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For old time's sake, here's a new installment of John Gibson's Blue-Blog-a-Palooza! The Gibson Players dramatize the drooling hatred for Ann Romney, taken word for word from the internet's most popular blue blogs. Click below to listen and enjoy...
Comments are open!
Enjoy the latest from The Great One (Dr Mark Levin) as you prepare for tonight's Hour of Spin. Use this thread to document the reckless pseudo-journalism of the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann. Comments are open!
As revealed by Olbermannwatch, a Playboy editor decided that in the face of an avalanche of negative reaction to their interview with Keith Olbermann, he would seek a pro-Olbermann letter in support of Olby from none other than an unabashed and biased Olbermann fan. Said Olbyloon could not resist the temptation of bragging about this breach of journalistic ethics (they even let her use a fake name). A flood of websites TVNewser, MediaBistroFishbowl NYC, Inside Cable News, Gawker, Jossip, Huffington Post, Newsbusters, and finally, the NY Daily News (Page Six). picked up on the story-they too were shocked that a major magazine would attempt to prop up the decidely unpopular opinionator who disguses himself as a journalist and his biased tv program as a "news show". Well, both the Playboy Editor and the Olbyloon have responded. And my what a tangled web they weave.
The New York Post reported this morning, following a bunch of hysterical blog postings, that I asked the editor of a Keith Olbermann fan site to respond with a letter to our Interview with the man that appeared in the October issue. Well, faithful Playboy reader, it's true! I invited Becky Last-Name-Not-Public-Knowledge over at BloggingOlbermann.com to read the Interview (she may have already done so) and write a letter if she felt so inspired.
"So inspired?" Yeah, sure. Like you didn't think if you made a request she wouldn't do it to promote the notion that people actually liked the interview with her beloved Olbermann? And what choice did you have but to admit it? Becky had already spilled on you!
Two quick points: (1) I didn't tell her to make her letter "gushing."
No, he didn't want a "gushing" letter-it's why he chose a fan to write it!
In fact, she wrote a smart response and we were glad to have it.
Glad to have it? Hell son, you soliticed for it--I guess you were glad to have it because you desperately needed and wanted someone to write a pro-Olbermann letter for you!
I try to include a variety of views in the letters pages because I know from experience that people who agree with something are less likely to write, and this is born out by the fact we have since gotten letters from K.O. lovers who can't believe all the K.O. haters who wrote.
So why not just wait and run those letters in NEXT month's Playboy? Why take the unusual step of soliciting the owner of a fan blog to write that support letter?
Anyone who actually reads Playboy, rather than just posting snide comments about it (that "for the articles" joke is so clever! More, please), can't be too surprised. We have invited experts who might not otherwise see the magazine to comment, in whatever way they see fit, in our letters pages since the 1960s. It makes for a more spirited debate.
So tell us, do you often allow them to remain anonymous while doing so? And "experts"? Is that how we classify girly fans now? And someone identifying himself as a past guest on Olbermann's show and a journalist himself and regular Playboy reader, did find it all a bit unusual and had this to say about the little charade:
Even though I enjoyed the Olbermann interview, and in fact have been a guest on his MSNBC show, as a journalist I'm troubled by the solicitation of a letter in order to "balance out" the response on the "Dear Playboy" page to a certain section or article. I'm not naive to the fact that this isn't the first time Playboy editors have done this, or that Playboy is far from the only publication to do it. But is it the job of the editor to make sure that there's balance on the letters page if the balance isn't naturally there, without asking to chime in, no matter how expert they are? I'm not sure about that.
But super-Olbyloon fan "Becky" just can't seem to shut-up. She just has to post this interesting bit of info related to the whole Playboy scam. Even she admits she found the entire episode somewhat suspect!
After I got over the initial shock of, "who, me?" when the request came, I did think it was a bit odd. I don't know diddly about how these things work though.
Really now? But yet you seemed so familiar with these kind of matters and that using a pen name wasn't in the least unusual! So which is it? Ignorant or savvy? Or just willing to break rules when they apply to Olbermann?
There were two conditions that would have given me pause: if I had been requested to not mention the circumstances of my involvement or if writing under a pseudonym was a problem. Since Mr. Rowe had no qualms about my disclosing anything save for his email address, I didn't think about my concerns again. After all, I wasn't dealing with the National Enquirer here.
Oh well, just so long as they met your PERSONAL standards, I guess it's okay then. But now that we know that Playboy does allow pseudonyms in their letters to the editor I guess the National Enquirer is looking a little better these days.
I realize that it sounds like a conspiracy theory for me to think that this was some wingnut sending tips. But I have been on this block too long with my ear too close to the ground to be able to think otherwise.
Ahhh--another fine example of Olbyloon paranoia, up close and personal. They have yet to uncover any site that openly solicited for negative letters to the Olbermann Playboy interview but yet they remain convinced it happened, despite the utter lack of evidence that it did!
When I say that this blog is obscure, I mean that if you Google "olbermann" it doesn't come up until somewhere around page 12. And while traffic here is good enough for it to be a "mid-level" blog by Technorati's standards, that doesn't mean much more than I've got people besides my friends and family reading it.
Yes "Becky" about that-how is it that Playboy found YOUR obscure little website? After all, some of your competitors have placed Google ads to have THEIR sites come up before yours. Why was YOURS chosen? Might it have been at the suggestion of say. .. one Keith Olbermann or someone on the Countdown staff? In fact looking at some of the other Olbyloon sites, they seem a bit miffed that no one asked them to do the same for him.
The idea that this was some sort of round robin, each outlet cribbing it from the next, is fine. Except pro blogs will always cite where it came from, like NY Magazine and Conde Nast Traveller did today in citing Page Six. By and large those cites weren't in place, making me reasonably sure that this wasn't a game of Follow the Leader. (I won't go into how this morning's spate of nasty taunts full of the usual code words has corresponded to a larger than usual influx of site referrals from webmail.)
We have no idea on earth what this woman is talking about here. The links we saw clearly lead to her website or cited another when talking about this incident. (But thanks for pointing out two links we'd missed earlier). Yet "Becky" still insists it was part of some vast, right-wing conspiracy. And "code words"? Gee what would those be exactly-those websites quoting exactly what she admitted to doing?
I never wanted ERT to be big and if I did, infamy is certainly not the path I would have chosen to achieve that.
Relax honey, your web stats prove that your blog is indeed only seen by a select few fans. It seems your site has more "editors" than actual readers. And infamy? No dear, that's saved for the likes of your beloved Keith Olbermann who sincerely seems to believe that Fox News is worse than the terrorists who crashed into the WTC on 9/11.
Yes, I have found the entire situation to be hella amusing. It's also been exhausting, as I am quite uncomfortable with attention. If I hadn't kept a sense of humor about it all I would have ended up hiding under my blankets. I'm sorry you see it as basking, I'm just trying to make the best of being thrust into a very strange situation.
Yes, it's all very strange indeed. And you poor, shy, retiring thing. Posting on the Playboy blog must have been such a difficult thing for you to do seeing how you just hate drawing attention to yourself. And I know it must have been so terribly difficult for you to make the decision to link to all of those gossip sites on your blog who carried the story because as we know, you're not in this for any kind of attention. Why it must have been just hell for you to use the opportunity to welcome your influx of new visitors and then encourage them to stay-what with it being your desire to keep your blog small and unoticed and everything.
Oh-and one more bit of Olbyloon BS to expose while I'm at it today: This letter from "Houstonian" who is also a regular at Democratic Underground appeared at Becky-Using-A-Fake-Name's website:
KO's supporters (and editors of this blog) would never attempt to look up a person's e-mail address, check out the commentator's background, attack that person or that person's family, just because they have a different viewpoint about Keith Olbermann. That's what makes the Playboy incident necessary.
KO's supporters would NEVER look up a person's email address, check out their background, attack that person or their family? Hmm. Tell that to the Blogger at Tom Paine who wrote a piece on Olbermann's overt sexist remarks. Not only did the DUmmies track down the woman's email, they also found her personal blog and began an organized campaign to send her nasty emails! Truth is just so. . . inconvienient sometimes isn't it?
http://www.mediabistro.com/fishbowlny/tv/keith_olbermann_blogging_for_daily_kos_75037.aspSo just how negative was the feedback that Playboy magazine received from their fawning interview with Keith Olbermann?
So negative that one of their editors (Chip Rowe) went to the very unusual, and dare we say, highly unethical extent of soliciting a positive one from an Olbermann fan site. The editor even allowed the Olbyloon Blog owner to use a fake name to print her fake letter!
I'm sure you all remember the Playboy interview back in September. Shortly after the release of the magazine (and after a couple of discussions of it here on ERT) I was contacted by Playboy editor Chip Rowe via the site's contact form.
He said that they were getting overwhelmingly negative response on the interview: mostly for the Fox Noise remarks, though some were just general anti-KO sentiment, and that he'd like to balance that with something positive from someone with my "expertise". (No, really, that's the word he used. I quickly denied being an expert on a man I'd never met.) After exchanging several emails, I wrote up a couple of hundred words for him to use on the "Letters to Playboy" page. The letter appears in the January issue.
Updated to acknowledge the many bloggers who got why this little charade was such a breach of journalistic rules & ethics, not that ethics or the truth matter much to an Olbyloon:
Keith Olbermann responding to a question Rudy Giuliani in a Playboy interview: Sez Keith: Giuliani tried to out-Bush Bush. He tried to get votes by talking about casualties as if another attack like 9/11 were inevitable, suggesting that voting for anyone but him would lead to more people getting killed. That's about an inch from saying, "If you don't vote for me, you'll die, which is another inch from saying, "If you don't vote for me, I'll kill you." And that, to me, is not America. In fact, it's not Earth. I don't usually single out candidates for praise or brickbats, but if they're going to politicize terror, to do the work of the terrorists by terrorizing the populace, I'll come down on them like a ton of bricks. That's my job.
KXMC links to blogger Tom Maguire who asked the following:
So let me see if I have mastered this "logic"---when Al Gore says that global warming is a gathering threat, and so on, he is one inch from saying that if we don't vote for environmentally sound candidates we will die, and two inches from saying that he will personally kill us (I presume a coroner would rule it death by boredom, but really, anyone listening to Al Gore for more than a nanosecond ought to be ruled a suicide.) Or, work with me, Keith---Nancy Pelosi thinks if we don't vote for stricter gun control we will die, which is two inches from saying she will personally gun us down like Michael Vick's dogs. Of course, to a liberal like Olbermann, the as-yet-unproven threat of anthropomorphic global warming and the private ownership of firearms really are threats. Islamic terrorism, by his own words, apparently is not.
Exactly. And oh by the way? Olbermann does in fact single out candidate Joe Biden for praise in the Playboy interview after stating that he usually doesn't do that sort of thing. Yet another Olbermann lie, this time captured in black and white on the pages of Playboy.
Another hit from Olbermann's interview with commentary from Noel Sheppard: Fox News is worse than al Qaeda! Something to which Noel Sheppard responds with: An anchor for one of the leading television news networks in the world has stated that a competing network is worse than the world's leading terrorist organization responsible for the killing of thousands on September 11, 2001, and many others around the globe. He's also stated that this news network is as dangerous as the most racist organization to ever exist in America. Can anyone explain how this man can say these things and continue to represent MSNBC and NBC?
Our question exactly. Bravo to the blogger at KXMC.com, Maguire,and Sheppard as well.
Olbyloons? Spin away. Or do what you usually do, just divert.
The reactions to Keith Olbermann's new gig on the NBC NFL show have not been good. Universally panned, loathed by sports fans, and apparently, disliked by his colleagues. But we can depend upon the ever-reliable Liberal Elitist NY Times to come rushing in to praise their boy and fellow jihadist, Keith Olbermann.
FOOTBALL NIGHT OVERHAUL When NBC returned to carrying the NFL last season, it created the Football Night in America studio program, with Bob Costas, Jerome Bettis, Cris Collinsworth, Sterling Sharpe and sometimes Peter King. It was static and stiff. The lead foursome moved from one set to another as if they were linked in a giant charm bracelet. A shot of the four men looked as if no wide-angle camera could contain them and still make out their faces. Much has changed, all of it positive, since last year.
Oh really? So why is it being universally panned by both critics and fans? Oh right, it's the NY Times.
Olbermann's presence should remind fans from his SportsCenter time that few can deliver highlights with as much wit, verve and snark. He might have alienated some viewers on the political right with his MSNBC program, but forget that. He is not commenting on Dick Cheney's marksmanship lowlights here. Olbermann elevates the show, as does Barber.
Who is this guy trying to kid? Olbermann wasn't even liked when he was at ESPN. Especially not by his co-workers or management!. Witness the following quote about how Olbermann's former ESPN co-workers still feel about him years after his departure:
Olbermann didn't just burn bridges since he left Bristol, Conn., he apparently obliterated them. It's a shame he'll miss the reunions, but ESPN says it didn't have much of a choice. "We didn't want to bring him into the workplace," said ESPN executive vice president Mark Shapiro. "The damage he could do in one day in the newsroom could put us in damage control for two years. . . I was blown away by how much people reacted to me even (meeting with Olbermann)" Shapiro said, adding he had no idea how many "bodies were buried along the way. Even though he did leave a tremendous legacy and helped chart the course of the show, there was too much bad stuff that came with it, unnecessary bad stuff."
Yeah that Olby, he sure wins hearts and minds wherever he goes doesn't he? Well, at least at the NY Times.
And oh yeah, don't forget the NBC NFL fans. They just love him. That must be why so many want NBC to fire him immediately.
Unbelievable. Olbermann is a hugely talented broadcaster and one of the smartest guys around, but his tunnel vision on politics is wearisome. The mainstream media is loaded with liberals as dishonest and slanted as Fox News' GOP stalwarts; sorry, as bad as Fox News is, nothing it has done compares with Dan Rather's use of forged documents to try to prevent W.'s re-election.
You know it's bad when even the Olbermann promoters jump ship and call him out for what he truly is!
Beyond that, both parties are full of contemptible hacks who protect their donors and who are more interested in manipulating people with wedge issues than solving problems.
This statement does make me wonder if Mr. Reed actually watched Countdown. Because if he did, he'd know that only the GOP makes the "news" on Olby's Official Democratic Approved "Countdown".
For someone as sharp as Olbermann to look at this landscape and see only one class of bad guys is baffling and off-putting.Hey Mr. Reed-we here at Olbermannwatch have been trying to point out Olbermann's failings for years. But glad to know someone in the MSM finally took notice and called Olby out on it.
Someone else had some serious questions about Keith Olbermann's claims in the Playboy interview. Jeff Bercovici from Conde Nast Portfolio has an interesting little think-piece up on the Portfolio blog:
Olber-the-Top Rhetoric: Remember when Luke Skywalker, having just sliced off Darth Vader's hand, looks down at his own mechanical hand and realizes he is becoming Darth Vader? Someone needs to tell Keith Olbermann that his hyperbolic attacks on Bill O'Reilly are turning him into another O'Reilly. When even the "liberal media elite" begins to question your act, maybe it's time to reel it in.
Comic exaggeration is part of Olbermann's shtick -- this is, after all, someone who names a new "Worst Person in the World" every night. But equating Fox News and Rupert Murdoch with racists and killers is neither funny nor particularly insightful. It's shrill and unattractive, and reeks of the same blowhardism that Olbermann is usually the first to skewer. I know the O'Reilly feud has been great for Countdown's ratings, but it's time to ease up.
Finally, one of Olby's own is calling him out. It's about time!
The October Issue of Playboy has the latest Mainstream Media spin on how Olbermann is a "great success". Inside Cable was the first to report on the Playboy article which contains the quote (among others) that
Al Qaeda really hurt us, but not as much as Rupert Murdoch has hurt us, particularly in the case of Fox News. Fox News is worse than Al Qaeda--worse for our society. It's as dangerous as the Ku Klux Klan ever was.
Olbermann is seriously comparing Fox News to Al Qaeda and the Ku Klux Klan????? When was the last time that Fox News used airplanes to topple buildings and kill thousands of innocent people? When was the last time Rupert Murdoch was responsible for the murder of thousands of American civilians on American soil? When was the last time Fox News or Murdoch burned a cross on anyone's front yard? Answer? Never. Not one. But that doesn't stop the Olbyspin Machine. Read on!
Olbermann also writes off more than half his audience with this statement:
People over 25 have no money; people over 54 are set in their ways and understand that advertising is largely bullshit. It's fine to have viewers outside that group, but they don't cout as much. They're like people who get free tickets to a ball game.
Then he takes a slam at his own fan groups, such as they are, with the announcement that he only wants the "hot ones" oogling him.
There are chat rooms that get bawdy. One group of women will start analyzing the issues but soon it will devolve into talk about my tie and what they'd like to do about removing my tie. That's a strange thing about TV, it's like being on the wrong side of a one-way mirror. You don't know if it's a group of Jennifer Lopezes out there undressing with you with their eyes or a bunch of Leona Helmsleys.Keith we've seen photos of some of your fans. A more apt comparison would be a bunch of Mama Cass Elliots.
And I was particularly amused when ole' Keith weighed in on how much smarter his sports audience is than his "news" audience:
Sports fans aren't dumber than the rest of America. They're smarter. It's the rest of America that believes in crazy plots. But the sports fan is reality-based.Gee, guess this is why the sports fans at the NBC Football boards can't stand your guts. Neither can these guys. And Newsday isn't too wild about him either. Maybe that's got something to do with the fact that last night he apparently made a racially offensive remark about a black player? And this is the guy who is comparing Fox to the KKK?
And then there was this unbelievable comment about what the Republican party plans for 2008 and beyond, totally devoid of facts to back up his BS statement of course:
We will see a draft if the Republicans win in 2008, because they've got a plan to invade very country except Liechtenstein but not enough shoulders to do it. To get enough soldiers they would need a draft. And that would be interesting. You'd have rioting in the streets within 48 hours.
And this one just made us laugh as it's not only a contradiction in terms, it's total Olby doublespeak:
I went to an ACLU dinner with 700 lawyers, 700 honest lawyers. . . .
And finally there was this:
I'm unbearable in the morningNo Keith, you're unbearable and unbelievable at any hour of the day.
UPDATE [J$]: The Olbersphere weighs in...
And Daily Kos, which is requesting that its Kossacks go to Inside Cable News to defend Keith Oralmann! The Kos War Room swings into action once again!!
New York Magazine has decided to play 21 questions with Keith Olbermann and hilarity ensues.
Who's your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional? Fred Merkle. If you can imagine the Bill Buckner play and blame happening to a rookie first baseman for the Mets or Yankees, and the guy coming back to play another seventeen years, nearly all of them in New York, and play on five pennant winners here, you get some idea of this man's mettle.Olbermann is such a Merkle fan that his user name on Ebay is Merkle923.
What's the best meal you've eaten in New York? Either the Three Filets at Quality Meats or the Crusted Tuna at Redeye Grill. But the BLTs at a long-gone deli in Hastings in the mid-eighties could not be defeated.One thing is for sure, whatever Olbermann eats, he's eating plenty of it.
In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job? I read, and I think, and I write, and then I read aloud, amid about 150 individual deadlines, and often under lights that can melt the skin off your bones.But not that hideous orange man-tan Olbermann sports no matter what the season. And Keith thinks? You sure wouldn't know it from the lack of diversified opinions aired on his commentary program disguised as a news show.
Where do you get your coffee? Occasionally I have some at a restaurant. Otherwise I'm a chai-latte guy.That Keith, always trying to stay hip and happening.
What's the last thing you saw on Broadway?The History Boys. Don't laugh. Before that, it was Amadeus in 1981. I get inexplicably anxious for the actors.No wonder, he identifies with the actors because he is an actor, portraying a (bad) news guy on television.
Do you give money to panhandlers?I have on occasion, but a lot less frequently ever since a day 25 years ago when I saw the pitiable looking woman always camped in front of Bryant Park, pull her pink Cadillac out of an alley across the street.However Keith is totally open to handing over checks to ex-presidents right before an interview, on air.
What's your drink? White Rock 2002 Napa Valley Claret. Bill Murray bought me a bottle. Says the sommelier had brought him the wrong bottle one night. If they're out, a Guinness.Hmm. What happened to Merlot? Guess that's not his favorite drink anymore. Gee, wonder why. And Guineness beer huh? Isn't Olbermann supposed to have a Gluten allergy? Another Olbermann lie?
How often do you prepare your own meals?Do you count cereal? Salad bar at work? If so, once, often twice daily.Funny, for someone eating ceral and salad, Olbermann seems inexplicably fat.
What's your favorite medication? Protonix. I can get asthmatic episodes from acid reflux (and from the current administration). This stuff takes care of the first kind.According to this website, some of the side effects of Protonix include: anxiety, chest pain, dizziness, gastrointestinal disorder, nausea, and rectal disorder. Sounds like what Olbermann himself causes if you ask
What's hanging above your sofa? A map of the U.S. made out of each state's license plates by Aaron Foster.
How much is too much to spend on a haircut? Not competent to answer. I get mine gratis from Mary and Tonya, two gifted hairstylists at work. Toupees aside, there are a lot of things you're not competent to answer Keith but it's good to see you finally admit it.
When's bedtime? With any luck, 1 a.m. I do work nights after all. Sounds exquisite, but as long as I've had that kind of schedule, everybody else in this city has insisted on getting up two to seven hours before I do and apparently conspiring to bring me with them.
Brunch: pro or con? Pro. Norma's in the Parker-Meridien serves it until 3 p.m. I believe I patronized them virtually every day from July 1, 2001, through February 1, 2003. I actually was the only customer a couple of times right after 9/11. Great food, greater people.Again, we're not sure what Olbermann eats but by the looks of his ample backside, he eats plenty of it.
What's your thread count? When they start gettin threads hangin off dem, I toss dem. Oh, youse mean something else.Oh that Keith, he made a funny.
What do you hate most about living in New York?Rent and real-estate prices. And that I was stupid enough not to buy my studio apartment at 55th and Second in 1983 because I feared the concept of a $30,000 mortgage.Yes Keith, we all know how difficult it can be living in a 40th Floor, 4.2 million dollar Trump apartment on the Upper East side.
What's your brand of jeans? Levi's. And he wants them back.Again, with the comedy. Only not so much.
When's the last time you drove a car? 1984. I hit my head on the 7 train at Shea four years prior and destroyed my depth perception while in motion. I did not fully understand this until I took some refresher driving lessons before moving to suburban Boston. And wound up on the sidewalk.Yes we suspect the head injury damaged far more than Olbermann's driving ability.
Who should be the next president? Elizabeth Edwards.Of course it would be a Democrat. We're just surprised he hasn't made a crack about her weight or age yet.
Times, Post, or Daily News? Times. The News is nearly as good as when I read it every day when I was a kid. Is the Post still publishing?Of course he would say the NY Times, that's where his old-buddy, the former TVNewser is now employed.
Yankees or Mets? Very tough. Grew up with the bad Yankees of the sixties and seventies. Worked with Joe Torre in TV in L.A. But the Mets are good people top to bottom. Just to muddy it further, I like the Red Sox, too.More pandering to the audience. You can't love the Mets and the Yankees. And if you're a Yankee, you can't like the Red Sox. Any sports fan knows that. But Olbermann? Clueless.
What makes someone a New Yorker? Not standing gawking in the middle of the busiest sidewalk. And looking before you turn, or start walking backwards.?
And what makes someone a real news anchor? Just do the exact opposite of what Keith Olbermann does and you'll do just fine.
That bastion of left-wing radical thinking, the NY Times is ready, willing, and able to declare Olbermann the reason why NBC won the prime-time Nielsen ratings fight on Sunday night
CBS Outscores Football: Despite preseason football on NBC, CBS finished first in the ratings on Sunday, getting a boost from 60 Minutes and Big Brother. Nielsen estimated that the CBS news magazine attracted 8.8 million viewers at 7 p.m., while Big Brother, its 8 p.m. reality show, drew 7.6 million. Among adults 18 to 49, however, NBC finished on top, as the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles delivered 8.7 million viewers after a special broadcast at 7 of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann (4 million). CBS ranked second in that demographic, ahead of ABC's all-repeat lineup. Fox was fourth overall, as its Teen Choice Awards earned 4 million viewers from 8 to 10.
So Keith Olbermann was the reason that NBC won the night? That's certainly the impression that the NY Times wants the reader to have although a close look at the numbers provided in this article quickly reveal that in the 7 p.m. time slot, CBS's 60 Minutes got 8.8 million viewers; Olbermann? Just 4 million.
But let's go to a less-biased source shall we? How about Broadcasting & Cable, a "Bible" of the broadcasting industry.
NBC Wins Sunday Prime Despite Weak Olbermann Pre-Game. NBC won the 18-49 demo Sunday night with its coverage of the preseason intrastate rivalry between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles. However, its tryout of Keith Olbermann in a pre-game edition of his MSNBC Countdown show was last among the Big Four in the 8-9 time period with a 1.3. NBC averaged a 2.7 rating/8 share in the demo for the night.
Much different take on Olbermann's ratings from B&C for sure. We especially liked this quote from B&C:
Obermann said last week he expected it to be a one-shot deal unless it was a success with viewers and affiliates.
Olbermann may lie but the numbers never do and the numbers here reveal that Olbermann does as well on Broadcast television as he does on Cable, i.e., a solid fourth placed finish! He must be so proud. But with Olbermann, everything is a ratings success. We're just surprised he's not trying to spin this to talk about how many times he was viewed on You Tube to try and boost his pitiful ratings numbers.
But lest the Olbyloons declare that B&C, the Bible of the Television industry is biased, let's go to the Hollywood Reporter. Hey, it's Hollywood, they love liberals right? Surely that has to have better news for Olbermann and his faithful band of lunatics? Nope. Numbers still don't lie.
NBC's preseason NFL battle of Pennsylvania seems to be the winner in Sunday night's primetime, though the one-shot "Countdown" on the broadcast network came in a distant fourth place in its hour.
Distant fourth place? Ouch.
Meanwhile, NBC gave MSNBC's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" (4.1 million, 1.3/4) a tryout at 7 p.m. "Countdown" was easily beaten in viewers by "60 Minutes" (8.8 million, 1.5/5) and in adults 18-49 by ABC's "America's Funniest Home Videos" (6.5 million, 2.0/7). Fox came in third place at 7 p.m. with a repeat "Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?" (3.6 million, 1.4/5) followed by the two-hour "Teen Choice Awards" (4 million, 1.7/5).
Easily beaten? Ouch again! But wait, in rushes TVNewser, a long-time Keith Olbermann supporter. Brian Setzer may be gone but the pro-Keith Olbermann movement continues on at TVN.
We've received the Nielsen fast-national ratings (not the actual national ratings) and have a sense of how last night's Countdown with Keith Olbermann did in its premiere on NBC. The upshot: in total viewers it beat "Are You Smarter Than A 5th Grader?" on Fox. But finished behind "60 Minutes" and "America's Funniest Videos." 4,146,000 total viewers watched. Countdown finished fourth in the 18-49 and 25-54 demos.
Note the disclaimer that these weren't the "real" ratings, just the "fast overnights", which is exactly what the industry uses to gauge how well a program did, but hey, TVN never lets facts get in the way of it's "reporting" just like their buddy, Keith Olbermann. And just in case anyone was left with the impression that Olbermann's ratings sucked, well, TVN just had to add this little additional note:
More: An emailer writes, "4M viewers...is one hell of a sampling...I wouldn't kiss that number off." For context: Olbermann averaged 721,000 viewers each night in July. Almost 6 times as many watched last night.
Hmm. My guess is that said emailer is either one of the following: a) the MSNBC/NBC publicity department; 2) Olbermann's personal PR agent; or 3) Olbermann himself. How else were they so ready and able to cough up the average number of viewers for Olbermann in the past month? TVN should identified whether or not this was someone from the network's PR department or an "insider". Our bet is on insider, as in very insider, say Keith Olbermann's brain.
And if the numbers were bad, the reviews were less than stellar too. Here are two from the sports world, first AOL Sports:
Keith Olbermann's NBC Commentary on Michael Vick a Big Disappointment I was thrilled when I learned that Keith Olbermann had been added to the NBC Sunday night NFL broadcast team because I think Olbermann is smart, funny and insightful. But Olbermann had the first of his regular Sunday night commentaries yesterday, and it was none of those things.
And Deadspin, another popular Sports website:
Welcome Keith. . . but what? We love Olbermann but we're not sure quite what he was trying to say here.
And this from a website called Awful Announcing:
Maybe it's just me, but I'd like my Football with a little less anger. It is just a "game" after all. I don't care if we are talking about Mike Vick....no one ever needs to be THIS serious....
If you're an Olbyloon, or Olbermann, or Olbermann's agent, or a NBC Sports Executive, you can't be happy with these kinds of ratings and review. But don't worry, the Olbyloons are here to spin it for him: Anti-Olbermann nutjobs freaking out on NBC Sports message board. Yeah, those "anti-Olbermann nutjobs?" Those would be NBC Sports fans with long posting histories at that NBC sports message board, not politically-motivated whackjobs like the average Olbermann fan.
UPDATE: See if you notice a similarity in the following Olbyloon talking points posted across the internets today: Daily Kos; Countdown On NBC Does DOUBLE O'Reilly's Ratings; MediaBistro Message Boards (aka TVNewser); Olberman Doubles O'Reilly - Huge Victory; and the TVSpy Message Boards; Olbermann's numbers----a big hit. According to whom? Olbermann? His PR Agent? The average Olbyloon? As noted below in the discussion Cee and I had, Olbermann couldn't even garner anywhere NEAR what repeats of Dateline has previously done in the same timeslot, and against reruns on the other four networks, still only managed to come in fourth in a five-way race. But hey, if that's their definition of success, we'd sure hate to see what they deem a failure.
And hey, when all else fails, just lie about his ratings. That's the approach taken at the Countdown forum on Television Without Pity or talk about what an insult it was to the average, sterotypical football viewer (those liberals love to sterotype don't they?) and therefore a liberal victory just to have Olbermann on the airwaves Sunday night like they did at Huffington Post.
The latest in our ongoing series of the Whitewash by the Mainstream Media of the blatant biases in Keith Olbermann's little cable tv program, Countdown, comes to us from Variety, the "bible" of the show-biz industry. Variety tells us that such biases are good! Just so long as you know, it's from the left. Fox Bad, Keith Good, Part 999.
It took no less than 3 writers to complete the latest fawning Olbermann tribute (Cynthia Littleton, Michael Learmonth and William Triplett) which ought to tell you something about how fast and furious the spin was for the Olbymeister. At least Variety got this bit right:
. . .during the AFL-CIO-sponsored Democratic Presidential Forum, which MSNBC carried live on Aug. 7. . .everything about the event -- the setting, the audience of union members and their families, the star moderator and the tenor of the candidates' campaign shoutin' -- seemed tailor-made to appeal to the average reader of the Huffington Post.
And we know what the Huff Post is: a left-wing echo chamber.
Variety also provided a context for what journalism should be and what it is in today:
In the old days, TV news, like most mainstream journalism orgs, took pride in maintaining a non-partisan stance. Now, that attitude seems antiquated amid competitive pressures and a growing sentiment among the public that most media coverage of politics is heavily biased anyway.The rise of strident partisan voices on all-news cablers isa longtime trend that has gone into overdrive during thiselongated presidential election cycle. The polarization of the TV dial is being driven by a confluence of forces within the television industry and the body politic.
It's the "Hey everybody is doing it so we should too" argument, followed closely by the "Keith is a ratings success!" lie:
In the past year, MSNBC has embraced the left, at least for one hour a night, with its irreverent but clearly liberal-leaning 8 p.m. news roundup program "Countdown With Keith Olbermann." "Countdown" has been on MSNBC since April 2003, but its viewership has spiked during the past year, ever since its host began offering a semi-regular, often-fiery commentary segment in which he has inveighed against the GOP's agenda and called for the resignations of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. For the month of July, viewership of "Countdown" rose 88% year-to-year to a nightly average of 721,000 viewers, still well behind Fox News' 8 p.m. anchor "The O'Reilly Factor," which averaged 2 million viewers.
Well at least they do acknowledge his show clearly has a leftist agenda. But once again, selective use of the ratings system and the real truth about Olbermann's ratings go unprinted. And this is the "Bible" of the entertainment industry?
But the highlight of the article is this astonishing claim by Olbermann pal and MSNBC/NBC executive Phil Griffin:
"You're not going to survive in cable doing a straight news-of-record broadcast," says Phil Griffin, senior veep of NBC News and the exec in charge at MSNBC. "You've got to give (more) information and analysis. ... By 8 at night, most people who tune in have a basic understanding of the news of the day."
More information? Analysis? Is he kidding? Olbermann's show provides neither. This is a man who ignored the stock market peaks and high points but as soon as the market began a correction, suddenly took a keen interest in the stock market decline because he could blame it on Bush! And Analysis? From whom? The usual suspects like convicted felon John Dean? Then again, Griffin is the same genius who thought it would be a good idea to fire Don Imus who was a cash cow for the network and bring in Joe Scarborough whose viewership on some mornings is so low it doesn't even rate on the Nielsen scale!
"Opinions (in the news media) can be helpful," says Al Tompkins of the Florida-based journo think tank Poynter Institute, "but only if the people giving the opinions know what they're talking about."
And as we all know here at Olbermannwatch, Keith Olbermann doesn't have a clue of the bigger picture because unless he can lift something from Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Talking Points Memo or Media Matters he doesn't know it exists! Talk about partisan broadcasting. No wonder then that:
according to a survey released this month by the Pew Research Center . . found that 55% of respondents believe the news media (broadly categorized as local and network TV and newspapers) are politically biased, up from 45% in 1985, while 36% of respondents believe that news organizations "hurt democracy," up from 23% in 1985.
The Pew study went on to find that
More than two-thirds, or 70%, of respondents who identified themselves as Republicans said they felt the news media was politically biased in its reporting, compared with 39% of Democrats. (The perception gap between the two sides was much smaller when the survey was first conducted in 1985, when 49% of GOP-ers smelled bias, compared with 43% of Dems.) Some 63% of Republicans surveyed said they felt stories and reports by the news media are "often inaccurate," compared with 43% of Democratic respondents
And why would that be exactly? Because the liberals are happy because they know the MSM is liberally-biased just like their Hero, Keith Olbermann!
But wait--the Olbyloons don't think that Keith is biased! Here are some reactions to the article from one of the nuttier Keith Olbermann fansites. Opines one Olbyloon
Great article..but I still don't think Keith's a liberal, I just think he's got it right when it comes to most issues. No bs, there are not two sets of facts, right?
Agreed. It's getting a little annoying hearing about Keith's liberalism. I don't see why telling it like it is is considered liberal.
There is so much wrong with those two statements that I don't even know where to begin. But just another example of the lunatics who follow Keith Olbermann's every word and don't believe there's a hint of bias in his program!
Well, it seems that the KO defenders, lovers and water carriers [Ding!] are gearing up for tonight's "debate" just as the MSM has been doing. At our best friends for life hangout, DailyKos, a strange thing happened today.
The founder and proprietor of the far left, pardon me, "centrist" website well known for it's smear tactics and threats against candidates they don't like, posted himself about their new Edward R. Murrow. Posting here, Markos culled from the SunTimes article perpetuating the usual lies the MSM loves. Olbermann is a "ratings success" and "boosting MSNBC," all of which have no proof or statistics to back up other MSNBC's own spin machine claiming their win in the "sales demo." This is kind of akin to the night Olbermann hawked his triumph over Brit Hume in the coveted, all important key midnight EST/EDT showing of both Brit Hume's show and Olby's. In an entry titled, "Moving in on Olbermann's turf," Markos said this:
Truer words were never said:
Conservatives tend to say the media is liberal, but Olbermann heads the only lefty show on broadcast or cable news. (Olbermann once described himself not as a liberal, but as an American.)
"I'm surprised that nobody has tried to come in and snake my turf," he says, especially since "Countdown" earns "a good deal of money."
This is the bottom-line idiocy of the corporate media. They keep ratings-starved conservative shows like Glenn Beck and Tucker Carlson on the air, while the fastest growing show on all of cable news-land is still the only liberal show on the schedule.
For an industry that thrives on ripping off each other's successes, this is curious indeed.
Now, while it's true that Tucker Carlson has continuously struggled and Beck goes back and forth, right now on the bad side of ratings, Olbermann is NOT the fastest growing show on all of cable news. In fact, Keith has had some of his worst demos in quite some time in the past few months. Following his diasterous coverage of the Minneapolis bridge collapse where he fumbled through simple sentences, he has remained in the third, occasional fourth and eeking out second sometimes in the demo. I am even going to use a lefty blog to prove that point! At the Divine Democrat, the blogger posts a quote from somewhere about Olbermann's demo numbers.
MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann beat CNN's Paula Zahn Now in the 25-54 demographic.
Countdown averaged 164,000 total viewers in the quarter, up 41% from Q1 2005. Zahn averaged 158,000 demo viewers (down 33 percent), according to MSNBC. Bill O'Reilly averaged 450,000 in the demo (down 24 percent).
Wow, Countdown average 164k demo viewers, up 41% from 2005. Now, this means that to inflate the notion of "fastest growing show," you have focus on the percentages. Sort of like having 1 viewer and then 10 viewers. You're up a 1000%! Fastest growing! Notice how the "Divine Democrat" pays no attention to O'Reilly's key coveted demo numbers are. Reason? They trounce the hell out of Olbermann every night. It's easy to pick on poor Ms. Zahn who got treated very poorly by her network and received absolutely no PR whatsoever. I think what shows most about people's cable news habits are found when the Minneapolis bridge collapsed. Take a look at Olby's number versus a one Ms. Zahn. As we see here, Olbersturmfuhrer is destroyed by Paula Zahn. Paula Zahn - 1,635,000 viewers (635,000), demo in parentheses, to Countdown w/ Olbermann - 939,000 viewers (427,000). Ouch. We know where people turn to for news when it really counts. Oh, and Fox that night? Fox Report: Bridge Collapse - 3,743,000 viewers (998,000). Double ouch. So much so for going to that Edward R. Murrow when it matters. This "ratings" garbage that the MSM throws around which is then carried by slovenly, political hacks like Markos is how all that misinformation gets disseminated to the goose stepping legions of moonbats.
Furthermore, the best part about his piece, is that Markos himself calls Olbermann (or his show) liberal! You don't say? And here I thought it was just a news broadcast all this time. Many a quotation of Olbermann's Murrow wannabe statement, "I'm not a liberal, I'm an American" in the comment section which now has some 350 comments.
All of which brings to mind, why are all these MSM articles and lefty blogger posts coming on the same day? Does the debate tonight have anything to do with? Are those water carriers at it again, der Fuhrer? Maybe this is payback for those lovely signed photos you provided all your adoring fans that hide in depths of internet anonymity and use their diaries to smear soldiers like a one A. Whitney Brown. Definitely the crowd you should be associating yourself with, unbiased and non partisan journalist Edward R. Olbermann.
In advance of the AFL-CIO debate, the Mainstream Media is down on their knees in their adoration of the Olbermonster. The LA Times, Chicago Sun-Times, and TV Guide are breathless in their worship and devotion to the notorious Keith Olbermann. And Olby is only too happy to talk about his favorite subject, himself.
To TV Guide, Olbermann insists he's a newsguy.
It's a little different from my experiences with news coverage, but you can't miss an opportunity like this. I think it's also the price--and I mean this in a positive light--of putting myself in the political arena with my commentaries. The authenticity of those commentaries is, in some respects, achieved by doing things like this, and involving myself in the political process in a way that's hands-on.
News coverage? Keith covers the news? Hmmm. I thought his fans insisted he wasn't really a news anchor despite Olbermann's insistence and the networks, that he is. And yes Keith, you've certainly involved yourself in the political process with those commentaries but is that something that real journalists are supposed to do? No, of course not. But does the interviewer from TV Guide follow up and ask about that? Of course not. But Olby goes on to interject himself once again in the "political process" at least in so far as it involves the Democrats in the following exchange:
TVGuide.com: Thanks to some differences in how they'd approach foreign policy, things have started to get heated between Clinton and Obama. Do you believe the verbal jabs will continue to fly during the forum? Olbermann: I think cooler heads will prevail. The irony to all this is that the quotes that the Obama people put out to point out that Senator Clinton had said the same things regarding dealing with unfriendly nations that he did during the debate was from an interview I did with Senator Clinton. So I've already gotten involved in this. I think that helps in terms of cutting through the name calling and getting back to the substance. You want illumination. The natural inclination of television is to go for heat. I'm much more interested in light.
He's joking right? Keith "Special Education Komment" Olbermann is interested in the light? Keith "I never have an opposing view on my show" Olbermann's only interest is in shedding light on the political process? Yeah, right, sure. Again, no follow up from TV Guide which lets Olby get away with his own back-patting. So let's move on to the Chicago Sun-Times. Surely they'll ask Olby the tough questions right? Wrong.
Doug Elfman, the paper's television writer insists that the Olby factor has "boosted" MSNBC. To what? Third place in the oh-so-important, coveted demo? And that's on a good night? Again, no actual proof that Olby is a ratings-success, just the usual MSM tactic, repeat and rinse and maybe it will come true. Olby repeats the usual tripe, including how O'Reilly writes half his material for him. Well that part is certainly true as Olbermann insists on working the much more successful O'Reilly into as many nightly broadcasts as he can. But there's no follow up or questions about why Olbermann is so obsessed with O'Reilly or mention that O'Reilly's 3 a.m. repeat gets higher ratings than Countdown's first broadcast. Oh no, Olby is up 72% in viewers says Elfman! Yeah well, when you start with 0 viewers and you gain a few hundred, yeah, that's a ratings increase. But it's not a win. Just saying.
And Elfman's own biases are clearly revealed in the following in which he interjects his own liberal bias with choice quotes from Olby:
Conservatives tend to say the media is liberal, but Olbermann heads the only lefty show on broadcast or cable news. (Olbermann once described himself not as a liberal, but as an American.) "I'm surprised that nobody has tried to come in and snake my turf," he says, especially since "Countdown" earns "a good deal of money." He disagrees with the theory corporate leaders are too conservative to air more lefties. "If tomorrow Rupert Murdoch woke up ... and it had come to him in a dream he could make twice as much money by turning Fox News Channel into a liberal operation, he would do it." (I agree.)
It's so nice to know you agree Mr. Elfman. I'm sure America was breathlessly awaiting your opinion on Fox News vs. Olbermann. But at least you got one thing right, Olby's show is a lefty love fest, but is there any questioning of why such bias in a news anchor is wrong? No, of course not. And Keith? Perhaps no one has come in to "snake" your "turf" because your little stunts haven't exactly generated the ratings that you and your Mainstream Media buddies want the public to believe it has.
But let's let Olby have the last word in the interview with Elfman.
"A certain amount of suspended logic goes into being an enthusiast for anything."
No kidding Keith. I guess that's why Elfman couldn't tell the real story about your biases or your ratings.
So now it's on to the LA Times and another adoring profile by Paul Brownfield, that wins the award for the most adoring profile of Olbermann of the day, complete with a headline which proclaims that Countdown is growing (growing in what we have no idea) and churns out the opening paragraph:
More than any other news show on cable, MSNBC's "Countdown With Keith Olbermann" is us.
Speak for yourself Mister Brownfield. At least Brownfield gets this part right but in typical MSM style, sees nothing wrong with Olbermann's approach:
In the process, Olbermann has developed a new brand -- the leftist firebrand of cable news, taking on O'Reilly (in rhetoric if not ratings) and the Bush administration in verbose, breathlessly written editorials that get passed around like munchies on various TV news websites. If Jon Stewart's withering, foxhole buffoonery is by popular conception a primary news source, then "Countdown" is Stewart's "Daily Show" done with a straight face. To Stewart's "correspondents" Olbermann has a coterie of reporters, columnists and bloggers under contract to play themselves, but nonconfrontationally and un-ironically. They're his salon of Beltway observers, and they typically confirm what Olbermann, you can tell, has already been thinking. The effect is of an interested observer getting his perspective honed by better-connected observer-friends like the Washington Post's Dana Milbank and Newsweek's Richard Wolffe. On "Countdown," there is no back and forth -- just forth.
There's so much that is so wrong with what Brownfield wrote above, completely without any accompanying analysis or actual questioning of Olbermann that I don't even know where to begin. But it's just another example of the inherent biases of the MSM when it comes to Olby. No questioning, no analysis, just love, praise, adoration, and worship as they continue to try and peddle the ridiculous notion that Olby is somehow a "ratings success".
But the LA Times does contain a startling claim from Olbermann.
"I had a conversation with the large people at CBS before they went and decided to go to Katie Couric," he said. "We sat at length talking about this. They had a mixture of greedy appreciation and suspicion about whether or not anything like this, you know, how could you do a 'Countdown' show on the 'CBS Evening News.' Well, of course you couldn't. Now." He described the meeting -- how he'd told CBS Chief Executive Leslie Moonves and then-CBS News President Andrew Hayward all that ailed the nightly news. "Everybody does two or three minutes of a dimwitted feature" at the end of the broadcast, Olbermann recounted telling them. "There's some feature I can live without. . . . Give me two of those minutes and on the way in and out of each commercial break, we can customize the stuff, it will look to people like a revolutionary new version. It will look like an SUV with three wheels somehow supporting the weight, but burning only half the gas, and moving at 90 mph effortlessly, you know, spewing lilacs out the exhaust pipe.. . . "And Mr. Moonves and Mr. Hayward left and that was the last of it," he added.
CBS may be crazy, after all they put up with Dan Rather's craziness for years but at least they weren't crazy enough to hire Olby and let him Countdownize their news broadcast. But Olby really wants us to believe he was seriously in the running for the CBS news anchor job? But does Brownfield fact-check this claim? Of course not. Instead, he lets Olby push this ridiculous notion:
You're not gonna get much of an argument out of me in suggesting that this is the sort of thing that should be on a national broadcast," Olbermann said, when I noted, as others have in print, that "Countdown" is the hybrid future of broadcast network news.
So if Olby can't even make a success out of his third (and sometimes fourth) rated cable newscast, how the heck does he think he's going to make it a broadcast network success? Ah, but Olby's ego knows no bounds and the media, as apparent from the three fawning articles above, doesn't know how to ask the hard questions when it comes to the infamous, deplorable, Keith Olbermann.
Olbermannwatch needs to create a new category for Olbermann media quotes, one entitled, "He's off his meds again". Howard Kurtz has a quote this morning from the "unbiased" Keith Olbermann who apparently has lost all connection with reality when asked about his ability to be fair and unbiased while hosting the upcoming AFL-CIO Democratic debate, he goes off on one of his tangents where he totally fails to address the question posed to him by Kurtz and instead spews the following:
I realize the far right understands that the pitchmen it turns to in lieu of newscasters could not be trusted to leave their commentary at home, and treat an actual news event as such, but fortunately I'm a journalist who does periodic commentary, and not a snake oil salesman pretending to be an analyst or newsman.
Pitchmen? Hmm. You mean like the many times you held up your book on TV and begged people to buy it (to no avail)? And Olby now thinks he's a journalist? Man you just can't write comedy gold like this!
Don't journalists actually go out into the field and cover news? Has anyone seen Olbermann cover a story from the field like say a hurricane, earthquake, Tsunami, any natural disaster? What's Olbermann's idea of covering a "news" event? Why it's showing up at the publisher of the Harry Potter books last Friday night, dressed in costume! Yeah, I'm sure that if Edward R. Murrow were alive today he'd be right alongside Olby, first in line, wearing a little Harry Potter costume too!
Okay, this isn't actually another one of the typical rah-rah, fawning, kiss-butt media profiles of Keith Olbermann. It's actually yet another article by someone who correctly gets it about what's wrong with Olbermann. IBD correctly points out for all the liberal whining about the bias they perceive as epidemic and characteristic of Fox News, none of them seem to find anything wrong with the liberal bias at MSNBC!
How desperate are the radical leftists? So desperate that they want to bring back the so-called "Fairness Doctrine" to television and radio airwaves. Among the proponents for revial of the fairness doctrine include the usual suspects, Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and John Kerry of Massachusetts.
IBD correctly points out that the liberals already have their own 24/7 mouthpiece, MS-DNC.
Media Bias: MSNBC would be fairer and more balanced with Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean on the air instead of Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews. Where is its "Fairness Doctrine"?
Hmmm. Anyone remember the last time Olbermann had on an opposing viewpoint on his little liberal-love fest? Anyone? Anyone? Nah, me either. You gotta believe that Keith wouldn't be too happy with the idea of the fairness doctrine returning either, it might actually mean he'd have to have someone on who didn't ape and parrot his "I love the DNC" routine.
Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC's "Countdown," gained fame first as a baseball card collector, then a sportscaster, but is now apparently qualified to "report" on politics. On Monday, this is how Olbermann began his "news" on Scooter Libby's clemency:
"Good evening. A president who lied us into a war and, in so doing, needlessly killed 3,584 of our family and friends and neighbors . . . has tonight freed from the prospect of prison the only man ever to come to trial for one of the component felonies in what may be the greatest crime of this young century." Olbermann then called on President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney to resign before, as always, parroting Edward R. Murrow's sign off, "Good night, and good luck." Unlike talk radio, Olbermann's program presents itself as a straight newscast, featuring reports from NBC correspondents like Andrea Mitchell.
Can you imagine the hue and cry of the liberal loonies if Fox News began one of their newscasts with a tirade like that if it were aimed towards a Democratic administration? Fox News is the network that people love to hate, although the ratings clearly indicate that someone out there likes it. It simply galls the radical left extremists that a network like Fox exists and that their liberal ideals are questioned by conservative hosts. But the point they seem to forget is that these programs are OPINION shows. Yet no one seems to question the propriety of Olbermann's NEWS program opening up with a clearly slanted, biased bit of propaganda like the one he spewed above. MSNBC insists that he has a news show and that he's a journalst. Countless articles in the mainstream media have praised him as a "news anchor" right down to annointing him the "Edward R. Murrow" of his generation. Too few have questioned how it is that it's okay for him to push a liberal viewpoint on a news program yet so wrong for anyone on Fox News to have an opinion contrary to that of the DNC on a clearly-labeled opinion show. But then again, hypocrisy and Democrats seem to go together like. . .bread and butter don't they? And it's clear that Olbermann's bread and butter is in running a slanted, biased opinion-fest disgused as a "news" program.
Another of MSNBC's ranters is Chris Matthews, host of "Hardball." The highly partisan Matthews was a senior aide to the late Speaker Tip O'Neill, the Massachusetts Democrat, and the author of President Carter's infamous "malaise" speech. On Tuesday, Matthews interviewed former ambassador Joseph Wilson â€” who wrote the infamous New York Times op-ed in 2003 claiming that Bush lied about Saddam Hussein seeking yellowcake uranium in Niger â€” about the Libby controversy. It was Wilson who always claimed that his wife â€” then-CIA operative Valerie Plame, whose cover was allegedly blown by the Bush White House, sparking the probe that eventually netted Scooter Libby â€” never recommended him to go to Niger and investigate. But in 2004, a Senate Intelligence Committee report found that "interviews and documents provided to the committee indicate (Plame) suggested his name for the trip" â€” including a memo from Plame to the CIA. The Senate also found that Wilson's own report said the Niger government had confirmed that Iraq tried to buy uranium. But instead of grilling Wilson on any of this, Matthews treated him as a paragon of integrity, throwing the softest of softballs, like: "Do you believe that they (the Bush administration) went after you because you were a war critic?"
Wow, imagine that. Chris Matthews throwing softballs to someone the Liberal Loons hold in as high a regard as they do Olbermann? Olbermann, Plame, and Wilson are pretty much the Holy Trinity of the Radical Left. Thrown in Cindy Sheehan and Rosie O'Donnell and you have the starting line-up for the for the Democratic All-Star Team. But nothing is wrong with such bias just so long as it's left-wing bias, right?
Democratic presidential candidates get away with refusing to let Fox News sponsor a debate, while their Republican counterparts let MSNBC lead them like lambs to the slaughter courtesy of Matthews' loaded questions and sound bites and Olbermann's crazed tirades. A "Fairness Doctrine" manufacturing Olbermann and Matthews clones is the last thing America needs.
While IBD takes a dim view of the "Fairness Doctrine", I'm at least rather hopeful that if Kerry & Feinstein get their way that we might actually see the rarest of all creatures known to mankind on Keith Olbermann's "news" program-an opposing view.
Wait--this isn't the usual MSM whitewash of Olbermann's antics. It's someone who actually gets what is wrong with one Keith T. Olbermann (the T stands for theatrical).
Liberals flock to Olbermann because he is an unabashed purveyor of propaganda slanted to the left - just as the rabid right wingers follow Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly because they pander to conservative viewpoints.But Olbermann is no less bombastic or any less slanted than his rivals. He just represents the other side. He is an unabashed liberal who wears his bias on the sleeves of his custom tailored suits and bias - whether right or left, conservative or liberal, Republican or Democrat - is still bias.
Flock may be an overstatement--obviously this writer hasn't seen Olbermann's latest ratings which put him solidly behind both Bill O'Reilly and horror or horrors--Nancy Grace.
Liberals claim the vast wasteland of cable TV news needs Olbermann because he counterbalances the right-wing domination of the market by Fox. When Fox News went on the air, conservatives said the same thing, claiming they needed a right-wing voice to counterbalance what they saw as liberal control of the news. When bias becomes the central focus of any news organization, truth loses out. Truth cannot co-exist with bias and the public is never served by any operation that delivers news from a singular, pre-determined point of view.
Finally, someone gets it. At least Fox has the decency to properly label their opinion shows as such. That's not a distinction that MSNBC is either willing or able to make. And as much as the liberals scream and cry about the alleged biases of Fox News, they don't seem to have a problem at all with Olbermann's liberal bias now do they? If they honestly cared about journalistic ethics, they'd know better. Maybe they do, but in their partisan blindness, they've decided that certain rules do not apply, henceforth, things like journalistic ethics can be tossed aside in the name of liberal politics.
Sadly, what the Olbermanns, O'Reillys, Limbaughs and others of their ilk spoon feed a gullible American public is not news or even solid information. It is partisan pap, spiked with hyperbole and laced with entertainment-enhanced glitz.
Again, I don't think the average American tunes in to O'Reilly or Limbaugh to get news. Yet MSNBC insists on calling Olbermann's program a news show and Olbermann a news anchor.
Olbermann ends each "newscast" with "Good night and good luck," a salutation stolen, word-for-word, from the late, great newsman Edward R. Murrow. Murrow, like the news that both cable TV and broadcast networks on both sides of the political spectrum so cheapens with their theatrics, deserves better.
Truer words have never been written, yet the loons still insist that Olbermann is Edward R. Murrow reincarnate.
It's been awhile since the last fawning MSM piece on Olbermann, but don't despair Olbermannwatchers-the Orlando Sentinel has stepped in to fill the void:
Keith Olbermann had a Howard Beale moment Tuesday night. Showing unusual fury and quoting John Wayne, the MSNBC anchor urged President Bush and Vice President Cheney to resign.Olbermann was as mad as hell and he wasn't going to take it anymore. Olbermann seethed about Bush's commutation of the prison sentence for former White House aide Scooter Libby.
Yep, Olbermann shares a great deal in common with one Howard Beale, namely, apparent insanity.
Olbermann's style was so fierce that it probably stunned many viewers. It's rare to hear a TV news star share such blistering and thought-out commentary. And Olbermann never resorted to clowning or comedy. That made it especially unusual and uncomfortable.
On the contrary! We here at Olbermannwatch found Olbermann's latest rant to be oh-so-very amusing and comical.
. . . his delivery was unrelenting and harsh. And yet it memorable, too, for weaving in screen legend (John) Wayne.
Because as we all know, Hollywood actors know oh-so-very much about Politics right?
Too theatrical? I guess it depends on your political persuasion or how upset you are by the state of the country.
Yeah, you know, when a supposed news "anchor" and "journalist" goes off on a rant like this, yeah, it may be considered to be a tad too theatrical. But note the writer doesn't think there is an inherent problem with Olbermann expressing opinions on what is labeled a news program by MS-DNC.
In "Sicko," Michael Moore shrewdly leavens his commentary with comedy. (You need the humor in a two-hour movie.) Moore wonders why Americans are so slow to protest for better government.
No wonder. This guy is a fan of Michael Moore's too. Kinda says it all doesn't it?
Maybe the public needs to hear more voices like Olbermann's -- reasoned, passionate, daring -- on a regular basis. Such commentary supersedes the partisan bickering that usually passes for political discussion on television.
Ha ha. This guy thinks Olbermann was "reasoned" in this latest rant? He was so out of control I expected his head to spin around in 360 fashion and the green pea soup spitting to begin at any moment. But remember, this is the MSM and what Olberman did is "daring" and should be done on a "regular basis". Wonder what they'd say if someone at Fox had gone off on a Democratic president or one of the candidates currently running for the nomination? How many articles would we read in the MSM discussing the apparent lack of sanity of the said commentator? But Olbermann, passing himself off as a "journalist", his program as a "news show", gets the proverbial free pass from the MSM yet again.
What's this? Wait-it's not a MSM KO Bandwagon piece! Someone has finally gotten it right about the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann!
Keith Olbermann has developed a reputation- he's earned media capital, if you will - by raising serious questions about the political climate in America. But last night, he squandered a bit of that account in a 16-minute segment in which he attempted to make the case that the JFK terror plot was little more than a cleverly-timed political ploy by the Bush administration.
The segment went through chapter and verse of how curious the timing has been of many Bush terror alert announcements and arrests--how they frequently seem to follow and swallow, news that isn't friendly to the White House. There has been rampant discussion of the consistencies of these coincidences in the media over the years. It's a concern. But Olbermann stretched that concern to a very thin and tenuous extent last night.
Hot damn! Someone in the MSM finally thinks that KO is over-playing his liberal loon act a bit much!
His point? That Saturday's press conference announcing the JFK terror plot occured the day before the Democratic debate to take away from its impact. Also, that the arrests were announced by a Bush-appointed US Attorney amid the current scandal surrounding the apparently politically-motivated firings of US Attorneys. And--hold on to your seats--also present was the New York City Chief of Police . . . the father of a Fox News Correspondent!
It's always those bastards at Fox isn't it Keith?
Said Olbermann: If merely a reasonable case can be made that any of these juxtapositions of events are more than coincidences, if that case can be made on this, the very day that a military judge at Guantanamo Bay dismissed all terror charges that have kept Salim Hamdan jailed there for five years, it underscores the need for questions to be asked, and asked continually in this country--questions about what is prudence and what is just fear-mongering.
Yes Keith, we know you and Rosie and the rest of the Loons think that there are no terrorists. But the CBS blogger sees it a bit differently:
So his point is that if any of them are true--even if, ahem, last night's seemed a bit far-fetched--that we need to ask questions. Amen to that Keith. But aren't we already asking questions? Aren't you? And if the Hamdan decision was of such import, why didn't you devote 16 minutes to the case of the legal environment at Guantanamo Bay? Hammering away at things that aren't there--or barely there--is a surefire way to dilute your message. Though the likes to point out this political tendency whenever possible, Keith Olbermann is beginning to make the same mistake.
Hmm. This echoes what Brian Williams said yesterday:
"I think you get one of those a career in my line of work," he said. "[Walter] Cronkite chose to use his chit on the Vietnam War that he witnessed. But I think you only get one."
Maybe it's the beginning of a whole new "media bandwagon" where the infamous, deplorable, biased Keith Olbermann is concerned.
It's been a few weeks since a mainstream media article appeared about Herr Olbermann. Hey KO--Did you forget to pay your publicist? Enter the Boston Globe to fill the KO newsvoid. This isn't a full-on profile of Olbermann, it's a Q&A session with his opinions on key questions (half of which are sports-related). But it does contain a nugget of interesting information. Guess who is the Keynote Speaker at the ACLU-Massachusetts Banquet in Boston tonight? Yes, that's right, the unbiased Keith Olbermann.
Best president? "Lincoln. Can't argue with turning the catastrophe of civil war into the emancipation of the slaves. Although I think James Polk is terribly underrated -- took the chance on California, managed to enrage the leaders of all the political parties.''
What????? A Republican that Olbermann actually likes? Oh, that's right, Olbermann only likes Republicans who have been dead for over a century.
Best member of the Red Sox? "Current: Terry Francona. Sitting in the dugout with him during an exhibition game this year taught me about 25 percent more baseball than I knew, and his light touch running the club was a delight to watch."
Wow--Olbermann actually admits he doesn't know everything about everything-that's got to be a first for him. He must have been in an unusually humble mood.
Best of all time? Johnny Pesky. Anybody who could still be working for the same organization 43 years after losing the manager's job is doing something right. Plus 10 years ago he ended an interview with me by giving a very warm handshake, which he promptly turned into a 'soul shake.' I am still in awe.
There goes KO again with the man-love for baseball players. He's probably still prefer a soul kiss from A-Rod though.
Best US foreign intervention? "Afghanistan. One can argue that World War I qualifies -- only our shipping was attacked, not the nation per se. But for pure justified bona fide 'world's policeman' work, going after the Taliban was inarguable. And incomplete."
Ah, Olbylogic. It's okay to go into Afghanistan to hunt down the Taliban and Osama Bin Laden but those terrorists in Iraq? Oh no, they should be left alone to kill us.
Best recent movie or book? "I loved 'The Echoing Green' by Josh Prager. A microscopic workup of the 1951 National League pennant race. 'Gettysburg Gospel' by Gabor Boritt is the same kind of writing: A specific event, researched to death, so detailed as to transport you to the time and place. Great written history should approach time travel; these do."
To show he's a real "intellectual", Olby has to mention books no one else has ever read or even heard of. Gee, do you think he shares his reading list with his oh-so-very-young live-in girlfriend, Katy Tur? Is she actually old enough to read yet?
Best guess right now on the Democratic and Republican nominees in 2008? "Al Gore and Mitt Romney. I think the far right will eventually recoil from Giuliani and pick Romney because he looks like a president and sounds like a Bing Crosby record. And I think Gore can have the nomination for the asking."
There you go. Olbermann has spoken: Al Gore will throw his hat into the ring any day now because Olbermann wants him to!
Bonus question: Odds that Gore wins the Nobel Peace Prize? "3:1 -- and the odds are that he'll actually win it, but the odds it will go to somebody else on a recount are 3:2."
Yeah, it's always those pesky recounts that do Democrats in isn't it Olby?
It's been all of a week or so since the latest mainstream media lie regarding Olbermann's ratings. Enter Editor and Publisher which was more than happy to copy and paste a press release from a far-left group who is presenting Olbermann with an award today.
NEW YORK MSNBC's Keith Olbermann will receive the first Molly Ivins Award from the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies later today, according to AAN officials. "I'm utterly honored," Olbermann said in a statement, "largely because I'd still like to be Molly Ivins when I grow up."
But it's good to see that Olbermann is at least admitting he's immature and hasn't quite grown up yet even though he's pushing 50.
The organization, which represents 125 alternative publications, created the award to "honor those who practice the same bold, fearless journalism for which Ivins was renowned during her years as co-editor of AAN member The Texas Observer and as a syndicated columnist." Describing her own style of writing, Molly Ivins once wrote, 'Satire is traditionally the weapon of the powerless against the powerful.' That's the sort of journalism we recognize today, that which holds those in power accountable in the court of public opinion," said AAN President and Memphis Flyer Publisher Kenneth Neill. "Keith Olbermann speaks truth to power with wit and style, just as Molly did."
Apparently this radical leftist group hasn't really examined transcripts of Olbermann's program. Regular Olbermannwatch readers of course, known that his broadcasts are filled with errors, omissions, and flat-out lies.
Olbermann will receive the honor during a lunchtime event at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York, where the annual Newspaper Association of America convention is being held this week.
I'm sure Olbermann will fill right at home in a hotel setting. Hmm. Wonder if he's meeting any fans for a nooner?
Olbermann, a former ESPN broadcaster, hosts the nightly "Countdown with Keith Olbermann," which has gained ratings strength in the past two years. Ivins, the longtime columnist, died Jan. 31 at the age of 62 after a long battle with cancer. AAN officials stated in a release that Olbermann's show "is notable for its literate writing, fast-paced delivery, historical and pop-culture references and the host's signature wit, all of which make 'Countdown' one of the most vital and colorful newscasts on the air."
Don't exactly see them praising him for his accuracy or integrity as a journalist though do you? And while it's true that Olbermann's ratings have increased, he's still stuck firmly in second place both in overall ratings and of course, the all important "key demo". Another ratings lie floated by a publication you'd think would know better than to photocopy a press release but when the ratings of Keith Olbermann are concerned, as we well know, the Mainstream Media can't be bothered to fact-check.
It's time for a little Q&A session with Olbermann regarding his new NFL sports gig with NBC.
Among the Gems is this exchange:
SI: How often do your Google yourself? Olbermann: I will confess: There is a bookmark for that. I probably do that once a day. There is a lot of stuff out there that is completely untrue and you have to know what is out there and whether you should call a lawyer.
And then there's this laughable exchange:
SI: Are you happy? Olbermann: Yeah, absolutely. I've got a strong beachhead in each of my areas of interest in news and sports with no small influence in both. I have the security of a contract and good employers in all areas of it. I'm on the air with one of my best friends for an hour a day, just shooting the breeze and getting paid for it. I have a great girlfriend, we are approaching nine or ten months of this and it's looking good. And spring is coming!
Hmm. I didn't realize coming in chronically second and third in your timeslot on the third rated cable news network represented establishing a "beachhead". And a nearly 50-year old man is bragging about the "nine or ten" month duration of a relationship? It's almost sad isn't it?
Okay, it's not your usual fawning mainstream tripe, but it is about Keith Olbermann. Seems Keith is going to be kicking back soom in some fancy new digs, the Trump Palace to be exact. H/T to the helpful Olbermannwatch poster who decided to share this little article with us all here at Owatch!
As a pleasingly debauched symbol of his transformation into a top-tier, top-paid newsman, Keith Olbermann has bought a sprawling 40th-floor apartment in an Upper East Side Trump condominium. According to a deed filed late Tuesday afternoon in public records, the Countdown with Keith Olbermann host paid $4.2 million, the exact asking price for the five-room apartment.â€œThe most fabulous views!!â€ says a giddy Brown Harris Stevens listing with brokers Lisa Lippman and Scott Moore. â€œOn a clear day, you can see forever.â€ There are different perches for those inestimable views: The 31Â½-foot-long living room, master bedroom and den each have balconies. Which perch does he favor? A spokesperson said that Mr. Olbermann was unavailable for comment.The former sportscaster now has a chefâ€™s kitchen, plus twin walk-in closets and â€œtwo and a half beautiful marble bathrooms.â€ According to the listing, all that makes for â€œelegant living at its best!â€ Mr. Olbermannâ€™s elegant seller is the limited-liability corporation Amsco Realty.Despite all its marbled, Trump-inspired luxury, the condoâ€™s price didnâ€™t top the $6.5 million that Maria Bartiromo over at CNBC just paid for her five-level townhouse on East 62nd Street. And perhaps to Mr. Olbermannâ€™s eventual chagrin, the apartment is veritably petite compared to the gated, waterside Manhasset spread belonging to his arch nemesis, Bill Oâ€™Reilly of Fox News.
You can view the listing here.
With the floorplan here.
And if you're really curious, here's a link to look up the contract, and financial details.
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.
It's been all of three days since a glowing mainstream media article appeared on Keith Olbermann. To fill the void, Dusty Saunders of the Rocky Mountain News has obligingly prepared a piece filled with the usual ratings half-truths and mushy love-notes to that mainstream media idol (and ratings failure), Keith Olbermann.
Olbermann's star rising
He can be cranky, smart-alecky, mean- spirited and sarcastic. And I imagine Bill O'Reilly fans could add more unflattering terms.
But several other adjectives apply as well: intelligent, well-read, forceful and incisive.
Keith Olbermann's newest career is in full bloom as far as descriptive adjectives are concerned. O'Reilly and Olbermann are, by far, the most polarizing commentators on television, cable or network. O'Reilly the conservative; Olbermann the liberal.
And the fact their weeknight programs (The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News and Countdown on MSNBC) air at 6 p.m. contributes greatly to this polarization.
As viewers of either (or both) know, neither plays the old-fashioned TV game of let's-ignore-the-opposition. O'Reilly, although not specifically naming Olbermann, regularly bashes MSNBC. Olbermann often designates O'Reilly, or "Bill-O," the "worst person in the world" while depressing organ music blares in the background.
Anyone who follows O'Reilly, a Channel 7 anchor-reporter in the late '70s, is aware of his immense popularity as host of the most-watched news-commentary series on cable and a nationally syndicated radio show. And don't forget a career as best-selling author trumpeting what he believes to be American values.
Olbermann, who gained initial national fame as co-host, with Dan Patrick, on ESPN's SportsCenter, had a testy, often controversial run before starting his second tour of duty on MSNBC on Countdown in 2003.
While the show is still a distant second to The O'Reilly Factor in total viewers, the hour continues to gain audience momentum in the younger demographic. And during the first quarter of this year, Olbermann's overall ratings rose 76 percent over the same period a year ago.
I've heard Olbermann's detractors (and O'Reilly fans) claim such a percentage growth is almost meaningless, considering the audience base was near nothing. That might have been true four years ago, but not today. Olbermann's popularity continues to grow, which is one reason he finished sixth in a survey by Television Week of the 10 Most Powerful People in Broadcasting News. Olbermann was cited for giving MSNBC a stronger liberal voice in prime time.
Obviously, this is one media outlet's opinion, but it does weigh well within the industry because it features a concise survey of broadcast news professionals.
Olbermann's profile will continue to rise in the fall, since he's signed on as co-host, with Bob Costas and others, on NBC's NFL Sunday show, Football Night in America.
And then there's Olbermann's career as news anchor. He'd never make it on the early evening, half-hour network shows. Olbermann is anything but the smiling, welcome-me-into-your-home talent the broadcast networks desire.
Anchoring Countdown's Monday night coverage of the Virginia Tech tragedy, Olbermann wasn't content with the prepared reports of NBC correspondents, including those from Kevin Corke, former 9News sports anchor. Olbermann kept asking questions that went far beyond the TV headlines about the shooting deaths.
It's been all of a week since there was a mainstream media bandwagon article promoting the ratings-challenged Keith Olbermann. So enter TVWeek who has helpfully prepared a list of the Top 10 Most Powerful People in TV News. Their list?
1. Roger Ailes, Chairman and CEO of Fox News
2. Steve Capus, President of NBC News
3. Charles Gibson, Anchor, ABC's 'World News'
4. David Westin, President of ABC News
5. Tim Russert, Managing editor and moderator of 'Meet the Press' and senior VP and Washington bureau chief for NBC News
6. Keith Olbermann, Host of MSNBC's 'Countdown With Keith Olbermann'
7. Sean McManus, President of CBS News
8. Jon Klein, President of CNN/U.S.; Ken Jautz, Executive VP of CNN Worldwide; Jim Walton, President of CNN Worldwide
9. N.S. Bienstock, Talent agency
10. Jon Stewart, Anchor of Comedy Central's 'The Daily Show'
And their twisted logic on why Olbermann ranks so high on this list?
Why he was chosen: The utter failure of Phil Donahue on MSNBC in 2003 was presumed to mean left-leaning hosts of prime-time TV shows were an endangered species. But, lo, a star rose in the west over Secaucus, N.J., and its name was Keith Olbermann.First-quarter 2007 ratings for the cranky Mr. Olbermann's "Countdown" rose 76 percent year-to-year to an average 713,000 viewers and helped galvanize MSNBC's increasingly popular, politically obsessed lineup; even the first telecast of "Tucker Carlson" perked up 33 percent to 238,000 viewers in the first quarter.Mr. Olbermann's take-no-prisoners approach frequently means he gives a demographic beat-down to his CNN competitor, Paula Zahn.
Demographic beat-down? Have they seen his recent ratings? Olbermann isn't the one delivering "beat-downs", he's the one getting them from Zahn, Nancy Grace, and of course, O'Reilly. But then again, how seriously can you take a list who lists a comedian as one of the most powerful people in news?
Since Stephen Rodrick of New York Magazine wasn't as blinded by Olbermann's BS as writers usually are, you could expect that the Olbyloons wouldn't be happy with the article. And you'd be right. Some samples of reaction to the article from the usual suspects. First let's go to Democratic Underground and their "I need Estrogen Brigade" where they had this reaction:
Oh wait, they had no reaction. None whatsoever. The article doesn't exist. Why doesn't the article exist? Because it's not 100% fawning of their man that's why! DU has a long history of ignoring anything that is less than complimentary of their cult leader.
New and Updated to include reaction from Daily Kos!
Okay, so on to Either Relevant or True: And what's this? Why there's a grammatical error in the main post! Someone alert the Olbermann-grammar police at once so they can correct "Becky"! And at EROT, it seems that "Gilbert" is miffed. Why? Because the writer: "
(did) knock Keith for donating to the Clinton Global Initative?
Yes Gilbert, the writer did. You see, real journalists don't practice checkbook journalism. Your boy though, does. And it looks bad when that's pointed out in an article like this doesn't it? There's a reason for that. It's against journalistic ethics, something Olbermann obviously knows very little about.
Now on to our personal favorite, Keitholbermann.org, where the Olybloons running the asylum that is that website can always be counted on for endless hours of amusement and spin. And oh, they certainly don't disappoint this time!
Says "Charity Froggenhall.
Stopped reading halfway through. They make him sound like a complete psychopath.
You said it Charity! Reading about JFK appearing to him in a dream, bloody head and all, and his freak-out over Princess Diana and "blood on all of our hands", yes, he does come off as a psychopath. Wonder why that would be?
And "SLFriend", A moderator at Ko.org (ooh, impressive huh, anyone ever notice that site has more moderators than actual posters?). Anyway, "Slfriend" opines, "
I had a feeling this article was a 'Hatchet Job' after reading the title."
As opposed to the usual 100% kiss-butt pieces, which is what the Loons of course, is all the Olbyloons ever want to see when it concerns MSM articles on Olbermann.
And Marie, ah, Marie. She believes the article was error-ridden! Why you ask?
For example, it's logical that if Katy came to NY from Cali, she moved in with him -- not the other way around. If the author was careless on obvious details like that, what else did he screw up?"
Let's review the article, shall we?
Once a recurring "Page Six" figure for his dating escapades, Olbermann recently moved in with his girlfriend, Katy Tur. Yes, she is a 23-year-old 2005 graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara, but the relationship marks his first attempt at cohabitation
While the article does say that Olbermann moved in with her, but apparently Marie discounts the idea that Olbermann and Tur moved into a NEW apartment together. See, this is what makes me love chronicling the adventures of the loons oh so much. And does anyone else remember that as recently as last month, the loons were still trying to claim that Katy was much older than 23? They don't have much of a track record when it comes to being correct about their assumptions on Keith Olbermann. But that doesn't stop them from trying to proclaim they know him. They can always be counted on to find some technical loophole or strange phrasing that allows them to declare the entire article false.
But Marie saves her venom for those evil unnamed sources!
And whoever those unnamed "souces" are, I wish they'd come out from under their
rock. "But I don't buy anything contributed by unnamed
"sources." Bullshit cowards.
Bullshit Cowards? Oh my. You mean like the people who post here in his defense who can't be bothered to even think up a user name? Or perhaps like Olbermann himself who ridicules Anderson Cooper for going to Iraq with a blue bulletproof vest when Olbermann sits high and dry and safe in his studio and refuses to even be seated on set with guests who are in the same studio copmlex he is! Yes, in that case Marie, "Bullshit Coward" does describe Olbermann perfectly! Thanks for thinking up that phrase for us. I'll use it in the future.
And you knew that an Olberwatch slam just had to be there didn't you? And you'd be right, here it is
Hmmmph. That's certainly not the Keith Olbermann I watch. Who wrote that, Robert Cox?
"that writer definitely had an axe to grind."
Yeah, kinda like Olbermann and O'Reilly/Fox/Bush/fill-in-the-blank, huh?
And then there's this from "The Roser":
Well, I hate the title, Limbaugh is a partisan liar, a bigot as well, but the article seemed fairly balanced. I wish he'd quit with the Anderson Cooper stuff though. To use his term, it comes off as fictionalized anger."But Roser, Olbermann has admitted he's a partisan! And he has been caught lying--more than once. Seems like the perfect comparison to us.
And Fictionalized Anger? Olbermann? Just because he pulls a "Special Comment" out of his back-pocket every time his ratings start to go south, why that doesn't mean they're fiction does it? Well, you said it. We didn't. We just believe you.
And protests Lauralu: "
It didn't seem like the writer got it right about what Keith is doing and what he represents. There's so much more to what he's doing on C/D than bitch slapping george."
Oh yeah, there sure is. Like Olbermann's grudge matches against O'Reilly/Fox/Bush/fill-in-the-bank. And don't forget video clips of polar bears and Hollywood Gossip!
And then there's this bit of vomit-inducing girlyfan worship, "
Ladies, don't you wish you could have known him at 16 and kept him company watching TV in that single dorm room of his? When I saw that picture (the one in the opening post), I thought if I'd been there I'd have jumped in his lap. What a cute young man."
And since nothing can top THAT remark, I'll end my post here. For now. I'm sure the Olbyloons will be back for more. And so will I!
Update: The Kossacks at Daily Kos have weighed in! And what do you know, one of them is deluded enough to think that Keith, "I'm a watercarrier for MSNBC and my buddy Phil" will actually make Imus a WPITW pick!" We know that the Olbyloons don't live on the real earth with the rest of us, but this one is out there even for Olbyplanet! What does Jill at Daily Kos want?
Well, Keith?.... WELL, Keith?! If ever there was a time for a "Worst Person.." or a "Special Comment," this is it. Let's see if you have the stones to stand up to your money-whore overlords at MSNBC and call for this vile gasbag's firing.Let's tell Olbermann it's time to speak out and do the right thing:email@example.com
Well that would be the thing to do if Olbermann wasn't a hypocrite, but we clear thinkers know he is. And as usual, the Olbyloons spring to Olbermann's defense with the following,
Give him a chance...Keith's already proven he has more 'stones' than every Bush and Cheney combined. Of he ignores this issue on the next Countdown, then have a rant about it.
Yeah, we won't hold our breath on that to happen!
Then there's this. . .
why Olby isn't allowed to criticize his co-workers.
I'd like to think think that if he would/could criticize his co-workers he'd do something about Scarborough trying so hard to be cute/funny/edgy/Colbert during their transitional throws.
Hmm. If that rule actually existed, then Olbermann never would have been able to repeatedly bash Dan Abrams. Or Tucker Carlson. Or Rita Cosby. Or Chris Matthews. Come to think of it, is there anyone that Olbermann works with that he hasn't critizied? No, we didn't think so.
Obviously, the diary writer at Kos was making entirely too much sense for the Olbyloons who then decided to turn on her.
this is the crappiest "diary" of the day...normally if someone is ranting, there is an obvious object of the rant...so you're targeting keith olbermann... why?To be attacking countdown for this is one of the stupidest things yet.
Maybe you have'nt watched Olbermann a whole lot Jillcrenz, but I've been watching him from day 1, and the guy nails it. Your criticisms of something that hasnt happened yet are crap, and even if he did'nt mention it I certainly would'nt hold it against him. The guy is the only one on the airwaves doing any real reporting at all, best of all he's a liberal.I think you could do more to further our causes, then some inane attack on Olbermann.
But aren't liberals supposed to stand up against things like racism and sexist statements? Hmm. Guess not.
Okay, so this isn't the usual fawning MSM article on Olbermann. But it is in a MSM publication. Over the past few years, Keith Olbermann has had porn star Mary Carey as a guest on his show several times. Apparently baseball fan Olbermann was trying to make a few home runs of his own with her.
MESSAGE to Keith ("The Quick") Olbermann's girlfriend: Your man likes porn stars. Triple-X sex siren Mary Carey told Free-FM's "Radio Chick" show that the MSNBC blabbermouth once called her and left a "rambling message" in which he asked her out. But Carey, star of such steamy adult classics as "Boobsville Sorority Girls," says she turned him down "because I had a boyfriend at the time." Olbermann - who last year was accused of bedding, then dumping, a sexy young fan who then blogged about what she called their lackluster fling - is now dating a young college grad. But Olbermann's rep insisted it was Carey who called him. Olbermann had her as a guest on his show in 2003 when she was running for governor of California. "It's a well-documented fact that Keith is off the market," the flack added.
Gee, wonder if this has anything to do with what his fans say is an upcoming interview with Keith in a porn magazine?
Not to be outdone by a story in the Times and a poll on AOL, TVGuide offers readers a story AND a poll. In just the latest example of the MSM lining up to spread the OlbyLove, TV Guide praises Olbermann's "sardonic wit" which drives the "successful and frequently hysterical" Countdown with Keith Olbermann and lumps Olby with the actually funny Jon Stewart.
What's useful about following this trip through the liberal media ecosystem is how you can follow the trail from TVNewser's constant proclamations about KO "growing" and "beating CNN" and "catching O'Reilly briefly" to stories like The Times piece claiming KO is a "great growth story" to TVGuide labelling the show as "successful". Now we can all debate the importance of the demo or how you measure growth. I might even be willing to entertain a discussion on whether Dan Abrams faith in Keith Olbermann is likely to ever be rewarded. But the claim today in TVGuide that Countdown is a "successful" show is just plain ludicrous.
h/t Susan at Relevant Torture
What can we expect next as the MSM rallies behind Olbermann? A sitdown with Charlie Rose? A 60 Minutes profile? The cover of Time or Rolling Stone? Rest assured, you have not seen the last of MSM OlbyLove this summer. There is just one problem. As has been shown time and time again, no matter what they hype, at the end of the day KO disappoints. If anyone tuning into Countdown is really expecting some version of The Daily Show or the Colbert Report they are going to be quickly disabused of this notion and tune out which explains why these periodic fits of OlbyLove are necessary in the first place - KO can't build and sustain an audience.