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Olbermann snipes back at Chris Wallace and Fox News - TCA Report

by Joel Keller, posted Jul 21st 2008 12:23PM
Keith OlbermannI caught up to Keith Olbermann at NBC's all star party last night, and talked to him a little bit about the election, the origin of his "Special Comments," and getting back to doing highlights with Dan Patrick. More on that in a few days. But the first thing on my mind was if he read the comments uttered by Fox News' Chris Wallace earlier in the tour, notably that MSNBC's election coverage was biased because commentators like Olbermann are used as anchors.

"Oh yeah, I thought they were disingenuous and ill-informed," he told me, "because during the primaries as I'm sitting there, and we have the other monitors on, and a couple of weeks at least I saw O'Reilly on in the middle of the primaries, one week Laura Ingrahm filling in for O'Reilly, and Hannity and Colmes at 9:00. It's the same thing, whether you officially say, 'Well, this is not our election coverage between 8 and 10, but between 6 and 7 was, and 10 to 12 was ... ' It's a game being played that's pretty silly."

He feels that he's specifically a target because his show Countdown is doing so well. "Our show is, usually, on a given night, second or third in the demo in cable news. In a field in which nobody's ever been competitive with O'Reilly, we've closed the gap on him in this, from not being on the same horizon to standing pretty much a foot behind him, of course they're going to attack me. And to be absolutely fair, I spend about half my time attacking them. So if they didn't respond, I would be surprised." He doesn't think the "venom" used is any worse now than it was has been at either of his stints at MSNBC.

When I asked about Wallace's remark that MSNBC was "in the tank" for Barack Obama, Olbermann didn't spare any words. "It's a talking point. I mean, (Fox News chief) John Moody issues talking points to his staff every day." Even Wallace, a guy who's made a reputation over the last three decades or so as a hard-nosed journalist? "Well, he's not at NBC, CBS, or ABC right now. There's a reason for that. Nobody held on to him."

Ouch. He told me that there was stuff that Wallace has done in the past that he had a lot of respect for, "but this stuff was, as I said ... he didn't know what was going on at his own network."

As for the "in the tank" remark, Olberman said that "I found it hilarious because, as late as January I was regularly being accused of being "in the tank" for Clinton. If you criticize somebody, it does not mean that you're "in the tank" for the other candidate, as if you criticize somebody, you're biased against that person. I don't think that everybody who was critical of Obama was a racist, and I don't think that everybody who was critical of Hillary Clinton was a sexist."

Like I said, more with Olbermann in a few days. He's quite the chatty guy, as you'd expect.

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Eddie B

This lunatic WAS in the tank for Clinton. When he thought she was going to win. When it became obvious that she was going to lose, he switched his allegiance to Obama. I'm not the most observant person in the world, but this was so obvious, anyone who says otherwise is out of there mind. This buffoon is an over the top left-wing talking point. (ps. It's a small person and one of little self-respect that continuously has to bash people to further his or her own agenda, and NOBODY is more guilty of this than Olbydouche.

July 30 2008 at 12:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In becoming the liberal answer to Fox, brought Olbermann him (more) fame, acclaim, and obviously, more ratings and money but it's been at the cost of his professional reputation. He's not a reporter as someone here claim but a one-sided propaganda machine. If he was truly as smart as someone here tries to claim, then he'd report the news from all sides and have on people from all sides of the political spectrum. He doesn't. Why? Because he's not as smart or as well-schooled as his deluded fans try to claim he is. He simply has on the same commentators again and again who repeat the same talking points again and again. That's called propaganda, not news. Used to love the show but now I find it unwatchable. Eventually his audience will figure out what some of us figured out about him a long time ago: he's a one-note pretender, not the real thing. Give me Rachel Maddow any day. At least she's honest in where she's coming from and openly challenges those who disagree with her and has a very well-researched base from which to operate from unlike Olbermann who just gets one-side, if that.

July 22 2008 at 8:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

We watched Keith a lot in our house since the early days of Countdown. We were huge fans of the Big Show.

Of the four cable news networks, we watched only one hour (Countdown) because the rest of the shows are just terrible examples of journalism.

When Keith went in the bag for Obama, we stopped watching. And, yes, Keith is in the bag for Obama. Nightly, Keith failed to understand how a candidate who captures the primaries in PA, NY, TX, OH, CA, and MA remains in the race.

Thankfully quality journalism can be found in podcast form from the BBC and PRI.

July 22 2008 at 12:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Olbermann has no credibility. Here's an example.

Olbermann 'Never Even Suggested' Clinton Quit Race

July 22 2008 at 12:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

OK fine if you do not like Keith for being opinionated and attacking FOX and Bill Oh King of the Loofas but do not gloss over the mudslinging they do on the Fixed News Network...see the nice photoshop job they did on the NYC newpaper writer and his editor recently.

July 21 2008 at 8:54 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I like the fact Fox pretends to report news when most of their big name people have worked for Republican presidents.

July 21 2008 at 4:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Keith Olberman is the scum of the earth as far as I'm concerned. Guys like O'reilly were just like ... there ... either you liked that kind of thing or you didn't.

Supposedly the Left was always so much classier. But then came along Olberman and he brought down the national discourse on politics to the mud. He does nothing but bickers and hurls insults. He has nothing to do with news and he's just a nasty person.

he should be on Jerry Springer, not a news station.

July 21 2008 at 3:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Chaim's comment
Joey Geraci

How exactly has Olbermann done anything to bring down the level of discourse any lower than the dirtbags on Fox News have already done. Again, all the people that dislike Olbermann seem to have no specific complaints about anything he has said, making it seem like they haven't ever seen him. Whereas the O'Reilly complaints are about specific outrageous statements that he has made every day.

July 21 2008 at 6:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Allison Solow

Bravo, Joel. I can't wait to read the rest of your Olbermann interview. I'm a regular Countdown watcher and I don't think he's ever been "in the bag" for any candidate. And MSNBC as a whole is littered with talking heads that are right and left and in the middle. You can't say that about the "fair and balanced" other guys.

Politics, aside, it's a great get, Joel.

July 21 2008 at 1:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Love the guy. Simply because he spews left-wing venom.

Remind me again why the people on the left wing tend to be elitists and the ones on the right usually aren't.

I guess when you love your cousin and spray pesticides you can not be considered an elitiest, can you?

Of course you can. By those guys who just don't know how to find the right girl within their families and don't know how not to kill themselves with pesticides.


July 21 2008 at 1:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to StillBash's comment
Joey Geraci

Uhm, I think you meant to say that the people on the left get accused of being elitists, while the people on the right do not get accused as often (even though if you objectively looked at the beliefs and worldview of people like Hannity and O'Reilly, they are so incredibly myopic and truly elitist, it is just sad).

I don't know what the hell you are going on about with pesticides and loving your cousin, general half-coherent rambling doesn't belong on TV Squad.

July 21 2008 at 6:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
chadwick hansford

Keith Olbermann is a idiot.

July 21 2008 at 1:02 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to chadwick hansford's comment
Joey Geraci

If you watched his show, you would see how incredibly wrong you are. Agree with him or not, but you would have to admit that he is an incredibly smart guy, unlike his nemesis.

July 21 2008 at 6:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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