A Message from Keith Olbermann

Countdown with Keith Olbermann, the much-anticipated week-nightly commentary show featuring the return of one of journalism’s most outspoken voices, will return on independently-owned Current TV on Monday, June 20 at 8/7c. 

For the Countdown interactive experience, visit Current.com/Countdown

Progressives: The Point Is Working Families, Not Keith Olbermann

I agree that MSNBC's suspension of Keith Olbermann was akin to a kindergarten teacher telling a five-year-old to go stand in the corner for putting gum underneath his seat. I happen to believe there's no such thing as a person or a company--journalist, or media company, or anything or anyone else--who comes without an opinion. For a few days, Progressive bloggers across the country have been making hay of Olbermann's wrist-slap, and not a few have complained that the whole silly affair has taken the news spotlight off the needs of un- and underemployed Americans.

So, nu? Doesn't anyone else see the irony there?

There's more...

How Many J-Words Can Dance on the Tip of a Tongue?

CNN’s Rick Sanchez decided to go toe-to-toe with faux newser Jon Stewart and suffered the same fate as the last CNNer to do so – Tucker Carlson. However in the aftermath, we have a sort of “how many J-Words can dance on the tip of the tongue” argument brewing.

Stewart had been doing to Sanchez what he’s done to so many others for weeks – made fun of him. It’s the penalty one pays when one is famous and says dumb things. It’s all too easy for Stewart’s crack staff to find double-speak video and other public statements to hold crapweasels up to ridicule. I think Stewart’s brand of ridicule, despite its definite bite, is far less passionate than Keith Olbermann‘s skewers of the famous and inane. One gets the sense that Jon knows it’s a joke while Olbermann actually believes his targets are the Worst Persons in the World.

But then, I ain’t famous so what do I know?

Punking Yourself
If you live under the glare of studio lights and talk for a living – incessantly – you’ll punk yourself occasionally. It happens. And when it does, you have to either have a great sense of humor or develop tough skin, because the dumber you are, the more you’ll be held up to ridicule. Exhibits A-D, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Christine O’Donnell, and Sharron Angle, et al.

Sanchez’s skin is apparently as thin as John McTheusela’s, as is the skin of Sanchez’s CNN overlords. Sanchez let the J-Bombs fly, CNN fired him, he apologized to Stewart soon after and Jon and Rick rode into the sunset, at least if not BFFs, OK with things. And, Christopher Hitchens takes up Sanchez’s cause.

Hitchens? Really? Famous crusading atheist? Has cancer?

One in the same.

Hitchens argues that Sanchez’s anti-Jewish statements are literally true. Despite the anti-semitic overtones, he says Jews (along with white Christians) actually are disproportionately represented in media and entertainment boardrooms. To Hitchens, Sanchez simply stated a fact no more problematic than saying African Americans are under-represented. And as boneheaded as Hitchens often is, he has a point. But, it was never about THAT point and it isn’t a necessarily a socially polite thing to say.

It all boils down to a “who can safely say the N-word, or in this case, the J-word”. Sure, Sanchez was unbelievably stupid, but if we’re going to fire every TV personality who’s stupid, TV would consist of lots of HD snow and annoying test pattern buzz.

But, you could make an argument that would be an improvement.

Not a White Supremacist Candidate
I personally find Sanchez annoying and I suspect his assumed anti-semitism may be real to some degree, although, barring any information to the contrary,  I’m not so sure he’d be a good candidate for your neighborly white supremacist enclave.

I don’t condone what he said. In fact, I don’t think it is as literally true as Hitchens does either. But, I’m not sure if it’s a firing offense when put in context.

Sanchez did the right thing in calling Stewart to apologize – though he wimped out by letting his wife announce it to the public on Facebook. Everyone might have been better served if the apology was both personal and public. A true mea culpa with some teeth – perhaps a show or series of shows devoted to anti-semitism coupled with some work with Jewish charities and up close and personal exposure to Jewish people. The Jewish religion believes in atonement, a earthly one to be sure, but atonement nonetheless.

If Sanchez refused to do these things, if his superiors had to co-opt him to do them – in a very public way – they, and those calling for his resignation, would have every right to say, “don’t let the door hit your ass on the way out.” Or, if he did it again, ala Mel Gibson, away with him. No one has to cut the man some slack and some believe no one should.

But we might all learn a little about ourselves and each other if we did.

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

 

 

You Know You Might Be a Liberal If…

Note: Turnabout is fair play, so enjoy this companion post to last week’s You Know You Might Be a Tea Partier If… And moderates, your turn will come soon too.

You know you might be a liberal if you:

  • Make protest signs with perfect grammar and spelling, but that quote Camus…in the original French.
  • You’re willing to fight an uphill election battle, but no one understands your commercials.
  • Think of your party’s Big Tent as a canopy for a reception party after a gay wedding.
  • Refer to George W. Bush as the Anti-Christ, but are incensed when the right calls Obama The Messiah™.
  • Protest horrible work conditions for migrant farm workers, hotel maids, and Chinese prison labor…by throwing a $500 per head cheese and wine tasting.
  • Advocate for homeless rights…provided they don’t live in your neighborhood.
  • Want environmental protections for every species on Earth…except those icky bugs and snakes.
  • Drive to a protest about shipping jobs overseas in your BMW.
  • Have a secret desire to be black, but are ashamed that it comes from your mother teaching you they’re terrific dancers.
  • Think Native American lands should be returned to their original owners while forgetting your house stands on what was once a sacred burial site.
  • You don’t own a single American flag pin.
  • Think Keith Olbermann is the only “fair and balanced” newser on TV.
  • Think gun ownership should be forbidden, including all weaponry used by the Armed Forces.
  • Vacation in every foreign nation under the sun, but have never traveled to an adjacent state.
  • Get pissed because Republicans refer to it as the Democrat party instead of the Democratic party.
  • Spell “the” as “teh”.
  • Believe the First Amendment guarantees everyone’s right to free expression, but think “hate speech” a should be illegal.
  • Believe that foreign despots will go away if you ask nicely.
  • Want to declare war on Christmas.
  • Are in favor of building the Ground Zero mosque while arguing with the local planning commission over the amount of traffic the new church being built in your neighborhood will generate.
  • Think of Talking Points Memo as a legitimate news outlet.
  • Don’t grasp why unredacted CIA intelligence isn’t printed in the newspaper every day.
  • Believe you’re an “honorary lesbian” because of that little one-night stand you had while drunk in college.
  • Believe that little one-night stand you had while drunk in college was “fun”, but you’d never do it again in a million years.
  • Want to ban sugar, salt, and fat from foods, but eat bacon-wrapped hors d’ouvers and drink rum and Cokes at your neighbor’s party.
  • Think black-on-black crime is caused entirely by white people.
  • Think everyone in the Midwest is some sort of inbred goob even though you’ve never met anyone outside the Washington, DC metro area.
  • Decry Republicans playing politics while grousing about Obama’s tepid response to criticism.
  • Think Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are qualified to talk about anything having to do with African Americans.
  • Think anyone to the left of Ed Schultz is a crazed wing nut.
  • Really hate it when people don’t refer to liberals as progressives.
  • Think banning all oil drilling by 2011 is the solution to America’s energy problems.
  • Protest human rights violations in Chad without being able to find it on a map.
  • Oppose the death penalty, but also protest the poor conditions in the nation’s prisons.
  • Claim to have lots of gay and black friends, but can’t remember their names when someone asks…not that there’s anything wrong with that.
  • Support awarding huge damage claims to people who’ve smoked 3 packs a day despite the fact they’ve known smoking is a deadly for their entire adult lives.
  • Believe that Republicans lie and Democrats have inconvenient truths.
  • Complain about the condition of America’s educational system while sending your own kids to private school.
  • Think all Republicans are corrupt and hypocritical.
  • Think Bill Clinton was impeached for a BJ instead of lying to a grand jury.
  • Think Michelle Malkin is cute enough to sleep with, but would never tell anyone because of her politics.
  • Feel inferior if you don’t have a master’s degree.
  • Protest the efforts to repeal the 14th Amendment, but are still pissed that the Equal Rights Amendment didn’t pass.
  • Believe that donating an hour per week teaching an inner city kid how to read is intrinsically more valuable than a wealthy person donating $1000 to the literacy program.
  • Hate being called a socialist.
  • Are a vegan, but hate the taste of tofu.
  • Drink soy milk in your $6 cup of coffee.
  • Think DADT is the biggest problem facing the nation today.
  • Believe Nancy Pelosi is the greatest Speaker in the history of the House.
  • Believe that only white people can be racist.
  • Don’t understand why the Ground Zero mosque is a touchy subject for some people.
  • Decry the loss of newspapers and magazines, but own 4 Kindles.
  • You find this post as funny as You Know You Might Be a Tea Partier If…

Cross posted at The Omnipotent Poobah Speaks!

CNN: Bring Back Crossfire!

 

Mainstream news channel ratings come out, and normally there isn't a distressing situation afterwards.  This time, however, CNN faces a 40 percent drop in viewership since 2009.  Pretty large huh?  Say what you want about mainstream media news outlets, this isn't what this diary is about.

CNN has been in the bottom of the big 3 for awhile now.  Fox News Channel has been the leader for quite some time, and we are constantly reminded of this by Mr. Bill O'Reilly and other prominent noise-makers on that network.  MSNBC normally takes the second highest spot on the podium, however the difference in viewership between number 1 and number 2 is quite significant.  And then there is CNN.  Since the departure of Lou Dobbs, CNN has lacked any significant program along the lines of advocacy journalism

The lack of non-objectivity seems to be hurting CNN significantly.  Politico has noticed this (and this is where I pulled the stats for this btw) and has outlined a few tactics for Ted Turner's cable news creation to increase viewship.  One of these that I took notice to was advising CNN to bring back crossfire.

James Carville, Geraldine Ferraro, Pat Buchanan, and of course Tucker Carlson and his ridiculous bow ties. If anyone remembers Crossfire, chances are it's because of a Mr. John Stewart.  The youtube sensation of John Stewart ripping apart Tucker Carlson on air marked seemingly the end of Crossfire

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFQFB5YpDZE

Stewart had a point.  His claim of partisan-hackery was certainly an issue, but I personally found Crossfire to be entertaining nonetheless.  I think its important to have open debates live on air between pundits, but talking points consuming the show over real issues unfortunately plagued the show in its past.

In my opinion, there is no show (with the exception of Meet the Press and other sunday news shows) that really allows for open debate with a slew of different individuals on both sides of the political spectrum, at least in the 3 big mainstream outlets.  Keith Olbermann seems to never bring anyone on his show for a serious and intellectual debate, Rachel Maddow does but not very often.  Chris Matthews and Harball normally has a decent track record of open debate, but still lacks a lot of consistency in my opinion and viewership from more right-wing sources are less likely to watch MSNBC... because its MSNBC.

Fox, on the other hand, as well all know is obviously truly fair and balanced.  Its hard to properly emphasize sarcasm via typed words so bear with me.

Glenn Beck's biggest stride in bringing on bi-partisan debate was having the esteemed guest Eric Massa on to talk about snorkeling and fondling men.  Of course, this actually was a big stride for Beck.. sadly enough.  Bill O'Reilly can sometimes have a decent guest in which to "debate" but that normally involves O'Reilly yelling louder to prove a point, to the degree of nearly soiling himself.  And of course, there is Sean Hannity and his "Great American Panel."  You can guess who is on this "Great American Panel."  Normally the token Reagan worshipers to the equivalence of Liz Cheney's and Bill Kristol's. 

I love watching open and fair debate.  Not constructed partisan ploys done by the other "debate" shows.

If CNN could craft Crossfire to actually contain a Fair and Balanced debate show, yes thats making a mockery of fox news, then they could potentially increase viewership significantly.

At least, I know I would be watching it nightly. 

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