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    Olbermann Watch, "persecuting" Keith since 2004


    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:

    ==============

    Beth,

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

    You wrote: http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/15100657.htm


    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
    user-pic

    18 Comments

    Well I don't read this blog every day of the week. Yeah, I know...I'm going to burn in hell for that...

    Maybe you should subscribe to the print edition!

    You didn't correct anything so much as you got someone to make a clear claim clearer to those who don't have a grasp on syntax.

    For example if I e-mail someone complaining that a sentence is hard for some (but not all) people to understand and the author of the story thinks it's clear enough but changes it to stop being bothered you haven't really corrected anything.

    But congrats I guess on the pivotal role this award-winning website has played in the alteration of a few sentences in an AP article.

    RSS? Yeah, I know you're a huge booster of RSS. But I'm swamped with enough stuff coming in as it is. RSS would kill me...

    Some of this sites staunchest critics post quite often. Spend alot of time at this award winning website. But the again those grapes i can't reach are probably sour......

    Keith olberman is the most retarded moron i have ever seen outside of the liar Chris Matthews. I would like the people in these blogs know that these 2 idiots shows have been renamed ....Matthews show is now called "no balls" and Olbermans blowme down.

    Ric in NC

    Some of this sites staunchest critics post quite often. Spend alot of time at this award winning website. But the again those grapes i can't reach are probably sour......

    I don't think sour grapes applies here. Unless the critics are jealous that they don't have a hate site dedicated to a TV personality they loathe.

    Nonfactor, don't worry, there are site out there dedicated to various tv personalities. The difference is that the Left will use lie and distortions, read (newshounds, C&L, Media Matters)
    This site actually posts factual information

    Sincerely,
    HangNonfactor

    But it still doesn't clarify who hacked his email, when it happened, or why. And I sill think his intent was to somehow blame Fox for that.

    Hmmm...

    Let's see, Nonfactor feels the sentence WAS clear. The Associated Press agrees with me that it was NOT clear. Now if we assign a value x to the importance of nonfactor's opinions and y to the value of the AP's editorial judgement where x = 0 and y =1 then:

    x + y = 1

    1- 1 = 0

    0 - 1 = -1

    The value of nonfactor's opinion is less than zero.

    If we assign x to the amount Robert Cox thinks he matters, and y to the amount he actually matters we get an equation like this:

    Nobody cares.

    Robert Cox doesn't matter at all.

    (and your equation makes no sense)

    her first instinct was that the sentence was clear to a careful reader and that no clarification was needed.

    I'd change a couple words in a small article too if I were getting bothered about it constantly by Robert Cox.

    You bother Robert all the time Nonfactor, yet I have not seen Mr. Cox change one thing. No, you change something if it is unclear.

    I don't repeatedly e-mail him and get people who I know to e-mail him to change a couple words on a small blog entry. If I got a bunch of e-mails asking me to change "Jane and I went to the movies and got some soda" to "Jane and I went to the movies and got some soda [at the concession stand]" I would.

    I don't repeatedly e-mail him and get people who I know to e-mail him to change a couple words on a small blog entry. If I got a bunch of e-mails asking me to change "Jane and I went to the movies and got some soda" to "Jane and I went to the movies and got some soda [at the concession stand]" I would.

    What if you and Jane got soda at a grocery store after you went to the movies? Clearly, the insinuation of your original statement was that you and Jane got sodas at the movies, not at a grocery store (even if it was not your intent to imply that).

    Asking the AP to clarify something, particularly where a reader could infer that there was a crime perpetrated by a competitive party, seems like the right thing to do.

    What if nonfactor and Keith Olbermann e-mailed each other and agreed to meet at a grocery store. And what is when they met at the grocery store they each got a soda and then went to the movies. Clearly, a careful reader could draw the inference that both nonfactor and Olbermann were OlbyLoons. And if I wrote about that and claimed that nonfactor was an OlbyLoon. And what if nonfactor wrote me emails every day requesting a correction. Would that make nonfactor opinions any more irrelevent. I think not.

    Quick, Robert! I think NBC is using Nazism to promote it's shows. There are still parts of this story not covered that I feel you could give justice to!

    Perhaps you should e-mail another newspaper or perhaps a tv critic in hopes that Keith Olbermann will utter your name some day! It is still a possibility.

    And off topic, I love how you got bitch slapped over at the Relevant or True fansite.

    Nonfactor, have you ever actually taken a good luck at this website? Scroll down to the bottom, Olbermann HAS mentioned this website and Bob Cox by name in past interviews.