Dick Cavett, Keith Olbermann Stir NYDN ‘Yellow Journalism’ Debate

During an interview today with HuffPost Live, Dick Cavett told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani that he holds, ultimately, New York Daily News readers accountable for the Robin Williams August 13 front page derided around the world:

“This is the kind of crap that sells tabloid newspapers and there isn’t much you can do about it because the public rewards it by buying it and eating it up,” Cavett said. “It’s none of your damn business what his details were but it’s something we must live with.”


Meanwhile, Daily News sports media columnist Bob Raissman labeled Keith Olbermann a “hypocrite” for Twitter-raging about the front page and deeming his newspaper colleagues “heartless bastards.” From his column:

Like a lover scorned, Olbermann is obsessed with the Daily News. And when he rips us, viewers actually awake from their slumber and listen. Olbermann needs to keep his base engaged. His audience has shrunk by 21,000 viewers since the end of April.

If Olbermann is so surprised we are still in business, how does he explain why so many Daily News back pages are prominently displayed on Sports Center?

There is much more in Raissman’s column, which has elicited for the most part tarring of the author in the comments:

JerseyPaulie: So, this is what has become of your illustrious “career”‘ Raissman? Designated apologist for the schmucks who write the NYDN headlines? And for a front page that 99% of your readers probably felt was beneath even this rag’s low standards? Are you that desperate to hold onto your job?

Uma: I think Bob Raismann should’ve taken the classy route and just remained silent after Keith Olbermann’s comment. Why? KEITH WAS RIGHT. That cover was so tasteless and ghoulish. Bob and the NYDN should be ashamed.

P.S. Cavett, uniquely qualified to comment on the circumstances of Williams’ death, wrote a great essay this week for Time. Bookmark/read here.