Keith Olbermann Was Right About TVNewser

In the recent dust up between Comedy Central’s Jon Stewart and CNBC’s Jim Cramer, TVNewser inserted itself into the controversy with an anonymously sourced item that asserted that MSNBC was told to refrain from stories on the matter. TVNewser’s Steve Krakauer did not reveal who told MSNBC to do this, nor who told him about the instruction.

Keith Olbermann responded to Krakauer’s claim in a posting on Daily Kos. He denied that any restrictions were placed on him, and he noted Krakauer’s and TVNewser’s reputation for partisanship and for regurgitating Fox News PR:

“Frankly, the guy who posted this, the site’s Associate Editor, Steve Krakauer (‘SteveK’), is well known around the industry as being entirely in Fox’s pocket […] Rachel [Maddow] could get the cover of Newsweek and he wouldn’t link to it.”

Well, this morning TVNewser is featuring two stories on its front page on Glenn Beck (both by Krakauer), including one that links to a Beck interview by The Daily Beast. But no mention that Rachel Maddow was on David Letterman last night.

Good call, Keith. I have previously documented other incidents of blatant bias by TVNewser. In one story about the marital infidelity of politicians Krakauer cited Hillary Clinton (who has never engaged in infidelity) and John Edwards (who, at the time, was the subject of unsupported rumors in the National Enquirer). He didn’t bother to mention the multiple marriages and notorious philandering of John McCain, Fred Thompson, and Rudy Giuliani. The other story offhandedly referred to Al Franken as “a rabid leftie.”

Krakauer is not only in Fox’s pocket, he is a former Fox News employee. The evidence of TVNewer’s bias is all over its web site. It’s apparent in what they chose to cover and what they chose to ignore. And, most of all, its community of commenters posting remarks to their articles is a buzzing hive of partisans so far to the right they would make RedStaters nervous. They congregate in items referencing Fox News and are devotedly defensive of anything and everything Fox does and says. Their boards are thoroughly useless as a forum for media discussions. Any comment that is contrary to the rightist hive-think is pounced on and assaulted in overtly personal terms.

TVNewser may eventually put up some notice of Maddow’s Letterman spot, but that will not resolve the larger problem that the site is infected with slanted coverage and lunatic rantings. It’s a shame, because there is a real need for a web site that offers balanced media news and informed discourse.

Update: Well, TVNewser did get around to posting a brief notice that Maddow appeared on Letterman. But they also followed it up immediately with a ridiculous Krakauer composed hit piece on Jon Stewart (more on that here).


5 thoughts on “Keith Olbermann Was Right About TVNewser

  1. That still doesn’t answer the question of whether NBC put a muzzle on discussion of Stewart’s interview of Cramer. I watched CNBC and MSNBC all day and the silence was deafening. Rachel was the only one who mentioned it and all she said was that it had gotten a lot of attention. She did not show any clips or try to explain why it had gotten so much attention.

    • There is also no evidence that there WAS a muzzle put on anyone. And since other nets also didn’t cover the story much after Cramer was on The Daily Show, I don’t think it’s an issue. Even Howard Kurtz wrote that he could not corroborate the TVNewser story.

      But the main point I’m addressing here is not how this story was handled, it’s what a bunch of partisan hacks the TVNewsers are, and how that devalues their web site.

  2. almost every person that posts comments on tvnewser is a far right nut. the liberals on that site are outnumbered 5:1. i dont know if the actual editors are far right, but they definitely pander to the right and never post stories about them if they are bad, whereas if keith olbermann makes a misstatement, they post it as an article just so they can get thousands of traffic with people wanting to post all day. remember the shuster-ziegler interview? if you scroll down, its an endless list of comments trashing msnbc. but when fox news lies everyday, they dont talk about it, and when fox news has their typical days of high ratings, they post it and all of their fans come on and brag about it.

    • Very true. I have corresponded with Chris Ariens of TVNewser. I pointed out how TVN never reported that Fox alone failed to cover several Obama events. Ariens said it was just an editorial decision. Then he posted an item about the other nets not covering an Obama forum in Turkey. I pointed out to him that he only seems to report these disparities in coverage when it is favorable to Fox, but he either couldn’t see it or wouldn’t admit it.

      The site, and most of its readers, are desperately one-sided right-wingers. Their total lack of objectivity is no accident. You can even see it in their advertising and the guests at their events.

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