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Greg Gutfeld, Andy Levy, Bill Schulz and their guests gave a moving tribute to the career of journalistic legend Keith Olbermann, and we have the video for your viewing pleasure:
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John Gibson worked at MSNBC, worked with (and subbed for) the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann. He reveals what he says really went on, why Olby was canned, and the many and varied excellent reasons for dumping him:
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I launched OlbermannWatch.com in November 2004 as on offshoot of my old The National Debate blog which was the first blog dedicated to covering political programming on the cable news networks. Since then I have moved on to many other projects, the most current being running on the biggest hyper-local blogs in New York, New Rochelle's Talk of the Sound.
Having grown up in a household where when the news was on TV it was always Huntley, Brinkley, and later Chancellor and where mornings always began with Barbara Walters and later Tom Brokaw and Jane Pauley on the Today Show, I was alarmed at the sudden lurch to the left on Countdown. OlbermannWatch was launched, then, as a reaction to that and something of a warning to fans of NBC News like me and to the executives at the network that Keith was taking his show hard left and appeared to determined to take the rest of the network with him, down into the rabbit hole of Olbermann conspiracy theories. The result, I predicted long and loud would be the destruction of the reputation of NBC News built up over decades and exemplified by the men that Olbermann professed to honor and respect (Keith never mentioned women in his various paeans to broadcast journalism).
Today, for the first time since 2003, Keith Olbermann no longer has a TV show. He is no longer considered a News Anchor at NBC. For NBC News, however, it is too late. The reputation of the news division is left in tatters. MSNBC is nothing but a far-left outpost for the lunatic fringe. The broadcast news operation a fading shadow on a fourth place network -- fifth if you consider the nights when Fox News beats NBC News coverage of special events like the State of the Union Address or the national political conventions.
And in that sense, Keith won. He wanted to turn NBC News into liberal alternative to Fox News. He succeeded.
Few of Keith's fans who are bemoaning the end of the show last night were watching Countdown with me back in 2004. Even less will recall that when this site was launched, Olbermann was on the way out. Once the coverage of the invasion of Iraq died down, ratings for Countdown with Keith Olbermann began a precipitous decline and by the fall of 2004 Olbermann's closest competition was shows like McEnroe, a ill-fated talk show on CNBC hosted by former tennis great John McEnroe. Countdown with Keith Olbermann lost to every primetime shown on Fox News and CNN and to shows on Headlines News and CNBC and elsewhere on MSNBC. It was truly in the ratings cellar among a group of networks that, as a group, got low ratings.
Olbermann's viewership could be counted in the tens of thousands. His audience share was measured in fractions not whole numbers. As one of the few regular viewers of the show, it became clear to me that Olbermann was staring into the abyss and made a decision to go for broke by giving full-flower to his true personality. Unfortunately for him that personality is that of an angry, paranoid, man-child. Suddenly guests who Art Bell would not book on Coast to Coast AM were being given free reign by Olbermann. "Blackbox" conspiracy theorists alleging nefarious plots and proffering pseudoscientific theories to explain George Bush's victory over John Kerry found a home on MSNBC. Every crackpot with a web site, every loon with a wild allegation, every hack lawyer with a frivolous lawsuit, was cited by an ever more desperate Olbermann that Bush had "stolen" the 2004 election. It was not long before the liberal loons at Democratic Underground, Democrats.com, Daily Kos, and Fire Dog Lake were feeding Keith his talking points and "news" segments were direct rip and reads from far-left outfits like Media Matters and Think Progress.
A review of our first month of operation will confirm that OlbermannWatch.com was the first site to point out that Olbermann was seeking to turn MSNBC into a liberal antidote to a leftist caricature of Fox News.
This Attila of the CableNets has grown increasingly erratic as his ratings nosedive has begun to approach terminal velocity. Over the past couple of months Olbermann has descended into a journalistic netherworld where fringe web sites are news sources and fact-checking is no longer "cool" enough for the ultra-hip word stylist...For quite some time Olbermann has had the luxury of getting away with using his show to monger rumors of the web because no one watches his show (he gets about a .7 rating, or slightly better than the now cancelled McEnroe show on CNBC). But word is starting to get around that Olbermann is embracing the lunatic fringe, apparently determined to take the reputation of NBC News down with him.
Along the way, the far-left rallied to Keith. Members of the largest far-left TV Critics Association joined in the boosterism. Political groups like MoveOn.org held pledge drives. Once Nielsen began including Tivo data in its ratings, blogs encouraged readers to Tivo Keith's show whether they watched it or not just to boost Keith's numbers.
Then came the Special Comments, 10-20 minute sophomoric, self-indulgent rants that were more about Keith closeups than whatever Republican villain he was railing against that night.
By the time of the next Presidential election, the anti-establishment, lefty-schtick was pretty well set with talking points delivered by liberal think-tanks, a line up of guests pre-determined to nod their head in agreement at every "insight" that dropped from Keith's lips, and a preoccupation with Bill O'Reilly, Fox News and anyone to the right of Bill Clinton and Joe Lieberman. Facts were cast aside in favor or emotionalism. In the process Olbermann went from 110,000 viewers a night in 2004 to more than one million viewers a night by the 2008 election cycle at which point Keith became the co-host of MSNBC election coverage including a stint covering the Republican National Convention which ended badly with Keith being pulled off their air at the insistence of old hands at NBC like Tom Brokaw who had had enough. Sadly, by the time people like Brokaw woke up it was too late. Keith was by then the face of MSNBC and branching out with a deal to fill in on NBC Nightly News and a regular spot on NBC Sunday Night Football.
Unfortunately for Olbermann, Barack Obama won election to the Presidency in 2008 and suddenly his far-left heros were the establishment. The schtick got stuck and his ratings dropped.
All the while, Olbermann was working hard to remake the entire news division at NBC News in his image -- hysterical, liberal, and in your face. His protege, Rachel Maddow, has been a hit and is now widely liked within NBC and regularly booked on Meet the Press and the Today Show. Talk radio show host Ed Schultz and, more recently, Lawrence O'Donnell, along with Maddow and Chris Matthews now make up the MSNBC evening line up.
Given Keith's personality it was always only a question of when things would blow up. The final straw appears to have been Olbermann's decision to make campaign contributions to Democratic politicians in the 2010 election cycle. Keith went public prompting his long-time time supporter Phil Griffin to declare a state of war existed between Olbermann and network executives. With the sale of NBC to Comcast looming, less than 90 days after Griffin declared war, Keith signed off for the final time.
For OlbermannWatch it has been six and half years of pure misery having to watch Keith Olbermann night after night -- his making up "facts", lashing out without reason, yukking it up with jokes amusing only to him -- so our readers do not have to. This site served as the bellwether for exposing Keith's lies and hypocrisy, coining new terms that have entered the blogosphere lexicon such as OlbyLoons, Olbypocrisy. Along the way, we had our share of laughs.
According to the stats for the site, I have written 3,392 entries with 49,957 comments. Can that be true? Jeez. That's a lot of Olbermann commentary.
As Olbermann leaves the air at MSNBC, OlberannWatch is left to consider a future sans Keith, I would like to give thanks all around.
First and foremost to Mark K. who readers know as Johnny Dollar or his rap name, J$. He carried on long after I no longer had the stomach for day to day viewings of Countdown. J$ was beyond relentless in documenting the many lies, fraud and hypocrisy that came to define Countdown with Keith Olbermann. I founded this site, did all the technical work and managed the publication but over the years this became a J$ production. God bless your perseverance.
I would like to thank Alex Yuriev of Zubr Communications for hosting this site and dealing with the not-infrequent denial of service attacks and otherwise keeping us online. While Mark and I did our share, the site would not have been online at all without Alex's efforts over the years; he has truly been the silent partner in this endeavor.
To all the contributors and commenters and even your lurking readers. Thanks! What made this site fun was the back and forth in the comment threads.
For our blogfriends Allah Pundit, Michelle Malkin, Brian Malony, Matt Sheffield, the folks at Newsbusters, Matt Drudge, Ace, and the rest. To our radio friends including Mark Levin and Pat Campbell and our TV friends especially those at Fox News who often got a good chuckle from OlbermanWatch. A special note to Mark who at a dinner honoring Tony Snow in DC, once called OlbermannWatch the best blog on the Internet.
Finally, a special thanks to Keith Olbermann.
At its heart, this was site always intended as satire -- at least by me. To understand that you need to understand that when OlbermannWatch launched Countdown was down for the count. No one, and I mean no one, was watching the show. Keith was on the canvas, KO'd, literally. The satire then was to give Keith the sort of paranoid-obsessive coverage that a megalomaniac like Keith would feel he deserved even when he was hosting a show that had less viewers than a Michigan-Notre Dame football game at "The Big House" in Ann Arbor. Along the way a strange thing happened. Keith not only survived but thrived and eventually became a revered icon of the American left. He became a bigger than life figure who, at times, dominated, political discourse in this country and gave the left a rallying point the likes of which they had never had in the media. Although Keith focused much of his venom on Bill O'Reilly, his real media doppelganger, in terms of influence, was always Rush Limbaugh, who has dominated the discussion on the right the way Keith has come to dominate discussion on the left.
While the show is gone, Keith is most certainly not and so this site will likely live on. Keith has an audience that is rabid, loyal and will follow him anyway. Keith has shown, in leaving Fox Sports News, that he is perfectly willing to sit on the beach and collect a fat paycheck for doing nothing. But Keith is not done, far from it. The most obvious next step for Keith would be talk radio; god knows he could easily fill three hours of air-time a day. But if I had to guess, I would expect Keith to sign a deal with a network like Showtime for a weekly series or maybe something in tandem with Bill Maher. Anything is possible. Of course, a book in inevitable but maybe not a simple repackaging of his old scripts but a real story including his recent experience at MSNBC.
Of course, OlbermannWatch readers will gloat and rejoice but the simple fact is that Keith Olbermann took a show that was dead on its feet, breathed life into it and single-handedly remade his show and then an entire cable news network, generating millions upon millions of dollars in profits for a network with little else to brag about. To that extent, we tip out hat to Keith and wish him well.
After all, what would Olbermann Watch be without Olbermann.
This traffic data chart showing the spike after the news or Keith's signing off for the last time ought to give readers some indication of that:
FLASHBACK: Olby boasts that Comcast isn't going to fire him because of all the money he brings in:
Those of you who've posted about Comcast meaning the end of my show or Rachel's can, I think, relieve yourselves of such concerns....Whatever else you think of these guys, they are not in the habit of saying "a billion in profit over the next five years? Who needs it! Cancel the shows that generate it! (Oh, and let's keep paying both of their salaries, too)."
FLASHBACK: John Gibson predicts Comcast will fire Keith Olbermann:
Keith Olbermann smeared John S Wilson on the air after Wilson wrote a post about succession plans for incapacitated Congressmen. Then Mr Wilson made what we rightly describe as the most futile request in the world, and Oralmann's response was just what you'd expect:
Edward R Olbermann's idea of journalism: level attacks, and don't give your victim the chance to respond. Even when the 'facts' Olby spews turn out to be untrue:
Case in point: The article in question did not first appear on a "right wing" blog, as Think Progress and Olbermann intoned. In fact, it appeared on The Loop 21, an African-American opinion blog that not only permits diversity of opinion and thought but thrives on it. Contrary to Olbermann's insinuations, as a Governor's Fellow I wasn't a member of Gov. McDonnell's (R-VA) administration any more than I was chief of staff for the two Democratic Virginia state legislators I interned for.
Read Mr Wilson's full response and learn all the stuff Keith Olbermann hides from his gullible viewers.
On tonight's Hour of Spin:
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Keith 'You're a Fascist!' Olbermann spent last night bellowing that Joe Liebermann is a 'delusional liar'. It's part of the 'new tone', don't you know. What can we expect on tonight's Hour of Spin?
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What's this? Another spittle-flinging rant from Edward R Olbermann. That's right. You see he's suddenly very perturbed. Because despite all the talk about civility, rhetoric, and the like, it seems nobody has come out and condemned violent rhetoric. Well except for Olby, of course. So that means another ten minutes of melodramatic bluster...in the name of 'civility'.
What is really means is a chance for Krazy Keith to go after those eeevil Fox people. Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and--the greatest Olbsession of them all--O'Reilly! Hey, this would be a good time to demand again (Oralmann loves to demand things) that Obama back out of his interview with Mr Bill. Now this is surely just a coincidence, but yesterday this began running:
How that must drive the infamous, deplorable one up a padded wall. The green-eyed monster stalks again.
On tonight's Hour of Spin:
It's must-miss tv! Comments are open!
From Edward R Olbermann:
Prologue to the preview, from Alan Dershowitz:
The term "blood libel" has taken on a broad metaphorical meaning in public discourse. Although its historical origins were in theologically based false accusations against the Jews and the Jewish People,its current usage is far broader. I myself have used it to describe false accusations against the State of Israel by the Goldstone Report. There is nothing improper and certainly nothing anti-Semitic in Sarah Palin using the term to characterize what she reasonably believes are false accusations that her words or images may have caused a mentally disturbed individual to kill and maim. The fact that two of the victims are Jewish is utterly irrelevant to the propriety of using this widely used term.
On tonight's Hour of Spin (airing at 11:00 pm):
There isn't any. Not a peep out of Olby since shortly after noon. Don't surprised if he's in the tub tonight.
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The infamous, deplorable one is loose on Twitter again, and there you can see him in his true element. The witticisms, the pithy exchanges, and the rapier-sharp intellect are exactly what you might expect from Herr Olbermahn. Here he explains the policy of his program to exclude opinions he disagrees with:
Of course, when caught in a corner, sometimes Edward R Olbermann will resort to such things as bragging about his 'Ivy League' education:
Oooooh. Isn't that special? Should someone catch him misinforming his gullible followers with untrue 'facts', Olby, who never played football (or any other known sport) proves adept at moving the goalposts:
Because a man with a gun is 'unarmed' unless he draws the gun...and then magically he's all of a sudden armed! At least that's how it works on OlbyPlanet. And then there's this:
Hmmm...maybe he condemned it to his barber, or to the last girlfriend to dump him, but there doesn't seem to be any record of it on msnbc:
Tonight, you can expect that the buffoon who described the last President as a 'fascist', 'idiot-in-chief', a 'war criminal', and (our favorite) 'psychotic' will lecture us again on why we have to watch our words. Hmm, he took a different, decidedly sarcastic tone regarding Ari Fleischer's call for rhetorical caution after 9/11:
OLBERMANN: Fleischer tells Maher to watch what he says, contributes to an environment in which ABC fired Maher from his show, warns Americans not to speak freely, that's OK.
Let's see: it's wrong to ask Americans not to speak freely. But now it's imperative that Americans be told not to speak freely because...well, don't try to make sense out of it. It's OlbyLogic.
On tonight's entirely civil Hour of Spin:
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Submitted for your consideration, images from Keith Olbermann's blog. Look at what was posted at the Daily Kos just two years ago, when they targeted Rep Gabrielle Giffords for defeat:
Kos has scrubbed the incriminating images from its site, but that map above can still be found at its original source: the Democratic Leadership Council! The following was posted at the Daily Kos, Keith Olbermann's blog, just two days before Rep Giffords was shot:
Those commentators and the others must be repudiated by their viewers and listeners, by all politicians who would appear on their programs including President Obama and his planned interview with Fox on Super Bowl Sunday...
Imagine that. Edward R Olbermann using the tragedy of a mass murder to try and take Bill O'Reilly's Obama interview away from him. Krazy Keith has issues. Serious issues. And some big time Olbypocrisy. From Fox Haters Week in Review:
If Olby wants to be taken seriously, he should practice what he preaches. If Sarah Palin's target was as bad as Olbermann's endless invocations of it suggest, then let's see him take on the Daily Kos with the same vigor. To put it another way, the Kos target-bullseye imagery must be repudiated by all readers, and by all writers who would appear on their website--including Kos blogger Keith Olbermann. By his own standards, Olby must condemn Daily Kos and sever ties with them
Here's an opportunity for Keith Olbermann to show he's not just a posturing charlatan, to prove he takes his own words seriously enough to follow them himself. If he doesn't, he will merely confirm again what we already know: he's a hypocrite and a liar.
Comments are open!
Meanwhile, on tonight's Hour of Spin:
A special double-length Hour of Spin, featuring:
You can see where this one is going. I'm sticking with Shep.
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Here's a little trip through the Olbermann Watch Archives:
That last one exposes even more Olbypocrisy, as the infamous deplorable one rails against ramming bills through a lame duck Congress, because it isn't 'bipartisan'. Hmm, he's been remarkably silent on that topic this year.
So, President Obama is again about to attach a signing statement to a bill (regarding Gitmo and terrorism provisions). Will Herr Olbermahn lay into him tonight as he did with Bush? Does Edward R Olbermann have even a miniscule shred of journalistic integrity? Does the sun rise in the west? We predict: this dog won't bark.
What you will get on tonight's Hour of Spin:
No barking dog yet? Tonight's Hour of Spin:
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A new year, a new Congress, but the same old Olby. The infamous, deplorable one will be back in the throne on OlbyPlanet, ready to dispense his own diseased brand of justice to anyone who is even slightly to the right of Karl Marx.
What does Herr Olbermahn have on tap for tonight? Here's a preview of Monday's Hour of Spin:
Truly must-miss tv. Comments are open!