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April 26, 2015

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Murrow was in a different class than Olbermann

Regarding Mark Isaacs’ Tuesday letter to the editor, headlined “Olbermann’s departure leaves a void”:

Most observers of cable news/commentary programs wondered how long it would be before Keith Olbermann’s tenure with MSNBC would be terminated. Most of the opinions and commentary Olbermann had to offer were vitriolic, ultraliberal and caustic.

Yet, in the body of Mr. Isaacs’ letter to the editor, he called Olbermann the heir to Edward R. Murrow. Really? While I agree with Isaacs’ assessment that Murrow personified the spirit and sensibilities of the seminal voice of honesty and integrity in American news broadcasting, I cannot recall the same inflammatory rhetoric, which Olbermann thrived on, ever escaping Murrow’s lips.

Murrow distinguished himself by enlightened and articulate commentary on the news of the day. He was erudite and compassionate. To attribute these same characteristics to one of the most caustic news commentators on cable television does a discredit to Murrow’s long and distinguished career.

Edward Murrow certainly is missed, but the Keith Olbermanns of present-day news commentary will never be.

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  1. Wow, Olberman has two groupies now?
    You know the difference between a sleazy, corrupt Republican and a sleazy, corrupt Democrat? A sleazy, corrupt Republican winds up in a jail cell while a sleazy, corrupt Democrat (Charlie Rangel) gets "censured" and the pats on the back and cheers of the party faithful.

  2. RHG,
    Still batting a zero for intelligence I see.

    Funny, I didn't see any mention of factual accuracy in this emotional rhetoric. And this excerpt from Wikipedia shows something in common between Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Murrow:

    "Later television career
    Murrow's hard-hitting approach to the news, however, cost him influence in the world of television. See It Now occasionally scored high ratings (usually when it was tackling a particularly controversial subject), but in general it did not score well on prime-time television.
    When a quiz show phenomenon began and took TV by storm in the mid-1950s, Murrow realized the days of See It Now as a weekly show were numbered. (Biographer Joseph Persico notes that Murrow, watching an early episode of The $64,000 Question air just before his own See It Now, is said to have turned to Friendly and asked how long they expected to keep their time slot).
    See It Now was knocked out of its weekly slot in 1955 after sponsor Alcoa withdrew its advertising, but the show remained as a series of occasional TV special news reports that defined television documentary news coverage. Despite the show's prestige CBS had difficulty finding a regular sponsor, since it aired intermittently in its new time slot [Sunday afternoons at 5:00pm (ET) by the end of 1956] and could not develop a regular audience."

    From here:

  3. Olbermann, Maddow, Matthew: These individuals are nothing more that a counter to Beck, O'Reilly and Hannity. Olbermann has now been replaced by O'Donnell. Both sides of the political spectrum are still well represented on cable TV.

    As for Edward R. Murrow, what would his career have been had it not been for WW II? I was and am a big fan or Murrow's. Watched See It Now whenever I had the opportunity. I remember his losing sponsors because his politcal views did not match with theirs (the corporations spending their money with CBS). And today we thing the news has become controled to much by coroprated entities. It's nothing new folks.

  4. Murrow was in a different class than Olbermann? Of course. Keith Olbermann is no Edward R. Murrow.

    Neither is Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity or Bill O'Reilly.

    The classic newsmen have no contemporaries. Cable news has forfeited that kind of straight news for opinion.

    I guess vitriol and hyperbole draw an audience on FOX.

  5. I always notice that viewers of Fox News always believe that MSNBC News is a "counter" to their reporting.

    Not at all. MSNBC News does not exist to counter Fox News at all.

    MSNBC News, from all indications shown, actually reports news. And when they get the news wrong, they offer retractions and clear the air that they reported wrong. And when they offer opinion, they make sure it is labeled as such to the viewers.

    On Fox News, they report news, but they also make up news to fit a Republican Party political agenda. And there is actually no difference between entertainment, opinion and news. Fox News enjoys muddying up fact and fiction ALL the time. I have NEVER seen them make corrections to stories when they get them wrong.

    Fox News is so hysterically bad at reporting, when there was a prison break in northern Arizona, they reported on it. The newscaster talked while a map was on the screen. And remarkably, the map had one town mislabeled in the northeast corner of Arizona. And the other one was in the northwesterner corner. They were switched around. They are so bad, they don't even understand geography and place names and clearly can't read maps.

    And it has been revealed that on more than one occasion, the people who put on Fox News instruct their reporters and commentators what jargon to say to make sure they pound out Republican Party points all the time. This has been verified to be the case in Washington DC. (For example: They were instructed to ALWAYS use the term "government run" health care...when it was totally and completely false.)

    To draw parallels that there is this "one is the ying and the other is the yang" thing in news reporting between the two news agencies is absurd. From all indications, MSNBC News could care less what Fox News does. They do not and will not stoop down to Fox News despicable violations of journalistic ethics.

    And lastly, show me when Fox News EVER does anything for Americans. The answer is never. They just go for news ratings and raking in money. And don't care how they get it.

    MSNBC News does this too, but they have also actually raised money for health care clinics. Raised money to help a man who had his house burned down and the fire department watched. Also, they raised money to help transplant patients who were turned aside by Governor Brewer's draconian medical care cuts in Arizona.

    No comparison.

    Fox News motto: "The more you watch...the less you know."