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    Olbermann Watch, "persecuting" Keith since 2004

    December 5, 2006
    TVN: Journalism at its finest - Part XIV

    Julie Bosman of The New York Times has a page one story on Brian Stelter that bears a remarkable similarity to Peter Johnson's puff piece in USA TODAY over the summer.

    Let's see...

    Gushing quote from NBC's Brian Williams - check
    Mention appearance at journalism dinner - check
    Gushing quote from CNN's Jeff Greenfield - check
    Brian as "kid blogging from dorm room" - check
    Brian as "concerned about accuracy" - check

    Two lines struck me from this piece.

    Bosman writes "In April Mr. Stelter attended the White House Correspondents' Dinner as a guest of MSNBC."

    Help me out here. Did Brian mention this on his blog? I don't recall seeing it. Maybe he did. What I do recall is Brian bristling at the suggestion that he has a mouthpiece for MSNBC. Now, where would we EVER get THAT idea? Just in case you are still not sure check out the follow up quotes in the piece:

    "He was quite a celebrity," said Jeremy Gaines, a spokesman for MSNBC. "Literally two tables over was George Clooney, and at our table was TVNewser, and people were waiting in line to see him."

    "The biggest TV executives, the men and women who run the top networks, look at this kid's Web site all the time," said Joe Scarborough, the host of the talk show "Scarborough Country" on MSNBC. "And the genius of it is that everybody thinks they own him. Everybody says: 'Oh, I've got a great relationship with Brian. Let me leak it to him.'"

    My next favorite is this line:

    He finally got to meet Mr. Williams last year when he came to New York to attend a memorial service for Mr. Jennings. Mr. Williams invited him to sit in on his broadcast's 2:30 p.m. editorial meeting, and the two talked privately for a half-hour.

    "I've always regarded him as the De Niro character in 'The King of Comedy,'" Mr. Williams said, invoking the 1983 film whose lead character, Rupert Pupkin, is a talentless comic who stalks his talk-show idol. "He has kind of a Rupert Pupkinesque double life."

    I can't tell what I like better. The idea that Brian took advantage of the death of Peter Jennings to do some networking or that the object of his affection, Brian Williams, likened him to Rupert Pupkin or that Bosman (correctly) explained that, by analogy, Williams was describing Stelter as a "talentless stalker"

    Finally we get this "While he said he hasn't received any firm job offers in the industry, several television executives have urged him to call when he starts job hunting."

    Again, can anyone say "conflict of interest"?

    As if to confirm the point, TVN publishes, without comment, Dan Abrams memos extolling the "success" of MSNBC.

    Just a couple days later, Johnny Dollar catches TVNewser passing off more MSNBC propaganda as "news" when Stelter publishes a misleading set of images served up by his pals in the MSNBC PR department.

    All of which prompted a debate on TVN's home site - Media Bistro - asking TVNewser Biased? where the questioner asks "In almost every post he [Stelter] makes and the in topics he suggests, there is an overt liberal bias and extremely pro-NBC/MSNBC point of view." The same person cites Olbermann Watch:

    Stelter has been accused of being a liberal activist by many right-wing sites, which he has categorically denied on TVNewser. Then, a site called produced his actual profile on, which proved he is a member of several left-wing groups on the site (Don't Blame Me, I Voted For Kerry, etc.). He also marched in a rally to protest Sinclair Broadcasting electing not to televise a Nightline special that showed the faces of all soldiers killed in Iraq.

    There are countless of examples of this pattern by Stelter, and I only cite the right-wing because it's the only site that's consistently monitored Stelter's online behavior. The site has also done some interesting research about ratings data and subsequently accused Stelter of intentionally skewing ratings data in MSNBC's favor and emphasizing a particular "demo" at the behest of MSNBC executives.

    Posted by Robert Cox | Permalink | Comments (7) | | View blog reactions


    All this kid does is repost PR releases from MSNBC/NBC. He didn't even bother to see if he could get some clarification from the Radar-on-line piece yesterday where Olbermann proclaims that Abrams runs only the dayside programming at MSNBC. Why? Afraid of offending the hand that feeds?

    Little Brian is at it again, it wasn't enough that he had to post one press release from MSNBC he's posted two, stating that CNN should be afraid of MSNBC because they had one good night. Out of what? A 100? Please.

    Great, great post, Robert. Did you see TVNewser today? Amazingly, this kid thinks he can post stuff about an 18-34 demo out of the blue, only when MSNBC 'won,' without MSNBC noticing.

    Is there a way for you to ask MSNBC point-blank if a) they are paying Brian Stelter any money or b) has he been promised a job at the network?

    Meant to say "without ANYONE noticing."

    Oh fun...a right wing nut site. What did we expect from JD..and now we know why ICN has turned into a mouthpiece for fnc. Geez louise folks...get a life!

    A preview of tonight's topics to be discuused and guests to be interviewed on Meltdown has leaked out. Word has it that Olby's computer has suffered technical problems and his usual "click and rip" technique for procuring his stories from the blue blogs, will not be in evidence tonight. With that in mind, tonight's lineup:

    1) Incoming head of the House U.S. Intelligence Committee Sylvestre Reyes (D) is unable to answer even the most basic questions regarding our enemies in the War on Terror, failing to identify whether al Qaeda is Shiite or Sunni, for example. Reps Duncan Hunter (R) and Jane Harman (D) discuss the implications and whether this reflects the Dems lack of seriousness about the issue.
    2) Rep. William Jefferson wins runoff in Louisiana. Embattled Rep. William "Cold Cash" Jefferson won his race, but now presents an ethical challenge to Democrats who have chastised Republicans for ethical lapses but not one Democrat has called on Mr. Jefferson to give up his seat in the face of such unequivocally unethical and probably illegal conduct. Have Dems been hoisted on their own petard? Have the Dems "handed a club" to the GOP for them to beat the Dems with on the ethics issue? Former Speakers Newt Gingrich (R) and Jim Wright (D) will discuss.

    3) In an outgoing adddress in Independence, Missouri, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has harshly criticized the United States for allegedly failing to seek cooperation from the world community in facing world issues such as global terror. Unsaid in Annan's address was the axe that Annan has to grind against the United States because of its efforts in general (and those of John Bolton in particular) to expose the U.N. culture of corruption which exists w/ Annan's full knowledge and participation. Such scandals as the Oil for Food program from which Annan's son personally profited is a prime example of the graft and fraud that has permeated this increasingly irrelevant organization. John Bolton and Madeline Albright discuss.


    4) Citizens in the town of Chappaqua, New York have objected to the efforts of a merchant in this small town to purchase and display flags in the business district. The business person purchased the flags with private funds to encourage residents and nonresidents of Chappaqua to shop there. The flags have a blue backgound with white snowflakes and the word "Welcome" written vertically on each flag. Some resdients of Chappaqua objected stating that the flags look "too Jewish". The blue and white color scheme is symbolic of the flag of Isreal and some of the snowfalkes are said to to resemble the Star of David. No immediate comment from famous Chappaqua residents ex-President Bill Clinton and Senator Hilary Clinton was available, but speculation has now ramped up about whether the town's apparent anti-Semitic streak is a cultural dynamic that may have have been one reason the Clintons decided to settle here, of all places. Joe Lieberamnn (D) and Robert Byrd (D) will discuss.