The New York Daily News reported today that MSNBC president Rick Kaplan allegedly ripped into Keith Olbermann following his editorial description of his own bout with near-cancer.
The Daily News:
...Kaplan erupted angrily and at length, calling Olbermann "out of control" and "not to be trusted," and accusing him of driving away viewers from the 9 p.m. debut of Kaplan hire Rita Cosby's show, "Live and Direct."
Olbermann urged smokers (like me) to quit now and included descriptions of the aftermath of a tumor he had removed from his mouth due to pipe and cigar smoking. And yeah, it was a little graphic. Not "ready when you are, Sergeant Pembry" graphic, but he mentioned blood. Gasp! See? He's out of control! MSNBC viewers want everlasting geysers of child-touching news. Not blood and cancer stories. Stupid Keith.
Now if anything was going to drive away viewers from "Live and Direct" it was the sound of Rita Cosby's voice which was not unlike a midrange one-note hum. Since this is writin', here's how you can do your very own Cosby impression: hum the first line of the Star Spangled Banner. When you hit the lyric "see", hold that note. For an hour.
Nevertheless, Olbermann was being sincere and highly personal. And he mentioned "gobs of blood". So what.
Did Kaplan ever race into the newsroom shouting invectives like "[you're] not to be trusted" when Joe Scarborough or Pat Buchanan (who filled in for Scarborough for what seemed like years) spouted half-truths, lies, or outright hate-speech? What about when Buchanan compared the removal of Terry Schiavo's feeding tube to "Nazi crimes against humanity"? Or when Congressman Joe said that Democrats are "celebrating" the anniversary of the Abu Ghraib photos?
"Countdown" is one of -- scratch that -- the only prime time cable news show that doesn't make me throw up in my mouth. Then again, we're in the era of "Through the Looking Glass" in which lies and superficial reporting rule the day and truth isn't a ratings-grabber; a time when a personal story which involves the word "blood" is considered out of control yet lies and distortions are a-okay.
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