What's wrong with Keith Olbermann?
by MediaFreeze, Sat Feb 16, 2008 at 07:46:19 AM EST
It's funny, I've generally been a fan of Keith Olberman over the last few years. He seemed to me to be one of the good guys, going after the Bush administration policies when few others would. My wife, on the other hand, who's lefty politics are pretty similar to mine could not stand him.
While I applauded his special comments she was insulted by the tone. I didn't understand what annoyed her so much, but she'd leave the room anytime I tuned him in. It wasn't the issues he was discussing, it was the self important buffoonery that really got under her skin, the name calling and the juvenial snickering. In her opinion that was the tactics of the right and it was not OK to play the game that way. When we descend to their level, we are no better than them.
What she felt what was wrong was that rather than stake out a position on the merits and defend it with honor and dignity, Keith Olberman's goal was to use his pulpet in whatever manner he wanted to sway public opinion. Just because he was fighting for something that was good, was not justification for demeaning and nasty hate speech.
I'm sort of a meenie so I didn't really care and it was fun to see Fox News tactics used against the bad guys. But, now that I see how he is going after Clinton, I understand her point much better. Sure, I support Clinton, and it is infuriating to see Olberman join the chorus on MSNBC of those attacking her 24/7. Would I be gleefull if they were attacking Obama in this manner? Maybe, but I hope not.
There is something very wrong about the role of the media today. We see it very clearly over at Fox. They use every sneekie trick they can to present themselves as fair and balanced while all the time trying to advance an agenda through name calling and repetition of disingenuous sound bites. It may be effective, but it is not the right way for the national discourse to proceed. It is not journalism. It is boosterism.
One of the main reasons that I support Hillary Clinton is that she has been subjected to these kinds of non-stop attacks for all her political life. She has not been made by the media. In fact, she has succeeded in spite of their best, now becoming fanatical efforts to take her down. And, she is still standing. She may even win the nomination in spite of what amounts to around the clock vitriolic attack ads against her. Those folks on MSNBC, CNN and Fox must be awfully afraid of her, to devote such energy to ripping her apart.
You wonder why. I think it is because they don't own her. When Shuster went over the line she called him out. Matthews has been forced to apologize. She doesn't suck up to them and that terrifies them. Because they are not in control of her.
Obama has been elevated to almost godlike status by a fawning media. What happens when we get to the general election and the same self important pundits turn on him? What happens when they start to disect his rhetoric of hope and optimism and start to roll out the inevitable amateur hour in the White House with a nation at war narrative?
You see, if they make you, they can break you. They didn't make Clinton. She has risen despite their best efforts to drag her down. Obama has been created by the media. He needs the media and they will not be there for him in the fall. Well, I guess Keith Olberman may be there in the fall. But, his will be a lonely voice.
This is the plan. The last thing the corporations that own the media want is for a Democrat to win. They are getting away with too much that would end if a Democrat wins. They believe that they can beat Obama because they created him, but they are afraid of Clinton. They want to install Obama as the nominee so that they can pull the rug out from under him in the fall.
I don't think Keith Olbermann is knowingly part of the plan. He probably believes the stuff he is saying, and actually really does despise Clinton, but by adopting the tactics of the right he makes himself part of the problem. By piling on Clinton and elevating Obama he contributes to the lack of real vetting of Obama. He contributes to stacking the contest in favor of the weaker candidate so that the Democrats can be beaten in November.