Friday, June 20, 2008

Keith Olbermann


ILLUSTRATION: RICHARD THOMPSON (The NEW YORKER)

There's a piece on Olbermann in The New Yorker (by Peter J. Boyer). I enjoy Olbermann's show, and rarely find myself disagreeing with the guy. Over the past seven years, when disagreeing with Bush was equated with treason, and the press was cowed, compliant and complicit in the crimes of his administration, it was heartening to have Olbermann on our side.

Mr Boyer points out all of Olbermann's faults, and though it is a fair article generally, I think it understates the value of having someone to counter the aggressive propaganda machine of the Bush-Rove White House and its right-wing echo chamber.

Where were the NY Times and other leading institutions of the free press? They failed America badly in the run-up to war, in the escalating attacks on our constitutional liberties and in the pervasive dishonesty and corruption of this administration.

Here's an excerpt from the piece, in which Boyer tells the story of CBS considering Olbermann as a potential replacement for Dan Rather:

The meeting ended, and [CBS News President Andrew] Heyward was not convinced that Olbermann was the right choice for an institution where even the use of music in a news report, let alone voice impersonations by the anchor, is strictly forbidden.

But soon afterward Heyward was replaced as news-division president by the head of CBS Sports, Sean McManus, who agreed to a second meeting with Olbermann...In the end, CBS hired Katie Couric — a decision, Olbermann likes to point out, that has not worked as well as had been hoped.


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posted at 9:17:00 AM by Neil

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