the same line ("train wreck") she used in May 2004. Then comes the Keith Olbermann Lie of the Night:

    Since about that time our ratings are up about 26%, and Bill O'Reilly's are down 45%.

    It's time for another Olbermann Reality Check. But it won't be easy. For some reason, the TVNewser archive of the May 2004 ratings cannot be found anywhere on his site. Maybe KO thought with that information not at hand he could get away with this latest falsehood. But we poked around and found the numbers Keith Olbermann doesn't want you to see:

    May 2004 ratings:
    The O'Reilly Factor: 1,894,000 viewers
    Countdown: 319,000 viewers

    June 2006 ratings
    The O'Reilly Factor: 2,141,000 viewers
    Countdown: 286,000 viewers

    For the OlbyPologists who refuse to admit his many lies, we'll make it perfectly clear:

    O'Reilly (May 2004-June 2006):
    Olbermann claimed: Down 45%
    The truth: Up 13%

    Olbermann (May 2004-June 2006):
    Olbermann claimed: Up 26%
    The truth: Down 10%

    The infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann, caught in another lie. Which is sort of like spotting a hole in a piece of swiss cheese.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (94) | | View blog reactions
    MSM Jumps on KO Express

    If you think AOL put their KO Edition of The Daily Pulse together AFTER The New York Times ran Bill Carter's bit of OlbyLove this morning let me fit you for your tin foil hat right now.

    Folks you are getting a glimpse of of how the liberal media operates from some of its finest practicioners. Make no mistake, this is just more liberal media efforts to boost Olbermann and take down Fox News. Ironically, coming from the say company that owns CNN. I guess they figure they can't lose either way - knock down O'Reilly and boost Olby who will eventually self-destruct anyway.

    For you OlbyLoons who have to have it spoon fed to you - a poll asking readers to choose between KO and BOR is to present them as peers and to present the respondants option as binary. The effect is more of the same, MSNBC and KO trying to boost ratings by clawing their way onto O'Reilly's coattails.

    UPDATE: Think Progress Jumps On

    UPDATE: Crooks and Liars Jumps On

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (7) | | View blog reactions
    TVN: Journalism at its finest

    Two days after Dan Abrams was quoted in USA Today saying TVNewser has been "very good" at evaluating the accuracy of tipsters" and which which Brian Stelter was quoted saying about himself "People write me and say, 'Thank you for correcting yourself.' I guess that's in short supply these days. Not enough people admit when they mess up. To me, credibility is all I have." we get this exchange:

    TVN (1:27 PM): A source says Peter Zorich, a senior producer at Fox News Channel, was dismissed from DaySide on Friday. FNC hasn't returned an e-mail request for comment.

    ICN: An FNC spokesperson confirmed to ICN this TVNewser story that Peter Zorich, formerly a Senior Producer on Dayside, no longer works for the network.

    TVN (3:06 PM): Fox News is shaking up DaySide. Earlier today, a source said senior producer Peter Zorich was fired on Friday. Because the Fox News PR department currently chooses not to speak to TVNewser, a spokesperson confirmed the firing to ICN this afternoon. But that's not the only change on DaySide, according to a tipster, who says Dave Brown is the new executive producer of the program. "Formerly the EP of weekend primetime, FNC has moved him to DaySide," the tipster says. "Brown is a longtime FNCer."

    ICN: TVNewser reports that a tipster says that Dave Brown has moved over from weekend programming to Dayside. However the tipster is wrong that he's there for good. An FNC spokesperson tells ICN that Dave Brown is not a permanent replacement for the Dayside producer spot . . . he is an Executive Producer of weekend programming who is stepping in until a replacement is named.

    TVN (4:33 PM): Once again, because FNC doesn't communicate with TVNewser, a network spokesperson has used ICN to respond. Brown is just a temporary EP for DaySide, according to the spokesperson, who said he's stepping in until a replacement is named...

    I can't tell what is more absurd. That having spent two-plus years bashing Fox News, Brian is surprised that Fox News won't touch him with a ten foot pole or his throwing a public hissy fit about it when he publishes an erroneous report about Fox News personnel. Or doing so just two days after patting himself on the back for being willing to graciously correct his errors. He's young so maybe someday he will learn that SAYING you have integrity is not the same thing as HAVING integrity.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (7) | | View blog reactions
    Will KO's 8 PM Broadcast beat O'Reilly in the coverted 4 AM "demo"?


    Olbermann 8 PM (0.3 25-54: .2) v. O'Reilly 8 PM (2.0 25-54: .5)
    Olbermann 8 PM (0.3 25-54: .2) v. O'Reilly 11 PM (1.0 25-54: .3)
    Olbermann 8 PM (0.3 25-54: .2) v. O'Reilly 4 AM (PENDING)

    And for those trumpeting TVN's Scare Headlines on Olbermann "beating" O'Reilly a week ago Friday, read it and weep:

    O'Reilly on Tape*: 1.3 25-54: .3
    Olbermann Live: 0.3 25-54: .1

    *John Kasisch hosted three segments live

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (24) | | View blog reactions
    Olbermann's Wandering Hand

    Laura Ingraham discussed cable news coverage and the changes at A-Mess-NBC on her radio program today. You can listen to her comments at greater length here; the excerpt below is about Krazy Keith's interview with Dizzy Dean [mp3 audio]:

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (31) | | View blog reactions
    AtriosLoon Slams OlbyWatch

    Some unknown blogger named "gttim" - with a whopping TEN posts to his (or her) credit - has the temerity to call into question the integrity of OlbermannWatch by challenging the always accurate, always entertaining J$. Gttim's comments are open. You know what to do!

    Time to welcome another OlbyLoon to the Olbersphere.

    UPDATE: Link fixed

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    MSM Circles the OlberWagons for KO's Fave Blogger

    Public opinion made to order at USA Today (emphasis added):

    CNN's Jeff Greenfield says. "What's striking about this (TVNewser) is he seems to be pretty good at separating fact from rumors. I don't care if he's 20. His standards are the right ones."

    [Brian] Williams explained that in this new-media age, Stelter's online TVNewser blog, at, was a must-read for anyone in network and cable news. TVNewser "is the closest thing to the bible of what's going on in our industry," says Williams, who checks it daily.

    MSNBC chief Dan Abrams says Stelter "is used as much as most reporters. They're given tips and they have to decide, 'Why am I getting this information, is it accurate and what's the context?' I think he has been very good at that."

    Last week, after the unexpected death of former Enron chief Ken Lay, someone e-mailed Stelter to say - erroneously and anonymously - that CNBC planned to run a prime-time special on Lay. Stelter posted it but quickly corrected the report after CNBC contacted him. He says his willingness to do so has increased his blog's credibility.

    I will leave you to ponder this last bit yourselves:

    "People write me and say, 'Thank you for correcting yourself.' I guess that's in short supply these days. Not enough people admit when they mess up. To me, credibility is all I have."

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (29) | | View blog reactions
    July 10, 2006
    As KO Goes "Choo Choo", MSM Circles the OlberWagons

    Like sand through an hourglass, so too are the days of our MSM shilling for Keith Olbermann.

    What to make of Bill Carter's craven profile of Keith Olbermann in today's New York Times? He must have worn out both sets of kneepads on this one. It sure looks like KO-Lovers in the MSM, worried about KO's sinking ratings since his "peak" in March and his cascading, loose-lipped email woes are coming to the rescue. How predictable.

    Carter must be a heck of a poker player, anyone who can "report" every talking point from the KO/MSNBC memo with a straight face would be a tough read. Here are a few choice tidbits:

    MSNBC cites Countdown as "its great growth story".

    Yes, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is King.

    That demonstrable, especially among the group that is chiefly sold to news advertisers: people between the ages of 25 and 54.

    Apparently, if you keep saying "demo" often enough Countdown becomes a hit show.

    The growth has not been unfailingly steady, as competitors at Fox and CNN pointed out. They noted that Mr. Olbermann did better in February and March than he has since.

    Translation: Olbermann had a brief spike in ratings as the result of an aggressive media campaign in the MSM and on the blogs during 2Q06 but has been sinking like a stone over the past four months.

    for the year, Mr. Olbermann has managed to climb past CNN into second place in the news channel competition at 8 p.m. among that 25-to-54 group.

    Huh? What year is this guy referring to? Olbermann is second place? Someone please correct me if I missed this but I don't think even Brian Stelter is flogging this tall tale.

    "You don't punch down," Mr. Olbermann said. "If you’re in my position," he added, referring to his initially microscopic ratings next to Mr. O'Reilly's, "you punch upwards."

    Line recycled from Kurtz piece three months ago. Does Carter not bother to research his subject or does he just not care that KO is feeding him a canned line? How about, "initially microscopic"? MSNBC's ratings DROPPED after KO took over the slot from Donahue and have NEVER gotten back to that level on a quarter-by-quarter basis. Apparently 225,000 is microscopic (Olby's low point) but 325,000 is "a great growth story". You can't make this up.

    Nobody at Fox News wants Mr. Olbermann to get any more of a draft from Mr. O'Reilly's popularity.

    Source: None. Reason: There are none. Carter is talking out his...errr...hat.

    Mr. Olbermann thinks he knows one reason behind his gains. He believes that Mr. O'Reilly's audience, which is still huge, is aging...MSNBC's research claims that the median age for Mr. O'Reilly's audience is 71, while Mr. Olbermann's is 59.

    Based on what?

    Fox and CNN both report that the only figures they get for median age of shows with older audiences is "65 plus," and that Mr. O'Reilly's audience falls into that category.

    Apparently MSNBC is so flush with cash that unlike CNN and FNC they are commissioning special research just to determine the median age for Olbermann and O'Reilly. Ha!

    With all that said the piece is worth the read for one great line delivered by Irina Briganti, a Fox News Channel spokesperson:

    "Because of his personal demons, Keith has imploded everywhere he's worked," Ms. Briganti said. "From lashing out at co-workers to personally attacking Bill O'Reilly and all things Fox, it's obvious Keith is a train wreck waiting to happen. And like all train wrecks, people might tune in out of morbid curiosity, but they eventually tune out, as evidenced by Keith's recent ratings decline. In the meantime, we hope he enjoys his paranoid view from the bottom of the ratings ladder and wish him well on his inevitable trip to oblivion."

    I think I like "inevitable trip to oblivion" best.

    My second favorite bit is Carter's shout out to OlbermannWatch readers:

    The references to personal demons and implosions touched on Mr. Olbermann's resume, which includes an array of positions over the last decade. At times he has been in public disputes with employers. More recently he landed in gossip columns after some nasty e-mail messages he sent were published. In one, he mocked the intelligence of the MSNBC host Rita Cosby; in others, he used vituperative language in responding to e-mail critics.

    I wonder how KarmaBites feels about having made The New York Times.

    That a rabid audience can be built for a political discussion show from the left, as it has so effectively been done on talk radio and on some of Fox's programs from the right, has not been demonstrated before

    Not sure how to read this line. Is Carter saying "before" to mean that "before Keith Olbermann did so, it had not been demonstrated that "a rabid audience can be built for a political discussion show from the left" or does he mean that it has not been done up until now and it is an open question as to whether Olbermann will succeed?

    Any thoughts?

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (52) | | View blog reactions
    OlbyWatch Housekeeping

    As an anti-spammer measure, I went back and closed all the comments up until June 30th. If I accidently closed an actively commented upon post please send me an email.

    I added a promising new site to the blogroll: Keith Olbermann is Evil

    Another reminder that the best way to read OlbermannWatch is by subscribing via RSS. You get both the main blog posts and the "mini-blog" posts from If you have questions about using RSS drop me a line. If you just can't bring yourself to try it (trust me you will like it) then make sure to check the mini-blog whenever you visit OlbermannWatch to get the complete picture of what is going in the Olbersphere.

    PS, "Olbersphere" is a great term I first read over at h/t to Salome. Who says you can't learning something useful on an OlbyLoon site.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (0) | | View blog reactions
    Countdown with Keith Olbermann - July 10, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann



    "Dean Angst"

    Sometimes you just have to marvel at the chutzpah of comedian Keith Olbermann. He bellows misinformation and lies and couldn't care less about accuracy or ethics. On tonight's Hour of Spin he was off and running as soon as his opening spiel regarding Peter Hoekstra's complaints about Congressional oversight:

    The President ripped by the conservative running the House Select Committe on Intelligence for holding back details of NSA spying.

    Moments later:

    [Hoekstra] has now told President Bush that he may have broken the law by keeping parts of the NSA domestic spying program secret even from the lawmakers responsible for overseeing them.

    Now it's possible Krazy Keith is just spouting without knowing what he is spouting about. But given his track record, it appears more likely that he is deliberately falsifying, just for the pleasure of invoking his talking point that the NSA program is "domestic spying".

    Fact: Rep Hoekstra's objections were not about the NSA surveillance program. The NSA was nowhere mentioned in his letter to the President. He has never said it was an NSA program he was referring to. In fact, the New York Times, which broke this story, plainly stated:

    Officials have said he was not referring to the National Security Agency's wiretapping operation or to the Treasury Department's bank monitoring program, both of which he was informed about.

    Uh-huh. So where did Keith come up with the notion that it's all about the NSA surveillance program? He made it up! But it gets better, as Olby rails on about Hoekstra, who revealed the finding of 500 canisters of degraded WMDs in Iraq:

    Will those who found the Michigan Republican credible last month find him just as credible now?

    KO has some nerve. We could just as easily ask, will Keith Olbermann, who ridiculed Hoekstra last month and compared him to Joe McCarthy, ridicule him now? There's a question about as challenging as asking what time does the 6 o'clock news begin.

    What could be more appropriate than lies and hypocricy to lead into the star interviewee of the evening, the disbarred lawyer himself, John Dean. Keith was quick to plug Dean's "remarkable" book, and the felon was equipped with all the usual talking points. Hoekstra, because he's a Republican, acted because he was being "pressured". Cheney is the evil genius behind it all. Barry Goldwater was "very distressed" with conservatives because the movement is farther right than ever. (Barry Goldwater, who wanted to use nukes in VietNam, and opposed the civil rights laws, was to the left of George W Bush?!?) "Studies" found that "authoritarianism" is overwhelmingly conservative (only 1% liberal). Olby chimed in:

    And the idea of leaders and followers, um, going down this path and perhaps taking a country with them requires, this whole edifice requires an enemy: Communism, Al Qaeda, Democrats, me, whoever, for the two minutes hate.

    Yep, Al Qaeda is a fiction concocted by Karl Rove. Communism was never an enemy. The ex-con insisted that conservatives encourage terrorism:

    When people are frightened, they tend to go to these authority figures. They tend to become more conservative. So it's paid off for them politically to do this.

    The infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann, with a straight face, hilariously lambasted the "amorality" of conservatives, and felon Dean was happy to name names:

    • Dick Cheney
    • Bill Frist
    • George W Bush

    Then the ex-con cues us in on some more of his top-notch exclusive research: 23% of the American people are right-wing authoritarian followers, and the number is growing. KO was quick to invoke the Nixon era and the disbarred lawyer agreed. At the end of the interview Keith announced that tomorrow he would have Bill Bennett on to argue the other side of the story. What am I saying? The lights on the Countdown ceiling would crash to the floor if anything like that ever happened.

    Finally a commercial break, and then #4 and a surprise. Krazy Keith bows out, and turns the rest of the show over to Alison Stewart. All Right! We can unpause the tivo and catch up on the O'Reilly Factor. Stewart covers:

    #4: The end of cowboy diplomacy.
    #3: Cruise news.
    #2: World Cup soccer finale, Michael Jackson, and Ann Coulter. (The syndicator's investigation of plagiarism charges clears Annie, in a statement Stewart claimed was issued "late Tuesday".)

    KO was back, through the magic of videotape, for #1: Star Jones and Dan Rather. This was an inane piece that Olby ran once before. So we got Krazy Keith, suddenly on tape, showing a taped rerun of a story that was on tape to start with. And they say Dan Abrams doesn't know what he's doing.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (252) | | View blog reactions
    July 8, 2006
    Vote Early, Vote Often

    DU Karma Poll

    Don't forget to register for Democratic Underground and vote for Olbermann Watch at the latest scientific survey conducted by the DU OlbyLoons. BerryBush is going with "A freeper, or the OlbermannWatch webmaster, who is secretly a sociopathic woman" She is inclined towards OlbyWatch under "the "Bob Cox is a woman" theory" but appears not to have cast her vote of OW. TOhioLiberal reports "I voted for OW" but adds, "it could just as easily been 'all of the above' which is my second choice. Perhaps not that Cox guy himself, perhaps someone who blogs there."

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (17) | | View blog reactions
    Olbermaniacs Threaten Legal Action Against Olbermann Watch

    Where's Johnny Cochran when you need him?

    We are trembling in our boots at Olbermann Watch as Krazed KO Fans go on the rampage, documenting evidence for their blockbuster lawsuit against all those who dare impugn the integrity of Keith Olbermann.

    we all know who you were. And you were banned once and then came back again under another name. And you ran that horrible board that was really an annex of Olbermannwatch. We're on to you, you psychotic bitch. Keith is going to sue you. We're going to sue you. NBC is going to sue you. And Olbermannwatch and your GOP buddies won't be able to save you.

    Here a few of the more choice comments...

    Answer the question you psychotic bitch. Are you or are you not Psych101? Did you and your board invent this scam in cahoots with Olbermannwatch? You are nothing but disruptors and liars and you don't know anything about Keith Olbermann.He would never do anything like this. You people are scum. I hope you all drop dead tomorrow. Death isn't good enough for you. Keith is the Edward R. Murrow of his time and you are all trying to frame him and bring him down!

    no I'm not psych101 and I'm not in cahoots with Olbermannwatch.

    If Olbermannwatch is still here, no one else should have anything else to worry about.

    You are a vicious monster, hell-bent on slandering Olbermann because he has a mega-hit show on TV that you hate.

    The running joke in the online Olbermann community is the Olbermaniacs. They run feverishly from site to site, threatening lawsuits and ranting incoherently. They look like stalkers--not you. It's insane that anyone would be so slavishly devoted to a person they don't know and who doesn't know them. And, if he did know them, their zealotry would scare the HELL out of him.

    End this stupid blog and crawl back in your hole you pathetic loser! Everybody is laughing at you, and you are only helping Keith! His ratings are better than ever! You make me want to vomit.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (32) | | View blog reactions
    July 7, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • WAR ON TERROR: Juliette Kayyem, terrorism expert; Richard Wolffe, Newsweek

    7:14 pm No briefing yet from MSNBC, so we're guessing here. But based on his track record, we expect the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann to regurgitate his favorite spin points regarding the NYC terror plot.

    1. Downplay the story and minimize the threat.
    B. Question the timing of the report.
    III. Cook up some way it could be a negative to the Bush administration.

    9:10 pm Comedian Keith Olbermann was off and running, bellowing in his opening spiel:

    Plans so far advanced that we apparently were not sure until after we announced it if the target was the Holland tunnel for cars or the path tunnels for commuter rail. (1)

    Maybe Krazy Keith wasn't sure, but the FBI was. KO takes a newspaper report that got the details wrong and turns it into some sort of indictment of the investigators! But that's why it's The Hour of Spin.

    So it's been all of 48 hours since "terrorism expert" Juliette Kayyem was on Countdown. Why not have this protege of Dick Gebhardt and Janet Reno parrot some OlbySpin again? And make sure never to tell viewers that she is a partisan Democrat. Quoth Kayyem:

    We're so far into the Cry Wolf stage that you, nor I, nor maybe anyone out in the field can assess the veracity of some of these press conferences... (1 again.)

    Then Olbermann:

    The story breaks on the exact anniversary of the London subway this all very convenient for those people who would benefit from Americans being in a constant state of anxiety or apprehensiveness? (B)

    Kayyem's brilliant response was, "I think you're right". It's all part of a scheme to "play on fears". She went on to say these were "crazy people, bad people...but it's right to be skeptical". (1) Then the Wolffe Man showed up, and KO suggested the administration was "taking advantage of, if not creating, fear" (B). Wolffie thought the political impact would not necessarily benefit the administration because the American people were experiencing "threat fatigue" (III).

    Oh wait, we have an Olby News Alert!


    Keith Olbermann announced that Monday he will have an "exclusive interview" with...John Dean. Stop the presses! Dean will discuss his new book, "Conservatives Without Conscience". We can't wait to see the tough-as-nails grilling the sports guy will give the felon. And congrats to Keith. What a get! Dan Abrams should send him a bottle of champagne for snagging this one.

    Recycled tape from NBC covered the 1-year anniversary of the London bombings. The introduction to oddball mentioned Oliver North, who KO said has gone 19 years "without telling the truth at all...and speaking of equine rear ends...". #3: Monica Novotny with a report on "Shakespeare in a parking lot". What, not Shakespeare in a hotel room? Then a feature on "singing rednecks", recycled from some local station. Bowing to the pressure of Olbermann Watch the top 3 Newsmakers included a clip of Joe Biden's 7-11 comments, but of course that means it won't be used in the "worst person" segment. Clever Olby.

    #2 began with KO bragging that he avoids stories that cross the line into "bad taste", to intro a segment on a new magazine called "Shock". Since this is Countdown, and it is on MSNBC, this was, yes, another piece of video regurgitated from the network mothership. Then: Star Jones, Brandy, Catherine McPhee (recently slandered by Olby), Shannon Doherty, Rosie O'Donnell, and that which never fails to satisfy Krazy Keith: Cruise News! #1: Running of the bulls.

    In the Media Matters Minute, Sean Hannity was a runner-up. It's a twofer: one pick fills both the Fox News and conservative slots simultaneously. Watch for the Soros site to have the uproarious OlbyVideo posted Monday.

    Luckily, it's Friday, and that means 71 Olbermann-free hours await. For this relief, much thanks.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (150) | | View blog reactions
    July 6, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann



    "Whatever Happened to Baby Suri?"

    For some reason, comedian Keith Olbermann considered Joe Lieberman's primary race the top story in today's news. Well, he never was comfortable reporting all that North Korean stuff. It may not make him nauseous but it doesn't seem to appeal to his Moral Force. KO rattled off a bunch of top Dems who will back Lieberman's opponent should the primary turn out that way, and introduced the chortling pundit, Craig Crawford, who said Joe went "out of his way to aggravate" Democrats because he has a "cozy relationship" with the President. Naturally, Olby saw "something bigger":

    Is Lieberman, to some degree, in a national picture, a sort of sacrificial lamb for his party's vacillations in this war?

    Translating that from OlbySpeak: Joe is being punished for not goose-stepping to the marching orders of the blue bloggers, and the rest of you guys better watch out too.

    KO compared Liebermann to some oddball movie character, saying that he seemed like he was "offended that he had to be there", and criticized him for attacking his opponent. Right. Because Krazy Keith never attacks anyone. Olbermann's Brain giggled that Joe will run as an independent, and likened him to Machiavelli for doing so.

    There was still time to slip in another plug for Al Gore's "impassioned", "compelling" movie, adding:

    Just saying you're the environmental President doesn't make it so.

    Then another classic bit of OlbySpin. KO ran a clip of the President who brought up several reporters at his press conference who also had birthdays today. Introducing Dana Milbank, Krazy Keith came up with this gem:

    For the President, was that kind of a metaphor, that little image, that there are four people around him on his birthday?

    Jeez Louise! Remember when the President tried to open a locked door? Metaphor! When generator lights came on for Bush in New Orleans? Metaphor! The President lands in Pakistan with the running lights off? Metaphor! He's back from Asia just in time for Turkey Day at the White House. Metaphor! Enough already!!

    After another session of oddball, always an intellectual feast, KO "covered" the Coke-Pepsi corporate spying incident. We put covered in quotes because it was just more reruns from NBC. Then Michael Jackson, again with recycled video from the network mothership. #2: The space shuttle, relegated to, you guessed it, more regurgitated network video. Then the usual dose of celebrity fluff, featuring the "hateful" "Ann Coultergeist".

    #1 was the creepy Michael Musto with an in-depth analysis of Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes, and their baby. KO beamed. The Hour of Spin had finally come to one of Krazy Keith's few areas of interest and expertise. They engaged in a detailed discussion of whether the baby was real or a hoax, and speculated that Mrs Cruise had actually obtained some of L Ron Hubbard's sperm. This is just the sort of reality-based hard news that Dan Abrams will use to make A-Mess-NBC the premiere news channel on cable, except for all the others.

    In the Media Matters Minute, Olby took another shot at Coulter as "worst person". KO described her as a "woman with Adam's apple"; her crime was making fun of liberals who object to second-hand smoke but not to various forms of sexual "polymorphous perversity" (examples given included "anal intercourse" and "fisting"). Why is Keith so sensitive about this? Is it a sore spot with him?

    Just as KO protected Dick Durbin by never reporting his "troops as Nazis" comment, so tonight he covered for Joe Biden by spiking any mention of the Senator's racially insensitive comments about Indians running 7-11 stores. Needless to say, Biden did not make the "worst person" segment. That's because it's "apolitical", don't you know?

    And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 137th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is still two.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (131) | | View blog reactions
    GUEST POST/Brandon: As The World Turns in Olbermannville

    First there was the appearance of the woman scorned. And then there were the non-stop, alleged revelations that just kept on coming: "Olbermann solicits fans for sex", "he's a love 'em and leave 'em kinda guy", "he's a cheap date".

    And what did the Olbermann fans do in the face of such bad news about the kind of hypocrite their idol really is? Reconsider their opinion of him? Rally around KO? No, they rallied together to attack another KO fan forum. Huh? What? They're attacking each other? The rather long and complicated story is also a deliciously hilarious adventure which has all the makings of a soap opera.

    It seems that the QT girls have long been suspect because they were known to openly question some of Olbermann's more outlandish actions. Why they'd even done the unthinkable: openly criticize him! You can imagine that just didn't sit too well with the more fanatical among them, including the middle-aged estrogen-challenged harpies at Democratic Underground or the regulars (all three of them) at which poses as the largest Ko fan forum on the internet.

    When the "QT galpals" dared to suggest that Olbermann was anything less than perfect, the crazies at DU & decided quickly that they must be...agents of Olbermannwatch! Why else, they supposed, would they not worship Olbermann as a God and defend him righteously against these allegations if they weren't agents of the GOP, Karl Rove, Fox News, Bill O'Reilly, all masterminded, of course by Robert Cox and Olbermannwatch!

    The feuding and sniping between the boards apparently culminated last night in a 4th of July spectacular in which the two boards combined forces to our not only Karma but her "accomplices" in crime: Olbermannwatch and QT (and Karl and Bill and Fox News and the GOP. . . ). The DUmmies declared that there was in fact, only one poster at QT, using a dozen different screen names. How they asked could there possibly be more than one person on this earth (other than those at OlbyWatch) who could declare themselves fans of Olbermann's but also openly question him?

    Both boards claimed that the board administrator at QT was "wiping the board clean" and "covering her tracks". When the board administrator angrily protested such allegations and tried to explain she had merely deleted the troll posts they themselves had left at her board, they became even more outraged, warning her they were "watching her" and were "recording every post" at QT for "evidence."

    And then the zanies (all 3 of them) at, who proudly proclaim they speak only positive things about their hero decided that such matters of important must be discussed in a newly created sock puppet forum entitled The Anonymous Rat solely designed to declare war on KarmaBites1, QT, and Olbermannwatch (her accomplicies in crime, don't you know).

    And what was the great crime being committed here you ask? Why the attempt to bring down the Edward R. Murrow of our time. Yeah, seriously, that's what they think he is. The QT admin, showing a great example of Olbermann logic, then decided to delete her entire board. Way to show 'em: wipe yourself off the map.

    So the world is minus one KO fan forum tonight and it was done in by none other than Olbermann's fans. Makes perfect sense doesn't it? To them, yes. It's all apparent now. You see, deletion of the board could only mean one thing, that Olbermannwatch and Karma and Karl and Bill and the GOP realized the "true fans" were on to them and were destroying the "evidence". Uh-huh. Yeah. Sure it does. To them anyway. Guess it must be that frequency that Olbermann apparently emits that only his most fanatical fans can hear, it makes them abandon logic and turn on one another when anything bad emerges about their beloved hero.

    It must suck being them lately what with one nasty revelation after enough surfacing about Olbermann in the mainstream media. You can't just make this stuff up.

    EDIT: This post is a guest post submitted by Brandon and placed on the site by me. That I have published it does not necessarily mean I agree or endorse the content. Olbermann Watch welcomes all points of view and invites readers to submit guest posts on any KO-centric topic.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (30) | | View blog reactions
    TVN Laugher of the Week

    Brian writes "I love watching The O'Reilly Factor. And I love watching Countdown with Keith Olbermann. And I love when there's a hint of competition between the two."

    And Brian's idea of "competition"?

    According to TVN, "At 8:45pm, MSNBC had 244,000 and FNC had 240,000 demo viewers" so by OlbyLoon logic Keith Olbermann "beat" Bill O'Reilly last Friday.

    Let me see if I have this right. A several months old tape of The O'Reilly Factor runs on the Friday before the Fourth of July Weekend against a live version of Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Fox News beats MSNBC in the time slot, and beats them in the supposedly "all-important" demo but the news over at TVN is "Olbermann Beats O'Reilly" with a note that "they used to call it a fluke when Countdown started taking 15 minute chunks from Paula Zahn too."

    And Brian claims to be insulted that he would be accused of being an Olby-Loving, Fox hater?

    Becky at Relevent Torture calls it a fleeting triumph and notes "Confucius say, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

    In related OlbyLoon news, after outscoring the top-rated Italian team in the second quarter of their Group E match up, the U.S. Soccer Team was awarded the FIFA World Cup. Elsewhere, Melky Cabrera of The New York Yankees moved into a first-place tie with Lou Gehrig yesterday on the list of all-time Grand Slam home runs, hit on a single pitch, during a regular season game, with three men on base. And finally, Al Gore announced he will not seek a third-term as President of the United States.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (20) | | View blog reactions
    OlbyWatch Book Club

    NEW! Celebrate all things Olbermann by joining the OlbyWatch Book Club. From Misogyny to Narcissicism, from Fear to Anger to outright KO Kookiness. We've got them all!

    Scroll down the sidebar to select from our inaugural set of recommendations. If you would like to recomment a book for the OlbyWatch Book Club please send us an email.

    Selections include "The Big Show" with Dan Patrick, an Olbermann classic chock full of recycled scripts from Keith's ESPN days. "More Than Merkle" which includes an arcane, meandering forward on a topic few care to know more about by none other than Olbermann himself. Too busy to read KO transcripts published as "blog posts" on Bloggerman? You can even pre-order KO's upcoming autobiography "Worst Person in the World" which is loaded with out-dated, previously-aired material from the early days of Countdown.

    For OlbyLoons who prefer pictures to the infuriating use of text found in books, why not scoop up Honorable OlbyLoon George Clooney's psuedo-biopic, "Good Night and Good Luck" on DVD? Or maybe you want to order a copy of the "April 1988 Playboy magazine" you really CAN read for the articles - "20 Questions with Keith Olbermann".

    If you'd prefer, you can follow KO's career with "ESPN, the Uncensored History" and "Ending the Employment Relationship Without Ending up in Court". Two top KO picks. For that personal touch, consider "Living Gluten Free for Dummies".

    Don't forget to check out our specials. You'll get a free copy of "Misogyny, Misandry, and Misanthropy" when you purchase 10 copies of either "Godless" or "How to Talk to a Liberal" by Ann Coulter. Also, for each dozen copies of Bill O'Reilly's "No Spin Zone" you also get "Beyond Anger: A Guide for Men" - FREE.

    And what KO collection would be complete with Woodward and Bernstein's "All the President's Men" which contains a detail description of the crimes of John Dean, Olby fave and frequent Countdown guest.

    As a special introductory offer for new OlbyWatch Book Club members: make a purchase over $1,000 on Amazon and we'll toss in TWO (2) "Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanies" (one for you and one for your imaginary friend)

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (10) | | View blog reactions
    July 5, 2006


    Host: Keith Olbermann


    • PLAGIARISM EXPERT BUSTS COULTER: John Barrie, CEO of iParadigms
    • MAN BREAKS WORLD RECORD IN LAWNMOWER RACE: Bob Cleveland, the record-breaker

    "Dirty Olby and Crazy Larry"

    Comedian Keith Olbermann kicked off The Hour of Spin with a couple of gaffes that demonstrate how little accuracy matters to those who inhabit OlbyPlanet:

    North Korean Interncontinental Ballistic Missiles that not only don't reach Alaska, they don't even leave Korea.

    North Korea shot off a bunch of missiles, but most of them were scuds. Only one of them (that's singular) was intended to reach across the ocean. Olby corrected that moments later, and in the process made another blunder:

    The world reacting today to Pyung Yang's volley of nuclear weapons, seven in all...

    Seven nuclear weapons? If you say so. That well known expert on nuclear proliferation and the politics of Korea, Richard Wolffe, spewed vague slogans like "reason to be concerned", and KO seemed ill at ease covering a story he has all but ignored for weeks.

    Keith was much more at home griping about how the Bin Laden unit at the CIA has been disbanded, or confusing calling records with the NSA surveillance program. For this terrorism analyst Juliette Kayyem was brought in. She so perfectly echoed every one of Olby's spin points that we wondered just who she was. So, google, google, google...ah, now it becomes clear. Appointed by Dick Gephardt. Advisor to Janet Reno. In other words, she's a Democrat, a partisan with a partisan's viewpoint. Now why didn't KO tell us that? That's kind of a dirty trick.

    Then it's off to Murray Waas's unconfirmed report that President Bush asked Cheney to take the lead in rebutting charges made by Joe Wilson. So KO went to an unbiased source for analysis, Lawrence ("Liar! Creepy Liar!") O'Donnell. Larry, of course, is a longtime Democrat strategist. Why didn't KO mention that? (Another dirty trick!) Perhaps because it might remind us that it was time to update The List (partisan politicos and strategists interviewed on Countdown):

    • May 22: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • May 30: Rep Barney Frank (D)
    • June 9: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • June 15: Bob Schrum (D)
    • June 16: Rep John Murtha (D)
    • June 19: Al Gore (D)
    • June 20: Sen Jack Reed (D)
    • June 20: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)
    • June 23: Al Gore (D)
    • July 5: Lawrence O'Donnell (D)

    KO is batting a thousand--at least on the DNC scorecard. On the other hand, O'Donnell's accuracy rate has been dismal. But he gives Krazy what he wants to hear, so...onward!

    Larry praised Waas's "very good reporting" and suggested it was an "authorized leak". Then he started in on another favorite Konspiracy: it's all "groundwork for a pardon" for Scooter Libby. Hey, if Larry says so, who could doubt it? His track record as Olby's Nostradamus has really been stellar, hasn't it? Second only to David "I'm convinced Karl Rove will be indicted" Shuster.

    In the #3 slot we learned all about the "amoral fear-monger", Ann Coulter. Shouldn't Keith Olbermann be a bit, shall we say, wary about calling other people "amoral"? But we digress. We don't recall KO devoting one minute of Countdown to plagiarism charges against Doris Kearns Goodwin, but tonight he interviewed "plagiarism expert" Dr John Barrie. Barrie is a graduate of UC Berkeley, where he got his doctorate in...biophysics! He is currently head of a company that is trying to sell its plagiarism-spotting service to willing purchasers.

    Not really being a plagiarism expert himself, Barrie relies on a software program to do the work. The robots found three similarities in Ann's book, and some in a couple of her columns as well. It's hard to scrutinize his claims since Keith's softball questions were in no way challenging, and the segment was, as usual, completely one-sided.

    #2: Recycled NBC video about the space shuttle, "comedian Rush Limbaugh", Paris Hilton, Star Jones, Bryant Gumbel, and...well, who cares? #1: Lawnmower races. One of the "worst person" runners-up was a reporter who wrote a story that proved to be wrong. If we didn't know it happened in London, it could very well have been Keith Olbermann reporting about Drudge leaks from the White House. Or Fox doctoring a transcript. Or... Wait! On OlbyPlanet, Krazy Keith's falsehoods are not acknowledged, let alone corrected. What were we thinking?

    And that's The Hour of Spin for this, the 136th day of the Keith Olbermann CoverUp. And the magic number is still two

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (134) | | View blog reactions
    July 3, 2006
    KO OUT

    The infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann was not in studio tonight. Instead of a new edition of Countdown, we got a taped rerun of the 2005 Oddball Festival, just in case you missed it 11 hours ago, the last time it ran. In place of our nightly summary, we offer you a few minutes of listening pleasure, courtesy of Matt Drudge. It's not primarily about Krazy Keith, but there are a couple of Olby references [mp3 audio]:

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (154) | | View blog reactions
    July 2, 2006
    You Read It Here First

    Another Keith Olbermann fiction has been definitively shot down. We debunked it here just minutes after he spoke. Now the evidence is in: we were right, and the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann was wrong. Again.

    Posted by johnny dollar | Permalink | Comments (44) | | View blog reactions
    "Life is defined by how much you improve the lives of others"

    I'm having the dry heaves in the bathroom because my moral sensor is going off but I can't even hear it, I'm so seduced by these ratings that I go along with them when they say do this not just one hour a night, but two, thus bringing my own skills and talents to bear on the process by which the snowball runs faster and faster down the hill...There are days now when my line of work makes me ashamed, makes me depessed, makes me cry.

    Remember, everything you despise, every evil company, every corrupt politician, every single bad decision that affects life for the worse, has been made by a human being who, because he needed to eat or maybe because he was greedy or maybe because he hadn't used the spark of humanity that rests inside all of us for so long that it had burned out - a human being who chose to do what he knew was not right.

    Each time you see a decision like that made, do not point. Each time you see someone's personal venality or failure or slippage exposed, do not gasp. Make yourself a mental note that if faced with participation in such a decision, or such an exposure, you will try to face it with your Moral Force prominently displayed.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (52) | | View blog reactions