Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Keith Olbermann ... Setting The Standard That, Almost Guaranteed, Will Not Be Followed

Yes, I'm going a bit late to this (in part, waiting, and waiting, for MSNBC to publish the damn transcript) but it is a story that has gone vastly under-reported.

A major news anchor made an error, a mistake and then, didn't gloss over it, didn't blame anyone else ... And, in both print, and on-air, brought attention to his mistake, accepted the responsibility for it, and apologized for it ...

Yes, the man, Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC's Countdown, called himself out.

The issue stemmed from an interview Olbermann conducted with Lawrence O'Donnell, on Thursday, 17 January, in which there was no mention or reference to O'Donnell's lowdown smear of John Edwards, in a post he wrote on Huffington Post, the week before.

At some point, between the end of Countdown on Thursday evening, and before 11AM the next day, Olbermann did get hip to it and posted an admission of his error on the Daily Kos, announcing at the very end that "It will be addressed tonight on the show."

Addressed indeed.

Just before the first commercial break, on the Friday 18 January broadcast of Countdown;

"And a note about last night‘s COUNTDOWN and the discussion of Barack Obama‘s evoking of the name Ronald Reagan as a president of change. Lawrence O‘Donnell of was our guest in the 6th sentence of his first answer, Lawrence dismissed criticism of Obama about for the Reagan reference by John Edwards and that said, Edwards, quote, “Is not a factor in these races coming up except possibly Nevada.” He was entitled to say that but I should have pointed out to you that a week ago, Mr. O‘Donnell wrote a piece for “Huffington” in which he called Edwards, a quote, “Loser,” who, quote, “Might in the end become nothing other than the southern white man who stood in the way of the black man.” I would have pointed out to you if he had pointed that out to us. We can‘t do on air vetting (ph) of everything, every analyst has ever written, the newscast would then consist of 58 minutes of that plus the theme music. But when it is relevant and it‘s pointed at recent it should happen, my apologies that in this case it did not."

Jeez, take just MSNBC, and NBC, let alone the rest of the MSM (The NYT would have to publish months of editions to cover Michael Gordon's stenography), if they applied this standard to Little Timmy Russert, and Tweety Chris Matthews, they'd have to launch another channel (and Tweety was recently forced to apologize, on-air)

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