Get to Know Your Media Personalities!

media-july-main-art-det-large.jpgLooks like it’s media personality profile week! The New Yorker has a well-timed piece on current backlash suffering Keith Olbermann.

Olbermann’s original script identified the “cold-blooded killers” as everyone at the Pentagon and in the Bush Cabinet; when a colleague noted that that would include such relative moderates as Colin Powell and Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Olbermann modified the line. Phil Griffin, the senior vice-president in charge of MSNBC (“Phil thinks he’s my boss,” Olbermann says), raised the matter of tone. Why did Olbermann need to end his commentary by telling the President of the United States to “shut the hell up”? “Because I can’t say, ‘Shut the fuck up,’ that’s why, frankly,” Olbermann responded. The line stayed in.
Meanwhile over at Portfolio former NYT editor Howell Raines has penned a profile of blogger voice of God/shy journalism nerd Jim Romenesko.
Romenesko described how his inspiration, circa 1998 — to link up all the journalists in America on a blog originally called MediaGossip — had made him a cloistered digital monk, rising at 5 a.m. every day to begin doggedly posting tidbits of journalism-related news gleaned from other websites (he looks at more than 100 sites a day). A true obsessive, he quit taking vacations because he knew his second-guessing would drive any stand-in editor crazy. In the early days, he read some print newspapers every morning, but like the rest of America, he got over it: “They can stack up for a week plus, and maybe on a weekend, I’ll finally get to them.”