On the waning days of madmen in the media

So some Hollywood insiders are sick of the decidedly liberal MSNBC, according to a report. One “liberal Democrat” actually said at a Beverly Hills luncheon “that she would prefer a lunch date with right-leaning Fox News star Sean Hannity over left-leaning MSNBC star Keith Olbermann.” Egad. I wouldn’t eat lunch with Sean Hannity unless it involved dining on his freshly-excised heart in front of him, though given its smallness I doubt it would make much of a meal.

But this woman’s not alone, apparently. A very liberal friend of mine hates Olbermann too, saying “he’s too brash,” while another colleague has grown tired of the pontificating. I’m seeing the complaints piling up in the lefty blogosphere.

There’s been a backlash against Olby steadily brewing and it’s hard to argue that he hasn’t brought it on himself, between his feverish channeling of Edward R. Murrow, the on-air catfights with fellow commentators, and the never-ending petty putdowns of hapless Republican morons.

Still, I’m cool with the big ‘Mann; despite the ego, he’s delivered memorable commentaries on the sad state of the nation and, most pointedly, the outrageous impunity with which the loathsome Bush White House has acted.

I will say this: Olbermann’s gonna have some trouble with an Obama administration. He’ll have difficulty, at least at first, finding things to get smug about and will harp on the littlest shit.

Picture his squinting eyes and puckered lips sourly delivering such lines as, “No chief executive in the history of this great nation has ever snubbed the assistant to the assistant ambassador of Guinea-Bissau. How dare you, Mr. President. Nobama, indeed!”

Unfortunately, Olbermann’s already been booted from anchoring election night coverage on MSNBC because of perceived bias. That’s unfortunate, because it would have made for some interesting television viewing, especially if FOX was daring and stupid enough to have Bill O’Reilly anchoring their election coverage at the same time.

I would’ve worn out my remote flipping back-and-forth on such a televised, partisan debacle. But while Olbermann’s failed attempts to rein in his own vicious sarcasm would be fun, O’Reilly would be a scream… literally.

Imagine Papa Bear, trying desperately to contain his rage as state after state falls into the Obama column… pushing the FOX “they cheated!” line as red states go blue by the tiniest of margins… finally snapping in a silent TV studio as he awaits any good news for the right.


They’d make him stay on all night, well into the morning. He’d be bleary-eyed, disheveled and alternately lashing out and sobbing piteously.

“THESE EXIT POLLS ARE BULLSHIT! Augh… I’m sorry, ladies and gentlemen but– but– WHY, ZOGBY, WHY?!? AIEEEEEEE!!”

Finally at around two A.M. he’d throw his papers in the air and walk off the set, revealing that he hadn’t been wearing pants the whole time.

Alas, it’s not to be, and the days of craziness I fear are numbered. There’ll be less misogynistic slobbering by Chris Matthews, less brain-dead blather from Steve Doocy, less fat-faced foolishness from Glenn Beck, etc.

Yep, with the sober and purposeful first 100 days of the Obama Age, I think we’ll see the wild depravity of the media madmen we’ve been subjected to for eight long, hellish years begin to finally fade away, becoming as anachronistic as a print newspaper in an Internet café. The nation has grown tired of round-the-clock propaganda, spinnery, and idiotic shouting matches between professional antagonists. What will replace it is anyone’s guess, but it can’t get any worse.

Can it?

18 replies »

  1. Well it would be nice if that happened but I think that there will be a base for these creeps for many years yet. Olbermann is a bit much but compared to Billo he’s an intellectual giant (but so is my cat).

  2. It’s not going to make much difference. Billo’s been railing against liberals while the republicans controlled everything, so from that side I’d say he’s just going to have more ammunition. Olbermann can pretty much just harp on Billo. I think the first 100 days is going to be dedicated to the fallout of the republican party’s collapse and which direction they intend to move in. If it’s the crazy wingnut Sarah Palin direction, it’ll give Olbermann plenty to talk about. If it’s more of a moderate approach, things could get real quiet from the MSNBC crew. Still I don’t think the GOP will abandon their loose confederation of biggots, fear mongers, and extreme religious righters. They’ve still got a few more decades to wear out their welcome as the baby boomer generation that was around during the civil rights era passes on.

    I look forward to the day that we don’t need these extreme partisan cable news shows, but until then I’ll keep tuning in for Olbermann. It’s the only concrete way to protest fox news.

  3. Keith Olbermann, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’rielly
    Which one of these things is not like the others?

    The meme of false equivalency has been discussed a lot lately. In this case, the notion that Olbermann is the left’s equal and opposite reaction to O’reilly on the right is an excellent example of this fallacy. Campbell Brown just made this mistake on The Daily Show on Monday. It isn’t just wrong, it’s a joke.

    When Mr. Olbermann speaks out against conservatives and right wing pundits he’s referring to a group that is responsible for steering this country into a deep ditch. That undeniable ignominy alone should automatically disqualify any assertion of a tit for tat equivalency between the 2 ideologies

    There are other differentiating factors but I’ll just note one. Facts. Olbermann always backs his critical rants with facts and historical references. Conservative talking heads usually bend facts to serve their argument substituting truthiness for truth.

    There is a huge difference between the fact based and justifiable outrage of Olbermann and the gut-based and truthy bloviating of O’Reilly. If you care about accountability and you’re angry about where this country is and how it’s gotten there then you know the difference between mad men and men who are just mad.

  4. There is a valid point underlying all of this, i think: our media has become not much more than a stream of op-ed rants from both sides. The days of straight news seem to have gone. That would be fine, i guess, except for the fact that the major television news outlets present themselves as “news” rather than opinion. But opinion is the time filler that makes the 24 hour cycle move.

    And then they have the nerve to complain about the blogosphere…

  5. Big difference between KO and the perpetually and intentionally stupid at Fox. They and their Republican caretakers make up the stuff they spew. Keith, hilariously and accurately corrects it or knocks it down..

  6. “…though given its smallness I doubt it would make much of a meal.”

    Ditto for his…


  7. I’m actually surprised that Bill O’Reilly hasn’t cast his lot in with Obama by this point. Does anyone remember how, as election day 2004 neared and it looked like Bush might be on the way out, O’Reilly was contemplating voting for John Kerry? It was as if he didn’t want to be left out in the cold.

    Also, I’ve always suspected that he’s really bipartisan at heart –- that playing the role of a far-right commentator is just a way to be a star, as well as get out his anger at this father (or something).

  8. Dining on Hannity’s freshly-excised heart? Egad, don’t let your dentist hear you say that! That heart is so hard, it would break your teeth.

  9. You can’t compare Keith to Bill. Bill does what Limbaugh, Beck, Drudge, and Savage have been doing since the mid-90’s (not just the last 8 years) – spewing the particular spin of the Neo-Con movement (not the Republican) and doing so with extreme venom and downright lying – remember FemiNazis? Remember Rush singing “Barack the Magic Negro? And there are countless other examples. Olbermann brings to the light the falsehoods, distortions, prejudices and lies which, until lately, have gone basically unchallenged (except by small radio audiences who are lucky enough to receive Air America). I say, give ’em hell, Keith.

  10. I am with Miss Skecptic,
    I believe Olbmermann has been the voice of reason against a strong tide of wingnut propaganda, hypocrisy, and lies. Example in point is his response to McPalin’s “pallin around with terrorists”, exposing Palin’s connections to the AIP, Reverent Muthee, and all focused upon the real face of terror, a 80+ year old woman shooting herself to avoid foreclosure on a home she paid about 30 years of mortgage for. Meanwhile Limbaugh, O’Reills, Hannity, and the like have spewed forth endless smears and lies to further thier twisted, ideaological, far-right agenda, all while calling it “fair and balanced”. Keith is a welcome voice of opposition using their same tactics in style but opposing with truths the nature of their mis-speaks.

    I also believe there will always be enough for even Olbermann to call out with Congress, state politics, and other national “news” stories that need a bit of a reality-check.

    I agree that it will likely be tough to have real dirt to focus on Obama with, hopefully for a long time come.

  11. The closer we get to believing there will again be some moral and ethical gravitas in this country, inspired by a grounded leader like Barack Obama, the less necessary it will be to hack through the muck of lies and distortions that have passed for information during this period of increased abuse. Olbermann won’t have to act as translator and defender of the values that conscious, logical, honest people cherish when the smoke and fog machine leaves the podium. He may have a few years left pointing a spotlight at the nefarious doings of the shattered opposition. There will still be sniping and obstruction, but it will no longer be sanctioned by the policies of the POTUS and his cabinet. If anything, we can expect renewed attacks from the right in the media, so maybe this is a permanent thing we’re looking at, one that will shape shift as the situation demands.

  12. MSNBC is what passes for Liberal these days? Wow! Truthfully, what alternative that doesn’t involve satellite radio does any person with Liberal leanings have to hear their views presented? The Right controls the airwaves and most print media. The Left’s voice is a whisper in a busy machine shop. Why on earth would we blow off anybody who is more than halfway intelligent who has a voice that is actually heard? I don’t understand what the point of the article is other than there should only be a Fox news and the various clones thereof and any voice spoken by the other side is pompous, ego-driven blather that should be silenced? It would be one thing if another spokes person or suitable mouthpiece whould be proposed to KO, but none is mentioned. Who is Hollywood going to offer as the Voice of the Left? Tom Cruise?

  13. Miss Skeptic said,
    “Remember Rush singing “Barack the Magic Negro?”

    Actually, Rush didn’t sing that song. The writers of that song only used phrases uttered by Hillary apologists and other Democratic flotsam and Jetsam. The song was an combination of what the Democrats were saying about Obama, including the “Magic Negro” part.

    Here’s an explanation of the song.


  14. I didn’t realize I was on the left until I heard what the right’s argument was.

    That leads me to believe that the right has gone off the deep end, and maybe I’m really just in the traditional center.

  15. “A very liberal friend of mine hates Olbermann too, saying “he’s too brash,” while another colleague has grown tired of the pontificating.”

    Funny, I see Olbermann as a leashed poodle, unable or more likely unwilling to tackle the real problems facing us today: bipartisan criminality, utterly corrupt media, covert sponsorship of terrorism, a global drug trade and related crime rackets in business with intelligence agencies, the cover up of the 9/11 treason, etc.

    “Liberal,” whatever.

  16. mrpopo, October 30, 2008 at 12:10 am : Keith Olbermann, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’rielly Which one of these things is not like the others? The meme of false equivalency has been discussed a lot lately. In this case, the notion that Olbermann is the left’s equal and opposite reaction to O’reilly on the right is an excellent example of this fallacy. Campbell Brown just made this mistake on The Daily Show on Monday. It isn’t just wrong, it’s a joke.”

    “The meme of false equivalency..,.” mrpopo: Well written and well thought out. Thank you you saved me the trouble of spending an hour responding to this baseless equivocation. If Olbermann is twisting the knickers of Beverly Hills liberals where have they been for the last 25 years while illogical blather from right-wing buffoons led under-educated Americans down the garden path from Reaganomics to Bushit. There is a categorical difference between righteous indignation & the cynical manipulation of the ignorant. Anyone who thinks that there will be a lack of reasons to be outraged just because America has a smarter president with better character and better policies, massively underestimates the chaotic state that these Republicans have left us. As I wrote in 1992: “Now that the circus has left town, who’s going to clean up after the elephants. ” President. Obama is going to need a stronger back and a bigger shovel, than did President Clinton.