Keith Olbermann: Like Rolling Stone

Your weekend assignment, splendid readers, is to compare and contrast – in clear idiomatic English – the Keith Olbermann profile in the Sunday New York Times Magazine and the Keith Olbermann interview in the, er, current edition of Rolling Stone.

Both (and much other pre-pub) come right before the debut of Olbermann’s new incarnation of Countdown on Current TV, a.k.a. Al Gore’s house channel.

Starter kit:

David Carr’s Time profile depicts Olbermann as an insecure, bitter, spotlight-seeking, vengeful media diva.

See: Olbermann’s tweet about Carr’s piece.

Well at least there’s another caricature amid the cliches. NYT Sunday Mag piece:


Said NYT caricature:

Not to mention the article itself.

Mark Binelli’s Rolling Stone interview, on the other hand, depicts Olbermann as a reasonable, focused, aggrieved newsman.

Representative sample:

Were you ever censored by MSNBC?
No. What were they going to do about it? It was live. I will say this. Nobody ever said, “If you say this, you’re going to be fired.”

It’s not about “NBC is evil.” It’s about that media structure—CBS, ABC, CNN, even some of the smaller operations are now multinationals, with these extraordinarily diverse holdings. The corporation is one of the great unheralded human inventions of destruction. It is a way to absolve from any personal liability a bunch of people. They form together in a massive id and they do whatever they want. In a corporate setting, there’s nothing to stop Rupert Murdoch or Disney from doing whatever the hell they want with the news. They could turn it into propaganda for the Chinese government or the socialist party of America, and who’s going to stop them?

Well, Keith, obviously.

Right about now, Stanley McChrystal should be suing Rolling Stone for unfair business practices.

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6 Responses to Keith Olbermann: Like Rolling Stone

  1. Curmudgeon says:

    …there’s nothing to stop Rupert Murdoch or Disney from doing whatever the hell they want with the news….”

    Or Al Gore.

  2. Bob Gardner says:

    I think if Murdock did whatever the hell he wanted with Al Gore there would be repercussions–or maybe not.

  3. Laurence Glavin says:

    What a deal! I contacted Comcast/Xfinity’s sales department to see about changing the tiers I was receiving so I could add Current and perhaps delete some channels I NEVER watch (Oh, I don’t know…the channel that carries the Broonz for example). My bill each month included info on some bargain tiers in addition to must-carry over-the-air TV. It was just like at an auto dealership, when the sales rep says he/she has to talk to the manager. Since Current was on a separate high-number block of channels, all by itself it couldn’t be ported to basic cable, BUT I could get a combine digital basic/digital plus for LESS than I’m paying already. Apparently if you call Comcast/Xfinity and announce an interest in changing your service, they shake mightily in their collective boots that you may instead switch to satellite, and thus the tremendous deal. So I’m now getting Current and will be there Monday night at 8:00 pm as if it were last January! (BTW, on the Colbert Report, Keith stated that in the future, Current will add more and more news and, um “current affairs” programming. It will have to; what it’s airing now is
    Pathetique (thank you Beethoven and Tchaikovsky).

  4. Curmudgeon says:

    Good heavens, someone volunteering for the frontal lobotomy. My sympathies to your family, Laurence.

  5. CAVard says:

    I’m reading the ESPN book “Where The Boys Have All the Fun.” Can’t remember who said this in the book but it sums up KO well. He said something alone the lines of (and I’m paraphrasing) “KO is a broadcasting genius but has special needs social skills.” That isn’t a put-down of those with special needs mind you. Just to explain that you have to deal with this guy extra carefully. He reallys sounds crazy.

  6. Laurence Glavin says:

    Yes, I did watch the opening night telecast, and it was though he never left. I’m reminded of the return of Charlie Pierce to the Stephanie Miller radio show after an unexplained absence. When he was on MSNBC, he could always get video from the parent network; last night he had what seemed to be unsourced video of politicians making comments or footage of fighting at one of the numerous war fronts today. When he was on MSNBC, there was an ACTUAL Countdown, with graphics of big, declining numbers a la David Letterman’s Top 10 list, but if they were used last night, I missed it. The sound seemed to be off a little. His big BOOMING voice seemed a little less so; I’m sure that will be fixed. My task now is to record Lawrence O’Donnell for future viewing, fast-forwarding through commercials and Lean Forward promos, and any subject matter thoroughly covered by Keith. Also, since Keith is an EXECUTIVE at Current, he said people should expect him to go past the top of the hour if the material warrants. I’m going to have to set up my remote for instantaneous switching to Rachel!

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