Saturday, August 15, 2009

Is Keith Olbermann a four year old?

One of the primary tactics that Rush Limbaugh uses to demonize people is to use some kind of disparaging voice when imitating a particular group. It is a propaganda tactic, meant to discredit someone by trying to associate them with derogatory physical characterstics. For example, Rush Limbaugh likes to characterize "liberal" males as "new castrati," effiminate, sissy gays who have lost their manhood because they don't stand up to feminists. Here he is at CPAC

I find this detestable. And when I noticed that Keith Olbermann has developed the same nasty habit, my opinion of the tactic didn't change.

It's not just Dobbs that Olbermann does this to. It's become pretty standard for him to do some idiotic voice for any of the people that end up in the Worst Persons segment. (In fact, I've heard Olbermann use the exact same lispy voice to mock someone that Limbaugh used in the clip above.) If you want to mock someone for stupid and/or dishonest things they say, fine, I'm all for that. But attempting to discredit someone by physically degrading them is crossing the line, as far as I'm concerned.

What's more, it's incredibly obnoxious and makes Olbermann look like a fool. The same way Glenn Beck looks like a fool when he's attempting to mock someone by making stupid faces or doing whatever stunt of the moment.

Additionally, I happened to catch a bit of the final segment from Friday night's show. Some stand up comic was holding a puppet, doing a back and forth with the puppet while making fun of Karl Rove. Apparently this was supposed to have something to do with Rove and Limbaugh being scheduled to a guest spot on Family Guy next season. I've said this before, but I'll say it again: with great power comes great responsibility. Being the host of primetime network program gives Olbermann a great deal of ability to influence public opinion, and with that power comes the responsibility to use his time on the air to promote the public good. That's supposed to be his job as a journalist.

Almost every single night on Countdown the #1 segment is a complete waste of time. Silly nonsense with no journalistic value. This is time that could be devoted to covering serious issues, news that isn't getting the coverage it deserves.

At a time when a majority of whites in the state of North Carolina aren't sure their president is a US citizen, do we really have time for our supposed news programs to gossip about asininine infotainment matters?


Left-wing Wacko said...

Yeah, when I heard that from Olberman, I was pretty annoyed. Just say it in a normal voice.

NAL said...

Good point about the voices Olbermann does of Rush, Dobbs, and Bill-O. It turns a serious comment into a cartoon. I also agree that the last segment is usually a waste. I almost never watch it, especially if one of those comedians, like Christian Finnegan or Michael Musto, is the guest. If I'm watching via DVR, that's my cue to stop and erase that episode.

hanshiro said...

You cannot picture Bill Moyers or Edward R. Murrow doing shtick like that to make an impact.

Journalists know real journalism doesn't need funny voices or sound effects, the truth and reasoned perspective is far more engaging.

Frontline needs no vaudeville cues, they have bald, well presented and researched reality.

malcontent said...

This represents the bully/victim cycle of our public discourse.

What is the difference between a bully and a victim? The bully is the dominant one, until he/she isn't.

Like child abuse it propagates through obedient humiliation.

The cartoon voices and dissonant organ music are gratuitous pranks that definitely detract from the serious task of impugning GOP thugs with their own deeds that Olbermann also does.

The Limbaugh loop where he is bouncing like a silverback with an erection and chanting "Rush, Rush, Rush!" at CPAC is one thing, showing the world you have the same flaws but opposing views is a different kettle of fish.