Tag Archives: CNN

Keith Olbermann’s Final ‘Countdown’ at MSNBC Has the Stench of Comcast All Over It

Last night, Friday, January 21, in what I know must have been a surprise to much of his audience, Keith Olbermann announced this was the last “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” thanked his viewers and those who had helped put the show on the air over the years, and then calmly read a James Thurber story named “The Scotty Who Knew Too Much,” the moral of which was: “It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers.” It was an odd, unsettling moment in the context of Keith’s departure, and it’s still not clear if Olbermann quit or MSNBC fired him; the only official announcement from MSNBC being an exercise in bland Corpospeak opacity:

“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.”

Richard Adams, writing in The Guardian (UK), apparently believes Olbermann was fired:

“Keith Olbermann, the liberal, outspoken anchor of MSNBC’s Countdown show, had his contract dramatically terminated by the US cable news network’s parent company NBC on Friday night.

“Olbermann had two years of a four year contract remaining, worth an estimated $30m, and was the network’s highest-rated personality, responsible in large part for MSNBC’s orientation as a liberal, Democratic-leaning channel.”

Although Comcast ferociously denies they had anything to do with this – and it is barely possible Keith simply refused to work for them and ended his contract by mutual agreement with MSNBC — the juxtaposition of FCC approval to take over NBC/Universal and Olbermann’s blink-quick departure reek with the stench of conservative mega-corporation Comcast sending a chilling message to the cable news network’s employees – especially air personalities Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell – that if they go too ‘progressive’ in their shows, if they pull back the curtain on corporate malfeasance and corruption with too much zeal and fact, they could find their contracts suddenly cancelled as well.

(The new prime-time MSNBC line-up, BTW, is O’Donnell in Keith’s slot at 8:00ET, with Ed Schultz moving into O’Donnell’s current 10:00ET berth. Rachel will stay in her current time slot.)

Thankfully, Keith is still owed $14 million on his contract, so he will have a chance to take a breather, review his options, and make a comeback elsewhere, perhaps even at the struggling third-place CNN. As Rob Soto at Etidbits.com speculates:

“As for our opinion on what’s next for the liberal anchor, don’t be surprised if Olbermann ends up on CNN sooner than later. Their ratings are in the tank, their new Parker/Spitzer series is a disaster (with Kathleen Parker reportedly not very happy being there) and is a poor lead-in to the new Piers Morgan Show. The entire evening lineup needs a makeover, and fast. Olbermann reportedly still has two years on his contract and will get paid his annual salary of about $7 million. However, what is not known at this point if he has a non-compete clause in his contract that would prohibit him from appearing on a rival station until his two-year contract is over.”

VIDEO: Olbermann signs off on final Countdown

I’ve been a regular viewer and fan of Keith Olbermann’s since he first started Countdown eight years ago and I hope he shows up on the TV machine again soon; to paraphrase his sign-off, and mix in some Dylan Thomas, I wish him good luck, and I know he won’t go gently into that good night.

© 2011 RS Janes. LTSaloon.org.

The Tattlesnake – Unuttered Utterations and Which Witch is Which? Edition

Tattlesnake’s ‘Media Insider’ says cool cats and kittens should not be swayed by the ‘official’ story regarding Rick Sanchez’s bouncing from the Corporatist News Network otherwise known as CNN. The reason Jon Stewart’s hilarious portrayals of Sanchez as something of a babbling idiot were so devastating is because, well, he’s something of a babbling idiot. (As evidenced by his comments about Stewart’s alleged ‘bigotry’ and Jewish ownership of the media.) Word is, CNN has been looking for a reason to dump this ratings-tank boob without having to pay off his contract. Like most Big Media bobbing heads, Sanchez’s contract no doubt had a standard clause that said if he did anything egregiously immoral, racist or embarrassing in public that had the potential of bringing scorn upon CNN, such as shaving his public hair on live TV or wearing a hood and announcing his selection as a Grand Imperial Wizard of the KKK, he could be summarily dismissed and his contract immediately cancelled with the balance due unpaid. CNN knew its man – with Rick’s fetid history of on-air loopiness, it was only a matter of time until Sanchez crossed the line, and this just happened to be that moment. Of course, Sanchez has now issued the stock Pro Forma Apology to the Universe, (you’ll find it between ‘Memo, Traditional Format’ and ‘Resume, Classic Form’ at your local Big Box stationery store), and eagerly looks forward to his “new future of opportunities” somewhere else. That ‘somewhere else’ will probably be the graveyard shift at Fox Business Channel where Roger Ailes has provided a comfortable if little-watched retirement village for dimbulb dogmatists who have bottomed out elsewhere in MediaLand. Here’s to not seeing you again, Rick!

Republican Tea Party senatorial candidate Christine O’Donnell, when not busy denying she’s a witch, told Fox News she was refraining from national campaigning to focus on the concerns of Delawareans. (That would be the denizens of tiny Delaware, not a race of talking plants in “Star Trek-The Next Generation,” although any confusion is completely understandable.) Howsomever, as Rachel Maddow recently exposed, the Anointed Chipmunk has not been doing much campaigning in Joe Biden’s home turf, either; no public events scheduled, nor interviewing forays with the local media. Is this evidence that she’s given up, facing a 20-point deficit in the polls and broad exposure of her two decades of public nuttiness? Her campaigning seems to be confined solely to running a batty ad where she informs voters up front she’s not a member of a coven (she only ‘dabbled’ in witchcraft, folks), and that she’s just like them, when they haven’t taken their meds. Aside from the roasting over hot flames any Dem candidate would receive from the rabid right for confessing even a fraction of Christine’s abuses of sanity, God Girl’s latest revelation that she’s been receiving ‘classified’ information that China is planning some kind of invasion of the US isn’t really classified or new. Your Tattlesnake has a couple of pals who were paid to teach English in China, only this was not the standard grammar-and-syntax English most of us think of when the subject comes up. Instead, what they were really hired to teach was street-American patois and the intricacies of our popular culture. (One friend spent a whole class on Elvis Presley, for example.) The Chinese ‘invasion’ is no secret, either, only it won’t be military – as reported by several financial publications, the Chinese are using their abundant hoard of US dollars to buy up large tracts of American land; it seems reasonable, more reasonable than Christine, anyway, that the Communist tyrants in Beijing plan to use that real estate to set up factories to manufacture their cheap junk here, once the US labor laws have been sufficiently weakened by Christine’s GOP to allow the kinds of unsafe job conditions and meager salaries Chinese workers endure. (Or maybe they’ll just use prisoners, as they mostly do back home.) What the little Non-Witch misses is that a good Christopublican corporation, Walmart, is the chief importer into the US of Chinese-made goods; her Republican Party has been the main driving force behind suspending tariffs and other regulations to prevent foreign nations from having this kind of power within our country; and notorious picked-by-Jesus ‘president’ Junior Bush borrowed $2 billion a day to pay for his bumbled, illegal war in Iraq and lavish tax cuts for his wealthy family and their rich friends. If ODon weren’t already losing large in the polls, it might behoove her opponent to point this out – yet another thudding contradiction that is going to kill the GOP in future elections.

— Why is it that this morning, an atheist
did not see an image of Richard Dawkins in her burnt English Muffin, or Madalyn Murray O’Hair in her Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion potato chip? For that matter, Buddhists have not reported visions of Siddhartha in the swirls of their Cream of Wheat, nor have Jews spotted Moses in bowls of chopped chicken liver. For some reason, only Christians, and especially those of the odiferous American variety, seem to have this penchant for apprehending the Christopublican-sanctioned Jeffrey Hunter Jesus in everything from Melba toast to grilled cheese sandwiches. What does that say about the dominant religious delusion in the US? “Whoa — I see God in my snacks!”

© 2010 RS Janes. LTSaloon.org.

Today’s Quote Plus: The ‘Dirty Little Secret’ of the Big Media

“So the dirty little secret is yeah, we sort of informally agree not to report a lot of things that we see, some of it for legitimate security reasons, and some of it because it could just be embarrassing. And the tradeoff is we get a continued relationship with these people and we can get information.
“And by the way, it is information that we can still hold them accountable for, it’s just that we sort of cover them.”

— Jamie McIntyre, CNN’s senior Pentagon reporter for 16 years, revealing the truth about how our Big Media operates.
[Editor’s Note: McIntyre is now an adjunct professor of journalism at the University of Maryland. Hint: ‘Sort of’ covering for sources because they might be embarrassed, ‘informally agreeing’ not to report ‘a lot of things’ you see, and making ‘tradeoffs’ in return for a ‘continued relationship’ is not journalism, it’s whoring for crumbs from your sources, and I hope the ‘Professor’ teaches his students that. H/t to bartcop.com.]

“Today, journalists more than any other cohort of professionals, are responsible for the confusion that surrounds power and its criminality in contemporary society. As Janet Malcolm said in another context, ‘Every journalist who is not too stupid or too full of himself to notice what is going on knows that what he does is morally indefensible.’ “
— Martin Walker, M.A.

“Circus dogs jump when the trainer cracks his whip, but the really well-trained dog is the one that turns his somersault when there is no whip.”
— George Orwell on reporters like Jamie McIntyre.

“Media manipulation in the U.S. today is more efficient than it was in Nazi Germany, because here we have the pretense that we are getting all the information we want. That misconception prevents people from even looking for the truth.”
— Mark Crispin Miller

“Every government is run by liars and nothing they say should be believed.”
— I.F. Stone

“I.F. Stone famously admonished reporters never to have lunch with their sources. Stone believed that once a reporter got too close to those in positions of wealth and power, the independent stance needed for good journalism would be lost. He was contemptuous of journalism that allowed government and big business to do as they pleased.”
— Robin Andersen, “On the Shoulders of Giants,” FAIR.org, Jan.-Feb. 2006.

“The American press is, and always has been, a booster press, its editorial pages characteristically advancing the same arguments as the paid advertising copy.”
— Lewis Lapham

“Newscasters who want to keep their careers afloat learn the fine art of evasion. We should never accuse them of doing a poor and sloppy job of reporting. If anything, with great skill they skirt around the most important points of a story. With much finesse they say a lot about very little, serving up heaps of junk news filled with so many empty calories and so few nutrients. Thus do they avoid offending those who wield politico-economic power. It is enough to take your breath away.”
— Dr. Michael Parenti

“The one truth you’ll never hear on any major American news outlet is that war is good for business and the owner of the network is a stockholder in that profitable concern.”
Arris Jaye

CNN: BP’s ‘Top Kill’ Has Failed

CNN reported Sunday morning (5/30) that BP’s ‘Top Kill’ scheme to staunch the flow of oil gushing from the seabed of the Gulf of Mexico has failed. (Read the CNN story and see the video here.)

Next up, BP plans yet another ‘cap’ that won’t work any better than the first one.

Carol Browner, former head of the EPA and an adviser to President Obama, has confirmed that this is the worst environmental catastrophe in American history.

For an appreciation of just how horrible and far-reaching is this disaster, read “10 Things You Need (But Don’t Want) To Know About the BP Oil Spill,” by Dana Perdomo, Alternet, here.

I have to wonder: How much is BP playing us? I’ll bet gas will be up to $5 a gallon by the end of summer and it will be blamed on the big oil spill BP and their corporate colleagues will rake in even more billions while the oil continues to flow from the bottom of the Gulf.

The only thing that will stop this from happening again is criminal prosecutions for negligent homicide, gross malfeasance, and fraud, with senior BP execs going to jail and the US government seizing their assets and disallowing any past, present or future profits from this mess. Of course, common sense would also dictate that all offshore drilling leases should be cancelled.

I won’t hold my breath, made shorter by air pollution from the byproducts of BP’s main source of income.

It’s About Time Evangelical Christians Took On Glenn Beck

First Glenn Beck lost his A-list advertisers due to a bizarre comment regarding President Obama’s alleged racism toward white people, even though most of Obama’s staff are white, as was his beloved mother.

Now he’s telling his bewitched and bewildered audience to quit churches that care about economic and social justice for the disadvantaged — you know, the same kind of justice that Jesus preached.

This may be the one-toke-over-the-line comment that finally puts a stake in the heart of Count Crapula’s crazy show. Read on, from CNN today:

Evangelical leader takes on Beck for assailing social justice churches
By John Blake, CNN
March 12, 2010

(CNN) — An evangelical leader is calling for a boycott of Glenn Beck’s television show and challenging the Fox News personality to a public debate after Beck vilified churches that preach economic and social justice.

The Rev. Jim Wallis, president of Sojourners, a network of progressive Christians, says Beck perverted Jesus’ message when he urged Christians last week to leave churches that preach social and economic justice.

Wallis says Beck compared those churches to Communists and Nazis.

Wallis says at least 20,000 people have already responded to his call to boycott Beck. He says Beck is confusing his personal philosophy with the Bible.

“He wants us to leave our churches, but we should leave him,” Wallis says of Beck. “When your political philosophy is to consistently favor the rich over the poor, you don’t want to hear about economic justice.”

Wallis says he wants to go on Beck’s show to challenge the contention that churches shouldn’t preach economic and social justice.

Social and economic justice is at the heart of Jesus’ message, Wallis says.

“He’s afraid of being challenged on his silly caricatures,” Wallis says. “Glenn Beck talks a lot when he doesn’t have someone to dialogue with. Is he willing to talk with someone who he doesn’t agree with?”

Beck did not answer numerous requests for an interview.

Read the rest here.

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