Cheers and Regards for the Week of November 8, 2010

If you ever get an e-mail from a journalist, there’s one portion of it you should pay attention to more than any other. No, it’s not the part where they’re asking you about how you said seeing Muslims made you eat your own arm off once; it’s the sign-off.

If it’s “Cheers,” you’re cool. You did OK. If it’s “Regards,” you pissed somebody off, and you better figure out how to fix things, quick.

We apply those same tenets here, every week.

CHEERS and REGARDS to ABC News for almost putting, then opting to avoid putting professional shit-stirrer Andrew Breitbart on TV election night. What in the world made them think that would be anything but a terrific disaster is anyone’s guess (and they claimed they never planned to actually put him on TV, but rather simply relegate him to the ghetto of an online discussion). But thank the Lord they had the good sense to stop that before it got started.

CHEERS to the Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank for taking what everybody sort of already knew about Fox News’ direct connection to the GOP and putting a number on it and spelling out their narrative to everyone who avoided it last Tuesday.

REGARDS to Joanna Ostrow at the Denver Post for making a story out of the fact that news outlets used the Internet to report election data Tuesday night. That’s no grounds for back-patting; it’s just the reality of reporting in the 21st Century.

CHEERS and REGARDS to MSNBC for suspending Keith Olbermann without pay for his contributions to three Democratic candidates this year. On the one hand, MSNBC isn’t Fox. It has to maintain some appearance of ethics and objectivity when it comes to political candidates. And there’s no sign of partiality greater than making political donations. Anyone who claims to report the news without fear or favor must make every effort to avoid such public displays of such partiality. But on the other hand, this is Keith Olbermann we’re talking about here. Contributing to Democratic candidates may be the least partisan thing he’s done in like five years. So you have to wonder: Do the bosses at MSNBC even watch their own shows?

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