A Few too Many…(2nd update)

November 6, 2010 at 10:21 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

words on Keith Olbermann’s suspension. (For those who are not familiar with cable news, he hosts a show called “Countdown” on MSNBC.)

They are of course, my opinion with some links to actual journalists included.

It appears that the suspension was technically correct, under NBC news standards in place.  He contributed 2400.00 each to three political campaigns without asking prior approval, and it’s the without asking prior approval part that appears to have triggered the suspension.

I hope to goodness NBC has record of Pat Buchanan and Joe Scarborough asking permission in 2006 when they donated.  Most sources say they did.

While the merger has begun,  Comcast, owned by a conservative, has not yet taken control over the part of the merger that NBC news is under. so by that, they can say they had no part in this.

Pundits and/or journalists on both sides of the political spectrum have said they thought the suspension without pay was overkill. The Weekly Standard, for example.

His colleague, Rachel Maddow, said on her show yesterday that she believes the point has been made and that Keith Olbermann should be back hosting Countdown while listing the many pundits and newsfolk at another cable pundit outlet who openly solicit contributions for politicians they talk about or have on their shows, not just by name but by candidate and the amounts contributed.  (She’s factual like that.)

Here is my opinion:

I think someone high up, at NBC Universal got pressured to, or decided on their own that Keith Olbermann’s conduct should be held up to a microscope at work, with the eye to finding a technically correct reason to get him gone.

I’ve been witness to several similar firings/resignations/suspensions/final warnings in my lifetime…and I firmly believe this was.  A group or person wished for the suspension.  Whether it is temporary or permanent,  he got suspended not for two or three 2400.00 checks.  The rules were the delivery system for something else.

And, lo here on Sunday, may be the something else:

This latest linked story claims Mr. Olbermann was suspended for refusing to admit his contributions were a mistake or a rules violation on-air…If true, that genuinely puzzles me, because his show was the quickest to admit when they made a factual blunder of any show I’ve seen since the days of Huntley-Brinkley, Cronkite, etc. (The opinion and the bias were open and obvious always yes, but factual errors are another matter.) We’ll see.

The pure economics of it:

NBC:

This guy made you a ton of money, and shutting him up is going to lose you a ton of money.  That’s bad business.

If you keep the name “Countdown,”  and change the host, it will become your least watched show…whereas if you move Rachel to that slot, say, and put Lawrence O’Donnell in her old slot…and someone new in Lawrence’s slot…that would be a better deal for you.  You’ll make more money.

And the personal.

The first moment of Olbermann’s work I noticed was while scanning through the horrific images of the Convention Center and the Ninth Ward during Katrina.  He was *criticizing* the Bush administration openly and directly.

And getting away with it.

And using the word ‘egregious’ properly in a sentence.

It seemed particularly fearless to me.  My perception was, that the country had been mostly in lockstep with the Bush administration since 9/11, and incorrectly so since late 2002… and that criticism was hobbled more closely than during any other time in my adult life.

His work made my own 2004 resolve to get more political and more active seem like the right thing to have done….and gave me a purpose….When you’re homebound in a wheelchair having a purpose is a darn good thing.  He fought like a….for healthcare reform, and his personal experience with that labyrinth informed his words.

And, the Special Comments:

Being something of a verbal flamethrower myself, I take great joy in anybody taking the gloves off, when something has to be said.

If he surfaces somewhere else doing political commentary, I’ll be in the first row.

If he returns to MSNBC so much the better, although I’m shaking my head at NBC for being this economically dumb.

Note: a smaller version of this has been emailed to Mr. Griffin, Mr. Olbermann’s boss at MSNBC.

Second update:  Well, maybe Mr. Griffin had second thoughts after  300,000 signatures on a petition, many other media outlets calling the suspension as off by a yard or two etc, etc.

Keith’s BAAACCCKKK! He’ll be opinionating again on Tuesday.

suspended “indefinitely?” Bwahahaha! …since when does four days, (only two broadcast days) equal indefinitely.

I know that last line was childish endzone dancing.  I can’t help it.

Mr. Olbermann himself gives a shoutout to viewers and his side of the story….

From which, my favorite quote:

I want to sincerely thank you for the honor of your extraordinary and
ground-rattling support. Your efforts have been integral to the remedying of
these recent events…I genuinely look forward to rejoining you on Countdown on Tuesday, to begin the repayment of your latest display of support and loyalty – support and loyalty that is truly mutual.
–K.O.
(grin and more childish endzone dancing by me.)
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