Keith Olbermann Gets Punked By Soros
Hyper-Leftist commentators are have been getting punked a lot lately. That’s what happens when one is constantly parroting talking points without bothering to fact check. Earlier this week David Shuster torpedoed his credibility (or whatever was left of it) by pushing the Media Matters narrative that Fox was banned in Canada. Punked. The latest punkee? Keith Olbermann.
A few weeks ago some hack decided to accuse Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and Glenn Beck of using a service provided by the company that syndicates their radio shows: Premiere Networks (a subsidiary of Clear Channel).
The job, the email indicated, paid $40 an hour, with one hour guaranteed per day.
But what exactly was the work? The question popped up during the audition and was explained, the actor said, clearly and simply: If he passed the audition, he would be invited periodically to call in to various talk shows and recite various scenarios that made for interesting radio. He would never be identified as an actor, and his scenarios would never be identified as fabricated—which they always were.
“I was surprised that it seemed so open,” the actor told me in an interview. “There was really no pretense of covering it up.”
Curious, the actor did some snooping and learned that Premiere On Call was a service offered by Premiere Radio Networks, the largest syndication company in the United States and a subsidiary of Clear Channel Communications, the entertainment and advertising giant. Premiere syndicates some of the more sterling names in radio, including Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity. But a great radio show depends as much on great callers as it does on great hosts: Enter Premiere On Call.
WHOA, right? This Premiere Networks must be some Koch-funded astroturf outfit tasked with promoting conservative causes at all costs. Keith Olbermann is on this like white on rice. He even flexes his creativity muscles and makes some crazy Bugs Bunny related analogy. What a clever boy, that Keith! Here’s the crux of his post:
The latest evidence to support a brilliant but heinous effort to forcibly swing public opinion via the use of phony advocates? A remarkable piece by a website on Jewish faith called The Tablet nonchalantly reveals that the same company that syndicates the shows of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity has also employed actors to call in to those shows and pretend to be real people with real opinions and real problems.
To be fair, there isn’t a word of documentation in the post that confirms that Premiere Radio Networks’ “Premiere On Call” actually has stooges supplying the outrage and umbrage that seemingly instantly inspires the flights of outrage and certitude which propagandists like Beck and Limbaugh take. The one documented breaking of the confidentiality agreement all the phony callers evidently signed, reveals how one of the actors permitted the host of a personal help call-in show resolve a bizarre and unlikely scenario about a groom inviting his bride to the bachelor party.
However, nowhere in the confirmation of these abject misrepresentations do you see Premiere denying that its personnel have made such calls to political hosts
You got ‘em, Keith! Way to go!
Wait. Not exactly. Technically, Keith just accused more than just Limbaugh, Beck, and Hannity of using these actors posing as callers into their shows. Does Olbermann know how to use Google? Did Olbermann bother looking at the website of the company he was accusing of astroturf? Doubtful.
Here are some other notables in the Premiere Networks list of talk radio personalities:
- Keep Hope Alive with the Reverend Jesse Jackson
- Randi Rhodes
Wait. Aren’t those people Leftists? Hold on, Dan Patrick is one of their personalities too! And Jim Rome?? Is Keith calling into question the credibility of his former colleagues at ESPN?
Damn, Keith! You’ve gone rogue!
Here’s what happened. This was a Soros-funded smear. It wasn’t even very well thought out. I’m sure they were just banking on the lemmings pushing the meme but never thought any big name Leftists like Olbermann would repeat the smear without bothering to research it. TheBlaze.com has the story.
Both Leibovitz and Barrett are connected to the Columbia Journalism Review. On the Columbia Journalism Review site, under their short list of “Major Funders” we find:
The Open Society Institute – Note the website for Open Society, www.soros.org
The Sunlight Foundation - An organization that received $300,000 in funding from ‘The Foundation To Promote Open Society’
And so we have the Columbia Journalism Review, directly and indirectly funded by George Soros. Two CJR staffers advancing a theory that the three biggest voices in Talk Radio, the shows with the most rabid and loyal audiences would not have enough call-in traffic to support their daily broadcasts, so they would have to resort to actors reading scripts.
This not-quite-truthful story has already gotten picked up, expanded and twisted, by sites likeCrooks and Liars who printed it with the title:
Hmm. Prominent Conservative Radio Hosts Planted Scripted Actors Among Callers
This distortion will undoubtedly get repeated by other outlets in the blogosphere and it is a safe bet that before the week is out, the story will end up fueling an hour of giddy speculation on MSNBC.
…and by former MSNBC anchorman/spittle launcher Keith Olbermann.
I’m almost embarrassed for him. Almost.
UPDATE: Do you want to see the definition of “FAIL”? Look at the comments on Olbermann’s posts. Here are some of the highlights (read “lowlights”):
Excellent Keith! That’s how the right wing rolls. If they don’t have a following, they create a following. If they don’t have the facts to support their agenda, they make up the facts. No surprise here.
Except, Leen61, there’s no evidence of the right wing “rolling” like that.
Terri Kowalczyk says:
Why haven’t we heard about Democrats using these tactics? Are Democrats that noble or that naïve to have never thought of these things? Has the Democratic media suppressed those stories? Do I have to go watch Fox News now?
The problem is that once people make up their minds about something, they go on auto-pilot and don’t challenge their own choices, which then become self-reinforcing. When you’re initially making the decision to buy something, let’s say beer, you come up with some set of criteria to compare options. Once you’ve winnowed down the choices, you make a final decision based on which one best matches your values and your image – both self-image and the image you want others to have of you. I drink Bass, you drink Beck’s, he drinks Coors, she drinks Narragansett. You’re probably not going to change your brew unless a) something disrupts your beer-world view and b) you think you’ll like another one better. If you’re bombarded with ads for only a few brands, though, and they crowd out any other advertising, that limited information will probably shape your next choice.
The danger isn’t the sockpuppets, call-in actors, and computer-generated personas, per se. It’s our own tendency to ignore or reject information that doesn’t match our auto-pilot beliefs, or to lower our voices when we think we’re outnumbered or think there aren’t other options.
That’s why we have to ensure that all points of view are available in a free and open press … and why some want to do away with public broadcasting. That’s why we must make sure that education funding isn’t decimated so that hopefully our kids will graduate with some critical thinking skills … and why some would love to fragment our education structure even more than it is now.
I guess I should watch Fox News once in a while, if only to prove myself right. I mean left. I’m not a sockpuppet, really I’m not.
Given the lack of evidence, and the fact that there are liberal talk radio hosts in the Premiere Network, that diatribe is particularly hilarious.
It doesn’t surprise me that any one of the three little pigs (Beck, Limbaugh and O’Notreally) would act Daffy enough to fake calls or Tweeties on their cartoon shows. It stops not on radio and tv. If one googles a topic ie the world ranking of US corporate tax rates… the first page or two of sites stating that we have the highest rates are disguised right wing anti-tax sites …. the bs and lies disseminated by the right are feeding us a breakfast of misinformation. They may be dishonest, crooked, but sadly they are HARE brained and would make Bugs Bunny and Bugsy Siegel jealous.
As Bugs Bunny would say “What a maroon!”
I love the smell of punked Leftists in the morning.