Keith Olbermann's an easy target sometimes. Given his far-left beliefs and how he uses his cable show to advance his agenda, he's a lightning rod for the right. But last night the right-wing blogs were all in a rage over his contention that Rupert Murdoch, chief executive officer of News Corp., which owns FOX News, had said, "Even on [finance] terms, we have never been a company that tolerates facts. So in times like these, we are better positioned to weather this cycle than our competitors" during a recent earnings call.
Olbermann Watch led the charge yesterday, writing that Murdoch was misquoted and actually said: "We have never been a company that tolerates fat."
Here is the News Crop. earnings call transcript:
While it's impossible to be completely prepared for a downturn of this magnitude, we began priming ourselves for a weakening economy earlier last year. We implemented strict cost cutting measures across all our operations. We reduced head count in individual businesses where appropriate and we scaled back on capital expenditures.
Even on [finance] terms, we have never been a company that tolerates facts. So in times like these, we are better positioned to weather this cycle than our competitors. We also have consistently maintained a strong balance sheet, which today following our completion of the partial sale of NDS for approximately $4.5 billion in cash. Given our strong financial position, we have the reserves on hand to cover over seven years of upcoming debt repayments. And we intend to operate our businesses and balance sheet as conservative as usual.
Clearly he either misspoke or the transcriptionist screwed up. Taken literally, on any level, the quote would make no sense. Obviously it's a honest mistake, much like, say, forgetting to pay your taxes. But until I hear audio of the call, I would have to say Olbermann seems to have gotten this one right.