Thursday, September 07, 2006

Olbermann has an attack of "the Murrows". Jolly Good!


I have been meaning to post this for a while but you know how things are. I know he is an aquired taste, but I do like a little Olbermann now and again. When I saw this this other night on his show I thought how splendid. Well worth the 7 minute investment.

UPDATE: Here's a related bit from Olbermann from last night, this time addressing the President:

6 comments:

Jim said...

When you say “acquired test,” it marginalizes a talking head who actually understands journalism and the context of its history--I'm sure that wasn't your intent.

Yes, Olbermann does appear full of himself at times, but what performer or public persona worth their salt doesn’t have a need to “ham it up” in front of the cameras? I love Olbermann's frequent barbs directed at that humorless ogre (and luffa aficionado), Bill "spin is my middle name but I'll deny it every time" O'Reilly.

Olbermann, if you recall, is one of the very few who dared to speak of voter fraud in Ohio and actually did several pieces on the possibility of the election being “stolen” by the right, long before anyone else even mentioned it.

MSNBC continues to lag behind in cable news ratings, but one can’t fault Olbermann, who, in a tough environment, more given to infotainment than actual journalism, continues to offer up a hard news orientation to his viewers, each night.

For that, he should be applauded.

weasel said...

Uh, actually Jim, it doesn't. When I say "aquired taste" I am expressing my opinion as to how Olbermann's personality effects me, not on his abilities as a journalist. As an "aquired taste" myself I don't see anything wrong with that. Being all things to all people is so dreary.

Don't get me wrong, I do like Olbermann but when you challenge me with "it marginalizes a talking head who actually understands journalism and the context of its history" I suppose it includes his 10 minute lead story last night on a drunk Paris Hilton? Hard news, indeed. And that's by no means a unique story on the Countdown(I do like the nightly trashy bits that make up 3/4 of the show too: I'm not Malvolio).

Olbermann is a smart man who makes compelling cases around issues that are inportant to every American, but even you'll have to admit that he is partisan. It just happens he's a pundit whose spin we agree with.

If I got all my news from Olbermann, or didn't take his reporting with a grain of salt, or acknowledge that while a gifted performer speaking the words I want to hear and that I believe to be close to the truth, he is in the end an opinion guy I'd be no better than my political opposites who suck at the teat of Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh. Just because I like his punditry doesn't mean he has a monopoly on truth. The minute we start putting any journalist's ideological angle on a pedestal over their reporting we are in trouble.

Do yourselves a favour: visit the BBC's Today Programme and see (in my opinion) how a properly adversarial yet ultimately neutral news program should sound.

weasel said...

This is the link I meant to put up to Today.

Oh and here's an example of how to defenestrate an arsehead without shouting over them or competing to make points, courtesy of Jeremy Paxman of the BBC. Its hillarious how brittle and unsure of herself Coulter gets when she's allowed to talk without someone yelling at her.

And this is the all-time classic Paxman interview, with Conservative politician Michael Howard. Watch how many times Paxman asks the same question; much more powerful than any answer Howard could have given.

country mouse said...

Ann Coulter is such a freak! I'd love to hear what Paxman had to say about her after the broadcast.

Bill Norris said...

Yes, those Olbermann rants were quite good to hear. But I don't see him sporting a pink Yankee hat...

weasel said...

Fear not, Yankee hat pics are scheduled for the weekend (been a bit over stretched at work, old boy).

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