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    Olbermann Watch, "persecuting" Keith since 2004


    November 4, 2006
    An OlbyWatch Debate: Does Olbermann blurring the line between news, comedy and commentary undermine the NBC News Brand?

    The debate between Robert Cox and Doug Krile began by asking whether Keith Olbermann's blurring of the lines between news, comedy and commentary undermine the NBC News Brand or not? The debate is now over and we move to judging stage where our expert panel will critique the debate and choose a winner. The votes will be tallied and announced before Monday night's broadcast of Countdown. And don't forget to case YOUR vote in the survey at the end of the debate (below)

    Olbermann Watch Debate - Panel of Judges

    Eric Deggans

    Deggans is the television critic at the St. Petersburg Times where he writes a daily column on the TV page. His stories appear frequently in the Floridian and entertainment sections. He blogs at The Feed, a blog on TV, media and modern life. Deggans has served as music, media and TV critic at various times over 10 years. He also writes for the Huffington Post and Newsmax.

    John Amato

    Amato is the creator and editor of the Crooks & Liars blog where he pioneered video blogging. C&L is one of the hottest blogs on the internet and consistently ranks among the top ten blogs in the world. C&L has been featured in the NY Times, Forbes, USA Today, Washington Post and the Huffington Post. You can catch Amato on CNN's E-lection Nite Blog Party this coming Tuesday. When he is not blogging, Amato is playing his sax and flute. He has played with or recorded for The Goo Goo Dolls, Ringo Starr, Duran Duran, The Knack, Eddie Money and many others.

    Dr. Victoria Zdrok

    Dr. Zdrok is an editor at Penthouse magazine where she writes two columns - "Vices and Vanities" and "Ask Dr.Z". Zdrok, a lawyer and pyschologist, is a leading "sexpert", dating coach and relationship advisor. She can be heard every Wednesday night on "Sex Connection" on Howard Stern's Howard 101 channel on Sirius satellite radio. She maintains a sex advice site at SexySexpert.com and a glamour site at PlanetVictoria.com. Zdrok holds the distinction of being the first Playboy Playmate from the Soviet Union (Miss October 1994) and was the 2004 Penthouse Pet of the Year.

    Aaron Barnhart

    Barnhart is the television critic at the Kansas City Star where his stories appear frequently on the cover of the Star's FYI and A&E sections and page one. He blogs at TV Barn. You can hear Barnhart on the radio Mondays at 4:15 PM CT with Paul Harris on KMOX-AM (now streaming live at Harris Online), monthly with Walt Bodine, on KCUR-FM and Mondays at 11 AM ET with Chip Franklin on WBAL-AM in Baltimore.

    Steve Spruiell

    Spruiell is a media reporter for National Review and runs NRO's Media Blog. Spruiell has a Journalism degree and a a Masters in Public Affairs from the LBJ School at the University of Texas. Spruiell holds the distinction of being both criticized by liberal media watchdog Media Matters for America and being award a bronze medal by Keith Olbermann as the the Worst Person in the World.

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

    Olbermann Watch Debate Paricipants


    Doug Krile

    Krile is Corporate Director of News and Public Relations for Equity Broadcasting, based in Little Rock, AR. He blogs at "On Topic" with Doug Krile and writes frequently about Keith Olbermann and Countdown. Doug has 30 years of experience in broadcast news, both on camera and in news management.

    Robert Cox

    Cox is the Editor of Olbermann Watch who occassionaly does some serious work in the area of citizen media/journalism ethics. He also runs a legal defense program for bloggers and is widely quoted in the media.. He does not have decades of experience in broadcasting but does have the good fortune of always being right about everything which helps in debates like these.

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

    ROUND ONE

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

    DOUG KRILE: Countdown is unique in the manner in which it mixes serious news, commentary and light news features in one hour. It's obviously designed and produced to take advantage of Olbermann's personality, delivery and style. That's why, when he's not there, other anchors struggle to keep up with the format. I'm frequently impressed by Countdown's ability to devote extended periods of time to major issues that deserve debate and discussion. True, that discussion slants decidedly in a liberal direction; but, viewers know that. They watch either because they love it OR because they hate it.

    The recent addition of Keith's "Special Comments" was a great touch. Viewers are smart enough to know when he jumps from reportage to commentary. In the "old days", we [in the news business] wrote editorials that were presented well outside the news timeslots, fearing viewers would confuse them with "news". I would suggest that Countdown's positioning of the "Special Comments" is an attempt to confirm that the viewers are, indeed, smarter than that.

    ROBERT COX: While Keith may allocate some time to debate and discuss important issues, the "debates" are a tad one sided since they are moderated by a liberal host (Keith) and the guests who appear on Countdown are not booked to provide counterpoint. But let's set that aside for now.

    As for the liberal tilt of the show, how about a little "truth in advertising". Keith goes out of his way to claim that he is non-partisan, that he does not have an ideological agenda - that he doesn't even vote because he feels journalists should be as dispassionate about politics as possible. If you and I can agree that Keith is a liberal who hosts a show where the "discussion slants decidedly in a liberal direction" then aren't we also agreeing that when Keith makes these preposterous claims about his "objectivity" that he is stretching the truth a bit?

    That said, I agree with you that "Countdown is unique in the manner in which it mixes serious news, commentary and light news features in one hour". I would go further and say that the extension of the show online has been a brilliant marketing strategy. Promoting the show via Keith's own blog (at least when he was active), airing and crediting information from top blue blogs, pushing video out on YouTube and "Crooks and Liars", and providing special "heads up" notices to top left-wing bloggers have been very effective. And while I appreciate the idea that the audience is smart enough to tell the difference between a news report and a special comment without the words "special comment" flashing on the screen, the way MSNBC has constructed Countdown raises some serious issues of ethics and integrity for NBC News. I'd like to talk more about that and skip the "liberal media" angle.

    Countdown does not air on the Comedy Channel. Keith carries the title of "news anchor", Countdown is still listed as "news programming" and MSNBC is part of NBC News. Countdown is attempting to be the "real news" version of "fake news". And it goes beyond that at MSNBC, to Joe Scarborough becoming a news version of Pat O'Brien on The Insider. Imus just being Imus, mixing foul-mouthed, politically incorrect characters, newsmaker interviews and "stand up" reports from NBC News reporters.

    Isn't their the risk that the cumulative effect of the pushing of the envelope by Olbermann and his pals has a desultory effect on the NBC News "brand". If they are willing to allow MSNBC to become a snarky, tongue-in-check, imitation of a traditional news outlet doesn't that suggest to viewers that NBC News cannot be trusted to provide a straight-up, sober account of REAL news. Why should I trust Brian Williams when his fellow news anchor at NBC Universal is donning raincoats to do bad "Howard Beale" impersonations and hosting something called "puppet theater". Why should I trust Andrea Mitchell when she follows a racist, homophobic character, "Omar Minaya" on Imus as she did today? If they are not going to draw a bright line between "the news" and "the circus" why should they be surprised if viewers dismiss NBC News journalists as clowns.

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

    ROUND TWO

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

    DOUG KRILE: First, allow me to address a couple of issues raised in the comments. One commenter questioned whether my opinions reflect those of journalists and media management types. Answer: Heavens no! There are no "smokey, back-room meetings" where the media gets together to plan the approach to the news. Let me give you a bit of insight into my personal politics and my personal approach to my online opinions. I've voted for Republicans. I've voted for Democrats. I've never voted a straight party ticket. I'm an "equal opportunity" blogger. If the Democrats regain control of the House (or the Senate), but fail to live up to their promises, I'll be all over them just as ardently. Want a little "industry" prediction? Olbermann will do the same. If he didn't, the program would lose it's punch. This is not a Liberal vs. Conservative issue. At least it shouldn't be - it's Right vs. Wrong.

    Another comment questioned whether I did a "cut and paste". I did use part of my first post here on my own blog, to generate interest there in what's going on here. Guilty, as charged. Another is a former student of my wife. I hope you paid attention and learned well. However, my beliefs have no influence over hers. As I'm sure you'll remember, she isn't easily pushed around!

    Now, to Robert's comments.

    Let me agree with one of your points, Robert. It does bother me that MSNBC lists Countdown as "News". You are correct that Fox lists most of it's programs as "Newsmagazine" or "Talk". I wish MSNBC would do the same. Obviously, Countdown does not picture itself as a "newscast of record" to report all of the day's major events. The opening that asks "Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow" makes it obvious that they're going after "hot topic" stories, the ones that generate discussion. And opinion.

    As for Keith's objectivity, I'll refer you back to my comment in the opening paragraph today - I'm betting Keith goes after the Democrats, if they get control of the House, but fail to clean things up. If he does NOT do that, I'll be surprised and will willingly swallow these words. I can assure that will be MY approach!

    Does Countdown dilute NBC's stature? Nope. And, obviously, NBC doesn't think so, given the plans to move MSNBC to 30 Rock and do MORE cross-over usage of reporters and other talent. If nothing else, the NBC reporters who appear on Countdown lend some legitimacy to the coverage.

    Let me close with something from longtime Washington Post reporter, Walter Pincus. He spoke in Little Rock this past week. From the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette story: In contrast to the partisan press of the past, he said, most journalists neither desire nor believe that they can help shape government themselves...On Monday, Pincus' concern was not so much about the sourcing of stories as much as reporters' tendency not to deeply analyze what their sources do and say. Instead, he said they simply print all sides of debate, without ever conveying whether one side has more merit than another. Much of what gets printed or aired today, Pincus described as "public relations." He also noted that "Fox News gains viewers over a presumably neutral CNN partly because people want opinions."

    ROBERT COX: Save your money. I am not going to debate a hypothetical but suffice to say there is no reason to believe that Keith will EVER go after Democrats the way he goes after Republicans - and plenty of reason to believe the opposite. He has cast his lot with the far-left. That is now his sole remaining redoubt of viewer trust. If he turns on the Democrats, WHO would watch his show? Moderates? Conservatives? I don't think so. As for Walter Pincus's view of the world, I can only laugh when I hear these MSM'ers complaining about how journalists are just stenographers for those in power. Funny how we never heard this when Clinton was in power.

    NBC News has always been my favorite news outlet. I grew up watching Jane Pauley and Tom Brokaw and John Chancellor and have always had my TV tuned to NBC when there is a big story breaking. That is why I find Olbermann's degradation of a formerly proud news tradition so disturbing. Keith's anti-news schtick only has resonance in that he is mocking that very tradition. Keith is trading off of something he had no part in creating, the good name of NBC News, debasing it for a few cheap "laughs". The "inside joke" of Countdown, what gives the show its' "edge", is Keith's contempt for serious news reporting. So, his mockery comes not at the expense of his audience or the subject of his reports but people like Huntley and Brinkley, Chancellor, Brokaw and the serious journalists who still work at NBC news today. Ironically, Keith pretends to pay homage to that tradition in the opening credits and his theme song and then spends an hour each night ridiculing that tradition.

    Some day (hopefully soon) Keith will no longer be associated with NBC News. And some day NBC may want the credibility of their news division back. But by then, I fear, it will be too late. And it is a shame that after so many people worked so hard for more than fifty years to build the credibility and gravitas of NBC News, we are now watching people like Jeff Zucker and Dan Abrams and Keith Olbermann squander that tradition.

    You say that NBC's plans to move MSNBC to 30 Rock indicates that NBC is not worried that MSNBC dilutes their news brand? That's one interpretation. Another is that that they are cutting their losses with MSNBC while cutting its knees out from under it. This move would not be necessary at all if MSNBC was thriving. One can only wonder what you will say if/when Keith and Chris Matthews are shuffled off to CNBC as has been long-rumored.

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

    ROUND THREE

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

    DOUG KRILE: I'll stand by my original bet. I believe there are MANY people who don't align strongly with either the Democratic or Republican parties, but simply demand accountability of whichever party is in office.

    I, too, have always turned first to NBC for news. Tom Brokaw hails from my home state and I've appreciated his on-air demeanor and his "believability". I disagree strongly that Keith is debasing NBC news for a "few cheap laughs." If that were the case, wouldn't management have pulled the plug long ago, as they did with Donahue? Obviously, they see merit in what Keith does and see potential for it to grow. True, he doesn't pull the numbers that O'Reilly gets. But he does sometimes come in ahead of CNN in the 25-54 demographic. When the bosses see even flashes of success like that, they tend to stick with a product.

    Now, let's talk about the move to 30 Rock. The television industry is in a bit of turmoil right now. What NBC is doing is not unlike the centralized production of newscasts that several major station owners are doing. It's not ideal. But the options are worse - the loss of entire voices in some markets. NBC took a look at how they often had three reporters from three organizations lined up to interview the same person and asked "Why?" Why not have one person do the interview for all NBC news entities. Honestly, I've never understood why NBC tried to keep NBC, CNBC and MSNBC so "apart" from each other. Marketed correctly, each can continue with its own personality. Successfully, I believe.

    Finally, let me propose a scenario that will have some readers reaching for my figurative throat. NBC has made it very clear that they're moving expensive programming to the 9-11 (eastern) time slot, leaving "reality" and other comparatively-inexpensive programming for the 8-9 slot. There's long been talk of an hour-long early-evening network newscast. What would happen if NBC decided to give Countdown a double-run on both MSNBC and NBC? You couldn't get much more cost-effective than that. Many of you probably don't know that NBC has already offered Hardball with Chris Matthews to the full NBC network on election night. Just think about it.

    ROBERT COX: I am not even going to comment on the absurd notion that Countdown would be broadcast on NBC five nights a week during prime time other than to say that you obviously enjoyed yourself during sixties. The one consistent rumor I have heard with regard to Countdown is that NBC may move Keith to CNBC so he can be part of a lineup with Chris Matthews and Howie Mandell. How does that fit with your fantasy scenario?

    Before responding further, I want to address a few of the comments (yes, Doug and I are reading them but for purposes of this debate are not posting comments ourselves).

    "Anon 10/20 1:46 PM" makes a good point about Countdown's liberal slant manifest itself both in "omission" and "commission" which is why we at OlbyWatch regularly mention the "dogs not barking" (see, Doyle, Arthur Conan).

    Gary Krasner makes a number of excellent points - Keith is "serious/angry/elitist" and "a sometimes grim, sometimes angry, often sanctimoneous politically partisan commentator", He is right that Olbypologist trot out his supposed irreverence as an all-purpose defense of Keith's fact-challenged "journalism". Gary is right that it's not just that Keith is liberal but that he offers as "facts in evidence" things that are in dispute and does not allow anyone on his show who might place those "facts" in a different light or offer a contrary conclusion which makes his show an "electronic pep rally".

    I heartily agree that "cable news shows... all stink as a source of in depth information." The simple fact is that you can get more news skimming the headlines on Google News for two minutes than you can watching ANY television newscast.

    More to the point of this debate, Gary writes "Keith gets multiple billing as journalist, anchor and commentator" and that "news organization can lose credibility when it allows those lines to blur".

    Meanwhile, as James struggles to sort out what it means to be a journalist - to be a check on the executive branch, to serve the people, to unearth corruption, to save the world or whatever - he might want to note that we are talking about Keith Olbermann and Countdown here. This is a show that spent many weeks airing every unsubstantiated cuckoo "black box" theory about the 2004 election it could find, that has a habit of airing dire predictions about Republicans that never quite seem to pan out, that sees corruption only on the right, that has, to the best of my knowledge, never aired a single report that portrayed President Bush in anything other than the most negative possible light, and that routinely pilfers material from left-wing blogs (often without attribution). And while James fumbles around for a definition of what he does for a living, maybe he can address a simple question raised by another commenter - what happened to the notion of journalists REPORTING - telling the reader, listener or viewer WHAT HAPPENED!

    All of which brings us to Lynne who asks why the far right is "threatened" by "programming coming from the left"? You don't have to "far right" to be "threatned" by people like Olbermann hiding behind the supposedly objective journalism of NBC News to advance a personal political agenda. If Keith wants to trot out his Edward R. Murrow Award and claim himself to be a "journalist" or "news anchor" then do that and report the news. But if he is going to wrap himself in a "cloak of integrity" while advancing his own political agenda he OUGHT TO BE shown up for the partisan poltical hack that he has become. I think what most folks on the right believe is not that Keith is an outlier in this regard but the opposite - that the rest of the MSM crowd is just as liberal as Keith just not as willing as Keith to wear their sleeves.

    Back to Doug's reply.

    Clearly Doug, you are "projecting" when you say that "MANY people" demand accountability of whichever party is in office. Whether this is true or not of you or others there is no evidence of this with regards to Keith Olbermann. While the GOP may be in power, it does not mean that there are no Democrats in office or who have "accountability" issues, right? In its three plus years on the air, Countdown has habitually ignored or tamped down coverage of "accountability" stories involving Democrats (Harry Reid, William Jefferson, Sandy Berger, James McGreevey, John Murtha, James Traficant, Alan Hevesi, etc.). At the same time, Countdown runs to report on any angle of any story that might in some way cast a negative light on Republicans (Plamegate, Abramoff, David Kuo, Foley, etc.). There is just no comparison.

    I am glad we agree that the "bosses at NBC" will stick with Keith so long as he shows "flashes" of ratings success (where "success" is conveniently defined as occasionally blipping up from third or fourth place to second in a small subsegment of the cable news viewing audience despite coming in last in total viewers in every quarterly "book" since the show went on the air). You have just proved my point. Knuckle-heads like Zucker and Abrams are not interested in journalistic integrity, the tradition of excellence at NBC or protecting the "NBC News" brand. They care about one thing - ratings - and are willing to sacrifice everything, including the integrity of the news division at NBC, to increase them. Ironically, they now find themselves with neither integrity nor ratings at both MSNBC and NBC.

    And now that I think about it, Zucker's colossal failure at NBC, which has seen the Peacock drop from 1st to 4th on his watch, might explain why Zucker imagines Keith a "success" for coming in 3rd! One man's floor is another man's ceiling!

    Your commenting pal "James", likewise links ratings and journalistic integrity by noting that "NBC Nightly News and Today are the two most watched news programs in their timeslots" which, in his mind, somehow PROVES that "NBC's news credibility is well in tact". What he fails to note is that while NBC Nightly News is the top rated evening news broadcast, its ratings are a fraction of what they were twenty years ago.

    Is it possible that the corporate decision back then to evaluate broadcast news divisions in entertainment terms (i.e. ratings) has something to do with that?

    Keith loves to put on a raincoat and play "Howard Beale" but the "hero" of Paddy Chayefsky's "Network" is not Beale but traditional newsman "Max Schumacher" (William Holden). And as I am sure you will recall, Schumacher is revolted by the idea that network executives, under the urging of the entertainment division, are going to keep Beale on their air despite the fact that he is quite obviously insane. Yet, Schumacher is ultimately seduced by the entertainment division, literally AND figuratively. When he finally comes to his senses, he realizes that his "great winter romance" with "Diana Christensen" (Faye Dunaway), the head of the entertainment division, is nothing but a soulless, one-sided relationship with a narcissist. He leaves Diane. But it is too late. He can't go back. He is alone, his best friend murdered, his wife and children alienated, his personal integrity in tatters and his career in journalism over.

    There is a lesson in there somewhere.

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

    ROUND FOUR

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

    DOUG KRILE: Oh, there's just so much to talk about. First, with regards to network news ratings - NBC Nightly news IS number one and, yes, ABC is nipping at its heels. Your point that its ratings are a fraction of what they once were is not a reflection of the product. It's because cable fragments the available audience much more than when all we had were three broadcast networks. You'll see the same in prime time entertainment programming. There are only so many sets of eyeball to be spread over all the channels. I don't believe there was ever a conscious decision made to evaluate news the same as entertainment (using ratings). When the ratings services appeared on the scene, THEY made the decision to analyze ALL programming, not just entertainment. There are stations that try to sell advertising without "buying" the ratings reports, but it makes a very tough task for sales people. Without the ratings, you're trying to twist arms to buy spots just because you're a "good guy" or because "you KNOW people watch us".

    Next, with regard to a possible move to CNBC - I could care less. Sorry, but I don't think it make one bit of difference which cable channel Countdown and/or Hardball are on. Not one bit. However, I don't think that will happen. Variety is reporting that NBC is already remodeling two floors at 30 Rock to accommodate a 24 hour news desk, Countdown and Hardball. Imus in the Morning will move its studio to CNBC's facility in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey. Speaking of which, let's talk ratings for a moment.

    Imus has been beating CNN’s "American Morning" quite consistently lately. What does that indicate? He's doing more political interviews? Perhaps. Because he's on MSNBC? I doubt that. A viewer revolt against what they consider to be a somewhat boring news product on CNN? That's a distinct possibility. Still, a win is a win.

    Now, we'll move on to Olbermann and the rest of the MSNBC gang. Even I am surprised by the strong performance in October. If the link makes it, read the numbers. If the link disappears, the short story is that Olbermann is up 61% over last October in the 25-54 demo and up 67% in total viewers. O'Reilly is down 9% and 22%, respectively. Hardball and Scarborough are also up, while their Fox News counterparts are down.

    How about "losing credibility" when the lines between journalist, anchor and commentary blur? Did you see Fox News this past weekend? When the supposedly studious "journalists" dressed up in their Halloween costumes? Now, talk to me about credibility.

    Yes, some lines are blurred. Others are crossed. I'm not particularly thrilled with the current state of broadcast journalism. I'm a "channel-changer". I watch a little bit of everything, stopping on what catches my attention. In many ways, I'm probably not much different from your normal viewer. If I find something I like, I'll return and watch again. Such was the case with Countdown. Will I argue that Keith is the epitome of a television "news anchor"? Nope. Do I like every vocal or physical technique he uses to embellish a story? Nope. Do I love everything Brian Williams does? Charlie Gibson? Katie Couric? In my many years in front of the camera, I grew to realize that some people would love something I did, while others would hate it. Do you know what one of the biggest debates in my entire career was about? Whether I should wear glasses or contact lenses. Yup. A news director told me to get rid of the glasses and it became a huge "letters to the editor" issue in the newspaper and with calls to the station. Did they care that their world was changing? Apparently not. By the way, I ended up wearing the glasses, again. Whatever works, works. That's why Olbermann was cranking out another "Special Comment" Wednesday night. And, why he will continue to do so. At least until the viewers no longer respond. Final note - lighten up, people! This ain't brain surgery! Every network tries to find a niche. Fox did it. MSNBC is trying to do the same for folks of another political persuasion. That's all there is to it. No grand conspiracy. No attempt to overtake the world. It's simply television.

    ROBERT COX: When I asked whether is it "possible that the corporate decision back then to evaluate broadcast news divisions in entertainment terms (i.e. ratings) has something to do with that?" you trotted out the same tired "cable/fragmentation" excuse used by those same news organizations, and their apologists in the MSM. While I recognize that "cable/fragementation" is part of the explanation it is clearly not the only cause. By that argument, shows like CSI, American Idol and Survivor could not pull the kind of share numbers they get - let along major events like the Super Bowl.

    That you continue to attempt to link "integrity" to "ratings" only serves to highlight the cost of NBC News tying itself to Keith Olbermann where - that MSNBC now has neither integrity OR ratings.

    Regardless, you have drifted far afield from the issue we set out to debate. This issue is not Keith's ratings or those of NBC Nightly News or the Today Show or Imus. It is not about whether Countdown originates in New Jersey or New York or whether it is carried on MSNBC, CNBC or, in your more delusional state, NBC. You have defended KO's blurring of the lines when he "mixes serious news, commentary and light news features" on the grounds that viewers are smart enough to "get it". Fine. I don't have a problem with satire, irony or mockery (I do, after all, run Olbermann Watch). What I do have a problem with is the way in which Keith Olbermann does all this while sharing the same title as Brian Williams, Tom Brokaw, John Chancellor, David Brinkley, et al. This is not to mention the fact that Keith makes obviously false statements, gobbled up by a receptive batch of TV critics, to the effect that he is a non-partisan, disinterested observer in political outcomes when the exact opposite is the case.

    When you add this to what Olbermann Watch documents on a daily basis - the "factual misstatements", the misrepresentations, the obfuscations, and the glaring omissions - you are left with a highly compromised news division which has, as its cable news front man, a partisan political hack posing as a journalist.

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

    CLOSING COMMENTS

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

    DOUG KRILE: First of all, Robert, thanks for the opportunity to discuss and debate these issues. I do apologize for dragging things a bit off the original topic. It's difficult to not weigh in on some of the comments from your readers.

    One thought on the "audience fragmentation" issue. You are correct that shows like the Super Bowl and CSI draw big numbers. The Super Bowl is one-of-a-kind. CSI (I'm sure) draws a significantly smaller percentage of the total audience than CBS prime time shows drew 30 years ago. Before cable. And before "fragmentation."

    Integrity and ratings? Obviously, NBC has no concerns that using their "stars" on Countdown will diminish their integrity, nor that of NBC. If they did, Tom Brokaw would not be used on Countdown.

    Let me, once again, address your main issue of Keith combining serious news, light news and commentary. I'll refer you back to his opening line each night - "Which of these stories will you be talking about tomorrow?" He's going for the "water cooler" stories, be they serious, light or commentary. Countdown is not a "newscast of record" any more than Bill O'Reilly's program is. Personally, I'd prefer he not dabble in the entertainment stuff. But, obviously, it has an audience.

    Robert, I've read through many of the Olbermann analysis pieces that you and Johnny Dollar have written. You both, obviously, feel deeply about your animosity toward Keith. There are aspects of his presentation that bother me, too. I simply see more valid information during that hour, than you do. Also, please note that the MSNBC website refers to Keith as the "Host" of Countdown, not the "anchorman" of Countdown. I agree with you that MSNBC should refer to it as "news magazine" or "news/talk" - as does Fox.

    Finally, allow me to note the 25-54 ratings just released for Tuesday night, October 31. O'Reilly is #1 with 486,000 viewers. Olbermann was a solid #2 with 343,000 viewers. Zahn was a distant #3 with 209,000. Grace finished 4th with 183,000 viewers. Countdown is doing something that's working to attract viewers; viewers who enjoy the controversy and the attitude. Dan Rather was quoted today as saying "Increasingly, anything that's controversial is deemed bad for business" at the news networks. That's why he went to HDNet. I'm thinking maybe MSNBC has decided it's worth it to be seen in a "different" light from the other cable channels.

    Perhaps we can rejoin this discussion a year down the road and see how it ultimately plays out.

    Thanks again.

    ROBERT COX: Thank you for engaging in this thoughtful and vital debate in a calm, even tone - a tone so often lacking from Olbermann fans. Your analysis and insight only goes to prove that it is possible to be a Keith Olbermann fan without being an OlbyLoon. Unfortunately, that still does not make your analysis any more sound.

    Let me dismiss one point right off the top. I have never argued that Countdown pretends to be a “newscast of record�? or used the word "anchorman" with regard to Keith. What I have said is that NBC Universal lists Countdown as a news broadcast and that Keith's title is "news anchor". I am not sure why you are backtracking on this because you previously admitted that you were uncomfortable with this as well and now say that "MSNBC should refer to it as 'news magazine' or 'news/talk'". Regardless, if you will take the trouble of visiting NBCU's "Media Village" press relations site where KO is routinely referred to as "news anchor" in official NBCU press releases. Likewise, he has been described as such by NBCU executives in the press.

    Also, I don't harbor any "animosity" towards Keith. He has his good points and he has done some smart things both with his show and in promoting his show. I just think it is sad the way he has debased himself - and NBC News - in a desperate bid to get viewers.

    More to the point of this debate, your continued reliance on ratings data to make the case that Olbermann's antics do not reflect negatively on the integrity of NBC News as a trusted source of information only bolsters my case - you have no case so you are left to contend that because Keith has more viewers than he had last year or that he has more viewers than some other left-wing cable news outlet in a very narrow slice of the total cable news audience that this somehow translates into "quality" or "integrity". It does not.

    That NBCU executives are willing to do anything to save their jobs in a desperate attempt to boost ratings across their declining television empire does not speak to whether Countdown is an overt attempt to mislead viewers by presenting a hyper-partisan, fact-challenged, political hack as a journalist doing a news program.

    As you put such stock in the ratings, let's try a reality check, shall we? You note that KO had 343,000 viewers in the 25-54 demo on Tuesday, October 31st and this made him second in "the demo". That sounds impressive until you look at the total cable news audience that night. According to your source, TVNewser, there 4.1 mm people watching cable news at 8 PM ET on that night. Keith's "demo" audience represented a measly 8.4% of that audience.

    Not so impressive.

    As this is the sole remaining leg on which you seek to make your case - that we should judge Keith's "journalistic integrity" by his meaningless "gains" in a tiny fraction of the total viewing audience - I'd say this debate is drawing to close just in time (for you). I rest my case.

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

    SOUND OFF - WHO DO YOU THINK WON THE DEBATE?

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




    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (167) | | View blog reactions

    167 Comments

    Mr. Cox, you sound like a version of Rush ("always being right about everything"). But of course that is a good thing!

    Well... this looks like it is going to be a slamdunk. It is alright Robert you still have a cool site.. You will recover from your trouncing.

    "True, that discussion slants decidedly in a liberal direction; but, viewers know that."

    The liberal slant in the discussions not the problem. The problem is that Olbermann many times just does not report on stories that do not agree with his liberal slant. Examples: the economy, positive Bush poll numbers, Harry Reid, North Korea nukes, positive GOP polls.... In other words the dogs that did not bark portion of the blog posts.

    I've always said, I have no problem with Olby having a liberal position. But be honest about having that position, and quit lying, distorting, and ignoring.

    "Doug has 30 years of experience in broadcast news, both on camera and in news management."


    Are the views Mr. Krile expresses on his blog typical of journalists and media management types?

    Way to go Robert!
    I would also ad the misleading titles giving to the absolute liberal hacks like Shuster and Milbank. A regular "Joe" flipping through the dials would think these guys are giving objective analysis of the news. We know that is not the case.
    Lets face it anyone paying close attention to the Wilson/Plame saga were treated to the daily dose of "Anonymous,High Ranking,Unnamed" Sources that at least five times told the folks that an arrest and "Perp" walk of Rove and Cheney would happen by days end.

    One thing about Olby's 18 viewers. Many are the insane Kos Kidz. The other group is a bunch of journalists who create buzz for him. This is similar to Jon Stewart, who does what he does, and then hides behind his "I'm just a comedian" act.

    I agree eddie.

    Did Doug Krile just do a cut and paste? Seems I've read that before.

    Robert resist the temptation to be respectful to any of these people. All they have shown is hate and shrill dialogue. I'm sick of it. Lets not legitimize any of their rhetoric by offering 'debates'. I know your intent is noble, FWIW.

    It disturbs me just how Krile looks over Olbermann's outrageous bias presenting the news, especially since I have a personal connection with his wife being my school librarian from years past.

    I'll just elaborate on some of Robert's salient points and touch a some others.

    Most prominently, Olbermann should decide whether he wants to be like Edward R. Murrow or Jon Stewart. Trying to keep a foot in both ponds tends to work against his best interest, which I assume is to be an effective advocate for his political views.

    There are two points that extend from this observation. First, Stewart is obviously a liberal like Keith. But unlike Keith, Stewart is (1) Always unserious and all gags; (2) the "news" that he uses that's the basis of his humor is either obviously mainstream, or it's obviously 100% made up (i.e. phoney). That's why moderates and conservatives can enjoy watching Stewart, despite the cheap shots at the President. Conversely, the reason Keith cannot gain traction beyond the Bush haters is because (1) Keith's demeanor is serious/angry/elitist; and (2) The news that he uses is both selective, and ALSO slanted (which is transparent to conservative viewers most of the time. But a major anoyance not knowing how truthful or accurate it is). That's why trying to watch Keith can be an irritation for people right of center.

    The second point involve's keith's failing to be taken seriously. By alternating between light-funny-witty on the one hand, and angry-serious on the other, KO is often let off the hook by his apologists whenever his facts are objectively inaccurate, or his sources are dubious. When he goes off the deep end on serious issues as an editorialist, for example, his supporters have a handy comeback: "Look, Keith is not Ted Koppel. He's more like Jon Stewart. Get off his back."

    This is not journalism. This is not what Murrow did. You didn't see him being flip one minute and serious the next.

    My third observation regards KO's low ratings. It's boring to watch people agree with each other night after night. Not having guests with views opposite of Keith's eliminates an inherent fact checking component one sees in other programs. How long can Keith continue to allege, for example, that habeas corpus was eliminated in the military commissions legislation?

    And I'm not saying this because I don't share Keith's political views. I watch leftists hold panel discussions on CSPAN. It's boring, but it gives me their perspective, which I can test against mine. When I was a leftist in the 60s through to the 80s, I could have listened to WBAI (pacifica) or Alex Bennett. But instead, I listened to conservative Barry Farber, who often moderated left vs. right debates. Both advocate and viewers profit when exposed to opposing views. The best one can say about what Countdown accomplishes is that it bolsters the spirits and biases of the far left. Again, that's not Murrow material, even with Keith borrowing the man's monicker, "good night and good luck".

    There's no law against having a point of view. But the best POV presentations generally are those which offer facts in evidence, and which are not disputed. Keith tramples over that, again without opposing views on hand to correct facts or place them in different perspectives. A good example of Olbermann-type "journalism" was conducted this week by Bill Moyers, who did a documentary on the issue of "net neutrality". Moyers described the issue superbly, but predominantly from the point of view of the ones who wish to have neutrality. Moyers held two lengthy interviews solely with proponents of internet neutrality. I tend to favor it myself. But it's a new concept to me and I feel I would have benefited from hearing a point by point debate. Neither Moyers nor Olbermann inform us. They hold electronic pep rallies.

    Finally, Robert touched on how this new niche in "journalism" will reflect on the credibility of the NBC News brand. Well there, it's not just Keith who's playing with fire. We see supposed objective line journalists like Andrea Mitchell, Campbell Brown, David Gregory appear on the MSNBC cable shows and the NBC Sunday news shows as EDITORIALISTS. The blurring of the lines between straight reporter and commentator is worse on NBC, but I see signs of it elsewhere.

    You give Mr Krille two paragraphs and take 5 for yourself AND go second. Not too fair or balanced, especially since you didn't offer Mr. Krille rebuttal time to your rambling statement. You've become the very thing you despise.

    Hey, 'hit_escape'... you might want to try reading the top part of this, where it's explained that this is a SERIES of emails, which have clearly just begun.

    But maybe you're right. They should both have the same number of words... nay, the same number of letters to make their point... and should both go second.

    You need to read more... because as they say... reading, is fundamental.

    Good deal Robert! nice to see that the holding of olbermann accountable for his ultra left wing slant and his Bush derangement syndrome is getting more airplay. Olbemrmann needs to be held accountable for his outrageous whinings .
    You should have your own radio show Robert to hold these left wingnuts feet to the fire. Congratulations!

    Who is going to be on this judging "panel of experts" that Cox is going to assemble?

    Mr. Cox: When you are ready to take me on, I will afford you the opportunity as well. Keith Olbermann doesn't need any defending but I will be willing to debate you as well. As you know by now via my book "The Hopelessly Partisan guide to American Politics" and the interview you did with my co author who is a bona-fide Republican kiss ass. I welcome the opportunity. Want to my history. Google Barry Sinrod and see that this is my 11th best selling book. 1st on politics. I write mostly "useless information" with tongue in cheek fun. Looking forward to hearing from you Mr. Cox.

    Mr Sinrod,

    I agree with you that "Keith Olbermann doesn't need any defending". He has knowingly chosen the course that he has, which is to be himself, and allow his personal political biases to prevail on Countdown. One has to assume that his employer has signed off on it too.

    Moreover, there's no real debate as to the facts: He has failed in his attempt to emulate either Murrow or Stewart. Edward R. Murrow was a serious and fair journalist, and his work was respected. Jon Stewart is a zany, goofy, satirical late-night comedian, who most people enjoy watching. And Keith is a sometimes grim, sometimes angry, often sanctimoneous politically partisan commentator who fashions himself as a wit (because he's wordy), and a news anchor because he was given a desk. And unlike Murrow or Stewart, is neither respected nor popular.

    No, the people who have explaining to do are those who enjoy watching this joyless, pompous, self-righteous character. And don't counter that the other side gets their views messaged by Rush Limbaugh. There's a difference. Unlike Olbermann, Rush is a happy warrior. He laughs all the time while satirizing the lefties. And he mocks and ridicules far more than he vilifies. Rush also never takes himself seriously. His supposed ego and immodesty are obvious facades to his fans.

    Gary, you are so right about Rush. Even if, God forbid, the dems SOMEHOW capture either or both houses of Congress, Rush will get us through, as he did when America was "held hostage" under the eight grueling years of the Clinton administration.

    Robert sayd, "doesn't that suggest to viewers that NBC News cannot be trusted to provide a straight-up, sober account of REAL news."

    - Apparantly not, since 'Nightly' is consistantly the most watched news program every night in America. But, you go with that thought.

    I think your "concern" about Olbermann's tongue in cheek news style is hilarious when you consider the fact that his competition is Bill "Paris Business Review" O'Reilly.

    We aren't debating the merits of Bill O'Reilly and Fox News here Mr. Willis. What we are engaging in is a discussion of Keith Olbermann, who by the way, has a long history of making misleading statements and repeating flat-out lies. I realize right now he's the liberal darling becuase he's getting his material straight from all the liberal blogs but you really do need to know that this man has a long history of lying, twisting and distorting before you libs hail him as your God, Savior and the next Edward R. Murrow.

    Hey, Oliver Willis.

    You must be kidding, or just hopelessly blinded by the KOolaid.

    KO and the CD staff once again show they know nothing about newsmakers, in that they can't tell the difference between Neil Boortz and Max Cleeland (for the second time). Much less who the chief speechwriter for "Mister" Bush is.

    And the "Paris Business Review"? How about quoting the "Hoosier Gazette" as a news source.

    I hope you didn't really mean your pity post to make a point. Because, to use an analogy KO would be familiar with, you swung and missed.

    So....Who is going to be on this judging "panel of experts" that Cox is going to assemble to determine victory/defeat?

    Byron York, Bill O'Reilly, and Jeff Gannon/Guckert?

    Mr. Willis,

    Fox News does not bill their prime time stars as "news anchors" or reporters. Rather, they're editorialists who are paid provide to commentary. Robert's only point was that Keith gets multiple billing as journalist, anchor and commentator. I explained earlier how a news organization can lose credibility when it allows those lines to blur.

    And make no mistake about who true conservatives idolize. We have to take what we can get. We don't have CBS, Time, Newsweek, NPR, etc. I consider O'Reilly and Hannity "dumb and dumber". But again, the distinctions are worth mentioning: As feeble they are as debaters, at least O'Reilly and Hannity engage in debate. Countdown's format is merely to propagandize solely from one side. He's there to rally the troops. And without opposing views presented, and deplorable fact-checking, one expects what one gets: the dichotomy of a program billed as "news and information" that is both slanted and often inaccurate. But it provides salve for angry leftists, so the false billing remains.

    Phil Donahue ran his MSNBC show the same way. He only started to invite conservative guests later on, after viewers got bored and had already tuned him out. Phil's only failure was that his show was launched early in Bush's term, before the antipathy against Bush had gathered steam. Plus Phil didn't embody or foster the anger that Olbermann generates. Anger seems to be a requisite for membership on the left. They "reason" that neither Gore nor Kerry were as angry as Dean. That's why they lost.

    It also seems like the media agrees with that. The template is that the Dems are finally angry enough to take back Congress. Anger being portrayed as a virtue---unlike the "angry white men" who helped Republicans capture Congress in 1994.

    Mr. Willis,

    O'Reilly is not Olbermann's competitor, unless you believe that Keith can somehow amass 1.5 million more viewers each night in some way.

    KO's cable news competitors are Nancy Grace, Paula Zahn and CNBC.

    O'Reilly's biggest competitor is time. As I type I'm sure there are several Factor veiwer's funerals underway.

    Mr. Willis please don't insult O'Reilly by speaking about Olermann is the same breath.
    O'Reilly's 4am repeat still beats Keith's 8pm live broadcast.

    I think Mr Willis needs to take reading comprehension courses to learn the difference between criticism of Olbermann's limited A-to-B (from anger to banter) range of emotion on Countdown... from some criticism about Olbermann merely being "tongue-in-cheek".

    KO is simply paddling as fast as he can to catch the anti-Bush wave, much as Bill O caught the anti-Clinton wave.

    indierik,

    Olbermann's audience MAY be younger than O'Reilly's.

    However, isn't the age difference something like a tenth of a year, or something similarly infinitesimal? O'Reilly's average audience was something like 55.3 years of age, while Olbermann's was possibly 55.2. Whatever the difference, it was not decades or years, but possibly months or days!

    Leave it to Keith to blow this out of proportion, as well. And by doing so, he's alienating his largest potential audience, those aging hippies from the 60's!!

    If O'Reilly's audience is near death, Keith's will die right behind them, in a matter of minutes!

    Fake president. The joke is on you republican. He is all yours.

    I laugh when it is said an audience is "Old".
    The young hip demo is unemployed or flipping burgers, has no disposable income and is too lazy to vote although they promised "P-Diddy" they would.

    I laugh when it is said an audience is "Old".
    The young hip demo is unemployed or flipping burgers, has no disposable income and is too lazy to vote although they promised "P-Diddy" they would.


    Posted by: Anonymous at October 22, 2006 04:49 PM

    May all your corrupt heroes be out on their ass in a couple weeks.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Posted by: Anonymous at October 22, 2006 04:49 PM

    May all your corrupt heroes be out on their ass in a couple weeks.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Heroes ???
    I'm a refugee from the democratic party. They chased me to the other side.

    Heroes ???
    I'm a refugee from the democratic party. They chased me to the other side.

    Posted by: Anonymous at October 22, 2006 05:14 PM

    Your ran when you should have fought for what you believe than. The republicans have damaged this country economicly, militarily,spiritualy by hijacking Christians, and have not held their president to account for a single thing. The only reason they got power was a media blitz that was planned and plotted. Propoganda and crazy versions of Christianity are nothing to be peoud of. History will show one thing. They sucked in every way.

    "The young hip demo is unemployed or flipping burgers, has no disposable income and is too lazy to vote although they promised "P-Diddy" they would."
    Posted by: Anonymous at October 22, 2006 04:49 PM

    The young hip ones will hardly be needed. This administration/congress has disgusted many folks from every generation. The Republican reign ends in early November. Get ready for it.

    P.S. What would Goldwater think of the scum that hijacked his (ok, I'll admit it) many great ideas and transformed the party into a pack of booger eating, mouth breathers?

    "The young hip demo is unemployed or flipping burgers, has no disposable income and is too lazy to vote although they promised "P-Diddy" they would."
    Posted by: Anonymous at October 22, 2006 04:49 PM

    That whole mindset is so arrogant. Just because they have a credit card and went to college some people think they are a republicin. So easily led, and easily brainwashed.

    There may have been a time whae republicans could say they would do this, they would do that... Well, they have had power for the last 6 years and what have they done? Dead servicemen. A big debt. Homophobics who can't leave the boys alone. Kissing up to James Dobson. Buying yachts and taking trips at tax payers expense. They speak so well on TV and look all polished on the outside but they are corrupted and self centered. Hannity and Coulter and Malkin, Savage, Limbaugh, Oriley, the stench is so bad from these propogandists. Getting rich writing books about how moral they are. You have to be one stupid human to buy their bullshit.

    The MSM is not telling the whole truth each night. Nancy Pelosi and Howard Dean scare me more then any Republican.
    I'll pass on the Dems this time around and vote Republican.

    The commentary has seemingly jumped the track. Keith Olbermann and "Countdown" are supposed to be the discussion. My husband (center right) and I (center left) both enjoy watching "Countdown" almost every night. We like the mix of serious discussion (even if it might be predisposed to presenting one side, odd bits of news and goofy celebrity doings. If you want to hear the right's version of current events, please feel free to tune into any show on Fox. Hannity & Colmes cannot seriously be portrayed as presenting two sides - Hannity just shouts out any attack on his worldview, and Colmes just rolls over when attacked. O'Reilly bloviates for sixty minutes and will not listen to dissenting views. My center right husband says John Gibson is just plain scary.

    Special Report with Britt Hume deserves its own alalysis. Britt Hume is seemingly the Bush Administration's head cheerleader with his "All Stars" being the chorus behind him. Has Britt ever disagreed with anything the White House has said or done? I can't seem to recall it. His "All Stars" are another matter. With the exception of Juan Williams (only on periodically), the regulars (Fred Barnes, Charles Krauthammer and Mort Kondrake) are all far right of center. Even Maura Liasson and Nina Easton tend to fall center right at a minimum. Fair and balanced my foot.

    For some inexplicable reason, the far right sees not problem with television shows and radio programs that present a far right perspective on current events, but feel threatened by any programming coming from the left. My question is, why?

    The commentary has seemingly jumped the track. Keith Olbermann and "Countdown" are supposed to be the discussion. My husband (center right) and I (center left) both enjoy watching "Countdown" almost every night. We like the mix of serious discussion (even if it might be predisposed to presenting one side), odd bits of news and goofy celebrity doings. If you want to hear the right's version of current events, please feel free to tune into any show on Fox. Hannity & Colmes cannot seriously be portrayed as presenting two sides - Hannity just shouts over any attack on his worldview, and Colmes just rolls over when attacked. O'Reilly bloviates for sixty minutes and will not listen to dissenting views. My center right husband says John Gibson is just plain scary.

    Special Report with Britt Hume deserves its own alalysis. Britt Hume is seemingly the Bush Administration's head cheerleader with his "All Stars" being the chorus behind him. Has Britt ever disagreed with anything the White House has said or done? I can't seem to recall it. His "All Stars" are another matter. With the exception of Juan Williams (only on periodically), the regulars (Fred Barnes, Charles Krauthammer and Mort Kondrake) are all far right of center. Even Maura Liasson and Nina Easton tend to fall center right at a minimum. Fair and balanced my foot. This doesn't even get to into Mr. Hume's double duty as "news presenter" on Special Report and pundit on not only the "All Stars" portion of his show, but on Fox News Sunday as well.

    For some inexplicable reason, the far right sees no problem with television shows and radio programs that present a far right perspective on current events, but feel threatened by any programming coming from the left. My question is, why?

    I'm hardly "threatened" by Olbermann. Annoyed is more like it. His show is riddled with errors. He provides no balance whatsoever in his programming. I don't watch Fox so I can't speak to their programming. But I do know that CNN at least attempts to provide balance from all both sides of the political spectrums. This is sadly lacking on Olbermann's program.

    O'Reilly bloviates for sixty minutes and will not listen to dissenting views.
    Posted by: Lynne at October 22, 2006 06:49 PM


    Sounds like you took that right off the lefty blogs.
    That is not a true statement.


    Anonymous said, "Sounds like you took that right off the lefty blogs."

    - This is so indicitive of the Radical Right. If a statement is critical of the right, it's automatically from a 'lefty blog.' Heaven forbid this woman have a clear opinion of her own. Because that would mean more normal people like her have their own opinions... and the Radical Right can't have that. Either goose-step in line with the Radical Right ideology, or your point of view is from a 'lefty blog.' Ridiculous.

    Actually, I don't read "lefty" blogs. And yes, I have watched The O'Reilly Factor many, many times, so I feel I have the right to express my perception of the show. As for describing my political views as center left, perhaps a more accurate description would have been Goldwater Republican. Remember them? I do, and so do George Will and William F. Buckley, Jr.

    Goldwater, George Will and William F. Buckley do not approach anything close to the center-left. If you believe that the government should leave you alone, a realist approach to foreign policy, and that free-markets will save the world, then you, my dear, are not center left. Nowhere near it. The vast majority of those on the right are much more libertarian than they are religious ideolgues, no matter what the collectivist elitists in the media tell you, rather indoctrinate you.

    O'Reilly bloviates for sixty minutes and will not listen to dissenting views.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


    Not much wiggle room in that lefty statement. It is hard to believe you've watched his show.


    James you sound like you are goose stepping to the tune of the liberal blogs. The progressive liberals are a lot more fascist than the conservatives. Your itiotic politcally correct speech codes are the most nazi like strategy to emerge since hitler himself.

    > the regulars (Fred Barnes, Charles Krauthammer and Mort Kondrake) are all far right of center.

    It appears that OlbyLoons get their talking points from the same source, whatever that may be. Barnes is right, Mort is middle, and Mara Liason--who is the regular third panelist, NOT Krauthammer--is liberal.

    Anon said, "James you sound like you are goose stepping to the tune of the liberal blogs."

    - Sorry. I don't fequent liberal blogs. I'm actually a journalist who's moderated several political debates, having been requested by both democratic and republican candidates.
    I'm also able to make objective points about the sterotypical response you had to one woman's opinion. And, proving my point... the same sterotypical response you gave my post.
    Not every free-thinking person who disagrees with conservative thought reads blogs. They're just educated people.

    Mr. Krile is the smartest man alive...ever. Oh yea, i hear he's a hell of a cook also. CR

    "Not every free-thinking person who disagrees with conservative thought reads blogs. They're just educated people." says James
    I would also add that not every free thinking person who disagrees with liberal progressive thought reads blogs either. We are just as educated as liberals are.
    your typical liberal condescending post seems to indicate that you believe that only liberals are educated and therfore superior . It Sounds like you ARE a "reporter". You have the typical bigotry and liberal bias that seems to be a prerequisite for your profession. Are you trying to give olbermann some competition in saying you are not biased in one sentence and then proving you are very biased in the next sentence?
    James also includes:
    "I'm also able to make objective points about the sterotypical response you had. '
    You post James sounds like the very sterotypical response of "journalists" who claim to be unbias but have their liberlal bias so ingrained and subliminal that they cannot even see or aknowledge their bias.
    You are so bias toward the liberal ideology that you cannot even see your bias when you write it. What's next ? are you going to say that olbermann is not bias? I belive that it is you that is ridulcous but you are not smart enough to realize it.

    Anon says, "your typical liberal condescending post seems to indicate that you believe that only liberals are educated and therfore superior "

    - You're drawing conclusions from facts that aren't in evidence. I was responding SPECIFICALLY to an attack on one woman's opinion that was immediately blasted as 'liberal blog talk.' Conservatives are, of course, just as educated. Data says probably more so. But, I never elluded to anyting remotely close to calling conservatives stupid.

    "You have the typical bigotry and liberal bias that seems to be a prerequisite for your profession. "

    - To start, you better thank God you have the media in this country. Especially in a time like this, when we're doing the job of the congress (check on the executive branch), which it is refusing to do. Next, you have no basis to judge my work. I pride myself on the fact that the public officials I work for have no idea of which political persuation I follow. I skewer the left just as much as the right. The right just seems to take it more personal because they believe they're never wrong - and get pissed when they hear they are. Why do you think the White House only has FOX News playing. They don't want to hear what a shitty job they're doing. But, I'll remember your thoughts the next time I'm requested by our state GOP to conduct interviews and debates.

    "You are so bias toward the liberal ideology that you cannot even see your bias when you write it."

    - How you can gather this from a few sentences where I defend one woman's right to have an opinion that's not blasted a 'liberal blog talk' is beyond me.

    - Your entire rant is hot-headed and without merit.

    A whole lot of bloviating and filler from the leftys on this blog.

    James,
    If your so fact based explain this. Why does the Left led by Moulitas and George Soros support the Islamo-Fascist regime in Iran?

    "You're drawing conclusions from facts that aren't in evidence. I was responding SPECIFICALLY to an attack on one woman's opinion that was immediately blasted as 'liberal blog talk.'"

    He gave her benefit of the doubt, since her comment is quite easily disputed with a cursory glance at O'Reilly's guest list.

    True, perhaps conservatives won't go on Olbermann's show since nobody watches it and all, but still...

    "To start, you better thank God you have the media in this country. Especially in a time like this, when we're doing the job of the congress (check on the executive branch), which it is refusing to do."

    Ironically, a journalist's job is not to "keep a check on the executive branch".

    It's to report the news.

    ". Next, you have no basis to judge my work."

    It is up to you to prove you're competent at the job you claim to have.

    "I pride myself on the fact that the public officials I work for have no idea of which political persuation I follow."

    Dana Milbank likely believes the same.

    Hey, did you know Chris Wallace --- who lefties called a conservative --- is a Democrat?

    "The right just seems to take it more personal because they believe they're never wrong - and get pissed when they hear they are."

    Yeah, that non-partisan veneer is one that is TOUGH to not believe into fully.

    "Why do you think the White House only has FOX News playing."

    They're more balanced than CNN or MSNBC, for starters.

    "They don't want to hear what a shitty job they're doing."

    Wow, I must admit --- I have NO idea what side you vote for. I'm stunned.

    "How you can gather this from a few sentences where I defend one woman's right to have an opinion that's not blasted a 'liberal blog talk' is beyond me."

    Well, we have this post.
    -=Mike

    Red Wolf asks, "Why does the Left led by Moulitas and George Soros support the Islamo-Fascist regime in Iran?"

    - I couldn't care less what those two think or support. They don't set policy, vote on legislation or run for office.

    Mike, just because I'm a journalist doesn't mean I don't call em like I see em as a private citizen. I just don't let it impact my work - unlike most of FOX News.

    And, no... the media's job is not to soley keep a check on the executive branch. It's job is to serve the people. An important part of the that is unearthing possible corruption at the highest levels of our government. Especially when congress refuses to do it. If that ticks you off as a conservative, then I guess this administration should either get it's act together, or learn to keep it's dirty laundry buried even further.

    The Dana Milbank comment doesn't bother me one bit. I know my work, my colleagues know and respect my work, the people I report on know and respect my work. I don't care what you think.

    I think republicans do care more when they're proven wrong. That's not fact, just an opinion from years of reporting.

    I don't care what Chris Wallace votes... his work speaks for itself.

    FOX is the most partisan, sorry excuse for a news network ever... although you'll never be convinced of that.

    Just because I think the Bush administration has screwed shit up, doesn't mean I didn't vote for them. There are PLENTY of people who voted for that guy (and many who were in his cabinet) who now feel he's incompetent. Plenty.

    James,
    Leftists like John Dingell has praised Hizballah.
    CNN covers Mahmoud Ahmadinejad favorably even though he's threatened to wipe Israel off the map.
    Why does the Leftists media support Iran and Hizballah?
    Why does the Left sympathize with the religious rights of Muslims but not christians?

    James,
    Fox is more fairer than CNN. Unlike CNN and Keith Olbermann on MSNBC, they're patriotic and don't show Jihadi propaganda from Al-Qaeda or Hizballah than CNN does.
    They're our enemies and until Leftists like you understand that we're doomed.

    Oh and do go off on a tanget and call me a Radical Rightwinger. I'm a Libertarian Nationalist unklike you who's a Leftists Internationalist French loving Islamic loving traitor.
    I hate Bush because he's traitor and doesn't unleash the full might of America on our enemies and tolerates traitors like Keith Olbermann, NY Times and CNN.

    CNN- A day in the life of a Sniper shooting at AMERICANS!!!!!!!

    Why would anyone watch CNN!!!!!

    This is pointless. I like one of the shows and will continue to watch it regardless of the outcome of this "debate".

    Red Wolf says, refering to FOX News, "they're patriotic"

    - Which is one of the ways FOX has fooled people into watching. They drape themselves in the American Flag and call themselves, 'America's Newsroom.' Draping yourself in the Stars and Stripes doesn't make you right.

    Red Wolf also says, "(FOX) don't show Jihadi propaganda from Al-Qaeda or Hizballah than CNN does."

    - I think you're trying to say FOX doesn't show Al-Qaeda of Hezbollah viedo like CNN does... but, I'm not sure. You're grammar needs a little work. Either way, you're wrong. FOX puts out Al-Qaeda video all the time. Especially right before congressional hearings on potentially illegal wire tapping programs our adminstration conducts. Or, right before presidential elections, which coincide nicely with terror alert warnings. Please, Mr. Wolf... FOX LOVES the Al-Qaeda video. Nothing better to scare the American populous into voting republican like a little terror video.

    Red Wolf also says, "unklike you who's a Leftists Internationalist French loving Islamic loving traitor."

    - I'm glad no one is namecalling here.

    It is sad listening to the FUX (NEWS!?!) brain washed and dead wingnuts. Always the liberal media shit. Open your eyes, please. the only shows on the news outlets on satellite or cable are Olbermann, Free Speech TV, and Link TV, which the last 2 you probably haven't heard of because they are funded by public donations and are buried in the 9000 area of DishNetwork. If you were EVER adventures as to look at a different opinion the 2 channels that I have listed do have actual video from the world, not the Censored media that is allowed by any channel that has government funds and backing of any means. FUX, NBC, ABC, CBS, ect..... do have tax cuts, government ties, and free use of our airwaves, so they have every intention of skewing the news, other wise they would lose their licenses to broadcast on the airwaves that the American People own. Look at any of the networks "news shows" other than Olbermann, for the most part they have a 2 Republican to 1 Democrat ratio on leaniant nights. Once in a great while they will allow a 1 on 1, but it is rare. MSNBC is allowed to have 1 show that is allowed to sway left, because 1 show will give the wingnuts their old mantra of LEFTWING MEDIA, or as it is now looked at "DRIVEBY MEDIA" a little credance to the brainwashed of the bunch.

    Lynne,

    You've jumped the tracks yourself. We are commenting on the points raised by Cox and Krile. I stayed within those bounds. You have not. This debate is not about conservative intollerance of the existence of liberal media. We're happy to have one network that's a conservative shop, even though it doesn't balance the overwhelming liberal media organizations in number or audience share. No, this debate involves the points Cox and I raised. We don't mind that there's another liberal with his own show. We mind that he's disingenuous, and misrepresents the news and the issues, and does it with sickening sanctimony.

    And as far as the Hume report goes, I would like to see a round table discussion at the end of any of the liberal nightly news networks (CBS, ABC, NBC) with just one conservative represented on the panel. I don't watch OReilly or Hannity. I do watch the Hume report. Almost every night there's a representative of NPR on their panel, and every night I see Krauthammer or Barnes trounce their feeble ramblings. Night after night, for all these years, I've yet to hear the single liberal on the panel bring a superior argument to bear on the discussion. But regardless of that, the point is, where else does one see this degree of balance (imperfect though it is) presented on a daily basis?

    Lynne,
    You're wasting your time. I've been coming here for a couple of weeks now, and I'm pretty much through. These people do not, as they continually insist, concern themselves with "lies" and "innaccuracies" on Obermann's shows - they react vicerally to his explicitly framed opinions. If you argue with them you will only be wrestled down a garden path that leads to: a) you being a traitor commie; 2) Olbermann being sexually active (?) and having an "orange tint"; or 3) Jesus wants us to fight and kill all the muslims.

    Its a pathetic muck-raking hate-site on which the denizens turn remarkably sensitive, fragile, and insulted when corrected. I'm pretty much through here.

    I am still interested, however, in what the composition of Robert Cox's "panel of experts" that is to judge his little debate might look like. Brit Hume, Bo Derek, David Frum?

    The problem with your premise, Cox, is that you think that reporting the truth is "liberal". That would make what Fox News does "conservative", eh? Unlike you, when Olbermann condemns someone, he gives a reason for it, rather than simply refer to them as "fat-ass" or "Herr" (in an obvious Hitler reference).

    You need facts for a debate, Cox. In this stage, you are simply begging the question, hoping that your opponent will cave on one of your many non-proven assertions...

    Olberman offers no debate on his show.
    He refuses to report any negative Democratic news.
    He personally attacks all who don't see things his way (liberal).
    He puts forth mistruths and lies on a nightly basis (ratings...regularly lies about them).

    bye bye sir loin- come again when you can't stay so long. don"t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out.
    hey blind rat you metioned "debate" well the first rule of a ebate is to debate and that is why olbermann is so loathed- he does not debate anyhting only has "guests" and reporters that agree with him- there is no debate just olbermann ranting, whining and raving.
    another laugh from rat:
    "when Olbermann condemns someone, he gives a reason for it, rather than simply refer to them as "fat-ass" or "Herr" (in an obvious Hitler reference)."
    Hey man have you ever really watched olbermann's show? or are you just so far gone in your liberal mind that you cannot see the forest for the trees?

    Firing Line was debate. There is no more debate on Olberman than on any other "news" show.

    However, if you start whining about mistruths, anonymouse, you should give a couple of details...

    Don't have any? Too bad, son...

    Read the nightly recaps for yourself! I love it when people come here and just spout off and whine about proving that KO is being deceptive. Try getting off your lazy ass and do a little reading. Typical loon.

    "Olberman offers no debate on his show.
    He refuses to report any negative Democratic news.
    He personally attacks all who don't see things his way (liberal).
    He puts forth mistruths and lies on a nightly basis (ratings...regularly lies about them)."
    Posted by: Anonymous at October 23, 2006 11:06 AM

    If you were to replace the names/words "Olbermann" with "O'Reilly" and "Democratic" with "Republican" your argument would be even more appropriate. Did you see Bill's interview with Bush? He practically had his tongue in George's ear.

    Pete,

    Since you people make the contention, the proof is your onus, son. I could show a hundred cases where Olbermann tells the truth; however, that wouldn't bolster my position. If you gave me say...five lies...that WOULD bolster yours...

    I understand your frustration since you are shooting blanks here...

    rat boy says:
    "There is no more debate on Olberman than on any other "news" show"
    yeah maybe the "news" shows you watch that are liberally biased don't but O'reilly has liberals on his show and even Rush takes calls from liberlas. it seems only leftwits like olberman cannot deal with debate.
    Yeah you are one to talk obout presidential interviews. Your olberkook actually gave klinton a check before he did his "interview" /slash as kissing and olbermann's tounge was not in klinotn's ear it was more like his rear.
    rat manure also went on:
    "However, if you start whining about mistruths, anonymouse, you should give a couple of details..."
    hey ashat i already know both sides of the story and which one I believe. i am not here to prove anything to you. Being the good little liberla sheep (or rat) that you are nothing I could say or prove would make much of a dent in that raisin rolling around your cranium you call a brain . if you really want to find the truth do your own damn research . But I know you do not care about the truth because you can't handle the truth so you hide behind the skirts of liberlaism.
    yeah rat brain-"Don't have any? Too bad, son..."
    I ain't your fucking son either leftard.

    Anonymouse states: "yeah maybe the "news" shows you watch that are liberally biased don't but O'reilly has liberals on his show and even Rush takes calls from liberlas. it seems only leftwits like olberman cannot deal with debate..."

    Very amusing. You are just making a joke about the fact that conservative "debate" consists of shouting over someone or simply turning off their mike. I get it, but I don't think that the neocons on this board will...

    After that, you seem to fall into a bout of homoerotic Teurrets Syndrome. I wish you luck with that and with finding examples of Olbermann lying...

    Watch CNN....The network thats rolls with the snipers shooting at AMERICANS in Iraq.

    Snipers have feeling tooo...aaaah poor little terrorists.
    "You're watching CNN"......

    Watch CNN....The network thats rolls with the snipers shooting at AMERICANS in Iraq.

    Snipers have feeling tooo...aaaah poor little terrorists.
    "You're watching CNN"......

    Anon @ 12:36- Here's a few you can check out:

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200610040001
    http://mediamatters.org/items/200610200012

    I've never been to a site where so many people post as anonymous. I have no way of knowing who's who and who to respond to because so many here can't even think of a goddamn name to use. And then you ask for examples to back up claims, yet you do not do the same for your arguments.

    Cox and Dollar- you dudes really need to recruit better folks to post comments. You truly have a pack of minor leaguers here. At least over at redstate.com some of the people actually use their heads to form their misguided arguments.

    To one and all before I duck off this site and out of this debate:

    1. "center left" was the best descrption I could come up with to describe my particular political leanings. I am somewhat of a libertarian on social issues. I do not believe the government should come into my bedroom, my marriage, or my medical decisions. Nor should it enter anyone elses. Because of this, I support the right of gays to form either civil unions or marriages, giving them certain contractual rights to go with their commintment to one another. I also support a woman's right to choose whether or not to carry a pregnancy to term. I cannot make that decision for her as I am not walking in her shoes. The Terry Shiavo fiasco made me ill. Seeing Bill Frist, a man I had actually cast a vote for, pandering to the base he hopes to capture for a presidential run by makeing a medical diagnosis based on edited vidoetape was truly disheartening. Do these views make me a liberal? Do they make me a libertarian? Or, do they make me a classic conservative in the vein of Barry Goldwater. I can't answer that question.

    As to foreign policy, yes, I consider myself a realist. As a realist, I am able to recognize that our war in Afghanistan was the right thing to do and our invasion of Iraq was pure folly. I am able to see that while the Clinton administrations "carrot and stick" approach to North Korea was in no way perfect, I am also able to see that it was six years into Bush's watch that North Korea actually tested a nuclear weapon. As a realist, I also see that an AIDS epidemic is decimating the African continent and that the efforts of the United States in combating that epidemic seems to disproportionately rely of abstinence is not the answer. Do these views make me a libertarian? Do they make me a liberal? Or a classic conservative? I don't know.

    Do I believe in free markets? For the most part, yes. However, given that the motives of man are not always pure, sometimes governmental intervention or oversight is needed in order to provide fairness. This is usually done in order to protect the competitors in the field, as well as the consumers (often the American taxpayer). However, I do not believe in overbearing governmental regulation. Does this make me a libertarian? Does it make me a liberal? Or a classic conservative? I don't know.

    What I do know is that very few people can ascribe to a single, narrow political view. It is too difficult to fit comfortably into a small defined description. Given my social views (left according to current evengelical conservative thinking), my disapproving view of our intervention in Iraq, and my belief in free markets, while acknowleding the occasional need for governmental oversight, perhaps my original description of my views as center left was, in fact, appropriate.

    Post updated with Krile's Round Two reply. I will reply to him tomorrow.

    blindrat leave it to a left wingnut to find homoerotic (whatever THAT is) in a conversation about news! Why do you nutjobs always have to interject sex and homos into EVERYTHING? what the fuck is wrong with you people?
    Oh i know what it is- whenever you start losing- like you always do - put in some ridiculous bullshit.
    olbermann's whole show is a lie. he is fraud and just a poor excuse for aleft wingnut poitcal hack. and you are even lower than pond scum for trying in your feeble illiterate way for defending him. but I guess birds of a feather flock together.

    blindrat leave it to a left wingnut to find homoerotic (whatever THAT is) in a conversation about news! Why do you nutjobs always have to interject sex and homos into EVERYTHING? what the fuck is wrong with you people?
    Oh I know what it is- whenever you start losing- like you always do - put in some ridiculous bullshit.
    olbermann's whole show is a lie. he is fraud and just a poor excuse for a left wingnut poolitcal hack. and you are even lower than pond scum for trying in your feeble illiterate way for defending him. but I guess birds of a feather flock together.

    "Post updated with Krile's Round two reply. I will reply to him tommorow."

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

    Man! Are you people all bored?!?! Not enough Keith Olbermann news out there, or something? Or do you all just acting out subconscious fears of losing the 2006 elections?!?!?

    "Why do you nutjobs always have to interject sex and homos into EVERYTHING?"
    Posted by: Anonymous at October 23, 2006 05:13 PM

    I have to give the posters on this site some credit- many of you don't even try to conceal your bigotry towards certain groups. I'm sure it's appreciated by those you offend since they at least know where they stand with the bigots on this site. Between this post and the dude over the weekend who referred to Barrack Obama as a "Democratic chimp" it is truly amazing (sickening).

    so get yourself a fucking tissue and get over it. Maybe if you liberals would be honest about your own bigotry to yourselves and to others then finding out that somebody else may have strong opinions about things might not come as such a shock. You liberals and self described
    "progressives" are the meanest most bigoted people on the planet yet you have the audacity to label anybody that disagrees with you as bigots? You hypocrisy knows no bounds does it? You lefties love to change the definition of bigot to suit your own ideology. like I said get yourself a fucking tissue and go cry to someone who wants to hear your little politically correct whining- I damn sure don't.

    Anon- I don't have any tissues, but maybe I could use that white sheet you have over your head.

    I am honest when I say I do appreciate your honesty about your bigotry. It certainly is better than those (libs included) that harbor hatred for races/religions/sexual preferences and deny having those disgusting thoughts.

    ho hum leftard you left out the typical hitler anaology or were you saving that typical liberal comeback for a future post to display your (ahem) "tolerance"? yeah lefty anybody that disagrees with your socialist moonbat ideology is klan right? except your party actually has robert Byrd an ex klan member in it.
    you need to get a box of tissues leftard because you are drooling all over your prized Che Guevarra shirt.
    Like I said get the fuck over it.

    "laugh when it is said an audience is "Old".
    The young hip demo is unemployed or flipping burgers, has no disposable income"


    But our economy is great right?

    you know those new jobs we keep hearing about...

    Anon- there is a reason I call myself "indierik" and that reason is I am a registered independent. It just so happens that over the last 6 years I've had much more in common with the Dems than the Repubs.

    And (ahem, as you like to often use) for the record in the past month I've been hitting this site you have/never will see me use the "Hitler" reference.

    Now hurry up and get going, since you like to defend racist remarks I'm sure you have a cross burning to attend.

    "Mike, just because I'm a journalist doesn't mean I don't call em like I see em as a private citizen. I just don't let it impact my work - unlike most of FOX News."

    Forgive me if I don't buy it.

    "If that ticks you off as a conservative, then I guess this administration should either get it's act together, or learn to keep it's dirty laundry buried even further."

    Hardly makes me mad. But, man, you haven't been, you know, CORRECT on anything yet.

    "The Dana Milbank comment doesn't bother me one bit. I know my work, my colleagues know and respect my work, the people I report on know and respect my work. I don't care what you think."

    And thanks for the discussion of how much you don't care.

    And that your alleged-colleagues "respect" your work simply shows the foibles of the echo chamber.

    "I don't care what Chris Wallace votes... his work speaks for itself."

    Hmm, asking Rumsfeld, Rice, and Clinton almost verbatim identical questions means...yup, he's a right-wing neocon.

    "FOX is the most partisan, sorry excuse for a news network ever... although you'll never be convinced of that."

    Yes, SUCH partisanship. They --- those bastards --- have BOTH sides discuss issues.

    Bastards.

    "Look at any of the networks "news shows" other than Olbermann, for the most part they have a 2 Republican to 1 Democrat ratio on leaniant nights."

    Feel free to name ONE who has that.

    "http://mediamatters.org/items/200610040001
    http://mediamatters.org/items/200610200012"

    HOW DARE HE NOT REPORT ON RUMORS WITH NO REAL EVIDENCE BEHIND IT! WE NEED AN F'N DRIVE-BY!!! AND HOW DARE HE NOT SLAP BUSH?

    "Do they make me a liberal?"

    Yes, your opinions make you liberal.
    -=Mike

    Just as an observer... people that run sites like this that are supposed to be watchdogs would really benefit from "watching" everyone. you, like the media in general right now are not to be believed. if only because we as americans seem "like the last few administrations" to no longer believe in presenting evidence. we just want to be believed, at no point has anyone here pointed out a specific event, rebutted a previous claim or responded to a claim as with evidence to disprove it. only opinions based on other peoples opinions disguised as news.

    To those who seek to defend bill o'reilly, all i can say is wow. To deny his show is primarily based on his opinion can only be attributed to neglegence on the part of the viewer. No matter the label assigned to the show for those of us who actually research "news anchors" the fact of the matter is KO and BO both appear on 24 hour "news" networks and the average american doesn't know any better. For that matter so is denying the concept that until the newsmedia starts telling us solely what happened and not what they think about on their broadcasts it will always be this way. The fact of the matter is that Cable news in general is not "news" there is precious little "reporting" being done if only because the hosts next question to the reporter is nearly always "what do you think.." or "or what does this mean for..." and the answer to both of those questions is ALWAYS speculation, opinion or prediction. If someone starts a sentance with "I think..." an opinion is coming next. Not a Fact.

    Brick

    You misconstrued my point about anger on the left. it is real. I have many left wing friends and acquaintences. Anger is their common denominator. The fuel that they consume. But my point was that it ignites a small segment of Dems. Just look how many voted for Dean. The angriest see conspiracies in 9-11 and in the voting system. And they love KO, which explains why KO's ratings are low. My point was that the anger level wasn't as high when Donahue was on MSNBC, so that he didn't even obtain that loyal following. And KO has expertly tapped that vein. Tho don't ask me why.

    And finally on the subject of viewership since people want to quote ratings constantly lets put it in perspective:

    *FACTS*
    Verizon wireless has over 53 Million Customers in the US.
    60 minutes has 17.2 million viewers
    Monday night football recently had 12.5 million viewers.
    Entertainment tonight has 5.6 million viewers
    Monday night RAW has 5.4 million viewers

    (NIELSEN RATINGS SITE & TV.ZAP2IT.COM)

    is this what we want to look at as a standard for news quality or what's better in general...

    *OPINION*
    It really just means on any given night only 2 million americans can stomach to watch BO and half a mill can stomach to watch KO although the number is growing on the second one.

    sorry forgot to put my pen name

    And finally on the subject of viewership since people want to quote ratings constantly lets put it in perspective:

    *FACTS*
    Verizon wireless has over 53 Million Customers in the US.
    60 minutes has 17.2 million viewers
    Monday night football recently had 12.5 million viewers.
    Entertainment tonight has 5.6 million viewers
    Monday night RAW has 5.4 million viewers

    (NIELSEN RATINGS SITE & TV.ZAP2IT.COM)

    is this what we want to look at as a standard for news quality or what's better in general...

    *OPINION*
    It really just means on any given night only 2 million americans can stomach to watch BO and half a mill can stomach to watch KO although the number is growing on the second one.

    sorry forgot to put my pen name

    once again i apologize that wasn't supposed to post twice but i had to refresh. not sure how it did them both in order though... ah well.

    Look folks,

    This debate is not about your political views on particular issues. It's about Olbermann's show and what distinguishes his show from the other cable news shows. It's about why OW was launched. It's about the state of the national debate as it appears in the mdia. I think a few people, including myself, adhered to those bounds.

    I'll try to address something I keep reading here. Some are making comparisons between the cable shows generally. I'll agree there are differences among them. But by and large, they all stink as a source of in depth information. One cannot learn much about a topic after an 8 minute segment devoted to it, Even when there's no shouting and interuptions. I tune into these shows only when nothing else is on. I watch for entertainment only. Not for learning anything of substance.

    To learn something, I recommend CSPAN. Period. I recommend Tucker Carlson if you wish to hear someone with half a brain occassionally dissect an argument or ask a pertinent question. Maybe once or twice a month Charlie Rose will invite a true conservative on a panel. Look for that, just to witness how an insulated liberal reacts to ideas he's rarely exposed to. But don't expect tough questioning. He's no more than one step above Larry King. I recommend listening to local radio that allows sufficient time for discussion. In NYC, liberal Brian Lehrer on WNYC provides equal time to conservatives most of the time. He'll play devil's advocate when he couldn't get a conservative to go against a liberal.

    I praised Rush Limbaugh earlier. But only as entertainment. While he does highlight good articles on the web, his interviewing and debating skills are not superior---though better than the dumdums on cable news. He was a particular disappointment the last time he interviewed VP Cheney. He had a lot of time to ask why the Feds don't enforce border security. I don't mind parody and propagandizing. But sometimes one should seize an opportunity when it presents itself.

    As for Olbermann, I've already discussed how he "distinguishes" himself from other cable shows. If anyone's interested, scroll upwards.

    None of these cable "news" shows, including Olbermann's, are actually news shows, nor were they ever intended to be. I personally enjoy the Olbermann slant and treat it as a welcome refuge from the unending drone of spin from the current adminstration's propaganda machine that I simply cannot get away from during the coarse of a typical day. Bush and his cronies enjoy almost constant media exposure, even on the most "liberal" mainstream media outlets. In addition, I cannot turn on my car's AM radio without enduring almost non-stop right wing rants from any number of sources. I thank God for my 1 hour chance per day to balance all of this out with a little perspective from someone who truly does understand and is not afraid to vocalize how many of us feel. This actually helps to dampen our anger just a little. Go Keith!

    Yikes! This thing still exists? And now there is a formal "debate" between the Robert Cox and another Olbermann-curious blogger? Jeepers. But it's heartening to know that the Robert is staying true to modern Republican values and handpicking the judges for his hand-picked debate himself.

    Do you know how underemployed you have to be to lay waste to your days trying to "expose" a TV show? Jebus! But I guess I'd be too embarrassed to try and directly address Big People Issues too if I had consistently done the toady croak for what has pretty clearly shaped up to be the worst administration in American history.

    Cecellia is still here too? Embarrassing. Leave it to the angry grannies, sister. Sorry to drop my load and run, but I really can't stand to stay here. It smells like rotting bodies. I'll check back in another month to see who has and hasn't managed to break the weirdest addiction on the net. Remember everyone, this is 'Olbermannwatch.' Oh, and elect more of those fine, fine, Republicans so that sweet holy Jesus on high will smile on our nation and straighten all this confusing middle east stuff up for us.

    "I'll check back in another month to see who has and hasn't managed to break the weirdest addiction on the net."


    As impervious to his own irony as ever...

    It's so comforting.

    Mike says:

    None of these cable "news" shows, including Olbermann's, are actually news shows, nor were they ever intended to be.

    -------------> whether it's Brit Hume's show, or Lou Dobbs, or Anderson Cooper, or Olbermann----they're all run by the media organization's news department, and are referred to as "news and public affairs".

    Mike says:

    I personally enjoy the Olbermann slant and treat it as a welcome refuge from the unending drone of spin from the current adminstration's propaganda machine that I simply cannot get away from during the coarse of a typical day. Bush and his cronies enjoy almost constant media exposure, even on the most "liberal" mainstream media outlets.

    -------------> I find it helpful to find out what the left desires, if for no other reason, to understand what makes it go off the deep end. But I also like to test their ideas against mine. If you read my stuff on Americandaily.com, at least you'll see that I listen to the other side. To that end, I listen to NPR and PRI. I hear BBC reports (which just admitted they've been biased against Israel and conservatives!). I tune into pacifica radio's nightly news. I used to tap into air america from time to time. And in October during national elections, I tune into CNN, CBS, NBC, MSNBC, and ABC news and information. That's the month in which these moderately liberal organizations frontload their anti conservative programs.

    On none of these outlets does the admin get a fair hearing, if at all. I fail to see admin representatives even on CSPAN panel discussions, whereever they're held and who sponsors them. That's what many conservatives find frustrating---the failure of this admin in getting out in the media and doing its share of PR for conservative policies. So I can't fathom your claims to the contrary.

    So, why critique Olbermann? That was the question I asked Robert Cox when he launched OW and approached me to be a contributor to it. Cox's bottom line was that KO was unique in degree, and that proved to be prescient on his part. Because after several months, KO demonstrated to me to be the most CONSISTENTLY one-sided program claiming to be "news and information" there was on any cable channel or broadcast network. He also had the unique ability to include demagoguery, sanctimony, liberal elitism, mysogeny, anger, and moral equivalency.

    By contrast, every other news and information show---on the right or the left---invite opposing views for discussion and debate. Even Bill Moyers will on rare occassions. But never will Keith. If his show had a light comedic touch---like Jon Stewart, or maybe didn't falsely bill itself as "news and information", then maybe watching his slanted news is justified. By contrast to you, I would NEVER accept on face value something controversial that Rush or Hannity had uttered, without substantiation. But many Olberloons really believe Keith last night when he claimed that Rush castigated Michael J Fox. Or last week when he claimed that habeas corpus was rescinded for Americans, or that foreign detainees will not be given habeas, or an equivalent right to challenge their status.

    But shame on you for wanting serious information to be slanted. How can you be effective advocates by allowing yourselves to be misinformed? But you don't want to be accurately informed, do you. You just want to remain safe in your information coccoon, which cushions the blows from reality. Why must one confront issues forthrightly when one can watch Olbermann every night? Why view the world the way it is, when you can view it the way you wish it was? Or to use your words, listen to someone who is "not afraid to vocalize how many of us feel".

    Reality can be hard. I can sympathize. But I can't approve.

    But many Olberloons really believe Keith last night when he claimed that Rush castigated Michael J Fox.

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

    I would say that it is fair to say that Rush Limbaugh is castigating Michael J. Fox. We should all remember the times where Rush Limbaugh asked for sympathy for alcohalism and doctor shopping. Rush Limbaugh can talk in a somber voice and sound sincere and go in and out of clinics when he wants to, but Michael J. Fox, whether dramatizing or actually in that bad of a condition, can not. Limbaugh can. There is a double standard, here. It is not that hard to see.

    Of course, the master of double standards is the Orange Boy, Olby. He pontificates that calling one's opponents Nazis should be disdained but then, acting upon his jealous obsession with Bill O'Reilly, he fires off a Nazi salute in public while holding a Bill O'Reilly mask over his face. My question for you Olbermann supporters: Is there a single one of you who will renounce this vile and hateful symbol of anti-Semitism? Is there a single one of you who will admit that Olby has no moral standing whatsoever to lecture others on his beliefs about standards of morality or decency? Olbermann has e-mailed viewers telling them to kill themselves. Olbermann has insulted the intellignece of a colleague calling her "dumb as a suitcase of rocks". Olby criticizes a U.S. Senator for making a remark that could be interpreted as calling his opponents worker a kind of monkey and then, several days later turns around and UNAMBIGUOUSLY calls a respected journalist a "monkey".

    Olbermann has no interest in genuine debate. He hides behind fancy sounding rhetoric when confronted with this fact and declares that he doesn't allow debate on Meltdown because it "adds noting to the political discourse". What he really means to say of course is that a real debate would require him to actually back up and source his allegations regarding his wild scattershot allegations in such matters as Rovian conspiracies, fixed elections in Ohio and perp walks in the Plame affair. Olbermann would rather lecture and listen to his own bellowing than to actually engage in discourse with an ideological opponent, to whom he would have to actually present a logical basis for his inane accusations.

    Olbermann has carefuly shielded himself from exposure to any hostile questioning (thus no book signing appearances to promote his his book). The infrequent occasions during which his temperament has been exposed in the face of hostile rejoinders has shown a man lacking in mental stability and self control (ie the admonition to a heckler to "Kill yourself"). I would suggest that such a man has acute pathological deficiencies and a severe character disorder. Such disorders are marked by a intense loathing for assuming responsibility and accountability for one's mistakes and a pointed lack of compassion and empathy for others and grand gestures to attempt to cover up such personality traits (such as handing a check to Clinton on the air "for eight shcools in Kenya"). This man isn't just a dangerous partisan-- I think he is truly sick and demented.

    Mr. Krile said, "I'm betting Keith goes after the Democrats, if they get control of the House, but fail to clean things up."

    - A agree completely.

    Mr. Cox said, "there is no reason to believe that Keith will EVER go after Democrats the way he goes after Republicans"

    - Well, since Dems have never been in power during Countdown's run, you have no standing whatsoever to make this claim.

    Mr Cox said, "I can only laugh when I heard these MSM'ers complaining about how journalists are just stenographers for those in power. Funny how we never heard this when Clinton was in power."

    - As a member of the media, I can certainly tell you the only stenographers of those in power is FOX News for the current administration. And, during the Clinton years, no one was a stenagrapher for them... because they were all skewering him.

    Mr. Cox said, "what gives the show its' "edge", is Keith's contempt for serious news reporting."

    - No, sir. The shows edge is it's mixture of serious news, entertainment and fun. But, there is VERY serious news - at least in the first few stories - every night.

    Mr. Cox said, "And some day NBC may want the credibility of their news division back."

    - In order to get their credibility 'back,' that would assume it is gone now. Considering NBC Nightly News and Today are the two most watched news programs in their timeslots (and Nightly the most watched, period), it seems NBC's news credibility is well in tact.

    - Bottom line, Mr. Krile has so far won every argument in this debate... with the exception that Countdown should not be called a straight 'news show.' Mr. Cox will never be convinced of any of Mr. Krile's other points. If he is, there would cease to be a need for this website. But, don't worry... dems will regain control next month... and we'll find out for sure that KO will go after democrats just as hard. He certainly did go against Clinton (like everyone else), until he realized that a blow job from another consenting adult doesn't warrant hundreds of shows or benefit the American public.

    No way will Keith go after the dems. He will just blame any ineffectiveness on their part on the Republicans, who, he'll say, have messsed things up so much that it will take years to overcome.

    BTW, I am CONVINCED that the dems will NOT take over Congress!!!!!

    Why don't they show Michael Musto's footage form the Robin Byrd show?

    Missy said, "No way will Keith go after the dems"

    - You have no way of knowing this until we get there. If he doesn't, I will post apologies to everyone on this website. But, you don't know that.

    Missy also said, " I am CONVINCED that the dems will NOT take over Congress!!!!!"

    -I'm glad you are. Unfortunately, the electorate across the nation isn't so sure. Will you apologize if the republicans lose control of congress?

    James, I base my conjecture on the fact that Keith won't attack dems now, nor will he allow conservative points of view presented on his program. So based on that, I just don't see him changing his tactics!

    And if I'm wrong about the Republicans staying in Congress, I won't apologize, but will admit defeat.

    James says:

    "No, sir. The shows [Meltdown's] edge is it's mixture of serious news, entertainment and fun. But, there is VERY serious news - at least in the first few stories - every night."

    You are confusing news stories with serious issues (which Olby does include in his nightly telecast) with news stories being reported in a serious way, which Olby surely does not do (this was Mr. Cox point). As has been repeatedly pointed out, it is not possible for Orange Boy to report the news seriously because he is intently focused on regurgitating the news as seen through the prism of the blue blogs. He willfully refuses to seek out and present viewpoints from commentators and observers unless they are in agreement with his own point of view-- that is to say, the viewpoint of a Bush attack dog. As a journalist, let me ask you a question James: Would you consider someone to be a serious reporter of the news who only parroted the opinions of liberal critics of the president? Take a look at the list that J$ has prepared of the guests that Orange Boy has had on Meltdown to comment on such issues as the war in Iraq and the upcoming elections and search (in vain) for any commentator who deviates from the Olbermann party line. Surely this is not real news reporting-- it is a liberal circle jerk. You may not believe that O'Reilly gives the liberal viewpoint sufficient representation (and I would probably agree with you), but at least it does get represented. On the other hand Olby smothers all dissenting opinion. How you can offer words of praise for this kind of reporting (especially if you are a journalist), is beyond me.

    hank asks a good question (no sarcasm)"Would you consider someone to be a serious reporter of the news who only parroted the opinions of liberal critics of the president?"

    - Quick answer, no. He doesn't give a fair shake to the conservative viewpoint. That is

    - But, he is one of very few who makes legitimate criticisms of the administration. KO's credibility would go a long way if he had someone on to defend the President. To be a true journalist you always need both sides of the story. KO fails miserably here. But, again, he's telling a side of the story (the administrations short-comings, screw ups,lies, whatever) that's being told by very few others.

    - For that he does deserve praise. And severe criticism for not giving representation to the ideology he attacks. Praise and criticism... there's room for both.

    I'm not surprised that Mr. Krile ignored my arguments in his round 2 comments. They're irrefutable. I described how what Keith does on Countdown is unique. That was to be a main thread of this debate.

    I think I'm more alarmed at the bluring of the lines between editorials and reporting than Robert seems to be. Especially with regards to NBC, with the examples I gave in which news correspondents appear on cable news and sunday broadcasts doing what editorialists do: analyze events, opine on policy, make political predictions, etc etc.

    I'll raise another concern: We no longer see straight news reported: the basic what happened; where and when. Instead, the news segments we see now has the correspondent couching the story inside a template that often includes opinion or speculation as to why the event occurred; who may be the cause of it; who are the villains (usually the U.S. or Israel); who are the victims (either muslims or poor people; the likely political fallout; and whether the administration will pay a price for what happened; and so forth.

    In other words, there's not just a story being reported, but also a story line; a narrative that includes the story-teller's opinion. You see it on ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and Fox.

    Liberals don't notice this trend. Not while MSM correspondents and editors remain predominantly left of center. You need to be a conservative to really feel it.

    Gary said, "the news segments we see now has the correspondent couching the story inside a template that often includes opinion or speculation as to why the event occurred... Liberals don't notice this trend. Not while MSM correspondents and editors remain predominantly left of center. You need to be a conservative to really feel it."


    ***In covering the Iraq war last year, 73 percent of the stories on Fox News included the opinions of the anchors and journalists reporting them, a new study says.

    By contrast, 29 percent of the war reports on MSNBC and 2 percent of those on CNN included the journalists' own views. - Washington Post, March, 2005***

    - I guess you were completely wrong... the worst offender is the most conservative member of the media.


    What is the topic of this debate?


    If the two principal nimrods (Krile and Cox) would take the time to limit the scope ot the debate to a manageable topic, this thread may be of use, until then, it is crap.


    What is the topic of this debate?


    If the two principal nimrods (Krile and Cox) would take the time to limit the scope ot the debate to a manageable topic, this thread may be of use, until then, it is crap.


    James wrote:

    ***In covering the Iraq war last year, 73 percent of the stories on Fox News included the opinions of the anchors and journalists reporting them, a new study says.

    By contrast, 29 percent of the war reports on MSNBC and 2 percent of those on CNN included the journalists' own views. - Washington Post, March, 2005***

    - I guess you were completely wrong... the worst offender is the most conservative member of the media.

    --------> James, you need to reference this a little better. who conducted the "study", which programs were sampled, and what were the criteria for "opinion"? I watch a lot of MSM. I just don't see much difference in news segments on Nightline, 60 minutes, the evening news, or Fox etc. Some stories include a subtle subtext, while others may be more blatant. but they all have commentary in it.

    BTW, after decades of liberal news slants, Fox was founded and tried to equalize that imbalance.

    FOX is great.
    FOX is God.
    FOX tells the truth!

    Doug Krile writes:

    "If the Democrats regain control of the House (or the Senate), but fail to live up to their promises, I'll be all over them just as ardently. Want a little "industry" prediction? Olbermann will do the same. If he didn't, the program would lose it's punch."


    Oh I'm sure you, Olbermann, and the media in general will be all over the Democrats if they regain control of the House and Senate and "fail to live up to their promises"... Considering their promises are based on a leftwing perspective I've no doubt you're speaking from the heart.

    When the media pushes Democrats it's not a push in a conservative direction, even when the majority of the population harbors a particular conservative position. You guys will be pushing, questioning, and finger-pointing if the Democrats aren't being liberal enough.... just as you do conservatives.

    I think Krile is incorrect about KO heing hard on the Dems if they take control of Congress. Don't forget he abandoned a prime time anchor gig because he couldn't read any more news copy that was destroying a liberal president (clinton and monica).

    As for the Fox news bashers, bite on this:
    ABC News Political Chief Admits Media More Favorable to Liberals
    http://www.mrc.org/cyberalerts/2006/cyb20061026.asp#5

    Fox news filled a void. it's now the only network that provides a consistently conservative perspective along with the liberal perspective (often, tho not always). other networks rarely provide a conservative perspective or view. But one network that is fair to conservatives is just too much for the long dominated liberal media. The libs are behaving with the intollerence of diversity you see in the muslim jihadists.

    I like the debate, but unfortunately the Olbermann apologist can't answer the main question. Why is it OK for KO to distort and manipulate facts and truths to suppport some of his conspiracy theories and lies. I love this blog because Mr. Cox exposes the distortions and lies consitantly. This blog would dry up and waste away the day Mr. Keith stuck to the facts. I think Mr. Keith is incapable of being truthful, and I think he is truly dillusional at times. And to give him a show so he can spew his hatred and hypocrisy is madness. Keep the debate going, Krile should be commended for crossing into this forum to debate in favor of a madman.

    UPDATE

    UPDATE

    UPDATE

    Round Three has now been published.

    We will have Round Four over the weekend and then go to closing comments.

    Next week our expert panel of judges will review the debate and declare a winner.

    ROBERT COX: I am not even going to comment on the absurd notion that Countdown would be broadcast on NBC five nights a week during prime time other than to say that you obviously enjoyed yourself during sixties. The one consistent rumor I have heard with regard to Countdown is that NBC may move Keith to CNBC so he can be part of a lineup with Chris Matthews and Howie Mandell. How does that fit with your fantasy scenario?

    Before responding further, I want to address a few of the comments (yes, Doug and I are reading them but for purposes of this debate are not posting comments ourselves).

    "Anon 10/20 1:46 PM" makes a good point about Countdown's liberal slant manifest itself both in "omission" and "commission" which is why we at OlbyWatch regularly mention the "dogs not barking" (see, Doyle, Arthur Conan).

    Gary Krasner makes a number of excellent points - Keith is "serious/angry/elitist" and "a sometimes grim, sometimes angry, often sanctimoneous politically partisan commentator", He is right that Olbypologist trot out his supposed irreverence as an all-purpose defense of Keith's fact-challenged "journalism". Gary is right that it's not just that Keith is liberal but that he offers as "facts in evidence" things that are in dispute and does not allow anyone on his show who might place those "facts" in a different light or offer a contrary conclusion which makes his show an "electronic pep rally".

    I heartily agree that "cable news shows... all stink as a source of in depth information." The simple fact is that you can get more news skimming the headlines on Google News for two minutes than you can watching ANY television newscast.

    More to the point of this debate, Gary writes "Keith gets multiple billing as journalist, anchor and commentator" and that "news organization can lose credibility when it allows those lines to blur".

    Meanwhile, as James struggles to sort out what it means to be a journalist - to be a check on the executive branch, to serve the people, to unearth corruption, to save the world or whatever - he might want to note that we are talking about Keith Olbermann and Countdown here. This is a show that spent many weeks airing every unsubstantiated cuckoo "black box" theory about the 2004 election it could find, that has a habit of airing dire predictions about Republicans that never quite seem to pan out, that sees corruption only on the right, that has, to the best of my knowledge, never aired a single report that portrayed President Bush in anything other than the most negative possible light, and that routinely pilfers material from left-wing blogs (often without attribution). And while James fumbles around for a definition of what he does for a living, maybe he can address a simple question raised by another commenter - what happened to the notion of journalists REPORTING - telling the reader, listener or viewer WHAT HAPPENED!

    All of which brings us to Lynne who asks why the far right is "threatened" by "programming coming from the left"? You don't have to "far right" to be "threatned" by people like Olbermann hiding behind the supposedly objective journalism of NBC News to advance a personal political agenda. If Keith wants to trot out his Edward R. Murrow Award and claim himself to be a "journalist" or "news anchor" then do that and report the news. But if he is going to wrap himself in a "cloak of integrity" while advancing his own political agenda he OUGHT TO BE shown up for the partisan poltical hack that he has become. I think what most folks on the right believe is not that Keith is an outlier in this regard but the opposite - that the rest of the MSM crowd is just as liberal as Keith just not as willing as Keith to wear their sleeves.

    Back to Doug's reply.

    Clearly Doug, you are "projecting" when you say that "MANY people" demand accountability of whichever party is in office. Whether this is true or not of you or others there is no evidence of this with regards to Keith Olbermann. While the GOP may be in power, it does not mean that there are no Democrats in office or who have "accountability" issues, right? In its three plus years on the air, Countdown has habitually ignored or tamped down coverage of "accountability" stories involving Democrats (Harry Reid, William Jefferson, Sandy Berger, James McGreevey, John Murtha, James Traficant, Alan Hevesi, etc.). At the same time, Countdown runs to report on any angle of any story that might in some way cast a negative light on Republicans (Plamegate, Abramoff, David Kuo, Foley, etc.). There is just no comparison.

    I am glad we agree that the "bosses at NBC" will stick with Keith so long as he shows "flashes" of ratings success (where "success" is conveniently defined as occasionally blipping up from third or fourth place to second in a small subsegment of the cable news viewing audience despite coming in last in total viewers in every quarterly "book" since the show went on the air). You have just proved my point. Knuckle-heads like Zucker and Abrams are not interested in journalistic integrity, the tradition of excellence at NBC or protecting the "NBC News" brand. They care about one thing - ratings - and are willing to sacrifice everything, including the integrity of the news division at NBC, to increase them. Ironically, they now find themselves with neither integrity nor ratings at both MSNBC and NBC.

    And now that I think about it, Zucker's colossal failure at NBC, which has seen the Peacock drop from 1st to 4th on his watch, might explain why Zucker imagines Keith a "success" for coming in 3rd! One man's floor is another man's ceiling!

    Your commenting pal "James", likewise links ratings and journalistic integrity by noting that "NBC Nightly News and Today are the two most watched news programs in their timeslots" which, in his mind, somehow PROVES that "NBC's news credibility is well in tact". What he fails to note is that while NBC Nightly News is the top rated evening news broadcast, its ratings are a fraction of what they were twenty years ago.

    Is it possible that the corporate decision back then to evaluate broadcast news divisions in entertainment terms (i.e. ratings) has something to do with that?

    Keith loves to put on a raincoat and play "Howard Beale" but the "hero" of Paddy Chayefsky's "Network" is not Beale but traditional newsman "Max Schumacher" (William Holden). And as I am sure you will recall, Schumacher is revolted by the idea that network executives, under the urging of the entertainment division, are going to keep Beale on their air despite the fact that he is quite obviously insane. Yet, Schumacher is ultimately seduced by the entertainment division, literally AND figuratively. When he finally comes to his senses, he realizes that his "great winter romance" with "Diana Christensen" (Faye Dunaway), the head of the entertainment division, is nothing but a soulless, one-sided relationship with a narcissist. He leaves Diane. But it is too late. He can't go back. He is alone, his best friend murdered, his wife and children alienated, his personal integrity in tatters and his career in journalism over.

    There is a lesson in there somewhere.

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

    Never mind that Shit. Here comes Mongo!

    I remember all those times Keith covered the nefarious campaign contributions of the Chinese government to the DNC and pardoning of convicted terrorists by Bubba Clinton.

    But the dems aren't appeasers, it's more nuanced than that. Whatever.

    http://instapundit.com/archives/033556.php

    Olbermann hypocrisy caught redhanded!!!!

    But the dems aren't appeasers, it's more nuanced than that. Whatever.


    republicans aren't stupid. Everything is black and white in this world. Whatever.

    Game, Set , Match , Robert !!

    Game, Set , Match , Robert !!

    I heartily agree that "cable news shows... all stink as a source of in depth information." The simple fact is that you can get more news skimming the headlines on Google News for two minutes than you can watching ANY television newscast.

    Anonymous at October 27, 2006 02:08 PM


    ??????

    Google NEWS....Have you noticed the slant to the left over there??? I have.

    this is the stupidest discussion that I have ever read

    Maybe, just maybe ESPN has an opening.........oopps, my bad, keith sucked there too

    FOX is great.
    FOX is God.
    FOX tells the truth!

    Posted by: Anonymous at October 26, 2006 07:10 AM


    FOX sure sucks.
    FOX is the devil.
    FOX is one big lie.

    Robert Cox says, "Zucker and Abrams are not interested in journalistic integrity, the tradition of excellence at NBC or protecting the "NBC News" brand. They care about one thing - ratings"

    - Bobby, Bobby, Bobby. You've just hit the nail on the head why FOX is so successful. 'Telling the story be damned, we're going to pander to the conservative base.'

    Robert also said, "Zucker's colossal failure at NBC, which has seen the Peacock drop from 1st to 4th on his watch"

    - This is why you're not a journalist, Bobby. NBC did go from 1st to 4th... in PRIMETIME PROGRAMMING. That drop in place had NOTHING to do with it's news organization, NBC Nightly News or Today. But, thanks for trying.

    Robert also said, "while NBC Nightly News is the top rated evening news broadcast, its ratings are a fraction of what they were twenty years ago."

    - Again, Bob-o, you're cherry picking. Every network and network newscast is down in it's overall veiwership from 20 years ago. There's more to watch when the Big Three are doing the news. Specifically cable, internet, gameshows, Survivor reruns, whatever... there's more variety of things to watch. So, CBS, NBC and ABC are all down in overall viewership. But, way to slant the info to make NBC look bad.

    - Lastly... I know what a journalist is and should do. I'm just glad you're not in the business.

    I'll offer my final comments now, before the fourth amd final round. There was nothing Krile said in round three that warranted a comment. I also see no need for anyone to adjudicate who won this debate. It's self evident who won. There wasn't a single effective rejoinder to the contentions advanced by Robert Cox, and those advocating his position.

    Olbermann and Countdown are unique in character and degree. No other program presented by a mainstream media network is comparable to Countdown. Therein is the justification for OlbermannWatch: To provide counterpoint and reality checks; to ameliorate the obvious intent to defraud and pollute honest political debate; and also to mock and insult the haughty, unrepentant perpetrator, Keith himself.

    How is KO and Countdown unique? Just to review the bill of indictment:

    1. Exclusivity: There's no other program produced by the mainstream media that presents SOLELY the position of one political party, and excludes that of the other. Yes, we see many instances of jaw-dropping, naked partisanship on other shows. But at least at some point, albeit limited in scope, these other programs introduce the other side's view. Not so with Countdown. It's completely insulated from opposing arguments. It's the ultimate kangaroo court that has maintained this "integrity" for all the years it's been broadcasted. Mao, Kim Jong Il, Stalin, Hitler, and Saddam can't hold a stick to Keith. And not surprisingly, it's the prime reason it attracts "Olbyloons"---people with cult-like mindsets susceptible to the extreme view.

    2. Intent to Defraud: This in not a minor indictment. Intent is important in criminal law. So it is here. People tout Keith as intelligent, informed and witty. ie: He is not Larry King. Keith writes his own copy. Yet OW has documented on a daily basis absolute falsehoods that cannot be dimished as stupidity on the part of the host, or as mere opinions. The insular environment of Countdown (see 1.) allows Keith to perpetrate the crime without fear of capture and arrest. But the intent is what's inexcusable.

    To be sure, stupidity is abound among hosts. And living in a politically insulated home and work environment fosters that which we see on many shows. This week, for example, I saw Charlie Rose ask Robert Kagan ("Dangerous Nation") if he had supported the iraq war. That would be like asking Lenin after the revolution if he had supported the overthrow of the Czar! Then you have the opinionated Chris Mathews, for example, who routinely proffers his opinions, and sometimes mistates the facts. But eventually there may be a guest on his show who gets a chance to correct or rebut him. The viewer at least gets a glimpse that there's another view on the point in question.

    All other programs and hosts in the MSM permits this intrusion of diversity. Even Moyers does. But not Keith. Thus, a gross falsehood like the one KO made concerning Habeas Corpus recently would get flagged on any other show. But viewers of Countdown would never know it's false, unless they researched the issue on the web. And the insularity of views and guests had permitted Keith to repeat this particular complete piece of falsehood day after day, week after week. Countdown is the South Korea of broadcast news.

    3. Finally, there's the issue Character & Credibility: the behavior and demeanor of Olbermann is inconsistent with that of a journalist. Anchormen and reporters appear at forums and panel discussions where their peers and the public may discuss their work, and even their possible failings. Journalists do not have to answer to any licensing board. Their sole cache is their credibilty with the public. Olbermann is absent from this accountability. He's never subjected himself to criticism in an open forum. Even the NYT has a public editor; where's NBC news when it's credibility is at stake? Yet ironically, every NBC journalist and editorialist "reports" that it's the current White House that's become an insulated institution!

    When contrivances and falsehoods on Countdown are pointed out to Olbermann's adherents, the Edward R Murrow facade is taken down, and the Jon Stewart/Bill Mahr front is constructed. Aside from the risk to a purported journalist's credibility in embracing both profiles simultaneously, Keith fails in executing either of them in the manner in which his apologists portray or seem to imagine. Keith reserves his fun and mockery for frivolous news items---often that which involves the excesses and privilages of celebs or the wealthy, or wacky behaivior of ordinary people or animals. He may mock pols, but they are inevitably Republicans, and only to show how hypocritical or heartless they are. That's just about the extent of Keith's socalled wit and humor.

    His serious commentary is solely directed against Republicans. You can't confuse it with his funny side: He becomes long-winded (many confuse it with being erudite), and unlike Jon Stewart, appears stern and grim, and unlike Murrow, platitudinous and self-righteous. Mendacity is not a virture in journalism, except when practiced by Olbermann. His cult following loves it. O'Reilly's fans like mendacity too. But it's tempered with opposing viewpoints throughout.

    The result of NBC news allowing Keith this unprecedented discretion and independence, along with granting him the mantle of "correspondent/news anchor", will, as Robert Cox suggests, diminish the NBC News brand. Over time, it has enabled Johnny Dollar to carry the OW banner from heckler to high-ranked dissenter in the blogshere.

    Gary: well put. You can now expect some Olbyloon to call you a nasty name, call you a freak, and proclaim Olby's greatness. It has become form at this blog.

    Thanks Benson.

    One obvious correction on what I wrote:

    Countdown is the South Korea of broadcast news.
    should have read:
    Countdown is the North Korea of broadcast news.

    This is quite honestly the worst "debate" I have witnessed since 8th grade. What is it even about? I could only read about a fifth of it...and after doing so I wish I had spent the time with a different kind of fifth. At least Crille wastes less time saying nothing. What a sad little hole this is.

    I am waiting with bated breath to find out what clowns agreed to serve as dungeonmaster for this steaming pile of geeky nothingness.

    MSNDC

    1. Olbermann has a history of doing ANYTHIING for ratings - he did it in LA, he did it in Boston, he did it on Fox Sports & ESPN. Now he is using MSNDC to try to make himeself the success he feels he is entitle to be

    2. NBC news has now lost any rational argument when credibility issue are drawn. Eveyone knows Russert, Gregory, Mitchell, Matthews etc are (far) left, but they at least followed the "rules" taught in journlism school re how to lie and be honest about it. NBC News has let Olbermann, wihtout any hope of possible sensible rationalization - present himeself - and therefore the network - as hacks.

    3. Anyone with basic intelligence and an internet connection can now find all the facts for a story. What is being left out - consistently showing a liberal bias - means now only those who (1) aren't bright enough to know when they're being fed propoganda, or (2) don't care - it fits their agenda too - will watch. Either of the two above does not a very desirable audience make.

    Olbermann is the worst of my generation and NBC News' concerted effort and well thought out marketing strategy - to make him a stellar part of their line-up, destroys the credibility of NBC News.

    The closing comments are now in and the debate is "closed". Folks might want to scroll to the top, hit refresh and read through the post one more time to get the whole story on the debate.

    I've updated the post above to include our panel of expert judges who will review the debate over the weekend and render a verdict on the winner. At the end of the debate "transcript" there is now a survey where YOU can cast your vote as to the winner.

    The final results from the judges and the poll will be published Monday before Countdown airs at 8 PM ET.

    Good work Mr. Cox. Bravo Mr. Krile. The debate was excellent, and it is refreshing to see an Olbermann apologist who doesn't defend ALL of Keith's nuttiness. All of MSNBC is slipping farther and farther left every week, where CNN is starting to look less biased. My opinion. On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being most liberally biased, and 10 being most conservatively biased. CNN now weighs in at 3.5, MSNBC at a 2.5 and sliding left, and FOX at a 7. Wish they would just admit their bias when they are reporting. It disgusts me that CNN and MSNBC get a pass on their bias, and FOX is discredited for slanting right. FOX is currently the least biased of the 3, and it is most apparent during these elections. Keep up the dialogue... you da man.

    Haven't gotten around to visiting this site much anymore, but I do appreciate seeing a discussing where insults aren't necessary and common sense is put first. Maybe this will encourage some others to clean up their act.

    like you nonfactor?

    Gary Krasner

    ding dong. you are a freak. Olbermann rules!!

    After reading the debate a few times, I would have to give a very slight edge to Doug Krile. While Robert Cox made plenty of valid points and set up good arguments, he tended to go after small issues and try to blow them up to big issues which many times they weren't. Mr. Krile's view seemed more balanced while focusing on what the big picture is in the world of cable news and how a man like Keith Olbermann fits in whether you agree or disagree with him. Mr. Cox seemed fixated on "partisan issues" which showed a tendency to be partisan himself. Mr. Krile seemed more objective and consistent over the debate.

    Sadly, this strikes me as one of the old "Meet the Press" debates of the 1980s, when one milquetoast/David Gergen type of Republican was up against a few Democrat activists, Roger Mudd, John Chancellor and Tom Brokaw. Th eonly verified conservative on the panel is the guy from National Review. I know Aaron Barnhart, and he is as liberal as they come. The C&L guy is a liberal, I don't know the St. Petersburg paper guy and I don't read Penthouse.

    Who needs the Comedy Channel when we have Crazy Keith? Whenever he "jumps the shark" it is too much fun to watch.

    When Keith switches cameras, pauses for a few seconds, and says something like "Mr. Bush, have you no shame?" I can almost see his lower lip quiver. Man, I love that.

    And I can explain the dark lighting on his set last show. Either the stage was still set to "Halloween", or they were trying to cover up the loose springs and screws popping up out of Keith's skull.

    To Crazy Keith I say: Rock on, King Of Comedy!

    Great debate Robert. You did a fanatstic job!

    Oh, and speaking about ratings!! Man Tan Man should feel comfortable again as he came in LAST place again last night. Even CNBC beat him! Guess the libs didn't like Thomas Ricks' comments. Maybe orange man should bring back the big guns tonight - Shuster; Howard "I used to have gray hair" Fineman; the Perfessor; O Donnell; etc. so he can have people agreeing with his spinning!

    I don't know how what Olbermann does could possibly help the larger NBC brand. He's on record now as being so pro-Democratic that it is absolutely impossible to see him anything else than what he is: biased. How can he ever have a future beyond what he is right now: a ratings-challenged hack for the Democratic party? It might be one thing if he was successful at what he does, but he's not. And where does that leave him in career aspirations beyond MSNBC? In his first tenure at MSNBC, he was actually doing sub work on the weekend edition of the Nightly News. And early on in this tenure, he got a chance to cohost the weekend Today Show (it was a disaster by the way). But now, as biased as he is, do you think they'd ever let him go near the mother ship ever again? He surely can't be considered an asset to the NBC brand, that's for sure. Unless they're planning on relabeling Countdown as a comedy.

    This whole entire debate is a trick to get attention to the fraudulant theory that Keith Olbermann is doing anything different than anyone else in the assessment that Keith Olbermann mixes comedy with news and commentary.

    Jon Stewert, Steve Colbert, Glenn Beck, BORAT, Nancy Grace, latenight CBS, FOX & Friends, John Gibson,current, Jim Cramer and the show that comes after him, Rush Limbaugh, Dennis Miller, Randi Rhodes, Tucker Carlson, Ann Coulter, many in the blogosphere... they all mix the stuff up. Keith Olbermann is no different.

    Oh wait... Keith Olbermann is different then those mentioned above... Keith Olbermann has a group of people bench-pressed on bringing out the negative about him all of the time and smearing, and mocking, and bringing past instances up. There is the difference. Keith Olbermann can not even wear a green suit on television without getting blamed by all of these vitriolic people, here. Keith Olbermann is no different than any others around. Although... he was lucky enough to get all of you obsessed. I hope you are happy in you aimless game of trying to upset Keith.

    Olbermann Watch (us bicker), Gee, could it be because MSNBC catergorizes KO's show as a newscast.

    The following was copied and pasted directly from the MSNBC web site at the top of the page. Caps are mine.

    "Keith Olbermann is host of �Countdown with Keith Olbermann.� �Countdown,� a unique NEWSCAST that counts down the day�s top stories with Keith�s particular wit and style, telecasts weeknights, 8-9 p.m. ET on MSNBC."

    Or

    "y Keith Olbermann
    ANCHOR, 'Countdown'
    Countdown"
    Updated: 4:55 p.m. ET Nov 2, 2006"

    "Weeknights, 8 p.m. ET

    OR

    "It's news without the snooze, Countdown-style."

    I don't know the facts of how all those you mentioned advertise themselves. But I read or listen to some of them enough to know those DON'T tout themselves or their venues as NEWS.

    Gee. Its so simple, it must be true. KO is featured on this site because he is masquerading as a newsman. And to add insult to injury, he fancies himself Edward R Murrow incarnate.

    Janet Hawkins
    AKA Grammie

    PS Just had a great idea. Why don't YOU get a blog and do the same thing to conversative commentators who misreresent themselves.

    PS Just had a great idea. Why don't YOU get a blog and do the same thing to conversative commentators who misreresent themselves.

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

    Sorry, Janet Hawkins I was just answering the question asked by this website. "Who do you think won the debate?" My answer was that this whole debate was just a way to get that headline on the website for no sudden reason. Besides--- the whole idea of where I am coming from is that all of these people on this website are upset with Keith OLbermann even though all Keith Olbermann is doing is reading the news in the way that he wishes to. No matter how slanted or how oriented his credentials are, it does not really matter. Keith Olbermann is doing nothing wrong and nothing that viewers can not eadily see through anyway.

    Although, more on comedy and news and commentary being mixed together. Less than the aforementioned being news hosts, I was just trying to say that they also mix the news with commentary or comedy or vice-versa, not that they had some-sort of merritt to do so, and under some-sort of credentiality to do so (but they don't). It really does not come down to that. Jim Cramer throws a chair, bites the heads off of toys, and yells, and this whole thing gets to be called an economics show?!?!?!?!? !?!? Shamefull. But their is no outcry against it (except from me...) So I might as well sit back and watch more of the same shananigans go on and on and on --- where as Olbermann Watch would rather try to make something out of it with a panel of judges. Sigh.

    Gary Krasner's rebuttal to Mr. Krile's closing comment:

    Since Krile didn't attempt to rebut my closing comments, I'll address his only relevent point head on. He wrote:

    QUOTE
    Countdown is not a "newscast of record" any more than Bill O'Reilly's program is.
    UNQUOTE

    Yet another comparison to O'Reilly!? Look, you don't see O'Reilly line up news segments by Fox news correspondents Brett Baier, Brian Wilson, Rick Leventhal, Carl Cameron, Steve Centanni, etc. etc. In other words, you never get the impression that the O'Reilly Factor is a "newscast of record". Instead, you just see Bill bouncing his opinions off a divergent range of guests, from the left to the right.

    Like the Factor, Countdown is hosted by an editorialist. Like the Factor, the host of Countdown editorializes. But UNLIKE the Factor, Countdown's format appears more similar to a newscast, presenting news segments from the regular stable of NBC correspondents, like Andrea Mitchell, David Gregory, Nora O'Donnell, David Schuster, Jonathan Alter, Martin Fletcher, Richard Engel, etc etc. One story after another, and between each story there's an editorial exchange that a political novice might---with some justification---confuse as the sort one sees on the network news.

    But as one watches Countdown night after night, one begins to notice that all of the news segments ones sees on the show are of one mind politically. By that I mean they're all critical or uncomplementary towards Republicans or Pres Bush. And never are there any which are favorable or complementary to them. If that's not enough, the in-studio give and take following the news segments between the host (Keith) and a news commentator are also of the aforementioned mind and agenda. Sadly, from the standpoint of the credibility for NBC News, the news correspondents themselves sometimes engage in these commentaries, allowing themselves to be ornaments for Keith's anti Bush/Republican agenda.

    Other than the shows one sees on CBN with Pat Robertson, which similarly mimic the format of real newscasts, I cannot think of any other program that's similar in partisan character and degree to Countdown, nor as Robert put it, as "fact-challenged". Certainly not one produced by a major news network.

    As far as the "anchor" versus "host" distinction Krile made---that's slick obfuscation. "News anchor" is a generic, stand-alone descriptor. They don't say Brian Williams is the anchorman of NBC's Nightly News. Like Keith for Countdown, Brian is said to be the host of the show. But as Robert said, they're both described as anchormen, or "news anchors" for the network. But the label is less important than what is done and how it's done.

    And what is being done? What's being done is bad for news. For those who decry the right wing partisan hacks on AM talk radio, Krile and others seem to be championing its analog on cable news---except with the singular case of Countdown, to masquerade as a straight newscast when it's nothing of the sort.

    Some will compare Brit Hume's newscast with Keith's. The point to bear in mind is character and degree: Brit will often have stories that are neutral or pro Democrat. Not so for Keith. It's all pro Dem. Also, Hume's roundtable discussion is clearly labeled as op-ed, and always includes a pro Dem participant, usually from NPR no less. Again, not so with Countdown, which commits the worst sin in journalism: to blur the line between the news page and the editorial page.

    Some will compare Brit Hume's newscast with Keith's. The point to bear in mind is character and degree:
    Posted by: Gary Krasner at November 4, 2006 07:21 AM

    Brit Hume is one of the most partisan newscasters I ever saw. He holds the whitehouse line against even Chrystal or any republican who dares have another point of view than Bush's.

    And Olby isn't partisan? ROFLMAO!

    Congrats. The debate was interesting.

    It is too bad that you care so much about television news. "Max Schumacher" did not cede his position to the entertainment division. It was eliminated by market forces. It was not "too late", as you put it. He never had a chance.

    The fact that The Daily Show With Jon Stewart has been shown to contain as much news substance as television news programs (according to a recent study) indicates how far hard news on television has fallen. Countdown merely acknowledges this fact in its "anti-news" format. All news programs are competing with Jon Stewart, whether they like it or not. What I find ironic is that Jon Stewart is actually more balanced that either Keith Olbermann or Bill O'Reilly.

    Let's not kid ourselves. Bill O'Reilly is Howard Beale. Sean Hannity is Howard Beale. Nancy Grace is Howard Beale. This is not because the people who run news channels are dishonest. It is because the people want Howard Beale.

    I agree with you that NBC should not refer Countdown as a news broadcast or Olbermann as a "news anchor", but I think the reason that they do is more institutional rather than deliberate, i.e. "None of our job descriptions fit what you do. We'll call you a news anchor." Fox didn't have this problem. They could make up their program and job descriptions from scratch.

    Someday, television news may actually be substantive again, but I'm not planning on it in my lifetime. By the time I get home, I have already received my news from the internet or my car radio. I tune in to Keith Olbermann, Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes, Joe Scarborough, Jon Stewart, and Steven Colbert to hear them rail on the people involved, not to tell me what happened. As for Brian Williams, Charles Gibson, and Katie Couric? They are irrelavancies. The buggy whips and typewriters of television.

    I pity you Robert. I knew that television news became a joke when Brinkley/Cronkite/Reasoner was replaced with Brokaw/Rather/Jennings and I was a preteen when it happened. I hope someday you will be able to laugh at it the way that I do. It is clear that you are capable of it since you have devoted this entire blog to mocking one program's host. Maybe someday you will come to realize that they are all worthy of your mockery.

    Later.

    You think this shit is stupid have you seen Bob Cox other blog http://mediabloggers.org/ its the home RC's dumb ass Media Blogger Ass. where he gets to play president yeah he's a big shot dont ya know he has appointed himself as president of all bloggers (funny I dont remember voting for this piece of shit) And you know I didnt see any mention of obermannwatch there maybe he's ashamed of this worthless blog.

    If hes president of anything it of the Hate-Blogger Ass. of America what a losser!

    opps of course i mean loser.

    And btw how can someone that fucking ugly talk shit about the way Kieth looks?!?!

    Damn you are one nasty motherfucker put that shit away are you tring to give us all hystrical blindness? My eyes oh the pain! heeheehe

    First of all, his name is spelled K-e-i-t-h. It means "ACTOR" in German. And I so love it when the Olbyloons can't argue a point so they begin to curse and insult Cox or the other regular posters here or GOP'ers in general. I caution you to however to remember that not all of us who post here are Republicans. Some of us just see K-e-i-t-h for what he is: a bad actor.

    Its like I was telling them over at participate.net you get attacked here for misspelling a word damn you see i'm not obessessed with K-e-i-t-h like you people are and when you type as fast as I do your bound not to notice if you invert an i-e for e-i which everyone knows is a common mistake.

    but thanks for proving once again what nit-picking jerks you are here. I'm here because I am disgusted by hate-blogs like this your here I guess to do my spell checking for me well atleast you have a mission in life thats nice for you.

    Could you go around and check the rest of my post for spelling and dont forget to check for grammer to.

    Its like I was telling them over at participate.net you get attacked here for misspelling a word damn you see i'm not obessessed with K-e-i-t-h like you people are and when you type as fast as I do your bound not to notice if you invert an i-e for e-i which everyone knows is a common mistake.

    but thanks for proving once again what nit-picking jerks you are here. I'm here because I am disgusted by hate-blogs like this your here I guess to do my spell checking for me well atleast you have a mission in life thats nice for you.

    Could you go around and check the rest of my post for spelling and dont forget to check for grammer to.

    Just these rebuttals are in order concerning the last few comments after mine.

    ScreamThyLastScream at November 4, 2006 08:06 AM WROTE:
    "Brit Hume is one of the most partisan newscasters I ever saw. He holds the whitehouse line against even Chrystal or any republican who dares have another point of view than Bush's."

    REBUTTAL: Yes, Hume is biased. All newscasters are biased. All journalists have biases. Who doesn't harbor personal opinions? But the point is not bias, but rather how that bias manifests itself in a work product that lacks balance. Balanced reporting provides more that one point of view. Hume has permitted about as much liberal views, and interviewed as many liberals on his newscast, as have the liberal broadcasts done the opposite. Where is any example of balance on Countdown, other than that unique instance in which he interviewed John Ashcroft some weeks ago?

    Cato Freeman at November 5, 2006 12:58 AM WROTE:

    "The fact that The Daily Show With Jon Stewart has been shown to contain as much news substance as television news programs (according to a recent study) indicates how far hard news on television has fallen."

    REBUTTAL: straw man. Who says the Daily Show doesn't present real news? It's political satire. One must present the actual news in order to mock and satirize it. One must present clips of real pols, in order to mock them. The "study" was a waste of money.

    Cato Freeman continues:

    "Countdown merely acknowledges this fact in its "anti-news" format. All news programs are competing with Jon Stewart, whether they like it or not. What I find ironic is that Jon Stewart is actually more balanced than either Keith Olbermann or Bill O'Reilly."

    REBUTTAL: Countdown doesn't "acknowledge" "anti-news", whatever that means. Countdown is a groteque hybrid of partisan news presented in a serious news format, plus lighter fare separately presented. Yet even some of them are not funny haha. The Worst Person, for example, maquerades as funny, but contains an angry, and resentful (per O'reilly) subtext. And Stewart is far from balanced. he lampoons conservatives and republicans 95% of the time. the fun he made of kerry's joke malfunction was a surprising and rare departure.

    Cato Freeman continues:

    "I agree with you that NBC should not refer Countdown as a news broadcast or Olbermann as a "news anchor", but I think the reason that they do is more institutional rather than deliberate, i.e. "None of our job descriptions fit what you do. We'll call you a news anchor." Fox didn't have this problem. They could make up their program and job descriptions from scratch."

    REBUTTAL: How about calling Keith a "news commentator"?! That's an existing category for which his work is best described.

    Gary Krasner says

    "And Stewart is far from balanced. he lampoons conservatives and republicans 95% of the time. the fun he made of kerry's joke malfunction was a surprising and rare departure."

    First of all, I said that Stewart is MORE balanced that Olbermann or O'Reilly. I never said Stewart was balanced. It was a comparison to others.

    As for the "surprising and rare departure", this is just incorrect. Stewart lampoons both parties quite a bit. It is more like a 60/40 split. He may voice support for liberals 90% of the time, but he mocks both.

    Furthermore, he is fairer to conservative guests than one might expect given his liberal leanings. Bill Maher and Steven Colbert certainly aren't as fair as Stewart and Olbermann wouldn't be either if he had any conservative guests to be unfair to.

    That last post was me. I forgot to write my name. Sorry.

    Krasner's response to Cato:

    I think we're using different yardsticks for measuring or defining "balance". For me, a balanced news or public affairs show allows equal time each for views from the left and right. It is NOT a function of politeness to the guest, as you implied. If it were, Countdown would be the most balanced show in history, as there are no "conservative guests to be unfair to", as you put it.

    Let's recall that we are discussing Stewart and Colbert ONLY because Olbyloons (just shorthand term for Olbermann fans) make the favorable comparison. Yet Stewart himself has said that his Daily Show's mission is to entertain, and only loons (or Olbyloons dare I say?) would think that it's to inform. Yes, of course one can glean something about real news and the national debate from watching it. But it's an incidental outcome.

    Let's also get real about these comedy shows when they invite serious people to interview. It's even more of a shallow exercise than one you'll see on Leno or Letterman. Colbert and Stewart feign seriousness only for the first question, just to ellicit a response from the guest. After that they go straight for the quip. And they always hit their mark. Why? Because (1) the guests inexorably play their role as straight men; (2) the comics are fast; (3) the comics or superficial and not serious.

    The last point (3) must be respected: If you allow a quick-witted stand up comic to participate in a candidate's political debate, and allow him to do 'schtick', he will always win the debate and make the others look stiff and stodgy. But if you prevent him from doing schtick, he will lose the debate and look like a fool. Why? Because when the teacher doesn't allow the class clown to do his thing, he has nothing to contribute to the class. The comics are quick, but have only surface knowledge of politics. By contrast, politics and government is the professional pol's career.

    Why did I get into this? Because you guys who love Olby's 'anti-newscast' format and defend it as Daily Show-like are helping to debase serious national debate and public affairs issues. (I already described why in earlier installments.) I watch political comedy, and I watch serious news and politics. I don't substitute one for the other. I don't fool myself into thinking I can compare Hume to Colbert, or Brian Williams to Jon Stewart. Their missions are different. And like I said earlier, just because Olby has a couple of light news segments and nutty celebs at the end of the show does not make Countdown the other Daily Show.

    Because Olbermann debases news and public affairs in his own unique way.

    I just got the fourth of the five debate responses from the judges. The fifth judge is travelling and I am still waiting so I am going to hold off with the results until later in the week.

    Why don't you challenge Brian Stelter of TVNewser to a debate?

    Response to Gary Krasner:

    "Why did I get into this? Because you guys who love Olby's 'anti-newscast' format and defend it as Daily Show-like are helping to debase serious national debate and public affairs issues."

    The people that are being reported on have already debased those issues. They cannot be debased further based reporters, commentators, or comedians. I am speaking mostly of politicians, who are usually loathesome individuals regardless of their party affiliation.

    "I watch political comedy, and I watch serious news and politics. I don't substitute one for the other. I don't fool myself into thinking I can compare Hume to Colbert, or Brian Williams to Jon Stewart. Their missions are different."

    This is true, to an extent, but if you actually take so-called serious news on television seriously, then you are either naive, delusional, or need professional help. So-called serious news on television is theater of the absurd.

    "And like I said earlier, just because Olby has a couple of light news segments and nutty celebs at the end of the show does not make Countdown the other Daily Show."

    You are correct, nor should it be. Furthermore, I continue to agree that Countdown should not be considered a news broadcast. It is a news analysis/commentary show.

    The only differences that I see between Countdown and The O'Reilly Factor is the political slant and the fact that O'Reilly is confrontational while Olbermann is not. That's it. O'Reilly claims not to be partisan, but is vicious in his criticism of liberals. Olbermann claims not to be partisan, but is vicious in his criticism of conservatives. O'Reilly may invite guests on his program who disagree with him, but he makes it a point to inform them why they are wrong. Olbermann simply doesn't bother to have such people on his program. Is one approach nobler than the other? Hardly.

    Olbermann does not debase news and public affairs any more, or any less, than O'Reilly does.

    Krasner's rebuttal to Cato:

    QUOTE
    This is true, to an extent, but if you actually take so-called serious news on television seriously, then you are either naive, delusional, or need professional help. So-called serious news on television is theater of the absurd.
    UNQUOTE

    REBUTTAL: We may actually agree about the flaws of straight news on TV and radio, altho for different reasons. I've already described my reasons earlier. Not sure what yours are. the worst sin---as I said---are correspondents doing a film segment which is supposed to describe what has happened somewhere. However, if that somewhere is israel, Iraq, the Mexican-US border, etc etc, one can expect a subtle partisan context where the correspondent places the basic who, what, where, and when. Their narrative often fulfills the drive by media's template, which is liberal and not conservative. Fox is guilty of going in the opposite direction, but not as often in my opinion. (however, I don't watch Fox news other than the Hume report.)

    Having said all that, I hope even you can see that news criticism is possible on those terms: They say they're balanced, and I argued how they're not. With criticism, perhaps reform will follow. However, once we accept Countdown as a news show, or the Daily Show as a legitimate source of news and information, then how does one critique accuracy and balance on those shows. One cannot. Because the defense will always be, "But it's not REALLY a news show." And of course that is disingenuous.

    QUOTE:
    [....] O'Reilly may invite guests on his program who disagree with him, but he makes it a point to inform them why they are wrong. Olbermann simply doesn't bother to have such people on his program. Is one approach nobler than the other? Hardly. [...] Olbermann does not debase news and public affairs any more, or any less, than O'Reilly does.
    UNQUOTE

    REBUTTAL: I disagree. One approach is indeed nobler than the other. You and I are having a constructive exchange. The fact that we have differing opinions and are willing to hash it out and dissect that which we base our views on, is where education takes place. In short forums like TV and radio, whether hosted by liberal or conservative, this is how good ideas rise to the top, and exposes the flaws in those that do not. Certainly bogus info is exposed as that too. That is why O'Reilly is nobler---and if you can stand watching an blowhard egotistical simpleton---sometimes you can learn something. You will NEVER learn anything from Countdown, other than what the current talking points of the Democrat party are.

    BTW, As I'm writing this, anchormann Keith Olbermann is hosting the election returns on MSNBC, though not in the tradition of Edward R Murrow, or even Cronkite. Game, set, and match.