Keith

by: Chris Blask

Fri Jun 18, 2010 at 12:22:37 PM EDT



Hi Keith,

I hear you and Fogiv got in a tussle.  In the diary in question I commented at great enough length to feel the desire to expand my comments a bit further.  I've copied my first ramble below and I'll add a little more here as well.


If the two of you were other people I'd tell you to take it outside, but the tiny tempest is illustrative of points worth pondering, as they apply not just to you two but to all of us.  Because you are a public voice of some stature and because Fogiv is a bright and engaged citizen you both represent groups that are fundamental to our ability to function as a culture.  The faults I would like to point out are less about you than they are about us, so please take my commentary with that intent.

Chris Blask :: Keith
We have come to a point in American news media where a notable media figure is enraged by a single comment of an anonymous blogger, and enraged because he did the same thing he accused the blogger of - not doing his homework.  What does that tell us?

As we work through what news media looks like in the coming decades we have to look back to see how we got to where we are.  Everyone watched Walter Cronkite in that era (78% of us watched I Love Lucy), today Glenn Beck is seen as a leader in television political commentary because 1% (now 0.5%) of us watch him.  What was virtually a sole source for news and information has become a niche.  

So, with the veneer of Public Servant stripped away leaving little more than the same competitive motives of every business, is it any surprise that there is open questioning of the line between journalistic integrity and financial success?  Are you, Keith, any more or less guilty than any of us of drawing direct assumptions about the actions of the FOX employees based on your read of the motivations of the executive staff?  Am I, because from my perspective the motivations of Murdoch seem to shine through the words and actions of his team?  Either all of the individuals at FOX involved in reporting the Tea Party were knowingly and cynically Astroturfing the whole thing for their cynical benefit, or they were not.  Is it at the same time ridiculous to question the motivations of MSNBC executives and wonder aloud about the machinations they might construct to address their financial goals?  Those questions are no more or less offensive to you than your statements about FOX are to anyone there, and likewise they are questions that at least have to be asked.

Your response to Fogiv does nothing to help you answer any such questions.

Instead of climbing on a soapbox and attempting to refute by proclamation, you could have engaged Fogiv as a person.  You could have taken a moment to understand that behind each of these anonymous voices here is a person who is likely to understand at some level what I have said above.  That all of us Out Here beyond the studio are capable of perceiving the complex position of you and your employer, and while not all of us are unsympathetic each one of us still wonders how our traditional news media can balance the business model they are faced with against the challenges of providing honest and unbiased content.

I don't believe Fogiv accepts the idea that you and your colleagues are knowingly and willingly plotting to spin the news to your employers' advantage.  I don't.  But we all see you and your peers and we wonder where MSNBC and FOX are going to be in one and five and ten years.  We wonder if corporate logic will dictate continued sharpening of ideological messaging and widening of divides.  We wonder how the need to maintain dwindling and/or demographically-specific audiences will change the executive motivations, the hiring practices, the programming.  We wonder whether anything resembling journalistic integrity will survive the shifting marketing requirements of the companies who pay for sets and studios and staff.  If the answer to that is "no" - and that is a possibility - then we must wonder whether that line has gotten crossed yesterday or whether it will be today.

So, Keith, you had and still have a chance to be part of that conversation.  Your ability to speak with us from inside the curious creature we are watching evolve could help us all understand where you and it are going.  Together we might even help you see that path yourself.

-best

-chris

My original comment:

I don't think you did a thing wrong. (0 / 0)
You prefaced your comment as unfounded and it was contextual.  If you were a conspiracy theorist and the group you were engaging with were tinfoiled and you were agreeing with them because your mom confirmed it at the cleaners then you all would be open to dismissal.  But you are demonstrably not that sort of person and the group is not that sort of group (though there are leaners in Left Blogistan ;~).
I know the source of that rumor as well as you, and as far as these things go it's a source you can put some amount of weight into beyond the lady-at-the-cleaners level at least.  Yes, I've never confirmed this person's employment but I've talked with him or her for several years and the person works in the media industry or is obsessively good at pretending.  Yes, the person is much more cynical intrinsically than I am, but as everyone can I am more than capable of factoring in such biases.  No, I wouldn't take that one person's word that there is any sort of Casablancian conspiracy going on at MSNBC, but yes, I can see how the motivations of a pressured top brass could trickle down to effect the tendencies of their employees (and a savvy executive team knows that and plays it.  I would).

All that I have said above is, in the end, basic journalism.  Every source is questionable (even when you have the tape) and each has to be taken in context.  Every person who performs the act of Reporting - professionally or not - is saddled with the burden of presenting with appropriate verity the information they have gathered.

For those who are doing it professionally, it is a measure or their art to do this part well.  Before making declarative statements about something you heard a few words of from an unknown source you spend a little time - say at least a solid hour - seeing what is behind that disconnected piece of data.  You correlate it with other words the person has said and the contexts he has said them in.  Then you decide whether it is sound and wise to stake the value of your word on the information, and what level of factuality to associate it with.

Keith, this is where you lost this argument.  You found your outrage and exclamation about someone else who based an opinion on a few random words... on a few random words.  If you had looked only a small bit as deeply at Fogiv as he has at his source you would have a more nuanced reaction.  I, for one, would have been fascinated to hear those thoughts from you.  But, if I may, that, sir, is your albatross.  By nature I see you as someone who leans towards snap reactions, in fact that has likely been the strength of your recent career.  You quickly voice common thoughts while others are still putting them into words.  Our media landscape has become full of such voices, however, speaking from both sides of the aisle.

Perhaps, just perhaps, we are evolving a bit beyond that, however slowly.  It just may be that there will be more attention for restrained voices in the post-"Introducing: Sarah Palin!" era.  Maybe there was an appetite that was eager for a Sarah and Glenn and Rush and Bill, and to some extent their Left-handed counterparts, but those sort of appetites are usually followed by gorging and regret.

We'll see how that all works out, but in the smallness of the events that lead me to write all these words I have to call this as your foul, Keith.  You've found yourself Pot and Kettled and it would serve you better to understand that.

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Keith | 41 comments
Ok. I'm soooo sorry I missed this. DAMN! (2.00 / 7)
fogiv is my heroe! Dude! You made Keith-O GBCW the DailyKos. This is so fucking awesome. Seriously, adrenaline is pumping (yes, I'm nerdy like that) and feeling all happy about this. PERFECT! BRAVO! Wow.

Now I want to get a fogiv tatoo. Not as in "have him sketch it". No. I want a tatoo of fogiv's mug on my HUGE biceps (just kiddin! about my biceps being HUGE that is). lol!

I read the other diary completely plus the links. I can' believe how low Dkos has gone. The response to Keith's whiny and pathetic diary was just that... pathetic. DKos has completely lost its relevance and it's kind of sad. The way Markos has handled everything reminds me of Jerome and MyDD. He took a hands off approach as well when trolls and flamewars started taking over and now the D is in ruins.

I'm to happy to type right now but I'd like to let Lil Fog know that this is one of the most beautiful moments in my bloggy blog career.

Wow! I'm so proud of you bro.

Just because they are posting on a progressive site doesn't make them progressives. - John Allen


This is the first think I've posted at KOS for a long time (2.00 / 5)
http://www.dailykos.com/story/...

The place doesn't bother me I suppose because I don't spend much time there.  Most of the folks are reasonable most of the time, but it is what it is.

(Hi spacey!)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
!!!!! (2.00 / 5)
I'm to happy to type right now but I'd like to let Lil Fog know that this is one of the most beautiful moments in my bloggy blog career.

Wow! I'm so proud of you bro.

I can think of no greater honor.  

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
My thoughts on the issue -- (2.00 / 6)
like my comment in the thread -- are considerably less profound and well-formulated. ; )

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.


On the button (2.00 / 8)
What the KO GCBW alerts us too - as have all the recent failures in Blogistan as much as mainstream media - is the premium place on grandstanding, showboating, and moral one-up-manship.

What do these elements have in common: the proclamation of high mindedness,  the calling out of enemies,  protestations of outrage or innocence...

They're all self regarding. They're all about my power over you, or your power over me. They are the antithesis of what J S Mill meant by 'progressive debate'.

They have nothing to do with dialogue.

Your message to Keith, Chris, seems to be all about dialogue, whereas Keith's message to the world had a lot to do with victimhood and witchhunting.  

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


Chris (2.00 / 5)
When I first saw your post over at Kos my first reaction was -Duck! However, it seems to be going far better than I thought it would. But it's still early :)

" In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof. "

Oh shit, you posted on big Orange too? (2.00 / 5)
LOL.

Poor fog, I bet he just wishes this'd die.  

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.


Nah, he's too stringy to die... (2.00 / 3)
:~)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
are you kiddin?!? (2.00 / 4)
no way.  as we speak, I plot.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
Flamewar lovers and meta warriors are just slobbering for that fogiv diary. (2.00 / 4)
If it's half as good as the diaries you usually write it will be epic.

You were quoted everywhere dude. Even the most mainstream accepted (for better or worse) political blog Politico.

One commenter on the Daily Kos, where Olbermann has maintained a diary over the years, speculated that the pattern of hosts generally sympathetic to the president bashing the administration was too consistent to be a coincidence.

"Can't verify, of course," the commenter began, "but a friend in the news biz tells me he got a damaging e-mail from one of his pals at NBC. Something to the effect that their anger was pre-planned because 'beating up on the president has been good for ratings.' I haven't checked, but I'm hearing that Olbermann slammed the speech on Twitter before it even started."

Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/s...

(the comments are gold for unintentional comedy especially)

This reminds me of the time Arianna linked to a diary Brit wrote on MyDD. That was pretty sweet too. But this?

Dude. You are the Leroy Jenkins of Left Blogistan.

You have no idea how much you rock.



Just because they are posting on a progressive site doesn't make them progressives. - John Allen


[ Parent ]
BTW, hundreds of people viewed your Moose profile today. (2.00 / 7)
I just thought I'd check the logs and they are almost all from the link in my DKOS diary to you.  

Don't go all Prima Donna on us, though.  I'll have to hit you with a surfboard. :~)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
jeez (2.00 / 7)
i'd have tidied up a bit if I'd know we were gonna have company over.  :)

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
To save electrons.... (2.00 / 5)
Bit of Dkos Cross posting here

Maybe it's a moment. Or maybe it's part of a larger malaise. I speak as a Brit who could blame Hitler or Roosevelt for imperial decline, but - and I'm just riffing here - you all are angry at what's happened to the US, not in the last two years, but in the last 19 years.

The discourse is all about blame. KO got angry (maybe justifiably) at Obama's speech for being 57 days too late. Others blame him for his blame. He blames them for blaming him for his blame...

There's a pattern of disaffection here which must be stopped.

Fogiv did a great job by taking the blame, and making an apology. Personally, I think your president does that pretty well too.

The politicians and commentators I like least never say sorry.



The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

We might be angry at the last 40. I'm still pissed at Nixon for pulling (2.00 / 4)
back the curtain and exposing politicians for what they are, people with all of the same hangups and shortcomings as the rest of us. And Reagan......

The politicians and commentators I like least never say sorry.

  I feel the same Brit, and I cannot readily think of a commentator who has ever apologized. Funny, I find my view of Obama enhanced through all this. A man who speaks in measured tones when others become emotional and excited. He's still the adult I voted for.  

[ Parent ]
It's funny posting a comment at KOS now, (2.00 / 5)
it feels like if you write anything substantial in a comment that after a few hours the odds of anyone ever reading it again are zero.  After writing on the Moose so long it feels almost pointless, whether more people may read it in those few hours or not.

For that reason, since I spent enough time writing it there, I'll paste it here:"

That search for civility is why the Moose (0 / 0)
was created.  The conversations take longer there but the tone is more conducive to thoughtful discourse.  Whether the environment could survive scaling to DKOS size is an open question, but it seems to me that there is room for both fiery and more considered conversations and spaces for both will be carved out as they always are.

The real nugget behind this whole diary is my on-going search for a glimpse of the elusive form of future online political discourse.  It has seemed to me for many years that the knotting of lines between all of us has enormous positive impact on the practical implementation of Open, Involved Democracy.  The current blogospheric state of the unfolding saga is a fascinating display of the latent potential, and it has schooled millions in the basic concepts involved.

Now that we have roughed in the shape of the place we begin to get into the subtleties.  

This dust-up between Fogiv (who I know very well) and a guy who works for a TV station (who I know much less well, though I have seen his face and heard his voice) is in itself interesting for all the reasons I and others have stated.  It is also interesting because it stands as a data point in the evolution curves of television news and this online forum we are creating.  For those of us who noticed it at all, the event may stand as one of those moments you recall looking back:

"Cronkite was the end of that era, CNN took us all into 7x24 and cable, FOX and MSNBC played the ideological line game for a few years fighting to sweep back the Internet tide then one of the cable anchors lost it over a blogger comment and over the next couple years...."

I think "over the next couple of years" will see more people having been involved long enough in forums like this (or the Moose or whatever comes next) and tiring of flamewars and agent provocateurs.  That the trend on the 'net will be from a sometimes ruder to a more generally civilized environment as more people move in and wear useful paths in the ground, and at the same time the trend of the legacy telemedia will continue to move in the opposite direction.

That - assuming anyone bothered to read it all - is why I find this incident particularly interesting. ;~)

(quoting yourself - is that the actual peak of narcissism?)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


So you think the trend will reverse. (2.00 / 3)
 My initial reaction would be that our national discourse has becom more hateful with each passing year. Upon further reflection I geuss the 60's with race and war as the topic was kinda rough. In the 50's there was that McCarthy thing. I geuss we always tended toward incivility when talking to each other. All our new electronic toys simply make it easier.
 Our media no longer wants hero's, it all about attacking and tearing down. The "discresion" the media used with Kennedys womanizing or Roosevelts polio is long gone. Its as if we are no longer allowed to have the illusion that our elected leaders are supermen, nor are we ready to accept them as human. I don't know if thats good or bad, but I find it troubling.
   Chris how would the Moose handle all the rancor and meaness that you find on dkos. Would you or Brit spend all your time pulling privledges, or would the sanity and civility we now experience simply be washed away?
 

[ Parent ]
I don't think it will until it has to (2.00 / 4)
or until the blogsphere and cable news channels are forced to disappear. In the end, our entire political discourse is controlled by about 5% of the population.


[ Parent ]
I think the trends are going to continue. (2.00 / 2)
Legacy media has been getting gradually more tabloid for decades, and now it has something other than itself to compete with so it's going rancid nancy.

The Intertoobs are becoming less trailer park boys over the years, not moreso.  It isn't rough now, it was rough twenty years ago.  When the entire population is geeks and enthusiasts and keyboard-loners in dark rooms you get quite a demographic.  USENET used to be a NAMBLA playground, and the Aryan Women's League occupied an inordinate amount of the horizon.

We're still not a representative sample of the population, but at least not all of us are defensibly (and often correctly) suspected of owning survival gear or Star Trek memorabilia or both.

There are all sorts of civilized places on the Intertoobs these days.  Parks and malls where you don't even notice the rebar behind the landscaping.  Heck, we even have rules and recs for arguing.

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
daily caller: (2.00 / 6)

And so, in response to a mild comment in which speculation was clearly labeled as such, Olbermann quit the Daily Kos, where he's been blogging for years.

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/06...

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


Run, my little pretties! (2.00 / 5)
:~)

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."

[ Parent ]
I have not yet (and don't have any plans to) read Keith's GBCW (2.00 / 4)
masterpiece.  Although someone posted part of this quote

"I used to read a lot about how people here would 'always have my back' and trust me this was of palpable value as I fought opponents external and internal who try to knock me and Rachel off the air, ...

Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2010/06...

when the doody first hit the fan the first part about how people would "always have my back" was not included.  So folks at Daily Kos are supposed to simply accept Keith's word/opinion because he's Keith?  Seriously?  That's a load of horse dung.  He's allowed to criticize the president who also fights "opponents external and internal" but no one is allowed to criticize him?  Screw him and his enormous self-aggrandizing ego.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
BTW, it seems Keith would be most unhappy to discover (2.00 / 5)
that more folks disagree with him on his response in general than agree with him.  He's coming out of this looking like a giant jerk.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
I got the impression from some at kos that his presence implied importance. (2.00 / 6)
Personaly it seems a lot of people have the need to take themselves too seriously.

[ Parent ]
I am trying to decide (2.00 / 6)
if this is the understatement of the year. I'll get back to you ;)

" In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof. "

[ Parent ]
definitely in the medal round. (2.00 / 2)


Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
"A man on TV knows we exist!" (2.00 / 6)
That makes us the most important people on earth!  

[ Parent ]
oh noes (2.00 / 5)
Countdown with Keith Olbermann, June 26, 2009:

That's next, but first time for COUNTDOWN's number two story, tonight's worst persons in the world.

The bronze to Missouri State Representative Cynthia Davis.  You know, the chairperson of that House's Children and Families Subcommittee, who was opposed to free meals for under-privileged school kids over the summer because she thinks hunger can be a positive motivator and that government is interfering with family meal time by offering free meals to families who can't afford to feed their own kids.

When Representative Davis stuck to her guns Wednesday and suggested nobody had the right to criticize her, the state House Democratic leader, Paul Levota (ph), wrote to its speaker, suggesting Davis's views on child hunger were, quote, Dickensian, and that she should be removed from the committee chair.  It was also a spectacular post-script provided by a reader of the "Kansas City Star" website - can't verify this - posted by somebody identified only as embarrassed in, quote, "Cynthia forgets how she takes multiple plates of food from committee and lobbyist dinners to feed her hungry children when she is in Jefferson City.  She has been observed at receptions wrapping and stuffing food in her over-sized hand bag.  Maybe that's what other hungry children should have, their poor working parents do, just steal food to bring home to them," unquote.

Check, Please.

Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


Well ooops (2.00 / 4)
Nice find.

" In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof. "

[ Parent ]
I feel a diary coming on (2.00 / 4)


The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]
Fog will have to use another title lest he be called (2.00 / 4)
a plagiarizer.  I suggest "check mate."

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette

[ Parent ]
Or, when it comes to millionaire journalists.. (2.00 / 1)
Sign the check

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'

[ Parent ]
Ooo, that's gonna leave a mark. (2.00 / 2)

Anything to drink with that?

John Askren - "Never get into a pissing match with a skunk."


[ Parent ]
Well that lasted (2.00 / 6)
all of five minutes

So, uh, this looks like a nice site

http://www.dailykos.com/story/...

" In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof. "


for cryin' out loud. (2.00 / 7)


Earth is the best vacation place for advanced clowns. --Gary Busey
 


[ Parent ]
I liked his last line though.... (2.00 / 4)
OK, enough. I assume I'm on some sort of probation, so I'll have to stop writing all those fake I-Hate-Olbermann diaries under aliases to drum up sympathy.

Was this your government job, little Fog, to turn KO into some kind of national monument of self irony?

The p***artist formerly known as 'Brit'


[ Parent ]
Those people are pretty happy. Could be a new religion. n/t (2.00 / 6)


[ Parent ]
Oh goody Keith is back (2.00 / 7)
We actually do matter.

And after reading the diary I had a bad case on motion sickness from the spinning.

" In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof. "


[ Parent ]
Oh, for Pete's sake. (2.00 / 6)
Here's another conspiracy theory for Keith.  How about he realized he looked like a giant asshole, his ratings hit the tank and he decided he'd better make nice with the folks who actually do watch his show (and blog about it)?

Whatever.

BTW, for non-celebrity types GBCWing is a bannable offense at the GOS.  I guess Keith's counts as a TTFN 'cause he's, you know, special.

"When Fascism comes to America, it will come wrapped in teh stupid and waving a gun" ~ Esteev on Wonkette


[ Parent ]
All this mess has made me see why I really got in to blogging during the Elections. (2.00 / 6)
If I had wandered on to Kos before that I would feel what I feel now. Nausea.

I've been trying to get a better feel of the place since "K.O. vs. Lil Fog. I came to a conclusion on how the dynamics breakdown.

Basically...

blackwaterdog (Obama) vs. slinkerwink (Not Obama)

Whine. Whine. Whine.

The diaries are not that bad. The comments? It's the same thread over and over and over again. I like my meta. I can get in to it a bit. But this? This is crazy. All they do is talk about themselves.

I actually wrote a very positive diary on Daily Kos once. It's fucking embarassing now. I can't read most of the comments without rolling my eyes. The meta wars are just lame. I can't believe people would exert so much energy and time arguing over the internet. If you're going to argue. Debate! My candidate is better than yours (see primary wars). Think. But fighting over nothing?

On a positive not. I've been checking out Black Kos where Denise Velez blogs.She is pretty high profile over there and not seeing her in ANY of the trainwrecks is exactly the reason I love her. So yeah. Check out Black Kos. Ignore the rest (pootie diaries are always nice too).

Just because they are posting on a progressive site doesn't make them progressives. - John Allen


Black Kos is without question (2.00 / 6)
one of the best regular features on dKos. If I had my wits about me, I would never miss it -- but I tend to forget what day it's on (Tuesday?). Don't check dKos religiously anymore.  But it's definitely a reason to keep visiting Big Orange, even with most of the site having gone totally bonkers.

Come to me in my dreams, and then
By day I shall be well again!
For so the night will more than pay
The hopeless longing of the day.


[ Parent ]
I have (2.00 / 2)
about as much patience for K.O. as I do for Huffington...that is to say, zero.  Maddow too.  A bunch of shrill, whining, babies.  I have no use for any of them.

Howard Dean is my guy. (in a strictly nonsexual fashion)

Keith | 41 comments
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