Keith Olbermann

I am not a fan of Keith Olbermann. I didn’t like him at ESPN, and I certainly do not like him now. Like the rest of television and cable customers, I have a choice whether or not to watch him — I do not watch him with any regularity.

As you know, he was suspended for a few days for donating to three Congressional Democrats, in violation of MSNBC’s policy — a policy he claimed he knew nothing about. Right. All while trying to excoriate other networks, mainly the parent company of FOX NEWS, for being involved in the political process.

As if General Electric (former owner) and Comcast aren’t politically involved. Let’s keep it honest, Keith. Aside from the fact that GE CEO Jeff Immelt may have changed his views on President Obama, didn’t he say “we’re all democrats now?” I wonder why, given the fact that GE was a beneficiary of government spending, why Mr. Immelt would say such a thing? I wonder…

Keith, for now, is back on the air. According to POLITICO and other sources, 300,000 people signed a petition in his defense. Big whoop. Roughly that many people attended the Stewart/Colbert rally, I am sure 5x that many people watched it. According to my cursory analysis, about 4 million people a year watch Olbermann’s show, according to Business Insider. That is 7.5% of his yearly viewership. Surely, more than 7.5% of his views support him, don’t they? Of course, not all of his viewers knew about the petition, but that’s pretty low.

For a bit of perspective, 300,000 signers is 0.09771986970684039% of the U.S. population. That’s a minuscule fraction of one percent (nine percent  of one percent). [I am not a math major, if it is wrong, please correct me.] Now, I realize that not all of his viewers, and obviously not all of the population knew about Mr. Olbermann’s strife. Using total population is unfair. It was just to show scale and perspective. But, what about the percentage of total cable viewers? 0.28%. Not a significant percentage.

And while I may not be a fan of Beck or Hannity (I’ll admit I watched the GWB interview today and it was way better than Lauer’s or Oprah’s) — Olbermann, at the end of the day is a commentator, not a legitimate news reporter. His show may be a bit more wonky than some of his more conservative counterparts, but I’ve watched it — a lot — and if you think he’s a reporter rather than a commentator, I can’t be sure you’ve actually watched and paid attention to the same program I watched, sir.

Truth be told, I am glad he is back. Putting somebody better in there would cut into Fox’s dominant market share of evening shows. But, let’s be serious. If Keith Olbermann were a legitimate reporter of the news, he’d be on at mid-day, not at night.

I don’t watch any of these shows with regularity, and if you want to form your own views, neither should you. The fun part is identifying what they say is factually incorrect, and no matter the channel or show, you’re guaranteed to find incorrect “reporting” of “the facts.” Hatred of Keith Olbermann notwithstanding.

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