Tag Archives: Bill O’Reilly

We need more (than) Keith Olbermann

The New Yorker this week runs a feature on Keith Olbermann, angry man (on left).  I’m not convinced Olbermann is a lefty, tho his coverage during the Bush Administration gives ample evidence of his courage to speak truth to power, as he sees it.  

The easy cut against Olbermann is that he is a progressive version of Bill O’Reilly, his arch nemesis.  Far from it.  While I agree that Olbermann provides a critical voice against right wing media hegemony, one Olbermann is a far cry from balancing out the entire Fox network.  It is also worth noting that while Olbermann is quite opinionated, his opinions are supported by evidence, which is sorely lacking in Fox broadcasting.

Quite frankly, I do not know how likely it is that Olbermann would be an Obamanaut should Obama become President. I don’t imagine he becomes a Rush or Bill O’Reilly.  Here’s why: those wingnuts are propaganda machines, feeding off right wing talking points. Olbermann doesn’t answer to anyone, let alone suits issuing daily memos on what to say or not to say or how to say it.

On the larger score, Olbermann represents the first such progressive voice to hit it big in MSM in decades, if ever. Cronkite doesn’t count. too much like Russert (great for what he was, but limited by MSM frame).  

As for the network, MSN is no FOX; the former is ratings driven, the latter is ideologically driven. no comparison. Give MSN its due for giving Olbermann some space to do his thing, but he gets the biggest office and new website only because of ratings. nothing more and no less. consider that MSNBC recently chose David Gregory over Rachel Maddow to replace Tucker Carlson as evidence the network is not committed to progressive voices.

The larger issue is structural. Olbermann represents the limits of the MSM structure as well as its most progressive strength.  The limit is that the current system abides individuals and personality driven politics, once again as long as it reaps profits for the network. The larger issues have to do with the concentration of media ownership, the economic crisis facing the news industry and the reluctance of MSM to frame news in any way other than favoring the bottom line, with the outcome being that it supports and reproduces the political and economic status quo.

So, thanks to Olbermann, progressive voices have somewhere to go on MSM cable. it’s a start.





Media’s Moyers v O’Reilly: No Contest

Please see for yourself how Bill Moyers pulled a reversal on an attempted ambush by one of Bill O’Reilly’s Factor producers at last weekend’s National Conference on Media Reform (NCMR) in Minneapolis. (not the first time. see below) This rare moment, captured on tape, is a beautiful sight to behold. 

 According to Josh Silver from Free Press.org–the democratic media group that organized the NCMR, this is how Fox and O’Reilly responded to this episode:

Last night, Rupert Murdoch launched a laughable attack against you, the media reform movement, and journalism itself.  His on-air bully Bill O’Reilly called us “crazy” and “fascist” — you, me, and the millions of others who want media reform. These people are “doing a lot of damage to America,” O’Reilly yelled. Our crime? Calling for journalism that’s more honest, just and accountable to the public.


Looks like NCMR and Moyers really have gotten under O’Reilly’s/Murdoch’s skin. This is what O’Relly subsequently said about NCMR and Moyers


For some background, O’Reilly has been harassing Moyers for some time, as Moyers alluded to above.  See this O’Reilly flunkie come after Moyers as Moyers was hailing a cab to go to work. 

As you can see, O’Reilly’s baffoonery is manifest, as once again his actions and words, and those of folks under his employ make the democratic media case. 

Obama-Colbert ’08?

  Obama-Colbert would win every state but perhaps West Virginia!

For example of Colbert’s bonafides (think McCain foil) see:

Stephen Colbert replays Bill O’Reilly Meltdown!

… and this was a good day.