Don't be against dear leader
Good work, Howie.
Yes suh, Mr. Mehlman
The Anti-Bush Anchor
By Howard Kurtz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, April 3, 2006; 10:45 AM
Night after night, President Bush is being kicked, punched, slapped, poked, stomped and otherwise disrespected in one small corner of the cable television world.
And Keith Olbermann doesn't deny it has been good for ratings.
"I find myself currently aligned, not in the sense of having membership, but being in the same part of the ballpark as a lot of liberals," says the host of MSNBC's "Countdown."
Is Olbermann catering to the anti-Bush crowd? Since Hurricane Katrina, he says, a growing number of people have "had their eyes opened" to the administration's failings and do not see their points of view reflected in television news. "We have to be responsive to an audience's perception of the world or they will ignore us."
The former sportscaster denies that he's pushing an ideological agenda, noting that he relentlessly covered the uproar over Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky in his first incarnation as an MSNBC anchor in 1998. Of course, he was so sickened by the spectacle that he quit, complaining about the media's role in the tawdry process, though he now gives every indication of enjoying his anti-Bush program.
Since the most prominent opinion-mongers in cable -- Bill O'Reilly, Sean Hannity, Joe Scarborough, Tucker Carlson -- are unabashed conservatives, Olbermann stands out as an acerbic administration critic. While his main guests are journalists, he sometimes interviews Democratic lawmakers but almost never brings on Republicans or conservatives, except for MSNBC contributor Pat Buchanan. "There are not a lot of conservative guests who are happy to be on the show," Olbermann admits.
Olbermann loves to pick fights. He has repeatedly baited O'Reilly, then gleefully replayed O'Reilly's responses. O'Reilly has put a petition on his Web site, urging NBC to fire Olbermann and replace him with Phil Donahue, who previously occupied the time slot. O'Reilly has also said, without naming him, that Olbermann "cheap shots Fox News on a regular basis" and that "something's very wrong at NBC."
Seizing on any excuse to keep the feud going, Olbermann even interviewed a man who mentioned his name on O'Reilly's radio show, prompting the host to say his phone number would be turned over to Fox security. MSNBC has been running ads about the spat.
"It's like winning the lottery," Olbermann says. "It's such an overreaction . . . He has made me look like a victim."
Liberal bloggers have been praising Olbermann, but one online critic, Robert Cox, recently launched a new site, Olbermann Watch, where a contributor said: "Hello! Earth to Krazy Keith! When was the last time anybody who disagreed with your spin was permitted to sit for an interview with your almightyness?"
Olbermann takes this shit almost as well as Howard Stern, which is to say rather poorly.
But the idea that Olbermann woke up and decided to "bait" Poppa Bear O'Reilly is a joke. The Colbert Report is a full half-hour parody of O'Reilly's show. George Clooney started baiting him in 2001.
And I know Howie's wife was on the GOP payroll, but the thing about the phone call was that while working for Viacom-owned Westwood One, he threatened to have someone "investigated" by Fox Security, which seems to be his private NKVD, And then they did it. Which to most sentient people is fucking scary. What's next, the O'Reilly extrajudicial punishment squad?
"You don't talk bad about Bill, punk"
"Or else, you'll get more of THIS".
Olbermann watch is a lonely version of the several sites which tracks the madness of Bill O'Reilly.
But this, from the Clooney baiting lovingly reprinted here, to the daily Olbermann mentions is this- O'Reilly is a bully and a hypocrite. He molested a producer and demanded sex from her. The ONLY reason he's still on TV is that Roger Ailes is his buddy.
The reason conservatives go on the Daily Show and not Countdown is simple: they can't joke their way out of questions with Olbermann.
The fact is that Olbermann has nearly as much TV time as O'Reilly, they even made a TV show about him and his once and future partner, Dan Patrick, but doesn't have that pomposity which makes you want to see O'Reilly fail and fail badly.
But Howie seems very eager to do the GOP's dirty work these days, from defending racists to attacking Olbermann. Shinin' shoes is hard work, isn't it.
posted by Steve @ 5:15:00 PM