Keith Olbermann Puts The Biscuit In The Basket Supporting Bill Clinton Fox News Interview (update: video posted)
Talking heads are usually just talking heads...they stopped making sense a long time ago. Last night, though, one took an unusually strong and correct stand. It got my attention. For 10 minutes, a talking head actually made sense.
To many, the last real President for the United States was President Clinton. Listening to MSNBC's "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" Monday night, it was good to be reminded of that.
He devoted the last 10 minutes of his show to a commentary in support of Bill Clinton standing up for the truth during a Fox News interview Sunday night.
All month long, Olbermann (on the newly-refocused MSNBC) has been ranting, blasting and verbally spanking the senior administration of George Bush's White House (here's his video clips on Rummy, Bush, Cheney et al, as posted on YouTube), even insisting for an direct apology to the people from George Bush.
And then we get reminded Bill Clinton is no longer officially the president. Instead, we have "Dubya".
The compare and contrast of Bill Clinton and George W. Bush has never been clearer than this past week; Bush gets called "the devil" by Venezuela's Hugo Chavez at the U.N. while Clinton raise $7.3 billion for the Clinton Global Initiative fighting poverty, global warming and supporting other social causes.
Meanwhile, Bush's speech at the U.N. got hardly a mention...because he said nothing new about his "war on terror" except talk about more terror.
However, it was Clinton's Fox News interview that was the real news of the week, not only for what he said but also for how the media reacted to it.
There has been a tremendous amount of media coverage to the interview; the video links are clickable below. This post is mainly about Monday night's (9/25) Olbermann post-Clinton/FoxNews commentary. To use a favorite expression from his ESPN "SportsCenter" days -- put the "biscuit in the basket".
Bravo, Keith, well said.
The Jointblog is not a political blog so this post is not for political purposes. Rather, my P.O.V. is media trend watching. For reasons unknown to date, the media and the nation as a whole has mainly given George W. Bush a pass despite tremendous troubles, all with very little public or media protest. 9/11, Afganistan, Osama bin Laden, Iraq, Enron/corporate fat cats, Katrina, "Plumegate", "weapons of mass distruction"; anthrax; questionable voting/election tactics and advertising...the list goes on.
Maybe we are still all shocked with post-9/11-tramatic stress disorder.
Mainstream media may finally be clearing out its collective head, based on this past week's events. And President Bill Clinton (still acting presidential) may be the tipping point force for that change.
Clinton's Vice President Al Gore started waking up the public and the media this spring and summer with his "An Inconvenient Truth".
Then last week's Clinton Global Initiative (how many ex-presidents have ever done that?)
Finally, Sunday night, Bill Clinton went on his truthful and worthy tear against his critics (and specifically the right-wing agenda of Fox News) during a "heated discussion". Clinton made a huge move correcting history and putting debate back into politics, media coverage and the news.
Monday night, concluding MSNBC's "Countdown", Olbermann delivered his 10-minute commentary about the Clinton interview and how media covered the story. How the real story wasn't Clinton's verbal "explosion"; it was about Clinton setting the record straight. And doing it on the network filled with his strongest critics.
As Clinton said -- among his many bang-on statements: "Say the truth, come on now, say the truth."
And Olbermann agreed the truth was finally said in the media. By Bill Clinton on Fox News, of all places.
As a media trend watcher, I applaud Olbermann's support. At a time when mainstream news media coverage has radically changed its hosts (Couric, Gibson, Williams et al) and "all the news that fit to print" is getting reset at the New York Times, the medium remains the message. If only Olbermann words (and Clinton's and Couric's and the rest...) can rejoin mainstream media's new thinking. I hope it does, as we certainly need more of it back in the political debate.
It's a time for essential change in both tone and content for media.
Click here for a transcript as posted by crooksandliars.com. Once the official K.O. transcript and video about Bill Clinton and the media scrum are made available from his Bloggermann, I will post them here.
Google video posting of Fox News interview with Bill Clinton here and here.
4pm Update: Olbermann's "Special Comments" Google video posting here or view below by clicking:
For all the bluster of I'm right/they're wrong TV talk programs -- including the fake news programs, which I most love -- what struck me about Olbermann's "special comments" about Bill Clinton last night was its quality and substance. It wasn't angled. It wasn't hyperbole. It wasn't chest-beating. It wasn't even political. It seemed (to me, at least) better than that. And I love a good snark as much as the next person. This country needs a whole new running dialogue; I hope this marks a new media trend.
Note: Look for a special "Countdown" Tuesday night at 8pm eastern focused on this topic.
posted by Chris Kennedy @ Tuesday, September 26, 2006,