Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Worst Broadcaster in the World

Last night, on television, Keith Olbermann casually referred to a sitting U.S. congressman as a “son of a bitch.” Within five minutes, Mr. Olbermann also told Glenn Beck and his followers to “go to hell.”

As with his occasional utterances of “goddamn” on the air, one can argue, I suppose, that this is entertaining.

Inarguably, it is crass. It is weak writing. (Each profanity was carefully scripted.) Such vulgarity is unpersuasive as political speech and, of course, unprofessional for a major-league journalist.

(Yes, Mr. Olbermann does consider himself a journalist... in the Edward R. Murrow tradition, no less.)

Hey Keith... you child... what’s next? Gonna talk about Rush Limbaugh’s mama? Call Glenn Beck a faggot?

I bet you dollar money Sean Hannity has never – not once, not ever – referred to anybody as a “son of a bitch” on his air. And Hannity’s the King of All Douchebags!

But he is a better broadcaster than you, Keith.

You think it’s hip to make the cable news experience more like reading lunatic blogs or watching “Family Guy”? Or maybe, being wrapped like a Hollywood mummy in liberal sanctimony, you think you’re speaking truth to power. Or impressing us with your passion.

Get over yourself, Keith. The words that tumble from your mouth are making the world just a little bit worse. Because you are contributing directly to the degradation of our political culture.

UPDATE (11/04/09): And looky here. The Huffington Post is encouraging him! It’s a daggone shame, people...


bklyn6 said...

It's edgy. :rolleyes:

Makes me think of The Insider (with Lara Spencer). It has a new format with C list panelists who bicker and shout about the latest celebrity goings on. WTF?

I guess potty-mouthed broadcasters and C listers debating Jon & Kate are must see TV. :thumbsdo:

Geneva Girl said...

Dang! I wish I'd have seen that for myself. I'm not sure what I would have thought. I download Keith and Rachel every day. I do think that Keith is often over the top, but I think he's more of an entertainer than a straight-up journalist. I think he's funny and I don't take him seriously.

Calling someone an S.O.B. on election night, when he's supposed to be serious is a bit out there.

Undercover Black Man said...

... and I don't take him seriously.

But he takes himself so seriously, GG. That's the trip part about it.

CNu said...

yeah..., sugarcoating political ideology - e.g., the vile strain of "conservatism" that pretends Black folk are genetically inferior - is infinitely preferable to simply calling sonzabitches, sonzabitches...,

that type of propagandistic nonsense is simply "turd frosting". out here in flyover, no amount of calm sweetness applied to a fetid fecal matter will suffice to transform it into cake.

Olbermann needs to crank up the bombast and inspire yet more Graysonesque truthtelling in the media, the legislature, and on the stump.

PPR_Scribe said...

Not only does he take himself too seriously, but he very rarely seems interested in being a "journalist." Or even a true commentator in the sense of someone who digests the news of the day, thinks critically about it, then forms and states an opinion.

During the campaign I watched all or part of his program--mainly due to its pairing with Maddow's show. But I am really not a fan. I find that his fiery rants contribute more smoke than light or heat.

procrastinating redcoat said...

He and MSNBC are trying to outfox Fox. Sad but true - it's a competition for audience share, not a quest for truth. They're all showmen - Olbermann, Hannity, Beck et al. 21st Century snake oil salesmen.

Undercover Black Man said...

CNu: I'm sure you have taught your kids the value of civility. And I'm pretty sure that at your various workplaces you have conducted yourself in accord with standards of professionalism.

You believe our society will soon crumble unto dust anyway... doesn't matter to you if a TV talking head contributes to the rot.

I, however, will demand more.

junebug said...

Olbermann reminds me a lot of another dil-weed that anchored on ESPN: Stephen A. Smith. Amazingly, I'd see him pop up on political shows to give his opinion about social issues "from a Black perspective". He knew as much about relevant social issues as he knew about sports, which was absolutely nothing. ALL these clowns from BOTH ends of the political spectrum can all jump in the lake, far as I'm concerned.

SJ said...

you used "bet you dollar money"! haha.

Completely agree with Keith. I absolutely hate watching him on TV with his faux-outrage.

SJ said...

Btw what has happened to "journalism" nowadays? Why does he call himself a journalist? What was the last news story he went to cover himself? I weep for journalism nowadays.

Undercover Black Man said...

... another dil-weed that anchored on ESPN: Stephen A. Smith.

Oh goodness gracious... that dude. Yeah, I been seeing him on CNN and MSNBC commenting on current events.

He probably got a plan working right now to become the black Keith Olbermann. CNN just might be desperate enough to try it. (Remember D.L. Hughley's show?)

Undercover Black Man said...

^ That's the thing about setting a bad example; shit just goes downhill from there.

Take Lawrence O'Donnell. Intelligent cat. Knowledgeable. Now that he's Olbermann's regular substitute host, O'Donnell has adopted a strident partisan posture... with nasty humor and ad hominem attacks becoming his weapons of choice.

Damn shame.

Kellybelle said...

Keith--I feel I know him like that--is an entertainer, no matter what he calls himself. And I do find him entertaining when I feel like being childish about politics. And I worry about h is dad's health. I do.

Geneva Girl said...

Kellybelle, I too worry about his dad. Whenever he has a day off, I'm wondering if he's planning the funeral. That said, I'm wondering if Olbermann is trying to compete with Russert's relationship with his dad.

Undercover Black Man said...

Whenever he has a day off, I'm wondering if he's planning the funeral.

You know what? When Keith has come up missing lately, like last night, I figured... "Keith got World Series tickets."

Undercover Black Man said...

^ What'd I tell y'all? BAM!

Omo Naija said...

You only have to read the article on how these folks get booked on shows to realize its all a joke at our expense. I gave up on the News some time back; its The Daily Show for me.

Newspaper reporters/columnist are no better. The end is near for that industry; circulation down 23% over last year and losing money by the boatload. Thats what being stenographers and agents of misinformation gets you.

Thank goodness for blogs and podcast. The gatekeepers are increasingly irrelevant to serious discuss on contemporary issues.

To quote Brad Delong - if only people stopped using Kaplan Prep, WashingtonPost will be out of business. The entire company depends of revenue/cashflow from the Kaplan business unit.

The Angry Independent said...

I agree the language could be a weakness for KO....

But he's far better than the shills on Faux, who lie to folks everyday.

KO makes up for the lapses you cite by providing good information.

No rage about the bold faced lies that come from Beck, Hannity, Dobbs, Limbaugh and the rest????

The cursing doesn't poison the public discourse and damage the national interests nearly as much as the lies, propaganda and hatred spewed by the Right, which actually has negative consequences in terms of policy and legislation (much more of a negative impact on lives). There is no comparison between the two.

The lies, propaganda and hatred neatly packaged as legitimate journalism is exponentially worse for the Country.

I have to give KO a little leeway. He's one of the few standing up to the Conservative propaganda machine... If this is his style, i'm willing to deal with that. (Have you heard Conservative Talk Radio lately? Vile compared to KO. Your folks on the Right have been getting away with far worse for years now).

If you are focusing on KO's language.... then you are focusing on the wrong problem IMO.

Once KO starts slipping and sliding on the facts...that's when I will have a problem. Once his information becomes flaky... then I would challenge him as a broadcaster.

None of these guys are great journalists.... so to speak.... Bradley and Cronkite and most from that era have passed on. We are definitely dealing with infotainment's all about money, ad ratings, etc. This is why they think it's more important for us to know about the non-news stories of shiny balloons, police chases, the latest missing suburban barbie, a beauty pageant winners sextape, the latest on Britney Spears... or other random nonsense that isn't important over more meaningful information about what's happening in Iran, in Congo, in Sudan, in the Middle East, how to fix the economy, fixing American Education, etc etc. It's no wonder that most Americans can't pass a basic World Geography quiz. (yet, ironically, the U.S. has this love affair with war).

But compared with what else is out there, KO isn't even close to being the worst on TV.

CNu said...

The Angry Independent is truth...