Why I won’t miss Keith Olbermann.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Jan 23, 2011
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Don’t get me wrong, I like him just fine. But he fought fire with fire—angry one-sided rhetoric with angry one-sided rhetoric. His appropriation of Edward R. Murrow‘s signature sign-off “Good night, and Good Luck” was beyond pretentious.

Sure, I shared his fire from time to time…but there’s a reason I’m liberal. Not ’cause I want to “win,” or conveniently rearrange and marshall facts to match my pov against their’s. It’s because I think, on balance, that liberals are more compassionate. Less about winning and more, ironically, about getting it right.

We’re the true patriots—not because we’re more macho (we aren’t) or demonstrative or effective at PR—but because we want to strengthen the American economy, not just that of the richest citizens (and, of course, the richest among us wouldn’t have to live in such fear beyond such high gates if the middle class we’re larger, and deeper, and stronger—there’d be less crime and resentment).

I don’t love MSNBC. I think it’s the same thing as Fox—only less effective.

My kind of liberal commentator is Bill Moyers, who’s fair and gentle. Or Jon Stewart, who’s fair, caring and cuttingly funny. Let’s leave macho and bombast to the demagogues like O’Reilly, Limbaugh, Beck and Palin. Let’s play on our home court, where compassion, gentleness and objectivity are more important.

Click here for every blog we ever wrote that related to KO, plus lots of his videos.


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About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now elephantjournal.com & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


33 Responses to “Why I won’t miss Keith Olbermann.”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Waylon Lewis, Red Fox. Red Fox said: Why I won’t miss Keith Olbermann. http://bit.ly/g28TpR […]

  2. Director2nv says:

    Looks like this is the last time I lookat anything on this ass rag. Why I wont miss elephant journal.

  3. waylonlewis says:

    Let's hear it for tolerance of other points of view! That's exactly what ele is about—you're welcome to write a criticism of the above or your point of view straight up, we'll be honored to publish it. You might have to do without too-easy insults, though, in doing so? I'm serious, email us, it'd be my honor.

  4. waylonlewis says:

    via http://www.facebook.com/elephantjournal

    Danbo T Why I don't miss Television.

    David L I'm going to miss him a lot. There's nothing wrong with expressing passion and anger when you're right.

    elephantjournal.com Amen, but everyone thinks they're right..! ~ W

    Betsy H I agree with the whole Edward Murrows appropriation thing. Made me kinda squirm.

    Kevin Liberty Hotaling Jon Stewart and Bill Moyers ftw… omg … 2nd Jon Stewart video is hiarious. Thanks!

    Tom Frascone
    i can't stand any of 'em. even stewart is a fraud. they're all puppets of the wealthy corporations that own the broadcast networks.

    take the stewart/colbert tag team:

    How Stewart and Colbert are Selling the Neocon Agenda to the Left
    .. .http://willyloman.wordpress.com/2010/09/25/centrist-central-how-stewart-and-colbert-are-selling-the-neocon-agenda-to-the-left/

  5. TamingAuthor says:

    The problem with MSNBC (which includes Olbermann) has been the lack of transparency in their agenda.

    They have been shamelessly pushing the Obama agenda. But their parent company had something personal to gain. They received a bailout to the tune of $40 billion from the Fed. Second largest non-bank bailout. So one could argue this is crony capitalism, with the quid pro quo being pretty obvious.

    In addition, it appears that in return for biased reporting, GE CEO Immelt has been named to head one of the President's new panels. So the conflict of interest continues.

    GE's other tie in with the administration has to do with pushing alternative energy, in which GE has a huge financial stake. This is another very clear conflict of interest. They have a financial, profit-based stake in policy, so their coverage is suspect.

    Thus, one has to take a close look at the bias presented in their coverage and in their opinions. Without due diligence one falls victim to the same corporate manipulation that one protests against so loudly. In other words, one is liable to being duped.

    One can no longer be a mindless imbiber of party line media. It is important to track the conflicts of interest and the bias in order to calibrate the information one is receiving.

  6. TamingAuthor says:

    As an exercise in discernment in media this article is an excellent start.

    The article tells the story of radical activists (Cloward and Pivens) who have historically called for division, civil unrest, and violence. They have been instrumental in training community organizers (such as Obama).

    Their call for civil unrest is not purely historical, however. As recently as last December Piven was calling for riots like those we have seen in Greece. Those riots were violent, resulting in deaths. And she would like to see that here.

    So Beck exposes her history and her recent statements. He documents her calls for violence in her own words. The result is attacks on Beck. So when one lumps Beck in with those promoting violence, caution is in order. As the facts show he is exposing those who call for violence and then is being maligned for his investigatory reports.

    In Pivens responses to media follow up we find she uses deception and lies as a standard mode of operating. She claims it is ridiculous to consider her a socialist, and yet the public record shows she is a leading figure in socialist groups! Lying with a straight face.

    To become media savvy check this out and then start pulling strings. Follow the trail. (You might even become interested in the other people Beck has outed as sources of civil unrest and violence. The attacks on Beck then can be seen in an accurate context.)

  7. TamingAuthor says:

    Beck reports on another attack on a government official that goes under reported. Have you heard of this?

  8. Padma Kadag says:

    I have the impression that without the fire of Olbermann that the democratic liberals would have been more the wimp than they have been. I disagree with your assessment. Frankly this notion of "balance" is an illusion. Point out one thing in this universe which is "balanced". Unfortunately, Obama's "balanced" lets be bi partisan with a Republican party which is as "balanced" minded as the People's Republic of China was a disaster for the Health Insurance Bill and continuing in Afghanistan and Iraq. I will miss Olbermann….maybe Fox News will pick him up…Hahaha…Well we still have Mathews and Maddow anyway

  9. Andrew says:

    I think Keith Olbermann served a very valuable role, as he was really the first person on TV to shamelessly take on the Bush administrations transgressions in a time when no one on TV was doing so. There was really no significant, blatant anti Iraq War voice on TV at that time.

    But, nothing is permanent and after 8 years I am not crushed to see him go.

    I can't say I'm with you 100% on your equivalence of MSNBC to Fox News. I agree that there is some idiotic bombast on MSNBC (Ed Schultz – ugh he is unwatchable), but I don't think that Chris Matthews, Laurence O'Donnell and Rachel Maddow are verysimilar to O'Reilly, Beck and Hannity. I can see how one would think that on the surface, but I think the political agenda on Fox is much more entrenched.

    PBS News Hour does indeed crush any other news on TV.

  10. dan says:

    Wow… Kurtz is a joke- Obama has spent his first two years pushing Republican ideas (which they then cleverly reject- most notably mandated private insurance they’re even taking though the courts to make legal on their terms), yet he’s a socialist? I enjoy conspiracy theories, but their “truth” is always in the eye of the beholder, Kanellos for instance, but if you’d really like to “follow the money”, you’ll find all major media backed owned by the same handful of investors (Vanguard etc) that own most of everything else, and have every interest in maintaining the status quo and “opening markets” (aka, imperialism). Also please enjoy http://www.opensecrets.org/revolving/index.php – but yea, its those radiant intellectuals taking over the government…

    Didn’t Fox loose all credibility after pushing the Tea Party Express with unpaid ads and habitual coverage?, and Breitbart’s Acorn and Sherrod videos/lies? And its difficult to know where to start with Beck- Byron Williams, death threats against Pivens, http://tinyurl.com/4l3qlar (excerpt from a book about Beck and his um, “ideas”), net neutrality in favor of “controlled speech”… when do you say enough with the provocateur, and start reading say, counterpunch.org, where you can read the economists who got it, and continue to get it right?


  11. dan says:

    Wow, you really buy it hook, line… including the postage! For those thinking of clicking, Beck isn’t “reporting”, he is suggesting that it didn’t happen, due to the few outlets reporting it.

    But for your musings, some actual happenings in Washington state: a Spokanne MLK parade bomb attempt (most (speculatively) likely from KKK types strong in the area), and arrests for death threats to Rep. McDermott and Senator Murray (also from kooks).

  12. TamingAuthor says:

    Comcast has been in the process of purchasing NBC. The deal has been going through a series of approval steps. Yes, the new owners would be unlikely to keep Olbermann or anyone like him. Ratings are low. His popularity only extends to the radical left.

  13. TamingAuthor says:

    Beck mocking the NY Times for misreporting the Piven news.

  14. TamingAuthor says:

    No, he is not suggesting it did not happen. Watch closer. He is mocking those who did not report the incident, which did happen. He is mocking those who suppress the news story about a left wing nut trying to attack a political figure. He is making the point that the MSM is selective in its reportage.

    Beck may be a little difficult to follow at times unless one realizes he uses sarcasm. He mocks the those who do not report actual nuts with political agendas that are clearly left but which try to assert that other nut jobs, with no political agenda, are somehow tied to radio comments. See below for more.

  15. TamingAuthor says:

    People's Republic of China was hosted at a state dinner by Obama, not Fox News. The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize threw a fancy dinner for the guy who has the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner locked up in jail. Fox did not suggest he fete the Chinese Communist Party leader.

    You probably will not have Matthews and Maddow when Comcast takes over so enjoy them while you can. They do not have enough of an audience for anyone to keep them on.

  16. TamingAuthor says:

    You are correct, one cannot compare Matthews and socialist O'Donnell and Maddow to Fox. They do not report the news and their opinions have been slanted.

    Beck, unlike all the others, has a massive research department and presents factual material that I challenge you to refute. Take a run at it. Unlike the others, he plays the actual statements of those he investigates and he gives you specifics you can go research yourself.

    Few on the left have even bothered to watch him and do not realize the nature of his show. They only know the left wing media hate blitz against him. (And they certainly have not pulled the string to find out who it is that is attacking Beck. It is worth tracking down who it is that is attacking him… sometimes you can know a man by his enemies.)

    They do not know that Beck is not a partisan political hack, like the others. He dislikes both sides equally and has been a huge force in revealing the dirty laundry on both sides.

    MSNBC has had a conflict of interest, unlike Fox. The parent company of MSNBC was recently given the second largest non-financial institution bailout in history. Forty billion from the Fed. GE CEO, Jeffrey Immelt has been a long term WH adviser, just named to head a new panel.

    If Fox had such a blatant conflict of interest the screaming would never end. But posters here just blithely ignore the blatant crony capitalism that funds their favorite mouthpieces. It is time to be a lot more careful of cons and deception.

  17. TamingAuthor says:

    Boy, Dan, it seems you are "standing on your head." A stream of falsehoods. Best you crack the books and do some better research, starting with who it has been that has funded this administration and MSNBC, MoveOn, MediaMatters, and Huffington Post.

  18. Andrew says:

    He has the highest ratings on MSNBC, higher than any CNN show. Everybody knows Fox is a bohemoth, but to say his ratings are "too low," is willfully ignorant.

  19. Andrew says:

    Who cares what a 78 year old woman wrote about the unemployed empowering themselves back in 1966? The only person that cares is Glen Beck because he is an inciter. He is 100% responsible for some poor old academic woman receiving death threats.

  20. Andrew says:

    They're not pushing the Obama agenda. If you ever watched, you'd see Olbermann, maddow and Schultz bugging his agenda from the left on a nightly basis.

  21. Padma Kadag says:

    Wow…Maddow has no research? Im all for fair reporting…but please…admit you listen to Michael Savage

  22. dan says:

    Ah yes, when in doubt, it was sarcasm. It was drama to make a point, if only you knew what I knew, if only you knew him as I, but certainly it was not bad/violent/paranoid/lies… you must give Him the benefit of the doubt, and when your “independent research” comes up wanting, even when using the material supplied in class is there no evidence, it is still you who are wrong…

  23. dan says:

    Ah yes, it is my lies, which are… what? I put up my conspiracies, you can look it up and draw a different conclusion, but where are my falsehoods? I listened to http://www.glennbeck.com/2011/01/16/francs-fox-piven-calls-for-violence/ a 10 minute collection of Piven talking, obliquely saying that the (black) social justice movements in the 60s had violent actors in it, that agressive non-violent protests were violent in that they bring violence onto themselves (by others, not upon others), and that the tea party is old and white (and it is), but no calls to violence… She says that these aggressive tactics are what are needed to make change- a revelation to no one.

    Seriously, I don’t care about the versus and winning, I’d like to see facts, not Becks.

  24. JimWilton says:

    You should get your facts straight.

    1. General Electric does not and never has participated in the TARP program or any other government bailout.
    2. GE Capital, a subsidiary of General Electric and one of the largest financial institutions in the U.S. at a time in 2008 when had 7.2 billion in losses and began participated in two government programs started under the Bush administration — the Temporary Loan Guaranty Program (TLGP) and the Commercial Paper Funding Facility (CPFG).
    3. GE Capital obtained approval to exit these programs on July 22, 2009.
    4. The TARP program, begun under the Bush administration and conintued under the Obama administration has been widely successful at minimizing the worst financial crisis in the last sixty years — at minimal cost to the taxpayer.
    5. The NBC / Comcast merger was announced on December 3, 2009 and closes next week.
    6. Any opinion that there is a conflict of interest — or any connection whatsoever between GE, MSNBC, the Obama administration and Keith Olberman is right wing paranoia of the first order.

    So when you say

  25. Jimwilton says:

    Oh, by the way, let me give you some examples of Glenn Beck's careful research:

    1. 3/9/09: "So here you have Barack Obama going in and spending money on embryonic stem cell research . . . Engenics. In case you don't know what Eugenics led us to: the Final Solution. A master race!"

    2. 1/09: "The most used phrase in my administration if I were president would be 'What the hell you mean we're out of missiles.'"

    3. 5/1/07: "Al Gore's not going to be rounding up Jews and exterminating them. It is the same tactic, however. The goal is different. the goal is globalization. And you must silence all the dissenting voices. That's what Hitler did. That's what Al Gore and everybody on the global warming bandwagon [are doing]."

    4. 9/9/05: "The only [Katrina victims ] we're seeing on television are the scumbags."

    It is easy to see where you get your narrow minded, ill-informed opinions.

  26. TamingAuthor says:

    Never listen to Savage.

    Maddow does not do extensive research.

  27. TamingAuthor says:

    It is important to follow more closely. There have been no death threats. The allegation came from a George Soros run entity headed by Bertha Lewis, the old ACORN head. Total propaganda B.S.

    And Beck did not incite. To the contrary he has called constantly for no violence. What he did do is play Piven's own words. Piven wants to stop him from making her own words public.

    And, OMG, it is Piven who calls for violence. Not in 1966 but in December of last year! She wrote at that time that we needed riots like those taking place in Greece, which, btw, have led to deaths and much destruction.

    Andrew, it is important to get up with the facts here and not go with the left wing propaganda. You do not want Soros manipulating your mind. Look deeper. Follow the sources.

  28. TamingAuthor says:

    There is evidence that a college dean, mistaken for Governor, had his throat slit by this young attacker who was part of the anarchist group, and who was deported for his activities in that regard in Canada.

    Beck was making the point, through sarcasm, that this event, this attack, which clearly showed left wing violence was ignored by the MSM. And he has a good point. Selective coverage by the MSM has distorted the views of those, like yourself, who do not consult a broad range of media.

  29. TamingAuthor says:

    C'mon, folks, do your homework. Research GE and Jeffrey Immelt and their role in this administration. Research their government aid. Research their play in the "green" movement.

    And research Piven and her own words.

    When there are attacks on Beck, research it. Find out where they are coming from. And for your own sake, find out how much of your information comes from groups funded by George Soros. Look it up. Do some research. And check out Soro's history.

    You are being played. It is really quite upsetting when you find out you have been conned…so do the homework. Don't let clever manipulators get you to think you are fighting an enemy when they are the actual types you purport to fight… the fat cat crony capitalists (GE w Obama) and the billionaire speculator (Soros) who plays the same game as the Russian oligarchs (with whom he worked) in silencing media and opposition and ruling a country with violence and suppression.

  30. Mud Baron says:

    Brother Waylon,

    Grumble. I want my Keith as I am not of the gentle variety either. Votes and words, matter. His, with their amplification, mattered more.

    I get your perspective. Fine. Yeah, yeah, yer enlightened. But, amongst 600,000 Title I (ed speak for poverty) LA kids it's hard not to want a fight, we've already been kicked a bit. Backs are against walls here and there is no help coming from DC for several years. We're several thousand feet below Boulder here in the LA basin, too.

    Words are what we got to fight with.


    Isn't there some story about Buddha stopping a lecture because there was hungry beggar in the back. Didn't he tell his peeps to take 5 and get that guy a clif bar? #justsayin.



    AND Waylone btw, you are so kickin' my city kids and their little school gardens in the shortys. You and your yoga thugs just put us back to number three. Who's not the fighter? 😉 https://sites.google.com/site/greenshortypledge/

  31. TamingAuthor says:

    Keith's former boss…. (why the left is not taken seriously).