Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Olbermann vs. Stewart

I watch The Daily Show on my laptop over breakfast each day, and then I listen to Countdown on my drive to work. So I followed both sides of this exchange in near real time after a short lag.

Jon Stewart was absolutely right to call out Keith Olbermann as crossing a line. As someone who has tried to cultivate his "Edward R. Murrow" persona of serious commentary mixed with a little rabble rousing, Olbermann should have known better. When you are reduced to complaining about swearing in front of kids, or not taking the time to disavow every crazy thing an audience member shouts, you're not pursuing truth, you're just grasping at something to justify your position.

It's Keith's response in the last 30 seconds of the clip, though, that makes him still a class act in my book. When Jon Stewart went after Jim Cramer, Cramer got involved in an embarrassing week long pissing match before ultimately coming on the Daily Show and admitting that he was, in fact, full of it. Olbermann actually listened to the criticism, thought about it, and backed off rather than escalating.

Extra kudos to Stewart for calling out a guy who would ordinarily be an ally, and for being right.


  1. The clip I got was of Olbermann interviewing Kos about Blanche Lincoln and the State of the Union. Is that what you meant to embed? Did the Great Firewall of China edit the link after you posted it?

  2. Anonymous10:14 AM

    Fixed now.

    And I'm really glad to see Olbermann admit he was going overboard. His Fox counterparts probably would've started yelling louder.

  3. Fixed now?

    Yes. Thanks.

    And while I haven't been following Olbermann or Maddow, I think I agree with your assessment. Everyone makes mistakes and crosses lines from time to time. We're only human. The thing to do is to recognize those errors and try to correct them.

  4. I can totally sympathise with Olbermann I'm sure :-p

  5. I agree 100 percent with your comments. I cannot believe I missed this.

  6. I have to say, I was really impressed with the verbal dexterity, if you will, that these two had on display in these clips. They strung together some pretty impressive wrods in rapid succession.

    And yes, Kudos to Keith O for actually conceding a point and apologizing. That's rare these days.