Editorial by John Ziegler

Why Is Norah O'Donnell Still Employed by NBC News?

11/22/2009

Why Is Norah O’Donnell Still Employed by NBC News?
 
If there was an All-Star roster of news media members who have been willing to go the lowest and get the dirtiest in their brazen and transparent attempt to destroy Sarah Palin, NBC’s Norah O’Donnell, along with numerous of her NBC colleagues, would certainly make the first team. My question (which I have raised with her twice on live TV)  is: How in the world does she still have a job at one of the most powerful alleged “news” organizations in the country, and if she isn’t fired for bias, then is such an event even possible?
 
This query is especially relevant given her shameful performance while covering a Palin book signing in Michigan where she went out of her way to embarrass a teenage girl who was just there to see the political superstar up close and personal (For the record, while some have tried to compare the two, my interviews with Obama voters on election day were fundamentally different from what O'Donnell did, if only because I am not an alleged "news" reporter and they were backed up with scientific data.)
 
Even a cursory look at O’Donnell’s remarkably horrid track record when covering Palin, brings into grave question whether NBC was not committing “Media Malpractice” by even allowing O’Donnell to cover the book event. At this point a restraining order keeping O’Donnell away from Palin all together might be very well in order.
 
Think I am totally kidding? Let’s just consider what O’Donnell has done in 2009, a year in which Sarah Palin has run for absolutely nothing. 
 
n      In January, O’Donnell interviews me about the excerpts of my Sarah Palin interview I released that week as a preview of my documentary on the media coverage of the 2008 election. O’Donnell basically lies to me live on the air about what Palin’s people said about the release of the excerpts in an obvious attempt to create problems between Palin and me. Thankfully, largely  thanks to Palin calling me at home two days later, it doesn’t work.
 
n      Later that month, O’Donnell states on the air that Palin “called Barack Obama a terrorist,” which, of course, she never did. O’Donnell never corrects herself and Palin apparently decides it isn’t worth suing her for defamation.
 
n      In February, O’Donnell somehow gets the privilege of deciding which Palin clips from the unreleased portion of my interview with her will be shown on the Today Show just before my live interview with Matt Lauer. She goes to extraordinary lengths to make Palin seem whiny and boring, neither of which are remotely accurate descriptions of her in the interview (to this day I am completely convinced that O’Donnell never even bothered to watch the whole interview). A few hours later I do a live interview with O’Donnell in which I twice call for her firing and she comically tries to ignore me. 
 
n      In June, I am booked on MSNBC to discuss the Palin/Letterman flap because Palin’s first response came on my radio show. Much to my surprise, I am told that Norah O’Donnell will be doing the interview. About thirty seconds before air I am suddenly told by an MSNBC producer that O’Donnell will not be doing the interview, but instead, thanks to nonexistent “breaking news’ that happened twenty hours earlier, it will be conducted by Contessa Brewer. Hilarity ensues.   
 
n      In July, according to Palin’s book, immediately upon hearing the news of Palin’s resignation, O’Donnell is the to first jump on the completely false story that she will be indicted by the federal government. No indictment was ever even remotely under consideration.
 
n      Later that month, O’Donnell takes a rather energetic role in a bizarre MSNBC panel on Palin’s sex appeal.   
 
 
And these are just the episodes of which I am personally aware. I am quite sure there are more. I am equally certain that they should have stopped long ago. The evidence is overwhelming that at least when it comes to Sarah Palin, Norah O’Donnell is not remotely an objective  news person. If NBC wants to still claim to be a news organization (already a very open question) Norah O’Donnell should finally be fired and NBC should apologize for funding her obvious Palin vendetta disguised as “news.”

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