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    Olbermann Watch, "persecuting" Keith since 2004

    July 26, 2006
    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


    Fox news is less conservative than the other networks are liberal.

    To see the right wing on this site try to present the media critics engaged in a conspiracy to boost Olbermann's ratings is a sight. Not only has Cox tried to turn every news piece on Olbermann into a liberal plot to advance an agenda, but he's now stumping for FOX News and talking about TV Critics who walked out because the whole network is blatantly biased.

    Quit find a way to link this post to Olbermann so you won't be seen as a hypocrite.

    Quit should read Quick

    To see the right wing on this site try to present the media critics

    What do you think about media critics not attending Ailes's appearance? Was that professional?

    Is it okay for journalists to decide not to cover events because they don't "like" the people appearing at those events?

    If you were the editor of these critics, would you like it for them to decide that they won't cover events because they don't agree with the ideology or views of the people at that event?

    If yes, I guess it would be okay for these critics not to attend a Olbermann press conference or event because they don't like Olbermann and the way he does his show?

    Frankly, this is pretty appalling behavior by these journalists.


    Quit right wingers lets attack Non's opinion.

    Quit right wingers lets attack Non's opinion.

    Just proves they aren't journalists. They are Democrats/Socialists/Communists who happen to be CALLED journalists.

    Hmm, well Garvin does seem to be backtracking a bit. At least from my reading.

    In his original piece he said that:
    "About two-thirds of the 150 critics left the room before Ailes took the stage."

    However, his letter to Romenesko says:

    "There were about 150 critics accredited for Monday's session, and I'd say my estimate of 50 in attendance was generous. Whether the rest were simply too tired to attend a session with Ailes -- one of the most powerful executives in television, making his first appearance at the gathering in 10 years -- there is no way to know."

    He then goes on and says he heard grumbling from some critics about Fox News and Ailes (what else is new?).

    Did two-thirds leave when Ailes was about to speak? Or did two-thirds simply not show up? Too tired, hung over, et cetera.

    I know this is the internet and concepts like "fairness" are unheard of. But before we completely trash the critics, let's make sure we know what they did.

    We? Okay, me.



    You are really reaching to say that Garvin is "backtracking". I guess because you can characterize his words to mean that in the article he wrote that 100 people "walked out" and in the letter he writes that 100 people "were not present". Now, if you are really think he is backtracking then click on the link to his article, click on his email address and explain to him your concern that he is "backtracking" on his article. Paste in a copy of your email here and, later, paste in any reply you get.

    I am going to go out on a limb here and say that he does not share your opinion.

    Regardless, it seems you are engaged in semantics. According to Garvin, 2/3rd of the reporters assigned to cover the TCA did not both to attend the session where the most powerful, successful person in cable news addressed the conference. Whether many of them were in the hotel meeting room before his session and left or whether they left the room as it began or whether they were simply not in the room at all seems entirely besides the point.

    Garvin's point is that there is a great deal of animostiy between the TV critics and Fox News (and Ailes, in particular). That most critics did not bother to attend Ailes speech is only one data point in a long list of items mentioned by Garvin supporting his point.

    My point in linking this story is that it is many of these same critics who (a) routinely bash Fox News, its shows, its talent and its executives (b) routinely praise Fox News "competitors" [I use that term loosely to mean CNN and MSNBC] (c) and often find ways to portrary Keith Olbermann in the most positive light while de-emphasizing or ignoring the fact that his show has a miniscule audience. It is has long been my contention that the columns and stories filed by these TV critics betray an obvious liberal political bias and that they use their "TV Critic" megaphone to advance their personal political ideology and to support and encourage those who share that political ideology. And finallly, that Keith Olbermann best exemplified the political bent of these TV critic hacks which explains their shameless efforts to boost KO at every available opportunity - and laugh at his "hilarious" jokes.


    Garvin account #1: Critics were in the room and left when Ailes showed up.

    Garvin account #2: Critics never showed up for the Ailes interview.

    Seems to be a conflict in that account. Either they were in the room and left or they were never in the room. That's hardly semantics. That's an accurate description (or not) of what occurred.

    A tangential point, admittedly to the larger one. To wit, the bias and unprofessionalism of the media critics.

    Valid and one I subscribed to above.

    End of story.


    Bravo, Robert Cox.

    Fox News is less conservative than Keith Olbermann is a complete and utter jackass.

    Funny, since in another post Cox is talking about clarity of an AP article.

    UPDATE: Aaron Barnhart is taking aim at Glenn Garvin of the Miami Herald...and he has tapes.

    well good to see the dialogue of the totally deaf continues unabated.... How is it possible for Fox fans and Roger Ailes to complain about partisan and ideological bias in any other medium....?? I mean that's just laughable on its face... and to say that Fox is "less" conservative than other media are "liberal" suggests (1) that its possible to calibrate this and measure it with any precision, and (2) that a conservative is the one who can make the judgment. What finally trumps the die-hard deluded who support this site is reality: (1) Iraq is a total disaster that was fully predicted by many in the US military and virtually all Arabists and America's Muslim allies, all of whom were ignored by this dim-witted crowd whose arrogance matches their truly astonishing incompetence, and (2) the national debt has soared from $5 trillion something to approaching $8 trillion... all this on the watch of "conservatives" who inherited four years of budget surpluses and at a time when everyone knows Medicare and Soc Security pose enormous fiscal challenges in the near-term future, but damn those torpedoes, more huge tax cuts for those who are ALREADY enormously wealthy..... I mean, forget who deserves it and who should pay taxes, why would they possible need it? The Democrats may yet again totally screw up the opportunity of decades this November, their lame/inept/opportunistic leadership never fails to disappoint, but you guys need to face it, the falsehoods on Fox are being swamped by the realities of Iraq, the exhausted US military (what a waste of courageous young Americans, and the impending budgetary disaster

    bravo david. Don't expect anyhting though, the kool-aid was drunk by these guys a long time ago.

    David asks...

    "How is it possible for Fox fans and Roger Ailes to complain about partisan and ideological bias in any other medium.."?

    I know it seems odd to OlbyLoons to consider the notion that people who don't agree with their LibNut world view ALSO have the right to free speech (including the right to complain about bias in the media) but...

    I am perfectly willing to concede that Roger Ailes is a long-time political partisan, that he has built a network aimed at the Republican, right-of-center, conservative audience, that he was hired to do so because Rupert Murdoch saw an opportunity to make good money by doing so, that much of the air time on Fox News Channel is devoted to political issues (foreign and domestic) and that the stars on Fox News are, by and large, right-of center or conservative.

    I would also agree if you said that over the past 10-15 the playing field has gotten a bit more level with the rise of conservative talk radio, Fox News Channel, a handful of conservative magazines and newspapers and the internet. It is now possible for the right to get its message out without having to pass it through the "gate keepers" at the "traditional media" by which I mean The New York Times, the original three broadcast networks, other large city newspapers, et al.

    With that said, it would be absurd to argue that up until about 10-15 years ago the only two major "mass media" channels - newspapers and broadcast television - were firmly in the hands of Democrats. If you want to argue otherwise then there is really no point in discussing any of this becauuse you are either a "libmedia denier", too young to recall or otherwise ignorant of the facts.

    So really your question ought to be on what grounds would Republicans or conservatives or right-of-center independents to complain about that situation back in those days when the media was a wing of the Democratic party.

    Here is one reason.

    ABC, NBC and CBS ruled the national airwaves for decades at a time when the people who worked there - producers, reporters, anchors, etc - were predominantly left-of-center and/or Democrats. These broadcast companies made a deal with Congress that in exchange for being granted control of the public airwaves to broadcast they would provide fair and balanced coverage of news and politics.

    By any measure, they utterly failed to do that. They took a public trust and abused that trust by using their news divisions to advance a liberal, pro-Democratic party agenda. They hired print reporters from liberal newspapers or groomed their own. They took their lead in what to cover from a daily memo sent to them (and to all New York Times subscriber papers) by The New York Times. This memo was taken as gospel on not only what to cover but how to cover it. If you don't know this then educate yourself before popping off her and making a fool of yourself.

    To take one example, look at CBS. Anyone who cares to waste their time reading the drivel that was being published by Walter Cronkite in his syndicated column would know that this guy was a liberal Democrat. Conservatives knews this when he was on the air but had no outlet to challenge the "conventional wisdom" that portrayed Cronkite as the "mosted trusted" man in American. The people supposed to challenge conventional wisdown - the press - were also liberal Democrats. It comes as no surprise then that the conventional wisdowm was that Uncle Walter was an apolitical wiseman. Instead of his coming out against the Vietnam War as being seen for what it was - Cronkite showing his political stripes - it was seen as a watershed moment where Cronkite was speaking for the entire country. LBJ famously said that if he had lost Cronkite he had lost the country and promptly dropped out of the 1968 Presidential race after winning by the largest margin of any president ever in 1964. Again, this was interpreted by the liberal media to mean Johnson saw Cronkite as representing the entire country instead of what it was - Johnson realizing that if he had a lost a key ally in advancing his liberal Democrat agenda then he was screwed because his BASE was turning against him on the issue of the Vietnam War.

    Then look what happened to Dan Rather. After years of pulling the same kind of liberal, pro-Dem stunts in the old quasi-monopolistic media environment he tried it in 2004 when there were blogs, Fox News and talk radio to call him on his bullshit. And guess what - they were right. Rather was caught with his pants down. CBS fired him as the news anchor and then fired him for good a little more than a year later.

    Imagine if Cronkite had been operating in today's current environment. He would have been shown up for the lib-dem that he really was. He would certainly never have been annointed the "most trusted man in America".

    To circle back again to the what right do conservatives have to complain about bias...

    The left has not willingly relinquished its near-monopoly on the nation's political discourse. The right has had to rip it from their hands whereever they could while building up their own competing outlets. Fox News being one of them.

    That the right has had some limited success in seizing control of parts of the mass media does not mean that there is a level playing field. Far from it.

    What happened at the TCA is just another example of how out-of-touch journalists are with the rest of America. There are many other examples, perhaps the most noteworthy being how in 1992, a survey showed that 90% of the White House correspondents had voted for Clinton.

    The left would like to act as if Fox News has "corrupted" news by presenting a conservative take on the day's news and politics. The problem with this is that it assumes that the traditional media was or is, somehow, "pure" and that Fox News is either an abberation or has somehow tainted other media outlets and forced them to be similarily "corrupted".

    What the left fails to note is that the New York Times, the paper that drove media coverage throughout the country for decades by "deciding" what was news each day via its little memo has been a wing of the Democratic party for a very long time. Likewise ABC, CBS and NBC as well as many other second and third tier media outlets. In other words, the media has always been "corrupted" it's just that back then it was ONLY "corrupted" with bias that jibed with their view of the world.

    Even more amusing is that although there are still plenty of media outlets that jibe with their world view - including the same newspapers and TV networks plus loads of blogs and alternative outlets - they are drawn to Fox News like an Olbermann to a bathtub. They are obsessed with the idea that with its two million viewers, some "unsanctioned" speech will filter through and reach the great unwashed.

    This site has done a pretty good job of documenting the many ways in which the supposedly objective journalists of the TCA have relexively sought to boost Keith Olbermann (to no avail). Other sites, and occassionally this one, have done an even better job of highlighting the heavily slanted "news" coverage of Fox News by TCA members which is almost uniformily negative and rarely fails to make clear their anti-conservative political agenda.