September 9, 2008

OUTLASTED ANOTHER:

The MSNBC Meltdown (Harry Stein 09.09.08, Forbes)

While Olbermann's removal from the anchor chair (Matthews was only a semi-innocent bystander) is certainly welcome, it fails to address the real problem faced by NBC's news division. That problem is manifest in the fact that such a pair were handed so key a role in the first place. Indeed, this was just the most recent signal that the network, having long refused to acknowledge the reality of liberal bias which tens of millions of Americans take as a given, was moving beyond even the pretense of objectivity. As NBC News President Steve Capus crowed to The New Yorker's Peter Boyer in a June profile of Olbermann, viewers "appreciate that we have people who are actually speaking truth to power, or being transparent in their own personal viewpoints."

Nor is NBC News alone. As the Boyer piece revealed, in the aftermath of Dan Rather's departure from CBS News, that company's brass actually twice interviewed Olbermann as a possible replacement for its flagship broadcast.

Chances are good and getting better that we will look upon this era as the final days of network news as we have known it. Olbermann, vile as he is, just happened to have been in the wrong place at the right time. As his hero Murrow said of Joe McCarthy, "he didn't create this situation ... he merely exploited it--and rather successfully."

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 9, 2008 7:01 PM
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