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Tilting at Windmills

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January 22, 2011

KEITH OLBERMANN OUT AT MSNBC.... Usually a move like this is preceded by some kind of scuttlebutt, but the announcement at the end of last night's "Countdown" was one few saw coming.

Keith Olbermann, the highest-rated host on MSNBC, announced abruptly on the air Friday night that he was leaving his show, "Countdown," immediately.

The host, who has had a stormy relationship with the management of the network for some time, especially since he was suspended for two days last November, came to an agreement with NBC's corporate management late this week to settle his contract and step down. [...]

In a statement, MSNBC said: "MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of 'Countdown with Keith Olbermann' will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC's success and we wish him well in his future endeavors."

The news was so sudden, MSNBC was still airing Olbermann promos last night after he'd announced his departure from the network.

Olbermann had signed a four-year contract extension in 2008 -- worth an estimated $30 million -- that would have kept him at MSNBC through the 2012 presidential election. With his departure, Olbermann will instead be off television for a while -- the agreement reached with the network stipulates that the host will not move to a rival network for an extended period of time.

The obvious question -- why in the world MSNBC would part ways with its highest-rated host -- remains something of a mystery. It's only been 11 hours since Olbermann made the announcement, so presumably we'll learn more in the near future, but in the interim, there's ample speculation about the effects of Comcast's impending takeover of NBC Universal, though the network insisted last night that the development is unrelated.

It seems fairly clear, though, that the shake-up was not the host's decision. Olbermann began the segment telling viewers, "I think the same fantasy popped into the head of everybody in my business who has ever been told what I have been told: this will be the last edition of your show...."

Lawrence O'Donnell's "The Last Word" will now move to 8 p.m. eastern, with Ed Schultz moving to 10 p.m. eastern. Rachel Maddow's show will stay right where it is.

As the dust settles, it's worth emphasizing just how important Olbermann has been in American media in recent years. When he returned to prime time after a four-year absence, Olbermann offered news consumers something we couldn't find anywhere else: honest, sincere, unapologetic liberalism. Olbermann helped shine a light on important stories that were ignored by other shows and other networks, helped give a voice to a perspective that was discounted throughout the mainstream media, picked fights with those who too often went unchallenged, and featured guests who were frequently and needlessly left out of the larger broadcast conversation.

Olbermann did all of this, of course, while racking up big ratings (and big profits for his employer), proving that there's an audience for on-air commentary and analysis from the left, and clearing the way for others to do the same.

In the time Olbermann is off the air, he will be sorely missed.

If you missed his signoff, here it is:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (61)

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Comments

Under our Corporately Owned Media, there is only a limited place for any persons to have their own shows if they are to the left of CNN.

Olbermann got away with being too radical for corporate tastes for a long time. He was way overdue to be fired! Hopefully, the rest of the liberal and progressive media personalities at MSNBC will get the message.

If not, when the merger with Comcast becomes final and our pure Republican brothers in the leadership positions at Comcast take control; more heads will roll!

The message of the day is: Don't f*ck with the republican leadership at our corporately owned media!

Posted by: RepublicanPointOfView on January 22, 2011 at 8:11 AM | PERMALINK

We should be very worried, this is the start of a campaign to shut down the voices of the left!

Posted by: JS on January 22, 2011 at 8:14 AM | PERMALINK

Keith, WaMo, maha, and other internes sites, were the only things that kept me sane during the mis-Reign of Little Boots and his War Criminals.
I haven’t watched Keith in a while. Not because I didn’t want to, but because Cablevision (spit 3 X’s, and 3 X’s more) took them off basic and left me with CNN and, of COURSE FOX (spit a million X’s, and repeat), and the TV in the room my PC is in doesn’t have a converter box. The TV in the livingroom has expanded basic, so my parents can watch a greater array of channels - usually tuned to Turner Classics. But if there’s nothing on there, or nothing else of interest, they’ll turn to MSNBC. My Mom loves Keith, but especially Rachel, and if they’re watching MSNBC I sometimes join them.
And this is what I find exasperating, but fascinating: that FOX and CNN are on everywhere, but people have to pay extra in many areas to get MSNBC or they don’t get it, and yet there’s no mention of that when they talk about how much higher FOX’s ratings are than MSNBC. Well, yeah - you’re comparing apples to oranges. In many respect it’s like comparing CBS’s ratings with HBO’s. Two different worlds.
Here we are working to maintain some sense of Net Neutrality, when we don’t even have TV Neutrality.
I’ll miss Keith. I’d like thank him for what he’s done for the last 8 years. After they took Donohue off the air, it took guts for Keith to come on and do what he did. And the fact that Rachel (the best newperson on the air, BY FAR!) and Ed have shows, is due to Keith. And I’m sure it’s because of those three (but really Keith and Rachel) that cable companies made people pay more for quality news and opinion than the imbecilic prattling, jabbering and howling on FOX, or the senile meanderings of Wolf and the ‘Worst Political Team on Television.’
Good luck, Keith.
We wish you nothing but the best.
‘Thanks for all the fish.’

PLEASE COME BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: c u n d gulag on January 22, 2011 at 8:15 AM | PERMALINK

I will miss the humor, the Oddballs of the world and the pungent jabs at the self-importance of the Worst Persons. I did not always agree with Mr. Olbermann, but that's all right. I did find his take on the day's events largely refreshing. When he had a competing point of view on air, he was respectful, unlike the talking heads at Faux News, who frequently shouted down any who disagreed with their meme. I give him credit for introducing the world to Rachel Maddow. I'm saddened that I won't have this familiar friend on every night.

When I think of Keith Olbermann and his style, I am reminded of the line uttered by the Michael J. Fox character near the end of "The American President", something along the lines of how the press corps would be looking up the meaning of the word "erudite". Thanks for the memories, Keith.

Posted by: David on January 22, 2011 at 8:31 AM | PERMALINK

In the Days of Yore it was against the law to teach the slaves to read and write.

Why is that, you may ask, gentle reader? Because an educated populace of any sort is a danger to the Ruling Class.

-and now you know why Keith had to be silenced. (Those who have read Orwell already know this. . .)

Posted by: DAY on January 22, 2011 at 8:33 AM | PERMALINK

I wonder if TBS is hiring still

Posted by: Sean on January 22, 2011 at 8:35 AM | PERMALINK

This is a shame. While Olbermann's florid style sometimes made me cringe, he often rose to the level of his hero, Edward R Murrow. Honesty, frankness, fairness and decency are qualities you find all together in very few of TV's political talking heads, but Olbermann's ethics make him a credit to journalism.
I think his greatest achievement, though, is getting Rachel Maddow her gig.

Posted by: hells littlest angel on January 22, 2011 at 8:41 AM | PERMALINK

"When he had a competing point of view on air, he was respectful"

Funny, I can't ever remember him having anyone who disagreed with him on the show - only simpering sycophants like Howard Fineman and Richard Wolffe. Maddow, on the other hand, regularly debates people who genuinely disagrees with her...which is as good a demonstration as any of why MSNBC didn't need Olbermann anymore. He was an insufferable jerk who I never wanted on my side of any issue. Of course, Ed Schultz is much, much worse.

Posted by: pdf on January 22, 2011 at 8:48 AM | PERMALINK

Please sign the petition on Americablog in support of Keith!
Another subject - now that it is disclosed that Clarence Thomas' did not report his wife's income from conservative lobbying causes for five years, amounting to over $600,000.00 when will we see his ethics hearing (as Charlie Rangel's)do we know who should conduct this?


Posted by: joan on January 22, 2011 at 8:50 AM | PERMALINK

Big deal. If he's worth a 30 million dollar contract, he can start his own show. If you own your own show and are successful, you make more money, since the house doesn't take a cut. Look at Oprah.

The barrier to entry has never been lower since the advent of the Internet and its only going to get better. All this talk about the fairness doctrine and the outrage re Citizens United (no, SCOTUS did not rule that corporations are people) is an unsettling development. I fear we are losing the ACLU left.

Posted by: Manju on January 22, 2011 at 9:04 AM | PERMALINK

Manju has a good point. The internet offers anybody a voice. Just as wikileaks has bypassed the media and cell phones have bypassed the poles and copper wires, high speed internet can connect viewers with whatever/whoever they want to see/hear- without censorship or commercials.

Posted by: DAY on January 22, 2011 at 9:19 AM | PERMALINK

Somewhere a tear forms in the eye of Secretary of State Clinton.

Karma, Keith, Karma

Posted by: berttheclock on January 22, 2011 at 9:21 AM | PERMALINK

I am sorry his show has been canceled but I really think he has lost his focus over the past year. To me he has moved from some honest disscussion of the issues to personal attack mode. I have grown tired of it and found myself paying less and less attention to him.

Posted by: Mike on January 22, 2011 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

DAY said: Just as wikileaks has bypassed the media

Wikileaks did no such thing. It may have bypassed the media in the gathering phases, but it has worked with major media outlets in several countries to vet and publish its discoveries. It posted very little on its own sites that had not been published by the major media first.

Posted by: martin on January 22, 2011 at 9:27 AM | PERMALINK

I agree with the posters who think Keith would be better off on the Internet. You really can't be honest anywhere else. I watched him frequently up until the 2008 election, but less so after that. He was one of the few media personalities who regularly ripped the Bushies and Fox, which filled a necessary void. TV media has been co-opted by corporations, almost all run by Republicans, which is just another form of censorship. I think his departure says more about the declining quality and honesty in the U.S. media then him, but of course it will be spun in the opposite direction. The TV hacks and their minions will circle the wagons and TV media will only get worse for his absence.

Posted by: max on January 22, 2011 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

Maybe the Comedy channel will pick him up. With only some slight revisions to his MSNBC format, he can be the angry Jon Stewart. Jon could use some competition.

Posted by: mlm on January 22, 2011 at 10:01 AM | PERMALINK

Oprah would be smart to hire Keith as a consultant, for her new endeavor, until such times as his quiet period expires with MSNBC.

Posted by: Ted76 on January 22, 2011 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

If it is true that it was MSNBC's idea to terminate their relationship, then how in the world do they get away with forcing him to not go to some other network? I hope for his sake that he got a ton of money in a severance package.

Posted by: tanstaafl on January 22, 2011 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Eighteen months from now everyone on msnbc will be a clone of Piers Morgan and Nancy Grace.

Posted by: cld on January 22, 2011 at 10:23 AM | PERMALINK

Free Speech will follow the Investigative journalist in to the abyss.

Posted by: Wowzers on January 22, 2011 at 10:47 AM | PERMALINK

Keith is an incredibly talented individual who has a solid audience and will make money for whoever hires him. He is also, by every report out there, a diva of the highest order. I think a lot of us on the left seem to equate being liberal with being a good person and being easy to work with -- that is not often the case, especially in media.

Only time will tell whether Olbermann leaving is the first salvo in a concentrated effort to expunge the 'left' from either MSNBC or news cable in general. I'm skeptical, if for no other reason than MSNBC has invested in a bench. Rachel Maddow will be the new face of MSNBC and she'll rise to the task (watch her trump right-wing idiot Stephen Hayes on Bill Maher last night), but O'Donnell and Ed Schultz (who is also a hothead and may be the next to go for that reason) can step in ... and you can already see Chris Hayes, Melissa Harris-Perry, Richard Wolff and maybe even Sam Seder (although he seems more a Keith protege) being next in line, and they've shown they can attract and keep enough of an audience for somebody to make a profit, if not on cable than on the Internet (which can have traffic greater than cable numbers).

However, let's not think that this is all the fault of an evil corporate behemoth and that Keith is as pure as the new-driven snow. He's not, and there will be some of his own fingerprints on his firing ...

... and I predict right now that he'll be in the Parker/Spitzer spot on CNN no later than November if he hasn't been promised it already - and considering how much time Anderson Cooper spent on the firing last night, I have a feeling Ted Turner's already opened up his checkbook ...

Posted by: EdgewaterJoe on January 22, 2011 at 10:58 AM | PERMALINK

This event certainly shows what an absolute lie it is to say that capitalism provides the customers the products they want. If that were true then MSNBC could not possibly fire its highest rated TV news reader.

Posted by: Rick B on January 22, 2011 at 11:07 AM | PERMALINK

tanstaafl, that's what I was thinking. If you get fired, how can they tell you not to look for another job? There must be something else going on.

Posted by: Speed on January 22, 2011 at 11:11 AM | PERMALINK

While working in Corp America, the one thing I always hated was the management types who were classified as "Cowboys" who attempted to "ride herd" on your every move. They always prided themselves on hiring and firing wisely but could just never let the smart, talented employee do his best. I think Keith was just like me. I resigned. He saw Comcast coming and knew, as we all do, what gigantic corp control has done to the truth.

Posted by: fillphil on January 22, 2011 at 11:37 AM | PERMALINK

Am I alone in being deeply disturbed by the fact that the only cable network to embrace liberal pundits and give them 4-5 shows in a row during primetime is also the only network to fire 2 of those liberals even though they both held the highest ratings of any other show in their line-up?

The other show I'm referring to is of course, The Phil Donahue Show that got canceled because of his criticism of the rush to invade Iraq.

WTF? One almost hopes that Rachel Maddow doesn't become too successful lest she get booted herself.

Posted by: Kiweagle on January 22, 2011 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

Let me play the Devil's advocate. I like Keith Olbermann, and I liked his show, but let's be honest here, he's had quite a few problems in past jobs. I don't think people should get conspiracy theory over another job he's left on bad terms.

MSNBC would never have put Laurence O'Donnell in that spot if they were purging liberal voices from the network. He's far more ferocious with conservatives that Olbermann even was.

Posted by: SaintZak on January 22, 2011 at 12:30 PM | PERMALINK

I didn't watch MSNBC prior to Olbermann and now I'll have an hour of free time in the evening because I won't be watching MSNBC anymore. Sad to see him go. He wasn't afraid to get in Republicancer's faces and he had wasn't beyond pointing out what a fraud the Obama presidency has turned out to be.

Posted by: tko on January 22, 2011 at 12:32 PM | PERMALINK

O'Donnell simply has a show ready to go, he's convenient.

I'd bet if Glenn Beck left Fox msnbc would snap him up in a heartbeat.

TV executives are, more often than not, people who are certain the success of any given show is entirely due to their superior ability to have lunch with other executives. Olbermann strikes me as someone who isn't going to help them with that impression, and I'll bet that's entirely why he was fired.

Posted by: cld on January 22, 2011 at 12:43 PM | PERMALINK

For those w/o cable or MSNBC, you coulda watched day old Keith and the others on the internet. With shorter commercial breaks.

Posted by: emjayay on January 22, 2011 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

Davearb: o'reilly's ratings are concocted the dead, near dead and the brain dead. And fancy math.

This move is all COMCAST. Rachel needs to grow up now. She can't be the reductionist friend of everyone anymore. I'll boycott MSNBC now. I truly hate COMCAST and will not spend a dime on any of their priorities. Muzzling progressives seems to be constitutionally protected, eh?

CNN needs to become the voice of the truth again; but I doubt their corporate masters are game for truthful recitations and righteous rants against evil.

Posted by: Sparko on January 22, 2011 at 2:05 PM | PERMALINK

tanstaafl and Speed (sounds like the title of the world's worst cop-buddy picture, but I digress): Media contracts for on-air talent almost always have "non-compete" clauses. Conan O'Brien, for example, spent a year doing a comedy tour because he couldn't work on TV. I doubt there's anything more to that part of the story.

Posted by: alopecia on January 22, 2011 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Nnnnnnooooooooooooooooo!!!

Posted by: Patrick on January 22, 2011 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Nnnnnnooooooooooooooooo!!!

Posted by: Patrick on January 22, 2011 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

Nnnnnnooooooooooooooooo!!!

Posted by: Patrick on January 22, 2011 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Nnnnnnooooooooooooooooo!!!

Posted by: Patrick on January 22, 2011 at 2:14 PM | PERMALINK

Keith Olbermann had his show taken away from him because:

Jeffrey Immelt, GE's chairman and chief executive, will replace Paul Volcker as the head of the White House' outside panel of economic advisers.

The only thing the Whitehouse hates more than criticism from the right is criticism from the left. They are trying to silence Olbermann in the same way they silenced Ralph Nader.

Maybe we should cut out the symbolism and just move the Chamber of Commerce, U.S. branch, into the White House.

Posted by: Doug on January 22, 2011 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

What a sad time for a liberal column. Cry your eyes out, say how popular he was. (What a friggen' joke!... He got trounced nightly!) I wonder where Maddows will get her wardrobe from now?

Posted by: tjl on January 22, 2011 at 2:26 PM | PERMALINK

Sadly, what was once the purview

Posted by: DAY on January 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

oops- i meant to spell check "purview".

Sadly, what was once the purview of Cronkite, Murrow, Huntley-Brinkley has now become-Right and Left- little more than editorial cartoons.

Posted by: DAY on January 22, 2011 at 2:33 PM | PERMALINK

You know what happens next,

Olbermann gets a new show somewhere and the first time he mentions 'Billo the Clown' msnbc sends him a cease and desist order claiming the own the phrase 'Billo the Clown'.

Posted by: cld on January 22, 2011 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

I love you, Keith. You will be missed. Don't stay away too long!

Posted by: Jackie on January 22, 2011 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

Keith - thank you for years of special comments. I hope you know how much we will all miss you. Shame on MSNBC - I am not sure if I will continue to watch - Rachel, Ed, good shows but my heart won't be with the channel anymore. Guess it is time to turn off the TV and get my "news" online.

Posted by: Barli on January 22, 2011 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

All this piece, and the vast majority of the comments do is prove that liberals are the most delusional people in America today. Huge ratings? Yeah...O'Reilly draws over 3 times the viewers. I feel sorry for liberals and how detached from reality they've become. Obama is using every single policy Bush enacted in the WOT, including rendition, and yet somehow you folks think you own a piece of higher ground. Mindboggling!

Posted by: Robert on January 22, 2011 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Certainly there's a nasty back story to this move by MSNBC because otherwise it makes no sense for MSNBC or Olbermann. Even is Olbermann was a thorn in the side of management, why would they get rid of him? His show leads the lineup and generates the most ad revenue. It's a classic example of cutting off your nose to spite your face. As for KO, why would he agree to a settlement that keeps him off the air for an extended period (perhaps past the presidential election)? What did they threaten him with that would cause him to agree to a hiatus that could be a career ender? It just doesn't make sense -- something else happened here.

Posted by: ameshall on January 22, 2011 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

If I could be allowed my two cents, and thanks to Steve, and kind fellow commenters, I am: I thought he was done when the big push was on for the tax breaks for the rich.

It was obvious that Obama was going to piss off people like me with those tax breaks. I noticed that there was an effort by many different blogs and pundits to focus not at the subject at hand, but instead to list Obama's accomplishments.

I understood there might be more to gain, but a subject dear to me was dismissed out of hand by most. They all seemed so...aligned..in doing so, too.

When Keith spoke in his broadcast about some "very high-level" administration official coming by to strong-arm him into also putting out such points, it seemed that my paranoia about groups getting together for a common message that was not so much news as propaganda was not actually paranoia.

Then I read the Immelt thing, so obvious below this piece, and here we go. Olbermann stuck a finger in Obama's eye. Since Obama can't completely beat down a real opponent now, he will crack at the ones he can beat.

Immelt gets to shape policy, which is a fantastic and wonderful thing if you are smart and greedy, and certainly could pay off far better than any one Olbermann. Obama sends the message that if you put out real dissent, instead of the Fox-news bullshit kind for morons (yes, there are plenty of morons), then you could get popped, no matter how popular you are among your audience.


Posted by: Hazy on January 22, 2011 at 6:11 PM | PERMALINK
DAVEARB: "BIG RATING? YA GOT TO BE KIDDING O'REILLY HAS 3 TO 4 TIMES MORE VIEWERS AND GIVEN NIGHT."

Really? Prove it.

Oh, I'm sorry, my bad. I should've remembered that when you shout at people or post items entirely in upper case, you don't have to prove anything ...

Posted by: Out & About in The Castro on January 22, 2011 at 7:22 PM | PERMALINK

To be honest, these comments are sounding as paranoid and hysterical as the stuff you expect to hear from the tea baggers and right wingers. Professionally he has always had a bad reputation. He's been let go in some high profile firings in the past. A former co-worker said "he didn't just burn bridges, he napalmed them." He's difficult, and he got canned. That's about it.

Posted by: SaintZak on January 22, 2011 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Keith was good at what he does. He will be missed. I will especially miss the Fridays with Thurber segment.

There are three people off the top of my head who deserve a shot of their own: Sam Seder, Chris Hayes (if someone can get him to hold his head up at the beginning of segments), and the young guy who subbed for Keith last fall when he was suspended did a good job.

Those comments above about MSNBC not being as available as FOX were interesting--they go a long way in clearing up a mystery. Thanks.

Posted by: Seould on January 22, 2011 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

I will miss Keith a great deal. He was a lone voice in the wilderness of the W years. I loved his sense of humor that was evident in each show. What will we do without "Oddball"? He was like Howard Cosell and told us how it was. He was able to get the truth out at time when no truth was being told. I thank him for that. Who will be the truthtellers now?

Posted by: Bonnie on January 22, 2011 at 8:42 PM | PERMALINK

I see the nothing to see here move along thesis is alive and well. Keith was a diva? Jeebus. He was all MSNBC had. Seriously. O'Donnell is the Harold Ford of pundits. And Rachel got to clown around while Olbermann launched the verbal assaults. I hope Ed becomes even angrier; not that I'll watch Comcast made for crap TV programs. If the Immelt thesis is correct, we really do need to gin up for a primary. I don't see any great progress on any fronts. This nation is an extortion racket lately.

Posted by: Sparko on January 22, 2011 at 9:45 PM | PERMALINK

This doesn't make sense. If Olbermann was more or less fired, they had to deal with his contract - buy it out, more or less.

They contract probably has a buyout provision, and it's probably pretty lucrative. But why would it include a provision to the effect that, if his show was canceled early, he couldn't go to a competitor (or start a syndicated show)? True, this would be at the cost of not getting paid anymore by MSNBC, but he could make up a lot of that if he had a show somewhere else - and he wouldn't be jeapardizing his career. Three years is long enough to risk the public forgetting about you.

Sounds like he signed a pretty bad contract.

Posted by: herostratus on January 22, 2011 at 9:51 PM | PERMALINK

Ah yes, according to the truthiness from the corporations, comcast had no idea this was going to happen. Riiiiiight....

An interesting contradiction in this item from corporate media apologist Howard Kurtz, writing in the Daily Beast. It seems to unknowingly reveal that Comcast knew about Olbermann's departure before Olbermann did.

Olbermann said he had been “told that this is the last edition of your show” and thanked his audience, saying: “My gratitude to you is boundless.” He also thanked a list of people who have worked with him, notably excluding MSNBC President Phil Griffin, whom he has known for three decades.

A knowledgeable official said the move had nothing to do with Comcast taking control of NBC next week, although the cable giant was informed when it received final federal approval for the purchase that Olbermann would be leaving the cable channel. This official described the dramatic divorce—Olbermann was about halfway through a four-year, $30 million contract—as mutual.

(See: http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-01-21/keith-olbermann-quits-msnbcs-countdown)

Raise your hands, everyone who thinks the most far-right media owner in America, Ed Snider, owner of Comcast (so far right he broke with the Ayn Rand Institute for being "too liberal") and funder of Kelsey Grammer's "Right Network" (providing content that respects and supports the views of right-thinking Americans" - and here I thought Faux Snooze had that covered), had nothing to do with this. You probably also believe in the tooth fairy and that the sun rises in the west.

Posted by: TCinLA on January 22, 2011 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

Nice almost troll-free thread here. Was he difficult to work with? I'm not surprised. So was I, but employers put up with me because I did what I promised and put my heart in it. I wish Keith only the best.
I am coming to the conclusion that we (Progressives) will never thrive until we have our own NON-CORPORATE media to reach out and give truth to America as a whole. The conservatives started small in the sixties and look where they are now. Air America failed because its success was tied to corporate profits. We need to fund our own media. Rich people's money always welcome, but we need to open our own wallets. I would gladly pledge one or two percent of my modest social security income to see this happen.

Posted by: Pterosonus on January 22, 2011 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

Seriously, we need to get a night shift for the moderators, since it seems that most trolls show up after 6 PM.

And, I second Pterosonus at 11:08 PM, I'll be happy to kick in a few dollars of my UE check.

Posted by: knightphoenix2 on January 22, 2011 at 11:24 PM | PERMALINK

I am glad to see Oberman go. Finally Messnbc has made a GOOD decision. Oberman's views were so far left and uninformatively caustic about any type of political agenda. he seemed to go overboard so that he coule combat the work of FOX news. By the way, Oberman was a lousy sports caster also.

Posted by: Rich on January 23, 2011 at 12:35 AM | PERMALINK

I will miss Olbermann. Ed Schultz is too partisan, his standards changing with the party of the person involved. Maddow, for all her brilliance at research and investigation, drives me crazy - repeating everything three or more times, as though we are slow-witted schoolchildren being lectured to. She's unwatchable for me. Lawrence O'Donnell is the best, but he lacks the humor that made Olbermann's didactic side tolerable. I have seen much of Cenk, but hope he can bring a mix of humor and outrage. I look forward to what Olbermann decides to do next and wish him well.

Posted by: RuthAlice Anderson on January 23, 2011 at 2:51 AM | PERMALINK

"This nation is an extortion racket lately."
Posted by: Sparko on January 22, 2011 at 9:45 PM

"Lately"??
Pray, where have you been spending your time since 1980? And do they have electricity there?

And, yes, what Pterosonus, seconded by knightphoenix2, said. Absolutely.
It's the single most important thing toward putting our country back on the right track.
All the other corporate Publican / conservatard lies stand or fall on the mother of all lies, the "liberal media" conceit. Americans are not, by and large, stupid or lazy. They are not "misinformed" or "uninformed."
They are disinformed -- by the corporate mass media.
And no real, let alone lasting, change can or will happen until that is rectified by at least one teevee network returning to the practice of journalism. (Yes, it has to be teevee. Yes, it has to be a network. No, the internet is nowhere near able to substitute for that kind of reach and impact.)
I truly do not understand why this hasn't happened yet.
Is there really NO sufficiently-well-heeled progressive, or group thereof, to do for the truth and for the interests of 95% of Americans what Richard Mellon Scaife, the Olins, the Hunt Bros, the Koch Bros, and all the other ultrarich slime do for their own interests and for the reichwing counter-reality?
Especially since it seems at least possible that such an enterprise would actually be profitable (unlike, say, the Weekly Standard, the Washington Times, etcetcetc).

Posted by: smartalek on January 23, 2011 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

Keith: Come back stronger and bolder soon..will follow you where-ever you go..let us know!

Be well..you will be missed.

I hope Maddow doesn't feel muzzled now.

This has to be a bit awkward as all get out for her.

Interesting no thanks to the MSNBC president in his farewell..very telling.

Posted by: Keith: Don't stray too long! on January 23, 2011 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

There is a network that is liberal/progressive and it's called Link TV. It's Ch. 375 on Direct TV (you need a dish because I don't think it's on cable TV.) Dish network also carries Link TV but I don't know the ch. number. Amy Goodman has her show "Democracy Now" on this network and they also have won arwards for their middle east news that they broadcast from many different sources with an audible translation. They have some great doc's and music from all around the world. It's worth checking out and Link TV is all self sustaining. They take no corporate money. They have no commercials. They are able to broadcast whatever they want and they do! Check it out!

Posted by: Jules on January 23, 2011 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

There is a network that is liberal/progressive and it's called Link TV. It's Ch. 375 on Direct TV. Dish network also carries Link TV but I don't know the ch. number. Amy Goodman has her show "Democracy Now" on this network and they also have won awards for their middle east news. They take no corporate money. They have no commercials. They are able to broadcast whatever they want and they do! Check it out!

Posted by: Jules on January 23, 2011 at 9:02 PM | PERMALINK

We need the equivalent of Radio Free Europe and I will kick in for it if it needs to be funded privately. They right wing has been slowly starving NPR for years so I don't doubt that they blacklist people.

Posted by: Always Hopeful on January 23, 2011 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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