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Posts Tagged ‘Keith Olbermann’

Eliot Spitzer on CNN’s Identity Crisis: ‘There’s No Objectivity in Network News’

1003_mockup.gifIt was the usual Wednesday mix of moguls (Jon Tisch), media men (Richard Beckman, Mike Perlis) and television honchos (Henry Schleiff) today at Michael’s. With this Type A crowd, summer vacations are for slackers — at least until August. From the looks of things, there were plenty of deals being done (or at least pitched) between bites.

I was joined today by Eliot Spitzer and Lisa Linden. The last time the three of us had lunch, New York’s former governor was headlining his own show on CNN, In The Arena, which replaced the short-lived Parker Spitzer which he launched with co-host Kathleen Parker in 2010. About a year ago, CNN boss Ken Jautz cancelled In The Arena in a shakeup of the network’s primetime lineup. “I’m very happy with the show we did and the ratings we got, which were good to compared to what they’re getting now,” Eliot told me.  Not surprisingly, he says he prefers and is better suited for Current TV’s politically charged environment. “Current has an ideology. There’s no pretense; we’re open about it. CNN tries very hard to position itself as an non-ideological news network, but there’s no objectivity in network news. It would be better for all of us if we just accepted that.” Therein lies the major issue with his former employer’s rating woes, says Eliot: ”CNN has a serious question of what it is and they’ve got to answer that.”

Having stepped in seemingly hours after Keith Olbermann was booted from Current TV, Eliot took to the airwaves with the aptly titled Viewpoint in Olbermann’s old time slot with no promotional campaign or PR machine to attract viewers (although Olbermann’s own campaign to get his side of the story out gave the fledgling network plenty of attention). But the show does have co-founder Al Gore‘s support (he’s been a guest on Viewpoint) and Eliot says Joel Hyatt is very involved in the “day-to-day” running of the network. “They have been great. I’ve known Al since 1999 and I like him very much. He’s a great guy.” (BTW you can see what Joel had to say about all those supposed dust-ups with Olbermann in this Mediabistro interview.)

Eliot Spitzer and Diane Clehane
Eliot Spitzer and Diane Clehane

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Keith Olbermann Is Out at Current TV

Current TV publicly parted ways with its cantankerous star Keith Olbermann today. Current founders Al Gore and Joel Hyatt broke the news in an open letter on Current’s blog.

We created Current to give voice to those Americans who refuse to rely on corporate-controlled media and are seeking an authentic progressive outlet.  We are more committed to those goals today than ever before.

Current was also founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it.

We are moving ahead by honoring Current’s values. Current has a fundamental obligation to deliver news programming with a progressive perspective that our viewers can count on being available daily — especially now, during the presidential election campaign. Current exists because our audience desires the kind of perspective, insight and commentary that is not easily found elsewhere in this time of big media consolidation.

Olbermann has yet to respond to the news. He did, however, promise a Twitter statement in the near future.

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Feeling The Loss | Good Story | Bird Man

Thursday’s Mediabistro Must-Reads

  • TVNewser: Keith Olbermann suspends his “Worst Person” segment in response to the Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke controversy.
  • GalleyCat: It’s National Proofreading Day! Celebrate by checking your grammar online.
  • eBookNewser: The Justice Department is investigating eBook publishers for possible price-fixing.
  • FishbowlNY: There’s plenty of corporate ladder-climbing going on at Vanity Fair.

Daily Beast Columnist: Let’s Not Forget These Other Misogynistic Media Men

From the outset of the Rush Limbaugh controversy, more than a few members of the public have tweeted about what they perceive to be an egregious double standard. While the conservative talk show host is going down in flames, equally culpable folks perched at the other end of the TV-radio spectrum like Bill Maher get less overall flack. (Maher appears to have learned a thing or two from his Politically Incorrect ABC days by moving to a network with no advertisers.)

Over the weekend, Daily Beast columnist (and Fox News analyst) Kirsten Powers (pictured) picked up this strand with a vengeance. Starting with a rip-roaring first two paragraphs:

Did you know there is a war on women?

Yes, it’s true. Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann, Bill Maher, Matt Taibbi and Ed Schultz have been waging it for years with their misogynist outbursts. There have been boycotts by people on the left who are outraged that these guys still have jobs. Oh, wait. Sorry, that never happened.

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Olbermann Skewers Media Coverage of His Clash With Current TV

Keith Olbermann is butting heads with his bosses again, this time at Current TV. The issue at heart is his coverage – or lack thereof – of Tuesday’s Republican primaries, and the clash has been widely reported by media outlets, some of which may want to invest in fact checkers. After reading the Huffington Post’s take, Olbermann tweeted a few corrections:



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Casting the ESPN Movie

Jim Miller, co-author of the fascinating ESPN expose Those Guys Have All the Fun, was back on “The Dan Patrick Show” this morning to promote the December 1 paperpack release. The new edition includes an addendum chat with Keith Olbermann, who according to Miller feels the contents are entirely factual but still wanted the opportunity to respond.

Miller said there is no script yet at 20th Century Fox, but that he feels like the project is in good hands because it is being shepherded by producers who worked on The Social Network (the sound-alike The Sports Network seems an obvious title fit). When Patrick suggested that he would like to be played by Jason Bateman, the author noted that the actor is a friend of Olbermann’s, which seemed to put a slight damper on the Dan man.

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Current TV Makes Good on Third Show Promise

A few weeks ago, when Current TV chairman Al Gore welcomed Cenk Uygur to the ranks, he promised that the San Francisco based network would soon be announcing a third show to go along with The Young Turks and Keith Olbermann. This week, he revealed the latest piece of his dynamically evolving 2011 prime time puzzle to be The War Room with Jennifer Granholm.

Granholm (pictured) was the first woman to hold the office of governor in the state of Michigan. The two-term ex-politician joins a progressive network that not only espouses a lot of the same views as Michael Moore, but sometimes also welcomes him as a guest. That trend will surely continue on War Room. Per Tuesday’s release:

Granholm, a regular contributor to NBC’s Meet the Press, recently co-authored a new book, A Governor’s Story: The Fight for Jobs and America’s Economic Future, with her husband and leadership consultant, Daniel G. Mulhern.

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Matt Taibbi on the Media’s Coverage of ‘Occupy Wall Street’

Matt Taibbi was on with Keith Olbermann recently to discuss the “Occupy Wall Street” protests, that, as of this weekend, have now officially spread to LA City Hall. Taibbi covered the Tea Party extensively during its early formative protests and says the media attention to this movement pales in comparison to what he saw back in 2008. He also notes, however, that some Tea Party members have been joining the Wall Street protests in solidarity.

The Young Turks Headed to Current TV

You could sort of see this one coming.

In an interview with AP TV writer Frazier Moore, Current TV chairman Al Gore revealed that LA based Internet smash The Young Turks has pacted with the San Francisco network to hit the airwaves by year’s end as Keith Olbermann‘s lead-in. It’s a perfect place for hosts Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian to expand their already impressive Internet reach, following the former’s brief and controversial expanded role with MSNBC:

Gore called himself “a big fan” of Uygur’s MSNBC show, saying, “He demonstrated that his phenomenal success on the Web translates easily and well into the television format.”

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