Monday, September 24, 2007

Olbermann's Murrow-esque Tirade

While I'm busy praising Michael Westmoreland-White, I'm going to do some pilfering, too. I saw this clip on his blog.

I'm not much for watching cable news, since it never really shows any news. A good friend of mine, who works full time for a privately owned, for profit newspaper, says she is suspicious of publicly-funded news organizations because, since their funding comes at least in part from the government, there is always the chance they could become government organs. She may be right, but so far the record shows that subsidized news outlets, in terms of depth and breadth of coverage and analysis, far out-pace their for-profit peers.

Can anything on, say, CNN or CNBC, or, God-forbid, NBC, ABC, or CBS (I've leaving out all FOX-related enterprises, as they don't even pretend to be journalistic any more, do they?) match PBS's News Hour, much less anything done by the BBC? Or, in a more niche market, will BET ever see the light, and offer up a new program that even remotely approximates NPR's News and Notes? Of course not. Because those publicly subsidized news programs aim principally to offer a valuable public service, rather than to distribute dividends to shareholders.

So, I don't often watch cable news, and when I do I rarely look Keith Olbermann's way. As an unrepentant sports fan, I can't get past the image of him sitting behind the desk on ESPN's Sports Center, the program that first revealed his acid wit. My mistake, if this clip is any indication. He may be, as Michael points out in the post linked to above, a kind of Edward Murrow-Lite, lacking Murrow's hard-journalism credentials. But in this day and age, Murrow-Lite is a welcome change of pace from Limbaugh-Lite. Looks like I might have a new show to add to my nightly TV habit.