Keith Olbermann’s Journalistic Faux Pas

Keith Olbermann, upon his return from his suspension from MSNBC, graced the world with a Special Comment directed against Ted Koppel’s Washington Post piece which decried partisanship in Cable News. Koppel had claimed equivalency between Fox and MSNBC. Olbermann would have none of that and in his self-important, My-Expansive-Cranium-Is-The Historical-Inheritor-Of-Edward. R. Murrow sermonized a history “news” serenade primarily around CBS News icon Walter Cronkite. The point was that Cronkite was a “liberal” and his liberal worldview allowed him to him to objectively construct the facts to speak to truth to power, particularly in regard to Vietnam and Watergate.

Olbermann’s ulterior argument here was obvious: to exonerate him vis a vis his political contributions. And that such contributions had no bearing on his objectivity regarding his mission to speak truth to power. But this is laugh the fuck out loud comedy.

Olbermann’s claim to speak truth to power is simply belied by the fact that he anchored the only News Organization “special coverage” of Obama’s staged final combat troop withdrawal from Iraq. No other news organization bought that bullshit, and the AP went out of their to call it bullshit. Olbermann covered it like it was the Japanese Armistice. Mission Accomplished. This from the guy who had made his reputation on “Countdown” by daily signing off with a mocking of “Bush’s Mission Accomplished.” Regarding Obama’s “Mission Accomplished,” Olbermann didn’t quite evoke memories of Cronkite or Murrow, but rather Soviet Pravda Journalism.

By Olbermann’s own standards, this is the obvious Faux Pas. Libertarians could give a rat’s ass about the political contributions, although I will note that Olbermann donated money to Jack Conway. From a libertarian perspective, there is much to criticize about Rand Paul, but we should note that Dems attacked Paul as if he were a radical liberal. They attacked him for being a closet atheist, for mocking Christianity, for being anti-war, for being in favor of drug legalization, for being soft on Crime. This is the candidate/campaign Keith Olbermann donated to. You donate to Jack Conway, you simply are not a liberal; or whatever liberal principles you claim to adhere to, such are subservient to partisan concerns.

Olbermann is no heir to CBS’s Edward. R. Murrow. Rather he’s an heir to CBS’s Less Nessmann of “WKRP in Cincinnati.” WKRP was entertainment. You are supposed to get the joke. With Olbermann, I don’t his partisan tard audience quite gets the joke…

Added a multimedia touch to this post.

Found a link to Mr. Edward Murrow/Walter Cronkite, circa August 18th, 2010. View Video.


2 thoughts on “Keith Olbermann’s Journalistic Faux Pas

  1. That political liberals are claiming as a spewer of unvarnished Truth To Power someone who works for a multinational conglomerate, especially one that includes “defense” contracting in its portfolio, should give them pause.

    Should, but doesn’t for some reason.

    1. In progressivism/Corporate Liberalism, I think that’s supposed to be a feature and not a bug; they believe in monopoly exclusion as serving the public good and the type of conflict of interest you mention can be institutionally overcome by something like FCC regulation and policy wise by things like “the fairness doctrine.”

      Someone like Olbermann would object that he is serving “a corporate interest,” but as this post demonstrates, he is nothing but a cultural warrior; and from Orwellian theory, the culture war merely serves the interests of the political classes.

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