Wednesday :: Nov 17, 2004

Keith Olberman Is My Hero

by pessimist

Florida says Bu$h won, even as there are allegations of tampering with absentee ballots, and Ohio seems to have borrowed a zombie voter tactic used by deceased Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley's Machine, and the Silence of the Media Lambs is deafening.

That's what makes Keith Olberman's coverage of the questionable voting results all the more spectacular.

I've always been impressed by Keith Olberman since the days he was doing local sports on local LA TV. I thought he was a sharp guy, and he was entertaining as well. I wondered why he was in sports (other than the two obvious facts that he likes sports and that he was getting paid) and not doing something a little more serious.

It's good to see that he now is.

He began having questions even before the final results were in. He was probably among the first to wonder something funny wasn't going on. He was also on top of the inquiries into vote count oddities in Ohio, the backlash his reporting was generating, getting actual numbers for numerous Ohio counties that had more votes than voters, reporting that North Carolina may end up voting again, took a critique from Ann Coulter and bitch-slapped the bitch with it, recounted the somnambulent media begrudgingly picking up the story, reported that Green and Libertarian Party fund-raising to pay for the Ohio vote recount was successful, and more!

He's probably done more than any other single journalist in the media to cover this - and he's paying the price for his efforts.

Conservatives rail against MSNBC's Olbermann for reporting election irregularities

Media conservatives have labeled MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann a "voice of paranoia" and accused him of perpetuating "idiotic conspiracy theories" for his sustained spotlight on the numerous local news reports of voting irregularities during the November 2 presidential election. Olbermann's emphasis during Countdown with Keith Olbermann on voting irregularities has been part of a critique of what he has called the "Rube Goldberg voting process of ours" -- as well as a criticism of the major media outlets' failure to report on the irregularities.

Olbermann's commitment to addressing voting irregularities has been coupled with commentary on the lack of media coverage they have received, which Media Matters for America has also noted. "Even assuming there's nothing nefarious about the national election," Olbermann asked Newsweek senior editor and columnist Jonathan Alter, "why has the cascade of irregularities around this country occurred virtually in a news blackout?"

In a November 14 entry on his weblog, Olbermann responded to the attacks on him by citing the gradual increase in attention the voting irregularities issue is receiving among the mainstream press:

On Friday, [NBC News correspondent] David Shuster, who has already done some excellent research at Hardblogger [the weblog associated with MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews], did a piece on the mess for Hardball, and Chris followed up with a discussion with Joe Trippi and Susan Molinari. There was a cogent, reasoned, unexcited piece about the mechanics of possible tampering and/or machine failure on CNN's Next yesterday, and Saturday alone there were serious news pieces in the Cincinnati Enquirer, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Los Angeles Times, Salt Lake Tribune, and Seattle Post-Intelligencer. NPR did a segment of its On The Media on the topic (with said blogger [Olberman - ed] as the guest). And today the New York Times continues its series of "Making Vote Counts" editorials with a pretty solid stance on the necessity of journalistic and governmental proof that the elections weren't tampered with. ... I suspect the coverage is going to go through the roof as the news spreads that [presidential candidate Ralph] Nader has gotten his recount in New Hampshire, and that the Greens and Libertarians are actually going to get their Ohio recount. When reporters discover what Jonathan Turley pointed out to us on Tuesday's show, namely that 70% of Ohio's votes were done with punch cards and as Florida proved in 2000, in court, a lot of those punch cards -- as Jon put it -- "turn over," I suspect there will be long-form television on the process.

One has to wonder just how much media coverage of voting irregularities would exist without Olberman's efforts. If, as Greg Palast states John Kerry won Ohio, and it proves out that Kerry won the election after all, then the recovery of the American Republic from the clutches of the fascist warmongering multinationalists will owe a great debt to Keith Olberman.

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pessimist :: 3:50 AM :: Comments (14) :: Digg It!