Attribution or Retribution?

By Chris Ariens 

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On “Countdown” last night Keith Olbermann put Mediaite on the “Worsts” list. On the site yesterday, Mediaite speculated about Olbermann’s involvement with an ad for the political group Change Congress.

Olbermann’s response (video after the jump) came in the form of an on-air recrimination: “You guys should explain how you think you’re a journalism-based Website if you close the piece with ‘we’ve reached out to MSNBC for comment and are awaiting their feedback.’ That’s not the way it works, you’re supposed to get the comment first, before you write,” said Olbermann.

Then this morning, Mediaite fired back, saying that during last night’s show, Olbermann failed to attribute an internal Fox News email that Mediaite had obtained for a story.

Other sites had no problem citing the source as Mediaite – but apparently Olbermann didn’t feel the need to give proper credit, or any credit at all. If Countdown were a blog, it would be chastised for the move. Why should a cable news show be held to a different standard?

That’s just what TVNewser wanted to know about 18 months ago, when a cable news host named Dan Abrams aired a story on his MSNBC show, but did not attribute it to the source – TVNewser.

Dan Abrams, in case you didn’t know, is the founder of Mediaite. We didn’t air it out then, but couldn’t resist now.

The “Worst Person’s” segment after the jump…