Just who are you calling an ‘un-American bastard,’ Keith Olbermann? We watch, because we’re paid to

Ruth Graham | Contributor

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 15: Surprising news: Olbermann is mad at Rupert Murdoch. Turns out he gave some money to the Republican Governors Association. “Unfortunately,” as Keith put it, “he also runs a TV network that purports to cover news.”

Good point, Keith! And Murdoch also owns a TV network that broadcasts “Glee” and “Bones” and “House” and your beloved “Simpsons,” which you quote every single week including this one. Murdoch also owns 20th Century Fox, which made “Star Wars” and “Norma Rae” and your beloved “Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties,” which you recite in full to yourself every night before bed. It’s almost as if Rupert Murdoch is running a huge corporation whose main goal is to make profit across a broad array of platforms!

But Olbermann’s hands are clean, since he works for free for a small nonprofit news network. What’s that you say? Olbermann makes $7.5 million a year working for MSBNC, which is owned by GE, which spends more money on lobbying than any other corporate entity and also received a huge government bailout under the Democrats? And, as Tim Carney put it in the Washington Examiner this week: “GE has teamed up with the Democrats on cap-and-trade, light-bulb regulations, embryo-destroying stem-cell research, subsidies for rail, and many other ‘green” subsidies. … GE is pushing for more big government and allying with Democrats against Republicans. In case you need some back-up on that, you can read Glenn Greenwald in that notorious conservative rag Salon, who wrote last year that “GE isn’t even bothering any longer to deny the fact that they exert control over MSNBC’s journalism.”

But that’s different. Somehow. Right?

As for the rest of the show, the high/low point was calling “Fox and Friends” anchor Brian Kilmeade an “un-American bastard.”

MONDAY, OCTOBER 18: Tonight’s big news: A scuffle between a security guard hired by Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller and a reporter. Keith snagged the reporter’s colleague for an on-air interview, and the result was some seriously scintillating television. Here’s some of what she had to say:

“You know, I didn’t actually see this scrum take place.”
“I didn’t see it. So I can’t really characterize it other than secondhand.”
“In my personal opinion, these security guards were a little over the top.”

Riveting stuff!

Then Olbermann switched topics, saying “We sort of buried the lede, to borrow a phrase familiar to both of us.” Groan. Yes, Keith, we get it, you’re a “journalist.” (No, you’re not.) Here’s a phrase familiar to both of us: That’s just pathetic.

Then he covered a contest in which people scoop fake dog crap as fast as they can. Keith, it’s nice of you to try to write the jokes for me, but it’s really not necessary.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 19: Ooh, a new official guest host! His name is Cenk Uygur, and he’s a “YouTube sensation” and also a Huffington Post contributor, a position that not just anyone can attain. Some call him “the Tila Tequila of political talk shows,” and though I don’t really understand what that means, it sounds like he’s going to be fun. He also named his son “Prometheus Maximus” — seriously — so he seems to have exactly the level of self-regard befitting an MSBNC host. Welcome!

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20: Tonight Olbermann was up in arms over the fact that Glenn Beck attended an event hosted by the nefarious Koch brothers last summer. The next day Beck mentioned a fact about the GDP on air and said “I want to thank Charles Koch for this information.” Typical tricky Koch brothers: They’re so secretive they go so far as to befriend television personalities who then mention them on air! What’ll they think of next?

Olbermann also mocks Beck for this innocuous tossed-off line by doing an impression of Beck saying “I met a famous rich person.” Flash forward about 15 minutes and Olbermann brags about “my friend Ken Burns” and then tediously reads a long personal email from Burns on air. But that’s different. Somehow.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 21: Please welcome big guest Nancy Pelosi, who came into the “Countdown” studio to repeat a bunch of dust-dry Democratic talking points, and I passed out from boredom. I did wake up long enough to hear her say of the coming election: “If they win, we’re now a plutocracy, an oligarchy.” Keeping it in perspective as always. Also, T-minus 11 days ‘til plutocracy.

Tags : broadcasting candidate ge general electric company glenn beck glenn greenwald huffington post joe miller keith olbermann msnbc nancy pelosi politics republican governors association rupert murdoch television the washington examiner tim carney
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