Tag Archives: NBC

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.

‘Non-Political’ Fox News Messiah Glenn Beck and His ‘Black Robe Regiment’ Represent the Views of 180 Million Americans

… well, according to Glenn Beck anyway.

http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/201008280018

Beck Introduces the New Black Robe Regiment

That’s right, 240 preachers show up at Beck’s ‘Gull on the Mall’ party — his ‘Black Robe Regiment’ — and, somehow, they represent what 180 million Americans think? This must be the miracle Beck was promoting!

Our New Messiah Glenn Beck’s Message From God: ‘Just Do It’

“This is the beginning of the great awakening of America … We must give voice to what God says we must do My message to you tonight is stand where He wants you to stand and trust in the Lord. If He tells you to do it, do it. If you can’t figure it out, He will. Just do it.”
— Glenn Beck yesterday on his ‘Restoring Honor’ rally message, as quoted by NBC news services, Aug. 28, 2010.

Is Glenn Beck listening to God or Nike’s advertising agency?

“All political parties die at last of swallowing their own lies.”
— John Arbuthnot

So do ‘non-political’ tea parties and jumped-up bipolar Shock Jocks who pretend to be religious figures.

The Tattlesnake Ear to the Ground on Health Care Edition

Questions, I Have Questions

Your (Mostly) Obedient Tattlesnake is waiting for one of our Big Media professional interrogators, such as NBC’s David “We’ll Frame It Your Way!” Gregory, to ask one of these Congressional Republicans hyperventilating against the government paying for health care, why they accept health care paid for by government taxation. To my knowledge, not one member of Congress turns down this platinum perk of office preferring to pay for privatized health care themselves, as they think us average schmoes should do. If privatized for-profit health care is ‘the greatest system in the world,’ why don’t they avail themselves of it using their own money instead of Uncle Sucker’s, i.e. ours? (I won’t hold my breath.)

Speaking of which, when do the BM ‘journalists’ start questioning why the government ‘of, by and for the people’ should be in the business of protecting private for-profit corporations from competition? We know they’ve done this unofficially for generations, but now the merry free-marketeers of the Republican Party and Blue Dog Dem stripe are openly babbling we have to protect the health care industry from ‘unfair competition’ from a public option. Wasn’t their mantra, just a few years ago, that corporations could always do a better job at a lower price than the government? If so, what are they worried about in the realm of health care? Could it be that a public health care option would nakedly expose that lie, and the obscene rip-off that America’s for-profit health insurance system has been for the past forty years?

Beware, beware: Don’t be fooled by the retooled Harry and Louise ads featuring the loathsome couple updating their opposition to health care reform by announcing themselves now ‘for it’ as long as it is ‘bipartisan’ and not ‘political.’ This is wrong on so many levels, the Tattler’s thesaurus begs for new synonyms, but the fact that the health care industry is spending over a million dollars a day to stop health care reform, and Harry and Louise is a part of that effort, should give you a clue as to just how detrimental this industry is to the public health. When Big Medico and Big Pharma use the word ‘bipartisan’ it’s in the corporate Republican sense, as in ‘do it our way.’ What the health insurance industry wants is no public option, and a huge payday in that the taxpayers will foot the bill, at current exorbitant rates, for all of the cases the for-profits currently refuse, such as ‘pre-existing conditions.’ This means we’ll be paying for dollar-a-cap Tylenols and every expensive, unneeded procedure greedy industry types can conjure up, and they, and the hospitals and doctors in on this scam, will get their piece of the very profitable action. Without competition from a public option, health care in this country will be even more expensive, yet not work any better for most of us, it will just cost more. Under the industry no-competition plan, you’ll be able to see your terminally ill relative languish into the Great Beyond at ten times what it costs in civilized nations with single-payer universal health care coverage.

More to come after Obama’s press conference tonight.

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The Tattlesnake The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of 2008 Edition

Coverage of the Big Stuff of 2008, in the form of cheesy top ten lists and lofty-worded think pieces, will be churned out endlessly by Our Corporately-Owned Media over the next few weeks, so here are some of the lesser-reported annoyances, intrusions on sanity, and other head-smackers of the year past.

The Good: It’s a new year and Obama takes office in less than 20 days! (Happy 2009, BTW.)
The Bad: Bush and Cheney can still stir up trouble in their ‘Final Days.’
The Ugly: What if they decide not to leave?

The Good: The already-weakened Republican Party is splitting apart in a war between the ‘Jesus Camp’ Christopublicans and the Neocon Corporate Pragmatists. (The true principled conservatives having ditched the GOP years ago.) The latter are willing to bend rather than break; the former can’t, since they arrogantly believe, apparently without the assistance of hard drugs, that their Invisible Omnipotent God of the Infinite Universe Who Hates Liberals and Homos has nothing better to do than whisper in their ears what kind of retail politics and holy wars against his other creations will set them straight with Heaven.
The Bad: There’s a good chance the NCP will dump the Republicans entirely and put all their money into the Dems, which will have the result of making the Dems as debased and corrupt as the GOP.
The Ugly: Even though the Theocrats-for-a-Better-Armageddon are a small minority, the GOP in their hairy paws will become a rural party of ranting rubes, bedeviled boobs, slick hicks, hypocritical hucksters, predatory politicians, snake-handling simpletons, and mumbling morons (not that it mostly isn’t already) and, thanks to our unique system of apportioning two senators to each state no matter what the population (another nasty legacy of the era of slavery), the Christopublicans will continue to wield enough influence to block legislation and stir up other governmental mischief to the detriment of us all. The future of the Republican Party might very well be an army of pious Puritan dunderheads marching in righteous lockstep, infecting the US body politic like a bad case of psoriasis it wont kill you, but it can be damned aggravating.

The Good: Speaking of Sarah Palin, her 18-year-old daughter Bristol had a healthy baby recently.
The Bad: As Bart of Bartcop fame wrote, “[Sarah] Palin promised her daughter ‘and the young man’ would get married but that was during the campaign so she can’t be held to it.” So, now that Bristol’s bun is out of the oven, where is the fuming outrage of the Big Media and the Christopublicans that she’s officially an unwed mother and, since Ma holds down a gub’mint job, she’s being supported by taxpayer money?
The Ugly: The kid’s father, Levi Johnston, remains a proudly ignorant redneck oaf, and he just went to work for a ‘let’s-rape-the-wilderness’ energy company.

The Good: A Democrat has finally vowed to fight back against Republican smears and refuses to cave in to their demands.
The Bad: That Democrat is the convicted-by-the-media-without-a-trial Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich.
The Ugly: Here is the dumb-bunny guilt-by-location smear the RNC and every right-wing website will be repeating ad nauseum as long as Obama is president, even if Blago is cleared of all charges: “Obama and Blagojevich are both from Chicago, Illinois, which is, like, the most corrupt city and state in the union the FBI guy said so! and, hey, common sense says they must both then be completely corrupt, right? This is another one of those unanswered questions about Obama that the public deserves to hear the full truth about!” 2010 BM pundit’s comment: “Let’s say ‘hello’ to Illinois’ newly-elected Republican Governor Patrick Fitzgerald! At least he’s ethical, even if he couldn’t convict Blagojevich of anything!”

The Good: Illinois finally has a US Senator to replace Obama, a man with a clean and honorable record, former IL Attorney General Roland Burris.
The Bad: He is being morphed into Blago’s Rev. Wright by the scandal-happy ‘Whitewaterized’ Big Media, eager to toss him into the same ‘guilty-even-if-he-hasn’t-been-convicted-of-anything’ pot with Blagojevich. Burris is now ‘tainted’ just because he accepted the appointment. Note to the Big Media: What about all of those prominent Washington Senators of the Republican persuasion Mitch McConnell, John Ensign, Saxby Chambliss, Richard Shelby, Orrin Hatch, et al — who openly dined and danced with the likes of Jack Abramoff and Karl Rove? Oh, right Rove hasn’t been convicted of any crime but when has that stopped you? (Hey, the Clintons weren’t convicted of any crime in the Whitewater land deal; and no crime was even committed in the ‘Travelgate’ fiasco, but that didn’t matter they were still media-created ‘scandals’ that filled up newspaper columns and media airtime for years.) Lack of conviction, so to speak, certainly hasn’t been any bar to gleefully drubbing Blagojevich and Burris with the corruption stick. Abramoff is in prison and Rove is being subpoenaed and investigated all over the place for bribery, fraud and other assorted dishonesty, yet their close connections to prominent Republicans, not to mention the White House, somehow doesn’t carry the same ‘taint’ of corruption? Is the BM afraid of the GOP High and Mighty, or is it just your ingrained conservative bias showing?
The Ugly: Congressional and Illinois state Democrats are incredibly doing the Republicans’ job for them, sticking the blade in deep and twisting it not only with Blago, but now Burris, too. Hey, dingbat Dems, a simple ‘innocent until proven guilty, it’s the American way’ would be the way to go.

There’s more below the fold…

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The Tattlesnake Big Media Hillary Silly Season in Full Swing Edition

Secretary of State Clinton? Much A Doo-Doo About Nothing

If it hasn’t been foreclosed on yet, don’t bet the family ranch that Hillary Clinton will be the next Secretary of State, nor even have a cabinet post in the Obama Administration.

With the long, slow political-junkie orgasm of the presidential campaign fading in the rearview mirror, the ‘Pundints’ now have little to talk about; certainly they don’t find the baffling Bush Boy’s latest incoherence on the economy “I continue to support the neocon free market policies that caused this horrible financial meltdown!” worth examining to do so might remind the audience of how much the Big Media Cognoscenti had to do with leading the lemmings off the cliff; the Palin Reality TV show “Who Wants to Be a President!” also has its limits how long before even avid dupes of Little Debbie Shortcake begin wondering why she hauls that baby around to every public appearance and detect that her political ideas are mostly an ungrammatical noun, an opportunistic verb, ‘Nothing’s my fault,’ ‘You betcha!’ and ‘God’s gonna show me the door’?

Even the three undetermined US Senate races don’t hold the BM Short Attention Span long the vituperation back and forth is good for a brief goose, but those complicated state voting laws! The crashing economy was respectable breathless stand-up fodder for a while “Melanie Blandstick, reporting from Wall Street, Ground Zero of our money crisis!” — but the pampered Lads and Lasses of the Golden Corporate Microphone are not employed for their intimate knowledge of the financial markets, nor much else, and there are only so many interviews you can do with ill-kempt and boring hustlers from the Heritage Foundation or the American Enterprise Institute, still pushing Milt Friedman’s Cap’n Capitalist Crunch cereal after the product has poisoned the country, and who’s Ayn Rand anyhow wasn’t she the wife in “Father Knows Best”? Iraq? Afghanistan? Iran? Whoa, dude, you’re bumming my trip!

So, of course, with little they consider ‘real news’ going on, they retreat into their favorite past time endless speculation based on sketchy evidence, as shouted through a megaphone in the Grand Canyon to insure every Big Media Mouthpiece is regurgitating the same dull incantations.

The latest prime example of this is NBC’s Andrea “Mrs. Greenspan” Mitchell floating an anonymously-sourced story last week that Obama would offer the position of Secretary of State to Hillary Clinton, when the only thing that has thus far been confirmed was that Hillary flew to Chicago for a meeting with the President-Elect. For days since, the Punditrocracy has been foaming at the mouth, leaving no entrails unturned in their white-hot desire to tiresomely discuss to death the possibility of Hillary as the top national diplomat.

Using the same superior detective skills that in the past led them to deduce that the 2008 election would be about national security; that Republicans just loved Rudy Giuliani, that McCain would inevitably pick either Mitt Romney or Tim Pawlenty as his running mate; that Obama had to choose Hillary Clinton as his Veep or lose the election; that American women would mindlessly flock to the GOP after Sarah Palin’s unveiling; that Obama would have a tough time attracting working class voters in Rust Belt states; and that the Dem presidential ticket would, maybe, possibly, eke out a tiny victory in the Electoral College in a very tight race because, after all, this was basically a conservative nation in spite of this dismal record of comic prognostication, they forge ahead, this time with the latest vapid gasper of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State.

Lost in most of their circuitous gossip is any sort of common-sense analysis: Why would Hillary give up her powerful senate seat, and an excellent chance to be Senate Majority Leader, to serve as a peripatetic foreign service factotum in Obama’s government? The appointment would also proscribe her from criticizing him should things go sour, thereby tainting her bid for the 2012 nomination. Quick, name the last five Secretaries of State before Condi and look at what has happened to them. I think it’s fair to say the energetic Sen. Clinton doesn’t desire to live out her days lounging in academia, playing golf, or filling space on the board of some think tank or corporation, publishing occasional knotted-brow op-ed pieces in The New York Times.

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