Friday, January 18, 2008

on the merits

TPM Horses Mouth

Keith Olbermann made a big boo-boo on MSNCB last night. When he learned of it, he had a deeply bizarre, almost-unheard-of reaction:

He admitted he was wrong and apologized.

One thing [the TPM Horse's Mouth] blog can't fathom is why this is such a rare occurrence among your top media stars. When Joe Klein made a hash of things with a piece on FISA, he dragged his feet about it for weeks. When The Washington Post took a big hit for front-paging the scurrilous Obama Muslim smears without declaring them false, the paper's editors dug in.

[The TPM Horse's Mouth] blog doesn't make a regular practice of linking to Olbermann stuff, mainly because so many other folks do it. But this episode is worth flagging, because Olbermann really did handle this in a way that other top-shelf media figures might consider emulating.

Here's what happened. Yesterday Olbermann had writer Lawrence O'Donnell as a guest on his show. They talked about Edwards, Obama, and Reagan.

But then some people pointed out that Olbermann shouldn't have done this. Why? Because just a few days ago, O'Donnell wrote a piece for The Huffington Post called 'John Edwards Is A Loser,' which suggested that perhaps he just might harbor a bit of animus towards the guy and might not be equipped to discuss Edwards fairly.

When Olbermann learned what happened and heard that people were griping, he did a funny thing: He actually weighed the criticism on its merits. And he admitted that he'd screwed up:
His HuffPo piece was news to me.

Shouldn't have been, obviously, but it was.

...the point about this appearance, especially in the wake of such a freshly-written piece, is well-taken and I'm very sorry.

It will be addressed tonight on the show.

note: the apology appeared in Olbermann's Daily Kos diary, which he inaugurated 4 days ago with these words:
Yeah, it’s me.


Sure has taken me long enough. But, as you may know, I am the shy, retiring type: Hesitant to state an opinion in public and horrified to pass judgment or seem a scold.

CNN's John King's interaction with Greenwald

Update: 2008.02.12:

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