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    Olbermann Watch, "persecuting" Keith since 2004

    September 25, 2006
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part XIII

    A reader emails with a screen grab from the FaceBook entry of Brian Stelter of TVNewser which sheds some light on a long-standing question about the integrity of the TVNewser site.

    OlbyWatch regulars will recall a widely linked post, A word on ratings and the "25-54" demo hype in which I asked "Who cares if Brian Stelter is a liberal activist, with a cozy relationship with MSNBC, who despises Fox News and has been known to edit his site to suit the whims of MSNBC on-air personalities like Keith Olbermann." I then proceeded to explain why it matters that the primary source for cable news ratings data in the blogosphere is biased to the left.

    TVNewser responded in "rightgeous" indignation with a typically disingenuous post laced with invectives and denials including these tidbits:

    "to suggest that I'm motivated by offensive, baseless, and wrong"

    "For the record, I am not a liberal activist..."

    As I noted in my reply, Methinks TVNewser Doth Protest Too Much, Brian himself wrote about his liberal activism back when his blog was called "CableNewser" including photos of him picketing. (the entry has since been deleted from the archives). Having made the point that there was a perfectly good explanation for the perceived liberal bias on TVN (that he IS a liberal and that his political agenda comes through very clearly in his blog), I was pretty much willing to drop the matter until I read a puff-piece by Peter Johnson in USA Today which ends with this laughable quote from Brian:

    ""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."

    As has been documented on this site and elsewhere, Brian has had a long history of doing the exact opposite - covering his errors by backdating time stamps on posts, deleting posts without explanation, editing posts without indicating changes from the original, failing to provide proper attribution and much worse. The confluence of the two - Brian's claim to credibility to a gullible TV critic and a track record of playing fast and loose with the facts - prompted me to write a month-long series entitled "TVN: Journalism at its finest":

    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part I
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part II
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part III
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part IV
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part V
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part VI
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part VII
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part VIII
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part IX
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part X
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part XI
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part XII

    EDITOR'S NOTE: This site was switched to PHP a few years ago and there is a needed fix to allow older files to render correctly. As this post is about 8 years old, that is a lot of work to cause these links to work correctly. So, rather than do that, we have simply created .html versions of these pages so you can read the TVN series linked above by clicking on these duplicate links (note, they will appear without formatting). RCox 10/27/2014


    Recently, my daughter, a high school senior, has been meeting students at Towson University where Brian is a senior. In fact, I am taking her there tomorrow for a campus tour. This morning I found the screen grab below in my inbox, which shows Brian to be a member of 46 Facebook Groups including "Don't Blame Me...I Voted For Kerry" and "What's Wrong with the World? George W Bush!".

    Now, what was that about "offensive, baseless, and wrong"?


    [ed. the image was cropped both for readability and to protect the privacy of private persons whose name and/or photos appear in the profile]

    UPDATE: an emailer sends along a Brian Stelter column on Facebook.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (60) | | View blog reactions


    And we wonder why he doesn't have the balls to criticize his best buddy KO? Look no further than this.

    Wow...what a pathetic site. Here's a tip, don't watch the fucking show you cunt! Jesus Christ, how lame must one be to run a site completly devoted to picking apart everything some tv pundit has to say? Turn on Bill-O or Tucker and have yourself a nice wank, but save us these tired rants--you're just making your self look like some pathetic right-winger with WAY to much time on their hands.

    Nice picture of bulbous baby Brian -- is that person about to kick him in the face?

    I just checked the numbers for Thursday Sept. 21

    Not only was Keith LAST in the demo and total viewers for his time slot, he was FOURTH on MSLSD in the demo!

    Look at this:


    1. Scarbo.: 194,000
    2. Reports: 194,000
    3. Investig.: 172,000
    4. Countdo.: 148,000
    5. Matthews: 142,000

    He loses to taped programs and Joey! All that buzz was worth a hill of beans. He could "special comment" himself to death and still get "Air America" style numbers.

    "All that buzz was worth a hill of beans!"

    Is that a headline from TVN?

    If Glenn Beck was only aired one hour, would he have better ratings the KO? He is close as it is!!

    You duys should try this

    site.. or

    Maybe you are just not mentally challenging yourselves ? There has to be some reason for the continuned ignorance I see on this website.

    I know it might make your head explode but John Amato is a friend. I read Crooks and Liars. You might have also noticed that I link to it from this site regularly.

    I am not familiar with but that sounds like a good site for you - why don't you bugger off and go play over there for a while.

    Ooooooooooooooooooh, this is good stuff! Guess TVNewser's allegiance to democrats has been outed once and for all.

    Maybe it's time for Keith Olbermann to turn the tables and vigorously come to young Brian Stelter's defense. Lord knows, he certainly owes TVNewser many favors!

    Olbermann finished 4th in ratings for the 5th straight night on Friday. He finally broke a 4-day streak of last in "the demo" that TVNewser pumps up, though. Surprised Brian hasn't highlighted this as some sort of victory after ignoring his poor ratings streak. Although he did call Olbermann "successful" today.

    I am embarrassed that I live within 10 miles of Brian. He gives Towson a bad reputation. Robert, are you from the Baltimore area? I am from/live here and go to school here....


    I am in New York but will at Towson on Wed.

    Funny how Brian Stelter is too scared to respond. I guess there's not much he can say. I wonder if he pleaded with Inside Cable News not to link to this too.

    Does Gunnar = Keith? They use the same vocabulary in electronic messages.

    Oh dear God. He's one of the 48% of Americans who voted for John Kerry and he's one of the 60% of people in America who don't approve of George W. Bush? This man's website must be closed down immediately! Anyone with an opinion must be labeled as unbiased and partisan!

    Wow, "Nonfactor," you don't score very high on reading comprehension tests, do you? The man running TVNewser claimed that he's not a political activist despite proof to the contrary (pics of him picketing) and claimed his blog is unbiased (despite proof that he's a liberal Bush-hater). Sorry, but if you TRULY believe Bush is an idiot and/or evil, you ARE biased, because anyone who's intellectually honest and informed cannot come to that conclusion, even if they strongly disagree with Bush's policies.

    You're absolutely right. Now that Brian Stelter has been proven to be a liberal activist, he cannot be trusted. Not because that's saying anything about liberals, but because he's said time and time again that his site is not biased and that he is not a liberal. The kid made his own bed, now he'll have to sleep in it.

    Well he completely ignored the highly questionable donation incident so let's see if he'll have the balls to cover Olbermann calling Chris Wallace a monkey. I did see Inside Cable News wrote a very good editoral on how Olbermann had crossed the line this time with his latest editoral/stunt and he has a very good analysis of why and how Olbermann's editorals grow ever more shrill. But so far, great silence from TVN. Now why would that be exactly? Is he interested in covering news about the news industry from all angles or is he more interested in covering his buddy's ample backside?


    He also might have homework; remember he is in college.

    Which makes it even sadder that a man in his 40s is scouring the net for his profile.

    Everyone in the world has an opinion on politics, but they can remain unbiased.

    He has finally posted a link to the comments, but only a link to the video, no commentary on the tackiness of his comments regarding Wallace. You know that Brian has taken a sworn oath not to criticize his pen pal Keith in any way, shape, or form.

    "scouring the net for his profile"

    Nice try NF but if you knew what you are talking about you would know that is a "closed" system. Someone sent me an email and I published it as I have done in the past when a reader sends me something relevant to the site.

    Still nothing from Brian Stelter about Olbermann's awful ratings or shameful behavior over the past few weeks. Probably because he's in denial about the numbers, just like Olbermann, and agrees with his insane conduct. It's funny how TVN goes silent whenever he can't hide behind "the demo". Now Olbermann's show sucks in that too, as it always did, but much worse now than ever.



    - Brick

    LOL - I can sympathize with him though, Stelter makes me want to punch through walls sometime. The kid is just so ethically compromised and no one at the networks he praises cares because they'd rather get the good PR.

    Inside Cable News says Olbermann finished dead last in both categories in September. It's so unbelievable that the TVN guy thinks he can get away with not even posting the numbers.

    ICN also did a very fine commentary today about Olby calling Chris Wallace a monkey, another subject Bri has steered well clear of, other than to link to the actual transcript. He just can't bring himself to say anything negative about his girlfriend Olby can he?

    Maybe that's why Bob had to black out who is real girlfriend was, LOL.

    (Kidding, of course)

    From NY Post on KO prank today:

    "Olbermann had no comment."

    From Brian Stelter of TVNewser today:

    "Thanks to the e-mailers who have forwarded today's Olbermann item; because it's a sensitive security issue, I'm choosing not to link to it..."

    Every other television blog of note, including FTV Live and NewsBlues, linked to the story. Olbermann wouldn't comment and Brian Stelter is the only blogger not to link to the story. Coincidence?

    and there's brian, hiding in big daddy keith olbermann's pocket!

    Still nothing from Stelter on Olbermann's last-place September finish.

    check out this delicious article about brian stelter. i believe ftv live originally posted it about a year and a half ago. this was before he turned on fox and then started crying about it and trying to get back at them with negative coverage. but interestingly enough, ftv foresaw the stelter-olbermann alliance.


    When 18 year old Brian Stelter launched the website, it was a refreshing look at the 24 hour cable channels and their often over coverage of news events.

    After months of good and seemingly unbiased critiques, the college kid came out and told people who he was. Cablenewser soon became TVnewser and many felt that is when the site started to slide.

    Now, young Brian has become nothing more than a PR machine for whomever wants to use him. Fox News seems to hand feed young Brian stories almost on a daily basis.

    Stelter fawns over Fox News like Candy Crowley over a Twinkie. He gushes about Fox's ratings and swoons over the channel's stars.

    Fox News star Greta Van Susteren learned early on to send the kid emails and take his calls. You would be hard pressed to find anything bad Stelter every wrote about his little Greta.

    MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has also figured out that sucking up to the kid will get you good press. Olbermann's show has mentioned and shown Stelter's site on the air. Again, you will be hard pressed to find anything negative about Olbermann on Stelter's site.

    On Thursday, Stelter gushed over Shepard Smith's coverage of the Pope story out of Rome. In fact Smith took time out from his coverage to talk to the kid. "Shep played him like a fiddle," says a CNN staffer to FTVLive.

    We tried to get Shepard on the phone from Rome, but we didn't have his number.

    Stelter told DCRTV Dave that he had "to beg" to get into the Fox News party at the TV Correspondents Dinner earlier this week.

    Although Stelter said he did not like the Fox party once the riff-raff was let in.On his site he posted that he "preferred FNC's party when the guest list was still in effect. Once the doors were opened, the room quickly filled. By 11pm, the interns were out in full force."

    God forbid THESE college kids come in and ruin Brian's quality time with his Fox buddies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    "There is no question that the kid is star struck," says one cable veteran "...and you can't blame the cable folks for using him like a 2 dollar whore, they're getting the message they want out and it cost them nothing" the vet added.

    Many people feel that young Brian has a job locked up at Fox News when he gets out of school. You have to give him credit if that turns out to be true. Many kids are trying their hardest to make it through school and then land that first job in a 100 something market. Stelter many graduate and start working at Fox the day after.

    You can't fault the kid for having a plan, in fact maybe it is he that is using the cable nets like a $2 whore. You have to figure that if it works, Journalism students will be starting up TV blogs in record numbers.

    Until then....expect young Brian to be sucking down the Kool-aid and spitting our the Press Releases as fast as they come in.

    Is that Shep on the phone?

    Hehehehe - great article!

    Okay, so did you see this?

    As we know, Olbermann pathetically said that Countdown finished first in ratings for one night at MIDNIGHT. Keep in mind, this does not go up against O'Reilly or his top competition.

    Inside Cable News took a critical eye at this while others simply ignored it or laughed it off. But this is how Brian Stelter of TVNewser writes it up:

    Olbermann isn’t the only one touting this meaningless “win”…

    From TVN:

    “MSNBC points out that Wednesday’s midnight repeat of Countdown with Keith Olbermann was cable’s #1 demo show for the hour, beating FNC, CNN and HLN…”

    Could this kid get any more shameless? Could he add a "PLEASE GIVE ME A JOB, MR. OLBERMANN" banner at the top of his site? He should be ashamed of himself.

    Here's betting he won't cover the multiple insults that Olbermann hurled at Roger Ailes on-air last night, including the memorable, "fat ass". Never mind that Olbermann has one of his own. Anyway, there won't be any stories from Brian about Olby's name-calling.

    and here's betting that brian won't pay attention to countdown's egregious editing of the shuster piece, either.

    Of course not. If his Buddy Olby screws up in any way, Brian turns a blind eye and a deaf ear to it.

    I have been reading this Brian Stelter's website and I must say you are right. It seems Olbermann gets a free pass and he is hard on everybody else. I bet MSNBC promised him a job.

    Brian Stelter, where art thou? What a coward.

    Funny, I've sent him tips on Olby's use of the term fat ass for Ailes and about the 18-second gap in the tape and yet there has been stunning silence on the subject from little Brian. Wonder why that would be exactly???

    He's scared. There's really nothing else to say.

    Seems like he's just kissing MSNBC's butt to get a job after he graduates. Pretty pathetic.

    He's still harping on the 25-54 demo too, how ridiculous. And what a coincidence, CBS NEWS is the latest organization to claim "the demo" is all that matters. Notice how the networks that are far behind in ratings always highlight 25-54? And Brian Stelter rides right along with them.

    Didn't Robert Cox prove that Brian Stelter started pumping up that demo thing because MSNBC wanted him to?


    I don't know if "proved" is the right word because we are not in court but when Stelter attempted to deny what I wrote I cited chapter and verse back to him as to why his denials were lies and he dropped the entire matter. I'd say that is about as close as you can get to him admitting that what I wrote was true. He had personally told me that he has edited TVNewser and the request of Olbermann and MSNBC. That was two years ago and I have no reason to think that he is not still doing that - and, based on what he DOES write on his site, ever reason to believe he IS.

    See TVNewser this morning? Liberal Brian is all over O'Reilly for a simple font error that was corrected in a later show, but he ignored the Olbermann edit of the Shuster story. It's sad. Stelter's become a PR flack and a clown. Freaking clown.

    Apparently Brian is angry about the "leak" of his Facebook profile.

    You'd be angry too if you were caught with your partisan political pants down while standing on a soapbox proclaiming your lack of political ideology. Reminds me of a certain ex-Congressman authoring a sexual predator law in between hitting on young Congressional pages.

    He's done it to himself, so what does he have to be mad about? If you go tell everyone you're not a liberal and someone can prove you are, you've made your own bed and have to sleep in it.

    Want another example? It's never made much sense to me why MediaBistro would allow an employee post pictures of himself openly breaking the law on his site.

    Brian Stelter is under 21.

    On TVNewser, click on the name "Brian Stelter." Then go to the "photos" section. In "Spring 2006," there's a photo of Stelter drinking a beer with the caption "oh, what a night." In "Spring 2005," there is a picture of Stelter playing beer pong "on the night of the election," clearly possessing alcohol underage.

    I am no big anti-underage drinking advocate but it makes me laugh that Stelter gets "angry" when people find things he publicly posts, let alone link on his own website.

    Very interesting. I never realized the TVN site was so biased.

    Funny how this site at least gave readers a voice on whether the NY Post Page Six item should be discussed, while Brian Stelter simply ignores it without explanation. If Bill O'Reilly, Anderson Cooper, John Gibson, or another host who doesn't have editorial control over TVNewser was the subject of the story, is there any doubt whether Stelter would have linked to it?


    I can top that. The AP did a major profile of Keith Olbermann that ran in over 200 newspapers and yet Brian, who mentions KO at every opportunity is strangely silent.

    Any chance that might have something to do with Olbermann Watch receiving a prominent mention - and link?

    This was posted on Inside Cable News, thought it was funny:

    "On the TVN front, here’s a new suggested quote for the top of the site:

    “I’m Keith Olbermann and I approved this message.” "

    Here are the things Brian Stelter has ignored this week.

    1. The Huffington Post naming Keith Olbermann the "worst person in the world." TVNewser frequently links to this liberal blog, specifically the "Eat the Press" section. Also linked by Raw Story.

    2. The bizarre comments made by Olbermann about Cory Lidle yesterday, linked by HotAir.

    3. The "Karmabites" article in the New York Post. This is moderately defensible, but Stelter made fun of an O'Reilly picture with two women last week and has smeared Olbermann competitor Nancy Grace on numerous occasions.

    4. The devastating "Live Plus" article by a respected media publication. This proves once and for all that advertisers do not care about the data TVNewser is posting on its website. Not to mention that he emphasizes a particular demo to try to score points for MSNBC.

    The only article about Olbermann Stelter linked to all week was the AP one, and he cherry-picked the most positive parts of it and posted them on his front page.

    Who does this kid think he is? Does he think people won't notice his utter dishonesty and hypocrisy?

    Where's MSNBC's buddy Brian been this weekend? I guess the rule he's been given is, "if there isn't something nice to say about Keith, don't say it at all."

    Add the Mortman & Grove articles to Hal's list. Unreal.

    Brian Stelter seems to really be mailing it in on his site lately. Only a couple stories a day, mostly just regurgitating the discredited Live+ ratings. And as we've seen, he's avoiding Olbermann stories altogether, although almost every link has been negative so that's really no surprise. I wonder if he's finally thrown in the towel on his campaign for MSNBC and Olbermann?

    13 posts so far from Brian about his favorite network. The saturation of his site with this is starting to approach Katie Couric proportions. Interesting coincidence that MSNBC and the CBS Evening News are both miserable ratings failures, despite heavy promotion from TVNewser.