Olbermann: New show looks to reclaim independence of TV news

By Stephen C. Webster
Friday, June 17, 2011 16:10 EDT
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Speaking to reporters Friday, former MSNBC host Keith Olbermann said his new show on the Current TV network would look to reclaim something that’s long since vanished from television newsrooms: independence.

“What we’re trying to do is something that is utterly different than what has been done with television news in the last 30 years, since the advent of cable and the breaking down of that used to be the wall between news and everything else at television networks,” he told Raw Story.

“What has gone away is the concept of independence among television networks.”

Olbermann said that his the new iteration of “Countdown” will be conducted however he sees fit through 2013, no matter the ratings. That wall of separation, he added, meant he would never “carry water for anybody” and “everybody is fair game.”

(And an aside: He admitted that his former employers were squeamish about criticizing Democrats, saying “there was kind of a shudder that went through the operation because it just seemed not to fit stereotypes.”)

He also said the new show will feature a web presence “which will dwarf whatever I have done previously,” with exclusive content and “huge interactions” with viewers online and across the progressive media sphere.

“We’re also going to be promoting more and more the people who have made significant names for themselves and have done great journalistic work on the Internet.”

Naturally, Olbermann insisted his program will retain that signature progressive edge his viewers came to know and love.

“I do not intend to sell anybody on the notion that this will be a popular program among conservatives,” he said. “I don’t particularly care if it is. I don’t think they’re right about things. That’s my point of view and that is the point of view where we’re going to operate from.”

Olbermann’s new show starts Monday, June 20 at 8 p.m. EST on Current TV.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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