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    Olbermann Watch, "persecuting" Keith since 2004


    April 20, 2007
    MSM KO Bandwagon #233: San Francisco Gate

    It's been all of 24 hours since the last glowing, fawning, butt-kissing ratings-fiction filled mainstream media article on Keith Olbermann. Enter the San Franciso Gate to fill the void. Boy that publicist for KO sure knows how to get the glowing ink for their number one client don't they?

    And Tim Goodman is ready, willing and able to oblige. Why it almost sounds as if he was wearing knee-pads for this latest mash note to the mainstream media crush, Keith Olbermann.

    You could say this has been a big week for MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann, but lately they've all been big weeks. It would be difficult to find an anchor or TV personality who has been on a bigger roll.

    Certainly not Katie Couric, to name but one.

    In fact, in the last year, Olbermann has emerged as a kind of force of nature on television. His viewing audience has continued to rise -- his show is up about 76 percent in the first quarter of this year as compared with last. His profile, however, is off the charts. Olbermann has been on a late-night talk-show binge; he is credited with almost single-handedly making MSNBC relevant (no small feat); and he has re-upped his MSNBC show, "Countdown," for another four years, through 2011. The deal calls for Olbermann to write periodic essays for NBC's "Nightly News With Brian Williams" and have two "Countdown" specials air on NBC.

    It was important for NBC News President Steve Capus to lock Olbermann into a sweet deal not only because Olbermann has a history of getting up and walking out the door (ESPN, CNN, Fox Sports and a previous stint at MSNBC), but also because it doesn't take a genius to figure out that the multitalented Olbermann can be used in ways previously unseen with other anchors.

    For example, as I noted in November of 2005, "Countdown" would be (or should be) the model for the future of news. The difficulty in making that a reality anytime soon is that people who make these decisions are rooted in old-school notions of what a network newscast should look like, and so when they try to do something revolutionary to it they end up with -- Katie Couric?

    No, Olbermann's mix of smarts and snark would soon make "Countdown" one of the few absolutely essential news shows on television. In 2003, when Olbermann agreed to fill in a mere three times on MSNBC's long forgotten "Nachman" show, somebody finally paid attention to the man's myriad talents. Not long after, "Countdown" was born, and it took a turn as a Roman candle once Olbermann started poking fun at the meritless ego and thin skin of Fox showman Bill O'Reilly. Olbermann's star status exploded when he then started eviscerating the dumbassification of this country through the politics of President Bush. Those "Special Comment" riffs caught the attention of what must always be lazily described as "the left wing," and off Olbermann shot as a voice of reason for the left when, prior to that, everyone was sitting mute or meekly inarticulate.

    So here television found a polymath who could deliver a news story with authority, skewer idiotic behavior with savage humor (his "Worst Person in the World" segment), be unafraid to have an actual opinion and back it up, and then hit the talk-show circuit and be a witty bon vivant.

    In short, a new (but not so new) TV star was born.

    My description of him in 2005 still stands: "Part Jon Stewart (the funny), Dennis Miller (the erudite and biting sub-references), H.L. Mencken (the skewering of power and stupidity in equal doses) as well as crusading journalist, Olbermann is clearly the future."

    Now, that notion of him having a big week? It's true. Not only has he stood out in his coverage and comments of the Virginia Tech shooting tragedy, but he was also named on Monday as one of "The Top 10 Most Powerful People in TV News 2007" by the industry magazine TV Week. He was ranked No. 6 (Fox News head Roger Ailes was first, followed by Olbermann's boss, Capus, ABC anchor Charles Gibson, ABC News head David Westin and NBC's Tim Russert. He was followed by CBS News head Sean McManus, a cabal of CNN executives and Jon Stewart).

    Also on Monday, NBC Sports announced that it was tapping into Olbermann's skills by making him an in-studio host for its powerful "Football Night in America" Sunday show in the fall, where he joins fellow brainiac, Bob Costas.

    So, yes, a big week.

    For me, it was a reminder not to take Olbermann for granted. Hell, I once called the guy "a misunderstood visionary" -- I hold to that, though it appears he's becoming more understood, no? -- and I have, over the course of more than a decade, written about him extensively.

    In fact, I went back to 1997 and found that, as one of my favorite people in all of television, a kind of godsend to critics, I couldn't find a negative word I'd written on him.

    That's a decade's worth of good ink. Again -- no small feat. I used to joke with Chris Albrecht, who runs HBO, that I was glad when he made a show I didn't like because I was getting tired of praising him and the channel. It was ruining my reputation as a somewhat tough -- all right, cranky and mean -- TV critic. But Olbermann may have, at this point, the longest-running unscathed Goodman streak this side of Salma Hayek.

    From "SportsCenter" to "Countdown," the guy has passed my critical muster for a long, long time. I was thinking about what I could say that's less than positive. And I finally found it. So here it is, in full disclosure: Olbermann is in the same fantasy baseball league that I'm in. And I'm beginning to loathe him for it. Why? Because this week -- yes, this very week -- he slid into first place.



    Posted by Brandon | Permalink | Comments (21) | | View blog reactions
    user-pic

    21 Comments

    Someday this pathetic blog will get some attention. I suggest Mr Cox and Johnny Dollar hold their breath until that happens. Until then, we will watch while they meltdown.

    But O'Lielly: we have YOUR attention! And Mr. Olbermann's. Hee hee.

    This has to be the MOST fawning love-fest of Olbermann I have ever read. Olbermann creamed himself when he read this, (unless he wrote it himself and sent it to Timmy, then he creamed himself when writing it).

    Lots of "Cream" and about 10 bong hits and this is what you get out here in California.

    I bet his right hand is sore after jacking out that column.

    A San Fran Freako Chronicle writer praising Keefy, shocker. The Chronological liar paper is one of the farthest left wing nut job papers out there. Fortunately, this paper has horrible circulation, not many people will actually read the "love fest" between Timmy and Keefy.

    "....be unafraid to have an actual opinion and back it up, and then hit the talk-show circuit and be a witty bon vivant."

    It would be great to see Olbermann face a person that actually disagrees with him. If Olbermann was really unafraid he would present his opinion and then have the person or group on his show to debate.

    A veriation on Brian's (at TVSnooozer) recent post: O'Reilly Experiences THIRD PLACE!
    _____________________________________

    Top Film Experiences THIRD PLACE!!!

    The action-packed double feature GRINDHOUSE was NUMBER ONE in the demo (15-17 year olds) this weekend- leaving the film Disturbia to experience third place!

    Disturbia was still #1 at the box office among total/older movie goers, but, as we all know, it’s the DEMO that counts!

    The Scoreboard: Weekend of April 13-15 (estimates are in $millions)
    1. Disturbia $22.2
    2. Blades of Glory $13.8
    3. Meet the Robinsons $12.4
    4. Perfect Stranger $11.2
    5. Are We Done Yet? $8.9
    6. Pathfinder $5.0
    7. Wild Hogs $4.6
    8. The Reaping $4.5
    9. 300 $4.4
    10. Grindhouse $4.3
    ______________________________________

    See how OLBY-MATH works? We're NUMBER ONE!

    Anderson Cooper said this on the air Wednesday night. I think it was a pointed statement in reply to Olbermann's continued attacks on him recently.

    COOPER: On 360 we don't take sides. We're not pushing an agenda. We think our viewers are smart enough to make up their own minds. So two sides of the debate. Joining us now, Erich Pratt, the communications director for Gun Owners of America. And Paul Helmke, he heads up the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence. schools at the mercy of madmen. It is irresponsibly dangerous to tell citizens that they may not have guns at schools. When le we learn that being defenseless is a bad defense?"

    Wow, what a concept: two sides of a debate!

    Keith Olbermann - King of San Francisco. Or should I say Queen? LOL

    Olbermann must be doing something right, he has all the right wing pond scum complaining. KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, KEITH!

    But O'Lielly: we have YOUR attention! And Mr. Olbermann's. Hee hee.

    Posted by: Brandon at April 20, 2007 1:36 PM

    Yes, you have a lot of people's attention, maybe 10 to 15 bloggers at most.

    Well, Chicken Blogger, just think how important and crucial that makes you. By simply leaving in a huff never to darken our door step again you can diminish our by 7.5% to 10%.

    Of course, the trade for us is that the overall quality of the site will increase by that much too.

    Do tell us all goodbye if you decide to punish us with your absence.

    I would take the very unusual step of having a triple Absolut on the rocks to celebrate that event.

    Grammie

    I would take the very unusual step of having a triple Absolut on the rocks to celebrate that event.

    Grammie
    Posted by: Janet Hawkins at April 20, 2007 6:40 PM

    It's only unusual because it's after 2 PM.

    Cheers!

    I would take the very unusual step of having a triple Absolut on the rocks to celebrate that event.

    Grammie

    Posted by: Janet Hawkins at April 20, 2007 6:40 PM


    Grammie, you'er such a stickler for propriety.

    It really isn't necessary to have an occasion this momentus to break out the Absolut.

    Chicken Blogger, it is so reassuring to know that there are still some absolutes left in this world.

    I am absolutely guaranteed to yank somebody's chain when I mention Absolut on the rocks.

    And, that is an absolute that you can take to the bank truth. :)

    Grammie

    "No, Olbermann's mix of smarts and snark would soon make "Countdown" one of the few absolutely essential news shows on television. In 2003, when Olbermann agreed to fill in a mere three times on MSNBC's long forgotten "Nachman" show, somebody finally paid attention to the man's myriad talents. Not long after, "Countdown" was born, and it took a turn as a Roman candle once Olbermann started poking fun at the meritless ego and thin skin of Fox showman Bill O'Reilly. Olbermann's star status exploded when he then started eviscerating the dumbassification of this country through the politics of President Bush. Those "Special Comment" riffs caught the attention of what must always be lazily described as "the left wing," and off Olbermann shot as a voice of reason for the left when, prior to that, everyone was sitting mute or meekly inarticulate."

    I'm so glad to see somenone who wishes Countdown to be "the future of television news", explicitly state their reasons for wanting this.

    That they've proably spent the years before Countdown, pulling out their hair and accusing Fox News of doing this for the rightwing, (but doing it poorly) is, I know, a distinction and bit of irony completely lost on them.

    Chicken Blogger, it is so reassuring to know that there are still some absolutes left in this world.

    I am absolutely guaranteed to yank somebody's chain when I mention Absolut on the rocks.

    And, that is an absolute that you can take to the bank truth. :)

    Grammie
    Posted by: Janet Hawkins at April 20, 2007 7:17 PM

    You're planning your next bender and you think my chain is yanked?

    Cheers!

    You're planning your next bender and you think my chain is yanked?

    Cheers!

    Posted by: at April 20, 2007 7:51 PM


    A celebratory drink= "bender"

    Yep. You felt your chain yanked.

    Absolutely, Cecelia.

    Grammie

    Tim Goodman should take over for Brian over @ TVNEWSER since Brian has shown some signs of failing to kiss up to KO dependably. My favorite line in this piece is the part about how the future of "news" is how Olby is doing it and that the only reason that others aren't doing it this way is that they are rooted in "old school" ways of presenting the news (clearly not intended as a complement). Some of those "old school" ways of doing things that Mr. Goodman would apparently like to see go by the boards:

    1) Allow more than one point of view to be aired on news stories;

    2) Use different sources from different perspectives, not just sources who are all monolithically behind one certain opinion;

    3) Be certain that content used on a "news" program constitutues objective reportin, not an opportunity to push a point of view;

    4) Respect your viewer by providing information that is useful, accurate and in good taste (i.e. stay away from features like ones that discuss whether rumors that Richard Gere has actually crammed certain small rodents up his . . . well never mind, I won't give the details of this "story" here other than to tell you that Olbermann reported on this recently on Meltdown)

    5) Don't make yourself look like a small, petty,embittered, third rate hack who can't get attention by trying to insult your more highly rated competition.

    6) Don't report far flung speculation from the extreme fringe of the left wing as news. This means you should not report that the 2004 election in Ohio was "stolen" or that indictments are imminent for Karl Rove in the matter of Valerie Plame.