Two of the most high-profile media writers were thinking the same thing over the weekend. The AP’s David Bauder and Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz each write today about the vast difference between MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann and some of FNC’s programs.
Bauder looks at “polar opposites” Olbermann and Bill O’Reilly. “The two men survey the McCain-Obama competition from opposite mountaintops, as kings of cable’s opinion class. They’re the beneficiaries of an increased desire by news viewers to follow stories through their own ideological filters,” writes Bauder.
“Flipping back and forth between Olbermann and O’Reilly would be enough to give most viewers whiplash,” Bauder writes.
Kurtz presents Sean Hannity as the Olbermann foil, something Sen. Barack Obama did as well. “Obama recently questioned whether voters are “seeing two different realities, a Sean Hannity reality and a Keith Olbermann reality,’” writes Kurtz.
Olbermann tells Kurtz, “There is no Sean Hannity reality.” While FNC SVP Bill Shine tells Kurtz, “We try very, very hard to keep it fair and keep it balanced. [Hannity] is balanced out every night by Alan [Colmes] and by other guests.”
Of the post-interview handling, Kurtz writes:
After National Review Editor Rich Lowry complained that the quote had obviously been wrenched out of context, CNN did…not much. “We did not re-air that portion of the interview once this was brought to our attention,” spokeswoman Christa Robinson said. The network gave a statement to the magazine but said nothing publicly. Finally, on Thursday, Griffin told viewers: “I botched it. I misquoted York.” He said he told York and Lowry “that I regret any harm this may have brought.” Lowry says the belated apology was welcome.
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