Sunday, April 1, 2012

David Carr abandons journalistic objectivity in latest Keith Olbermann article.

David Carr of THE NEW YORK TIMES, is a good writer/reporter--and a good Company Man too.

Here's his latest piece on the Keith Olbermann firing, which comes down squarely on the side of the Al Gore-fronted Current TV channel:

Key passage from the article:
"No, the mistake that the executives at Current made was to think that by giving Mr. Olbermann a stake in the enterprise and a title of chief news officer, he would forgo the drama that has characterized his stints at CNN, Fox, ESPN and MSNBC. After all, you can’t rail against the Man when you are the Man.

But Mr. Olbermann is talent, and a big baby to boot — any reporter who has covered him could tell you all about that — so the idea that he would default to the good of the many over the needs of the one is just not in his nature. The title was used as leverage, nothing more, when Mr. Olbermann became dissatisfied and starting communicating with his employers through lawyer letters months ago. Mr. Olbermann is a ferocious fan of team sports, but that’s not how he plays the game."

Having said the above, Carr does own up to the problems of the Current channel (i.e. attempting to compete with left-to-center MSNBC with supercheap programming--now including amateur-video-level commercials for national-brand products).

But to me, it seems like the major problem is that--like Olbermann or not--Current hired him and promised him autonomy in terms of how the channel's news/political programming would evolve.  Then, Al Gore, Joel Hyatt and David Bohrman (currently having himself spun as a genius in the media for selling Current on simulcasting radio shows of Bill Press and Stephanie Miller--plus arranging the MSNBC TV simulcast of Don Imus, who, for reasons not to be mentioned here, was terminated from the network) apparently said, "No Keith, we have the autonomy, you don't."

In short, the Olbermann/Current situation is probably a bit more complex--with pluses and minuses on both sides--than you'll read in most media coverage.

And perhaps Olbermann now feels like a participant in THE HUNGER GAMES, where he's expected to play a game by agreed-upon rules, only to find management changes the rules to suit them and not their $10 million-a-year star player..

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