It was utterly unsurprising to see Keith Olbermann trashing Ann Coulter on Tuesday for the Drudge Report’s "phony martyrdom story" that she was "banned for life" from NBC.
But Olbermann seems so devoid of introspection that he didn’t consider the obvious: every conservative has been effectively "banned for life" from his hermetically sealed show for years. For as much as this lecturing Murrow wannabe boils over with contempt for Bill O’Reilly, his Fox foe offers liberals air time for a counterpoint, while Keith’s set has a broad range of opinions – from Obama-loving to Obama-stalking. See Keith unload:
Number one: best childish, desperate, self-hating whiner, Ann Coulter. never has anybody who respected a news organization less wanted, needed, begged for the attention of that news organization more. After in her latest republishing of her one idea with another new title, portraying NBC as a purveyor of lies which has been, quote, "caught promoting a fraud," she not only pleaded to appear on evil NBC first, before Fox, before Fox News, before right wing radio. She not only pleaded to launch the book`s publicity tour on NBC, but she proved so emotionally fragile that when that NBC appearance was canceled, she concocted a phony martyrdom story that she had, quote, "been banned for life from NBC."
The Coulter-ban rumors aren’t that interesting if NBC had never allowed her on before, like many conservatives. NBC has a right as a private organization to choose its guests, or keep a banned-for-life list. It’s interesting because she’s been a prominent repeat guest on Today, and allegedly open-minded liberals of an Olbermannesque bent starting organizing a pressure campaign to get her banned.
A media critic can easily suspect that Drudge’s story was a set of anonymous quotes from top NBC officials, and therefore suspect. But notice how NBC waffled around giving any real detail to their internal discussions. Besides, by this logic, most Bob Woodward books should never get the dramatic promotion they get on the Today show, as much as they’re loaded with quotes from anonymous top officials. Back to Keith’s lecture, where it left off:
Incredibly, even as she was spreading that lie, Ms. Coulter was also behind the scenes supplicating herself, crying, bleating, screeching, begging, even, old, unreliable, non-journalistic, untrustworthy, immoral, hypocritical NBC to please, please, please let her come on to promote her book, which is, in part, about why how evil, unreliable, non-journalistic, untrustworthy, immoral and hypocritical NBC is.
The question, of course, is what kind of ethics, what kind of standards, what kind of self-respect would somebody have to have to go to such lengths to appear on a network that one considers the embodiment of falsehood and deception? The answer, you`d have to no have no ethics and no standards and no self-respect. For if you think that NBC is full of virtual pimps of dishonesty, if you`re going on NBC, Ann, what does that mean you think you are?
This is a lame argument. For example, I think PBS is a taxpayer-funded left-wing sandbox. But if a PBS show invited me for an interview, I don't think accepting it would ruin me by association, as Olbermann seems to suggest.
Keith is clearly suggesting that he would never appear on his nominee for a channel with no standards, Fox News, since it's full of those "pimps of dishonesty." Don't forget he was willing to take big paychecks from Rupert Murdoch to be a failed Fox Sports anchor for a while.
This should on some level be considered an official NBC News rebuttal of the Coulter story, since Keith is one of their highest-paid hosts and his show begins with a flutter of official NBC peacock logos and music. Remember this when NBC or MSNBC asserts someone else’s political chatter is too nasty for the virgin ears of our democracy.