First and foremost I want to state upfront that what Keith Olbermann does on his MSNBC show “Countdown” is no more journalism than what Bill O’Reilly does on FAUX News. They are both personalities that take a partisan side of an issue and present information and entertainment with it.
That does not make it a news show.
Do we learn something along the way?
Bits and pieces, and since I watch Olberman I can claim some insight from his shows when hearing from reporters who are interviewed. But this is not a news show aimed for any objectivity. Nor is the program done by O’Reilly.
We all know that.
There are many steps to the making of a real news show, and no one can seriously claim at either MSNBC or FAUX News they are in that business. They impart information, but they lack the totality of making what they do top-notched journalism.
Having said that however, comes the rules and regulations that MSNBC had made clear about how far out of the box those on MSNBC could stray with political acts. All news operations have to have such guidelines. All the hosts on these networks are big-time enough to understand the need for such rules, and should all be smart enough to follow them.
Everyone knows about the all-out blurring of lines with FAUX News and the Republican Party. That is what makes the Keith Olbermann story more upsetting. While FAUX News allows several presidential contenders to be on-air partisan attack dogs on a regular basis, and makes no bones about the money they funnel to the GOP, it is clear why some lines have to be drawn and followed. When they are not, well……we end up with FAUX News!
When NPR released Juan Williams for his anti-muslim remarks a few weeks ago I was in agreement with the action as the highly regarded news operation needed to insure that the work they do retains both objectivity and credibility. To the degree that MSNBC needs to rise to the level they aspire to should not be undermined by an anchor, who though topped rated, thought he could do whatever he desired.
No on is surprised that Keith Olbermann is a liberal Democrat.
I am however surprised how Keith Olbermann thinks he can bend rules that are in place for a reason.