Monday, November 8, 2010

Olberman, Leno, O’Reilly—Sadly, All The Same

Olbermann Responds

Keith Olbermann is no better than the people he has ridiculed on Fox, I say with disappointment. Yes, he should, indeed, qualify for his “Worst Persons” acknowledgement.

The released a message tonight, Monday, November 08, 2010 from Olbermann. It answers all questions. He doesn’t get it, and perhaps he should return to sportscasting:

Statement To The Viewers Of Countdown

“I want to sincerely thank you for the honor of your extraordinary and ground-rattling support.

“Your efforts have been integral to the remedying of these recent events, and the results should remind us of the power of individuals spontaneously acting together to correct injustices great or small.

“I also wish to apologize to you viewers for having precipitated such anxiety and unnecessary drama. You should know that I mistakenly violated an inconsistently applied rule – which I previously knew nothing about -- that pertains to the process by which such political contributions are approved by NBC.

“Certainly this mistake merited a form of public acknowledgment and/or internal warning, and an on-air discussion about the merits of limitations on such campaign contributions by all employees of news organizations.
“Instead, after my representative was assured that no suspension was contemplated, I was suspended without a hearing, and learned of that suspension through the media.

You should also know that I did not attempt to keep any of these political contributions secret; I knew they would be known to you and the rest of the public. [Astounding] I did not make them through a relative, friend, corporation, PAC, or any other intermediary, and I did not blame them on some kind of convenient 'mistake' by their recipients.

“When a website contacted NBC about one of the donations, I immediately volunteered that there were in fact three of them; and contrary to much of the subsequent reporting, I immediately volunteered to explain all this, on-air and off, in the fashion MSNBC desired.
“I genuinely look forward to rejoining you on Countdown on Tuesday, to begin the repayment of your latest display of support and loyalty - support and loyalty that is truly mutual.”

Mr. Olbermann doesn’t apologize for making the contributions. No. He says he “mistakenly violated an ‘inconsistently applied rule…’”

Know that I have been a fan of Countdown. Now, however, its host is admitting more or less that he’s the same as Jay Leno or David Letterman doing a monologue, not NEWS [Editor’s emphasis added] and commentary. Olbermann’s debate about authenticity, transparency, and veracity relies on the vagaries of MSNBC rules.

Sorry, Keith. It’s not about rules. It’s about ethics. It doesn’t matter if Olbermann made the contributions openly. He shouldn’t have made them in the first place.

© Jim McNabb, 2010

1 comment:

-Lance said...

Does an Assignment Editor or Reporter or Photog have a "switch" to turn political bias on or off? Are News staffers apolitical by nature or training?
Let's look at something much more valuable than a few personal donations: coverage.
How does one "fairly" decide to send the sharper, "better" Reporter to cover a candidate/event?
How does on decide "fairly" to send the "new" Betacam gear with the Angineaux lense, rather than the old tube 300 to the same?
How does one assign the lead/chief "better" photog to an event, and still be fair?
If you can only send out 2 live trucks in a State Capital on a statewide race night, how do you fairly decide who gets them?
If you have 2 or 3 parties an Anchor needs to report on, how does the Producer decide the order and stack in the show, fairly?
How does a Photog decide to set the tripod...a little low or a little high, fairly?
How does the Photog decide how close to zoom in and how to light...close or wide, harsh or soft, fairly?
You know what I'm saying...