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Between Thanksgiving and my trip last week to Washington, DC there has been little time for OlbyWatch blogging but I have been maintaining a little OlbyWatch clip file. In the meantime, I had the chance to have lunch with Howard Mortman of Extreme Mortman fame and do a few Olby-related press interviews and, of course, you saw that I wrote another Op-Ed for The Washington Examiner. I believe one piece, from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, should run pretty soon. Today I am back in New York and am playing a little "catch up" so here's what I missed while I was away.
In the Kurtz piece you will see the latest Olbermann meme about Keith/MSNBC "finding his/their voice". Also worth noting is that former MSNBC president Erik Sorenson predicts that the ratings bump currently being enjoyed by MSNBC will not last:: "The chronic problem -- and it will likely happen again in the days ahead -- is a big drop-off back to unpleasant, distant-third reality," says Erik Sorenson, a former MSNBC president.
Josh Trevino of the Claremont Institute has an Olbermann piece on the think tank's blog, The Remedy:
Since he decided to make his name pandering to the less educated segments of the vitriolic American left (which is to say, most of it), he has sunk ever further into a state of near-irrelevance as a credible commentator on public affairs...the pity of the likes of Olbermann is not so much the reflection upon him, but the reflection upon those who adore him.
Olbermann's habit of relying on the blue blogs for copy rather than doing his own reporting bit him yet again when he related phony charges trumped up by Media Matters for America purporting to show that Bill O'Reilly lied that he warned of the dangers of Iraqi looting ""on the night that Saddam's statue fell" (O'Reilly did make the statements he claimed but a day later than he recalled on air).
Johnny Dollar broke down the blue blog to Olbermann connection in his well done Anatomy of a Smear at Johnny Dollar's Place. Newsbusters took Olbermann to task for Falsely Calls O'Reilly 'Liar' Over Iraq Predictions along with Allah Pundit at Hot Air. Even spud at ICN was having none of it.
I previously linked the L.A Times piece The gloves come off by Matea Gold in which she quotes me to Olbermann and Olbermann responds but was surprised to see how the blue blogs picked up on a well-known, rather minor point - that Olbermann's contract is up in March 2007. She wrote: = "Olbermann is negotiating a new contract with MSNBC; his current one expires in March."
We here at Olbermann Watch have known this for years and have been reporting on regularly throughout 2006. We put a KO Countdown clock up on our home page back in July. Yet, this is somehow "new" information that has the lefties agog.
TVNewser describes it as a revelation.
MSNBC regular Rachel Sklar (apparently) of The Huffington Post's Eat the Press blog credits Gold with "something new" in her latest Olby piece, Keith Olbermann, Talkin' Tough During Contract Negotiations With MSNBC.
Newsflash to the blue blogs: I spoke with Matea Gold at length for her Olby profile. She told me she had gone through Olbermann Watch extensively. Our KO Countdown Clock is featured on the home page. Do the math.
Seemingly determined to carry on his tradition of alienating management wherever he goes Keith gave a bizarre/typical interview to the always compliant Tyler Gray of Radar Online in which KO is rudely dismissive of MSNBC GM Dan Abrams ("I don't know what Dan has to do with it frankly. We've never had a conversation about the direction of the show.")
The piece leads into the interview with a KO Countdown clock reference, "Radar spoke to Olbermann on the eve of his contract negotiations with MSNBC (his current agreement is up in March) and just before he penned the evening's "special comment" on Bush and the lessons of Vietnam. We asked him about his methods, his surging popularity, and his ongoing struggles with demagoguery." Given the gushing nature of the piece it is hard to imagine that Gray means to say that Keith has struggled with his own tendency towards demagoguery but at least he inadvertently makes one of our favorite connections between Keith Olbermann and demagoguery.
TVNewser headlines Olbermann Doesn't Take Abrams Seriously.
Rachel Sklar (again, apparently), after reading the Radar interview asks "What is Keith Olbermann thinking?" in dissing his boss at MSNBC.
Griffin is big-picture, and Abrams is the day-to-day manager of almost 600 employees - including Olbermann, whether he likes it or not. He's the guy sending memos and getting quoted, particularly saying nice things in articles about Keith Olbermann. It is churlish - not to mention highly unprofessional - that Olbermann isn't doing the same.
Welcome to the Olberverse, Rachel.
The Radar Online interview should at least settle one oft-discussed point on Olbermann Watch: Countdown is a NEWS BROADCAST.
Ultimately, this is a news broadcast, and when the news is sufficient, we throw the jokes out the window. We will do it straight. I did the elections straight. I did the blackouts straight. I did the Pope straight. There doesn't have to be humor mixed into it. The whole idea of conveying a journalistic standard is great, but if nobody watches it, what's the point?
So, we can please stop hearing from the OlbyLoons who keep prattling on about how neither Keith nor MSNBC are claiming that Countdown is "news programming"? They do make this claim and so pointing out the journalistic sins of Olbermann is more than fair game.
And, of course, we get the usual OlberLies lapped up by a willing cadre of liberal journalists. Among others, flogging Olbermann's "Malmedy" farce:
GRAY: What's O'Reilly's biggest on-air mistake? You've offered "special commentary" on his invocation of the World War II battle of Malmedy, where, in defending torture, he accused U.S. soldiers of committing atrocities when in fact they were the victims.
OLBERMANN: I think the one that strips through the rhetoric to reveal what he is all about is the Malmedy. It's so easy to correct that. Everybody who has ever been on the air has made a mistake of that proportion. You mis-remember a story and wind up telling it horribly backwards. You make the victim the wrongdoer and the wrongdoer the victim. Everybody has done it - including me. My point being that even from that you can come back and say, Hey, I told the story backwards. O'Reilly is insistent that he has it right and therefore you have to treat him at his word.... It really does get down to the core of who he is. The subject of his show is him. And the subject of history is him. And it's true because he said it.
Of course, Olbermann is lying again. Whatever ignorance he might have professed back in June in his special comment or in July when he appeared on Leno, it has now been many months since Olbermann Watch definitively documented the entire issue and proved unequivocally that although O'Reilly erred in saying "Malmedy" (he should have said "Chenogne") he was not wrong either on the facts (U.S. troops reportedly did commit atrocities, under orders, as reprisals for the Malmedy Massacre just days before the Chenogne Massacres) or in the points he was attempting to make to Wes Clark during the two interviews in question (first, that there were past instances where the atrocities were condoned by the chain of command; second that with regard to the Hadith killings that there have always been instances of U.S. troops committing atrocities during wartime and so that this may have happened in Iraq is not a particular indicator of success or failure in Iraq).
Finally, the L.A Times reports that Chad Castagana was indicted by a grand jury on multiple counts related to his sending threatening letters with white powder to half a dozen politicians and celebrities including Keith Olbermann. Rather than post bail, Castagana has elected to await trial in prison.