Pulitzer Prize winner says media has liars too

Ronan Farrow, a contributing writer for the New Yorker. (AP Photo/Ted Shaffrey)

The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow sure knows how to get a media crowd buzzing.

The Pulitzer Prize winner accepted a Mirror Award for media reporting from Syracuse University on Thursday for his stories on sexual misconduct at CBS, including allegations that toppled the corporation’s former leader, Leslie Moonves.

Like other award winners, he saluted fellow journalists and industry leaders at the Manhattan luncheon for bravery in producing stories that keep the media honest and transparent — even at the cost of burning bridges and losing job opportunities.

At the same time, he said “I can see people who have lied to protect power.”

From both the podium and later afterward, Farrow declined to name names.

Farrow and The New York Times won Pulitzers in 2018 for stories outlining sexual misconduct allegations against former Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein. He has the capacity to make plenty media players nervous; his upcoming book “Catch and Kill” is being awaited for expectations he will write about leaving NBC News when it declined to use his work on Weinstein.

The Mirror Awards have become a venue for impassioned speeches about the industry. Lois Beckett of WNYC radio accepted a trophy Thursday for her reporting on the white nationalist movement while scolding media executives for a failure to be more diverse in hiring. Davey Alba of BuzzFeed News, honored for a story on using Facebook as a tool in a drug war in her native Philippines, urged her company and others to be more accepting of unions.

CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker said his company’s job is not to pick sides in political disputes but to tell the truth. His company, and Zucker personally, have been frequent targets for barbs by President Donald Trump.

“I am proud to stand up for the truth,” he said. “I am proud to stand up for the press. We are certainly not the enemy of the people.”

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New York Times, Washington post FBI-Trump exposés

Sunday Update:

When I wrote a column on Saturday (scroll down to read it) the Washington Post had yet to report on the FBI story. Saturday night they had their own story which went onlne at 10:05 PM:

Trump has concealed details of his face-to-face encounters with Putin from senior officials in administration

The first three paragraphs of the article paint a chilling picture of a compromised president who has something so serious to hide that only one word desribes just how serious it looks like it is: “treason.”

President Trump has gone to extraordinary lengths to conceal details of his conversations with Russian President Vladi­mir Putin, including on at least one occasion taking possession of the notes of his own interpreter and instructing the linguist not to discuss what had transpired with other administration officials, current and former U.S. officials said.

Trump did so after a meeting with Putin in 2017 in Hamburg that was also attended by then-Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. U.S. officials learned of Trump’s actions when a White House adviser and a senior State Department official sought information from the interpreter beyond a readout shared by Tillerson.

The constraints that Trump imposed are part of a broader pattern by the president of shielding his communications with Putin from public scrutiny and preventing even high-ranking officials in his own administration from fully knowing what he has told one of the United States’ main adversaries.

For those who don’t subscribe to The Washington Post, HUFFPOST has summarized the story here: Trump Concealed Details Of Putin Meetings From Administration Officials: Report — The Washington Post reports the president instructed his interpreter not to disclose any details of what transpired during the meeting to administration officials.

Between these stories in the two most presigious papers in the country, and the two papers Trump loves to hate, we have an example of how healthy compitition to do the best possible investigative reporting and “get the scoop” prove the wisdom of the Founders in putting freedom of the press in the First Amendment.

The New York Times builds on thier original story today in Trump Confronts the Prospect of a ‘Nonstop Political War’ for Survival” by Peter Baker. who begins his article with “So it has come to this: The president of the United States was asked over the weekend whether he is a Russian agent. And he refused to directly answer.” More:

He picked up the telephone on Saturday night to call into the Fox News show hosted by Jeanine Pirro, who participated in a campaign rally with him last fall. She asked him about the F.B.I. investigation reported by The Times with a tone of scorn.

“I’m going to ask you, are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?” Ms. Pirro asked.

“I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked,” he answered. “I think it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written. And if you read the article, you’d see that they found absolutely nothing.”


The Washington Post also builds on their story and the NY Times story with an important essay by Asha Rangappa, a senior lecturer at the Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University and a former FBI agent: “The FBI can’t neutralize a security threat if the president is the threat.” After explaining how the FBI would deal with such a threat if they were targeting any other citizen, she goes on to address the only way short of impeachment they can handle Trump:

This leaves only one option for neutralization: exposure.

Exposing the activities of a foreign intelligence service renders them ineffective, since it removes plausible deniability, which is the hallmark of covert intelligence operations. It also reveals the sources and methods that a foreign power is using, forcing them to abandon the operation. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has already utilized this avenue by bringing criminal charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian companies for a disinformation campaign on social media and against 12 GRU officers for hacking the Democratic National Committee’s emails. This alternative has its downsides: It allows our adversaries to know what we know, enabling them to up their game the next time. (The current aggressive attempts by Russia’s Internet Research Agency to compel discovery of Mueller’s sources and methods in court is an example of this tension.) But where the national security threat is severe, the need to stop the activity immediately can outweigh the costs.

This is where Mueller’s report comes in. Until now, the American public has seen only snippets of Mueller’s investigation — those that he has chosen to make public through criminal charges. But since not all activities uncovered by a counterintelligence investigation, even those that pose a significant threat to national security, are necessarily criminal, they do not reveal the full breadth of what Mueller may have discovered. Only by laying out all of his counterintelligence findings — including what role, if any, Trump played in Russia’s intelligence operation against the United States — can the criminal charges be placed in context and the full scope of the threat be assessed.



Instead of talks to end the shutdown, the president spent at least part of his weekend defending himself against the suspicions about his affinity for Mr. Putin. He insisted that he has actually been tougher on Russia than his predecessors and that the F.B.I. was led by “losers that tried to do a number on your President.”

He picked up the telephone on Saturday night to call into the Fox News show hosted by Jeanine Pirro, who participated in a campaign rally with him last fall. She asked him about the F.B.I. investigation reported by The Times with a tone of scorn.

“I’m going to ask you, are you now or have you ever worked for Russia, Mr. President?” Ms. Pirro asked.

“I think it’s the most insulting thing I’ve ever been asked,” he answered. “I think it’s the most insulting article I’ve ever had written. And if you read the article, you’d see that they found absolutely nothing.”



Saturday Column

If you only read the Washington Post and don’t watch the television news or read the New York Times or other papers, and haven’t talked to your friends who do, you might not know that there’s an incredible story about a sitting president of the United States having been under suspicion for being a Russian asset, a traitor.

The New York Times has been working on this story for months and they got the scoop. It is the top story in both online and in their print edition:

Apparently jealousy is alive and thriving at The Washington Post because they ignored the story that those who watch MSNBC have been hearing about ever since it broke during the Rachel Maddow Show last night.

Here’s their print edition:

Here’s their online edition (which I pay to read) complete with wasted space on advertising, which is not worthy of a newspaper of their reputation and caliber”

Finally, at about 10:30 AM, they posted their own story with one reference to the NY Times: “The counterintelligence component of the Trump investigation was first reported by the New York Times.”

I might begrudgingly accept their advertising if they had the class and good grace to at least put a story the New York Times reporting below the fold.

There is no such tacky competition on websites. For example HUFFPOST: FBI Probed Whether Trump Was Working For Russia After Comey Firing: Report – Law enforcement officials launched an investigation into whether the president was secretly working on Russia’s behalf, according to The New York Times.

…. The Daily Beast: “Ex-FBI Officials Say Spy Inquiry into President Trump Is ‘Uncharted Territory’ — If the Times’ story is right, retired agents and officials say that means the highest levels of Justice and the FBI knew the president was—and may still be—under investigation.”

and Politico’s “Swamp Diary Week 86: FBI’s Blockbuster Probe of Trump’s Loyalty Revealed,” for example.

Even Fox News features the story albeit and not unexpectedly with a very different slant: “Trump slams ‘total sleaze’ Comey, ‘corrupt’ FBI leaders, after report bureau launched probe after director’s ouster.”

I have to give them credit for not burying the story since it is the top story on their website:

I don’t think anyone can be totally informed about national and international events if they don’t read both the New York Times and The Washington Post. I subscribe to both and understand not everyone is able to shell out about $20 a month to read all their articles and columns. Fortunately whenever either paper breaks a major story it is covered elsewhere, often minutes after it goes online on MSNBC (which happened last night), and within hours on websites like those I referenced here.

(I wrote my Capitol Hill Blue column about the story last night right after I read the NY Times article while it was being discussed on MSNBC.)

Monday Update

Transcripts detail how FBI debated whether Trump was ‘following directions’ of Russia – CNN

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Copyright © 2019 Capitol Hill Blue

O’Donnell and Scarborough get it: Trump is dangerous

It has taken far too long for the television antidote to Fox New, MSNBC, to recognize and explain how Donald Trump has a dangerous psychiatric disorder. I couldn’t keep counts of the times I heard hosts and guests say “I’m not a psychiatrist” and watch them roll their eyes as they tried to make sense of Trump’s behavior as if it was inexplicable.

His most unhinged behavior was always explainable. I am weary of Democrats saying, as a freshman member of Congress just did on MSNBC, Trump’s behavior is becoming increasingly bizarre and unstable.” You merely have to understand the basics of abnormal psychology that these words describe psychopathology.

On MSNBC’s “The Last Word” Wednesday night host Lawrence O’Donnell began with

In his first public speech of the new year the president of the United States revealed that the 27 psychiatrists and mental health professionals who co-authored the book ‘The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump’ were right, that Donald Trump’s condition is obviously getting worse.

Now all of us in middle age and above find us spending more and more time looking for our keys. There is some neurological decline is absolutely inevitable over time but Donald Trump’s is dramatic.

If you thought that his pathological lying could not become more pathological or that he could not become more delusional you were wrong. The mental health professionals who told us he would are right.

Lawrence O’Donnell was the first MSNBC host to recognize that Trump had a dangerous psychiatric disorder. Last year in February he interviewed clinical psychologist Dr. John D. Gartner, the founder of the Duty to Warn group of mental health professionals advocating for removal of Trump under the 25th Amendment.

UPDATE: In recent months Joe Scarborough has been questioning Trump’s mental fitness, with the latest coming on Thursday when he brought this up on Morning Joe:

“There would be people going up to the White House this morning saying, ‘Mr. President, questions abound whether you were fit for this office. If this continues, we are going to ask your Cabinet to take a vote on whether you were fit for office and invoke the 25th Amendment….

This is a man who obviously is not fit to hold the office, and we’ve known that for a very long time. But he keeps giving a preponderance of evidence to those members of the House and the Senate that will carry that vote. He is not fit, he is not acting fit, and he is pushing foreign policy initiatives that are actually going to do grave damage to this country, our national security and embolden and strengthen our enemy.”

Nearly two years ago one of the first mental health professionals to warn about the dangerousness of Donald Trump because of his psychopathology was clinical psychologist John D. Gartner. Over two years ago he started an online petition Mental Health Professionals Declare Trump is Mentally Ill And Must Be Removed which eventually had over 70,000 signatures. He has had numerous articles published and has been interviewed in many publications.

O’Donnell interviewed Gartner along with psychiatrist Lance Dodes, MD. in February. (Watch video here)

In October, 2017 O’Donnell interviewed the editor of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump” Yale forensic psychiatrist Bandy X. Lee, M.D., M.DIV. who appeared along with Tony Schwartz, co-author of Trump’s “The Art of the Deal.” (Watch video here

When Rachel Maddow and other MSNBC hosts expressed puzzlement over Trump’s erratic and seemingly irrational words and decisions, O’Donnell consistently explained his behavior as being attributable to his having a severe psychiatric disorder.

Fox News managed to find someone to dispute the claim that Trump isn’t mentally fit to be president. The person they found, Gina Loudon whose book jacket proclaims that she’s ‘America’s favorite psychological expert.’ An article in the Daily Beast revealed the truth: “Trump Adviser Gina Loudon’s Book Claims She Has a Ph.D. in Psychology. She Doesn’t.”

In fact, anyone with mental health credentials who has gone public claiming that Trump is psychologically unimpaired and fit to be president is an outlier in the profession. While there are technical professional disputes as to whether he fits one or another diagnostic category or ethically should be given a diagnosis, I can’t find a single reputable mental health professional who says he is mentally stable.

Lawrence O’Donnell deserves kudos for grasping this early. Hopefully he can educate his MSNBC colleagues who still haven’t figured it out. I am tired of all the head scratching when Trump behaves in a way that can only easily explained by reading “Psychology for Dummies.”

I would be remiss if I didn’t give equal credit to former psychotherapist, popular progressive radio host, and author Thom Hartmann who often talks about whether Trump is up to the presidency, and whether he is temperamentally and psychologically unfit to be president, and that he should be removed under the 25th Amendment (video). 

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Copyright © 2018 Capitol Hill Blue

Tucker Carlson believes in Trumpism, but not Trump

Tucker Carlson by Donkeyhotey/Flickr

Buried in Dana Milbank’s Washington Post “Don’t blame the rats abandoning the USS Trump” column today is the word “used” which is a link to an article in The Guardian:

Tucker Carlson, an unstinting Trump booster, used (< link) the anonymity of a German-language weekly to put on the record that he questions Trump’s competence, knowledge, self-aggrandizement and personnel choices.

When you go to The Guardian where there’s another link.This one takes you to the long interview with Carlson in English in Die Welteroche Online by Urs Gehriger 

«Trump is not capable»

Weekday nights Fox News Channel star, Tucker Carlson, can be found merrily berating hapless guests, grilling liberal pundits, and defending America’s working and middle classes. Puckish and pugilistic, the 49-year-old insists the Washington elites among whom he grew up despise America’s “normal people.” An ardent fan of Carlson who regularly tunes in to watch the hit cable gab fest is President Donald J. Trump. But as I learn in my interview with Carlson for the Swiss weekly DIE WELTWOCHE, the feelings are not entirely mutual.

Carlson’s primary gripes with Trump are similar to those of his Foxmates Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity. They are that he hasn’t delivered on his nationalistic, xenophobic, and cruel promises.

Do you think he has kept his promises? Has he achieved his goals?

No.

He hasn’t?

No. His chief promises were that he would build the wall, de-fund planned parenthood, and repeal Obamacare, and he hasn’t done any of those things. There are a lot of reasons for that, but since I finished writing the book, I’ve come to believe that Trump’s role is not as a conventional president who promises to get certain things achieved to the Congress and then does. I don’t think he’s capable. I don’t think he’s capable of sustained focus. I don’t think he understands the system. I don’t think the Congress is on his side. I don’t think his own agencies support him. He’s not going to do that.

Carlson doesn’t think Trump’s role is to actually be president in any conventional sense. He said that he’s role was “to begin the conversation about what actually matters.” What matters to Carlson is of course immigration so Trump gets kudos for making people from Portland, Oregon where I live to Portland, Maine afraid of MS-13. He also says his “favorite” is question Trump brought to the forefront is “what’s the point of NATO?”

Carlson thinks that ‘the point of NATO was to keep the Soviets from invading western Europe but they haven’t existed in 27 years” and therefore even though Russia has already invaded Crimea and there’s talk in the press that they may have their eye on Ukraine. (“Is Russia about to invade Ukraine again? That may depend on Trump” in Washington Post, Dec. 30, 2018.)

Here’s Carlson on Fox News a month ago: “The word ‘Russia’ eliminates all rational thought in journalists.”

The word (Russia) itself is a kind of magical incantation that eliminates all skepticism and rational thought in journalists.

Whatever the claim is, they believe it wholeheartedly. Not just because they’re dumb, though obviously, they are dumb. But because — Russia!!!!!! It’s a spell, like “eye of newt.”

I have to wonder whether Putin has some compromising information on Tucker Carlson.

Carlson explains that the reason Trump hasn’t been able to implement his policies from building the wall to eliminating Obamacare and Planned Parenthood is the pesky Constitution which made change in policy a highly complex process because they were worried about the president having royal powers. He laments the fact that Trump doesn’t know how to make the legislature do his bidding.

Carlson says, perhaps shrugging wistfully (but I wasn’t there to observe this) “I’m not in charge of Trump.” Presumably if Trump did everything Tucker Carlson told him to do then he’d have succeeded and Tucker would be happy.


UPDATE proving to any rational person that Tucker Carlson is an idiot: Jan. 3, 2019: Tucker Carlson Blames Higher-Earning Women For ‘Men In Decline’

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Copyright © 2018 Capitol Hill Blue

Campaign dirty tricks costs veteran reporter his job

No appeal for AP political reporter.
No appeal for AP political reporter.

Sadly, the rough and tumble world of the Virginia governor’s race this year has cost a veteran Associated Press reporter in Richmond his job along with two editors for the news service.

Bob Lewis, a 29-year AP reporter and dean of political writers in The Old Dominion, was sacked by the news service over a since retracted report that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe “lied to federal officials” in the government’s probe of a Rhode Island estate planner accused of defrauding terminally ill clients.

An AP story filed by Lewis went out on the wire on October 9 and carried the claim.  McAuliffe was one of several hundred “passive” investors in the planning firm run by Joseph Caramadre and the story by Lewis was based on a federal indictment that listed someone with the initials of “T.M.” who the indictment said gave false information to investigators.

The AP killed the story shortly after sending it out and said “the indictment did not identify McAuliffe as the ‘T.M.’ who allegedly lied to investigators.”

Lewis took immediate responsibility for the mistake, which cost him his job along with two editors who reviewed and approved his story.

Political operatives from Republican candidate Ken Cuccinelli, the current Virginia Attorney General, shopped the story around to several reporters, including one assigned to cover Virginia elections for Capitol Hill Blue.  She checked the story out with her sources and was told flatly that the ‘T.M.’ in the indictment was not McAuliffe so we passed on publishing anything.

Tips to reporters of supposed wrongdoing by political opponents if a common practice in politics.  As a journalist with half a century in the business, I get such tip several times a week about public officials, prominent citizens and others.  Less than 10 percent of those “solid tips” turn out to be factual.

Bob decided to go with the tip, which was passed on to reporters as part of “dirty tricks” by campaign operatives of the man who currently serves as the top law enforcement official in Virginia.

To be fair, the campaign of McAuliffe does the same thing.  We’ve received several so called “reliable tips” from his operatives.  Few check out.

I’m sorry Lewis was taken in by the Cuccinelli folks.  He’s a good reporter and many think the AP went too far in sacking him.  Such tactics by both the Cuccinelli and McAuliffe campaigns raise serious questions about whether or not either is qualified to become governor of Virginia.

Olbermann’s firing weeks in the making

This frame grab from MSNBC video, shows Keith Olbermann on "Countdown" on Jan. 21, 2011. Olbermann returned from one last commercial break on "Countdown" to tell viewers it was his last broadcast, and read a James Thurber short story in a three-minute exit statement. Simultaneously, MSNBC e-mailed a statement that "MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract." The network thanked him and said, "we wish him well in his future endeavors." Neither MSNBC President Phil Griffin, Olbermann nor his manager responded to requests to explain an exit so abrupt that Olbermann's face was still being featured on an MSNBC promotional ad 30 minutes after he had said goodbye. (AP Photo/MSNBC)

Keith Olbermann’s exit from MSNBC appeared abrupt to viewers of his show, but the talk-show host and his network were involved “in a relationship that’s been failing for a long time,” an NBC Universal executive said Saturday.

Olbermann’s announcement at the end of Friday’s “Countdown” that it would be his last show quiets, at least for the moment, the most dominant liberal voice in a cable-television world where opinionated talk has been the most bankable trend over the past several years.

As Olbermann read from a James Thurber short story during a three-minute exit statement Friday night, MSNBC simultaneously e-mailed a statement to reporters that the network and host “have ended their contract.” Neither indicated a reason nor addressed whether Olbermann quit or was fired.

But the NBC Universal executive characterized it as a mutual parting of the ways, with Olbermann taking the first step. The executive spoke on condition of anonymity because settlement talks were kept confidential.

Olbermann was nearly fired in November but instead was suspended for two days without pay for violating an NBC News policy by donating to three political campaigns, including the congressional campaign of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. He returned and apologized to his fans, but not the network.

Last fall, Olbermann saw his role on NBC’s ‘Sunday Night Football” eliminated. Olbermann, a former sports anchor, had willingly worked six days a week to be involved with the highly rated football telecast. NBC said he was removed so he could concentrate on his MSNBC job.

MSNBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines insisted Olbermann’s exit had nothing to do with the acquisition of parent company NBC Universal by Comcast, which received regulatory approval Tuesday. That deal marks the exit of NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker, who saw Olbermann’s value in turning around a once-unprofitable network, despite headaches the mercurial personality sometimes caused his bosses.

Olbermann and his manager did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Saturday.

One clue Olbermann offered in his goodbye statement was that he’d “been told” that Friday was his last show. But Olbermann also said that “there were many occasions, particularly in the last 2½ years, where all that surrounded the show — but never the show itself — was just too much for me. But your support and loyalty and, if I may use the word, insistence, ultimately required that I keep going. My gratitude to you is boundless.”

“He did more than anybody to establish the credibility of progressive views through market-driven success,” said David Brock, founder and CEO of the left-wing media watchdog Media Matters for America.

Olbermann’s show was also an incubator for left-wing talent on the air, he said. Two-thirds of MSNBC’s prime-time lineup, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell, got their own shows after successfully subbing for Olbermann. His show also gave platforms to bloggers like Josh Marshall and Markos Moulitsas, as well as his own organization and the Center for American Progress, Brock said.

“Countdown” took off at a time when there was a large imbalance toward conservatives in radio and television political talk, Brock said.

“Keith led the way in correcting that,” he said. “Now we’re back to some degree of the balance going the other way.”

After Giffords was shot in the head on Jan. 8, Olbermann came into the studio and took to the air on his day off with an emotional editorial saying politicians and talk-show personalities — including himself — need to swear off any kind of violent imagery so as not to incite anybody into acts like the Giffords shooting. He said on Jan. 10 that he was ending his “Worst Person in the World” feature because some viewers took literally a feature that was “born in humor.”

The aftermath of the Giffords shooting led to a discussion about the need for more civility in political talk, but Olbermann made no mention of that issue on Friday night. MSNBC is replacing him with O’Donnell and moving anchor Ed Schultz into the 10 p.m. time slot and, along with Maddow, all of them swing left politically.

Phil Griffin, MSNBC’s chief executive, expressed confidence in his new lineup Saturday while declining to talk about what happened with Olbermann.

“They’re tested,” he said. “We didn’t have to bring anyone here who is new. We brought in people we know and who will succeed and that’s why we’re confident going forward.”

Anyone who expects the volume of political rhetoric on MSNBC will go down will be “rudely surprised” in about a week, said Brent Bozell, founder of the conservative watchdog Media Research Center.

O’Donnell “is every bit as mean-spirited (as Olbermann), but not as creative,” Bozell said. “I don’t think the philosophy of MSNBC will change one iota.”

While he disagreed with most everything Olbermann said, “he had probably the best-produced show on television,” Bozell said. That’s the danger for MSNBC and liberals — Olbermann may be replaced by someone who has the same viewpoints, but not necessarily with a show people are as eager to watch.

“I’m not in the slightest bit surprised” by Olbermann’s exit, Bozell said. “I’ve been expecting this to happen for a long time. But I was expecting a more spectacular blow-up.”

Olbermann’s peripatetic career landed him at MSNBC eight years ago — his second prime-time stint on the network — with a humorous show counting down the day’s top stories. That changed on Aug. 30, 2006, when Olbermann aired the first of a series of densely worded and blistering “special comments,” this time expressing anger at then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s criticism of opponents to the war in Iraq.

More anti-Bush administration commentary followed. Olbermann dropped any pretense of journalistic objectivity, and he became a hero to liberals battered by the popularity of Fox News Channel and its conservative commentators. Olbermann openly feuded with Fox, often naming personalities like Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck “worst persons in the world” for some of their statements.

“Countdown” became MSNBC’s most popular show. Instantly, a network that had often floundered in seeking a direction molded itself after Olbermann.

The Cornell graduate first became known for his work on ESPN’s “Sportscenter,” where he also cultivated a reputation for being talented but difficult to work with. His first MSNBC stint ended in the late 1990s when he quit, complaining his bosses were telling him to talk too much about President Bill Clinton’s impeachment scandal.

Olbermann’s plans are unclear. He signed a four-year contract with MSNBC two years ago; contract buyouts typically include noncompete clauses that keep a personality off TV for a period of time.

Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press

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Olbermann: Violence has no place in a Democracy

MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann, commenting on the tragic shooting in Arizona that took the life of a federal judge, a nine-year-old girl and four others and left a Congressman gravely wounded, says violence has no place in our society.

He’s right and this commentary of his says it best.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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The media has failed us

Financial media is not helping us become better informed or better investors. These outlets devote too much of their airtime to forwarding partisan propaganda rather than informing or entertaining us. The numbers suggest media is actually misinforming us and turning us into bad investors.

The findings of a recent study, Misinformation and the 2010 Election from the University of Maryland‘s World Public Opinion, show that 9 in 10 voters in the 2010 election believe they encountered information that was misleading or false, with 56% saying this occurred frequently. The study also concludes that those who watched Fox News almost daily were significantly more likely than those who never watched it to believe misinformation.

The bad news for Fox News viewers is that merely watching the channel appears to be toxic. Most voters believed a few whoppers during the 2010 election cycle. But daily watchers of FOX News believed more misinformation than everyone else.

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