Friday, February 20, 2009

I remember Olberman

I rarely watch MSNBC, but I had occasion recently to see Keith Olberman's 'Countdown' show. I distinctly recall enjoying his sports commentary some years ago, and often made a point of watching his amusing and irreverent observations on the world of sports. In particular I remember his hilarious attempt to explain a collision during the Americas Cup race by using two little model sailboats. But I had not seen his news reporting and commentary until the other night.

I must say that I was stunned. He does not report, he rants, and his commentary is so far biased in favor of the Democratic Party and the left that it does not qualify as journalism. I watched in fascination and some puzzlement as Olberman launched into a screed about George Bush in which his face grew red, the veins stood out in his neck and forehead and his voice strained to the breaking. I was left with the impression that his partisanship goes beyond passion into the area of fanaticism and even mental illness. Based on what I saw of his behavior, I do, in fact, think that Olberman may be mentally unbalanced.

Certainly he should not be allowed to parade himself as a journalist. He is nothing but an apologist for the left wing of the Democratic Party. His 'reporting' is so grossly slanted that it cannot be called journalism. Just today I read in Variety that, after having been criticized by Tom Brokaw for being too biased in his reporting, Olberman apparently demanded that Brokaw be banned from the network. This does not surprise me in the least. Olberman is essentially a dishonest and obsessive man masquerading as a reporter with the blessing of the executives at NBC.

As I watched in amazement his ferocious and fraudulent performance, I could not help but lament how far American broadcast journalism has come from the days of Edward R. Murrow and Chet Huntley. What a pity for us all.