It seems like the 'Wheel of Fortune' host has initiated a bit of a dust-up with Keith Olbermann, mainly by giving a "mea culpa" for introducing Keith Olbermann to a national audience on his short-lived CBS late night talk show in 1989. Olbermann responded in his usual humorless way, writing that he had been on CNN for years before doing Sajak's show, and following that up by writing in a somewhat tongue-in-cheek way, "I think if he needs to apologize for anything it needs to be that talk show."
I was about to write a post directed at Olbermann that said, in effect, "Lighten up, Francis," because I had found Sajak's mea culpa on his surprisingly clever and funny Twitter feed. But then my fellow Squadder Bob was kind enough to point me to Sajak's blog on the conservative website Ricochet, where I read the emcee's complete take on the matter. Not quite as lighthearted as that Twitter entry, is it?
Talk about a mountain being made of a mole hill. Wolffe's exile had been prompted by a presumed conflict of interest. Wolffe's work load includes working with a D.C. public affairs firm called Public Strategies Inc.
For those of you who can't wait for the two-hour season premiere of House on Monday, September 21st, FOX is making it easy for you - especially if you can't count. SnakesOnACane.com provides a handy little countdown clock and also features a nifty little picture of our favorite curmudgeon doing his best Superman impression. Plus, you gotta love the play on words and the twist (no pun intended) on the Rod of Asclepius.
However, what's most intriguing about the whole thing is the little blue Post-It note.
Right now, it presents a rerun of Countdown with Keith Olbermann, but that's not how it's going to remain. Phil Griffin, MSNBC prez, would like to develop a new hour to go along with Countdown and The Rachel Maddow Show, and presumably build on the audience Olbermann and Maddow are generating.
The fact is that TV success doesn't depend on having everybody love you. There are many stars, in fact, who are polarizing figures. Either you love them or you love to hate them. The point is that you don't ignore them. So, Keith Olbermann will remain a part of the public discourse and that means the best media feud of the decade goes on -- Olbermann versus Bill O'Reilly.
"He is our generation's Edward R. Murrow; that is, if Murrow were this good-looking and had lived in a world with Gawker and TMZ," DePaulo writes. "This is not just because of Cooper's exacting standards of journalism-hard work, legwork, no-divaness. He's a purist, really-like Murrow."
In a move that can be considered either a turn back to neutral coverage of political events or a fearful tactic to curb further criticism on their network, NBC News has decided to dump Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as co-anchors of NSNBC's election coverage. Replacing them on the upcoming debates and election night will be White House correspondent David Gregory.
Some say the decision to drop the two most popular personalities on the network from the coverage stemmed from what critics both within and without the organization feared was the channel's perceived shift to the political left (though, many have said that MSNBC has always leaned left as opposed to FOX News that leans right. Apparently, none of their shoes have the same-sized heels.). Others say their demotion stemmed from numerous complaints that came after Olbermann's rant after a 9/11 tribute video was shown at the Republican National Convention. Then there are those who feel their on-air tiffs during the coverage resembled something out of Gossip Girl.
In some ways, The Rachel Maddow Show is a spinoff of Countdown with Keith Olbermann. Maddow has been a regular sub for Olbermann, proving her prowess to MSNBC, and her show has a cushy spot between the first run of Countdown at 8 p.m. ET and the replay at 10 p.m. For the premiere episode, in fact, Keith appeared as Rachel's first guest -- a crossover from the end of Countdown where Rachel was interviewed in the last segment before the close. This was a smart move, sort of like a bridge from his show to hers, a bridge to somewhere if you will.
The new studio for Maddow has the quality MSNBC look, glass top desk, plasma screens, obnoxious -- but expected -- graphics on the bottom and bugs and flags reinforcing information as it's spoken.
In fact, she's been Keith's regular fill-in this summer, a sure sign that she's MSNBC's star on the rise. The network has just announced that Rachel Maddow has been chosen to replace MSNBC's Dan Abrams, bumping his show Verdict out of the primetime lineup.
Maddow is getting a great spot on MSNBC, right after Countdown at 9 p.m. Abrams is not getting kicked to the curb. Like when Tucker Carlson lost his show and remained one of the net's pundits.
There's a young, 20-something guy named Steve running around with a bulky, scoreboard-like digital clock with a strap that hangs around his neck like he's a peanut vendor at a baseball game.
The ads show him going through his day -- working out at the gym, jogging -- while he's waiting for the launch of the new, 9-hour SportsCenter on August 11. The commercials are completely live, which I grant you is novel, but they are not funny, clever or up to the ESPN standard. I hate them. They're jarring, poorly done and, like I said, annoying. I guess some genius in marketing decided that any way to make the viewer remember that a new format is coming is good enough.
Here's a sample of Steve's work (don't say I didn't warn you!):
"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."
1) Ty Pennington
I'm not ashamed to admit that for a couple of years I was hooking on TLC's Trading Spaces. It may have been the perky Paige Davis, the home improvement on a $1,000, the cool things that the designers did in just 24 hours -- whatever it was, I was a regular viewer. Oh, yes, there was also a carpenter on the show named Ty Pennington.
Interesting (and very long) article in The New Yorker about Keith Olbermann. Mostly it's about Olbermann's career, his take on the news, his battles against various politicians, his special comments, and what others at MSNBC think of him (they even interviewed Tim Russert for the story), but there's a very intriguing morsel halfway through the piece that got my attention.
Olbermann was interviewed twice to take over for Dan Rather on The CBS Evening News.
MSNBC is reportedly making a series of changes, amping up the political chatter. Considering how much politicking is going on now, including Tucker, it's hard to fathom how switching Carlson for Gregory is going to increase the discourse.
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