Robert Cox, the founder of Olbermann Watch, the site that obsessively (some say neurotically) tracks everything the MSNBC host does on his primetime show, isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t going anywhere anytime soon. Last week, he announced his site would be shutting down, after NBC decided to throw wads of cash at Olbermann. But Cox quickly changed his mind after receiving hundreds of passionate emails (and a flood of press attention).
The New Rochelle blogger (who grew up in Irvington about five miles away from the HastingsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ bred Olbermann) is officially back up and running. Earlier today, I chatted with OlbermannÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s biggest detractor (whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s actually kind of a fan…in the loosest sense of the word). Highlights follow:
In 10 words or less, can you tell me why you dislike Keith Olbermann so much?
<blockquote><div>HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a hack.</div></blockquote>
Okay, but you have seven more words.
<blockquote><div>HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a political hack posing as a journalist and abusing the trust implied in the NBC brand to get out a political message. [For the record thatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s 23 words]</div></blockquote>
But arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t there other people who give their opinions on TV? HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not the only one.
<blockquote><div>Yeah, but NBC lists him as an anchor, not an analyst. OÃ¢â‚¬â„¢Reilly for example isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t trying to be a newscast of record for Fox.</div></blockquote>
Do you think Olbermann reads your site?
<blockquote><div>I know he was reading it. We were able to see in our log files, something coming from Secaucus. </div></blockquote>
That doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t necessarily mean itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Olbermann. There are plenty of people at MSNBC [which is located in Secaucus, NJ].
<blockquote><div>YouÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d have to know a little more about Keith to understand. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s highly unlikely that he would not read a blog about him. Keith monitors everything written about him all the time. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not a stretch to say itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s probably him reading it. </div></blockquote>
After the jump: Who does Cox think is the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Worst Person in the WorldÃ¢â‚¬? and more anti-Olbermania!
If Keith Olbermann invited you on his show would you go?
Who’s your favorite newsman?
<blockquote><div>Tom Brokaw! I like Tom a lot. I also watch the Today show in the morning. Shep Smith, Anderson Cooper, and Brit Hume are all good. </div></blockquote>
Did you think your quitting sent a dangerous message to other Olbermann haters?
<blockquote><div>Yeah. People were saying, if youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re not doing this, who will?</div></blockquote>
Some people would say itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s a bit strange or creepy even to so obsessively track one person. Is what you do healthy?
<blockquote><div>No, not really. I explained this the other day to a liberal complaining about the site. We take as a starting point KeithÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s point of view and then we react to it in our post. And we allow anyone to come in and comment. So itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s about Keith Olbermann, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s more than that. </div></blockquote>
Still, Keith Olbermann isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t the most famous newsman out there. Why him?
<blockquote><div>No one was watching him when we started writing about him [in Fall of 2004]. He had about 100,000-odd viewers. I thought Keith was the most interesting, controversial, dynamic person on TV. </div></blockquote>
Do you take credit for his ratingsÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ growth?
<blockquote><div>I do on the site, in reality noÃ¢â‚¬Â¦</div></blockquote>
Do you watch him every night?
<blockquote><div>Somebody from our site watches it every night. I watch it a lot though.</div></blockquote>
Do you like it?
<blockquote><div>There are parts I like and parts I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m up on current events so I know a lot of what heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s putting out on the air is a pretty one-sided account. It can be frustrating to watch the show, but it gives me something to write about.</div></blockquote>
Are you worried the site has stigmatized you as the crazy guy who hates Olbermann?
<blockquote><div>No, not really. You read blog posts and there are all these people who hate meÃ¢â‚¬Â¦but theyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re all Olby-loons. The site has wit about it; itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s meant to be funny. </div></blockquote>
Finish this sentence: Without “Olbermann Watch” around, Keith Olbermann wouldÃ¢â‚¬Â¦
<blockquote><div>…Feel neglected. </div></blockquote>
I think I know the answer to this question, but who’s the Worst Person in the World?
Oh, I thought you would say Osama Bin Laden.
<blockquote><div>Oh, whoÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the real worst person in the world? Well, actually, you know who I think he should make the real worst person in the world [a segment on OlbermannÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s show each night]? Me. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m offended he hasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t chosen me yet. </div></blockquote>
Seriously, did Keith Olbermann ever shoot your puppy or something?
<blockquote><div>I Never met the guy. </div></blockquote>
(AP Photo/Reed Saxon)