Countdown With Keith Olbermann, Episode 199: The Hindenburg Disaster of TV News

Episode #199 of the Countdown podcast is up.

OnMy.FM link (which also links to his previous podcasts)

ivoox also carries his podcast.



  • (1:30) SPECIAL COMMENT: All mainstream American news organizations must today solemnly and unflinchingly look inward after what happened last night and understand that if you simply assume as CNN did that if you apply the journalistic rules of 20, 50, or 150 years ago to a candidate who will speak any lie, who will slander any person, who will manipulate any fear, who will betray any and all aspects of democracy, you will inherit the wind. CNN handed over 70 minutes of its primetime, and all of its remaining credibility, to a madman, to a criminal, to a liar, to a would-be dictator. It gave him an audience of braying cult members who gave him not one critical nor even less-than-fawning question. It gave him a moderator whom he ignored, mocked, insulted, lied to, lied about, and who in turn thought everything would be fine if she simply responded to his lies by saying “no you’re wrong.”
  • CNN must fire its CEO Chris Licht for birthing a journalistic abomination unprecedented in American television history last night; its new owners must sell the network whose brand they irreparably damaged last night. E. Jean Carroll needs to sue Donald Trump for the new defamatory comments he made about he last night; And moderator Kaitlan Collins needs to sue her agent for ending her career last night.


  • Last night, CNN legitimized the lies and the feral venom of Donald Trump. And for whatever shamed remorse might leak out of that organization today and in the days ahead; for whatever sober self-reflection might be done at The New York Times or The Washington Post or the other outlets who may have now seen what happens when you apply the laws of honest journalism in a democracy to a man who will not and cannot even consider honesty or democracy; for whether or not some editor really stopped someone writing “Trump lied to and abused America for 70 minutes last night; here’s why that’s bad news for Joe Biden” … for whatever regret felt, or lesson learned … there will be others who will look at the ratings as they come out later today and say “Did you see those numbers? We need to do one of those right away!”
  • It was a disaster from start to finish. And the bottom line is: CNN as a credible news organization, as the FIRST credible full-time American television all-news organization — THAT’S what’s finished.


  • (22:04) POSTSCRIPTS TO THE NEWS: So many counts against George Santos that he, Devolder, and his drag queen persona could each get life sentences.


  • (34:22) EVERY DOG HAS ITS DAY: Beautiful young German Shepherd Lonzo may die in Downey, CA.
  • (35:43) THINGS I PROMISED NOT TO TELL: Morning radio and sports fanaticism do not mix. One day a long time ago I criticized the New York Football Giants on the station that carried them. The DJ who loved them then came out into the newsroom and threatened to get me fired by 8:30 AM. But that wasn’t the biggest surges.
  • (50:44) ARTIFACTS: An actual broadcast from that era, me filling in for John Kennelly on The Ted Brown Show on WNEW Radio, 1981.

That’s all the damage for now. Good morning, good afternoon, good night, and good luck.

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