Devolution

NBC’s Tom Brokaw is sounding more and more like a cautious milquetoast place-holder with an excessively deferential, go-along attitude. Good old avuncular, seen-it-all Tom, nostalgic sentimentalist and author of “The Greatest Generation.” But where is the honor in lobbying to put a lid on two respected MSNBC colleagues (Keith Olbermann, Chris Matthews) who have a passion for cutting through the bull, and in accomodating the disreputable liars and smoke-blowers in the McCain campaign?
Two days ago Brokaw (a) reportedly cited false disparaging poll data about Barack Obama, (b) recently conducted some shuttle diplomacy between NBC and the McCain campaign, seeking to assure the candidate’s aides that — despite some negative on-air commentary by Keith Olbermann in particular — McCain could still get a fair shake from NBC News,” and (c) “advocated” last summer within NBC News to modify the anchor duties of Olbermann and Matthews on election night and presidential debate nights.

16 thoughts on “Devolution

  1. dinther on said:

    really, is this even news? NBC’s news division long ago jumped the shark. The “today show,” which years ago used to conduct serious, substantive interviews, is now little more than the morning version of Access Hollywood. A completely vapid network, competing for the affections of dullwitted Fox viewers.
    Not a relevant news organization.

  2. MSNBC is a network that looked at the success of Fox News and made some smart business decisions. That isn’t a compliment. Olbermann and Matthews are buffoons, and the only difference between them and the clowns at Fox is that they happen to be on the right side of this campaign divide. You can be right and still a complete d-bag.
    But the Brokaw polling blunder on Sunday was just bizarre. The way he abruptly inserted that polling data at the end of the segment, right after Axelrod made his argument was inappropriate and inexplicable. I lost a little respect for Brokaw that morning and even more today upon learning that the data was stale.

  3. Since when does calling people/politicians on their bullshit make you a “buffoon”? I consider anyone who does that a national hero. It’s about time some political commentators (both Olbermann and Matthews are that and nothing more) stop gulping down the kool-aid and call a spade a spade… whether it be Democrat or Republican.
    We’re heading toward (actually are almost there) a state of martial law. Even Jim Lehrer said “during your reign” during the debate.
    A real question to ask these guys is: What you leave the Patriot Act as-is, modify it to reflect more on the constitution, or do away with it all-together?

  4. “Olbermann and Matthews are buffoons, and the only difference between them and the clowns at Fox is that they happen to be on the right side of this campaign divide.”
    That and they are more factually correct in their witticisms.
    Thing is, if Obama wins, there’s gonna be a lot coming out of Olbermann’s mouth that will not be flattering. Unlike the folks at Faux News, calling even a friendly administration on its BS is expected and respected.

  5. “That and they are more factually correct in their witticisms.”
    Absolutely. No argument there. They still annoy the hell out of me. I get ten times more nourishment watching the newshour with Jim Lehrer and mostly avoiding ALL the cable news channels. I’m telling you, the newshour, some BBC and some wisely chosen internet is all you need.

  6. Tim Russert would have handled the situation the same as Brokaw – Olbermann would not have lasted the full week at the anchor desk during the Democratic Convention with Russert around. Matthews and Olbermann were both high school cheerleaders competing to band the quarterback during Convention week…it was tough to watch. And – I would not call Brokaw anything resembling milquetoast – he is as tough as they come – and a lberal-leaner from a red state too.

  7. Can we please stop fellating Tim Russert already? He more than acquiesced to Bush & Co. up until Katrina, and his bias was exposed during the Plame investigation. He was hardly the salt of the earth, either, unless it’s “folksy” to get your son his own radio show at NBC before he’s even 20. On the Cronkite scale, Russert’s balls didn’t even match up to Dan Rather’s.
    And will someone please buy Brokaw an inhaler? He sounds so bronchial, I always expect him to cough up a glob of phlegm on the air.

  8. Brokaw’s afraid GE will have it in for him the way Viacom did for Rather. Plus, GE is hoping that it’ll get its share of that $700 billion.
    Craptastic: “It’s about time some political commentators (both Olbermann and Matthews are that and nothing more) stop gulping down the kool-aid and call a spade a spade…”
    So when are you going to do the same for Bush?

  9. I wouldn’t be so sure, deathtongue groopie. Olbermann hasn’t exactly been the harshest critic of pelosi and Reid. In fact, he’s been damn near silent.

  10. Deathtongue
    “Thing is, if Obama wins, there’s gonna be a lot coming out of Olbermann’s mouth that will not be flattering.”
    Yes, for EXACTLY three years… then it’ll be campaign time, and Obama will magically turn back into solid gold.
    Mathews still has the semblance of a journalist in there somewhere, but Olberman is just Bizarro Hannity.

  11. “Brokaw’s afraid GE will have it in for him the way Viacom did for Rather. ”
    Brokaw was already retired when he came back, and if you turn off the cartoons and watch him you can tell that he would like to still be retired. He is merely trying to preserve his friends legacy since Meet the Press would fold if any of the other lightweights NBC has on the payroll were to take it over.
    Brokaw is currently the heavyweight in the broadcast news industry. It is a shame but no one else is left. I like Olberman and agree with him politically but his program is a sideshow. Notice how Republicans feel they can get better treatment being interviewed by the Daily Show than Olberman. Having his commentary pass for news only gives the right another excuse to duck the press when what the country needs is to get McCain and Palin in front of the camera answering questions as much as possible.

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