Tag Archives: Countdown

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.

Olbermann Returns to MSNBC This Tuesday

According to BoldProgressives.org, which collected over 300,000 signatures to put Keith Olbermann back on the air, Keith will return to Countdown this Tuesday, Nov. 9th.

If you’d like to sign a congratulations to Keith card, go here.

The Tattlesnake GOP: Road to the Nut House Edition

Conservative Christopublican Michele Bachmann Offends American History By Quoting Liberal Deist Thomas Jefferson

Descending into obscurity, bereft of leadership, and driven to distraction by Obama’s cool, the fading Republican Party has opened yet another can of crackpot and let it pour over the religiously bewitched and acutely ignorant leftovers of nasty Nixonism, regressive Reaganism and bumbling Bushism.

Joining the cranky ranks of Michael Steele, Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, Ann Coulter, Mike Pence, John Boehner and all of the other daft neocons needing professional help, the new can in question is boiling-over-the-top-crazy Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, who barely won reelection in 2008 over an obscure Tolkien character named, no kidding, Elwyn Tinklenberg. No offense to poor old Elwyn, but Tinklenberg is a politician like Limbaugh is a neurosurgeon.

Bachmann’s fringe-right dementedness is nothing new for her, as the excellent Dump Bachmann blog has archived, just not yet exposed to a national audience. In fact, Michele’s been in the forefront of every extreme Christopublican-corporatist nutcase movement since she was in the MN state legislature. In her Jesuitic devotion to the poor, she vehemently opposed any increase in the minimum wage, saying in January of 2005: “Literally, if we took away the minimum wage we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would able to offer jobs at whatever level.” (No doubt she did not mean this to include Minnesota Congresswomen, nor any member of their immediate families.)

She has also been a stern Old Testament foe of all things gay, as this quote from a 2004 interview on a Minnesota radio program called “Prophetic Views Behind The News” highlights: This is a very serious matter [homosexuality], because it is our children who are the prize for this community, they are specifically targeting our children.” (The gay is comin’ ta get ya!)

But just so the reader doesn’t think this might have been a singular anti-gay eruption elicited by one too many cocktails, there are also these tidbits from something called the ‘EdWatch National Education Conference’ in November 2004: “If youre involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, its bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement.” (As opposed to the bondage, despair and enslavement to corporate kindness caused by the lack of a minimum wage.) At the same venue, she took the hatchet to companies that neglected to contribute to her campaign fund, “They arent just kind of gay-friendly, they are gay advocates at Proctor and Gamble Heres just a few other companies that support the pro-homosexual agenda. They include Levi-Strauss, American Airlines, Sara Lee Bakery, Jaguar and Land Rover.” (“Sara Lee Their Delicious Cakes Will Make You Gay!”)

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