Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Welcome Back Fodder

While there's no arguing that his broadcasting heft has been sorely missed by progressives, the AV Club sums up the problem with Keith Olbermann's "new" show on Current TV:

"The kind of bosses who so antagonize the Keith Olbermanns of the world inevitably get around to complaining that such men are their own worst enemies. I take no pleasure in saying that the bosses are ever right about anything, but even a stopped clock nails it twice a day, you know? For much of the past decade, Olbermann's MSNBC show was a real corrective to much of what passed for TV news. He wasn't exactly an investigative powerhouse, just one more voice recycling the news images of the day and offering his opinions and attitude, but he was smart, funny, and humane, he knew how to use words, and he was the first to offer certain necessary opinions that were in short supply at the time, at least on a prime time TV news show. But during the last few years, Olbermann's shtick ossified; the patty cake with the guests grew more and more predictable, the serious editorializing became self-congratulatory and hectoring, and the feuds seemed self-generated and hollow, as if hitting idjits with a stick was just his way of staying awake against the odds. At some point, his fans might have entertained the question, what would it be like if Keith Olbermann stayed in the same place for more than five years? The answer, it turned out, wasn't pretty.

The great hope for Olbermann's taking his act across the street to a different network was that it might shake him out of his complacency and get him to try something new; maybe at least try out some new guests, who knows, even join forces with some of the video guerrillas whose documentary work is all over Current TV and provide a forum where viewers might get to see some actual reporting. In his inevitable, blessedly brief 'Special Comment', which seemed meant to double as a Charles Foster Kane-style statement of purpose, Olbermann vowed to provide 'a newscast of contextualization, that is, to be presented with a viewpoint: that the weakest citizen of this country is more important than its strongest corporation.' That doesn't sound half bad on the face of it, but if it just means having Michael and Markos and the boys over to run Fox News clips abd (sic) chortle about how awful they are, it's just going to mean extending his rut."

(h/t Alert Reader Michael J. West)


The Bacon said...

Olbermann, imho, is no better than the Limbaugh/Hannity/Becks of the world.

He is so overcome by his own greatness and intellect that it is inconceivable for any person of reasonable intelligence and goodwill to disagree with him.

The other side must be traitors...if not worse. Fuck ..even O'Reilly, as blowharded as he is, can see that reasonable people can see things differently and he says as much from time to time on his show.*

*disclaimer....although I used to regularly watch The Factor, I have not for at least a couple of years. If things are different now I apologize.

Chez said...

Two things that make your comment borderline worthy of disregard, Bacon. 1) You imply that Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck have intellects, and 2) You actually call it "The Factor."

The Bacon said...


I'm never confident spelling his name and I'm too lazy to look it up. The Factor...I can spell that!

Riles said...

Watched the show last night and was disappointed. Seemed like a weaker version of his old show. I normally think Michael Moore is a great guest, but he didn't seem prepared or even comfortable talking about the subject he was brought on to discuss, the Libya conflict. I never think it's a good idea to let Markos talk endlessly, and that's what Keith let him do.

The show needs to be tightened up, to say the least.

MJG said...

Really disappointed that he's not pulling commentators from the home stable (Vanguard, etc.).
Looks like he's forcing the show on to the network instead of integrating into the network - not a good idea.