It doesn't pay to cover the Iraq war honestly. Just ask Keith.
What am I doing today? I'm supposed to be on break, but this just fried me so I wanted to share it. It's a long story, which follows below, but the up shot is this: Keith Olbermann is being pre-empted all across the country. Here's the background. Here's what happened today...
I'm marooned in Las Vegas, where I currently live (right now) and wanted to watch Keith and watch some football, of course, along with reading and general loafing. But I wanted to make sure "Countdown" would be on. See, KTNV, ABC local Las Vegas, always moves around "This Week," with George Stephanopoulos, that is unless they choose not show it at all, which happens often. Local ABC in Las Vegas didn't even air the Democratic debate last week until very late in the day. So, since I'm in town, I wanted to make sure "Countdown," which is having a special airing today before the football game, was going to be carried on local NBC. Honestly, you never know in Las Vegas. The way ABC jacks around "This Week," I knew I couldn't take it for granted that local NBC would pick up "Countdown" either.
So when I cued up my cable, looking at what they had programmed, "Countdown" wasn't shown. Uh-oh. Did KVBC, local NBC, decide not to carry "Countdown"? Again, you never know about local stations and what they consider "news."
So I called KVBC, the local NBC station's "general information" number, which I got on the web. A woman name Traci Arnold picked up the phone. I asked if she knew whether "Countdown" would be shown today before the football game. She curtly informed me that she was the assignment editor at the news desk. Okay. So Traci, I said, can you give me a phone number I could call to find out this information? Insert pregnant pause here. "No." No? "No."
That's when Ms. Arnold went into her job description, making sure I knew she was way too important to know something as basic as what KVBC had programmed. "I'm the assignment editor for the news division." Translation: I don't do programming. "I respect you don't do programming and understand what you do," I offered. "You obviously don't," she said tartly. Insert smile on my face here. Wasn't going to get into that one. So, Traci, you can't give me a number where I can find out this information? No one at NBC Las Vegas knows? The receptionist works Monday thru Friday, and so does programming, so there's no one to tell me that information, she said.
Never mind that I called the local NBC station's "general information" number, which they list as such on the web. It's also the assignment/news desk number, too. Never mind Ms. Arnold is answering the phone. Never mind "Countdown" is a news(!) show and a pretty big deal to be airing on NBC today, before the football game. Or that Ms. Arnold is the assignment editor for the news division of KVBC. Insert irony here.
Bottom line: the local Las Vegas NBC station could not give me any information whatsoever on what they had programmed today, didn't have a number I could call to find out, and the assignment editor for the news division didn't even know the highest rated show on MSNBC, which is also a news(!) show, was airing on NBC today. Lisa Howfield, KVBC's general manager, must be so proud.
Next call, Cox cable. After going through screen after screen trying to find the answer, they finally located it. Keith is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. But as it turns out, Cox Communications is as ignorant as the local NBC-KVBC.
"Countdown" was pre-empted for local TV drivel, "The Ed Bernstein Show" and (**cough**) "The Chris Matthews Show." By the way, Bernstein runs attorney ads on TV. Get it? Nothing like buy-time.
I guess being against the war is just too much for the affiliates to take. You know, since "Countdown" was to air before a football game. Like the majority of the American people can't handle the truth and true journalism. Like they aren't against the Iraq war and want our troops to come home. Could this be any more obvious? Olbermann delivers honest news. He goes after Republicans, but if Democrats serve up crap he takes after them, too. He's honest.
But as my husband said, they don't call it local for nothin'.
Oh, and by the way, there are plenty of other stations stiffing Keith Olbermann and "Countdown" and I've outlined some in updates to this post. I'm hearing it from readers and many others. It sucks.
Anything to keep we the people from hearing honest news. No wonder the big three networks are failing. You can't trust them anymore.
This is how we got into Iraq, with a lot of help from the corporate hack pack. I guess this is how Big Media will keep us in the war, too.
UPDATE: On the west coast it was reported "Countdown" would air "after the game." No one in Vegas at local NBC or Cox had a clue. But "Countdown" did finally air at 10:00 p.m. Long after the game ended. After local news. After "Dateline." As late as they could air it without going into the next day. But at least "Countdown" aired. But trying to find the actual time was a nightmare, because you can't get anything out of the local station and seldom can trust the programming guides, as I've experienced with moves of "This Week" when they moved the Dem. debate to the end of the day without notice. Keith finally aired, however. He's good, really, really good. Of course. Oh, and he was honest, too, even about Iraq. But at least it was late at night on a Sunday when only a few could see it. More news on what stations (so far) dissed "Countdown" on this post for those interested.