That sound you hear is Fox News pundit Bill O’Reilly crying. GE has re-signed their most popular news personality Keith Olbermann to a new contract. In fact, not only will Keith Olbermann continue his job as the only journalist in American currently taking Pres. Bush to task for his continual incompetent leadership, but now Olbermann will also be a regular contributor to the NBC Nightly News.
Over the past year ratings for Keith Olbermann’s MSNBC show Countdown have risen a spectacular 85%. By contrast, ultra-right wing O’Reilly has lost 3% of his viewership over that time. Olbermann’s show has been airing for several years, but it has really only been since the anniversary of 911 and Olbermann’s scathing indictment of Pres. Bush’s use of the politics of fear that his show has received recognition, outrage and ratings increase.
In a country that has witnessed a near-total collapse of journalistic integrity in the last six years; a country in which not one single mainstream journalist stepped up to challenge the evidence that Pres. Bush was using to trump up support for a war he desperately wanted-evidence that even then was flimsy to anyone who cared to investigate it-Keith Olbermann’s outrage is a welcome relief. Accused of being at the head of the Great Liberal Media Myth, it is certainly ironic that in a business supposedly hell-bent on turning American into a socialist dictatorship-despite that business being owned by some of the richest capitalists in the world-Keith Olbermann is the only mainstream media player on television who has faced the camera directly and called the President of the United States a liar.
While his peers and contemporaries like little Katie Couric and mushmouth Wolf Blitzer stumble over themselves to facilitate the lies and mistruths spoken whenever they interview the President or Vice President, Keith Olbermann does not truck with the official lines spewed out to keep dissent a vague memory. Instead of backing down when the White House says that daring to criticize their war is unpatriotic and hurts the US troops, Keith Olbermann does what great journalists of the past from Thomas Paine to Edward R. Murrow have done: he takes it as a challenge to his First Amendment rights and speaks out.
Olbermann also nightly challenges his critics who say he is un-American by criticizing the President and belittling the administration. Anyone who has actually read Thomas Paine or Sam Adams or Thomas Jefferson knows that it is Keith Olbermann and not Bill O’Reilly who is really personifying the American character. If our founding fathers had all been like Bill O’Reilly and had unquestioningly accepted every lie their leaders fed them, there would have been on American Revolution. It is Keith Olbermann and not Bill O’Reilly who is truly representing the rebellious spirit of America that refuses to knuckle under to punk and circumstance.