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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 growth...is 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 youâ€™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?