Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Contagion of Fear

Keith Olberman can turn a phrase, I'm not always impressed with his Special Comments construction, but his willingness to speak out trumps little quibbles like that and sometimes the phrases are just totally apt.

I first tuned into Countdown this fall after reading articles that wondered how long the corporate masters would tolerate his intemperance regarding George II. I decided in pretty short order that I would be a regular viewer just to support that iconoclasm. He regularly quotes Edward R Murrow's closing after denying any journalistic comparison, and rightly so, he isn't a Murrow as a writer or journalist, but he is Murrow-esque in his willingness to tweak power.

On Oct 6, 2006 he reacted to the President's claim the day before that 177 Democrats didn't want to listen in on terrorists:
"If this is not simply the most shameless example of the rhetoric of political hackery, then it would have to be the cry of a leader crumbling under the weight of his own lies."

To be sure, Keith came to the dance late. Not as late as the ones still bleating the Administration cant - say Fox and ... The point is, he came to dance and it wasn't a waltz. Frequently CNN is named as the liberal face of the liberal media and to an extent they are liberal if getting at least some of the facts right is liberal but CNN even at its most editorial stops short. They stop short of calling things by their proper name, lying is not spin and it's done by liars, blaming others for your failure is cowardice not politics, calling your critics allies of terror is not rhetoric it's dishonorable, breaking the Constitution is not security it's treason and a willingness to use the proper nouns is what Keith Olberman has done and the proper word for that is brave.

Within days of September 11 this Administration has indulged in lies, deceits, dishonorable rhetoric and advocating of the overthrow of the Constitution. They have sown the seeds of a contagion of fear and reaped the political benefits. They cowed the media and herded a pliant Congress. The media later claimed to have seen its mistakes, only Olberman stood up. The Democrats have taken Congress, time will tell if they have seen clearly and can act.

To be sure, there have been other voices than Olberman's, some in Congress and some in alternative media, but within the Main Stream Media he's stood alone and made that stand with something to lose. I believe I'll wait awhile to applaud NBC, but I will admit to surprise that a corporate entity has not removed such an irritant. Maybe there actually is hope.

2 comments:

Terry said...

I agreee with you, Chuck, that Olberman's special comments are rhetorically --how should I put it?-- dense.

But you have to hand it to the guy for really sticking it to Bush. No other "celebrity" journalist has even come close.

I'm not so sure that he's come "to the dance late". For as long as I can remember he's been signing off with "Today is (December) ---, the ---th day since the declaration of 'Mission Accomplished'."

Chuck Butcher said...

I like Keith Olberman, I now watch him regularly, but what I meant by late to the dance is starting in 05 vs sometime sooner. I would have appreciated that kind of voice when MSM was fawning all over the BushCo.