Countdown host Keith Olbermann, took time from his program to vent at some of the blog-o-sphereâ€™s most popular blogs, for crafting from whole cloth articles and commentary alleging a temper tantrum motivated him to stalk off the MSNBC set for a few days, when in fact his absence was related to the reality his Mother was diagnosed with and died from cancer in the span of a couple weeks.
His commentary during the shows â€œWhat the Fu%$â€ moment or W.T.F segment can be viewed here.
Mr. Olbermanns commentary exposes a growing problem, IÂ speculate isÂ aÂ consequenceÂ of the decline of traditional fact based journalism and the ever expanding dominance of Internet based news and media sources, which are solely dependent on the ethical standards of blog owners and those who contribute.
Unlike print or television journalism, which is in theory somewhat regulated and in most cases does conform to self imposed standards of professionalism and editorial review, anyone can publish a blog and post an article, even when they report as fact or breaking news, that which they know is incorrect, a lie or simply an outlandish allegation unsupported by any element of a particular public event orÂ circumstance surronding a public figureÂ or for that matter common reality.
In Mr. Olbermanns case they posted the smear and swarmed the story even after they became aware he was mourning his Mom. And what is really unfortunate in this case, the smears and subsequent commentary came from bloggers and blogs who were often credible sources of news, information and snarky celebrity gossip.
Till quite recently blogs that made it up as they went along, seldom drew much notice or generated the readership required to become financially viable. The fact folks over at CityFile and places like the Boston Globeâ€™s Blog and Wonkette contributed to the Olberman swarm, even after they were aware of the personal loss Mr. Olbermann suffered, does suggest a disturbing trend that seems to be coinciding with the demise of theÂ newspaper and magazine industry.
Perhaps regulators will need to step in and impose on the Blog-O-sphere the same basic regulatory safeguards and editorial standards print and television journalism must operate under.
I get my share of e-mails from conservatives who claim I use freedom of speech to post political commentary and Op-ed observations written with the sole intent, to offend and cast aspersion in the most negative and critical light possible, so people and events addressed will suffer the most unflattering and distorted perception I can relate, to which I reply, Why yes, and than some butÂ thatâ€™s justÂ my view, yours may be different.
But too often these days, bloggers fail to observe the line between commentary and simply making it up as they go along. When for example Dick Cheneyâ€™s Daughter, goes on FOX as she did this week and wonders why, President Obama seems to be siding with terrorists or Sarah Palin wonders why he pals around with them, thatâ€™s snarky hard ball political commentary. Reporting that Keith Olbermann stormed off the set in a tantrum and is fighting with Rachel Maddow, even after you have been toldÂ actually he is mourning for his Mom,Â that’s so crass, it would even fail Sir Rupert Murdochâ€™s standard of journalism, well thatâ€™s my view, yours may be different. Â Â