Keith Olbermann is a joke

Jon Stewart rightfully calls out Keith Olbermann for his amazingly ludicrous description of Scott Brown. Stewart tears up his convoluted reasoning.

Two points:

1) While on this rare occasion Stewart goes after a lefty, he does so with a grudging respect, with the underlying message of, "I used to think you were great. You can still be great!"

2) I've always thought Olbermann was awful, but he's gone completely off the deep end. He's downright hateful these days. This is a trend that's all too common for evening political show hosts. They start out with a semblance of respectability but over time, they become more and more polarized. Same thing happened with O'Reilly and Beck. I can't watch any of the 3. Maddow's on her way as well.

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When Bush was in office, I

When Bush was in office, I would watch Olbermann at every chance I could. Unfortunately when the Dear Leader took office, he cut out the hatred for the executive branch.

Now I just stick to Robot Chicken for my political commentary. Sometimes I do tune in when the neocon Beck grovels at the feet of Ron Paul.

Glenn Beck, huh? I was under

Glenn Beck, huh? I was under the impression he was funny. I remember a clip involving boiling a frog, which was a practical joke involving a rubber frog in which he pretended to boil a real frog (I vaguely recall).

Because you said he's gone bad, I am going to watch an entire episode of Glenn Beck, for the very first time, to see what the guy is about.

I notice Limbaugh isn't mentioned.

I used to listen to Rush Limbaugh back in the early nineties. I liked him. Early this year I wanted something, a human voice, to keep my dog company while I was at work, so I put one limbaugh episode on infinite loop. In the evening when I got home sometimes I didn't turn it off, and ultimately I ended up listening to that single episode of Limbaugh about ten times, at a guess. My conclusion: Limbaugh is as good as ever. The episode was devoted to what Obama was doing with General Motors and Limbaugh's position visavis that was pro free market, anti bailout, anti takeover, i.e., it was entirely libertarian. Maybe if Limbaugh were talking about war or abortion he wouldn't sound like a libertarian but he was talking about Obama and GM. After playing it for a month, I still found the episode "current", not dated.

I'd been using the TV to keep the dog company before. I did that for an entire year. I didn't want to freak out the dog so I put it on that channel that had Jon & Kate plus 8, What Not to Wear, LA Ink, etc., which I often left on for hours after I got home. Became a fan of everything. Even bought Kat von D's book.

I was under the impression

I was under the impression he was funny.

You were badly misinformed.

I found him funny in that

I found him funny in that frog clip.

Beck is great

Not only does he have an excellent sense of humor, he actually tries to think his way through a lot of issues. He gets plenty wrong but he's more honest and intelligent than the rest of them put together.

Yes, Beck is great. I saw an

Yes, Beck is great. I saw an episode, the one from Jan 20 2010. He started by talking about Scott Brown's victory, where he laughed and joked about his arguably unwise comment about his daughters (this was toned down from his admittedly over the top radio show comments, for which he had been bashed by the right). Then he went through some familiar material about how Obama is surrounded by hard leftists, then he had the great John Stossel on for a section about Serious Materials as an example of the crony capitalism of the Obama administration. There were other bits as well which have slipped my mind. It was much better than I expected. It confirms the impression I had gathered previously, which was this: Glenn Beck has had a series of journalistic successes, in which he uncovered and/or at least publicized facts which turned out to be embarrassing to the Obama administration or the Democratic party. Generally, then, Glenn has been remarkably effective as a journalist as well as commentator. And because of his effectiveness, he is hated by the left with a seething passion. And because of their intense hatred for him on account of his success, the left takes every opportunity to bash him, by the usual means (familiar to anyone who is familiar with the attacks on Rush Limbaugh). And a lot of people who ought to know better are letting themselves be bamboozled by the left wing attack machine into believing that Beck is a wacko. That was my impression before, and now having watched an episode I realize that he's better than I expected.


I look forward to every episode of his TV show and listen to every episode of his radio show I have time for. The radio show is much more comedic and the comment about finding a dead intern was obviously a joke. He never repeats it without laughing.

I find that almost every hour of broadcast he does has a very major flaw in his analysis, but it is typically dwarfed by the good work he does in the rest of the hour. Tonight's documentary, "The Revolutionary Holocaust", followed that trend. On the whole it was a very good seventh-grade level introduction to collectivist atrocities and propaganda of the 20th centuries. I doubt that you (Constant)would learn a thing from it, but a lot of Americans would considering that most adults here couldn't pass a second grade test in history. It was excellent, in these terms, except for a part about the execution of a Cuban General. They apparently fell in love with the footage, which was visually compelling, but the General appeared to be in league with Che and Fidel which deprived that segment of strong moral point. On the other hand the footage they had of George Bernard Shaw was brilliant.

He's wrong on immigration. He's wrong on the Constitution. He's wrong in thinking Sarah Palin is anything but a pedestrian politician. He's laughably wrong about these and many other things on a daily basis. Yet in a typical hour he mostly gets things right. And he is clearly engaging in actual inquiry on a daily basis. He's a very astute observer of the Obama administration. Beck is my political Man of The Year for 2009 by a wide margin and looks a solid favorite to repeat.

I do like the fact that

I do like the fact that Becks tune has changed significantly since he first came to popularity. Especially his stance on the war. Unfortunately he is still thinking about economics as someone who was trained in Keynesian voodoo. Oreilly and Beck sat around and talked about raising taxes. Once he cuts out that shit, I will stop calling him a neocon.

I listen to Beck's show on the weekdays, it is very entertaining. I still prefer Alex Jones, the no compromise radio host.

Beck says dumb things every day

I find that a typical hour of his broadcast is often marred by one really bad idea he focuses on for several minutes. But the rest of the hour is typically quite good. He's bringing a lot more to the table than than any other talking head.

I listened to him from time to time over the past 10 years and found him unexceptional. He's learned, and he continues to learn.

I don't know what sorts of

I don't know what sorts of dumb things Beck says, but in principle I prefer somebody who offers out-there ideas on a regular basis. Little harm is done from airing the absurd; great harm is done by fearing to air questionable thoughts, as the only way securely to do this is to say nothing other than what the audience expects to hear. A hundred crazy ideas out of which one turns out to be true is a net plus.


...and that's how I take Beck. A lot of his broadcasting is seat of the pants, he's liable to say whatever pops into his head at the moment. And because he's often engaged in honest inquiry a lot of things pop into his head.

He also fails to consistently apply his principles in a number of areas. But I see real effort and thus I have more hope for him than for most people.

Maybe I'm cynical,

Maybe I'm cynical, but I imagined that Fox News had an internal monologue like this at some stage late during the Ron Paul presidential campaign:

"Paul is getting popular--there's a chance his ideas might break through to the mainstream. We can't ignore that bloc completely. We need to find some way to either a) crush it, b) deflect it, or c) profit from it without cutting into our core neocon audience or sponsors.

"Okay, Napolitano, we know you're on board with his platform already. We'll let you do a show, but web only. Let his fans come to us, we won't go to them.

"Beck, you're itching to break into the majors. You can push these ideas on your own broadcast show, but only if you don't contradict our core agenda. Grab as much of this market as you can--here's a budget to promote the tea parties--but do whatever you can to integrate the protesters into our core audience."

I don't have direct experience with media companies, but I can't believe there's not managers devoted to tracking the portfolio of the anchors who work for them and squaring their various opinions with viewership numbers and ad revenue. Individual personalities of the talking heads direct what they say on their show, but a pink slip can veto them if they become bad for business, and they know well in advance what can get vetoed.

You state that like it's a

You state that like it's a bad thing.

Not at all bad.

In fact, I was trying to do the opposite. People here seemed to be ascribing Beck's position to his personal character traits. I was trying to show how market forces could be shaping the public positions of Fox anchors.

If O'Reilly is Fox's hottest property in their portfolio--not just because of viewer numbers, but because his message attracts major sponsors--they have to be careful not to damage that property.


I thought Beck's show at CNN was somewhat interesting and thought it might be bad for him to go to Fox where he was more likely to be co-opted to the house politics. I thought it would probably hurt his show. Instead his show got 100 times better. I don't doubt for a minute that he's allowed to do his show because Ailes thinks that it's in the interest of republicans. The show still has to be judge on it's own merits.

Sign of the times

The show still has to be judge on it's own merits.

I guess I'm guilty of judging it as a social barometer. I'm impressed that a major news network like Fox devises a strategy to deal with the breakaway liberty movement. Of course everyone is going to try and shape the course of events in a way that suits their goals, whether they be representatives of a media company, political party, or think tank.

One of the next benchmarks I'm waiting to see is when anarchy is discussed rationally in the mass media. That will be a watershed moment!

List so far

Here's the closest I've seen to anarcho-capitalism being discussed neutrally in the mainstream media:

If anyone else has seen, say, a History Channel biography on Murray Rothbard, I'd be eager to hear about it.