Thursday, October 09, 2008

More on Olbermann

I got a comment from Matthew Montgomery on my last post which was about Keith Olbermann.

You've lost the plot, evidently. Colbert, an unmistakable satirist, is making a joke about the perceived bias of Olbermann, not about actual bias &mdash grouping him with the New York Times speaks to this.

The same goes for the Get Fuzzy comment.
Yes, Colbert is a satirist but the comment in question was satirizing Seymour Hersh at the time. Hersh was predicting (one of many such predictions) that we already had a timetable for bombing Iran. He referred to this as "Dick Cheney's pipe dream". Colbert said that Hersh got it wrong, that Cheney's pipe dream was to drive a bulldozer into the New York Times while drinking light sweet crude from Keith Olbermann's skull. While Colbert is talented, I don't think that he is so multi-layered that he would try to satirize Olbermann in the middle of a dig at Hersh. Instead, he was referring to Olbermann's well-known bias. The same is true for Get Fuzzy. Olbermann's name was dropped the same way that Rush Limbaugh's is when referring to the right. The difference is that Limbaugh is not anchoring a newscast nor has he been paired with broadcast anchors to cover the election.

Matthew also pointed out that there are people a lot further to the left than Olbermann. I agree. However, none of the regular diarists on Kos anchor a news broadcast. What's more, Olbermann reads these guys and believes at least some of what they say.

I first became aware of Olbermann in 2004 when MSNBC had their anchors post blogs on Olbermann was an infrequent poster until the election. The kids at Kos and the Democratic Underground were onvinced that their candidate couldn't have lost in an honest election. They were sure that Deibold voting machines had been tampered with to throw the election. For the next few weeks they came up with numerous instances where the vote couldn't have been what the machines said. These claims were made without any proof by people who were nowhere near the machines in question. There was no cross-checking to see if the counties in question even used the suspect Diebold machines (they didn't). Olbermann was a true believer. He suddenly started updating his blog regularly, sometimes twice a day. He believed every theory and repeated them without bothering to verify the story.

My point is that Olbermann is not fit to be a news anchor. Newsmen are supposed to relate what happened, not judge it. Olbermann can't do this. MSNBC tried using Olbermann and Chris Matthews to cover the conventions and quickly pulled them.

NBC anchors Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams have complained that Olbermann's and MSNBC's biases hurt NBC's news operation.

Brian Williams recently told David Letterman that the McCain camp is punishing him by not allowing him to interview Sarah Palin because the McCain camp is mad at MSNBC's extreme leftism as evinced by Chris "Thrill up my leg" Matthews and Keith Olbermann.
Olbermann is hurting NBC News so he should go. It's as simple as that.

Matthew also commented
As far as Olbermann's comment last night, the one paragraph you included was the only personal attack of the set of comments, and it wasn't entirely inaccurate.
I only included a bit of Olbermann's remarks. I'll quote a couple more.

McCain is up to his neck in toxic campaign waste of his own creation.

But though McCain's tone seemed to be vaguely reminiscent of his own campaign's weekend of descent into the muck, there was not a mention of any of the subjects or people about whom Sen. McCain and Gov. Palin obsessed.

You would also be hard pressed to find any candidate who said of Social Security, "We are not going to be able to provide the same benefit for present-day workers... that present day retirees have today."
This one wasn't an attack, it just wasn't accurate. Bush raised the same issue in one of his debates with Gore in 2000. Olbermann should remember that but he was too busy trying to find fault with McCain.

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