Media Law Prof Blog

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Louisiana State Univ.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Word Wars

From the New York Times, this discussion of the lengthy battle between Keith Olbermann and Bill O'Reilly that finally seems to be over, although not because one of them has won. Explains Brian Stelter,

It was perhaps the fiercest media feud of the decade and by this year, their bosses had had enough. But it took a fellow television personality with a neutral perspective to help bring it to at least a temporary end.

At an off-the-record summit meeting for chief executives sponsored by Microsoft in mid-May, the PBS interviewer Charlie Rose asked Jeffrey Immelt, chairman of G.E., and his counterpart at the News Corporation, Rupert Murdoch, about the feud.

Both moguls expressed regret over the venomous culture between the networks and the increasingly personal nature of the barbs. Days later, even though the feud had increased the audience of both programs, their lieutenants arranged a cease-fire, according to four people who work at the companies and have direct knowledge of the deal.

Although both Mr. Olbermann and Mr. O'Reilly say they are unaware of any "deal," both seem to have moved on.

Update: According to this post by James Poniewozik, maybe "moving on" is an optimistic assessment.

[L]ast night, Olbermann returned from vacation, using his "Worst Person in the World" segment to say that it was still on, and how...

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