Politics, Foreign Policy, Current Events and Occasional Outbursts Lacking Couth

Friday, September 05, 2008

Keith Olbermann: Lord of Vanity

So I watched Thursday nights broadcast of the RNC via MSNBC and was dumbfounded by perhaps the most abject televised display of vanity and self obsession when Keith Olbermann interrupted the analytical/broadcast proceedings to confess his own "apologies" for the RNC's audacious video that dared revisit the tragedy, in "graphic" fashion mind you, of 9/11.

If at this late date, any television network had, of its own accord, shown that much video tape and that much graphic video tape of 9/, we, would be rightly eviscerated at all quarters, perhaps by the Republican Party itself, for exploiting the memories of the dead, and perhaps even for trying to evoke that pain again. If you reacted to that video tape the way I did, I apologize. It is a subject of great pain, for many of us still, and it was probably not appropriate to be shown.

Weak. Keith Olbermann is a pompous, self obsessed, partisan hack who certainly doesn't belong on the same broadcast as Tom Brokaw. There have been many painful events throughout America's history. To talk about and remember them in the fashion that the RNC's video did certainly is not an exploitation.
My only issue with the video that so offended his lordship was the ignorant fashion the Iran hostage crisis was lumped in with al qaeda. Apples and oranges from where I stand. And this tunnel-vision approach is a troubling aspect of a McCain presidency.


Mike said...

Also probably worth noting that apparently MSNBC was using some creative editing when W was giving his "speech" to make it seem like no one was clapping.

Does anyone even watch MSNBC anymore?

Steve said...

Olberman is a clear hack, unlike so many others who at first glimpse might be taken seriously. I view him as a hopeful sign in the evolution of clear labeling.

Anonymous said...

You know, I look back and it seems to me that only one of the 24hour news networks seem to really get a handle on a specific big story or event. CNN I thought (outside of NPR, believe it or not) seemed to have the best handle on Sept. 11. The second Gulf War I thought MSNBC had the best coverage. The last election cycle went to Fox in my book. For Katrina I thought Fox and CNN both did well.

This election cycle, CNN and Fox are both giving good coverage (with a slight edge to Fox), but MSNBC seems to be sorely lacking.

ortho said...

Bolbermann's vanity is nothing compared to mine.

Soob, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

Anonymous said...

At times it seems Tom Brokaw wants to backhand Olbermann & Matthews at the same time.. "pimp" hand style.

He must sorely miss Tim Russert. I must say I am starting to.

I appreciate Olbermann though... now we have clear right-wing and left-wing hacks (Hannity & Olbermann) and clear conservative and liberal pinheads (O'Reilly & Matthews).

I'd rather watch foreign news coverage of the election... a good mix of bemusement, disbelief and hostile skepticism.

The idea that Palin can go unquestioned by the media for weeks blows my mind though. If she's not ready for the press, how can she be ready for Iran or Russia?

Jay@Soob said...

Eddie, in Fox's defense they had the good sense to not put a Hannity or an O'reilly at the helm to cover the RNC. If his Lordship was rightly sequestered to his nonsensical cable op-ed I'd have no issue. But MSNBC seems hellbent to push Olbermann as a journalist. Which, of course, he is not.

Agreed on the Palin media bit. Though I suspect she'll hold her own against the media.

Jay@Soob said...

Ortho, LOl! Your honesty is refreshing. I hear MSNBC is hiring... :)

Jay@Soob said...

arherring, agreed. Fox, CNN and NPR are the trifecta of my mainstream dailies. Each slants in one political direction but that slant is greatly exaggerated at times.

Jay@Soob said...

Steve, that indeed will be the day.

Mike, 14 and 1/2 people are ardent watchers of MSNBC on a daily basis...

Hey have you got a link to that whole manipulation bit regarding President Bush?

Anonymous said...

Agreed about Fox's wisdom on that Jay.

I think we will see about her. Watching her old debates and speeches, I am none too impressed with her intellect or policy knowledge. There was a good reason she was focusing on abortion when she was the mayor of a small town and left it 20 million in debt.. she's not too keen on the details.
Now as an attack dog, she's well on her way to being legendary. Will it do her any good with independents? We'll see. A base election is won by the Dems this year with a +7 to +10 party ID advantage with a hell of a lot more Dem voter registration to go in the next 60 days.

"His Lordship"... oh please let us hope he does not hear of this, he may demand Matthews or Buchannan refer to him as that.

GW said...

As I recall, the very first DNC ad out of the box after it was clear that McCain would win the nomination was one that showed two soldiers in Iraq being attacked by a roadside bomb.

Olberman and the left are pushing that any mention of our enemies or the threat we face is "fear mongering" - unless of course it is the left using an al Qaeda snuff video designed to show U.S. soldiers as victims.

The hypocrisy of the left is beyond belief, and its paragon is Olberman. I like to watch left wing shows merely to get both sides of an issue. He is the only one I simply can't stomach.

Good post.

Mike said...

"I like to watch left wing shows merely to get both sides of an issue. He is the only one I simply can't stomach."

I'm reminded of the South Park episode (everything reminds me of a South Park episode) where the children are being derided for being intolerant towards gay people after they are upset that their gay teacher (Mr. Garrison) stuck a hamster up Mr. Slave's (his teaching assistant) ass. Chef can't understand why the children are being intolerant until they tell him about the hamster, to which he responds, "Children, you need to understand that there is a big difference between gay people...and Mr. Garrison."

Seems to me there's a big difference between right/left wing shows and O'Reilly and Olberman.

Anyway, as for the manipulation thing, here's the only link I was able to find, where I read about it first. Guy's a Navy blogger that I've read for a long time; I take him to be pretty credible.

Ymarsakar said...

MSNBC are very bad on their technical support staff.

CNN and Fox have a better support, in those areas.

ortho said...

Soob, you and your blog have a lot of pull! Today, The NY Times (I know it's a neo-liberal tabloid!) reports that for the upcoming debates and election night, MSNBC will remove his Lordship and Mr. Matthews from the anchor chairs. Their replacement will be none other than the calm and sedate David Gregory.

Read all about it here:

Unknown said...

Hey Soob,

I just noticed this post(don't know how I missed it). I wrote a similar one on my own post, regarding hypocrisy in the media, with particular focus on Gov. Palin and the treatment she received.

A big part of my focus was on the a Daily Show video showing the hypocrisy of FoxNews commentators O'Reilly, Dick Morris, a McCain adviser and even Palin herself regarding gender discrimination. I contrasted this in relation to Sen. McCain's call to put America ahead of the party.

Like you, I'm put off by Olbermann's, as I am by O'Reilly, Hannity and Matthews. To me, everything they say constitutes noise, "of the shrieking, can't wait till they shut" up kind.

I'm glad Olbermann and Matthews won't be anchoring the rest if the presidential race. Not that I'll watch MSNBC, but at least their huge ego's have been deflated a bit.

J. said...

Soob, I just have to say, as a guy who worked the Pentagon during 9/11, I don't need any graphic photos from the RNC to remind me of what's at stake. Olbermann was right, RNC is exploiting the issue, trying to make it appear that only they can fight terror. That's BS. MSNBC should not have aired it.

Olbermann's a commentator, not an anchor. But MSNBC's decision to pull him ranks of sheer kneejerk reaction to the RNC whining. There's one thing the Repubs don't want, and that's any discussion of real issues. Why talk about Iraq and Osama when you can talk about sex ed and pigs with lipstick?

Jay@Soob said...

Hi J.

I don't see how it was exploiting the dead, as Olbermann observed. Terrorism is fair game for this campaign. 9/11 is a vivid reminder of what we are, potentially, up against. Personally I'm not much for the homogeneous motiff "The War on Terror" but I don't agree that the RNC or MSNBC was out of line showing what they showed. It'll be interesting to watch how MSNBC handles the 7th anniversary of 9/11 tomorrow.

Additionally, MSNBC's decision (in reading Ortho's above posted link) would appear to have the ridiculous behavior of Olbermann during the RNC as only a partial reason for their decision.

Jay@Soob said...

Additionally (again) J,

I don't agree with MSNBC's inclusion of Chris Mathews. He's certainly got a slanted bit of analysis but it is analysis. Olbermann is about Rush-like pontification and anti-Colbert like, unwitting satire.

Jay@Soob said...

nykr, I have no issue with editorialists like Hannity, O'reilly or Olbermann (within the context of Countdown.) But when their presented as journalists the whole process becomes laughable. And, a disagreement here, I wouldn't personally lump Matthews in that category for reason's stated above.

I do agree that much of what these people produce is "noise."

Jay@Soob said...

Ortho, lol. Calm and sedate indeed! I suspect Gregory will go after either a Pres. Obama or a Pres. McCain with equal fervor. He seems to me to be a "balanced" Helen Thomas.

As for my pull, well, let's just say by this time next year our nation's capitol will be renamed Jayshington (the state will follow suit,) that portrait on the one dollar bill will change a bit (Jayshington on the bottom, of course,) in cleaning personal artifacts such as clothes, dishes or cars you will be Jayshing them, screws will require Jaysher's, you will be gargling with mouthJaysh, etc. :)

Thanks for the article.

Mike said...

"It'll be interesting to watch how MSNBC handles the 7th anniversary of 9/11 tomorrow."

If it's like what they've done in years past, they'll air their live coverage of the attacks as they happened.

Jeff Wills said...

Interesting post and conversation Soob. Let's not hold back here, Olbermann is a buffoon! I say we replace him with Ortho.