From Charlie…a Ted Koppel editorial…

Charlie sent this a while back and I forgot to post it.

To witness Keith Olbermann – the most opinionated among MSNBC’s left-leaning, Fox-baiting, money-generating hosts – suspended even briefly last week for making financial contributions to Democratic political candidates seemed like a whimsical, arcane holdover from a long-gone era of television journalism, when the networks considered the collection and dissemination of substantive and unbiased news to be a public trust.

Back then, a policy against political contributions would have aimed to avoid even the appearance of partisanship. But today, when Olbermann draws more than 1 million like-minded viewers to his program every night precisely because he is avowedly, unabashedly and monotonously partisan, it is not clear what misdemeanor his donations constituted. Consistency?

We live now in a cable news universe that celebrates the opinions of Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly – individuals who hold up the twin pillars of political partisanship and who are encouraged to do so by their parent organizations because their brand of analysis and commentary is highly profitable.

The commercial success of both Fox News and MSNBC is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me. While I can appreciate the financial logic of drowning television viewers in a flood of opinions designed to confirm their own biases, the trend is not good for the republic. It is, though, the natural outcome of a growing sense of national entitlement. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s oft-quoted observation that “everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts,” seems almost quaint in an environment that flaunts opinions as though they were facts……

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6 Responses to From Charlie…a Ted Koppel editorial…

  1. Profile photo of Vertigo Vertigo says:

    I was hoping this would get posted. I had heard wind of this, but couldn’t find anything when I searched so I didn’t send the topic. Apparently with his brief suspension, there was also a media blackout on the subject…. or perhaps I searched wrong, I wasn’t sure who it was that was referred to in the news program I initially heard it from.

    I stand consistant, he is NOT a news source, and as such shouldn’t be given the credibility of one. Its people like Obermann who create confusion with inaccurate news, and make the entire picture distorted so people cannot make intelligent decisions regarding politics.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately we make up our democratic base of the republic, so that makes us a threat to us…that is the burden of a democracy…we are basically what we are..good, bad, and indifferent.
    These shrill and sometimes strident pundits of crap, are paid by their masters to keep crap stirred up and sometimes to be flash points of emotionally charged issues…they are all the same…and they pander generally to the lowest common denominator of each side of the spectrum…god knows, everyone needs a little positive reinforcement I guess when they truly lack they truly lack the power of their own convictions…..
    I believe they (MSNBC) also whacked Scarbourough, their token conservative shill for the same offense…
    personally, I view them all as comedy for grownups if the Three Stooges aren’t on cable somewhere…what I love most is the same topic sounds like two unrelated ones once it is digested and excreted to the willing listeners…now that is fun….not to mention the stench.
    I use a very strict criteria on some issues…first Hannity, Limbaugh, and O’Rielly on sending troops to war…they never served..hence they need to watch their step…putting folks into harms way is easy for game players, far harder to do for those who have actually been in harms way…once there, tactics are everything. There are sound reasons to fight, and those should be measured and once determined, fight to win….not “peace with honor”… rape, defile women, run from responsibility..where are they at the moment of truth? They need to be careful on womens issues, particularily when they generally enable behavior due to their control of funding sources…talk is cheap when you are not paying the piper…
    Economic crisis…the last thing I want to hear is Glenn Beck ($32M per year…WTF?) talking to regular Americans about financial responsibility and tax cuts….fuck him…
    they all seem to have too many conflicts of interest to be taken seriiously…each should be allowed to only discuss issues they have no iron in the fire on…it would shorten the topic list seriously.
    …and that is just the tip of the tip of the iceberg.

    • Profile photo of Vertigo Vertigo says:

      I agree…. Andy.. er, at least I THINK its Andy but it could be anybody else…

      “personally, I view them all as comedy for grownups if the Three Stooges aren’t on cable somewhere…” (Possible Andy Quote)

      I listen to them for the catharsis…. I like to get riled up and angry at them, which when I cool down, I feel a release of tension… I get this mostly from the conservative pundits, so those are the ones I tend to listen to the most. The liberal ones are pretty white bread, and its hard to get worked up about environmnetalism, the need for hybrid vehicles or polar bears. I don’t listen to them much.

  3. thothamon says:

    oh I say, vert and andy agreeing? Barkeep…a round for everyone, on me please.

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