Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Countdown With Keith Olbermann gets the recognition it deserves.

But it's the structure of "Countdown," which averaged 721,000 viewers in July, a bump for the show, that seems so savant-like.

The form does what CBS tried to do when it hired Katie Couric: It makes news feel like pop culture. Nick Hornby did this with love in his novel "High Fidelity" ("my desert island, all-time, top five most memorable split-ups, in chronological order," the book begins).

Putatively, "Countdown" counts down the day's top five stories, ending with No. 1. But this is really just artifice to make the medicine go down. The No. 5 story, which leads the broadcast, is the longest segment and usually concerns the biggest political story of the day (read: Olbermann calling out the latest Bush administration imbroglio). The so-called No. 1 story (read: Olbermann calling out Lindsay Lohan's latest imbroglio) is often puffery, or what Olbermann calls "water-cooler."
"I had a conversation with the large people at CBS before they went and decided to go to Katie Couric," he said. "We sat at length talking about this. They had a mixture of greedy appreciation and suspicion about whether or not anything like this, you know, how could you do a 'Countdown' show on the 'CBS Evening News.' Well, of course you couldn't. Now."




Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Inchoherent" ramblings is just about right. Do you have any other platform besides Bushbashing? To each his own but couldn't find much to keep me turning the page here.
I imagine you're one of those latte-sipping lefties who couldn't debate his way out of a wet paper bag. No fun at all.

11:58 PM, August 07, 2007  
Blogger Prof Frink said...

See next post for my reply

1:01 PM, August 09, 2007  

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