A deadly serious Keith Olbermann slammed critic Ted Koppel yesterday, charging that no journalist is truly unbiased and lashing the former Nightline host as a "false priest worshiping before the false god of utter objectivity." Even journalistic lions like Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow exercised "significant" editorial judgment in story choice and presentation, Olbermann argued on Countdown, pointing out Cronkite's stinging comments on Watergate and the Vietnam War. He berated reporting by Koppel that failed to expose the holes in the Bush administration's justifications for the Iraq war, which included the production of weapons of mass destruction now known to be nonexistent.
"I may ultimately be judged to have been wrong in what I am doing. Mr. Koppel does not have to wait," said Olbermann. "The kind of television journalism he eulogizes failed this country because when truth was needed, all we got were facts—most of which were lies anyway. The myth of impartiality has led television news away from the path to truth." Koppel skewered Olbermann in a Washington Post editorial earlier this week, calling him "the most left-leaning among MSNBC's left-leaning, Fox-baiting, money-generating hosts." (Read more Keith Olbermann stories.)