Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Olbermann nails it on the healthcare issue
Wolffe in sheeps clothing
If anyone is wondering why this dimunitive figure has had so much play on Countdown, you don't have to feel like the Lone Ranger. Why, the guy exudes negative energy and is often non commital when Olbermann is making points on some of the issues that need to be addressed in these weird times.
Hmmm, it's almost like he's conspicuous in his absence today... ( :
MSNBC admits erring on Richard Wolffe
By KENNETH P. VOGEL & EAMON JAVERS | 8/3/09 7:23 PM EDT
Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0809/25760.html#ixzz0NEPF2Atv
MSNBC will begin identifying commentator Richard Wolffe as a strategist for a top Washington public affairs public Strategies Inc. after a spate of criticism alleging a conflict between his consulting and television roles.
“We should have disclosed Richard's connection to Public Strategies,” NBC News spokesman Jeremy Gaines told POLITICO. “We will do so in the future.”
Gaines did not answer questions about whether MSNBC knows Public Strategies’ clients or which accounts Wolffe works on for the firm, but he said “Richard has assured us that he does not offer commentary about any of his clients or their interests.”
Public Strategies represents a host of clients in the middle of any number of hot public policy debates.
According to lobbying records, this year the firm has worked for the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, which paid it $50,000 a month, defense contractor Lockheed Martin, the Edison Electric Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, among others.
Wolffe himself is not registered to lobby, so there are no records of which accounts he works for the firm.
But his biography on Public Strategies’ website touts both his relationship with MSNBC, which recently used him as a guest host for “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” and alludes to his familiarity with President Obama’s inner circle, which were solidified while covering the 2008 presidential campaign as a Newsweek reporter and later writing a book about the campaign.
Liberal Salon blogger Glenn Greenwald recently summed up the situation thusly: “Wolffe's role in life is to advance the P.R. interests of the corporations that pay him, including corporations with substantial interests in virtually every political issue that MSNBC and Countdown cover.” That, Greenwald asserted, “is a conflict so severe that it's incurable by disclosure: who wouldn't realize that you can't present paid corporate hacks as objective political commentators?”
Conservative media critics, meanwhile, have long objected to what they alleged was Wolffe’s deferential treatment of Obama both on MSNBC and, previously, for Newsweek.
Video @ Politico