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First, the praise, and it is heartfelt and very high praise.  The most impressive contribution Olbermann made during the Countdown years was his body of work as a commentator. Olbermann was magnificent.

A fine op/ed writer, he delivered his Special Commentswith a dignified ferocity that was something wonderful to behold. On many occasions I was transfixed by Olbermann’s commentary; and  the commentaries he delivered in 2005 and 2006--the dark nadir of the Bush Administration—will undoubtedly be long talked about by those who study Journalism and the Media.  

I enjoyed Olbermann’s sense of humor and evocations of pop culture. He and I are just about the same age, so we share many cultural touchstones; Monty Python, the Simpsons, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, 60s and 70s pop and rock music and movies, on and on.  The Thurber on Fridays was charming, how could anyone not like that? Oddball was always good for a grin, and sometimes it was blow-coffee-out-your-nose funny.  And his "Time...Marches on!" was almost as good as the original.

Now the praise gets less effusive. Olbermann the interviewer and host was a very mixed bag. He gets high marks for booking some terrific, knowledgeable experts: Jonathon Turley to discuss civil liberties; John Dean on executive branch ethical breaches; and IIRC the indispensable Wendell Potter was given his first national forum by Olbermann on Countdown. There are many more fine examples. Bravo.

But many more of the guests seemed chosen for their sycophantic tone rather than for any genuine expertise on the topic at hand. And many times Olbermann’s actual interviewing was cringe worthy. The fawning and schmoozing, the long leading questions...yeesh!  Bad journalism and bad television.  

But if all else failed, we could, almost every night, count on at least one segment that was chock full of yummy snarky cracks aimed at those dunderhead right-wingers! Sometimes we would get a dick joke, or a crack about Sarah Palin and "69 dude!"  Olbermann was (still is) genuinely clever, and I enjoyed all of the caustic snark immensely.  And liberals lapped it up, me included, even though it was often disingenuous and unfair, and at times deeply dishonest bullshit.  Don’t believe me?  I want to keep this short, so I will simply say look for yourself.  Visit www.dailyhowler.comfor sourced and researched examples, one after another, archived by date.  Put Olbermann in the search box, and settle in for a long read.

I loved Countdown for years, I really did. DVR’d it and never missed a show. Until about a year and a half ago, when I began to realize that while Countdown occasionally had  terrific content, more often Keith Olbermann was treating me like a rube, playing to my preconceptions and inflaming my tribalism. And it pissed me off. And it was tough, kinda like quitting cigarettes, but I quit Olbermann and found it good for me.

I’m not claiming equivalency, not one little bit, so please don’t jump my shit about that. Nothing on Countdown ever came close to the fear and hate drummed by Beck and Limbaugh and others in right-wing media. Countdown was a kinder gentler spin, a nicey-nice liberal tribalism that allowed us to feel smug and superior and enabled us to sneer at those knuckle-draggers, and helped keep America as One Nation, Shouting Right Past Each Other.  No it was not even remotely like the hateful smears and lies peddled by Rupert Murdoch and Company. But all too often it was nothing to be proud of either, and in my view, nothing to go out of our way to defend or try to bring back.

Originally posted to StratCat on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:24 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (9+ / 0-)

    "Democracy is like chicken soup. You have to stir it up often or a scummy oily film forms at the top."

    by StratCat on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:24:31 PM PST

    •  I think there was a shred of truth in THIS: (10+ / 0-)

      But many more of the guests seemed chosen for their sycophantic tone rather than for any genuine expertise on the topic at hand.

      I did tire of seeing some of the usual suspects deliver their predictable contributions, but let's be honest, there is a bit of a shortage of policy experts who will tell it like it is from a progressive perspective. And some of Keith's regular guests - Eugene Robinson, for instance - had unquestionable credentials, so it stood to reason that he would select them.

      All that having been said, losing Keith is catastrophic for our side. He was the voice to counter the endless tighty righties spouting their blather 24/7 on that other network.

      The RKBA protects women from rape...chew on that for a while...

      by APA Guy on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:33:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I could not agree with you more. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Meteor Blades

      I found myself feeling exactly the same. I would switch over to Fox to see if I was right and found Keith was a kinder,gentler version, but he was telling us what we wanted to hear. Hence my comment earlier that we were becoming reduced to what we blame the Fox viewers of. When I think about it it seems that many times we become what we hate the most. Keith's on going fued with O'reilly and his criticism of O'reilly. O'reilly had his "talking points" and Keith has his "special comments", which were coming so frequently, as not to be special any longer. Keith didn't shout people down, but he also didn't have guest on his show unless they appeared to support his positions. That isn't good, we are not learning anything, every story has two sides, and you need to know both sides in order to make informed decisions.

      •  Again, No. (2+ / 0-)

        Keith's guests often disagreed with him. It's just that they did it such polite and civil terms that it didn't always register as such. Howard Fineman often started by saying "I don't see it that way, Keith" or "That's not what's really going on here." People have become so accustomed to disagreement being shouted that when it isn't they don't notice the disagreement.

        And again, no, his Special Comments were not coming so frequently as to be meaningless. Olbermann made them when something presented itself that he felt worthy of one. There were none that I found gratuitous or unwarranted. And his Special Comments in no way can be equated to O'Reilly's talking points. And anyone who was actually watching the show would know that Olbermann was hardly giving O'Reilly the time of day for well over a year now. Olbermann put the feud on hiatus a long time ago.

        And one more no. I don't need to know both sides when it comes to republican policy positions. They have no ideas, offer nothing new, and resort to prefabricated talking points when confronted with any issue. There is no need to waste my time listening to RW bullshit. That's what Tweety and O'Donnell are for. Furthermore, Olbermann would often credit repubs when they did something good or noteworthy like he did AZ Gov. Jan Brewer on his last show.

        Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

        by jayden on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 06:33:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I respectfully disagree with you on almost all (0+ / 0-)

          your points. It is true that Keith put the fued between him and O'reilly to rest, but he still never missed an opportunity to nail him in the "worst person's" segment whenever he could. As far as Fineman disagreeing with hm and doing it in a civil manner, I appreciate disagreein in a civil manner, but what Fineman did was not exactly disagreement.
          I like to hear both sides and make an informed decision, not all Republicans spew only talking points, if you would listen beyond the talking points you would find that out.

          It is clear by your comment that you feel there are no good Republicans. I have been around for a long time and all Republicans are not bad, it just seems that way today because we have become so polarized. I like Rachel's way better, she can have people on with opposing viewpoints and debate them, you come away with feeling like you learned something. I never felt that watching Keith, only that my feelings were re-enforced by him. I would rather be challanged.

          •  Could you name one right now in government? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jayden

            It is clear by your comment that you feel there are no good Republicans.

            Whom do you perceive to be a "good republican" in elected office right now?

            Hensarling: "Let's repeal it today, replace it tomorrow." Wimpy: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"

            by gooderservice on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 10:56:32 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  You don't know how I feel (0+ / 0-)

            and I never said there are no good republicans. And I listen plenty and make informed decisions. But I don't like conservative ideas and policy. It's why I'm a progressive Democrat. It's also why I come to DKos and don't hang around at Redstate.

            Not this mind and not this heart, I won't rot • Mumford & Sons

            by jayden on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 01:31:14 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Are you unable or unwilling to answer my question (0+ / 0-)

            Hensarling: "Let's repeal it today, replace it tomorrow." Wimpy: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"

            by gooderservice on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 05:38:07 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  You would "switch over" (0+ / 0-)

        to see if you were right?

        I would switch over to Fox to see if I was right

        I find it odd that you even had a question about that.  I never did.  I knew who was who and what was what.  It wasn't hard.

        Hensarling: "Let's repeal it today, replace it tomorrow." Wimpy: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"

        by gooderservice on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 10:55:26 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's all Olbermann's Fault !!!! (6+ / 0-)

    Nothing on Countdown ever came close to the fear and hate drummed by Beck and Limbaugh and others in right-wing media. Countdown was a kinder gentler spin, a nicey-nice liberal tribalism that allowed us to feel smug and superior and enabled us to sneer at those knuckle-draggers, and helped keep America as One Nation, Shouting Right Past Each Other.

    OR, You are Delusional

    Shorter StratCat: Tie both arms behind your back and come out fighting.

    Notice: This Comment © 2010 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:28:46 PM PST

    •  Brilliant! (5+ / 0-)

      You made my central point beautifully. Tribalism 101: Start with a quote mine, throw in some namecalling, and then jump to a dishonest and unfair conclusion on that basis.

      Can't have anyone question the orthodoxy now, can we?

      Proud of ya!

      "Democracy is like chicken soup. You have to stir it up often or a scummy oily film forms at the top."

      by StratCat on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:59:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  or you're simply off-base n/t (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ROGNM, chuckvw, CenterLeft, jayden, GeeBee, Vtdblue

        "They're all crooks!" - Shahryar

        by Shahryar on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:28:32 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Stop being such a "Reasonable Liberal" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ROGNM, gooderservice, jayden

        You guys kill me.  You equate strong expression of views with irrationality and loss of control, and insist everything be expressed in "reasonable" tones, with attention to all perspectives.  

        This LACK of partisanship, and, yes, tribalism, is what's been murdering us in the public discourse.  The double standard among the rightwingers is understandable, but the Villager and purportedly "liberal" MSM hypocrisy on this is disgusting. Methinks you are buying into the meme, and thus ultimately part of the problem, whether you intend to be, or not.

        [Conservatives are] engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; ...the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. JK Galbrai

        by Vtdblue on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 06:26:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Any chance (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice, ontheleftcoast

    he can be Obama's new press secretary?

    •  That crossed my mind last night too. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gooderservice, jayden

      "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

      by zenbassoon on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:30:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Who? The diarist? (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glitterscale, mattman, 3goldens

      I don't know, he might be slightly better than Robert Gibbs at getting a message across.

      I have a purpose in life, I am my cat's doorman.

      by ontheleftcoast on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:43:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  setting the bar kinda low there... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        glitterscale, jayden

        ;-P

        "Democracy is like chicken soup. You have to stir it up often or a scummy oily film forms at the top."

        by StratCat on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:45:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Well I didn't really like the diary much (8+ / 0-)

          So a little snark was thrown your way. I do agree there was a change in Keith about the time you mention. But I think it had more to do with his frustration that with solid majorities in both chambers and control of the Whitehouse we still couldn't get the big stuff done without painful compromises (to both Republicans and Blue Dogs).

          I have a purpose in life, I am my cat's doorman.

          by ontheleftcoast on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:51:21 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Keith clearly needed to be more bi-partisan-y (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            gooderservice, jayden, ontheleftcoast

            for the tastes of some "liberals" here and within the Beltway.  Getting mad is clearly unwarranted in ANY situation -- for progressives, only, of course.  Those other people on the far right can get as mad and murderous as they like.  THAT's just politics. When liberals do it, it's just not cricket, old chap...

            [Conservatives are] engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; ...the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. JK Galbrai

            by Vtdblue on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 06:29:11 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Apparently some liberals think that they are just (0+ / 0-)

              so much better than others and that they must turn their cheek (and get their ass whipped while they're doing it.  See:  Election November 2010).

              Hensarling: "Let's repeal it today, replace it tomorrow." Wimpy: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"

              by gooderservice on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 11:00:20 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

          •  Ummm, yeah. When you use the dailyhowler (0+ / 0-)

            to "prove" your point, that's not unlike, Look, look, see, Drudge said it, so it must be true.

            Hensarling: "Let's repeal it today, replace it tomorrow." Wimpy: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"

            by gooderservice on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 10:58:56 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Respectfully, dear friend, bullsh*t (0+ / 0-)

              One cannot fairly equate Drudge and Somerby's websites. Even you don't really buy that logic.
               I wonder about two things: first, why the hero-worship of a millionaire tv host--even if he is a pretty smart one who cheerleads for the lib/prog tribe?
              And two: if we progressives are so doggone smart and all, why for three decades at least, do we get our asses kicked at messaging by bunch of dumb goobers?
              Somerby, however imperfectly, grapples with these kinds of questions and is willing to skewer some sacred cows while doing it.
              What is wrong with skepticism and high standards for "our" media figures on the left? We certainly seem to have it for Democratic elected leaders. Why do Saint Rachel and Sir Keith get a pass around here?

              "Democracy is like chicken soup. You have to stir it up often or a scummy oily film forms at the top."

              by StratCat on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 01:38:15 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Actually, I just did. (0+ / 0-)

                One cannot fairly equate Drudge and Somerby's websites.

                I spent three minutes at the howling site and everything I read was biased and inaccurate.  I saw all I needed to see.

                You either get it or you don't.  Nothing I say will change your mind.

                why the hero-worship of a millionaire tv host-

                By the way, I hero-worship a lot things but people aren't one of them.  

                Notwithstanding your inaccurate characterizations, again, it's one of those things that if you don't understand it, you never will:

                Why do Saint Rachel and Sir Keith get a pass around here?

                Hensarling: "Let's repeal it today, replace it tomorrow." Wimpy: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"

                by gooderservice on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 05:36:16 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Not unlike Glenn Beck or Limbaugh. (0+ / 0-)

                Somerby, however imperfectly, grapples with these kinds of questions and is willing to skewer some sacred cows while doing it.

                Hensarling: "Let's repeal it today, replace it tomorrow." Wimpy: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"

                by gooderservice on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 05:36:40 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

    •  That would be sweet. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      glitterscale, ontheleftcoast

      It would certainly up the ratings for these briefings.  Not sure it's a role Keith would aspire to having however.  

      Politicians are like diapers. They should be changed frequently ... and for the same reason

      by Road Dog on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:01:04 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  I did notice in the interview with (5+ / 0-)

    Johnathan Alter last night that it seemed Keith was getting answers he didn't like to hear.

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White

    by zenbassoon on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:30:30 PM PST

    •  I think I noticed that too. nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jayden

      We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. B. Franklin

      by Observerinvancouver on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:36:38 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Well, since Alter is so in love with Obama (10+ / 0-)

      he will follow him even as he guts Social Security, I'd be with Olbermann on that.  In fact, I was feeling some anger, myself, listening to Alter french-kissing Obama last night.  Talk about sycophants--Alter has sacrificed ever principle he ever held dear to worship at the church of Obama.  It's disgusting.

      But I suspect Olbermann might have had more pressing issues on his mind last night (what's your mind set an hour after finding out you've been fired?), so let's not try to pretend we know what he was thinking or feeling, 'K?

      •  Pure bullshit. (4+ / 0-)

        Alter is mainstream - a 93%.

        You are a deluded 7% who waxes in conspiracy theories like "gutting" SS.

        "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

        by shrike on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:06:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  LOL.... Alter is mainstream. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          costello7, Vtdblue

          Mainstream what?  Mainstream fan club?  Mainstream loyalists?  Mainstream groupies?

          Alter is mainstream

          Hensarling: "Let's repeal it today, replace it tomorrow." Wimpy: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"

          by gooderservice on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:34:30 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Hey, look (0+ / 0-)

          Let's just wait and see.  But it always seemed to me that part of the game plan in going along with the tax cut deal with the Rethugs was to make cutting Social Security inevitable.  Without that deal, there would be no need to even fantasize about touching Social Security.  It turns a surplus, afterall.  And there really was no need to make the deal for any other reason (well, some political reasons, perhaps, but not any policy reasons).

          Obama's got the Rec's from the Catfood Commission and he's likely on board (it was his commission afterall).  So far in this administration, every time I've read the writing on the wall and people have told me I'm jumping to conclusions, I've turned out to be right.  Obama, thus far, hasn't played 11 dimensional chess on anything--he's played poker by showing all of his cards up front.  And the rhetoric from out of the WH, thus far, and all the kabuki from House progressives, is showing a hand that says Obama is not only prepared to cut Social Security, but will probably propose doing so pre-emptively.  Watch for it in the State Of The Union.

          That's a conclusion based on the statements from all the players involved.  It's not a CT.  It's especially not a CT when Alter's whole spot was a defense for doing just that.  And, yeah, it was pretty disgusting to watch.  Just as it was disgusting to watch the administration arguing the joys of trickle-down economics after the tax deal.  They could have said a lot of things about that deal without arguing in favor of trickle-down economics.  But argue for it they did.  Since they really didn't have to make trickle-down arguments, and doing so is gratuitously offensive to the base, I suspect they did so because they believe in trickle-down economics.  And, if they believe in trickle-down economics and do end up proposing Social Security cuts, then they are not any kind of Democrat I recognize or can support.

          I'm not a purist.  I'm not an Obama hater.  But I do care far more about policy than I do which initial follows someone's name.  If standing up for Social Security is now too left wing for the Democratic party, then the party is now too right wing for me.

          And, btw, since the vast, vast majority of Americans oppose any changes to Social Security, wouldn't that make me mainstream and Alter the outsider?

      •  He inhabits the inner circle of the Village (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice, Vtdblue

        Whom do you blame more? The rattlesnake, or the bipartisan guy who put it in your sleeping bag?

        by chuckvw on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:19:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I've heard Jonathan Alter on more than one (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, CenterLeft, jayden, Vtdblue

      occasion call the "left wing" crazy people, loons, words of that nature.  

      Hensarling: "Let's repeal it today, replace it tomorrow." Wimpy: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"

      by gooderservice on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:33:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Villager, through and through, and of the worst (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        chuckvw, gooderservice, jayden

        kind -- since he purports to be a liberal, while historically kissing neo-liberal and neocon butt with regularity.  He well represents (along with Olbermann's replacement, Larry O'D.) the rightwing Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

        [Conservatives are] engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; ...the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness. JK Galbrai

        by Vtdblue on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 06:35:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hesitate to call it the right wing (0+ / 0-)

          Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

          I would call it center right, as right wing has moved more to the right, the moderate/conservative people of the Democratic Party chased/moved into their prior spot.  So maybe you're right, maybe now the conservative Democrats can now be called right wing.  I don't know.

          Although I do agree with the first part of your comment.

          Hensarling: "Let's repeal it today, replace it tomorrow." Wimpy: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"

          by gooderservice on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 06:46:08 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Interviewing seems to be a lost art these days (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bubbanomics, StratCat

    I remember before I turned off Lou Dobbs for his nativism, even before that he used his interviews as exposition for his own views. He'd talk and talk and talk, and there'd be no time left for the answer!

    Say what you will about "Captain Softball", Larry King, but he was one of the last interviewers on cable where you got a sense of who the person being interviewed was.

    The greats are gone from the news, mostly, though Katie Couric can wind up a good hardball now and then.

    Oddly enough, now that Barbara Walters has moved over to The View, I think the best interviewer on TV right now may be William Shatner!

    If apes evolved from humans, why are there still humans?

    by Bobs Telecaster on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:37:39 PM PST

  •  You got there (6+ / 0-)

    what nobody else would talk about. He really spoke for me. Sorry you find it tribal.  The republics don't... they thrive on it, and that is why they are on top, and they will come back with all swords drawn in 2012 and destroy any progressive legislation that was ever approved in this country. People want social security untouched... so? like our dear dick said.

    We need to be a more proactive group, they are eating our lunch.

  •  I'm glad you posted this (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RyanBTC, StratCat

    I was stunned and delighted to discover "Countdown" during winter 2007-2008 as the Democratic primary was heating up to fever pitch... but I found once the election was over, that I would catch Olbermann on MSNBC's clips page instead of tuning in for the show, because let's admit it - he can be caustic.  I wanted to believe he was hard-headed and objective and that the opinions he was putting out were based in solid realism, but i got the same sense of being led by the nose.  I guess I wanted Olbermann to be more than one can expect in this climate, and he carried the weight of all of liberalism on his shoulders, till Rachel's show began.  But i'll be blunt here, I always preferred Keith's show to Rachel's.

    "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

    by louisev on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 04:55:03 PM PST

    •  Other way around for me. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Vera Lofaro

      In my view Maddow rapidly eclipsed Olbermann, which may well have driven this week's decision. She can get tribal with the best of 'em, but she is cordial and respectful (but still tough as hell) when interviewing the opposition; and she is diligent about correcting the record.
      I don't have a problem with a point of view. It should be Journalism supporting the point of view though, not the other way around.

      "Democracy is like chicken soup. You have to stir it up often or a scummy oily film forms at the top."

      by StratCat on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:05:32 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Rachel is great but her emotional repetition gets (6+ / 0-)

        to me especially  in the first part of the show.  I find myself saying "I get it already move on".  

        I like the way both of them (Rachel and KO) let the other person speak when asked a question unlike Chris Mathews who always interrupts.  I've pretty much stopped listening to Mathews for that reason.  

        Different strokes for different folks!

        Politicians are like diapers. They should be changed frequently ... and for the same reason

        by Road Dog on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:13:19 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  you know, i think you put the finger on it (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Vtdblue, oopsaDaisy, Road Dog

          with Rachel, I always felt like I got the point long before she stopped belaboring it, but i also agree with StratCat that her demeanor is one of her best assets, as well as her ability to skillfully interview a difficult guest.  I always loved how she handled Pat Buchanan.

          "Kossacks are held to a higher standard. Like Hebrew National hot dogs." - blueaardvark

          by louisev on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:21:27 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  I actually like it when Matthews interrupts (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CenterLeft

          some one who is simply trying to spin and get out the talking points. I love when he calls them on it.

          •  Yes. But 90% of Matthews's interruptions... (6+ / 0-)

            ...AREN'T calling out talking points. To give him his due, he interrupts everyone. Time him sometime. See how much he talks during interviews compared with how much the interviewee talks. I've done it twice. The results are not pretty for Matthews.

            Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I'll tell you what you believe.

            by Meteor Blades on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:33:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  I agree, but then he eventually drops the ball. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jayden, Road Dog

            I actually like it when Matthews interrupts some one who is simply trying to spin and get out the talking points

            Within the past couple of weeks I've seen him ask a question, interrupt the person who won't answer the question at least two or three times, repeatedly asking/telling them to answer the question,  and then the interviewee once again reverts to talking points and Matthews treats his guest as IF they finally answered the question, which they never did.

            Matthews is a person who easily is distracted.

            Hensarling: "Let's repeal it today, replace it tomorrow." Wimpy: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"

            by gooderservice on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:37:45 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  tweety would interrupt a deathbed confession (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cat genius

            from oj simpson

            the republican brain is an ugly diseased thing - witness louie gohmert

            by memofromturner on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 07:55:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Exactly on point again. (0+ / 0-)

        That would be your last paragraph

  •  add one to this list (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tardis10, StratCat

    Monty Python, the Simpsons, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, 60s and 70s pop and rock music and movies

    National Lampoon.

    No political spin here (there is none) - but NL taught my generation total irreverence and set the table for all else.

    "The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason." - Thomas Paine

    by shrike on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:00:51 PM PST

  •  during the first gulf war (5+ / 0-)

    a group at tucson public access put on an anti war show. i think it was called "the anti war show." they got all kinds of flak for being one-sided & not balanced about their reportage & commentary. it was suggested they add some pro war voices to their programming. their response was, "if you want to see pro war reporting, watch any other show on cable. & they were right, every other channel was pounding the drums of war.
    for myself, i like when guests are allowed to express themselves without having to shout over someone else brought in for ballast. so i appreciated when wendell potter or some nurse working at one of the free clinics was allowed to say their piece without shouting over some ahip hired mouth.
    i guess i prefer sycophancy to cacophony.

    Whatever action a great man performs, common men follow. And whatever standards he sets by exemplary acts, all the world pursues. The Gita 3.21

    by rasbobbo on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:04:27 PM PST

  •  He spoke truthfully about (13+ / 0-)

    torture and advocated accountability, and that makes him a hero in my eyes, because too few others did.

         Standing for justice and accountability,
                  For Dan,
                  Heather

    Torture is ALWAYS wrong, no matter who is doing it to whom.

    by Chacounne on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:25:39 PM PST

  •  I loved Keith's interviews of Boehner, O'Connell, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, lisastar, mahakali overdrive

    McCain, Palin, Bachmann.

    He really did a great job with those interviews.

    Oh, wait.  Never mind.  Those republicans would never come on his show.  

    But many more of the guests seemed chosen for their sycophantic tone rather than for any genuine expertise on the topic at hand.

    Yes, exactly.  Exactly like the man from the Franklin Institute.  What a sycophant.

    Oh, and the lady who ran the free clinics.  Geesh, what a sycophant.

    Oh, and damn that sycophant Howard Dean.  How dare he agree to be interviewed by Keith.

    And I'll never forget that Rachel Maddow sycophant that Keith interviewed.

    Hensarling: "Let's repeal it today, replace it tomorrow." Wimpy: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"

    by gooderservice on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 05:43:40 PM PST

  •  Olbermann is the only pundit who ever get (5+ / 0-)

    through to me (I do also like Rachel Maddow, mind you) because he spoke to me honestly, like an intelligent adult, and with great passion for which he received numerous, numerous awards in Journalism, included an Edward R. Murrow award. I am deeply sad to see these events unfold.

    When no one else would make something clear, Olbermann would do so. For this reason, despite not having tv, I watched him streaming pretty often.

    He's a smart man. I don't say that lightly about anyone. I detest pundits, by and large, but Keith was an excellent pundit, powerhouse, journalist, and often did investigative work that required courage to cover. He was not politically expedient or else he might still have a job. I admire him. He's of a rare school of Journalism, I feel. The last special comment that I saw him give, on Rep. Giffords the night that she was shot, left me with chills. He spoke with passion, eloquence, and power.

    "There are always two parties; the establishment and the movement." - Emerson

    by mahakali overdrive on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 06:06:47 PM PST

    •  I feel the same way about him. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive

      I love his mind.  He's a highly intelligent man.  He's a compassionate man.  

      No one ever agrees with anyone 100% of the time, so I won't pretend that I agreed with Keith all the time, nor should I, but he was a honest broker.  He never willingly lied or tried to mislead.  

      When he did make factual mistakes, he owned up to them and corrected the record.  When he did cross the line with hyperbole, he acknowledged it and apologized.

      He was courageous, I agree.  As far as I'm aware, he was the first out there (not including Phil Donohue in the same timeframe) with a megaphone who spoke truth to power and never shied away from questioning the powers.  (I'm not saying he was the only one, but he had a venue to do so like none other).

      Keith touched my heart with his genuineness, compassion, honesty, and courage.

      I felt worse about it this morning than I did last night.  Reality hit me harder this morning when I realized I lost a part of my voice -- well, my voice being heard in a venue like Keith commanded.

      Hensarling: "Let's repeal it today, replace it tomorrow." Wimpy: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"

      by gooderservice on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 06:55:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He was reputable even when you didn't agree (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice

        with his every last position. I think you hit the head on the nail when you call him an honest broker. And that he would apologize as well. His style was really appealing because he seemed trustworthy. I'd rather have someone tell me their views from an educated, thoughtful, and passionately sincere position and not agree with them on every issue than to have someone tell me everything I wanted to hear.

        That's why I really, strongly don't feel he pandered to sycophants or operated an echo chamber. Often, I disagreed with his points of view. But wow, did he ever have my respect. And you know, I feel that he respected others quite a bit as well. He pretty much handed Maddow her show carte blanche. And this site being referenced in this diary, it BAGS Rachel Maddow for all sorts of things that seem petty.

        If you can strongly state your point of view sincerely, without being a jerk about it, laughing when you're wrong and even apologizing, pushing to get the spotlight on lesser known stories and then also trying to make sense of much that seems senseless, well, that is reputable. Keith knew how to talk to people without insulting their intelligence or integrity. He knew how to offer smart criticisms about touchy subjects. This is sad, plain and simple. How can anyone not see that this is an enormous loss? Whatever their various disagreements are with particular points of view he may have held here and again. He never was anything but himself and in this game, that's all we're really looking for (coupled with his razor wit and fierce, yet not offputting, delivery). And he is a Kossack. He's commented here many times. He's forthright and engaged. I respect that.

        "There are always two parties; the establishment and the movement." - Emerson

        by mahakali overdrive on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 07:05:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, and try looking up "Maddow" (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gooderservice

    in the Daily Howler search feature.

    He seems to strongly dislike Rachel Maddow as well.

    "There are always two parties; the establishment and the movement." - Emerson

    by mahakali overdrive on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 06:27:21 PM PST

    •  Yes, from what I see at the Daily Howler, their (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mahakali overdrive, GeeBee

      name is appropriate -- I see just howling with a strong bias.

      Hensarling: "Let's repeal it today, replace it tomorrow." Wimpy: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"

      by gooderservice on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 06:59:13 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Who DO they approve of? n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        gooderservice

        "There are always two parties; the establishment and the movement." - Emerson

        by mahakali overdrive on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 07:07:17 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Good point. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mahakali overdrive

          But I'm not going to spend any more time there to figure out who they are, and I'm guessing you're not either.

          For the 2 minutes I did spend there after reading your comment about Rachel, they were disingenuous when griping about Rachel spending three nights on the MLK bomb, with Rachel saying, paraphrasing, that the media hasn't been covering this.   Then they list every traditional media outlet who covered it.  Disingenuous.  Sure, they reported on it.  Then off to cover the Royal Wedding.

          Whereas the Christmas Day bomber and the Times Square bomber got almost non-stop coverage what seemed like forever, and the MLK Day bomb did not.  Exactly what Rachel was saying, among other things.

          Hensarling: "Let's repeal it today, replace it tomorrow." Wimpy: "I'll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today"

          by gooderservice on Sat Jan 22, 2011 at 07:56:50 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Daily Howler is full of shit (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GeeBee

    and if this is your idea of praising Olbermann, better that you should never have written it at all.

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