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Can Only "Screechers" Compete In Today's Political Discourse?

(Photo by Robin Holland)

In his conversation with Bill Moyers on this week’s JOURNAL, MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann addressed critics who liken his brand of editorializing to that of the conservative commentators he decries:

"It's the most vulnerable point because it bothers me, too. The one criticism that I think is absolutely fair [is that] we're doing the same thing. It becomes a nation of screechers. It's never a good thing. But emergency rules do apply... I think the stuff that I'm talking about is so obvious and will be viewed in such terms of certainty by history... I think only under these circumstances would I go this far out on a limb and be this vociferous about it."

What do you think?

  • Do you agree with those who describe Olbermann as a "Limbaugh for Lefties?" Can "vociferous" remarks --- either from Olbermann or conservative commentators --- contribute constructively to the national discourse?

  • Is it possible for reasoned, even-handed journalism to compete in today's marketplace of ideas?

  • Does the political polarization of news outlets as seen in cable news, blogs, talk radio, etc. undermine the potential for Americans of differing views to find common ground?


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    Comments

    While he is entertaining, Keith Olbermann is hardly a real journalist. His piece attacking Sue Lowden was both petty, immature and misleading. The gist of her message was that people can look at alternate means to deal with costs and circumvent the insurance industry. Note that insurance and processing accounts for more than 1/3 of the cost of healthcare. Further, by tying the health decision to the payment, costs WILL go down. If you want to attack anything, you should look at the logic of the Obama plan where you solve the high cost of health care by adding more demand on a subsidized basis and then ask the industry to try to not charge so much. Time will tell who is right. I expect that the future generations will feel that they were correct in not backing Harry Reid for backing a flawed plan simply due to his commitment and loyalty to his party rather than his constituents.

    I watch Keith in the same way I watch Jon Stewart. Sometimes the info is scarey, sometimes laugh-out loud, always entertaining. I do not think of either as a news show. For news, I listen to Jim Lehrer, Gwen Ifill, Bill Moyers and lately, the NOW team, all PBS.
    K.O. and Stewart just make me happy that there are liberals on mainstream media. For a while there, right after 9/11, it seemed that to be liberal, to question the government in any way was considered unpatriotic.

    Let me wrap up this thread by noting the idiocy of PBS viewers. A few months later and your hero is barely hanging on to his job. He's a joke and people with integrity see that.

    I apologize that I am posting this comment very late. It has been months since this particular show aired. But Bill Moyers was very recently on Keith Olbermann's show, so I have decided to at long last put my feelings about both of them in the public forum.

    I have been a fan of Bill Moyers since his shows with Joseph Campbell and Bill knows this. I have always respected and admired his style and his dedication to true investigative reporting and first class journalism. He stands for a unique integrity that is missing from 99 percent of other journalists today.

    Except for Keith Olbermann. Keith is also a unique journalist who has found his own style and voice through his "Special Comments" - which I never fail to watch. Keith's honesty and conviction come through like gangbusters and his words are always riveting.

    I can only hope that whatever current friction is going on between NBC and MSNBC does not shake up the programming to where Keith would no longer have a show or a forum for his Special Comments. Because that would be tragic and a truly sad day for democracy. But then, look what MSNBC did to Phil Donahue when he became too anti-war? Took him right off the air. You never know what's going to happen.

    IF THAT happens in this situation, my solution is for Bill Moyers and Keith Olbermann to team up. I know they like and respect each others' work very much and I think they compliment each other very nicely. Bill with his southernly-gentleman-investigative-journalism ways - and Keith with his hard-hitting-no-holds-barred Special Comments! They're on the same side, they just have a different approach to the solution.

    These two men represent the ONLY people I listen to and respect with regard to news and opinion. May they both continue to have long careers of their own - but I wouldn't mind them working together one bit.

    Thank you for letting me post this.

    Katy Turic wrote, "Here is the list of Keith Olbermann's Top Ten lies of 2007.
    http://www.olbermannwatch.com/archives/2007/12/keith_olbermann_71.php
    Read them and educate yourself. Keith is nothing but a stooge for the Clinton campaign just as Moyers was a stooge for LBJ. Keep clapping for your heros running the left wing hate machine. We on planet Earth will continue not to watch Keith's many lies."

    Katy, give us a definition of what you consider lies. It is pretty obvious from your posting that the truth couldn't possibly be anything that didn't end up somehow involving a slam at the Clinton's and the left. I am no fan of the Clintons, but the world, in my view doesn't revolve around them or their past. There are bigger fish to fry in this country today, and I hope someday you discover that those "bigger fish" are not limited to purely political and personal shortcomings of those in the news and kept in the news for whatever reasons.

    You may not like what Keith Olbermann says, but that does not remove the other responsibilities and priorities of citizenship and of running a government from the table. Your arguements and "proof" are better at sweeping the genuine issues this country faces under the rug than at facing them squarely and actually DOING something about them.

    Here is the list of Keith Olbermann's Top Ten lies of 2007.
    http://www.olbermannwatch.com/archives/2007/12/keith_olbermann_71.php
    Read them and educate yourself. Keith is nothing but a stooge for the Clinton campaign just as Moyers was a stooge for LBJ. Keep clapping for your heros running the left wing hate machine. We on planet Earth will continue not to watch Keith's many lies.

    I don't have much familiarity with Mr. O's show, I've watched it since the Journal, and it's the end of the year's flashbacks. Tonight his commentaries gave the democrats as much passion as he gives the republicans, bless his heart! I say, continue to give 'em all hell, they're ALL letting us down! I have to admit I share his outrage. Thank you for the passionate breath of fresh air!

    Yes, the times do call for a voice exactly like this. I wonder if there ever has been "reasonable even-handed journalism" I doubt it, everyone has their point of view. I was listening today to a British journalist interviewed on Democracy Now! on the assination of Bhuttu, he is extremely knowledgeable and his information really good, and his point of view was apparent. We simply have to sift through the biases and opinions to the facts. I imagine that reporters fully aquainted with the stories and their characters do develop a perspective about what's going on, and that informs their reporting. We all see what we look for, scientists included. So, as informed readers/listeners, we have to carefully attend to what is being said and how -- perhaps from more than one source. Clearly, mainstream media is a propaganda outlet serving corporate interests which is what makes Countdown so fun to watch. I'm glad it's there and that someone is so eloquently and clearly commenting on the dangerous activities of our political leadership. Democracy is a precious thing, and it'd be nice to live in one.

    I think that in this case Olbermann had to resort to the "attention grabbing" style of commentating you see him using these days. Olbermann says himself that after the very first time he did one of special commentaries, "People, for the most part, were ecstatic about this. And our ratings went up immediately."
    I think that right there is proof enough that in the arena that Primetime News has become, you have to be willing to fight fire with fire, and you can't be afraid to hold anything back. I would argue that Bill O'rielly and others like him were among the first to pioneer this edgy style of reporting, and have been capitalizing on the concept ever since. Whether it’s right or wrong as far as the news is concerned, I'm not sure. However I do know that since Olbermann jumped into the fray, it makes for some really great television.

    "I ask critics of Keith to look for any inaccuracies in his comments." David Young, December 25, 2007

    Well, David, let us start with the Bill Moyers interview, where Keith said, (from the Bill Moyer's transcript) "I'm on the air with Chris Matthews on that day with miss-- mission accomplished on May 1st in 2003. And I-- and he's talking about this as George Bush's moment in history and this. And I said, "Don't you think that him wearing a flight suit's going to be a little bit of a problem during the election cam--"

    Unfortunately, Keith Olbermann never that said, at least not according to the MS-NBC transcripts:

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2007/12/15/keith-olbermann-what-i-do-really-journalism

    Sorry for not finding the exact MS-NBC link for the transcripts, but just like Media Matters, Newsbusters is pretty accurate about transcripts and such.

    I just wanted to point out something I commented on earlier, that sometimes Olbermann tends to be a bit over-zealous when critizing all things Bush or Fox/O'Reilly, and this is where he gets himself in "journalistic" trouble, providing lots of material for the right to use against him. I do like his show, but don't like when he falls into the same bombastic nonsense as the loud mouths on the right.

    I ask critics of Keith to look for any inaccuracies in his comments. Like Al Franken, when he was a commentator on Air America, the critics fall silent and confused. They just cannot make a case when pressed for specifics.

    The Administration is gutting our economy, civil rights, the judicial system and giving our national assets to corporations. Raising our voices is considered rude.

    In a moment in history when the Harry Reid and Speaker Pelosi behave like co-conspirators, is it inappropriate to be just a bit aggressive?

    Even when calling Bush a bold faced lier and addressing additional numerous acts of treason, Keith addresses him as Mr. President. Keith maintains civility, respectful of the institutions of The United States of America.

    Mr. Oberman, you are not vociferous. You are actually very calm, wielding serious allegations at cold blooded killers.

    Indeed, we need all dread "the big black car".

    Thank You,

    Dave

    It is difficult to attribute this quote:

    "journalists today cannot tell the difference between someone who falls off a bicycle and the fall of an empire." [maybe Mark Twain]

    Is Keith Olbermann simply another screecher? Hardly. How about someone finally yelling out the emperor has no clothes. Is this a screecher or someone untimidly calling out the truth?

    The most disappointing portion of the program last week were from Bill Moyers' own staff of young journalists who should know better -- but don't.

    We have all forgotten what good true investigative journalism is all about. Go watch the video Outfoxed to learned that we have all become so brainwashed that the truth becomes unknowable. Goebbels is smiling.

    It all reminds me of the movie from the late 1950s, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," where the last man who has not been "taken over" by aliens is being interviewed by officials from an adjoining town worried to death that they will probably see him as nothing more than a crackpot.

    It has been said before, but needs repeating, Keith Olbermann is Edward R. Murrow reincarnate.

    In today's media it is not enough to censor unwanted voices -- but nearly drown them out in a sea of inanity.

    "Do you agree with those who describe Olbermann as a 'Limbaugh for Lefties?'"

    Let's say he leans to the left and Rush leans to the right. On some issues these lines blur.

    "Can "vociferous" remarks --- either from Olbermann or conservative commentators --- contribute constructively to the national discourse?"

    Why not? Lively debate and strong opinion are the stuff of politics, particularly.

    "Is it possible for reasoned, even-handed journalism to compete in today's marketplace of ideas?"

    When has there ever been even-handed journalism since the days of Murrow? It's all opinionated and slanted and gets more so every year. We rarely get the news, we get editorial of the news - there's a difference. BBC is perhaps the last bastion of straight news reporting and even they are losing it.

    "Does the political polarization of news outlets as seen in cable news, blogs, talk radio, etc. undermine the potential for Americans of differing views to find common ground?"

    Not at all. All the differing views are on the net. And the polarization is not just on cable news, it's on the major networks. Even when a reporter or anchorman covers a story, we now see a opinion or reaction at the end of the report, often from the co-anchor. Things like, "That's terrible", or "I hope things turn out better", or "Looks like that is going to get worse", or "something should be done about that", etc etc etc. This is insidious editorializing. It gets worse when we see "news" which is really nothing more than infomercials for some new pharmaceutical, gadget, or business.

    On the internet, particularly, blogs and other news sources are generally very upfront about their editorial position, rarely hidden like "objective" news on the networks and in newspapers. If you are smart you will search for the topic or news item you are interested in hearing about and when the list of sites come up, visit as many as you can - get all sides of the story. Sub-search sideline topics and background data at the same time. You can really get an informed opinion with proper research and the net is great for that. You can read all the viewpoints. More is better. Just recently I watched a series of YouTube blips of a presidential candidate and they were over a period of time. I watched him change from one opinion to another. It used to be the public had a short memory and would forget. Not anymore. That's the value of the wealth of information and opinion on the net. Let a person decide for themselves, by getting all the data, not some editorial masking as the truth.

    More is better.

    One thing that sets Keith Oberman apart from other shills who screech out a backbiting agenda is that Keith isn't full of it. He's right on, telling it like it is. He says what many of us down here think and get frustrating at a television that won't acknowledge what's just obvious to us "lefties".

    Keith is simply fantastic, as is Bill. It was great to see the two discuss the realities of politics and media. Even better, I admire Keith for fielding tough questions and being honest. Try that on O'Lielly and you get called 'pinhead.'

    Thank you Bill & PBS for exposing Keith to those Americans who for various reasons may not have heard of him until your show. I watch Countdown on a regular basis for the facts in this age of propaganda & misinformation. Both of your programs help me keep my sanity and belief in this country. I also proudly display a "Thanks KO" bumper sticker on my vehicle.

    One of the effects of the US' commercial television and radio broadcasting programming format has been the public’s conditioning to sound bytes. As a result for a great many Americans mere negation now qualifies as debate, “ad hominem” passes as argumentation, while shouting, yelping and screeching are deemed a discussion, among others.

    Keith Olbermann is not Bill Moyers! Until the day Mr. Olberman will count down and elaborate on the ever increasing concentration of corporate ownership of commercial broadcasting stations and “news” outlets, then asks the American public at large to sit back and reflect on the term corporate and its antonym, the term individual, and finally leads his viewers to the question whether or not the notion of “corporate citizen” might not be an oxymoron, I will think of Mr. Olbermann as just one more market shriek pitching his product, i.e. Keith Olbermann.

    As far as I know, Olbermann, unlike Limbaugh, is not a junkie.

    I would call that a major difference.

    Posted by: Bob Muenchausen

    "Keith Olbermann, in my opinion, takes up where people like Edward R. Murrow left off"...,

    Ditto !!!

    I am very pleased that Mr. Moyers and Mr. Olbermann are available via our TV! I certainly don't get this kind up news coverage via our so-called "liberal media!"

    To answer a basic question about Keith Olbermann and his "style" of journalism, I would have to say that one good reason that his program's numbers have been growing, may well be because he gives voice to many of us who have come to his same conclusions on many topics long before we ever heard of him. And that, in itself, is like a breath of fresh air in the sometimes fetid and paranoid atmosphere of what has passed for dialogue in the US since the events of 9/11 and our entrance into the Iraq War.

    Keith Olbermann, in my opinion, takes up where people like Edward R. Murrow left off, and I pray that there will be more who have the courage to speak not only Truth, but Reason to Power. I am fed up with being disgusted and disillusioned with our government and the polarization of our people which feeds that. We can thank O'Reilly, Limbaugh, and their shrill and bullying ilk for much of that.

    Olbermann was a joy to listen to. Someone who can see and speak the truth. too bad he isn't on one of those channels that I receive. I understand he is on cable. Today a Republican candidate , Hucklebe, actually spoke the truth about our foreign policies. It's refreshing.

    Olberman a Limbaugh for Lefties? No way. His remarks may be intense but they don't spread rumors, he doesn't spew hatred, he doesn't target anyone but those abusing power.

    And it amazes me that we allow ourselves to be cowed by those who abuse us, those who accuse us of vitriol when they alone are vitriolic.

    And when did it become partisan to point out the obvious, law breaking, constitution trashing behavior that passes for governance today?

    You want to see how badly we're screwed right now? i have three words: the Supreme Court.

    If Keith can awaken the American public to the passion required to be led compentently, we have a chance. Without this passion, we will lose our youth to the war mongers among us, we will lose our unity to those who manmipulate us to further their own agenda, and we will finally lose our democracy to our own apathy and inaction!

    I think it would be nice if more folks (especially news folks and politicians) treated the people they cover and those they create / implement policy, respectively like normal human beings and all that that entails.

    I am not a partisan except on select fairly select issues, but try to catch myself in conversation about such topics.

    I wish that newscasters found different, enjoyable ways of telling the story, employing various tones and tenures.

    The news should be more lfike in Murrow's day, but not all Murrow. The cable news personality Cult has got to go--Is Olbermann really that charming?!?

    I was amazed to discover KO several months ago. Amazed that he spoke much of what I was thinking and is still employed by a company owned by GE. I still can't quite handle watching his show much, it still has that political commentary/talkshow format that I have trouble sitting through. We have a fast food place that sells a great vegi-burger. I don't go there either, even though the sandwich is pretty good, I just don't do fast food places. Fortunately, we can often see Olberman on youtube, so we don't usually have to watch his entire show to get the really good parts. It was great to see him on Moyer's show. I totally agree that "emergency rules apply". Somebody has to make the points that he is making. If anyone knows a way to say the things that need to be said without getting a little shrill from time to time. Have at it.

    So some of you think Olbermann is a "left-wing Limbaugh" and that he should go back to just reporting baseball scores?

    This Bush Aministration begs for a watchdog and if one is not available then we should just all bow down to our Emperor Bush.

    Keep it up Keith! Time will vindicate all of us naysayers.

    Olbermann is a disgrace to journalism! If he would admit that he is a partisan, like Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, etc., then at least he would be honest.

    I applaud Keith's continued pursuit of the truth and determination to speak it. I hope many will watch and be motivated to speak out also. I, myself gave up on the show some 6 months ago when the lead lines were about Britney Spears not just some segment later in the show. I will not support that kind of frivolity in a time of world wide tragedy. Maybe Keith can have the strength to speak out and drop the tinsel talk someday and I will be back onboard only then.

    I haven't taken time to read all the previous comments, so sorry if I'm duplicating what someone else wrote. Watching the program on Keith Olberman, I couldn't help think, wasn't that the same network that fired Phil Donahue for being too politically liberal? What, if anything, has changed.

    Thank goodness (and I mean that in every sense of the word) for Moyers and Olberman. We need people who are not afraid to step out of line and ask questions. "Screeching" happens when the outrage becomes so huge that you feel no one is paying attention any more. It's like a warning siren to be sure people hear it. This is not liberals vs. conservatives. These guys are searching for truth... as we all should do.

    Ken Olbermann is the limit of what's allowed in commercial news media. He does some screechin', but this is to be expected from a sports background where blind promotion of "da game" and thinly veiled homoerotic worship are the norm. (I was impressed by his answer to the "4 twenty-game-winners" question. It was like the dog trick where Letterman had Hillary name all the counties in New York state one night.) In a world where competitors have to be "on steroids" to get attention, he's probably doing the only thing he can.
    What disturbed me most was Obermann's discription of how NBC execs must approve virtually his every utterance, and how they impose raving mad clips on his show. I look for him to reappear on PBS or Aljazeera English sometime soon. The staff question about corporate commercials following related commentary was insightful. I've often marvelled at the agribusiness, war industry and energy corporation spots on the Sunday chats. It is as if ALL good things must come from the gods of capital manipulation. That is how representation is strangled and our minds occupied (like Iraq). They're blowing America's brains out! Olbermann is dazed and staggering but still keeps swinging.

    Thanxs you for these informations.
    It 's a great site.
    a french fan,

    http://apre.over-blog.com/

    I was very disappointed with Keith Olbermann's apparent acceptance of the idea that his commentary is a 'liberal' version of the "screeching' that occurs from Limbaugh and his ilk. Mr. Olbermann's
    observations are NOT ad hominem attacks on the Bush administration. It may look this way, because almost everything this administration has done is so profoundly damaging to our country, and to the world, for that matter. If one disagrees with or opposes the administration simply on the facts of each individual action or position, the result IS being against the administration. As Mr. Olbermann noted on the Journal, the number of scandals in this adminstration that could be given the "-gate" label is over 50; so many that it is hard to keep track of them. Those of us who form our opinions based on the facts, and therefore find ourselves in constant disagreement with this administration, are not happy to be in this position. We would love to wake up some morning and hear that the administration is finally acting for the people, and in accordance with science, economics, history and humanity.
    But there is no reason to think this will happen - perceiving this truth is, therefore, not partisanship. The administration earns opposition with almost everything it does. We are all hurt by this, and those of us who perceive it and, as Mr. Olbermann does, call it as we see it,
    take no satifaction or comfort in our perceptions.

    I was unaware that Mr. Olbermann was one of broadcast journalism's truth-tellers. I will check out his program this week, and perhaps put it on my DVR list, along with the Mr. Moyers' Journal, the Lehrer NewsHour and Charlie Rose.

    K.O. is more that the commentator's initials; it's also what he does to those who would alter or hide the truth. More than flinging around obscure facts & figures, he ties together what we already, or soon will know from other sources. He then states the obvious - the conclusions we were hesitant to come to ourselves.

    He does speak truth to power, but I'll bet they're not watching. They wouldn't, because reality has such a liberal bias.

    Not owning a TV doesn't mean that I don't seek out the broadcast clips of the best interviewers & commentators. In fact, my friends send them to me. Moyers & Oberman, obviously, are the most frequent TV personalities in my inbox. Thank you both, and I hope you inspire others to follow your lead.

    As someone who has taught various college composition courses including argumentative writing and critical reading and writing skills, I am impressed not only by Olbermann's carefully crafted special comments but by his ability to analyze the language used by politicians and pundits and to ask insightful questions. In critical reading courses, we try to get students to recognize not only what a text says but also what it does. I've often compared this in the classroom to the play-by-play announcer vs. the analyst or color commentator during a sports broadcast, so it was interesting to find a sportscaster combining these roles in a program that is probably more accurately described as news and analysis than as a basic newscast.

    At a time when objectivity has become interchangeable with complicity and simplicity, Olbermann seems to recognize that it is perfectly alright to present a news show that raises more questions than it answers.

    Keith Olbermann is a patriot.
    So is Bill Moyers.

    Posted by: Scott below:

    "Olbermann does not have accuracy, integrity, truth or courage on his side. None of that. Sites like Olbermann Watch and Newsbusters have done great jobs exposing the hypocricy and falsehoods on "Countdown".

    This type of post is typical GOP water carrying tactic of attacking the messenger when you can't attack the message.

    Scott cites websites that have allegedly have done "great jobs" at "exposing the hypocricy and falsehoods on Countdown", yet he provides no such evidence for objective scrutiny.

    Anybody can create a website, but Scott please do come forward with some "truth" and put your money where your mouth is, please.

    And Scott use your spell check. hypocrisy

    I REALLY enjoy "Countdown," but have a slight problem with how the program is described (even by Mr. Moyers): namely, as a "NEWS show."
    Might it not be more accurate to call it a "NEWS & Commentary" program, or something along those lines?

    Don't get me wrong; considering the state today of what is regarded as NEWS sources, I think that categorization of KO's program is more accurate than the attribution of "NEWS" to most of today's radio, television and so-called "MSM" NEWS reportage (I despise that acronym: "MSNB" ["Mainstream NEWS Business" would be so much more accurate])...
    - It's just that even KO acknowledges his "liberal bias" (At least HE"S honest!) & "NEWS" is SUPPOSED to be 'UNbiased' (LOL!)...

    That's just my 'two cents.'

    "Countdown" is excellent And INFORMATIVE entertainment, as is (to a lesser extent insofar as legitimate 'NEWS' is concerned) Jon Stewart's "The Daily Show." I'm just unhappy about how the only way, it seems, for anyone these days to get a grasp of 'what's REALLY going on' in the revolting world of American politics today is to engage in extensive web-based research. There's just no single, credible, one-stop source for straightforward, unbiased information.

    "Countdown" is a great source for information concerning the corruption and overall breakdown of our democratic republic. Furthermore, like the best of the liberal net-roots blogs, "Countdown" doesn't hesitate to eviscerate rotten, low-down Democrats (like William Jefferson [D-LA]) in a way that most right-wing self-proclaimed "NEWS outlets (like nut-wing blogs & Faux News) DON'T.

    But calling "Countdown" a news show, without noting the "commentary" basis of the program just doesn't strike me as entirely accurate. Then again, I consider Dan Froomkin's remarkable daily online Washington Post column a source of "news"...
    - Actually (and SAD to say), I regard Froomkin to be the only reliable source of NEWS in the entire Washington Post these days...

    So perhaps I'm being too literal.

    I am just curious as to anyone else (in the obviously intelligent group of contributors here) thinks along these lines. (After all... if anyone here agrees with me, it might occur to him/her that the same points could be made about "Bill Moyer's Journal" - and I LOVE "Bill Moyer's Journal"!!)

    God Bless (and HELP) America...

    I only watch Countdown and Bill Moyers because it is the only news that has actual truth to it. There isn't anybody on fox that represents my views. All those talking heads screeching at each other. What a bore. Thanks MSNBC you gave me something I can watch and enjoy.

    I think mr Olbermann is doing what we the people have failed to do, that is to keep an eye on the facts whatever they may be and not blink from that truth, and for that I thank him from the bottom of my red, white and blue heart.

    I have found Keith Olbermann's commentaries to be an important light upon my own anger. For so long, I sought to supress my anger - to right off the actions of the Bush Administration as simply a politics of another flavor.

    But, I found as I listened to Olbermann, that it was like shinning a light on the anger I had buried. And - with that, I could feel again.

    We are not in a normal environment where we simply have two political camps. The Bush Administration has gone far past that -- into a dark, horrible place where only those who buy their brand of baloney are worthy - and the rest are un-American - where the entire values-base on which we were formed has been hijacked.

    So - thanks to Keith for helping me get back to my own truth.

    Olbermann does not have accuracy, integrity, truth or courage on his side. None of that. Sites like Olbermann Watch and Newsbusters have done great jobs exposing the hypocricy and falsehoods on "Countdown". And the irony is too delicious to ignore - a faux journalist who is too cowardly to interview people he disagrees with actually interviewing another faux journalist who is also too cowardly to interview people with whom he disagrees with.

    Interesting interview with Keith Olbermann.

    My complaint with Olbermann is the same I have with O'Reilly, Rush, Randi Rhodes, etc. They don't analyze comments in the context of which they were made; they tend to be shrill and sensationalize; they make suggestions by ellipsis and misdirection. I listen to all, so I can analyze all the available information, but sometimes it gets tedious. Bill Moyers rarely commits the aforementioned sins unlike the aforementioned entertainers - that is why I like his brand of journalism and commentary. I call Olbermann, O'Reilly, Rush, Randi Rhodes entertainers or "commentators", as none of them have a show which I would say is a "news show", per se.

    People seem to forget that years ago, TV anchors occasionally gave commentary on current events. This happened on national news shows as well as local news.

    Bill didn't bring up any questions about why if NBC thinks Keith's comments are so great, Brian Williams is not doing similar things on his news show. The fact is that Keith's is a cable show with much lower viewship than the main network broadcast. NBC can afford to give Olbermann a looser leash than Brian Williams.

    I do agree that his show is often bereft of women,filled with too much celebrity news and showcases some of the same tired pundits as other shows. What about digging up some real independent experts on Iraq?

    Thanks to Bill Moyers for his long service of enlightening the public.

    i think that chief doberman is right up there with bugle charface of argentina and achmeintinjihad of iran with his glazed vitriol. having said that i just don't like watching news~on~steroids: will watch brian williams' nightly news which signs off with making a difference, and love the pbs news hour which is news done right ~ it doesn't slip into a squawkin' head format. and can i recommend tom ashbrook's on point which can be downloaded as a podcast at itunes. enjoy....

    Thank you Bill for this terrific interview. Those are exactly the things I would have asked him, and I'm so glad he was able to accept fair criticism so gracefully and thoughtfully.

    One thing I REALLY appreciate that no one else has mentioned that sets Countdown apart from other cable news shows: there's no god awful news scroll!

    Now if he can only get rid of the Britney Spears updates the show will be good all the way til the end even on non-Special Comment nights!

    I am Italian. In Italy too, screeching is taking the place of rational discourse. But, when governments, as it occurred with the one headed by Berlusconi, embrace extremist views on the law, on media manipulation of public opinion, and on private versus public interests, those who tell the truth are branded as extremists. It is good that in the USA there still are journalists who tell the truth, in addition to comedians like Colbert and
    Stewart, in Italy, it is almost only comedians now. Pity

    Olberman is not the left's equivalent of Limbaugh. Olberman speaks truth to power. Limbaugh uses power (of the airwaves) to distort truth.

    lol doesn't PBS have any viewers other than liberals? Judging by these comments apparently not. The reason why FOX is #1 is that it's watched by people with varying opinions. Nothing is more boring than having people only say what you want to hear -- NOT CONFORMATION BIAS --- yuck. Fox always has both sides presented--sometimes even 2 libs against 1 repub. Life is too short to appease yourself, but if that makes you feel better knock yourself out and watch the world pass you by.

    Thanks Mr. Moyer for having Keith Olbermann on your excellent show. I have been a regular watcher of his show for years. I feel that many people seeing and hearing Keith for the first time will become regular viewrers like me.

    Have you approached Rush Limbaugh or Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity to appear on your show? This would be priceless veiwing!

    Disagreeing with extremists does not make you an extremist.

    The real mystery for me is why more people aren't outraged at how the Bush Administration is so shamelessly and frequently defecating on the Consitution of the United States and on the bodies of dead American service people.

    This is a Republican war -- they love it -- and Olbermann, like any good journalist is simply calling things as he sees them.

    The Noecon agenda has become the insitutional status quo and those people, such as Olbermann, who point out just how insane and dangerous that way of thinking is, have become marginalized.

    And, by the way, if you call yourself a Republican you may have become too close to the situation to notice that there is no such thing as being a Republican any more; you've actually been rebranded a Noecon.

    Is that really what you signed up for?

    The consolidation of media ownership is a danger to Americans. The fact that Olberman gave face to some of the corporate honchos at least gives me some relief, but by the same token the idea that none will publicly denounce the administration's destruction of our traditional values leaves a lot to be desired. While there is nothing wrong with making a profit too many do so at the expense of the people, the nation and the world community. So until people of conscience break their silence can we expect change. But will it be too late?

    Olberman does not invoke the hatred and vitriol Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, Bill O'Reilly and the others do. They may make money for their bosses, but they are contributing to the division and decline of America's open society. Currently the number of truth tellers in the media are slim at best. Compared to the dozens upon dozens of voices that proscribe to the Bush agenda Olberman is but one voice that articulates the frustration and anger a majority of Americans feel. That is what draws so many to tune-in into his show.

    When pundits and talk show hosts are given airtime to obfuscate, mislead, even lie about the facts not to mention make fun of someone whose compelling personal story may influence voters to oppose some of the republican agenda really says a lot about the nation. Olberman is correct, we are on the brink of a radical shift from America's traditional ideals. We are in a Constitutional crisis and most do not even realize it!

    Olberman's honesty is refreshing. Some of his tirades on O'Reilly is a bit tedious as one poster pointed out, but it is done in a humourous manner. In contrast Bill O'Reilly's hubris and self-righteousness infects those who listen to him on a daily basis. My father, a staunch conservative -- who recently passed on -- watched Fox News and tuned into Rush Limbaugh was infected to some degree by their abominations.

    If we expect to save the country from the point of no return silence is no longer an option.

    I cannot close without acknowledging and expressing my deep appreciation of Bill Moyers tireless campaign to enlighten Americans especially in regards to media consolidation and the consequences thereof. Moyers voice is one we cannot afford to ignore.

    Thank you Dennis Lee for your comment and your service.

    I have viewed Countdown daily for a couple of years. Olbermann does not shout, screech, insult or humiliate his guests. He respectfully holds anyone to task for hypocrisy or lies. He injects clean comedy as well. He is always welcome in my living room. My appreciation goes to Moyers for a good interview, and for also introducing Countdown to more potential viewers. I also read the recent Playboy interview with Olbermann, and I think that he is a well-grounded person. I am surprised, by the way, at the anger expressed by some other posters who have probably never even viewed Countdown! I have never heard any reports of personal impropriety in any regard by Olbermann, and that distinguishes him in the era of O'Reilly, Giuliani, Limbaugh, et. al. Jim in Las Vegas

    My mistake. I did not relize that the name appears BELOW the post.

    Please disregard my previous post.

    Gentlemen;

    My post has the name Jeffrey Findeis (December 15, 2007 12:19 AM) assigned to it, while my name is assigned to the post below it, which is not my post.

    Can this be corrected?

    I have to say that I enjoy this types of conversations where there is no shouting or back talking. I think people deserve intelligent television where there is no Bill Oreilly "zone" comments of stupidity. Keith Olbermann represents what a news achor should do. Get angry of biased media, and tell the people what governments want try to hide from us. Both Keith Olbermann and Bill Moyers reminds us that the constitution is on our side, and we deserve to dig for the truth of our world events. Thanks!

    Having Bill Moyers (An icon of journalism) and Keith Olbermann(An emerging icon of journalism) at the same table was a rare occurence but a great one. There was no screaming, no in your face, no "cut his mic",no "shut-up" and no self-indulgence. Just absolute enjoyable but educational discourse. Kudos to both gentlemen !!

    When I watch network news talking in a "business as usual" style about what this administration is doing, I feel crazy. Keith Olberman makes me feel sane again.

    Thank you, Keith Olberman and thank you, Bill Moyers.

    Keith Olbermann is a hero and a patriot.

    I'm a Vietnam war vet. Somewhere between the 60's and the 80's I finally got it. We youngsters who become soldiers don't know what we are fighting for most of the time in this country. I swore that any politician that threatened one of my three children with a nonsensical war would suffer my wrath, and I meant it. Fool me once... Early on in the war in Iraq, a man in New Jersey lost his son and there was an image of him on the internet holding a photo of his son up to the camera and, like Cindy Sheehan, he wanted to know why his son had to die. Commentators on cable news called the man a traitor. He was a black man. Michael Moore has made some controversial movies and he has written some provocative books. "Stupid White Men" was released around the time of the 9/11 attacks and when I read it, it carried the same sort of message that Keith Olbermann presents nowadays. These people who are running our country and who are taking us to war are STUPID!!! Since Ronald Reagan's era, the progressive sentiment in this country has been shouted down as somehow unpatriotic. It's been stolen, but I joined the Marine Corps. Isn't that patriotic? I volunteered for Vietnam and I saw why America was so wrong and I believed that we, as a nation had learned our lesson. We learned our lesson and then the lesson was stolen from us by the people who had no problem with screeching and distortion. America's history, particularly the political history is one of divisive polarity that in it's worst form, had us killing one another to prove our point. Screeching isn't such a big deal. I am so grateful to Olbermann and Moore and Stewart and Bill Moyers. If it weren't for people like them we would truly be living in some Orwellian lunacy and this country wouldn't be worth fighting for.

    A LOOSE-KNIT COALITION OF INDEPENDENTS ANNOUNCES ACTIONS TO FORM VERMONT'S LARGEST VOTING BLOCK, TO TAKE BACK OUR STATE FROM REPUBLICAN AND DEMOCRAT DOMINATION AND CONTROL


    On November 20, 2007, Phyllis Bennis presented a lecture about THE AMERICAN EMPIRE at St. Michael's College in Colchester. The empire is a series of 750 to 1,000 U.S. military outposts around the globe to ensure the friendliness of host nations to American Big Business. The latest armed outposts are under construction in Iraq, with 4 Burlington-sized fortresses supporting 10 smaller bases throughout Iraq. "Does this sound like the work of a government who is intending to pack up and leave? I don't think so," she exclaimed. Ms. Bennis is a widely acclaimed Middle East expert at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC. It appears that this is the reality behind Bush's never-ending claim of bringing Democracy to Iraq. Needless to say, Republicans and Democrats support this American imperialism as if they were one party. Ms. Bennis "sees little hope in any political shuffles" in November 2008.

    What can we Vermonters do to stop this mindless waste of blood and taxes to help some big U.S. corporations exploit people and resources around the globe? Replace all demopublican professional career politicians with single-term independent candidates. To this end, we are calling a 2008 Independent Candidates Caucus on Monday afternoonfrom 2 pm to 6 pm on January 14, 2008 on the floor of the House of Representatives Chambers in Montpelier. We invite all Vermont voters willing to run for office as independents. Observers (including media representatives, persons not registered to vote, committed Republicans, committed Democrats, and lesser-evil voters) are asked to sit in the gallery, to facilitate show- of-hands vote counting.

    We need to nominate up to 188 independents, to replace Congressman Peter Welch, salary $165,200 per year, Governor Jim Douglas $150,067, Lieutenant Governor Brian Dubie $ 63,701, Attorney General William H. Sorrell $113,915, State Treasurer Jeb Spaulding $95,156, Sec. of State Deborah L. Markowitz $95,156, and State Auditor Thomas M. Salmon $ 95,156, and of course 30 state senators and 150 state representatives, each paid $600 per week (plus mileage, meals & lodging) for 4 months each year. We plan to establish a 2008 ICC web site soon, to be announced shortly.

    Peter D. Moss, co-convenor William C. Brueckner, co-convenor
    Fairfax, Vermont Waterbury, Vermont
    peter28moss@yahoo.com daisyknl@comcast.net
    802-849-2108

    a:\08caucu2.wpd 400 words 12 Dec. 2007

    Bill, your young staff asked the most terrific questions! Better than any critique of Keith Olbermann I have heard so far in the mainstream media. (for the person who called them "snotty"---shame on you).

    One question brought up the issue of race and I just want to provide a link to Media Matters. They surveyed the cable news programs for a 3 week period in 2007 and found that Keith Olbermann was the WORST offender in terms of not having women & people of color on as guests/commentators.

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200705070003

    The "celebrity" segments often have discussions that degrade to dialogue of 12 year old boys and can be very sexist.

    Mr. Olbermann's obsession with Bill O'Reilly & Fox News is downright tedious, and sometimes leads him down a road where his reportage is as spun & deceptive as the Fox folks he's covering.

    Overall I do like his program, but I see it for what it is...OPINION, not really news. (And I do agree with him, he IS a better writer!)

    God bless Keith Olbermann. He is exactly what this country needs in this dark time. Edward R. Murrow would be proud. Thank you for this interview, Bill Moyers.

    carl sagan stated years ago that the dumming down of our society was going to do us in. i think keith is aware of our lack of common sense and is trying to reach us with his commentary. we need the truth, and people like bill and keith have the balls to take on the nuts who want to make all of us adopt their dangerous causes

    Consider American journalism without either Olbermann or Limbaugh. Who would you choose? Is there a question?

    Oh...and lets not forget what Limbaugh did with regards to Michael J Fox...a person who is handicapped with a debilitating diseases...So what does Limbaugh do???He mocks him...to silence him..How anyone can think that this man is right is beyond comprehension...unless of course they are filled with the same vile hatred.

    Olbermann and Limbaugh are two complete opposites...Olbermann is accurate while Limbaugh is conjecture and opinion.Olbermann researches and provides facts for his position while Limbaugh twists his research to fit his opinion .Olbermann is a journalist with credentials..Limbaugh isn't.in short..Limbaugh is a hack.

    Enjoyed the interview with Keith Olberman. So glad it is available on line, since I missed the rescheduled show time on Friday night! When I saw broadcast of Keith Olberman criticizing Bush -- my first thought was "How brave he is to share his rage". My second thought was "I hope he does not get killed or thrown off the air."
    Bill Moyers, Please keep up the excellent work. You cast a beacon of hope for our country experiencing extreme difficulties inflicted upon us by the current administration.

    To mike,
    There is a difference between Mr Olbermann's discussions and the ones that O'really or Blimpaugh have. It's the type of persons that are the subject matter. Keith Olbermann will speak his mind on political and government leaders who he feels have crossed the line and or broken the law.The others will go after regular people or other journalists. Rush Blimpbaugh went after a 12 year old boy who was held captive for years and escaped with his life-he also supports ONLY those troops that do NOT think on their own-remember "Phony Soldiers? Then O'Really-gee I remember that award winning interview he did with Alf(Alf was smarter)-Or there was the BATTLE OF THE GIANTS! the yelling match between Geraldo and O'Really.
    WOW! What Journalism!

    Hey Rush, if you are reading this, Do you miss that warm, glowwy,fuzzy, glowwy feeling of the vicodin hitting your system and that sense of "AAHHHH" you get when they hit your brain?

    I think we need a change. Look at this. It's disappointing.

    "Political campaigns and elected officials have used a variety of tactics over the years to keep students from voting. There are often too few voting machines, so lines stretch for hours. Sometimes, students are falsely told that they will lose financial aid, health care or even car insurance if they vote while attending school.

    In Iowa, the suppression has been rhetorical. With Barack Obama’s campaign, in particular, urging students to come out for him, other campaigns have tried to put up roadblocks. Earlier this month, Hillary Clinton said during a campaign stop that the process should be reserved for “people who live here, people who pay taxes here.”"

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/15/opinion/15sat3.html?ref=opinion&pagewanted=print

    This is from the NYT. After all the Republican electoral chicanery, I can't believe Hillary is trying to muck around with the vote. And it's a double bonus. At the same time she is trying to suppress people who might vote against her, she's pandering to another portion of the electorate, like she's doing it for them.

    This is just another disappointment in a long line of them from her. It's no coincidence that after she says it's time for the hard edge campaigning "fun" to start, she's been shamed into firing the co-head of her campaign in New Hampshire and two staffers in Iowa for smearing her opponent. And now this. Enough already. It's time for a change.

    It's clear to me she doesn't learn from her mistakes. We'll see more of this if we elect her. Just like we saw her recent vote for Bush's warmongering proposition to declare part of the Iranian military enemy terrorists. You would think she would have learned from her mistake in voting to support Bush on the Iraq war. Nope

    I love Keith Olbermann's brilliance, courage and insight and greatly appreciate his going after "Fox Noise", Billo and commedian Limbaugh. As John Dean said the other night, the Nixon impeachment proceeded because in those days we didn't have such propaganda pervading the airwaves.

    TRUE DAT K.O.

    i'm really disappointed in the pettiness of so many of the comments to the blog. the question got it exactly right with "limbaugh of the left" - olbermann says a lot of good things and i think he generally means well but we cant forget theyre all mixed up with lots of filler crap throughout the week thats totally typical of cable news. sometimes olbermann attacks people mistakenly or with stupid arguments so cherry picking his best moments for the show was a bit misleading.

    what you people aren't recognizing is that throwing out the corporate bastards isnt going to mean everyone coming around to your liberal positions, its going to mean people of very different views to work together despite disagreement on other things. shouting and calling people names who may have perfectly legitimate non-liberal opinions on things like immigration and gun control just makes people angrier and more hostile instead of convince them. olbermann may make a lot of liberals feel good and he does say some important things, but most of the time he's a showman who is dumbing down the news almost as much as hannity, oreilly, limbaugh, and the rest of them.

    and hes not half the journalist that bill moyers is, either.

    I was pleased to see that you were profiling Keith Olbermann on the Journal because I consider both of you journalistic truth-tellers and persons of conscience unlikely to shrink from the pressure to deliver news in the now-conventional equal time for unequal views sort of way.

    So I was quite surprised to watch you give over your interview to a series of snotty remarks from your staff questioning Mr. Olbermann's integrity as a journalist.

    Like you, Keith Olbermann has a point of view to be sure, but one informed by facts. You do his show a disservice by not treating him as you do other guests and allowing him time to answer your typical thoughtful questions.

    Hello,

    Don't usually do this but i saw you this morning and was intrigued by your thoughts and courage to speak them.

    Concerning the questions asked:

    1.You can become a screetcher like Limbaugh or a leader - this depends on your future actions.

    2.Concerning the emergency situation of the media consolidation decision by Chairman Kevin Martin on December 18:
    What do you plan to do? Will you ask the presidential candidates the following question: "Will you prevent the pigs from changing the rules on the wall (Orwell) or will our executive branch stand by some of our cooporate senators to remove the public's free media rights against the will of both the public and members of Congress that aren't bought off.

    The FCC is OUR government program and it's sole duty is to obide by OUR laws and not change them. The decision to hold our government accoutable - from the top - will determine whether "even-handed journalism" can compete.

    Thank you, Bill Moyers, for the work you do. I have no profound words. I merely wanted to add my name to the list of your many supporters. Every day I combat cynicism. Some days seem utterly hopeless. You and Keith Olbermann give me hope.

    Like most of your bloggers, I found Olbermann's interview refreshing and truthful. Olbermann's comments echoed a statement I had read a while ago that journalistic ethics doesn't require journalists to report both sides of a story if one is a lie -- ethical journalism requires journalists to report the "truth." Therein lies the difference between Olbermann and right wing commentators like Lumbaugh, who interpret everything in terms of their ideology.

    It was inspiring to see the two lions of honest and courageous broadcasting on the same stage, but frankly I expected a more substantive program. When the answer was obvious (profit), why was so much time devoted to "how are you getting away with it?" And the discussion of "screeching" -- as if righteous anger can be equated with rabid propaganda -- left me cold.

    How about inviting Mr. Olbermann back and talking about the issues that -- as I know from reading your speeches on media reform and economic injustice, Mr. Moyers -- make you furious, too.

    I was riveted to the Keith Olbermann interview as I watch Keith, without fail, every evening. Finally finally there is a voice of dissent from the policies of Bush and his cronies which questions and takes them to task for those policies which make Bush the worst president and administration in US history. I feel as if I am in an occupied country drowning in the swill and quagmire of this utterly corrupt administration's lies, deceit, and injustice costing so many lives and so much treasure. Bush, the Republican party, and even a few Democrats have used 9/11 to transform this nation into a near tyranny. The ever-so-few like Keith Olbermann throw a life raft to me and, I believe, to the preponderance of this nation. Bill Moyers, thank you for still another wonderful program. You, too, help save me from the black hole of utter hopelessness.

    I have a follow-up question for Mr. Olbermann.

    If the escalating verbal violence in America's political discourse is a kind of arms race -- one side's bluster necessitating a mirror response from the other -- what kind of resolution can you imagine, over the long run?

    How do we stand down and restore civility to our civil debate?

    I don't expect any pat answers, of course, but I'd be interested in your insights into the problem.

    Thanks to Keith and Bill,
    Sierra

    Great show this week. I liked Keith's typical frankness. He did not deny, and in fact admitted, there is a similarity between the screeching voices of both sides. But I also liked his point on the necessity of his messages of 2003 and after regarding our country's twisted use of policy as well as our lawlessness.

    One important point in all this: Let's say Keith is a so-called lefty. Even if so, let's remember how much blind jingoistic media there has been. Heck, even Oprah was "shushing" people in her audience who were against the war. Having Keith was a Godsend for me throughout some of these rough times. To tune into someone who will speak up against our government's lawlessness, or spin of ill-intent, especially when it's not fashionable for a maintstream guy to speak up, was to say the very very least, a breath of big beautiful air.

    Thanks Moyers and Olbermann. You guys really create value and help lead us to truth.

    Keith Olbermann is the last bastion of reason in this crumbling society that is the USA. I have been horrified by the current administration's steam-rolling over every constitutional right our citizenship has ever had. Moreover, my horror has only increased as our congress, those chosen to protect us, have continually allowed such behavior to continue unchecked. Someone mentioned "treason". I agree. Not just treason by the administration, but also by the apathy of our congress and subsequently, the betrayal of the public by its own self. So many of us seem to stick our fingers in our ears and yell lalalalallalaalala... as long as the electricity, entertainment, and money continues to flow, we do nothing. I'm not sure what, if anything, can be done, but at least one man tries to keep us informed of the continuing atrocities perpetrated against our Nation... not by some invisible terrorist as we would be led to believe, but rather by the enemy within. Never stop Mr. Olbermann. One question for you sir: Do you ever worry about your own safety? As our country is seemingly mirroring the early Nazi party stance, I just hope you suddenly don't disappear or suffer some random accident. Other's may scoff at such a scenario, as a person of Jewish heritage, I do not.
    Good night and good luck!

    I think at the beginning of the interview Olbermann says it all. A man who sees only black and white where others see a sea of nuances is either a profit or a quack, and Olbermann surely is no profit.

    Limbaugh, Olbermann, only the message is different.

    I hope America, most of it anyway, can quit listening to these far out crazies and come together.

    I never think of Keith Olbermann as "screeching," but as expressing the same anger and sense of urgency I feel at this administration's crimes and the fearful failure of Congress to represent most of the people for whom they are supposed to work. Thank you, Mr. Moyers, for tonight's Journal. It is a privilege to witness a meeting of the eyes and minds of two men of unquestionable intelligence, integrity, and patriotism.

    I've seen the name 'Olberman' as a listing in the tv guide in the newspaper, perhaps as I skimmed channels on tv. But until this show I had no idea anyone was confronting the fascism of the gang of violent extremists who have seized power in the Republican party and taken the executive branch of government, much of the legislative and judicial branches, and other positions of power. It's that hard to get 'truth' out. Even when it is 'broadcast' or cable-fed to the public it still has a limited audience. It doesn't necessarily create a ripple of awareness through the masses.
    I lamented the lack of 'institutional memory' in National Public Radio as the fascists beat the drum for the current war in Iraq for forgetting all the exposures of the complicity of many nations in the creation of this enemy whose weapons of mass destruction were now being employed to justify war against his people. Rachel Flick's (Jan. '91?) Reader's Digest article, "How We Appeased A Tyrant," listed companies and countries that the Reagan administration encouraged to 'get in on' the marketing to arm Iraq. The US Dept. of Agriculture and Dept. of Commerce and Defense, conspired to supply the chemical, biological, and even nuclear technology Hussein had. Ted Koppel quipped on The Daily Show, "We know he has WMD. We still have the receipts." French President Mitterand, I think, was said to have supplied uranium two weeks after scientists told him Hussein could enrich it to bomb grade with the Osirak reactor. The Iraelis bombed it in the 1980's. All this and more was exposed in the 1990's but forgotten by the media and political parties in the 2000's.
    Alberto Gonzales' firing of US Attorney's swept the real story under, that they were fired for refusing to, as Nixon put it, use the apparatus of the federal government to 'screw' our enemies, bringing fabricated voter fraud and other trumped up charges against Democrats at election time.
    I lamented watching the media and Democrats go like yapping chihuahuas after the bouncing balls of now non-existent interrogation tapes, forgetting, as Olbermann points out, the greater story that, not 1, not 10, but 16 intelligence agencies had come to rare consensus that the Bush Administration was trying the same WMD treason to mislead us to make war on Iran, just as they misled us to Iraq. Does such deliberate misleadership constitute treason? And does the Constitution, which they have disdained and defied, violating every clause of it, authorize the congress to bring the charge of treason, indeed, require as their duty, to bring this charge and impeach the treasonists? Where is institutional memory? Where is the exercise of Constitutional authority? Has representative Constitutional democracy been destroyed already, and we're only let to think we still live in that America when in reality we live in a very different one? The treason of 'signing statements' negates the Constitution and legislative branch. The judicial and legislative 'legalization' of these crimes is exactly what the Nazis did, legalizing mass murder, kidnapping, rape, slavery, fraud, forgery, everything normally considered illegal. This gang of violent extremists have an agenda and nothing, not media exposure, not the Constitution, not shame, not elections, can stop them; or, at least, has not stopped them so far. We are indeed in the midst of a dire emergency with all we value about being American, indeed, about being human, threatened by a resurgent fascism, what Benito Mussolini called 'corporatism,' a collaboration of companies and government power.

    I applaud Keith Olbermann for his courage to tell the truth. And I applaud Bill Moyers for having him on his program. We need more journalists like these two men.

    It would be great if the Olbermann interview were available online, for those of us who have killed our TVs. Thanks Bill. Keep up the great work!

    Thank God for Olberman! He may manage to get the truth out to enough Americans to ameliorate the Corporate Medias influence and ability to parrot press releases masquerading as reportage enough that Americans will finally see whats going on. As for yelling, if you are not horrified at what is happening to our beloved nation you are ill informed and if you think the right word crafting can make the despicable reputable you deserve to be yelled at. Bill Moyers, Amy Goodman from Democracy Now.com and Oberman are the only honest investigative journalists left...and I am an Independent/middle of the road Democrat NO LEFTIE so keep your dismissive labels off me and re-think instead how history is going to view the propagandists and status quo lackeys who are masquerading as reporters with integrity. God bless Olberman and lets hope he gets an increasingly wider hearing. As Thomas Jefferson said, " Dissent is the highest form of patriotism ".

    Keith has the courage to challenge the "spin" of the Nixon-administration- II (Bush), Fix News, Rushbo and the right-wing idealogues who report misinformation on a regular basis; we should be encouraged that NBC allows this man to speak. "Spin" is misinformation. Fact-base reporting (with an attitude) is what we need while the Bush administration destroys our Constitiution and stacks the Supreme Court with right-wing justices, while turning back the clock on our republic to pre-1974. Keep up the good work, Keith!

    Olbermann hit the nail on the head. GE and others controlling mainstream media have one purpose "MONEY" as long as advertising dollars flow in they dont care much about the content. Thats why infotanement has scewered hard news. I watch PBS for the truth. Who really cares about Drew peterson case im sure there is more going on in government that would put the peterson case in the likes of a disney sitcom. Bill Moyers and other programs on PBS are the last pillars of unbiased reporting and ill gather my opinions and conclusions there thank you.

    Thank god someone is willing to give public voice to what is so obvious (and so disturbing) to many Americans. It makes me crazy to watch the media tip-toe around the big blue elephant in the middle of the room, while claiming not to notice that anything is amiss.

    It doesn't matter if the poor performance by the current administration is simply ignorance and incompetence, or the more egregious character flaws of hubris, arrogance and corporation manipulation of public policy. Whatever the reason, the fabric of our historical democracy is still being unraveled at an increasingly rapid clip -- full speed ahead into a brick wall. This exposes us to dangers even more extensive and profound than the geo-politics of a post 9-11 world.

    It would be nice if Mr. Olbermann could limit his commentary to kind and encouraging words. But in a fire, its important for someone to yell out and warn the people. I am grateful for Mr. Olbermann's cutting edge honesty and to Bill Moyer's Journal for giving us a chance to get the story straight from the horse's mouth.

    I hope Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Moyer both keep up the good work. We are depending on them to be part of the solution.

    faith gibson, California

    To Gail Frank:

    Olbermann is great, but remember Steven Colbert's now famous statement: Reality has a well-known liberal bias.


    I've watched Olbermann since the 2004 liveblogging of the presidential debates as a boxing match. It was fascenating to read, and I started watching his show the next night. As far as I'm concerned Olbermann is a GREATER hero than Murrow or Cronkite. When Murrow took on McCarthy, he was at the peak of his career. Cronkite was the most trusted man in America when he opined on Vietnam on the air. Olbermann took on the administation as a last place newscaster at the weakest ratings network in cablevision. He had NOTHING in the way of reputation to protect him at the time, unlike Murrow or Cronkite. He had only the truth.

    But his actions have had consequences: MSNBC has caught on to the ratings boost he gives. Fox's mouthpiece, Bill O'Reilly is feeling the pain in his constant attacks on Olbermann by proxy. MSNBC has strengthened their news reporting and now lead all 3 networks in the percentage of time each hour dedicated to hard news (46% compared to 33% for CNN and 26% for Fox)

    Olbermann is now the #1 primetime (8 pm - 11 pm) newscast on Cable (His ratings beat all other shows except O'Reilly -- and even there he wins 25-54 -- and O Reilly is not a news show, but instead an opinion show.)

    The current thinking of the right is put as much blame as possible on the victims. This is why Bush and Co steer clear of any help for the poor. Thank God we have some sane reporters left in the world like Moyers and Olbermann.
    If you miss a high point on Olbermann just go to youtube and type in his name. It will bring up many of his most memorable commontaries.
    Lastly, how do we counteract what a appointed head of the FCC is doing?

    Why is the web cast of the Olberman interview not available for viewing? I missed most of it due to getting an important phone call at the top of the hour, and now all that it links to is a PBS interview and selected quotes from the transcript. What's the problem?

    Kudos to Keith!
    I have struggled for so long, every night with my family over whose program we must watch at 7pm. Because of Countdown with Keith Olbermann, I decided to purchase another TV just for myself. I see Keith as one of the few News men in this country who have the conscience to stand up to the "culture of corruption" of this administration. Our government is so bastardized that even Hugo Chavez and the late Idi Amin Dada of Uganda knows that Bush and Cheney have “no business being president”. I am personally waiting to see those that will donate to his presidential library, if he is contemplating one, what such library will contain, who will visit the library and for what purpose.
    I cannot wait to meet with Keith some day as a personal friend who he has never met before, but shares thesame thoughts with him. He is simply my hero.
    Sunny

    What a refreshing interview. I want to hear more from Olbermann. Bill Moyer's show is a must for me every Friday night.

    America pretends otherwise but we are a violent culture and warlike nation. We insist on our 2nd. amendment right to bear by extension to use arms (against other Americans) as well as against nonneighbors. Tha is other peoples in other places.

    Wow, finally someone who is telling it like it is! If I only had a satellite dish or if cable was available in my area I could watch / listen to something that would help counterbalance the conservative party-line drivel that we are fed daily by all of the 'mainstream' broadcast media sources, except for PBS (& perhaps Jay Leno's joke monologue). It would be great if Keith Olbermann would do a radio show also,...If he does, I promise to play it as background in my retail store.


    It's so refreshing to have Keith Obermann in a position to simply speak the truth as the rest of the Main Street Media avoids it. His Special Comments are spot on ...And it gives the rest of us hope.
    #1 on Television ...
    "Countdown" w/Keith Obermann

    Is it OK for Keith Oberman to screech vociferously about the outrageous behavior of the Bush administration? ABSOLUTELY YES! He is simply mirroring the behavior of millions of people like me out here who are appalled every day but think they must be crazy because no one else is noticing or caring. Thank you Keith Oberman. I can't wait to watch you now (I never have before) regularly so I can know I'm not crazy.

    hooray for bill moyers! spotlighting keith olberman was a wonderful breath of fresh air...olberman is an outstanding man-- thank god for his courage, intelligence and wonderful wry humor....and thank god for bill moyer's humanity, compassion, sense of fairness and for having the good sense to bring keith to pbs AND-- thanks to PBS for giving us Bill Moyer's Journal, a program that helps guide and inspire through these surreal times in America as we are "led" by an administration and presidency characterized by monumental stupidity, arrogance and cronyism, To see and hear voices of integrity as keith olberman and bill moyers is a rare and welcome encounter within tv media.

    Watching and listening to both of you over the years both inspires me and at times lifts me up out of the feeling of despair. I obtain all my news from sources such as KPFK,NPR, Truthout.org, Bill Moyers Journal, Democracy Now-The War & Peace Report, and other programs of information on PBS. To put it bluntly-I loose hope and become extremely depressed. There seems to be so few who care about whats at stake and the apathetic and complacent attitudes of most Americans-It's like they are asleep.
    Hearing and watching you-Bill & Kieth- lifts up my spirit and lets me see that there IS light at the end of the tunnel.

    Thank you both.
    Jeff Findeis

    Keith Olbermann’s description of the methodology involved in generating one of his special comments is a snapshot of the man’s honesty and integrity. He states that the process is “organic” and that he must feel sufficiently angry about the subject to be able to generate one of his comments. In other words, it must come from his heart and his gut, and illuminate his true feelings.

    And illuminating they are! The combination of Keith’s feelings, his voice (not a shabby tool by itself), and his extraordinary ability to express himself combine to yield noteworthy commentaries. Commentaries that will be studied and quoted in the years to come as examples of how journalism can impact the course of history.

    For I truly believe, and agree with Mr. Olbermann, that the United States is at a critical juncture in it’s history. The choices we make in the next few years will determine if we are to reestablish the nation created by our Founding Fathers or if we continue to consolidate the authoritarian rule we have today.

    So, in answer to your questions:

    1. Olbermann is NOT a Limbaugh for Lefties. Limbaugh and most of the commentators of his ilk are not famous for their honesty, and, quite frankly, pander shamelessly to their audience base. Can you imagine KO pandering to anyone?

    2. Reasoned, even-handed journalism died with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine. William Randolph Hearst once said, “There is no such thing as unbiased journalism”. Perhaps the only way to somewhat achieve this goal is to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.

    3. I don’t think that the political polarization of news outlets means squat to the average American. If we ignore the fringes of the left and the right, it seems obvious that Americans are pretty much agreed on most of the important issues, such as the Iraq War, Healthcare, and disgust with our current government.

    Until tonight's Moyers show, I was unaware
    of Keith Oberman as an MSNBC news
    commentator. After hearing his articulate
    comments, I'll now be looking forward to seeing more of him!

    Moyers & Olberman, an unbeatable combination. Throw in an Amy Goodman and you'll have an unstoppable show with broad support of the public starving for unvarnished truth.

    The truth indeed has a liberal bias we need much more of!

    I watch Keith every night. If I'm not home, I tape his show. I'm a huge fan. I have a bumper sticker on my car with his name on it. Keith is the only sanity out there. He speaks truth to power. He is the only person who talks about the abuses of this horrible, criminal administration. I love when he talks to John Dean. You can see the pain in these 2 men's faces. I'm glad Keith has added his new segmnet "Bushed." You need to be reminded of the laundry list of illegal things Bush/Cheney has done. Its apalling! Its tiring to see that nobody is ever punished, while this administration shreds the Constitution.

    How about a Moyers-Olbermann ticket next November? Sounds like winner to me!

    Keith Olbermann is THE voice of "the sane America." We need sanity. He gives it to us. George Bush and the lockstep Republicans are insane and the Democrats are just plain lame. I only wish he was more cognizant of his potential role as "leader of the revolution" and would stop talking so much about how he is "making money" for General Electric and MSNBC. That's the PROBLEM, not the solution. Still, he does great oral essays ... he's the SANE voice of America.

    Limbaugh for Lefties? Not a chance! Keith speaks the truth while Limbaugh cannot tell the difference. I've tried to listen to Limbaugh as well as FOX, but can't stand lies told there. There is a concerted effort by the right wing to deceive through the media and I'm thankful for the truth when it's told.

    There is hope due to the fact that there are commentators like Keith Olbermann and Bill Moyers. It is a pleasure every night to sit in front of the television at 8PM and be informed and educated by a true journalist. We need more shows like The Journal and Countdown. Perhaps the networks will get the hint and get rid of Hardball, Tucker, The Situation Room and those other poor excuses for news coverage.

    Thank you Bill Moyers and PBS for your interview with Keith Olbermann, a journalist of the ilk of Edward R. Murrow.
    In an era of lock step allegiance to this abmoninable administration and its corporate bedfellows, Mr. Olbermann's courageous reporting is a treasure.
    While bush/cheney would do well to take time to view Mr. Potter in the film "It's A Wonderful Life" or Ebenezer Scrooge in Dickens "A Christmas Carol" and see themselves in the selling of their souls to their greed and addiction to power, while attempting to end our democracy.
    May God Bless Us Everyone, in this frightening time.

    the republican party lies and is beholden to the rich and powerful.their use of scare tactics are pointed out regularly by keith.he is alone in voicing outrage now that Jon Stewart and his former employee have been shut down by writers strike.the msm is run by rich companies who only exist to live off average people

    I found it an interesting juxtaposition to have Olbermann explain the reality of news reporting in a corporate operation, followed by a lot of conjecture and opinion by non-broadcasters on the evils of those companies. It would be nice to have the two groups come together and see what they could learn by talking with each other.

    My favorite bumper sticker these days is the one that says "If you are not outraged, you are NOT paying attention"! I am outraged by what has gone on for the past seven years and it is incredibly refreshing, well, maybe reassuring, perhaps, to know that there are other people out there that are outraged, as well. And I am afraid the only voice out "there" that seems to be outraged is Keith Olbermann's. Thank you to Bill Moyer and PBS for continuing to bring us people and stories so pertinent to our country right now.

    Once again we find Bill interviewing a fellow American driven by truth. I find Keith's recollection that he felt compelled to comment on current events, a common thread among the common man.
    Once again Bill finds the stone that we all carry in our pockets

    Kudos to Mr. Olbermann, however I'm sure that the only way to deal with Rove, Cheney and Co., is not to try to compromise with them, but see that truth succeeds. It is well to remember, too, that the preponderance of Nazis were clean-shaven, rosy-cheeked young men like Mr. Martin. Indeed, they always have been - in this country from the Federalist agitators on. It bears noting, as well, that the majority of the rest of the world already thinks the current administration more than passingly Fascist.

    That this is needed goes without saying, however, anyone with experience in the business world could have seen in 2000 that the US was a corporation being taken over by a CEO who was going to gut it and walk away with a Golden Parachute.

    Given that, we could have had civil discourse on these isssues and resolved them in 2000 rather than a shouting match starting in 2003 and running 5 years as a minor blip.

    With the term nearly over (or is it? Puty Put doesn't want to step down either) it seems too little - too late.

    Kieth is the closes thing we have to the truth, He is not left nor is he right he calls those that spread BS on exactly that. He points out that we are and have been Robbed by the very people that profess their protection of our rights and way of life. The don't break the door down and take a watch off the dresser and a hundred dollars out of our wallets instead they take a dollar a day sometimes just a quarter but at the end of the year who took more. He is a glimmer of lite in my country that shows the true path to my country's greatness. I was told that my country was great that justice prevails in these lands that I am equal and that I have a voice and even when I am not agreed with I am heard. He is a messenger with a platform. He takes the light that is shined upon him and shines it on the darkness of those that would destroy my country from the one place it can be destroyed, Within. I am independent or what some would say a thinker, such a scary thing these days. I have heard it said "Ask questions Demand Answers". It is simple to see BS if you ask a question and whomever response with attacking someone or the person answering the question. They know that they speak untruths so come back and ask the question again.
    I say it is my country because it was sold to me as a dream and that dream is being stolen from me and everyone that calls this country their's.
    Be warry of those that know with absolute certainty and question nothing.
    Gabriel
    Messenger83

    I never miss Keith Olbermann, my DVR records it nightly. I would describe him not as liberal, but a conscientious man with a strong sense of morality. Our current administration is so immoral and have done so much to destroy the underlying fabric of our country they deserve the magnifying glass he places over their actions. However, when a democrat does something immoral, illegal, or unethical, he gives them air time as well. One more thing, when he reports a story, the facts are plain, the discussion elaborates the issue, not embroiders it out of context. Reading all the AP and Reuters news will tell you all the news. Keith gives the story understanding so his audience realizes the impact of the issue. Three cheers to Keith, and MSNBC, for the best news and commentaries on cable.

    K.Olberman gained my respect tonight. The most difficult truth to tell is is most often the truth most needed. Power acquired through tricks and lies is nearly as bad as power stolen through imposed ignorance. This administration is flush with power achieved through all these manners of disgrace.

    I watch Keith Olbermann every night without fail. My friends know not to call me at the 8:00 p.m. news hour the time when he is shown in the northeast. The years of the Bush administration's lies, illegalities, horrendously subversive and utterly corrupt activities have made me feel as if I am drowning in slime. Keith every single night offers me a life raft. He is astoundingly brilliant and his special comment riveting. I also every week watch Bill Moyers. Without both of you, to me, life would not be worth living. Thank you for excellence in journalism. You are to me a breath of fresh air.

    I applaud Keith Olberman for many excellent commentaries. But I also thik its important to understand that censorship can can occur in many ways. Not just by outright lies on the right but also by limitations on what is deemed "acceptable dissent" on the left. In many publications like The Nation, there has been a dichotomy established between structural analysis and a variety of incidents that are dubbed "conspiracy theory" and are deemed low status knowledge not worthy of further discussion.

    For example, it was deemed automatically ridiculous that JFK was getting ready to pull out of Vietnam at the time when Newsweek ridiculed the Oliver Stone movie six months before the movie was released. Well David Kaiser is about to publish a new pro-conspiracy analysis with Harvard Univerisity press. Previously, Kaiser wrote abook agreeing with three other historians that Kennedy likely WAS going to pull out of Vietnam.
    http://www.jfkaccountability.org/2005/11/kennedy_the_vie.html

    Yet in the Nation we see only the MORE Kennedy bashing by an associate editor at that publication Max Holland. Mr. Holland has also been published on the CIA's website. This alone proves nothing, but when considered with a recent book about the CIA and its effort to control the left with publications like ENCOUNTER MAGAZINE it can lead to thought. The British historian Francis Stonor Saunders book The Cultural Cold War: The CIA and the World of Arts and Culture goes into this CIA backed magazine that was specifically marketed to the left, BUT WITH RIGHTWARD GOALS IN MIND: the purpose was to prevent academics and teachers-- a small but influential group as far as determining what was high or low status knowledge-- from dirifting into "neutralism" in Cold War foreign poilicy.

    It is important to keep this history in mind. It reminds us that censorship can occur not only in terms of the falsehoods on the right but in the limitations and the subtle inuendoes in the left-liberal press. Here is where moats and firewalls are constructed in the political spectrum. That much can be discerned in history, and is not mere speculation.

    I love Keith because he speaks the truth. The American people have given up too much and lost too much since Bush stole the last 2 elections. Perhaps to MSNBC, we are simply a population to be captured, but I think that the reason the Republicans are bracing themselves for the next election is because the majority of Americans understand that our very way of life, our constitution and laws and protections,our very freedom are at stake. Perhaps it is too late and this is why MSNBC can feel so safe in airng Keith's views. Perhaps we are already a corporate dictatorship in which congress no longer represents us, the people. I hope for all of our sakes not. I can say that I am voting for Edwards, he is a fighter, and he understands how to fight corporations. This is one thing that the media is not going to railroad me into. All I've been hearing is Obama and Hilary and if you look at where the big money is coming from, this is why Edwards and the others have been frozen out. So if you want real change don't let CNN or MSNBC choose your next president.

    We haven't begun to complain.

    I'm happily excited these days. The journey from our sovereignty to our domain to our freedom is our breath. We are enabling.

    It's written once or twice, say from Magna Carta and since our Constitution, as we discover rights we become correct.

    Now that's noise!

    Olbermann uses reasoned arguments backed by facts. This distinguishes him from the more prominent right-wing commentators so often featured on the "Worst Person in the World" segment.

    Kathleen: you "hit the nail on the head"!

    And he doesn't screech, either: He's forceful!

    When I evaluate media sources of news, I consider the following:

    1. Are the facts accurate? If the facts are not accurate, any opinion is irrelevant.

    2. Are selective facts being arranged to misrepresent the truth?

    Here's an example: Rush stated numerous times in 2004 that the average unemployment under Bush was identical to the average unemployment under Clinton. This was true but vastly misleading. The fact he failed to mention was that unemployment was at an all time HIGH when Clinton took office and the numbers went DOWN every year. Unemployment was at an all time LOW when Bush took office and had gone UP every year. So much in fact, that after only three years, the AVERAGE was the same. This kind of adherence to facts while presenting them in a way that misleads the public is unacceptable.

    3. If I watch a show from several years ago, who was right?

    Keith Olbermann has been right. He has dared tell the truth. These day's, this is called a left wing bias. How tragic.

    Olbermann's willingness to speak truth to power is a gift to this nation. I hope that he will inspire others on the networks and cable to follow his lead. His outrage is commendable. Not to be outraged by the abuses, incompetence, lying, war-profiteering, invasion of privacy, corruption of most of our government departments and agencies as political arms of a highly partisan administration, blatant disregard for our constitution, our laws, international law and treaty….well, not to be outraged is to support the demise of our nation. If you are not part of the solution, your part of the problem.

    PBS shows such as Bill Moyer's Journal and Frontline etc., C-Span coverage, and NPR are the only sources of reliable news in recent years. I have found that Olbermann's views, unlike most, are based on facts and present truth, a truth that, once known, must spark outrage in any loyal citizen.

    I applaud him! He is a hero!


    It is obvious from the past few years that the passive voices are lost in the melee of the right-wing noise machine. Olbermann may speak loudly but he has two things on his side that the right doesn't: Accuracy and integrity.

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