Sunday, August 31, 2008

MSNBC's Weiner Dog

"It is analysis that strikes me as having borne no resemblance to the speech you and I just watched. None whatsoever. And for it to be distributed by the lone national news organization in terms of wire copy to newspapers around the country and web sites is a remarkable failure of that news organization. Charles Babington, find a new line of work."

Charlie Babington is a reporter for the Associated Press. He is a reporter with a lengthy resume, one who has worked for a variety of publications (including The Washington Post -- and as long noted here, Ava and C.I. know Babington). The critique above may not bother you.

You may think it was made at a blog or on talk radio. Standard fare for either.

But it was made on a cable network. And it wasn't a guest making it.

It was Keith Olbermann, on MSNBC.

In making the remarks above, he explained to anyone still confused why he is not on the short list to host NBC's Meet The Press.

In making the remarks, he also demonstrated why MSNBC is becoming increasingly leery of The Mouth That Bored.

Those are not the remarks of an anchor. Those remarks are, in fact, completely unacceptable.

MSNBC is the sewer but even NBC news honchos were startled by the latest swill Olbermann issued on air.

For far too long, Olbermann (who is not a trained journalist) has been egged on and petted. His keepers (General Electric) thought he was a good mammal because he brought in ratings. Foolishly short-sighted 'lefties' (such as Katrina vanden Heuvel at The Nation) applauded him (and, in fact The Nation made him a cover boy).

Some on the 'left' saw him as the left's answer to Bill O'Reilly.

And that goes a long way towards explaining the rot of the left in this country.

For those who have forgotten, the problems with O'Reilly including his blovating, his blustering and his fact-free approach.

The idea that the left needs an O'Reilly goes against everything the left believes in.

We don't want to shout our arguments louder, we want to make them better and sound. We want to enlighten, not bully. We want to persuade, not terrorize.

As Olbermann continues his descent into Howard Beal madness, it may be time for the left to reconsider the idea that he's the public face needed.

Nothing has changed.

You're not supposed to notice that, but nothing has changed. 'Fresh' faces have popped up in the last few years but there is nothing new about what they offer. They are either more fact-free right-wingers or they are the 'left' equivalent.

They are major images of one another and demonstrate that the fabled media project (that so many Soros dollars built) was never about anything of importance.

War Hawk Rachel Maddow, under a ton of makeup, can be seen on the screens. She's gay! So what. She's a blood thirsty War Hawk who, in 2004 and 2005, spent hours and hours badgering callers and guests who stated the US needed to leave Iraq. Rachel Maddow was not "change you can believe in." Rachel Maddow was more of the same damn thing.

To her credit, Maddow badgers. She's yet (that we're aware of) taken it to blovating.

(Although reports that she call Hillary Clinton a "vain bitch" on MSNBC Tuesday night, if confirmed, would have us rethinking that call.)

Maddow is the Chachi to Olbermann's Fonz. In their minds. He took her under his wing and did so because she was happy to make sexist attacks on Hillary. No one's supposed to notice that.

All this time after, no one supposed to question Olbermann. MSNBC is increasingly questioning him and questioning exactly how out of control he's going to be next? A risk assessment meeting was held following the Thursday night nonsense.

We think it's doubtful Olbermann would be canned (that was discussed), but we know he's a time-bomb and think it's past time the left started acting like a "bully for our side" was something to take pride in.

Olbermann has demonstrated that the center-left can be as insane as the right-wingers on Fox.
Last week, he also had an on air altercation with another MSNBC personality and, at the meeting on Friday, it was pointed out that the other personality is on the rise, with higher approval ratings than Olbermann currently. It was pointed out that if some money was invested into promoting him, MSNBC would be in a stronger position when Olbermann next goes nutty on air.

MSNBC has lousy ratings. It has always had lousy ratings. It may continue to have lousy ratings. Olbermann struts around because he's the highest rated thing on the network. We never saw Vicky Lawrence swagger around when Mama's Family was the highest rated program on the former Pax Network. There's a reason for that, the ratings weren't impressive. In the real world, outside of MSNBC's pondscum, Olbermann's aren't either. (Especially when you factor in what he's being paid to 'produce' those ratings.)

Olbermann didn't like Charlie's report. So he felt the need to scream and hiss on air and to end it by suggesting Charlie find another line of work. Charlie's profession is journalism.

Olbermann strangely assumes he and Charles Babington are doing the same thing. They are not. Charlie is a reporter, Olbermann is a cable mouther. Olbermann's background is in sports (where you can yell like a loon and few will notice). Olbermann depends on the actual work that people like Babington do. It's not as if Olbermann's ever reported a single story, let alone known how to.

Earlier, Olbermann made an ass of himself (it happens so often) that had people at all three network news divisions laughing. That's when he went to town on Katie Couric for Couric daring to note that a reporter who states on air that he can't be objective about the topic he's assigned to cover needs to find another line of work. Real journalists (not Olbermann) agreed with Couric. You are supposed to be objective in the MSM. Not only are you supposed to be objective, you are not supposed to anything that even makes your objectivity suspect.

Declaring on air that you can't be objective about your topic (Obama), demonstrates that you need to, at the very least, ask to be assigned to another topic and, at most, consider getting another job.

Couric was right.

Olbermann screamed and hissed at her. As usual, our watchdogs played dumb.

CounterSpin (which hates CBS News but hates Couric even more) refused to call Olbermann out. They refused to call the journalist Couric was referring to out when he stated he couldn't be objective.

The left is not just losing the high ground, it's surrendering it to wallow in a cesspool.

When CounterSpin (FAIR's weekly radio show) refuses to call out a MSM reporter confessing on air that he can't be objective, there's a serious problem. When Olbermann screaches at Couric (yet another woman he's screamed at non-stop this year) for making a very valid point, CounterSpin better be there. It refused to do so. (Olbermann is also a CounterSpin pet and FAIR co-founder Jeff Cohen finds him 'groovy.')

Do we have a media critique or don't we?

If we have a media critique on the left, why aren't things being called out?

Earlier, we noted the reporter in question was confessing on air not to have any objectivity about his subject ("it's hard"!!!!) and we noted his subject was Barack's campaign. Olbermann's attack on Babington? Also over Barack.

FAIR, CounterSpin and many more watchdogs have proven that they are not interested in a media critique. They have no journalistic objectives or, if they once did, they surrendered them to try and put Barack in the White House. It wasn't always that way. It is that way today and it's damn embarrassing.

The damage FAIR is doing will last beyond an election. Regardless of the outcome, FAIR has made it very clear to the MSM that they are not about truth or a journalistic critique. Week after week, they are about spinning Barack. That's not why the organization was found. When you abandon your principles, it's difficult to pick them up later.

Even if you manage to, no one's going to trust you for a very long time.

Barack or John McCain in the White House could very well mean war with Iran. If there's a new war coming and the time comes to call it out, it's going to be very difficult for certain Panhandle Media outlets to do so because they've sold their souls to Team Obama and that has not gone unnoticed.

The first step to reclaiming the principles the left used to hold dear is publicly rejecting Olbermann's antics.

Olbermann's antics can be read about in Greg Mitchell's "MSNBC Host Rips AP Reporter's Analysis" (Editor & Publisher).
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