1/6/09 12:37 PM

Weekend Links & Open Thread

Monday cable news links [updated through the day]:

Tonight's special coverage.
Shep is super (via TVN).

HuffPo Q&A: Greta.
Videos: Behind the scenes.

MSNBC: conservatives need not apply! Tucker grumbles: his Q&A.

Keith pulled from RNC coverage.

Cablers divvy up assignments. Travelers re-routed. Flight to New Orleans. Coop's crabcakes, his close call. Eerie streets, frightening winds. Adam's blog. Fixing the fly-away.

Colmes's controversial chronicle. Part deux. Blowback.

Alan's intern posts a DNC diary.

Eavesdropping on (MS)NBC?

CNN's third convention, big win.

Matthews to Brokaw: Go to hell!

Profile: Joe. Q&A: Coop (via SoupCans).

Fox: 24-hour coverage.

Media missed Palin pick.

Sunday talkers.

Use our valuable bandwidth to post your comments on any and all cable news topics in today's open thread. Standard rules apply.

I was watching Morning Joe when the news broke. Andrea Mitchell was on board there and was completely dismissive of the buzz that was starting to resound about Palin. Joe had started talking conspiracy, how McCann would lose the media if he were purposefully trying to deceive to throw everyone off. That is just laughable. The media turn against McCain now that he is going to be the nominee? Naaah. When the announcement came, Pat Buchanan came to life. He just exploded with happiness. Mica had a very positive reaction when the news hit, especially when she learned of how many children Palin had and that the baby has Down's.
Andrea faded into a zombie-like gaze. The reactions of all were honest. There were no talking points yet.  
The talking points would come later in the day. She is "under investigation." At first, I was completely surprised when I heard Olby in essence take Palin's side for allegedly having the trooper fired in light of her ex-b-i-l supposedly tasing Palin's nephew. But then, he was talking to Maddow who would have brought up the tasing had he just given the talking point in a vacuum. She is starting a new show soon, so maybe she wants to be a little more thorough. Olby made up for this little nicety later, though, when Rachel wasn't around. Maddow had already done research on Palin's opposition to "The Bridge to Nowhere" that questions Palin's statement given during her acceptance speech. So that is about all the negatives that are on record so far, except of course, the experience issue.
August 30, 2008, 8:42:19 AM EDT – Like – Reply

Congratulations to CNN! It's rare that a cable news network beats any broadcast network, but to beat all three (3) is just amazing. And, these numbers don't include the thousands, upon thousands of viewers in public waiting and traffic areas like airports, hospitals, hotel lobbies.
It's also rare that any business lives up to its slogan.
In fact, all the broadcast and cable networks did well. Even FNC and MSNBC bringing up the far rear were pretty impressive.
August 30, 2008, 8:42:44 AM EDT – Like – Reply

I see a difference in Maddow's manner when she's with Olbermann. She takes on his disdainful Tokyo Rose attitude.  
She's more thoughtful and more fair when she's on Gregory's or Matthews' shows.
I think there's the potential for her show NOT to be the video version of an Air America broadcast.
We'll see.
August 30, 2008, 9:28:53 AM EDT – Like – Reply

I can't find much positive about Palin's nomination-to-be, Sharon, except for a point you suggest, that it caught the media off-guard, that it is going to require them to do some work. Of course, the lines were being drawn in advance of the research, unabashed, giddy support and fealty at FNC, to biographical snippets and raising doubts at CNN to doubts plus cynicism at MSNBC. I seem to be in the position of being a CNN cheerleader today, not all that comfortable a position for me, but I think the CNN position is the one to watch over the days to come. Facts alone will not change the FNC nor the MSNBC positions. CNN is more likely to get us to some level of honest analysis and presentation. It will be interesting to see what emerges and equally interesting to see how it emerges (i.e. if the cable news pattern holds). It will be interesting to watch a wholly unknown quantity emerge before us.

Edited By Siteowner
August 30, 2008, 9:38:35 AM EDT – Like – Reply

Fox Fan
CNN did beat FNC for 1 hour. FNC beats CNN for years.
If the high ratings mean that CNN is living up to its name as "most trusted name in news", then they should also mean the same for FNC for the 99.9% of the time that it tops the cable charts.
August 30, 2008, 10:33:30 AM EDT – Like – Reply

Good reverse argument, FF.
I'm wondering too why we haven't seen the same accusation towards CNN that we see about FNC during the RNC convention.
CNN's huge ratings during the Dem convention must mean that its audience is largely comprised of Democrats who are getting their ears tickled by CNN analyst types...
August 30, 2008, 11:43:23 AM EDT – Like – Reply

Interesting point by Scarborough in the piece linked to above:
I get frustrated by people who have an obvious partisan bias that don't proclaim that bias," he said, though he later denied he was talking about Shuster. "I'm not uncomfortable with a guy like (Sean) Hannity or (Bill) O'Reilly or Olbermann, because anybody tuning in can tell they're not passing themselves off as objective journalists."
Once again (I know, for the 456,222 time), Olbermann has never admitted to not being an objective journalist.
And if he's not an objective journalist, Joe, what is he doing anchoring the news desk?
August 30, 2008, 11:49:46 AM EDT – Like – Reply

Hopefully it's OK to post this; it's from Kirsten Powers, who of course appears on FNC constantly:  
It's about McCain's selection of Sarah Palin for VP.

Edited By Siteowner
August 30, 2008, 12:10:51 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Olby Sucks
Congratulations to CNN!  
by mark
So, ratings matter, now? :lol:
August 30, 2008, 12:14:25 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
Since it's from a cable news pundit I'll ok the link, as long as there's no diversion into debating the plusses and/or minuses of the pick itself.
August 30, 2008, 12:15:59 PM EDT – Like – Reply

In the context of a transforming election, I'd say, yes, ratings do matter. This isn't quite the same thing as the monotonous drivel cable news, all cable news, serves up day, after day, after day, is it? This is one of the most important events in the lives of many of the people in this country, and the fact that they TRUSTED CNN in such phenomenal numbers says a great deal. The fact that a plurality of the rather small cable news audience that wants to the ENTERTAINED trust FNC says something that is obviously important to a number of other people. There is nothing wrong with that. Congratulations to FNC for getting a long term plurality from that niche group.
August 30, 2008, 12:49:03 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
As the Pew survey shows, the people who trust CNN are overwhelmingly Democrats. Ditto for MSNBC. Actually MSNBC way underformed given its audience makeup. CNN overperformed by the same standard, as did Fox.
We'll see who "many of the people in this country" trust next week when the demographics reverse themselves.
August 30, 2008, 1:00:44 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Johnny: I would be curious about the demographic breakdown of these cable news audiences.
Having worked in the black neighborhoods in Milwaukee after the floods in June, it seemed that CNN was the overwhelming choice for news, probably about the same 90%+ vote they give to Democrats. I only remember one black household tuned to FNC.
August 30, 2008, 1:38:05 PM EDT – Like – Reply

I enjoyed the pictures of Mrs. Palan and her kids at the post site, Missy.
Palan has a very approachable pleasant harried mom look, that's very appealing. She needs some tidying up a bit, but in a way that makes her look a tad more executive.  
I hope they try don't try and glam her up for the cable news cameras or anything. They'd be better off to err on the side of keeping her looking like a mama.
August 30, 2008, 1:44:11 PM EDT – Like – Reply

The Pew Poll has been exhausted as a topic. Everyone is well aware of the interpretation you have given it, Johnny. It has become reptitive and formulaic, so I don't intend to address it anymore.
As for the reversal in viewrship/ratings, probably so, but if this is a change election, and I am more and more convinced it is, the Republicans and FNC are very much the status quo. My own sense is that there will be a drop in over-all viewership for that reason alone and that, as you suggest, that drop will benefit FNC from a relative viewership standpoint.
We do have this other, complicating factor, as well, and as uninterested as I am in your further extrapolation of the Pew data, I am highly curious of your view of the impact of what appears to be a massive, massive storm threatening, it would seem, Lousiana and/or Texas. CNN has been split screen for the last several hours (I don't know about the other cable networks), and when I ran out to Home Depot a while ago, I noticed that TX DOT was putting up evacuation and shelter signs for those moving inland from the Gulf. If weather is your primary concern and you get weather information from cable news (I think that is still a market for local broadcast and, to a far lesser extent TWC), it seems to me CNN and MSNBC have far more advanced weather forecast services and prgramming than FNC (although reasonable people may well differ on that). I realize that the urgency of the information is for a large number of people (Texas being the second largest state), but still a relatively small percentage of the national population. Nonetheless, won't the cable news networks be working to serve these people, and won't a fairly signifcant "chunk" of people be absent from the potential pool of RNC viewers?
Given the nature of the convention and the impact of the hurricane(s), I'm not all that sure the viewership dynamic will be the same. FNC will likely "win," but will it be that significant a victory?
August 30, 2008, 1:49:13 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
If history is a guide, Fox will handily beat CNN and MSNBC in hurricane coverage just as they did during Katrina, both in terms of reportage and in viewership. It wasn't even particularly close. So much for their mythical disadvantage in resources.
> FNC will likely "win," but will it be that significant a victory?
CNN's win is significant, but if FNC wins it won't be?
First-rate spin.
August 30, 2008, 1:58:56 PM EDT – Like – Reply

The absolute best video of the week was the one of Peggy Noonan on Morning Joe.
Her description of "fatuous suckuppery" for the remark made on MSNBC that Obama speech "wasn't a speech it was a symphony, could describe the entire MSNBC orgy.
Peggy going on to clown around about the way the Dems play on their own personal tragedies and pull out what she joked was the-- unemployed woman with her feet exploding-- was just icing on the cake!
I know I half expected the convention hall to break out in a maudlin chorus of that holiday tear-jerker-- Christmas Shoes...  
Thanks for the bit of sanity, Peggy!
August 30, 2008, 2:11:57 PM EDT – Like – Reply

In light of the cogent, reasonable argument I made prefacing my conclusion, any fair-minded, reasonable person would conclude that it is thou who are't spinning, now, Johnny. My condolences on FNC's poor ratings at the DNC. It obviously means much more to you that it does to me. And, I am sure you will have (relatively) much to crow about next week.
Cecelia: The new entry into your Celestial Choir is Palin, not Palan.
August 30, 2008, 2:14:36 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
> In light of the cogent, reasonable argument I made prefacing my conclusion
I wish you had included it in your post!
August 30, 2008, 2:21:37 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Oh, I wanted to tell you too, Johnny, that on the site cityfile.com, they have a profile of Olbermann which goes into Karma of Karma Bites fame. The piece even quotes Karma as saying that she felt very "unsatisfied" after her encounter with Keith.  
August 30, 2008, 2:22:37 PM EDT – Like – Reply

That's for the spelling correction, Mark, but I was just admiring Palin's look.  
I'm not given to deifying politicians or writing posts about them that sound as though "Oh, Happy Day" should be playing in the background.
I leave that sort of nonsense to Democrats.
August 30, 2008, 2:27:44 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Now now J$, Mark had made an argument and it was cogent. You may contest it (and did, quite well), but snappy rhetorical devices like you employed don't advance the discussion. Anyways, it's probably moot because FNC is talking about almost nothing but hurricanes, New Orleans, the RNC convention, and how they are affected by each other and seem to be doing a thorough job of it.
August 30, 2008, 2:53:07 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Mike C.
Just to be clear, Peggy Noonan said MSNBC, but was thinking of David Gergen on CNN. But MSNBC was fatuously sucking up, too. So, I guess it's pointless for me to nitpick.
August 30, 2008, 2:58:35 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Mike C did you hear about Bill Maher saying MSNBC's Chrissy and Keithy on MSNBC were "ready to have sex with Obama"? I don't disagree.
August 30, 2008, 4:08:12 PM EDT – Like – Reply

It will be interesting to watch a wholly unknown quantity emerge before us.
Edited By Siteowner
Mark | 08.30.08 - 9:43 am | #  
Yes it will be interesting to see how Obama does. Well, he will have the press behind him. (I.E. Keith, Mandow, Mathews, CNN, etc.)
Let's Do The TIMEWARP TODAY!!!!!!
It's just a jump to the left.
August 30, 2008, 4:49:15 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Mike C.
I didn't hear that, but I'll take your word for it. I agree, too.
August 30, 2008, 5:05:40 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Fox Fan
Fox News Watch showed the Mahr clip tonight.  
I love Bill Mahr, You have to expect hardcore partisanship in his humor but he has a great show. It's on my DVR autorecord schedule right next to BOR, Red Eye, Fox News Watch, H&C, Political Capital, Robot Chicken, and Aqua Teen Hunger Force.
August 30, 2008, 9:42:47 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Fox Fan
Er, Maher.
August 30, 2008, 9:51:01 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Yikes. What an article about Joe Scarborough! The author makes it sound as if he's got the #1 show on TV!  
And more BS, comparing MSNBC's tilt to the left with Fox, to the right. Only thing is, Fox has TONS of commentators and people who lean left, while MSNBC has Pat Buchanan.
August 30, 2008, 10:15:47 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Maybe I'll get moderated; if so, sorry.
Re: The Cable Game, to which J$ often links. I can never post comments there, because I don't have a Google account. I think I opened one at one time, but forgot my g-mail and password info. and am now locked out in perpetuity. Anyone know if we can post there without a Google account?
August 30, 2008, 10:18:32 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
When you comment it invites you to choose an identity. Just select name/URL and you can fill in your name, an URL if you like, and post your comment.
August 30, 2008, 10:47:58 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Fox Fan
Hey johnny, you going to post the link I sent you? It's perfect cable news, the Maher video saying MSNBC hosts would like to have sex with Obama. If not, please let this comment stand so others can see it...
August 30, 2008, 11:05:49 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Shouldn't someone tell FNC that Saddleback was several weeks ago and that everyone in America who wanted to see it has already seen it, perhaps several times? I mean, it's not like it's a repeat of a Mrs. Miniver movie or archival footage of Roosevelt's first inaugural speech or even a re-run of "Hogan's Heroes". I suppose production costs are low, however.

Edited By Siteowner
August 31, 2008, 12:24:39 AM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
The saddleback replay was rescheduled from last week when there was breaking coverage of the Biden pick.
The production costs for FNC are considerably higher every weekend than for the other channels, since FNC broadcasts more live news than CNN, and way more than MSNBC with their endless predator/prison repeats.
But thanks for your comment.
August 31, 2008, 12:35:27 AM EDT – Like – Reply

The motivation for such irritation in the 12:29AM post is that the democratic nominee's performance at Saddleback did not make the poster weep. I think it is fine for such factors to be taken into account by individual viewers, if they so choose.
The implication is that any cablers presentation of the poor performance (below his pay grade) can only be because they are biased.
Oh well, nevermind integrity and objective thought.
Thank you for informing me of the truth, J$
August 31, 2008, 7:19:16 AM EDT – Like – Reply

I don't understand who watches that horrible pedophile stuff on MSNBC.  
Fans of professional wrestling are more discriminating! I saw the show once and wanted to poke my eyes out...
Some absolutely horrifying old man walked into a stranger's home and started taking his trousers off in the foyer after hearing a boy's voice calling hello.
Who wants to know that people like that exist!
August 31, 2008, 10:27:17 AM EDT – Like – Reply

Your criticism for MSNBC is absolutely on target. The prison and predator doc blocks are hideous, exploitive and abusive.
As for more live news, what programs are you counting as news? As best I can tell, the only news program on FNC is Shep. Everything else seems chatter, commentary or drivel. I would like to know what, in your informed view, is news programming on FNC. Teach me.
August 31, 2008, 10:30:08 AM EDT – Like – Reply

From the "Eavesdropping" link above.  
Nut graf:
I have been staying is mostly populated by the staff and crew of NBC and MSNBC. . I was appalled by the conversations I overheard standing in the lobby. Laughing and joking, they were genuinely gleeful about the possibility that the Republican Convention might be impacted by the natural disaster likely to strike the south east on the opening night of the convention. One joked, “Its God’s revenge against George Bush.” Instead of concern for the tens of thousands of people whose lives and property are in serious jeopardy, they were more annoyed at how it might inconvenience them if Senator McCain chose to change the schedule in light of events.  
August 31, 2008, 11:21:26 AM EDT – Like – Reply

Fox Fan
You're going into the philosophy of subjective interpretations of news Mark. There isn't a definitive answer to your question that will suit everyone here.
Dick Cheney probably thought the DNC speeches were chatter, commentary, and drivel. I thought they were news. C-SPAN is usually chatter and drivel, but I would certainly call that news even though it's not classified as news. Some people think John Stewart is news even though most of what he says is sarcasm or taken out of context for humor's sake.
It's not up to anyone here to tell you what programs are news on Fox. It's up to you, and you seem to have already made up your mind on the matter- Shep stands alone to you.
August 31, 2008, 11:27:19 AM EDT – Like – Reply

What you say is true, of course, and what confuses me is that when I raised production values, Johnny gave a flippant, off-target answer. The point was Saddleback. Very, very cheap programming. In the political world, a lifetime ago. I know FNC does Shep + updates. Indisputably news. Does "news" include Hume, O'Reilly and Hannity? Some might think so. I say, clearly not. Does "news" include Greta? Lord, I hope not. F&F? Surely not? Johnny's point that FNC does more live programming may be true. I wouldn't dispute that. More live news? I haven't a clue what he is basing that on, and obviously he is not going to share his criteria. So, I don't know whether what he said, his view, is sustainable or not.
August 31, 2008, 11:55:25 AM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
Brit Hume will have to return his Emmies. Mark doesn't approve of his news. Oh wait, according to Mark, "Special Report" isn't news. Because it isn't Shep.
Then Mark pretends that Hemmer, Scott, Skinner, Colby, Shawn, Baier, Jarrett etc are all not news. All those Steve Harrigan reports from Georgia that Mark pretended to be impressed by? Today? They're not news any more!
It's easy to claim that hours of live news coverage isn't news if you just say, well, that's not news.
It's also stupid.
August 31, 2008, 11:57:32 AM EDT – Like – Reply

Thank you for sharing your methodology, Johnny. It helps me understand what your meant. You have a more expansive definition of "news" programming than I expected, including as it does not just programs but also reports on programs. And, if I am not mistaken, you argued once, when it suited your purposes, that Hume was not news, but commentary. I can understand how anyone could consider his show going either way.
I am surprised you are will to cede your definition of news to the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. I know I often disagree with its classification of a program as comedy or as a key performance being supporting, but I suppose it is some indication of something.
I appreciate your time in providing this analysis. It was helpful, even if your rude, sarcastic and gratuitous remarks were not.
August 31, 2008, 12:44:53 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
You are mistaken, of course, but perhaps you could enlighten us all. Why is "Special Report" not a news program? In your own words.
August 31, 2008, 12:48:55 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Did Colmes just delete that article about Palin's prenatal care? He was getting destroyed in the comment's section.
August 31, 2008, 12:58:28 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Johnny, why not just cry "uncle!" for uncle's sake?  
In matters of subjectivity like this, how about a-- "Your opinion on what constitutes real news programming is duly noted, Mark" and then let him get back to the happy job of attempting to be a thorn in the side of FNC watchers with the more subtle task of issuing little gigs about ratings and such.
Saves time.
August 31, 2008, 1:03:37 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
Yes it was deleted. So I changed to link to a screengrab of the article, and added a link to a discussion thread about it.
August 31, 2008, 1:04:18 PM EDT – Like – Reply

I do think some portion of the show can legitimately be considered news. The "Grapevine" tends to be a rather petty smug hit piece on whatever Democratic politician Hume has gotten irritated with overnight or any moderate, progressive or liberal legisaltive endeavor which inevitably offends Hume's sensibilities. And, of course, the Panel, which I tend to enjoy and find informative, especially when there is a bit of balance to it (i.e. not limited to some far right trio like Sammons, Birnbaum, Krauthammer and their ilk), is pure commentary. I suppose that on a given Hume there may be what, 10 minutes of actual news, more depending on the nature of any interviews or those being interviewed.
I don't object to this, by the way. Pretty unfounded to call it a news program when only 20% is news, but still generally good programming.
Pretty high production costs, too, I would imagine, probably more appropriately chargeable to commentary than news. But chaucun á son gôut.
August 31, 2008, 1:06:49 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
Well we'll take your falsehood about Grapevine arguendo, and discount the analysis section. Since there are almost never interviews, that leaves 43 minutes . By my math that's nearly 75% of the running time.
Tell me how you get that down to 20%.
I know you're right Ceceilia, but sometimes lies have to be confronted.
August 31, 2008, 1:11:39 PM EDT – Like – Reply

[J$ annotations engaged!]
That's right, Johnny, anytime someone expresses an opinion different than your own opinion, it has to be a lie. Otherwise, you couldn't possibly be correct 100% of the time. What an overpowering ego you have!
[No, when people don't tell the truth, that becomes a lie. One cannot have a different opinion about facts. I didn't say your opinion was a lie. At least not yet. --J$]
First off, the Grapevine segment starts right after the midpoint off the show, and is sometimes followed by some amplification of one of the FRW smears contained in it.
[Sometimes? How about, hardly ever? Does this count as a lie? Smears? Your word. So it doesn't constitute news if it's a story you'd rather not see reported? Heh. --J$]
Sometimes, it's simply fluff. Sometimes, rarely, it is actually news.
[Aha! Now we're getting into actual lie territory. --J$]
Then, straight to the Panel. So, we're already at 50%.
[ROFL! --J$]
And you have the intellectual honesty to admit that far, far less than the entirety of the first 30 minutes is news. Anything, but ....
[So the way you get it down to 20% is to say, it's not news because I said so. There are many transcripts floating of "Special Report" programs. Amazingly, they don't back up what you say. What's more, there are a lot of people here who actually watch the program. And some who even analyze it scientifically. So your smear is not only undocumented, but provably false. Does this yet count as a lie? --J$]
Once again, we are at the point that you have gone all shrill over something that doesn't matter that much.
[Then stop raising irrelevant matters --J$]
I don't see the great tragedy in admitting that Hume is what Hume is, a largely hour long right wing editorial.
[Yeah your documentation has surely convinced everyone of that. I think we just might be into lieville here. --J$]
That's fine. That has a place on television. It is even useful. Interesting and enjoyable. To perpetuate this myth that Hume is an hour long news show is just silly, and frankly more than a little bit beneath you.
Since you either refuse to engage or are precluded from engaging in an open, candid discussion of this, I think this topic is exhausted. Let's move on.
[Right, move on. A much better tactic than documenting any of your smears and falsehoods. When asked to back it up, simply say, oh it's time to move on. Well, you may be right on that, in at least one sense. --J$]

Edited By Siteowner
August 31, 2008, 1:40:59 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Is it possible that Alan Colmes is actually going to criticize Palin by suggesting that she's a bad mommy who puts her work first!?
August 31, 2008, 3:05:19 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Mike C.
It's better that we have Mark here than the NH people, including the two that have re-infiltrated OlbyWatch, along with MikeH, an OlbyWatch non-NH hellraiser.
August 31, 2008, 3:51:41 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Mike C.
The good news is Keith has been pulled from MSNBC's RNC coverage. The bad news is Keith has been designated the Monday daytime anchor for hurricane coverage! This will further his Murrow delusion. I hope TWC (The Weather Channel) personalities don't appear on MSNBC tomorrow.
August 31, 2008, 7:27:36 PM EDT – Like – Reply

david smawley
Edward R. is not going to be in St. Paul? Well, perhaps the powers at be have decided to reign in their attack Yorkie.
He is better off in NY where he will have full protection and not be threatened by evil conservatives who wish him harm.
Maybe, just maybe the Williams/Brokaw wing at NBC have put their collective foot down on this moron.
August 31, 2008, 7:52:05 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Olbermann is the type who doesn't want to be within two miles of a Republican, Mike.
He's happy as a clam, I'm sure.
August 31, 2008, 8:06:40 PM EDT – Like – Reply

It's better that we have Mark here than the NH people, including the two that have re-infiltrated OlbyWatch, along with MikeH, an OlbyWatch non-NH hellraiser.
Mike C. | Homepage | 08.31.08 - 3:56 pm | 
Now THERE is some damning with faint praise... 
August 31, 2008, 8:15:01 PM EDT – Like – Reply

No offense intended for those whose entire lives revolve around Olbermann, but he is just a very small act in this fascinating epic saga we have unfolding before us. The choices we see broadcast and cable networks making now, the choices the RNC and politicians of both parties are making right now will be the fodder of discussions and analysis for years and years to come. At this moment, I couldn't begin to guess which decisions are going to be proven prudent, wise and aggressive and which will seem petty and self-indulgent. But, I am certain some careers are about to get made and some side-tracked. 
I love political conventions and political theatre in general, but we have to acknowledge that conventions are not what they once were in terms of the deliberative process and the implications for our daily lives. By that measure, I suppose a major hurricane en route, perhaps, to a major American city has to trump a political convention. Those reporters in the Twin Cities may begin to look like the newspaper wrapping yesterday's fish guts. Those en route to New Orleans, Lafayette, Morgan City and Lake Charles may be the brightest stars in the news galaxy in the years to come.
I do feel sorry for the rank-and-file delegates and party regulars who are about to spend a week at perhaps the least consequential convention in American political history. Months and months of planning and excitement go into these events for those people. And, a great deal of expense is encountered.
But of course, my thoughts, concerns and prayers, as are many of yours, are for those people along the Louisiana coast and others in other affected areas undergoing such a traumatic, angst-filled time. I suppose as you're trying to keep your heads above water in Evangeline, you can take comfort in the fact that your story, your suffering provided the opportunity for a couple of people to really yuck it up.
August 31, 2008, 8:35:35 PM EDT – Like – Reply

It has been fascinating watching Gustav slowly making its way to Big Easy. I'm sure Fox News is bumming that their shiny production facility is not nearly as critical now. Is Shep going to stay there for it to hit land?
August 31, 2008, 8:39:54 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Thanks for the Colmes' piece. I seldom read the blog. Although I tend to agree with much of what Alan writes, I am not an Alan fan. Quite the opposite, actually.
What I think Alan was going for was exposure of hypocrisy. I understand the desire to do that, but dwelling on it is destructive. I can personally attest to that. Equally as important, if there is anything that brings the parties together, if there is any field of true bi-partisanship in America today, it is hypocrisy. I'd like to see it stricken from our political dialogue, but it is a very strong virus. "But they .... Yes, but they ...."
Kudos to Alan for taking responsibility for his lack of clarity. I admire that.
And now, "Mystery".

Edited By Siteowner
August 31, 2008, 8:58:54 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Olby Sucks
Well, the olbyloons are claiming the storm is more important than the Republican Convention, which is why Olbermann is covering it. Given the choice between the storm and the RC, does anyone believe Olby chose the storm? Is he that much of a coward?
August 31, 2008, 11:26:35 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Keeping Keith in New York probably was something both he and his bosses at NBC are probably happy to do -- Keith because he's so paranoid that if he was worried about people attacking him in Denver, he probably thought the RNC already had a hit squad of assassins wearing Ted Baxter masks waiting to pounce on him in Minneapolis. On the other side, as much as Phil Griffin may have a woody for the Olbster, both he and his underlings had to know if Keith and Chris couldn't play nice and keep their bile to themselves in Denver, the odds were 10 times greater for a Twin Cities meltdown that would have drawn a million hits on YouTube. Better to leave Olby at 30 Rock where he can rant about Bush, McCain and Bobby Jindal tto his heart's content.
August 31, 2008, 11:50:26 PM EDT – Like – Reply

What a shame, Jeff and John will never know what might have been in the Twin Cities. The storm has really intruded into your lives in such a profound way. My sincere sympathies to both of you.
September 1, 2008, 9:14:08 AM EDT – Like – Reply

Why even bother covering the storm if they're going to do so from the safe confines of NYC? EVERY main anchor (AC, Shep, Gibson, Williams and Couric) are down there ON THE SCENE doing the story. Every news network has anchor representation there, except for ONE!
I don't think Keith has EVER gone to any region in peril, has he? Yet I read where he attacks AC and Shep for THEIR reporting of same. Weasil.
September 1, 2008, 10:19:02 AM EDT – Like – Reply

JC in OC
How dare you!
How dare you!!!
Keith always puts his life on the line and ventures into the danger whenever there's a Harry Potter book signing in Manhattan.
September 1, 2008, 10:53:12 AM EDT – Like – Reply

The left's favorite media personality sent to sit in the studio to cover events impacting our fellow countrymen.
What a shame.
That image of the typical RNC attendee being a horrible, hateful and violent monster, that could do harm to the delicate and effete Olbermann, seems to be evaporating in the convention coverage I have been seeing. All interviewed are expressing deep concern and sympathy for the gulf coast citizens and I hear the Republicans are planning on organizing relief for the region.
"What is," seems to be a lot better than "what might have been." That also seems to not be in the self interests of Olbermann, Michael Moore, former DNC chair Don Fowler and the rest who where gleeful in anticipation of Gustav's potential destruction.

Edited By Siteowner
September 1, 2008, 11:06:15 AM EDT – Like – Reply

Missy | 09.01.08 - 10:24 am 
Missy, did you think 'Diva' Keith was going to New Orleans?
Wh....wh....why, he might get wet!
September 1, 2008, 12:01:01 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Perhaps, you'd be more pleased with Mr. Olbermann monitoring the storm from inland Texas like the president is? I am less than 1 hour away from the president now, and I am not seeing a storm surge in my backyard. In fact, it's warm and sunny, and I'm getting ready to put a brisket on the grill. But, president and I are only 250 miles from New Orleans, so in your scenario, we are being more courageous and in the face of it all than Mr. Olbermann? Correct?
And, Cee, many thanks for your poignant analysis. No relationship to facts, feelings, or cable news, to be sure, but a most welcome addition.
September 1, 2008, 12:20:42 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Brilliant as ever, isn't he...
Why should Edward R. Murrow have bothered with describing the horrors of WWII from the battle field, when FDR was "high and dry"...
September 1, 2008, 1:28:00 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Cecelia - there are some who would do or say anything to protect Mr. Czechoslovakia.
September 1, 2008, 1:51:28 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
C: that's definitely comeback of the day. Another Olbypologist argument blown out of the water, so to speak.
Of course, it's my fault. I shouldn't have let partisan politicking go through in the first place. I guess it was a brain fart on my part. But since we've had a point and a counterpoint, at least we don't have to go down this blind alley any further.
September 1, 2008, 1:53:23 PM EDT – Like – Reply

I want Cooper's job. Crabcakes and remoulade!
September 1, 2008, 2:00:30 PM EDT – Like – Reply

And a brisket does sound better than the halibut and chicken I'm grilling, Johnny.
I give him that...
September 1, 2008, 2:18:57 PM EDT – Like – Reply

MSNBC must be having a secret "Let's see how much of a horses rear-end we can make out of Olbermann" contest.
Now they have put together this promo where Mr. Czecholsolvakia says "This is one of those turning-point-in-history American elections. We as citizens must at some point ignore partisanship. "
Wasn't he just talking about shovels the other day????
This is more evidence which makes me believe that Olbermann may be the most incompetent, boorish, bigoted, and ignorant "newsman" (and I use the term loosely) in the US today.
September 1, 2008, 2:31:13 PM EDT – Like – Reply

I'd gladly trade, Cecelia. Beef never does that much for me. I'm sacrificing for my family, although I did make a fresh peach cobbler for myself.
Olbermann may be the most incompetent, boorish, bigoted, and ignorant "newsman" (and I use the term loosely) in the US today.
...I'd agree he's certainly a candidate, Ashley, but it's an awfully big field.
September 1, 2008, 3:17:36 PM EDT – Like – Reply

I'm thinking it would be best for Olbermann if MSNBC just placed in he and rubber ducky in a hermetically sealed bubble and then glued him down in the middle of the campus of Columbia University. 
That way he can claim to occupy a seat at a prestigious school of journalism. 
Better still, he can never be expected to leave Manhattan and he can never be tainted by any blasphemous sentiment that might be uttered outside of Manhattan. 
Bathtub boy in a bubble.
September 1, 2008, 4:01:02 PM EDT – Like – Reply

This morning during MSNBC's coverage of gustave, Contessa Brewer showed a billboard that had been partially ripped off and was flapping in the wind. It was an FNC advertisement and "Fox" could clearly be seen.
Shuster commented that this shows that even mother nature hates Fox News.
Well, mother nature is said to abhor a vacuum so she can't be very fond of Shuster either.
September 1, 2008, 4:12:48 PM EDT – Like – Reply

david smawley
The Gustov story is over, what now for Edward R? Perhaps a permanent weather channel gig reporting on how hot air can drive a certain commentator into a comfortable studio environment. This guy will never be compared to Steve Harrigan. Come to think about it, he is no Jim Cantore either!
September 1, 2008, 5:12:19 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Nor should Olby be compared to Ron Burgundy. Burgundy was funny and did not shy away from a gang rumble.
September 1, 2008, 5:49:15 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Wrong, again, David. Gustav is far from over, with levees threatened in Plaquemines and St. Bernard, no assessments from Cameron, Vermillion, Iberia, St. Mary, Terrebonne, LaFourche or the inland parishes, with the storm moving into northwest Louisiana and northeast Texas, this is a days' long story.
I have done some cable news surfing during the last hour or so. This has really tested the cable news organizations. Breaking news on two (2) fronts, including the drip-drip-drip at the RNC and larger than expected and more disruptive than expected street protests in St. Paul. Did someone fail to tell these folks they were suppose to be in Denver, not St. Paul? 
My own impressions:
Shep has down some extraordinary reporting, seat of the (short) pants kind of stuff, and showed himself to be flexible, creative and professional. By contrast, Kampain Karl, in the remote from anything important today Philadelphia, was diverted from his plan, and he was dreadful. Stuttering like crazy.
BTW: I've never thought much of FNC weather reports. I have to admit, much better than I'd seen before or come to expect.
Blitzer, from the sedate convention hall confines, was Kampain Karl-like. He doesn't do unscripted at all well. Campbell Brown was much more the rock.
The MSNBC deal was interesting. Brian Williams, his usual calm, collected, deliberative self (I do so respect and envy that), and Olbermann in a most unusual role. Sort of the editor of a live, on-the-air anthology of reports. Thematically, it did tie things together far better than the other networks. Transition was smoother and more deliberative. I think with stories breaking on multiple fronts, this was probably a very good idea, although a Brokaw or a Williams would have done a better job. Maybe even an Alex Witt.
Anyway, random thoughts ....
More focused: Still praying for you, Louisiana. For the 50K+ of you in Texas, welcome!
Hope Labor Day was great for the rest of you.
September 1, 2008, 7:59:51 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Olby Sucks
Olbermann's coverage on Gustav is amazing! He's gonna get some big time awards for this.
Escape Goat - Now With Retsyn | 09.01.08 - 8:58 pm |
"More focused: Still praying for you, Louisiana. For the 50K+ of you in Texas, welcome!"
Lock your stuff up! Gonna be a crime surge!
"Wrong, again, David. Gustav is far from over,"
Hoping for more damage?
September 1, 2008, 9:08:29 PM EDT – Like – Reply

johnny dollar
That is pretty rich. With all the reporters and anchors down in the thick of it, Oralmann is going to get big time awards for sitting at a desk and playing video traffic cop?
They'll have to create a new category for that: Best Performance by Bathtub Boy in a Bubble.
September 1, 2008, 9:10:09 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Fox Fan
Brisket, halibut, chicken, crabcakes, I'm loving this comment thread! I made a mouth-watering pot roast yesterday, gave out tupperware containers to a few people with rave reviews. 
Mark is correct David, Gustav as a story is far from over. The success of the evacuations is going to be touted at the RNC and by McCain's camp for a while and we have Hanna impending. These storms will be taking the media, ahem, by storm for the next month or two.
September 1, 2008, 9:16:32 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Well, maybe NBC hasn't had an opportunity to pursuade the U.S. Secret Service to get Keithy those guards that he wants. Get him the guards, get him a flying boat/submarine, and I'm telling ya he's there in N'awlins!
September 1, 2008, 9:31:41 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Talk about an elephant in the room.
30 minutes into H&C, and no mention of Alan's disgusting comments on his blog about Sarah Palin.
FNC shouldn't cover it up.
Hannity shouldn't let it slide because Alan is his friend and show partner.
Alan should have to defend his actions.
September 1, 2008, 9:34:23 PM EDT – Like – Reply

I think a better chance for Olbermann to win an award would be to have simply anchored the weather coverage while bathing in his tub in his apartment (metaphorically what's he's doing anyway...)
He could have interviewed the same Dems and Bush critics that he's interviewed tonight from the vantage point of their sitting on his commode. 
It could be a sort of John Lennon-Yoko Ono weather-in thingee.
Very avante-garde. 
"The future of television news". (Well, for MSNBC anyway.)
September 1, 2008, 10:07:59 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Fox Fan
Ashley | 09.01.08 - 9:39 pm | #
Never mentioned in the entire hour of the show. Hannity needs to bring up Alan's article for fairness and balance.
September 1, 2008, 10:32:49 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Just a quick question for you fair and balanced people. If Fox (and this site) is so down the middle why don't I hever hear from anyone about how unfair the channel is to Republicans? Why only Democrats? Can anyone ever point out anytime in the history of the channel when it was unfair to Republicans? Fox Fan, Mike C, Cee, Johnny Dollar, vstol, Missy, Ashley (and the rest except for Haggis)...you are the main posters here...you seem to be all republicans. Why is that? Is it because Fox and this site are friendly to republicans? Would you ever watch a channel that was friendly to democrats?
Spin away.
September 2, 2008, 7:42:51 AM EDT – Like – Reply

If someone gave an example would that convince you?
No. That's because you have a different interpretation of "fair and balanced".
To you "fair and balanced" would be for FNC to have never aired the complaints of the Swift Boaters even though Democratic challengers were presented with them. 
To you "fair and balanced" would mean that pariahs to Democrats such as Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich, would be treated gingerly as though they had a taint of dishonor about them, rather than being hired as analysts with knowledge, as Democrats are hired at the channel.
FNC is considered biased not because they treat Republicans differently from Democrats, but because they treat Republicans and conservative issues as being on par with Democrats.
They don't call lifetime NRA members "extremist", "rabid", or "radical" or all the other similar little labels you get from the rest of the media.
And in a world where, as Joe Scarborough put it (and former CBS reporter Bernie Goldberg put it better), you have media members who are largely from the same class and the same schools, and who share the same views on abortion, entitlements, guns, God, and gays... giving conservatives THAT sort of legitimacy is tantamount to endorsing the devil.
September 2, 2008, 10:47:29 AM EDT – Like – Reply

Just to bolster your argument to Hmmm, a bit, Cecelia:
I suppose you think it would be fair and balanced to not give Jerome Corsi a forum to peddle his "scholarly" work? I suppose you think it would be fair and balanced to stop using "unrepentant terrorist" before every mention of Bill Ayers? Or to add that he had never been covicted of anything. I suppose you think it would be fair and balanced to stop accidentally running political smear ads for which the marketing department was precluded from selling time? I suppose you think it would be fair and balanced to stop using emotionally charged and innacurate words like "infanticide" to describe a candidate's position on reproductive rights.
September 2, 2008, 11:32:42 AM EDT – Like – Reply

I think it's fine for Corsi to air his work if he's not unchallenged.
It depends on how the term "infanticide" is used in a discussion about sustaining the life of an aborted baby who accidentally managed to survive the procedure. Saying "What some believe to be infanticide" is fine. "What could be described as infanticide [allowing an infant to die]" is fine.
All of this would depend on the context. 
More general and germane to the question of being fair and balance:
As I started by telling hmmmm... would naming one incident of bias against a Republican convince him? No, and that tit for tat act obscures the overall question of just how to define fairness and balance in the context of the media.
September 2, 2008, 12:34:12 PM EDT – Like – Reply

I agree with you completely, Cecelia, although that we've now had established for us the wholesale fraud that is the latest Corsi book, I do think interviewing him, referencing portions of his book becomes lurid and tawdry. Of course, that seems to dropped off the radar screen for all but the most outrageous of righties (and I am not even including Hannity in that group, for now).
September 2, 2008, 12:59:36 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Well, great, Mark. The next time Kitty Kelly or Gary Sick scribble off a tome, you can be sure to make your druthers known to the networks.
September 2, 2008, 1:24:43 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Kelly is a beach read. Flip the pages to the next ludicrous passage. Laugh your head off, and don't believe a word. The Sinatra-(Nancy) Reagan snippets were some of the best laughs I've had in years.
As for Sick, what a waste of a great mind.
September 2, 2008, 1:58:43 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Well, if Johnny allows it, here's a link to an article that lists the networks and cable shows that vied to interview Kitty Kelly (in the last days of the '04 election) about her unproved allegations in her book about the Bush family.
One of them was one of your favs-- then CNN anchor-- Aaron Brown.
September 2, 2008, 2:22:51 PM EDT – Like – Reply

oops... :D
September 2, 2008, 2:23:36 PM EDT – Like – Reply

And, do you recall the substance of the interviews, Cecelia? Was it unabashed gushing and shameless fawning? Did the interviewers treat Kelley's writings as sacred as the "Gospel According to St. John the Divine"? As treasured as "Light in August"? As insightful as Gibbon? As true and accurate as "Gray's Anatomy"? I don't think so, except perhaps Matt Lauer. Corsi has to be covered, and there is nothing wrong in doing so. He need not be held up as a literary giant bringing truth and light to a nation in the wilderness, as Hannity did and ought not to have done. How many people are partisan with every thought and breath? Few, and not you. Perspective, as I am sure you agree.
September 2, 2008, 2:57:20 PM EDT – Like – Reply

Perspective is key of course.
However, Kelly, Sick, Corsi (and every other author interviewed on tv) were just glad to get their names out so that they could sell some books...
September 2, 2008, 3:30:27 PM EDT – Like – Reply