Olbermann Gave Rare Voice to 'Dissenting Views' On Iraq War?

New York Times reporter Brian Stelter wrote a front-page story for Saturday's Times on the suspension of Keith Olbermann, but the worst sentence overstated how rare the "anti-war" voices were in the "rush to war" in Iraq:

Mr. Olbermann’s program, “Countdown,” is the most popular hour on MSNBC, with about 1.1 million viewers a night. Years ago, Mr. Olbermann gave voice to dissenting views about the Iraq war and about Bush administration policies when few others on television would, and more recently he helped advance the Obama administration’s push for a health care overhaul.

Stelter did nail how Olbermann was offering a DNC version of the news (but then, so was Rachel Maddow):

The indefinite suspension was a stark display of the clash between objectivity and opinion in television journalism. While Mr. Olbermann is anchor of what is essentially the “Democratic Nightly News,” the decision affirmed that he was being held to the same standards as other employees of MSNBC and its parent, NBC News,

Without clearly identifying the group, Stelter noted the Progressive Campaign Change Committee organized 100,000 signatures to return Olbermann to the air. John Egerton of Broadcasting & Cable quoted their form: "The Democratic Party sadly saw this week what happens when you alienate your base," said PCCC. "Tell MSNBC that if they want to keep their viewers, they must put Keith back on the air NOW!"

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis