Written By mista sense on Tuesday, April 8, 2008 | 9:19 AM
Just when I thought that I had the Keith Olbermann show figured out, he changes the formula--for the worse. Much worse. It's a free country, and the Cable Game, in particular, is at its most fun when various Gamers fight and fight hard--but they should always fight clean. And now, in the Cable Gamer's opinion, Olbermann is fighting dirty. He is bringing innocent bystanders--the families of his opponents--into the mix.
Here's the classic KO formula: Olbermann puts on the same three guests--Dana Milbank, Rachel Maddow, and Richard Wolffe. He tells them that George W. Bush is terrible president and a terrible human being, and they, of course, agree. Repeat the process every night, re-run a few times, and there you have "Countdown."
Oh wait--I forgot! There's plenty of Fox News-bashing, too. You know, Bill O'Reilly or Rupert Murdoch is "The Worst Person in the World"--every night. Or maybe just the second worst.
OK, KO. That's fair enough. You're a left-liberal with a nasty personal streak, happy to do the same show every night. And you have proven that you can find a few hundred thousand people across the country who share your nasty and repetitive predilections.
We're all adults, we can take it.
But oh wait. Now KO has gone beyond that, he is attacking children, too. Last night on his show, Olbermann went beyond zinging O'Reilly, and went after O'Reilly's family. Here's the transcript--from, of course, KO's "WPITW" segment:
"But our winner, back by popular demand, a Bill O doubleheader. Bonus Bill O. Firstly, criticizing the pregnant transgender guy. 'Can you imagine a poor kid getting born into that family going, hey, who are you today?' Kind of like life at home for Bill's kids."
Note the bold, above. Olbermann has sent his goons--oops, I mean, MSNBC producers--out to O'Reilly's house in the past, and now, once again, he is inserting himself into O'Reilly's homelife.
Will Olbermann's actions encourage other kids to pick on O'Reilly's kids in school? Or will it get worse--will Olbermann's raising O'Reilly's family's profile, encourage, maybe, stalkers and kidnapers? The Cable Gamer hesitates to even bring up such horrible topics, for fear of pointing the evil eye at anyone, but Olbermann has already done it. The Cable Gamer doesn't know where O'Reilly lives, and doesn't care. But Olbermann does, and there might be some sicko out there who might get a bad idea, like the demented-criminal Robert DeNiro character in the 1983 Martin Scorsese movie, "The King of Comedy."
Once again, The Cable Gamer doubts that Olbermann cares about any of this, but the rest of us should.
So where's the outrage? Where are the bigfoot media watchdogs ? Where's Howard Kurtz? How 'bout the self-declared watchdogs of journalistic ethics, such as The Poynter Institute? And the various Annenberg and Pew Centers scattered around the country? And all the capital "J" Journalism Schools around the country--shouldn't Olbermann be criticized?
Or to put it another way, can you imagine what would happen if O'Reilly went after Olbermann's kids?
Fair is fair. Let's argue and even have some fun arguing. But let's leave children out of it. That's The Cable Gamer's view, and I bet that the overwhelming number of Americans agree with me. Now we'll see if the liberal-leaning Journalistic Establishment agrees, too.
Let's see if they hold Olbermann accountable, before he does it again, before the problem gets even worse.