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Dear Keith Olbermann, stop listening to your producers

by Anna Johns, posted May 19th 2006 9:14AM
keith olbermann; countdown; msnbcDear Keith Olbermann,

I know you say your producers are making you do stories about American Idol and Britney Spears, but I think you get just a little bit of glee out of ripping on celebrities. Why else would you agree to not only read the crap on the teleprompter, but engage in no fewer than four minutes of idle chit-chat with gossipers like Michael Musto from Village Voice? He's not funny, by the way. Neither is the chick from the radio station who joined you in bashing American Idol last night. If I want celebrity news, I'll watch an entertainment show or... uh... write it myself (sigh). You, however, should save that celebrity gossip for the Keeping Tabs segment and finish your show on something else: like the search for Jimmy Hoffa. There was so much more you could've done with the guy from the Skeptics Society.

I tune in to Countdown each night for a smart (and sarcastic) take on the day's news. Yes, you replay a lot of packages from NBC Nightly News because MSNBC apparently refuses to give you a budget. But, you also have guests in to put that news in perspective. And, your guests aren't blowhards. They're (gasp!) experts! I often learn more from your show than I do from Nightly. You are terrific at pointing out the absurdity of the things that our nation's leaders say. It's like The Daily Show-- with facts!

Lately, however, you seem like a curmudgeon. Maybe it's the Worst Person in the World segment. Or your new signoff, "It's been XXX days since President Bush declared 'Mission Accomplished' in Iraq." Or maybe the crap covered on MSNBC during the other 23 hours of the day is rubbing off on you. Or, is it because you had to toss to Rita Cosby as if she were hosting a legitimate news program?

Whatever it is, please snap out of it!

Hugs & Kisses,


P.S. Call me!

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A few questions...

1. Tens of thousands of flies will swarm around a piece of dog crap. Many more than will gather around, say, an apple or other far more palatable, less harmful item. So just because more people watch Faux News, does that make it better, or simply a more attractive piece of crap to lower life forms? Lots of people smoke cigarrettes too. Does that mean it's a smart thing to do?

Second, should we disregard the data below, taken from Mediaweek? Faux and CNN both declined in April for the primetime 25-56 demo ratings. At the same time, MSNBC's ratings increased for the same demo by 8%. The article suggests that the increase is primarily driven by Countdown. So, the trends suggest that Countdown and your favorite person in the world Keith Olbermann is getting more popular, and that bastion of truth and good will, Bill O, is becoming less popular.

Third-place MSNBC saw its prime time audience jump 8 percent to 370,000, bolstered in part by the success of its Countdown with Keith Olbermann, which was the number two cable news program in the 8:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. time slot in the 25-54 demo, behind O'Reilly. Olbermann averaged 419,000 total viewers on the month, and 156,000 in the news demo, an increase of 37 percent. Headline News' Nancy Grace took third in the demo at 8:00 p.m., averaging 150,000 25-54s, while CNN's Paula Zahn Now lost 41 percent of the demo, coming in fourth with 147,000.

By the way, I'm not a liberal, I just love seeing stupid people make asses out of themselves. And you const, are a perfect target. If only you had even a rudimentary understanding of industry trends. Hey, what will you do when your favorite shows aren't the most popular anymore? A normal person would say "who cares," but you probably just thought, "I guess I'll just have to kill myself." You and all of the other flies I guess.

May 24 2006 at 11:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Batmauel sounds like another name calling liberal. If you can't debate with facts, insult the messenger. Sort of like obnoxious Keith Olberman. I guess his message is getting through to you.

It's not like there are so many more right of center shows (pick any news program on CBSNBCABCCNNMSNBC), it's just that more people actually watch them.

FNC O'REILLY 2,105,000
FNC GRETA 1,494,000
FNC HUME 1,341,000
FNC SHEP SMITH 1,215,000
CNN KING 885,000
CNN DOBBS 702,000
CNN COOPER 590,000
CNN ZAHN 527,000

May 24 2006 at 9:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
James Craven

Oh, producers, stop forcing him to do TomKat, DaVinci and American Idol stories, please!

May 22 2006 at 11:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

const just sounds like a bitter Bill O'Reilly drone who hates to see his hero called out

For God's sake this show is really the only truely 'liberal' show on TV. for the right you have Lou Dobbs on CNN, Joe Scarborough and Tucker Carlson on MSNBC and of course 24 hours a day on Fox. Countdown is classic 'counterprogramming' to Fox and not only is it MSNBC's number one show, it is also the only show on MSNBC that regularly beats CNN.

Any fan of the Daily Show would love Countdown, but I agree that the 'segments my producers are making me do' are getting a bit much.

May 19 2006 at 8:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Keith is kicking ass making news!

May 19 2006 at 6:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Who-hoo, #1 show on the least watched cable channel! Man, you guys are right (or is that left?)

If KO is so great, does he hold anyone not associated with Republicans accountable? Sounds like a partisan fraud to me. And to the rest of the country that doesn't bother to watch him either.

May 19 2006 at 3:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jason P.

On Wednesday, Olbermann had 162,000 viewers in the 25-54 demographic. CNN had 93,000. CNN Headline News had 150,000. And FOX News' Bill O'Reilly had 422,000. Olbermann is the No. 1 show for MSNBC in this demographic.

Olbermann's ratings are up this year in this demo, while FOX News' are down. So he does do well for MSNBC. And if you want to talk about snobs, I'd like to offer O'Reilly, as he has said he'd be OK with San Francisco being hit by a terrorist attack.

May 19 2006 at 2:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yeah, quizzle. I agree that it's a weak argument. I think we all know that quality is not related to ratings.

May 19 2006 at 11:34 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Elitist? It's so sad to see the dumbing down of America that a news program that actually holds people accountable and doesn't accept press releases as fact (like most other news) is considered "elitist."

What a sad commentary on America. By the way, if someone wants to be entertained then they can watch an entertainment program or an infotainment show like O'Reilly etc.

Meanwhile mature people can watch the news.... well at least until Olbermann's producer make him spend the last segment of his show on TomKat.... (but at least we get 40 minutes+ of news).

May 19 2006 at 11:17 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Keith Olberman rocks.. I never miss his show.. link to ratings? ...

May 19 2006 at 11:04 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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