Next up on our integral media roundup is none other than MSNBC’s falling star, Keith Olbermann. Two years ago, he would have fared much better. To his credit, he exposed the Bush administration’s incompetence in painstakingly accurate detail. Others in the media treaded lightly while W was treading on We the People. Olbermann was one of the few who took notice and subsequently barked the loudest. Some of his “special comments” were awe-inspiring. He had true Edward R. Murrow moments (ERMM), and even his borrowed sign-off did not tarnish the core truth of his attacks. He expressed what I felt, while the rest of the media was still tentative, cowardly, wrong, or licking Rupert Murdoch’s cock.
Olbermann exposed Bush’s signing statements, Gestapo tactics, false info leading up to the war, secret prisons, torture, indefinite suspension of habeas corpus, and other scandals too numerous to list without the combined efforts of Hal, Skynet, and Deep Thought (HSDT). But our good friend Olbermann got a little carried away during his end-zone dance. In fact, he carried the ball clear up into the stands, down the escalators, and out into the parking lot. Cheered by tailgating masses, he continued across the street and through a Laundromat before spiking the pigskin into a municipal dump.
Unfortunately for Olbermann, crusaders tend to grab that pendulum and swing it hard–right past sanity and clear up to the other Hannity. Olbermann went from sports commentator, to political commentator, to journalist, back to commentator, and finally came to rest in the bin marked “partisan hack.” During a recent talk between FOX executive Roger Ailes and Barack Obama, Ailes cited Olbermann as “kind of what Hannity is on the right.” When the right uses you as an example to justify Sean Hannity, it’s “game over,” dude. You, Keith Olbermann, have become today’s Worst Liberal in the World.
Let’s take a look at our friend Olbermann from the perspective of the integral movement, shall we? In the subjective/individual (self) quadrant of Ken Wilber’s four-quadrant model–an area featuring a dash of Colbert’s subjective “truthiness” — Olbermann has trouble. He does believe in his cause and expertly exposes this administration’s transgressions, but he has surrounded himself with “yes” men. I do applaud his ability to consistently rail against “the man.” He is the Hawkeye Pierce to Bill O’Reilly’s Frank Burns (who, we all know, eats worms). You can’t help but cheer on his attacks against the Neidermeyers of the world. (Grade: B–)
In the objective/individual (brain) quadrant, the S.S. Olbermann starts listing to port. Over the last few years, his TV show has totally eliminated any and all dissent—employing similar tactics to those he criticizes. He has “jumped the shark” by ignoring the “surge” and by omitting any fact, story, or feature that does not back his investigative commentary turned ideology. The last eight years have been horrible for America, but this does not excuse his orchestrated ignorance of objectivity (OIO…four dead in OIO). In the end, these tactics only serve to water down the discourse. I’m sorry, Keith, but that’s my job.
The “surge” does not absolve all wrongdoing, but it deserves some coverage. It’s the first good news from Iraq in a very long time…at least, since my own charges were dropped in Haditha. Granted, the progress is tenuous, yet still promising, like when that judge lifted my PFA. (It’s going to be different this time, honey. Honest.) In summary, Olbermann focuses only on objective facts from the liberal perspective. If the surge were to work and if Iraq did somehow morph into a viable friendly democracy, his head would probably explode like an IED. (Grade: C)
Olbermann scores very poorly in the objective/plural (society) quadrant. Any war, just or otherwise, would probably be bludgeoned in the same way by his pacifistic scrutiny. He has shown little support for the troops, unless in doing so it embarrasses the administration. There was a time he sought justice; now, caught up in the bloodlust, he has lost his moral compass (like me in Haditha). (Grade: C–)
The subjective/plural (culture) quadrant brings similar problems for Olbermann. There is a culture war occurring, and ignoring it isn’t working too well in Europe. You must temper your anger with judgment, young Padawan. Remember what Yoda said: “Anger leads to hate, and hate leads to FOX.” (Grade: C+)
I think Keith dropped an entire letter grade in about two years. In 2006, he was at his peak. He was truly brilliant back then. But, oh, how the mighty have fallen.
“Named must your fear be before banish it you can.” (Final grade: C)