Quotes of the day

posted at 10:31 pm on November 15, 2010 by Allahpundit

“We live now in a cable news universe that celebrates the opinions of Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly – individuals who hold up the twin pillars of political partisanship and who are encouraged to do so by their parent organizations because their brand of analysis and commentary is highly profitable.

“The commercial success of both Fox News and MSNBC is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me. While I can appreciate the financial logic of drowning television viewers in a flood of opinions designed to confirm their own biases, the trend is not good for the republic. It is, though, the natural outcome of a growing sense of national entitlement. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s oft-quoted observation that ‘everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not his own facts,’ seems almost quaint in an environment that flaunts opinions as though they were facts.

“And so, among the many benefits we have come to believe the founding fathers intended for us, the latest is news we can choose. Beginning, perhaps, from the reasonable perspective that absolute objectivity is unattainable, Fox News and MSNBC no longer even attempt it. They show us the world not as it is, but as partisans (and loyal viewers) at either end of the political spectrum would like it to be. This is to journalism what Bernie Madoff was to investment: He told his customers what they wanted to hear, and by the time they learned the truth, their money was gone.”

***
“He thinks there really was a time when the networks ‘considered the collection and dissemination of substantive and unbiased news to be a public trust.’ Is that like the years when the late Peter Jennings, his colleague he cites as one who earned the public trust, demonstrated hostility to Israel and a pro-Palestinian point of view that was apparent to most anyone who watched his broadcasts? The same Jennings whose prime-time ABC special on the dropping of the A-bomb on Hiroshima endorsed entirely and uncritically Gar Alperovitz’s discredited thesis that the U.S. dropped the bomb only to pressure the Soviets, and that its use was completely unnecessary?…

“It was true that back then, the networks tried to pretend to be non-partisan and objective. They forbade their employees, for example, to attend anti-war marches even if they were completely partisan and on the movement’s side. An old friend of mine was a top producer in those years for 60 Minutes, and she recently told me of her conversations with the president of CBS News in which she argued with him that the entire news division should be allowed to protest the war and attend rallies if they wished. He turned her down, but her partisanship — and that of her colleagues — was apparent, and readily visible in the stories they put on the air.”

***
“Koppel is correct when he cites the success of 60 Minutes as a news-business turning point, one that proved a news-division program could make entertainment-division-size profits. But to say, as Koppel does, that because of 60 Minutes, ‘a light went on, and the news divisions of all three networks came to be seen as profit centers, with all the expectations that entailed’ is beyond stupid. It’s bad reporting.

“If Koppel is so keen on criticizing the sensationalizers and popularizers of TV news who are bent on turning profits, won’t he please look in the mirror? In 1979, when American hostages were taken in Tehran, ABC News capitalized on being the only one of the big-three networks with a presence in the country to start nightly special broadcasts titled The Crisis in Iran: America Held Hostage. That Koppel-anchored show morphed into the profitable Nightline franchise. I can’t take a wrecking ball to everything Koppel has done in his life. He obviously did some good work with Nightline. But the ambulance-chasing and audience-pandering contained in that show set the template for the coverage of O.J. Simpson, Natalee Holloway, Anna Nicole Smith, Laci Peterson, Elizabeth Smart, the Balloon Boy, and others.”

***


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Comment pages: 1 2

It is exactly the lurch toward socialist programming that created the market for Fox News to fill.

csdeven on November 16, 2010 at 7:09 AM

I think you have to go more than a week without a “Worst Person in the Worrrrrld” segment before you can pretend you’re a journalist.

Ronnie on November 16, 2010 at 7:22 AM

“The commercial success of both Fox News and MSNBC is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me.

MSNBC isn’t a commercial success…..it’s a rating loser has been for a long time so Koppel is talking out of his butt.

Dr Evil on November 16, 2010 at 7:24 AM

These people are still living in a time warp.

It is the internet baby.

percysunshine on November 16, 2010 at 7:28 AM

The commercial success of both Fox News and MSNBC is a source of nonpartisan sadness for me.

I had to check to see who was weeping bloody nonpartisan tears, to see who this clueless but quotable individual is. Ted Koppel.

So which one makes you sadder, Ted – Fox or PMSNBC?

disa on November 16, 2010 at 7:34 AM

LOL! I remember the 3 big news channels & that was the ONLY place you could get your news, other than the papers & word of mouth.
Now that the cat’s outta the bag, they’re just sore they aren’t worshipped any more as the harbringers of all information (cherry picked, of course).
I don’t even watch the news at ALL anymore, except local sometimes.
I get everything from the net & sift through it myself & make my OWN decision about what I think is going on.
It’s amazing how much the mood of the country has changed with the advent of the net.
Old people though are still getting their news from the TV, National Enq, & People & Star.
Come on oldsters. Advance into the 21st.

Badger40 on November 16, 2010 at 7:57 AM

Olbermann is near career death because he’s now just boring. Oh, yes, I can imagine he sees himself as a World War 2 reporter broadcasting over the radio from rooftops as bombs explode around him! How exciting! Everyone else sees him as having been shot by his own troops for cowering under the bed.

Marcus on November 16, 2010 at 7:58 AM

Here is an idea for a highly informative Hot Air poll question. What percent of readers actually click and watch a video of Olbermann when it is made avaliable in a Hot Air post?

Spider79 on November 16, 2010 at 8:00 AM

BTW-was channel surfing & 60 min came up this last week (Sun?) & I watched for a few moments about the gas & oil exploration.
They were vilifying it, of course.
Libs here in ND are doing the same. Scare stories on bad traffic, so many out of sters moving in & causing a ruckus, & contaminated wells & wells going dry.
A few things have happened here in ND, but our state is well on top of things when it comes to inspecting & such.
60 min b!t@h kept harping on how drilling fluids are poison & will contaminate water supplies.
Ummm… honey.. not at 2 miles down.
Bt that meant nothing to her. She just went & talked to a know nothing from the Sierra Club.
PA folks-expect the libs to try & stop drilling in the Marcellus.

Badger40 on November 16, 2010 at 8:01 AM

Mark me down for never.

Spider79 on November 16, 2010 at 8:01 AM

What percent of readers actually click and watch a video of Olbermann when it is made avaliable in a Hot Air post?

Spider79 on November 16, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Not on purpose.

Badger40 on November 16, 2010 at 8:01 AM

Here is an idea for a highly informative Hot Air poll question. What percent of readers actually click and watch a video of Olbermann when it is made avaliable in a Hot Air post?

Spider79 on November 16, 2010 at 8:00 AM

I fail to click at least 9/10 times. Maybe even more than that.

ted c on November 16, 2010 at 8:02 AM

Old people though are still getting their news from the TV, National Enq, & People & Star.
Come on oldsters. Advance into the 21st.

Badger40 on November 16, 2010 at 7:57 AM

I’m not so sure the last elections prove your point. Anyway from personal experience my 80 plus year old parents email me what I call “outrageous Obama links on the web” so often I had to email back “alright already!”

Marcus on November 16, 2010 at 8:02 AM

Yes, some commentators are indeed guilty of mistaking their opinions for facts. Beck, as the most recent controversy of his coverage of George Soros has made clear, is most guilty of this charge.

How has Glenn Beck distorted the facts about Soros?

Disturb the Universe on November 16, 2010 at 8:02 AM

I fail to click succeed in not clicking at least 9/10 times. Maybe even more than that.

ted c on November 16, 2010 at 8:02 AM

It’s not a failure, ted.

Disturb the Universe on November 16, 2010 at 8:04 AM

Here is an idea for a highly informative Hot Air poll question. What percent of readers actually click and watch a video of Olbermann when it is made avaliable in a Hot Air post?

Spider79 on November 16, 2010 at 8:00 AM

Pre Jon Stewart, most of the time. Post, probably never. He now thinks he’s serious. And I miss the SIGH!!!!!!s and yelling. It’s obvious from here on out, ’till he cracks, it’s going to be as boring as a physics lecture.

Marcus on November 16, 2010 at 8:07 AM

Good grief.

Before radio and television, people got ALL their news from HIGHLY partisan newspapers. There was no such thing as an objective paper. Even small towns often had more than one paper published by owners who had clear points of view. In New York, the Communists had their own paper. William Randolph Hearst got the U.S. into a war through his newspaper.

In the town where I grew up in the 1960s, there was a morning paper and an evening paper. We read the evening paper because it was more conservative. One of my earliest memories is of my dad complaining about how biased the Huntley-Brinkley Report on NBC News was. He thought the media pretty much elected JFK in 1960, because they hated Nixon for his anti-communist activities in the 1950s.

My dad also maintained that much of the American media knew the Holocaust was going on in Europe but covered it up at the request of FDR. He had relatives who died in Poland.

There’s a long, long history of media bias in this country and of the media cozying up to the White House when it is occupied by someone they like. I am thankful every day for Fox News and the conservative blogosphere.

rockmom on November 16, 2010 at 8:31 AM

It seems like there’s a “don’t ask, don’t tell” system of commentary at NBC news. You can be a commentator, but just pretend you are an objective journalist. If they would just admit it, no one would care. The sham, however, is embarrassing.

flyoverland on November 16, 2010 at 8:36 AM

And so, among the many benefits we have come to believe the founding fathers intended for us, the latest is news we can choose.

Quite late to the party here. But any notion that our Founding Fathers (capitalize, please) wanted, or even operated in, an objective media (well, medium, solely print in those day) environment is not in keeping with the highly partisan newspapers of the day.

Nothing wrong with being a partisan news organization. Just show your colors.

rbj on November 16, 2010 at 8:45 AM

Olbermann finally pushes MSNBC over the edge and they REALLY FIRE HIM in 5……4…..3…..

PappyD61 on November 16, 2010 at 8:53 AM

So, his point is that he’s just a less subtle hack than his predecessors…?

morganfrost on November 16, 2010 at 9:00 AM

What percent of readers actually click and watch a video of Olbermann when it is made avaliable in a Hot Air post?

Put me down as a “No”. There’s no difference between watching Olbermann and touring the local sewage treatment plant.

Oh, wait!

What goes on at the sewage treatment plant is a useful function that benefits society. I don’t think you could make that claim for Olbermann, although both of them are dealing in fecal matter.

oldleprechaun on November 16, 2010 at 9:22 AM

Nightline was so over the top, Saturday Night Live used to make fun of it.

MNHawk on November 16, 2010 at 9:27 AM

The commercial success of both Fox News and MSNBC

I guess “commercial success” has a very wide range.

mankai on November 16, 2010 at 9:32 AM

The media has a long history of being partisan. It’s not a brand new thing. The only difference was that in the late 1800s and early 1900s, journalism tried to enforce standards of objectivity. But by the Watergate era, those standards were mostly being ignored.

Really, journalistic objectivity was a short-lived experiment that revealed how hard it is for people to separate their beliefs from their actions and words.

hawksruleva on November 16, 2010 at 10:39 AM

I guess “commercial success” has a very wide range.

mankai on November 16, 2010 at 9:32 AM

Agreed. I love it when people try to equate the cable networks. In reality, there’s Fox, then there are two smaller, similarly-sized cable networks.

Why do more people watch Fox? Isn’t that a question any news business would want to answer?

hawksruleva on November 16, 2010 at 10:40 AM

Mr. Koppel fails to mention the networks’ abdication of impartiality in political coverage. Need we mention Rathergate; the non-coverage of the John Edwards story; and the disgraceful treatment of Hilary Clinton during the primaries when it became apparent that Obama’s candidacy was the better story?

Owen Glendower on November 16, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Here is an idea for a highly informative Hot Air poll question. What percent of readers actually click and watch a video of Olbermann when it is made avaliable in a Hot Air post?

Spider79 on November 16, 2010 at 8:00 AM

I never watch it 100% of the time.

jarhead0311 on November 16, 2010 at 7:29 PM

Seriously, why keep giving this guy airtime?

It’s a waste.

Theophile on November 17, 2010 at 12:22 AM

Comment pages: 1 2