Anatomy of a Keith Olbermann Lie

Stu's 3rd to Last Page, Fusion Magazine March 2010

By Stu Burguiere

Glenn is constantly attacked for being crazy, or apocalyptic, or fat (many/all of which I agree with) but lately the left has abandoned the "Glenn is a failure" narrative. Back in the day when we were only doubling and tripling the ratings at Headline News, we were routinely labeled "ratings failures" by the typical liberal blogs and columnists.

But as the numbers have grown, these attacks have generally dried up. One exception was our revisit of The Christmas Sweater, which aired in movie theaters nationwide this past December.

A liberal blogger reported that he had acquired ticket sales numbers for a few theaters running the show in big cities and declared the project was a flop. Any critical thinker would note that a couple of theaters couldn’t possibly give you the full story about a national theater event, but that was the least of the problems with his numbers.

Regardless, Keith Olbermann couldn’t resist. He went on the air with them anyway, using that one blog as his sole source. Think of the significance of that: A national news personality, trusting the unverified claim of one singular blogger.

I decided to pester our tour manager, Rich Bonn, for his magical spreadsheet which shows every ticket we sold and in which market. I thought it would be a fun experiment to get a statistical

measure on how badly Olbermann actually lies. Rich forbid me from printing all of the exact numbers, but I can generalize enough to make the point.

The blogger’s numbers weren’t just sourced poorly, they were wildly inaccurate.

Here is what Olbermann said:

"Remember the big Lonesome Rhodes/Beck extravaganza last week?"

Olbermann calls Glenn both Lonesome Rhodes and Father Coughlin.

One faked a hokey personality to win over an "aw shucks" audience; the other viscerally believed his wild anti-Semitic rants. They are the complete opposite of one another, yet Glenn is somehow both. Even Keith’s comparisons suck.

"[A] half live a half movie simulcast of his book The Christmas Sweater..."

Nope. Zero percent movie. Nice research Keith.

"In Washington, D.C., 30 people bought tickets to see Beck cry. In New York and Boston, it was 34 – but that was combined."

Ahhh…some actual numbers. He’s giving ticket sales for three cities here. Needless to say, they aren’t correct. The average error in his numbers was over 2,000%. Two. Thousand. Percent.

In reality, The Christmas Sweater: A Return to Redemption (mainly a rebroadcast of the previous year’s live show, something never mentioned by either source) was the most successful theater event in our history. That might not mean anything to Keith. Maybe he thinks all of our events have been failures. He knows failure well, so that would be understandable.

So, to make it more relatable, if you were to rank The Christmas Sweater event like they do movies, it would have been the number three movie in America that night. This despite appearing in 1/8th the amount of theaters as the number one movie (The Twilight Saga: New Moon) and only showing once per screen, rather than the six or seven times per screen like a normal movie.

Olbermann, still ignorantly clinging to his "Beck is a failure" thesis, continued:

"But of course you say, New York’s all socialists, fascists, communists; what about where the real people live,

like in Rockwall, TX? Ninety four tickets in Texas; 94 in a theater holding 193."

I know I’ve already explained how wrong his numbers were, so let’s investigate how stupid they are. He tries

to portray this theater as a failure, but if a movie could somehow sell tickets at the same rate that we did in this mythical example across a cinematic wide release, it would be in line for the largest opening weekend in history. Largest. In. History.

Finally, Keith caps it off with some ratings butchery:

"On top of which, Beck’s ratings among younger viewers for the first week of this month down 30% from the first week of last month."

I have no idea if this is true. Why? Because no executive at any level of any cable news network measures ratings this way. No trade publication even prints ratings for these "younger viewers" of cable news. Of course, he doesn’t define what that group is, so even if they were printed, you couldn’t check them. The cable news world runs on viewers aged 25-54, and, to a lesser extent, total viewers – but, unless you’re the Cartoon Network, not "younger viewers."

Regardless, no one in their right mind would compare the first week of a month to the first week of the next month. Unless you do this for a living, there is no way to comprehend how disingenuous this is. It’s like losing to the Cleveland Cavs by 60 two nights in a row, and then telling ESPN that Lebron James is a failure because his attempted free throws fell by 30 percent in the first quarter of game two.

The lesson here is not how wonderful our finances are, it’s that Olbermann performs the exact same mangling of facts about health care, war, taxes, etc. every single night. It’s also why we destroy him in the ratings. Every. Single. Night.

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On the radio program Thursday, Glenn Beck sat down with chief researcher Jason Buttrill to go over two bombshell developments that have recently come to light regarding former Vice President Joe Biden's role in the 2016 dismissal of Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin.

"Wow! Two huge stories dropped within about 24 hours of each other," Jason began. He went on to explain that a court ruling in Ukraine has just prompted an "actual criminal investigation against Joe Biden in Ukraine."

This stunning development coincided with the release of leaked phone conversations, which took place in late 2015 and early 2016, allegedly among then-Vice President Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Ukraine's former President Petro Poroshenko.

One of the audiotapes seems to confirm allegations of a quid pro quo between Biden and Poroshenko, with the later admitting that he asked Shokin to resign despite having no evidence of him "doing anything wrong" in exchange for a $1 billion loan guarantee.

"Poroshenko said, 'despite the fact that we didn't have any corruption charges on [Shokin], and we don't have any information about him doing something wrong, I asked him to resign,'" Jason explained. "But none of the Western media is pointing this out."

Watch the video below for more details:

Listen to the released audiotapes in full here.

Use code GLENN to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multiplatform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

A recently declassified email, written by former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and sent herself on the day of President Donald Trump's inauguration, reveals the players involved in the origins of the Trump-Russia probe and "unmasking" of then-incoming National Security Adviser, Gen. Michael Flynn.

Rice's email details a meeting in the Oval Office on Jan 5, 2017, which included herself, former FBI Director James Comey, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former Vice President Joe Biden, and former President Barack Obama. Acting Director of National Intelligence, Richard Grenell, fully declassified the email recently amid President Trump's repeated references to "Obamagate" and claims that Obama "used his last weeks in office to target incoming officials and sabotage the new administration."

On Glenn Beck's Wednesday night special, Glenn broke down the details of Rice's email and discussed what they reveal about the Obama administration officials involved in the Russia investigation's origins.

Watch the video clip below:

Fellow BlazeTV host, Mark Levin, joined Glenn Beck on his exclusive Friday episode of "GlennTV" to discuss why the declassified list of Obama administration officials who were aware of the details of Gen. Michael Flynn's wiretapped phone calls are so significant.

Glenn argued that Obama built a covert bureaucracy to "transform America" for a long time to come, and Gen. Flynn was targeted because he happened to know "where the bodies were buried", making him a threat to Obama's "secret legacy."

Levin agreed, noting the "shocking extent of the police state tactics" by the Obama administration. He recalled several scandalous happenings during Obama's "scandal free presidency," which nobody seems to remember.

Watch the video below for more:

Use code GLENN to save $10 on one year of BlazeTV.

Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

Colleges and universities should be home to a lively and open debate about questions both current and timeless, independent from a political bias or rules that stifle speech. Unfortunately for students, speaking out about personal beliefs or challenging political dogma can be a dangerous undertaking. I experienced this firsthand as an undergraduate, and I'm fighting that trend now as an adjunct professor.

In 2013, Glenn Beck was one of the most listened to radio personalities in the world. For a college senior with hopes of working on policy and media, a job working for Glenn was a ticket to big things. I needed a foot in the door and hoped to tap into the alumni network at the small liberal arts school where I was an undergrad. When I met with a career services specialist in early March 2013 about possible alumni connections to Glenn Beck, she disdainfully told me: "Why would you want to work for someone like him?" That was the beginning and end of our conversation.

I was floored by her response, and sent an email to the school complaining that her behavior was inappropriate. Her personal opinions, political or otherwise, I argued, shouldn't play a role in the decision to help students.

That isn't the kind of response a student should hear when seeking guidance and help in kick starting their career. Regardless of the position, a career specialist or professors' opinion or belief shouldn't be a factor in whether the student deserves access to the alumni network and schools' resources.

Now, seven years later, I work full time for a law firm and part time as an adjunct teaching business to undergraduate students. The culture at colleges and universities seems to have gotten even worse, unfortunately, since I was an undergrad.

College is a time to explore, dream big and challenge assumptions.

I never want to see a student told they shouldn't pursue their goals, regardless of their personal or political beliefs. College is a time to explore, dream big and challenge assumptions. I never got access to the alumni network or schools' resources from the career services office.

Lucky for students in 2020, there are several legal organizations that help students protect their rights when an issue goes beyond what can be handled by an undergraduate facing tremendous pressure from a powerful academic institution. Organizations like Speech First and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE), for instance, are resources I wish I knew about at the time.

When I experienced mistreatment from my college, I spoke up and challenged the behavior by emailing the administration and explaining what happened. I received a letter from the career services specialist apologizing for the "unprofessional comment."

What she described in that apology as a "momentary lapse of good judgement" was anything but momentary. It was indicative of the larger battle for ideas that has been happening on college campuses across the country. In the past seven years, the pressure, mistreatment and oppression of free expression have only increased. Even right now, some are raising concerns that campus administrations are using the COVID-19 pandemic to limit free speech even further. Social distancing guidelines and crowd size may both be used to limit or refuse controversial speakers.

Students often feel pressure to conform to a college or university's wishes. If they don't, they could be expelled, fail a class or experience other retribution. The college holds all the cards. On most campuses, the burden of proof for guilt in student conduct hearings is "more likely than not," making it very difficult for students to stand up for their rights without legal help.

As an adjunct professor, every student who comes to me for help in finding purpose gets my full support and my active help — even if the students' goals run counter to mine. But I have learned something crucial in my time in this role: It's not the job of an educator to dictate a student's purpose in life. I'm meant to help them achieve their dreams, no matter what.

Conner Drigotas is the Director of Communications and Development at a national law firm and is a Young Voices contributor.