Monday, June 16, 2008

Addressing the Olbermann Backlash

It turns out that ever since CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric was awarded the gold on Keith Olbermann’s nightly “Worst Persons in the World” segment, this past Wednesday night, there’s been an outbreak of indiscriminate bashing against the host of MSNBC’s Countdown. Olbermann took offense at Couric quoting out of context his colleague Lee Cowan’s reporting on the Obama campaign as proof that Sen. Hillary Clinton’s bid for the Democratic Party’s candidacy was fallen by sexism, which earned her the top spot in the popular portion of the broadcast.

The following day, numerous media outlets—among them The Huffington Post, and The LA Times—went medieval on Olbermann for his critique of Couric, but suspiciously NONE OF THEM addressed whether he was right or not. No, their concern was poor little Katie being picked on by Olbermann, not for the laziness at best, or at worst, the disingenuousness of misquoting a fellow journalist. But then again, these are the same people who lambasted Olbermann for his Special Comment on Sen. Clinton’s incredibly callous and inappropriate remarks about the livelihood of her campaign, with a hey-anything-can-happen stance which she justified by recalling that RFK was assassinated in the midst of his. That wasn’t so bad, but Olbermann harshly chastising her for saying it—and for her lack of an apology to Sen. Obama—now, that was catastrophic. Please, spare me.

Listen, I’ll fess up: I’m a fan of the man. I believe him to be the ONLY newsperson on TV with the cojones to ask the tough questions and put the Bush Administration and its ilk’s feet to the fire. No, he’s not as impartial as the late Tim Russert was, but he’s not the wuss that the rest of the mainstream media—you know, the people that dropped the ball and let this president lie us into war unchallenged—are. With the spineless, weathervanes at CNN on one side and the talking points-spewing, GOP attack dogs at Fox News on the other side, Olbermann is the best option of the three: unlike the cowards at Ted Turner’s old joint, with their desperate attempts at showing they too can carry right-wing propaganda, you know where Olbermann stands and why. And he’ll ALWAYS have a much fairer and objective analysis than the news fabricators at Murdoch’s Death Star.

Perhaps people like his colleague Tom Brokaw are not enamored with his style. In an Olbermann hatchet job, um, piece in the current New Yorker magazine, Brokaw is quoted as disappointingly characterizing Olbermann’s recent Special Comment, in which he asked President Bush to “shut the hell up”—Shrub insinuated that electing a Democrat in November would be carte blanche for terrorists to attack us; that he’d made a great sacrifice by given up golf for the troops (!!!) AND on top of it, lied about when he actually did it—as taking “it to another level.” Yes, he is, Mr. Brokaw. Unfortunately, your meek, pompous, truth-will-find-its-way-eventually approach gets ridiculed, mocked, slaughtered, and ultimately left for dead every minute of the broadcast day, either actively by Fox Nuisance and their kind; or passively by those afraid to stand up for the truth and/or unwilling to lose their insider access.

Time for a new quarterback, Jack.

Happy Juneteenth!