ON BRIAN WILLIAMS, NBC/COMCAST, AND THE DELICATE BRUISED FEELINGS OF THE RIGHT
Keith Olbermann jumped, or was pushed, on Friday, just as Comcast was taking control of NBC and MSNBC. In a less-noticed development the day before, Brian Williams devoted a whopping nine minutes of the half-hour NBC Nightly News to a pointless exercise in mutual self-congratulation -- you could substitute a less polite way of saying that -- that took place at the George Bush School of Government and Public Service in College Station, Texas: a reunion of the members of the Poppy Bush administration who participated in the planning of the first Gulf War, on the twentieth anniversary of its beginning.
Was this news? At all? Williams sure treated it as if it was news -- huge news. Watch as much as you can stand:
There's a forty-minute version as well, if you're a glutton for punishment.
Excerpts from this interview appeared on the Nightly News, on the Today show, and on Dateline. Why? What the hell makes this worth all that airtime? It's just a bunch of old bastards sitting around talking about how right they were to launch the war they launched and end it the way they ended it.
I can't help wondering if this happened after a gentle nudge from the new corporate overlords at NBC, hoping for a bit more conservative-friendly content. The timing, like the timing of the Olbermann departure, is curious.
I'm reminded of this because I see that Williams will co-moderate (with Politico's John Harris) the first GOP presidential debate for 2012 -- the one at the Reagan Library. Someone from NBC was going to get that gig no matter what -- NBC and Politico are sponsoring it, and the last time around the moderators were Harris and Chris Matthews. But Matthews is now seen as part of the evil gang of commie antichrists at MSNBC (back in 2007, when the last debate took place, he was a guy who could be counted on to make sexist cracks about the seemingly inevitable Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton). We'll see how gentle Williams is on the assembled pack of crazies at the debate this time. Meanwhile, his hyping of this pointless event was almost unbearable.