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Friday, April 24, 2009

Keith Olbermann: Worst Fact-Checking in the World


The odious Keith Olbermann, GE employee, named Jesse Watters runner-up for "Worst Person in the World" for asking questions at the GE stockholder meeting.

You can see it here (or above) if you like. The segment on Watters has several factual errors (such as claiming Watters' mike wasn't cut off), which is really inexcusable, but what else is new?

After I fact-check my own list of the errors in the segment with those who were there, I'll post the other errors Olbermann made, so if you care, watch this space.

Addendum: OK, I've checked. As I suspected, Keith Olbermann had more wrong than his false claim that Jesse Watters' microphone wasn't cut off. Olbermann also claimed that Watters audiotaped the Q&A session and then lied about it when GE asked if he was taping. In fact, Watters didn't tape the session, Tom Borelli did. Tom -- later -- allowed Fox News to use a copy of his tape.

(As an aside, Tom tells me that "Jesse was being watched by GE security and every time he took his Blackberry out - they were all over him." This is bizarre. What did GE think a lone guy was going to do to them with a Blackberry?)

Then there's Olbermann's assertion that one of the people who asked about CNBC works for Fox News. Two people asked about CNBC: Deneen Borelli (the "unidentified woman" in the oft-quoted Hollywood Reporter story) and Tom Borelli. Both work for the National Center for Public Policy Research (Tom as co-director of the Free Enterprise Project; Deneen as full-time fellow with Project 21. Tom also works, independently, for the Free Enterprise Action Fund mutual fund), and neither has ever worked for, been paid by, or received funds from, Fox News.

So Olbermann had four errors in 78 seconds:
1) Olbermann falsely claimed Jesse Watters' microphone wasn't cut off, when it was (as was, temporarily, Deneen Borelli's);

2) Olbermann falsely claimed Jesse Watters audiotaped the Q&A session;

3) Olbermann falsely claimed that Watters lied when he denied taping the meeting;

4) Olbermann falsely claimed that one of the two persons who asked about CNBC was representing Fox News.
That's one error every 19.5 seconds.

Maybe at next year's annual GE stockholders' meeting, the stockholders should question the competency of a news division that makes an error every twenty seconds.

Hat tip: A commenter on Olbermann Watch.

Note: Comments on the video were made by YouTube user Gamingeagle19, who is not affiliated with the National Center for Public Policy Research.


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Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:21 AM

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