This is another Olbermann diary.
I am stunned. I am sad.
I feel like another true progressive voice, has been silenced -- talk about First Amendment Remedies!
You see Keith Olbermann
was is still one of my heroes.
It may seem funny for a grown man to have heroes -- but in a Nation that has Fast Food, Fast Imports, and Fast and careless War plans
-- sometimes people like me, need "a hero" -- someone brave enough to speak out against the madness.
Someone to give Voice to the voiceless -- Mr. Keith Olbermann was such a spokesman, to me.
I grew up with the News Habit. Many of my friends thought it was "weird" that I had to get home to watch the Nitely News each night, as many stations as feasible. But I saw it as my window on the world. I saw it as my civic duty.
Besides Walter Cronkite, always made me think. Challenged assumptions. Widened my world view.
Even though he sealed each Broadcast with the iconic tag line "That's the way it was."
I generally took Mr. Cronkite's word for it -- THAT WAS, the way it was today.
Keith had become my Walter Cronkite, in today's world, so often devoid of real news, of real commentary, ... devoid of real courage.
Over the years, whenever I "lose someone", I try to think of the good things they gave me -- the things they taught me.
The way they made me laugh. The way they made me think.
Here's is what I found along those lines, as I contemplate what Keith Olbermann's Commentaries have given to me, to the National Dialogue, over the many, many directionless years.
Here are some excerpts from the last Special Comment from my hero, posted here on DailyKos:
[Edits and emphasis are mine.]
Ted Koppel And The Real Death Of "Real News"
by Keith Olbermann -- Mon Nov 15, 2010
When Walter Cronkite died sixteen months ago, he was rightly lionized for the quality of his work, and the impact he effected on television news. He was praised for his utter objectivity and impartiality, and implicitly – and in some cases explicitly – there was wailing that this objectivity had died with him.
Yet invariably the same few clips were shown with each obituary: There was the night Cronkite devoted fourteen minutes of the thirty-minute long CBS Evening News to a report on Watergate which devastated the Nixon Administration, one so strong that the Administration pressured CBS just to shorten the next night’s follow-up to eight minutes. There was the extraordinary broadcast on Vietnam from four-and-a-half years earlier in which he insisted that nothing better than stalemate was possible and that America should negotiate its way out, "not as victors, but as an honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could." All that newscast did was convince the 36th President of the United States to not seek reelection. The deserved and heartfelt sadness at the loss of a great journalist and a great man had been turned into a metaphor for the loss of a style of utterly uninvolved, neutral "objective" reporting. Yet most of the highlights of the man’s career had been of those moments when he correctly and fearlessly threw off those shackles and said what was true, and not merely what was factual.
In fact, nothing could be further than the truth, and the very kind of fact-driven journalism Mr. Koppel seems to be claiming he represents and I fail, would not stand for his sloppy assumptions and his false equivalence of "both sides do it."
We do not make up facts at MSNBC and when we make mistakes we correct them.
To equate this network with Fox, as Mr. Koppel did – to accuse us of having our own facts - is another manifestation of a dangerously simplified understanding of modern news. This guy says the moon is a planetary fragment orbiting the Earth; this other guy says it’s actually the body of the late Vince Foster – have them both on and let them debate. It’s fair and balanced.
The year after that, I did the first of these Special Comments and I fully expected that I might be fired it. The year after that I had to spend urging my employers to give my guest host her own show. Now there are three shows in primetime in which the content usually lines up with the small "L" liberal point-of-view even as it needles and prods and sometimes pole-axes the Democrats. And that conservative ex-Congressman is still on the air here, every day, and he has as much time as the three of us at night do, put together.
If this was a business plan, it wasn’t as good as the one at the nearest kid’s lemonade stand. This network came to this place organically.
Fourteen consecutive months of nightly half-hours on the travesty and tragedy of 52 hostages in Irahn, but the utter falsehood and dishonesty of the process by which this country was committed to the wrong war, by which this country was committed to dishonesty, by which this country was committed to torture – about that Mr. Koppel, and everybody else in the dead "objective" television news business he so laments, about that Mr. Koppel could not be bothered to speak out.
Where were they?
Worshiping before the false god of utter objectivity.
The bitter irony that must some day occur to Mr. Koppel and the others of his time was that their choice to not look too deeply into Iraq, before or after it began, was itself just as evaluative, just as analytically-based, just as subjective as anything I say or do on MSNBC each night. I may ultimately be judged to have been wrong in what I am doing. Mr. Koppel does not have to wait. The kind of television journalism he eulogizes, failed this country because when truth was needed, all we got were facts – most of which were lies anyway. The journalism failed, and those who practiced it failed, and Mr. Koppel failed. I don’t know that I’m doing it exactly right here. I’m trying. I have to. Because whatever that television news was before – now we have to fix it.
Well said, Mr. Olbermann. Fix it indeed.
The world needs more such "Reporters" -- those with integrity;
those with conviction.
Those with the courage to "fearlessly say what was true -- and not merely what was factual," in the mold of Walter Cronkite.
Those willing to go where the Truth is to be found.
Those willing to speak out and then point out the direction, that others need to go.
The world needs more Cronkites; The world needs more Murrows; The world needs more Olbermanns;
The world needs more Spokespersons for the Voiceless.
The world needs those willing to pursue the Truth. ... wherever those pesky Facts may lead.
And now to quote that wonderful tagline, of one of my modern-day heroes:
"Good Nite, and Good Luck."
were gonna need it.
And a Great Many Thanks to you Mr. Olbermann. You are a true Patriot.
You are a true Journalist. Always.
You have spoken for us well, over these many, many directionless years.
Many Thanks to you sir.
May your continuing journey -- fare thee well.