Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wise up, Olbermann

Keith Olbermann left Daily Kos—but only temporarily, it appears.

Why? Was it the blogger who claimed that "Keith Olberman transformed from Edward Murrow wannabe to a clown"? Or the same blogger's criticism of Rachel Maddow's response to President Obama's speech last week?

Well, those two things probably had something to do with it. But what appears to have clinched it was what was said by what Mediaite characterized as an anonymous blog commenter who wrote:
can’t verify, of course… (2+ / 0-)
but a friend in the news biz tells me he got a damaging e-mail from one of his pals at NBC. something to the effect that their anger was pre-planned because “beating up on the President has been good for ratings.”

I haven’t checked but I’m hearing that Olbermann slammed the speech on Twitter before it even started.
As Mediaite points out, this comment doesn't make much sense: "From whence is Olbermann supposed to be poaching these viewers who want to see him tear the President apart?" Hannity?

In his farewell to Daily Kos, Olbermann was defensive:
"Can't verify"... "haven't checked"...It can't be verified because it's nonsense, and it wasn't checked because nobody bothered. Unfortunately there's been a lot of this here lately.

And what's more, I didn't "slam" the speech on Twitter before it even started.
Olbermann added:
You don't agree with me, fine. You don't want to watch because you don't agree with me, fine. But to accuse me, after five years of risking what I have to present the truth as I see it, of staging something for effect, is deeply offensive to me and is an indication of what has happened here.
Now, why am I writing about this?

Olbermann is a very intelligent man, and his progressive commentary on the lawless Bush II administration was spot on. But his thin skin and apparent naiveté will be his undoing. Think about it: the evidence suggests that the comment Olbermann responded to was written by an anonymous conservative troll hoping that Olbermann might react to it with indignation. "Hell, he might even leave Daily Kos," the troll surely thought, "and wouldn't that be sweet!  What a shitstorm that would be!" As Admiral Ackbar warned, it's a trap. Whoever that troll is, he or she is really enjoying this, believe me.

Olbermann assumed that the anonymous commenter actually believed what he or she was saying. But why make that assumption? As I have explained, bullshitters don't believe that what they say is true; rather, they don't care whether it's true or not. They simply hope to achieve this or that goal by saying it.

According to Mediaite's Tommy Christopher,
The marriage between Keith Olbermann and Daily Kos is a valuable one, though, far too valuable to throw away so easily. Neither of them really “needs” the other, but they are definitely better off together than apart. I don’t think this separation will last long.
It appears that Christopher was right.

Wise up, Olbermann.

Let's have a look back at Keith in his glory days, i.e., before he simply called people names:

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It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. ---W.K. Clifford

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. ---Thomas Jefferson