2010 November 13 Saturday
Ted Koppel On A National Entitlement To Be Wrong

Ted Koppel, who was the anchor of ABC's Nightline news program for 25 years until his retirement, says punishing Keith Olbermann for donating to the Democratic Party when his job is to be openly partisan makes no sense.

To witness Keith Olbermann - the most opinionated among MSNBC's left-leaning, Fox-baiting, money-generating hosts - suspended even briefly last week for making financial contributions to Democratic political candidates seemed like a whimsical, arcane holdover from a long-gone era of television journalism, when the networks considered the collection and dissemination of substantive and unbiased news to be a public trust.

Back then, a policy against political contributions would have aimed to avoid even the appearance of partisanship. But today, when Olbermann draws more than 1 million like-minded viewers to his program every night precisely because he is avowedly, unabashedly and monotonously partisan, it is not clear what misdemeanor his donations constituted. Consistency?

Gotta agree with Koppel. Does MSNBC honestly expect us to believe that Olbermann is some sort of objective reporter and not just a partisan showman? His suspension for partisan political donations is an insult to our intelligence. Do they really want us to believe they are being evenhanded or objective? This is as ridiculous as Fox News' "fair and balanced" mantra.

Koppel sees the development of more avowedly partisan news networks as unhealthy for the republic.

The commercial success of both Fox News and MSNBC is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me. While I can appreciate the financial logic of drowning television viewers in a flood of opinions designed to confirm their own biases, the trend is not good for the republic.

I'm not so sure. Back during the era of NBC/CBS/ABC news dominance they were just lower toned in their partisanship. They put enough effort into objectivity that they could pretend nonpartisanship. But they were obviously liberal. The advantage of the rise of MSNBC and Fox is that the pretend objectivity is easier to see thru.

Here's Koppel's most interesting observation: The American people are developing a strong sense of entitlement to be wrong and to listen to and read a stream of agreeable opinions.

It is, though, the natural outcome of a growing sense of national entitlement.

Feminism has contributed to this. Maintaining relationships plays a bigger role versus objective truth in female minds than in male minds. Are Olbermann or Sean Hannity as bad as The View? I don't think so.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2010 November 13 07:07 PM  Media Critique


Comments
not anon or anonymous said at November 14, 2010 12:43 AM:

So, where's the dividing line? Anchors get to break their contracts, but not best boy grips? On which side do weather girls and voiceover actors lie?

Jehu said at November 14, 2010 9:24 AM:

There's no such thing as 'fair and balanced' reporting. Everyone has a world view and that world view will color how they report and most importantly WHAT THEY REPORT. Fox is about 50th percentile conservative using the American public as a reference class, so in one sense, they can claim 'balanced'. The others are around the 5th-15th percentile or so, judging by their partisan affiliations. Fox's 50th percentile 'extremism' is the reason why they're doing so much better in the ratings marketplace than the others. There is no 80th-90th percentile conservative major news network, not even on radio honestly. Rush, for instance, is probably only 60th or so percentile conservative if we use the American public as a reference class.

Escapist said at November 14, 2010 1:13 PM:

What's the point of the "typical female characteristics" angle? It's not really connected to the point of the post and like a bit of gratuitous blanket assertion about half the populace, including many who may otherwise agree on the main points - like that Keith Olbermann and most of the media news system, sucks. I know, it's meant to mean "on average" etc, but history has shown that people tend to translate this concept to "they are all like that".

Randall Parker said at November 14, 2010 8:11 PM:

Escapist,

I'm not going to refrain from saying something just because it is going to be misunderstood. We need to understand what is going wrong and why. The shift to the Left and away from reason in American society is in large part driven by female beliefs, patterns of thought, voting behavior, and life choices.

You want to tell me some women are paragons of reason? Sure, I know that. But the average is what determines the characteristics of society far more than the exceptions.

Henry said at November 14, 2010 9:51 PM:

"Back during the era of NBC/CBS/ABC news dominance they were just lower toned in their partisanship. They put enough effort into objectivity that they could pretend nonpartisanship. But they were obviously liberal."

Yeah, no kidding. Just another worthless old geezer whining about a partial (VERY partial) outbreak of democracy. Koppel spent his entire career lying about racist violence against whites during which tens of thousands were murdered for the color of their skin, possibly millions were raped, and certainly tens of millions were assaulted. He lied and innocent peopled died. Whole cities were destroyed while he pretended to have no clue as to why. A few blocks from his office no white person could safely walk down streets paid for with their tax dollars, and he never had a thing to say about it. The good old days, Ha! I really don't want to hear this war-criminal's opinion on anything.

MM said at November 15, 2010 2:37 PM:

During the Arizona immigration fight, Fox News pointed out that Mexico's immigration laws are stricter than ours. Say what
you want about Fox, but they bring some much needed balance to our center-left political discourse.


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