Got information on Bob Cox? SEND IT!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Insight into the Mind of Robert Cox

A reader sent in this copy of an email exchange with Robert Cox. It gives a glimpse into the warped mind of the proprietor of Olbermann Watch.

Cox spams anyone who has the nerve to disagree with him and publishes their emails WITH THEIR EMAIL ADDRESSES on his site. If what is good for the goose is good for the gander then surely Robert Cox will not mind my publishing this exchange WITH THIS PERSONAL EMAIL ADDRESS here.

Still not convinced that Cox is a sick, twisted individual?

Cox writes:

Monitoring the un-American activities of Keith Olbermann is the highest calling of any patriotic American.

The sad part is that he and his followers actually believe this.

Enjoy the ENTIRE email with the name of my reader redacted to protect the innocent.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: J
Date: Mar 10, 2007 1:26 PM
Subject: Re: poor wittow baby
To: Robert Cox

so... I'm confused, which one of us is the loon?

I have no doubt that you have received a flood of emails supporting your decision to open your site back up, but please keep in mind, it only takes a few seconds to bang out an email, but you're the one dedicating your life to this. I have no doubt that your heart is in the right place, but certainly there are activities that you could be railing against that are truly un-American and not merely the activities of an American whom you disagree with who is exercising his constitutionally protected right to free speech.

A true patriot would support the first amendment, even when it is being used in a way that you disagree with.

suggested reading:

Good luck, buddy.

On 3/10/07, Robert Cox <> wrote:

Monitoring the un-American activities of Keith Olbermann is the highest calling of any patriotic American.

God Bless America

On Mar 9, 2007, at 11:36 AM, J wrote:

> Dude.
> You're kidding me right? When you were a kid, and someone asked you what you want to be when you grow up, was this really it? "I want to spend my life rebutting a TV pundit!" "I wanna be a hater!"
> I had never even heard of your site till I heard it was shut down. I never watch Olbermann except when he tries to channel Murrow with one of his 'special comments'. So I don't think I qualify as any sort of 'loon'. I just enjoy it when angry right-wingers fail.
> So here's to four more years of me not giving a crap about what you do.
> Maybe I'll stop by for a visit next time you throw in the towel. Have fun wasting your life, I have a real job to get to.
> On 3/8/07, Robert Cox wrote:
> Dear OlbyLoon,
> Thank you for your concerns about Olbermann Watch. After seeing the
> celebratory reaction to our admittedly hasty decision to shut down
> Olbermann Watch we have reconsidered.
> Enjoy the NEW Olbermann Watch!
> Sincerely,
> Robert Cox
> Managing Editor
> Olbermann Watch, STILL the #1 Keith Olbermann blog in the world
> On Mar 2, 2007, at 5:06 PM, J wrote:
> > hahahahahaha
> >
> > now you can do something useful with your life.
> >
> > theoretically.
> > but I doubt it.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Far-right double standard revealed

In an interview with The Portland Press-Herald, Robert Cox again reveals clear right-wing partisan bias in blogger coverage of the Libby trial.

From the interview:

"There was a concern from the professional journalists that somehow some offhand comment would wind up going up on a blog and go worldwide and embarrass someone," Cox said. "This touches on one of the major issues that got raised for the bloggers, which is: How do we function when part of what we're there to cover is the media's coverage of the event?"

So, which journalists would the far-right Cox be willing to embarrass?

Journalists like MSNBC's Davis Shuster who just so happens to be a correspondent for Keith Olbermann on MSNBC.

No surprise from the right-wing Media Bloggers Association.

A Portland Press-Herald reader who has had their own experiences with Cox and his far-right outfit commented on the story with a link to a blog documenting threats Cox has made against innocent people in Maine. Why are we not surprised?

We are going to test commenting by allow comments on this post. If you have your own experiences with Cox please post a comment (with links).

Friday, March 9, 2007

Looks Like We're Back in Business

In yet another example of irresponsible blogging, Robert Cox has re-launched OlbermannWatch.

As we suspected all along, and as I said last week, Cox could not be trusted to tell the truth.

I'd like to think that Bob Cox and his gang saw the proverbial light - that they realized bullying, misinformation, name-calling, etc. was not only wrong, but a shining example of the most irresponsible misuse of the blogosphere as a conduit of information and creator of community.

Does Cox think he is humorous pretending to quote Winston Churchill. Is it a lame attempt to mock our use of a photo of Winston Churchill in our Victory post?

We have a simple solution. Go right back to what we announced on January 30th when we launched Watching OlbermannWatch:

In a recent article from the American Journalism Review, Mark Lisheron wrote:

It's all right there for everybody to see at olbermannwatch, he says. It certainly appears from examining the site that anything Olbermann has ever said or done is reproduced there. The problem is that no one yet has started a to sift the wheat of his truth from the chaff of his opinion. Like many bloggers, Cox laments the demise of objective journalism while offering up opinion, in this instance right-wing, along with fact.

Bob Cox and his minions do not worry themselves with little details like "facts." They traffic in anti-Olbermann marketing.

It's time that someone stepped up and called them out on it.

That time is now.

All we have to say to Cox and his minions is "Game On!"

Monday, March 5, 2007

Has Robert Cox Finally Lost His Mind?

First, there was nothing.

Then came a long-winded, tediously arrogant message.

Now there's a picture of a dead animal on the front page of OlbermannWatch.

Here's a screenshot:

And for those curious as to what preceded this most recent example of the right-wing spectacle that was OlbermannWatch, here is Cox's farewell letter to his acolytes:

"There is no disguising the fact that we have been extremely unhappy with the recent decision of NBC Universal to not only retain Keith Olbermann for four more years but to elevate him in an unprecedented fashion. We had held out hope that MSNBC would allow Olbermann's contract to expire even up until the last few weeks. But the deal is done and our Countdown Clock expired at midnight on March 1, 2007.

"Given this, we have come to the conclusion that we have done more harm than good over the past 2+ years in keeping Olbermann in the public eye at a time when few were watching his show and even less cared about his assault on the journalistic standards we hold dear. So, after careful consideration and consultation with the entire staff, we have decided the time has come to retire

"It's been a great run. We certainly had a lot of fun running the site but it's just been increasingly difficult to maintain our enthusiasm as Olbermann's ratings have increased and a compliant media has done everything to boost Olbermann and his show.

"We wish all of you the best over the next four, painful years."

Robert A. Cox
Managing Editor

One more thing... Bob, we can't miss you if you don't go away.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

remembering OlbermannWatch

The site may be down, but the memory lives on. For those of you who are wondering about the (now inaccessible) content of OlbermannWatch, here’s a sampling of a few representative posts.

June 2, 2006 on Countdown reporting that the Bush administration boasted of foiling a terror plot against the Brooklyn Bridge, then took the bridge off the official list of national iconic possible terror targets

Get the hint? There was no plot against the Brooklyn Bridge. The guy who was found guilty must have been framed by the evil US government. And just in case that was too subtle for the gullible viewers of Countdown, KO reinforced the insinuation by resuscitating his Krazy Keith Konspiracy: terror threats are phony, and are just for political manipulation. There followed more recycled video from the network mothership about Homeland Security grant allocations.

June 7, 2006 on the resignation of MSNBC President Rick Kaplan

There is no doubt this is a day long pined for at OlbermannWatch. Clinton pal and uber-liberal Kaplan was never going to dump Keith no matter how low his ratings went. Now all those "conditions" KO laid on Kaplan when he was brought back to MSNBC are out the window. I think we are looking at KO going pretty soon. I don't see him staying on air until his contract is up next February.

June 16, 2006

Welcome Michele Malkin readers to OlbermannWatch, where we watch the "obscene, abusive, unhinged jerk" so you don't have to!

June 22, 2006 on reports that the “weapons of mass destruction” found in Iraq were, at worst, likely to give those exposed to the threats a minor skin rash

The infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann (skin a bright orange, hair oddly less gray) was desperate to do damage control. How to paper over John Kerry's humiliating loss in the Senate? Simple. Ridicule the WMD news, attack Rick Santorum, and kill three birds with one stone. Santorum isn't to be believed because he is behind in the polls. Hoekstra didn't announce, he "foamed". The degraded gas is virtually harmless. All it will do is hurt your skin. They're "weapons of minimal discomfort". All this despite the fact that the declassified document plainly states that they remain potentially "lethal".

June 26, 2006 on Rush Limbaugh (currently appearing on Fox’s Half Hour Comedy Hour) being stopped at customs for possessing Viagra without a prescription…

After oddball, a bit about "comedian Rush Limbaugh" being stopped at customs for possessing prescription medicine in someone else's name. Olby made it a point to state that "the office would not identify the prescription drug", but the only report available (filed at 7:52 pm) not only does so, but also includes the caveat that he was detained for "possible" possession of the drug(s). KO then added, "No comment from comedian Rush Limbaugh".

I could go on (and on and on), but I think you get the idea.

I’ve got to wonder… If Bob Cox was so proud of his work there, why is the content gone?

Friday, March 2, 2007

what people are saying about OlbermannWatch's demise

Looks like I'm not the only one who busted out the champagne yesterday - the recent closure of OlbermannWatch appears to be echoing throughout the blogosphere and the celebration is loud.

Here are some highlights from the comment sections.

From The Raw Story...

"his assault on the journalistic standards we hold dear,"

What "journalistic standards?" Mud-slinging, wingnut propaganda, half-truths, full lies and anti-democratic proto-fascist drumbeating?

Keith Olbermann speaks truth to power. The right can try and vilify him as some kind of leftist kook if they wish, but the fact is that he has demonstrated fealty to the Constitution (which neocons seem to disdain), accountability and excels in calling out these cretins on their lies. There is a very good reason why his viewership is up, up, up and that Countdown is the most frequently 'TiVo'ed program of all.

This country is NOT as inherently 'conservative' the the right would have you believe; we never have been.

Congratulations, Keith on your 4 year renewal. To Robert Cox, STFU.


"Journalistics standards that we all hold so dear?" That is EXACTLY what Keith - AND ONLY KEITH - has been doing. I am sorry that Mr. Cocks believes that the heads at Fox Noise Channel are journalists but Olbermann is the new and much-needed Edward R. Murrow of our times. Now if we can just get Fox Noise to shut down we can bring back journalistic integrity for good!


Olbermann Watch - now that's a laugh - What is with these right wing nut jobs. I mean they really just don't get it.

Olbermann is speaking truth to power like nobodies business. The only reason he's a threat is because he exposes their lies and distortions in the context of reality which they can not stand to have pointed out to them because they are disingenuous retarded snobs.

The "right" thinks they are fighting for something when the very thing they claim to be against is what they are.

The only real explanation for their thuggery is that in their denial they are simply projecting that which about themselves they can not face head on.

What else can account for the tragedy of opposites that seem to flow from their mouths like a river of ineptitude and lack of moral accountability.

Cox closed down his sight because it was irrelevant. His fake crusade to hold up the pillar of journalistic integrity is and always was a huge joke.


These are the same morons who think that FOX isn't a propaganda machine. Listening to Olbermann is like getting much needed oxygen.


I used to post on the site, but quit after the elections. I felt the site was irrelevant at that point. The analyses by Johnny Dollar and Robert Cox were so moronic, even a three year old could rebut their arguments. No offense to three year olds.


Hey Robert Cox...listen up...


From Daily Kos...

And their parting shot is that they take credit for the increase in ratings. Long may their egos wave.


I think it was actually one lonely dude in his parents' basement.

In fact, I visited the blog once, and after reading one particularly odious posting, I left a comment that said something like, "I bet your parents are so proud of you. In fact, I bet your mother is upstairs baking you cookies right now."

So does this guy live, like, in an alternate reality? One where Olberman's ratings are tanking? One where Bush's approval ratings are 85%, and where the Republicans have routed Congress, due to our breathtaking success in Iraq?

In other words, do he and Dick Cheney share the same dimension?

Notice that the OlbermannWatch had nothing to recommend itself, it wasn't sharp and witty, no sense of humor, etc., it fell down trying to fight truth, just the way it should be. I'm pleased that Olbermann's numbers are increasing.


screw you guys... Eric Cartman ... webmaster at ... who knew?



How I love this kind of transparent shit.

Oh, my, yes!

Some defunct right-wing fucking-nutjob website is ENTIRELY RESPONSIBLE for Keith's success, and all hundredfortyleventhousand of the site's contributers (read "one guy") have decided to pull the plug.

This reminds me of every troll who ever got caught being a troll and said "Thank you all who wrote me off-site with your letters of support."

May I reiterate ... HA@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@


How I will miss jonnydollar and robert cox

I used olbermannwatch as a form of political pornography on occasion.

What will they do with themselves, or each other, now?

They (he?) really thinks that this website caused Olbermann's ratings to rise? I don't think I've ever witnessed such blatant self-aggrandizement and delusions of grandeur...


Well, for me it's been about 30 seconds - the time it took me to read this diary. Never heard of the site or its "entire staff" (of thousands, no doubt), and to be honest, I'm glad I hadn't.

Perhaps - going out on a limb here - their site wasn't really the driving force behind Olbermann's popularity? It might have been the content of the TV show itself?

What an entire staff of wankers.

Thursday, March 1, 2007


At midnight on March 1, 2007, OlbermannWatch shut its doors.

I'd like to think that Bob Cox and his gang saw the proverbial light - that they realized bullying, misinformation, name-calling, etc. was not only wrong, but a shining example of the most irresponsible misuse of the blogosphere as a conduit of information and creator of community.

I'd like to think that, but I'd probably be wrong.

Cox was uncharacteristically brief in his parting post:

We are an hour away from the final ticks off the OlbermannWatch Countdown Clock and we hear at OlbyWatch are still wrestling with our big decision.

I think this may be farewell.

Overlook the misspellings for a moment to consider what was not said.

No thanks. In yet another supreme act of arrogance, there was no expression of appreciation for the regular readers who (sadly) made his blog what it was.

No apologies. No expression of regret or the slightest sign of any acknowledgment that
words, however self-righteously justified, do indeed have an impact.

Bob ended as he began - in a flurry of arrogance and obfuscation.

Are he and his cohorts off to greener pastures? I doubt it. I'm sure that he and his gang would tell you otherwise. I'm sure they would argue that the need for OlbermannWatch is no longer as pressing and, besides, Cox's megalomania is certainly better served elsewhere.

At the moment that Countdown with Keith Olbermann is at its strongest, most powerful, most popular, Cox chooses to close OlbermannWatch.

The timing is telling.

Cox has never been a watchdog. If he were, OlbermannWatch would still exist.

He's a bully - an ad-man who seized upon a marketing opportunity. Not an opportunity to promote a particular brand of truth or policy stance, but an opportunity to traffic in vitriol because it is that sort of poison which he discovered would be the most effective route to his own personal success.

Goodbye, Bob. Don't let the door hit you...

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

more spin

From OlbermannWatch:

The following perfectly encapsulates the bias of "Man on Fan" Olbermann. While he has avoided reporting the decrease in killings since the Baghdad crackdown commenced, liberal Olby has eagerly trumpeted every piece of bad news he could scrape up.

From the Mercury News:

Nearly two weeks into the newest Baghdad security plan, the daily count of murder victims dumped on the city's streets has declined significantly, a likely sign that Shiite Muslim militia groups aligned with the Iraqi government have reined in their members or sent them out of the capital.

But deaths from bombings and mortar attacks, after an initial decline, have returned to the levels of the previous two months, suggesting that the plan's initial measures have had little impact on the Sunni insurgent groups believed to be responsible for most of that violence.

Maybe Olbermann isn't reporting on the decrease in deaths in Iraq because there hasn't been a decrease?

Saturday, February 24, 2007

OlbermannWatch & Me

From my inbox:

Has anyone told you lately that you one pathetic loser? I would be willing
to bet you thousands of e-mails like this daily. It is obvious you are
ditching the Habeas Corpus story, what I want to know is why were you all
over it in the weeks and months before the ruling? Truley cowardess, to say
the least. Another thing, the olbermannwatch site won't be closing, you can
get that thought out of your mind. If it does close farther down the road,
bet your ass I will start another one. P.S. Wasn't it great when the Great
Bill O' mispronounced your name last week? That is your new name now,
Ulbermahn, it fits your sorry fat ass much better, Osama Bin Ulbermahn. Do
you look up and down the street before you get out of your car? You

One word: classy.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

can someone re-send the memo?

The New York Times ran a correction to their story on blogger access to the Libby trial stating that Bob Cox had only negotiated access for his organization. Someone at Cox's right-wing Media Bloggers Association doesn't seem to have gotten the memo.

From the right-wing Media Bloggers Association earlier today:

For blogs, the Libby trial marks a courthouse coming of age. It is the first federal case for which independent bloggers have been given official credentials, said Robert A. Cox, president of the Media Bloggers Association. Cox negotiated access for the bloggers.

That's funny. It's as if the Times correction never existed.

Maybe the right-wing Media Bloggers Association has the same devotion to truth and accuracy that Bob Cox does?

Monday, February 19, 2007

Adios Bob!

Bob Cox is exploring the possibility of shutting down OlbermannWatch.


From OlbermannWatch:

With the recent announcement that NBC Universal has signed Keith Olbermann to a new multi-million dollar, multi-year contract, the time has come to consider whether Olbermann Watch continues to serve a valuable role as a watchdog site.

One would think that a multi-million dollar, multi-year contract would only increase the need for a "watchdog" site, but OlbermannWatch has never had a particularly close relationship to the demands of impartial logic.

What's the real reason Bob is considering closing OlbermannWatch?

From Bob's farewell post at the National Debate:

It's clear to me that TND has too much right-of-center baggage to be an effective platform from which to advance the non-partisan agenda of the Media Bloggers Association. I believe I can be a far more effective advocate for the MBA - and establish myself as a thought-leader on blogging and citizen media - by creating an entirely new blog. Maybe folks will see this as somewhat pointless in that I am still the same person and I am still going to have the same opinions. Maybe they're right but I feel that that the time has come to break with my TND-self and start a new chapter in my blogging career. What better way than with a new personal blog with a new more constructive tone; a blog devoted to my work as President of the Media Bloggers Association.

Like the National Debate, OlbermannWatch has become a handicap for Bob's career aspirations.

Bob has a long history of fostering a venomous internet culture based on bullying, intimidation, and irresponsible interpretations of fact. He's attempting to transform that particular brand of poison into a career as an advocate for the blogging community as a whole.

Good luck with that, Bob.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Bob Cox Getting Greedy?

From Fire Dog Lake:

And I'm curious how Shane's article [in the New York Times] made the mistake of saying Robert Cox of Media Bloggers Association had "negotiated access" for all of the bloggers at the trial. I made very clear in my interview that there were two distrinct groups of bloggers, and I'm certain Jane and Marcy were explicit on that point as well. Did Cox make some sort of sweeping (and misleading) claim of credit late in the process that Shane neglected to double-check with Team FDL? Did a confused copyeditor try to "clarify" a poorly worded sentence? Hopefully, Siun or Jane or someone is hounding Shane for an explanation.

From the NY Times:

Correction: February 15, 2007
A front-page article on Thursday about bloggers covering the perjury trial of I. Lewis Libby Jr. referred imprecisely to the role of Robert A. Cox, president of the Media Bloggers Association, in securing credentials. Mr. Cox negotiated access for his association, which was the first blogger group to be granted credentials to cover the trial. He did not negotiate on behalf of and other blogs that received their credentials later.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Bob Cox's History of Online Terrorism, Example #4

Following up yesterday’s post detailing Bob Cox’s decision to reveal personal information about one of his critics… it actually gets worse.

What could be worse than publishing the height, weight, phone number, education, etc. of an individual posting comments under a pseudonym?

Bringing in Dad.

y purpose in posting as much information as I could find about [name of Cox’s critic] was simply to make the point that she is not as ‘anonymous’ as she thinks and that her behavior may also come with a cost. Just as she made her hate speech about me a part of the ‘permanent’ record of the internet via Google, so to is information about the actual person who wrote all that stuff. My hope is that someday, somehow she will be held accountable for her behavior. In the meantime, that she does not like is reason enough. It's called getting a taste of your own medicine, something [name of Cox’s critic] father knows something about.

Dr. [name of the father of one of Cox’s critics]

BTW, there is no mystery to how I know what I know. My web hosting account comes with some basic web stats software which includes features like displaying where visitors are coming from (so I know what sites/forums have linked to OW) and the IP addresses of visitors/comments (so I can sort by IP address). I can match the IP addresses with what pages were visited including the comment form page; this allows me to do a quick sort and see all the comments coming from one person regardless of what fake name they use. This is how I know when someone is using multiple ‘handles’ to post.”

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Bob Cox's History of Online Terrorism, Example #3

The mother of all examples of irresponsible blogging.

The following is a comment Bob Cox made on OlbermannWatch. Note that it not only provides detailed personal information on the OW critic, but an interesting color commentary. I think it says far more about Bob Cox than it does the critic he is responding to.

[Initial of OW critic] is the sad story of a smart girl with way too much time on her hands and a bit of narcissism disorder. She is originally from Northern California. Her father is a doctor and her sister is also [initial]. She is athletic, an avid soccer player who went to high school near [city] and went to college at [university] where she studied history. She was a very good student at [university] and worked part-time as a "TA" in the history department among other things.

She is 5'3", weighs about 110 pounds and wears a size 4. She was married but is now divorced. She drives up a pick up truck and claims to have worked as a detective once. She describes herself as "not so well endowed--big big big fuckin' brains-- and a lot a balls."

[Initial of OW critic] is your classic "professional" student. She has never held a real job but rather spent her last few years jumping from school to internships and back. She was an intern at the [organization] which allowed her to live at home while working for low pay in [city]. While there she wrote an Op-Ed piece lobbying a professional organization. Last summer she again lived at home while she spent time working for the [organization].

Today she is holed up as a graduate student living off daddy's money at the [university]. She was originally pursuing a Masters in [field] and would have graduated this spring but decided to add a degree in [field] and so has put of her graduation plans off until 2006 (see what I mean about "professional" student). In the meantime, she is looking for a summer internship, possibly entailing a move to the East Coast (I won't say where exactly). She is also considering participating in programs in Central America (possibly Guatamala) and maybe even Cuba. Her dream, of course, would be work with/for Keith Olbermann at MSNBC. My money is on her taking a good look at the real world next year, gulping and opting to for a Ph.D. program, preferably someplace warm.

[Initial of OW critic] currently lives about a block off the main [university] campus in [city] where she is at liberty to stroll to class and her part time job in a school office. I have her exact home and work address, phone numbers and a satellite photo but I am not going to publish any of that here. The last four digits of her home phone are [xxxx]; her work phone is [xxxx].

While at [university], [Initial of OW critic] has been very active in a number of campus organizations ranging from a pro-Kerry group to a poker club. She is not very good at cards but the stakes are small so she can't lose too much.

Today [Initial of OW critic] writes "I'm fairly confident that my want for privacy is perfectly valid, not nefarious in the least, and just plain smart." What she fails to mention is that she has posted to on a variety other names as well (and apparently, even to this day, still believes that I don't know this).

When you compare [Initial of OW critic] public persona to the online incarnation you can begin to understand her reason for not wanting to be associated with her internet alter ego - a horrendously foul-mouthed, bossy, raving loon. If a potential employer were to run a google search and match up her name with her various psuedonyms like [names] and the many others it might be awkward for her.

You see, if you put together the pieces – [state], School, [field] - (and Google is pretty good and putting together such pieces) you will find that there are not that many Universities, in [state], that offer graduate degrees in [field] - and even less than have students named [first name of OW critic].

Monday, February 5, 2007

Bob Cox's History of Online Terrorism, Example #2

Let's pick another example of Robert Cox's commitment to the principle that bloggers "act responsibly and with personal integrity."

In a discussion thread on OlbermannWatch, right-wing MBA president Robert Cox stated that he had sent the following email to one of his critics (all caps in the original):


Sunday, February 4, 2007

Robert Cox attempting to professionalize blogging and create a (right-wing) blogging elite?

In the words of a MBA member:

“… a few days ago, MBA President Robert Cox had a very interesting detailed blog post describing the strategy used [in the lawsuit against a Maine blogger]:

The real story behind the ‘Maine Blogger’ story is that this blogstorm did not just ‘happen’. I personally spent several weeks developing a media strategy which we launched last Thursday morning. The original goal was to get the story in front of 3-4 mm people by Friday night. We easily surpassed that figure and the number continues to grow.

Once we were ready to drop the story, I reached out to the Members of the Media Bloggers Association with an ‘MBA Legal Alert’ and they responded in force. Hundreds of bloggers responded to the MBA’s request to post this story and make their readership aware of what was happening in Maine. We also sent out a traditional press release to our ‘press list’ and added in about 100 Maine/Travel media outlets – that’s how the Globe got the story. Once the ball was rolling lots of other folks got behind the effort and Lance was a full-fledged bloglebrity.

This kind of blog/MSM media strategy is part of the two-pronged approach we take as part of our Legal Defense Initiative. I think the real story is that this strategy can be – and has been – so effective.

And I agree – it can be, and has been, so effective. But… it’s important to realize just how old-school top-down this is structurally. In fact, scarily so. Work with people who have big megaphones, get them to echo the story, then go up the media pyramid. It’s extremely traditional. Now, the powers here were used for good instead of evil. But, still, what if it were the reverse?"

The extreme right requires a culture war. Doesn’t it sound as if the right-wing MBA were providing that culture war against the mainstream media?

The right-wing Media Bloggers Association did not rely on the U.S. justice system alone to prove the legitimacy of its case. It orchestrated a carefully planned media campaign. Is this professional? Is this elitist as only MBA members have access to these legal and PR resources?

What does it mean for bloggers to be professionalized? What does it mean to have an elite tier of bloggers covering national events?

According to the right-wing Media Bloggers Association, “The big day has finally arrived. We have gotten all the members into the new database and are finally ready to begin the long journey towards putting the Media Bloggers Association on a paying basis.”

To become a credentialed member of the MBA, one must now pay membership dues. This sounds pretty professional.

In addition:

“The next MBA Board meeting will take place via teleconference at 8:00 PM ET on Wednesday February 21st. Note: We have yet to schedule the work but we will be developing a blog for the MBA Board which will list all the Board members, provide contact information, provide the public agenda for the meeting, a public summary of the board meeting (as is standard practice for boards, we will not publish minutes of the board meetings so that all members feel comfortable speaking freely).”

The MBA has board meetings. This sounds pretty professional. Much like the board meetings of large corporations, the board meetings provide public records – creating a distinction between those who are “in” the group and those who are “out” of the group.

Isn’t this in-group/out-group mentality a characteristic of fascist/authoritarian social systems?


“The MBA has created a unique opportunity for MBA members to participate in a fascinating discussion of the upcoming FRONTLINE special "News War". FRONTLINE is hosting an online forum for media bloggers and other electronic journalism professionals, whom they are asking to weigh in on the themes presented in "News War," the four-part FRONTLINE special coming Feb, 13, 20, & 27, and March 27 to PBS. They are most interested in MBA member bloggers answers to the questions, ‘What are the business models of the future?’ and ‘How will we get news?’”

In addition to having two seats reserved for member bloggers at the Libby trial, the MBA also has access to exclusive events reserved for “electronic journalism professionals.” This sounds pretty professional. PBS is apparently interested in the thoughts of MBA bloggers on business models and how those bloggers will be providing the news. This is not how citizen journalists will provide news, but rather how MBA members will provide the news. Elitist?

Is the right-wing Media Bloggers Association elitist? Is it attempting to professionalize a medium that has grown as a direct result of its egalitarian basis?

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Bob Cox's History of Online Terrorism, Example #1

According to the Media Bloggers Association's Statement of Principles, "When we blog, each of us is accountable for our own actions, and we own our own words."

The following comments - made by Bob Cox on his website, OlbermannWatch - reflect Bob's commitment to the principle that bloggers "act responsibly and with personal integrity."

Excerpts from an online conversation in April 2006:

"Having already demonstrated what you ... are all about - lying, liberal, loons who all seem to think you might someday be the future Mrs. Olbermann - I don't see any further value in showing you all for the loons you are. You've done that suffeciently [sic.] for yourselves.

If anyone else wants to bother with [the name of a Cox critic] here, she's in New York, she connects to the internet via a cable modem from Cablevision, she has an email account and can found most days smoking her hash pipe and starting out the window looking for black helicopters. Drop me a line if you want the details necessary to chase [the name of a Cox critic] down the rabbit hole."

This is abominable behavior. This is online terrorism. This is threatening. This is bullying. This is intimidation.

Cox identifies the location of a person who has commented on OlbermannWatch based on the IP address. He makes a defamatory comment by stating that the individual has a drug problem. He invites OlbermannWatch readers to terrorize the individual by stating he has the requisite information.

More examples from the same online discussion on OlbermannWatch:

"I have been building my career showing up OlbyLoons like you and that is probably not fair - it's like bringing a gun to a knife fight."

Here Cox unambiguously states that he is leveraging the recognition he has gained through OlbermannWatch to promote his "career" - which I assume to mean his career at the Media Bloggers Association.

"If you are going to lie try to cover your tracks a little better or it take the fun out of my favorite sport - showing up Olby Loons for the fools they are."

Cox admits that he thrives on instigating conflict. His "favorite sport" is to insult and belittle those who hold contrary opinions.

Is this the type of person that you would trust to campaign for a code of blogger ethics? Is this the type of person you would trust to be the president of an ostensibly non-partisan organization?

Friday, February 2, 2007

extreme right-wing bias already evident in Bob Cox’s account of blogger coverage

In an interview with KSL Salt Lake City’s The Nightside Project, Robert Cox reveals clear right-wing partisan bias in blogger coverage of the Libby trial.

From the interview:

“… we did, I think, get a few good ‘gets.’ David Shuster from MSNBC made a pretty glaring error, put it out live on the air and our guy caught it first. When the judge gave out instructions ruling Valerie Plame’s status at the CIA I think he added some interesting color commentary.”

Out of the hundreds of journalists reporting from the trial, Cox chose to single out an MSNBC employee.

Fox News mouthpiece Bill O’Reilly has repeatedly called NBC “an activist network.” Regular OlbermannWatch contributor Johnny Dollar’s blog is a member of Blogs for Fox and OlbermannWatch founder Bob Cox has consistently voiced his support for the Fox network.

What was Shuster’s grave error?

According to his own statement, Cox’s slam came not for the accuracy of Shuster’s reporting, but from his “color commentary.”

The extreme right-wing Media Bloggers Association is showing its true colors.

excerpts from a BBC interview with Robert Cox on blogger coverage of the Libby trial

Excerpts from a BBC interview with Robert Cox on blogger coverage of the Libby trial:

BBC: How does a judge know which bloggers to accredit?

Cox: … This is actually the issue they had. They didn’t want to put up a sign saying ‘bloggers welcome’ and then get every knucklehead with a web site showing up at their door, so they were interested in working with our organization at least for two of those seats because we have a large membership of bloggers and we vet those bloggers and we will deliver to the court, you know, people who are particularly qualified to cover this trial.

These "particularly qualified" bloggers include the individual who asked "how should bloggers cover the Libby trial" after the trial had already begun?

BBC: What can a blog bring to court coverage that any kind of conventional reporter, dashing out of the court, you know, to file a story or jump on to the camera, can’t?

Cox: Well, one thing that is definitely going to be different about this trial is the immediacy of the coverage… Bringing bloggers into the mix, obviously, brings in a great deal of opinion…

BBC: But isn’t the point about reporting a court case to report the court case? You know, the opinion has to wait until the reporting has been done.

Cox: Well, I guess you haven’t read many blogs then because you don’t have to wait to be into the story to form an opinion.

It's interesting that Cox mentions the incorporation of opinion.

Even though is recognized for leaning left of center in its political views, and even though is also represented at the Libby trial through the Media Bloggers Association's access, the person representing is far from being one of their "traditional" bloggers.

Cox has attacked Crooks and Liars in the past for its left-wing affiliations and jumping on the pro-Olbermann bandwagon, but when discussing the MBA's presence at the Libby trial, it may be productive to examine the bloggers themselves rather than their affiliations.

Murray Waas - the representative for - began his career working for muckraker Jack Anderson and those early experiences seem to have informed his current reporting. He's been praised for his investigations, but at the same time, he has also been called a a primary contributor to fostering a culture of scandal.

This is quite consistent with Cox's right-wing, populist views of the role of bloggers vis-a-vis the mainstream media. In Cox's own words: "readers don't trust journalists because they play a 'wink wink' sort of 'inside game' where they don't tell the readers what they know and don't demand that sources 'own' their own words."

Cox is criticizing the media's perceived "inside game" while, at the same time, advocating for an elite cadre of professional bloggers?
Another blogger's work, Outside the Beltway author James Joyner, clearly leans towards the right of center. Political views aside, his blogging is certainly responsible. His point of view, however, is unambiguously Cox's point of view as well.

When taken together, what does this mean?

In one way or another, the Media Bloggers Association representatives at the Libby trial are an extension of Bob Cox's extreme right-wing views. This is by no means a fair and accurate snapshot of the blogosphere, but rather a representation of Bob Cox's political affiliations.

Two of the nation's most popular political blogs - Daily Kos and the Huffington Post - are absent from the live coverage of the Libby trial. Even though they are not MBA members, wouldn't their presence have assured the vanguard blog coverage the MBA claims to be providing? It most certainly would have, but then again, their presence would also have gone against Cox's personal views.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Blogger Covering Libby Trial Asks "How should bloggers cover the Libby trial?"

One of the bloggers selected by Robert Cox's right-wing Media Bloggers Association to cover the Libby trial admits that he doesn't know how to cover the Libby trial:

So, what do I have to offer as a blogger, that isn’t already being offered by other bloggers and by the members of the traditional media? What is my hook, my spin, my unique perspective?

Ummm. Shouldn't you have thought about that before you signed up to cover the Libby trial?

My initial thought is that my interest won’t be the standard legal type stuff that you can get everywhere else. I’m not a lawyer. The closest I’ve ever gotten to a trial has probably been watching Perry Mason as a kid, or waiting in the jury selection room, hoping I wouldn’t get called.

You're there to cover a trial. Why would you not be interested in "the standard legal type stuff?" If you've never been to a trial, why are you there in the first place? Are you close friends with Bob Cox? Do you swallow his particular brand of right-wing insanity?

What is the impalpable essence of the courtroom atmosphere as it relates to our national story that can’t easily be summed up as “Today, Judith Miller testified that...” It has to do with our common story and perhaps a little bit with group dynamics.

So, in other words, your coverage isn't going to include facts that the mainstream media might miss. It's going to include subjective interpretation and using that penetrating analysis of yours to discover the "group dynamics" of the courtroom?

These are the pioneers by which all subsequent blogger coverage of landmark trials is to be judged?

If you're the best and the brightest of the blogosphere, I'll take the mainstream media any day.

Johnny Dollar's Lessons

Additional evidence that pointing out manipulations, gross inconsistencies, and hypocrisy with Johnny Dollar, Robert Cox, and the rest of the insane asylum that is OlbermannWatch is like shooting fish in a barrel.

Lesson #1: "There are two ways to smear someone. You can be covert: publish facts, but not the whole truth; let careful wording lead readers to the desired conclusion. Or you can be overt: a full-on personal attack, drenched in hyperbole, preferably culminating in high-decibel name-calling."

Case in Point:

As our favorite carnival barker spat out his traditional patter, he touched on all the proper spin points: the "escalation" (DNC spin-term for sending in reinforcements, with the added bonus that it has VietNam resonance), lawmakers opposing the surge, The Great Leak Case, Kerry bows out, Hillary, and--glory be!--Cruise News!

The infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann led off with "Mister" Bush and Capitol Hill Republicans: the honeymoon "could be over". Only one Republican supported the anti-surge resolution, and that Republican was rewarded with a lengthy clip. Was he the only one who spoke? Silly rabbit, of course not. All of the rest of the Republicans disagreed with him, but how many of them got clips from Edward R Olbermann? You guessed it: zero. The most biased hour in television news.

Publish facts, but not the whole truth? Check. Let careful wording lead readers to the desired conclusion? Check. A full-on personal attack, drenched in hyperbole, preferably culminating in high-decibel name-calling? Check.

Little Johnny Dollar's Exam Score: A+

Lesson #2: "One of the favorite tricks of propagandists involves cherry-picking. If you recall the old tale of the blind men and the elephant, it's along those same lines. Except that, unlike those blind men, the haters deliberately choose anecdotal snippets to wilfully [sic.] create a false impression."

Case in Point:

Inside Cable News alerts us that Geraldo Rivera has had his fill of our hero, Keith Olbermann. Rivera, still smarting over Olby's cackles of delight regarding an incident from three years ago, let loose on "punk" Edward R Olbermann with both barrels:

He called Olbermann a coward -- specifically a "[female part of the anatomy] who wouldn't walk across the street against the red light." He then said he was ready to fight him, saying: "I would make a pizza out of him."

This of course got Olby all a twitter, and he quickly emailed his pal Dan Patrick at ESPN to make sure the subject would come up today. And sure enough, it did. Listen to the mp3 audio:

KO's hot flashes are never-ending sources for amusement, but we note all this here because it is yet another example of Krazy Keith rewriting history to make himself look good.

Cherry picking? Check. Choosing anecdotal snippets to willfully create a false impression? Check.

Little Johnny Dollar's Exam Score: A+

Lesson #3: "Running numbers can reveal patterns. But figures can lie..."

Case in Point (OlbermannWatch survey results):

Is Keith Olbermann a misogynist?

The answer is "Yes".

4,083 answers have been submitted.

A. Yes 57% (2329 votes)
B. No 42% (1721 votes)
C. Not sure 0% (33 votes)

Does running numbers reveal a pattern? Yes - about the OlbermannWatch readership. Do these figures lie? Yes.

Little Johnny Dollar's Exam Score: A+

Lesson #4: "It isn't easy being a Fox hater."

Case in Point: Based on my own personal experience, Fox makes it very, very easy to hate Fox.

Little Johnny Dollar's Exam Score: F

Is Johnny Dollar admitting to being a propagandist and smear merchant?

Johnny Dollar on his blog, Johnny Dollar's Place: "Name-calling and personal attacks: the last resort of all propagandists and smear merchants."

Johnny Dollar on OlbermannWatch: "the infamous, deplorable Keith Olbermann" ... "Olby cackled his insults and the gullible swallowed them whole. But, as is the case with so many of Keith's assaults on Mr Bill, this too proved to be nothing more than Another Olbermann Lie."

If it walks like a duck and it talks like a duck, it must be a propagandist and smear merchant.

Remember little Johnny: you said it, not me.

WOW has people thinking

One response to yesterday's round of emails alerting bloggers and the media as to MBA's right-wing bias in its Libby trial coverage:

Thanks for the updates; I wasn’t citing Bob Cox as much as I was the aggregator for the trial’s blogging. If the aggregator is slanted or biased, then I’m truly sorry I cited it.

However, Bob Cox can hate or like whomever he chooses and I sit way to the left of him on the Olberman fence.

You asked: “Are you confident about the absence of a right-wing bias from MBA? Do you believe that the information that you are receiving from them is both fair and accurate?”

In a word, now, no. I’m going to re-read the aggregator and ensure that Firedoglake and other bloggers from the ‘other’ side are included, and if not, de-link the citation because it’s not presenting a “fair and balanced” aggregate. If it is, then it stands for itself.

Either way, thanks very much for the info that I didn’t have.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

a lame attempt to package a radical right-wing sow's ear in a silk purse

Bob Cox is apparently aware that his radical right-wing rants aren’t going to win him any friends in the more exclusive circles he hopes to move in.

What does one do when their personality doesn’t fit with their ambitions? Change the personality, of course. Well, maybe just give the appearance of a change.

The blog that started it all, The National Debate, is shutting its doors. Here are some revealing excerpts from Cox’s farewell post:

oday, my primary blogging passion is the Media Bloggers Association. I'm far more interested in advancing blogging and citizen journalism and helping make sure that bloggers are not silenced by governments or powerful corporate interests than I am about bitching about Chris Matthews or Maureen Dowd [I will still bitch about Keith Olbermann over at OlbermannWatch (sorry KO) because I still need some outlet for my right-of-center media rants and Keith is a relatively harmless vice.]

It's clear to me that TND has too much right-of-center baggage to be an effective platform from which to advance the non-partisan agenda of the Media Bloggers Association. I believe I can be a far more effective advocate for the MBA - and establish myself as a thought-leader on blogging and citizen media - by creating an entirely new blog. Maybe folks will see this as somewhat pointless in that I am still the same person and I am still going to have the same opinions. Maybe they're right but I feel that that the time has come to break with my TND-self and start a new chapter in my blogging career. What better way than with a new personal blog with a new more constructive tone; a blog devoted to my work as President of the Media Bloggers Association.

Good for you, Bob.

Your final post at The National Debate is clearly the act of a rat abandoning a sinking ship. It’s a smart move to repackage your particular brand of lunacy into something more palatable to a broader audience.

As they say over at the Fox network, I wish you well.

Informing Others About Bob Cox's Blogging Background

The Media Bloggers Association (MBA) has received considerable attention for gaining access for bloggers to the Libby trial.

The fact is that journalists are busy people and some bloggers may not be aware of other blogger's online activities.

Throughout the course of the day, I will be sending the letter posted below (or a variant thereof) to every news outlet that has discussed the MBA in the context of the Libby trial. I would encourage others to also share that information with groups discussing relevant topics.

Feel free to use whatever portions of the letter you find to be of most relevance.

Are you aware that Bob Cox, founder and President of the Media Bloggers Association (MBA), is also widely recognized as running one of the most virulently right-wing presences on the internet –

The raison d’etre of Cox’s blog is a critique of veteran news anchor Keith Olbermann. If you’re not familiar with MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, it’s been the only cable network program to openly express disagreement with the Bush administration’s policies, in particular on the war in Iraq.

In his own words:

“Not that it was ever my goal in life but I am now the leading blog critic of Keith Olbermann and a recognized authority on Keith Olbermann (citation: quoted in Washington Post, New York Observer, Hartford Courant, Online Journalism Review, etc.).”

Bob Cox refers to supporters of Keith Olbermann as “Olbyloons” – a derisive term whose only purpose can be to evoke scorn and distain for those who support Olbermann’s informative, entertaining, and thought-provoking newscast.

Here’s one example of Cox’s use of the term from an October 18, 2007 interview with Ken Berwitz:

“We asked Ken if he could apply the research in his book to help us better understand those afflicted with OlbyLoon Disorder, those disturbed people known the world over as ‘OlbyLoons.’”


“Let's start with hygiene. OlbyLoons spend a great deal of time in the bathtub in order to emulate their hero, Keith Olbermann. What did you learn about the bathing habits of OlbyLoons.”


“OlbyLoons, often unable to apply logic in an argument, resort to vituperation. Why?”

Given the importance of the Libby trial, this may help to put the MBA’s activities in this broader context. The blogging community has thrived on the principle of questioning accepted wisdom. In that same spirit, I would encourage you to reflect on the background of MBA’s spokesperson.

Are you confident about the absence of a right-wing bias from MBA? Do you believe that the information that you are receiving from them is both fair and accurate?

It is a watershed moment to have the Libby trial opened to live blogging coverage. It would be a tragedy to have that honor somehow compromised by demonstrable partisan affiliations among those pioneers.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Bob's New Hat

This post has been edited for content.

Have you been wondering why Bob Cox hasn’t posted on OlbermannWatch lately?

I know I have.

He appears to be busy with other things.

Earlier this month, Associated Press announced that a select group of bloggers would receive access to the Scooter Libby trial. Cox’s group, the Media Bloggers Association, trumpeted it as a victory for bloggers across the nation.

Well, some bloggers.

Cox is apparently focusing at least a portion of his non-OlbermannWatch efforts at creating a blogging "elite."

The Charlotte Observer
discussed Cox’s position:

A group called the Media Bloggers Association, led by veteran blogger Robert Cox, is pushing for greater professionalization among blogmasters through training about legal and ethical obligations.

In time, Cox suggests, bloggers might be less likely to succumb to the pleasing fiction that they can work at the same time as political operatives, Web entrepreneurs and independent commentators without compromising something of value.

In the context of this discussion on ethics, it may be useful for someone to write the author of the article a letter to refresh his memory about Bob Cox's work on OlbermannWatch. The reporter, Edward Wasserman, is Knight professor of journalism ethics at Washington and Lee University. His email address is

But back to the point. If you are training a professional “elite” of bloggers to cover major news stories, aren’t you going against the egalitarianism that makes blogging such a powerful medium for the transfer of information?

That doesn't make sense for an organization whose ostensible purpose is to promote blogging.

It may suggest that Bob has other ambitions.

His style would certainly would be consistent with that found in any college marketing textbook.

(Bob’s not a trained journalist. He graduated with an MBA from the University of Chicago’s school of business in 1994.)

For anyone who is interested, the process of self-promotion on the internet is so simple that absolutely anyone can do it.

* Make your mark on the internet by adhering to a particular party line.
* Attack a randomly selected person.
* Don’t think of anything new. Realize there's already a script in place. Become the instrument of those in power.
* Repeat one line of thought persistently enough to make people think you are either insane or privy to some unique insight (why else would you keep on repeating such drivel) and an audience will gather.

Is that media party line a mirror image of the party line of the most powerful political group in the nation? What a coincidence! All the better!

The Bush administration has irretrievably fallen from grace. Coincidently, Bob has moved on to greener, more lucrative pastures.

Watching OlbermannWatch on 1/29/07

The idea was to flog the Insight/Obama/Fox story yet again.

By "flog" you must mean mention so briefly that the casual viewer missed it completely. In fact, didn't Fox News issue their characteristic non-apology apology for yet another departure from reality? Here's the video of the non-apology from Fox and Friends just in case you missed it.

... Oralmann... Krazy Keith...Olbypocrisy

Zero points for creativity. If you're to succeed in undermining anyone, you have to use your imagination. I've heard that spending Sunday afternoons with a coloring book may help with that.

Next on the agenda was the big battle where Iraqi troops killed or captured hundreds of terrorists and insurgents. KO had barely finished his first sentence when he immediately brought up "the timing" [Ding!] and the venue, while the details were left to a taped report from NBC.

That's funny. I thought he mentioned that the site of one of the biggest battles of the war in Iraq was nowhere close to where the surge troops are headed. I thought he mentioned the possibility of increased Iraqi troop involvement. Did we watch the same show?

Given your presentation of things, it sounds a lot like that selective sort of reporting you purport to hate so much. That must be some sort of mistake. Of course you want to engage the issues rather than simply provide a weak attempt at a character assassination. Anything else would imply you're not smart enough to do better. You must have had a time crunch.

Hillary is trying to "imply" that troops should come home by 2009. Olby opined that in 2004 John Kerry was "slammed" for "being too subtle" and for requiring people to think. Great thanks.

You're welcome! I hope KO hears that you learned something from all of this. I can't imagine why a reader of your blog would think that you've got problems understanding subtle logic.

The book that bears Olberman's name stands at #5,294 at, while "Culture Warrior" is #159. The OlbyTome is #2,586 at Barnes & Noble; O'Reilly's book is #421 there, and for the 17th week is still on the New York Times bestsellers list.

Jesus wasn't too popular with the illiterate masses, either, Johnny. What would Jesus say about this finger pointing?

Welcome to Watching OlbermannWatch

In a recent article from the American Journalism Review, Mark Lisheron wrote:

It's all right there for everybody to see at olbermannwatch, he says. It certainly appears from examining the site that anything Olbermann has ever said or done is reproduced there. The problem is that no one yet has started a to sift the wheat of his truth from the chaff of his opinion. Like many bloggers, Cox laments the demise of objective journalism while offering up opinion, in this instance right-wing, along with fact.

Bob Cox and his minions do not worry themselves with little details like "facts." They traffic in anti-Olbermann marketing.

It's time that someone stepped up and called them out on it.

That time is now.