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March 13, 2008



I've never considered Olberman a traditional journalist. He is and has always been a commentator/editorializer. I haven't seen this particular commentary, and really I don't care to, but you can hardly be surprised that he would push his agenda as it pertains to personalities, not just to issues. He's certainly already done that with respect to attacking Bush.

My only problem with Ferarro's initial comment is that they are pretty clearly and demonstrably false. All this politically correct BS is exactly that. If it was a true statement than there's nothing wrong with saying it, and furthermore it's OK that she said it if she believes it. I really wish more of the coverage focussed on the simple fact that she is wrong.

On the other hand, her second set of comments, accusing Obama's campaign of ("reverse") racism, were absurd and over the top. If her first comments established her as ill-informed or ill-considered, the second set of comments established her as hotheaded, illogical, and somewhat offensive.

For the record, I thought the way both campaigns handled this was more or less correct. Simply saying "we disagree" was exactly the right response from Clinton, and Obama's campaign called the comments divisive without actually accusing her of racism.


I'm pretty sure we can create a Mad Libs template to handle these stories.

1) (Person) (supporting/volunteering for) the (Clinton/McCain/Obama) campagin says (really stupid thing).

2) (Campaign) quickly distances themselves from the remark.

3) (Opposing campaign) calls for (resignation/firing/more severe repudiation)

4) Media puffs it up into a big story to feed the beast for a day or two.

5) (Person) (resigns/is fired/publicly distances themselves from) (campaign)

6) (Campaign) re-spins the event as an over-the-top "gotcha" attack from (opposing campaign).

I think I just summed up about 6 stories.

D. Cupples


There's a huge distinction between Olbermann's handling of Bush and his handling of Obama/Clinton.

When Olb went after Bush, he was focusing on substantive issues (e.g., FISA, Libby, War rhetoric) -- issues which did involve some facts/errors and rights/wrongs.

Political campaigns (like Clinton/Obama), involve a lot more spin and opinion than facts/errors or rights/wrongs.

Yes Olbermann always editorialized when going after Bush, but he did it mostly using facts. Olbermann has not been largely basing his attacks on Clinton (or praise for Obama) on facts. He's been de-constructing, spinning, and omitting.


Olbermann lost my respect, and the respect of many of my friends, when he gave that sad commentary. He will no longer be viewed in this household.

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