KO out

What the hell is this about?

Update. Interesting this happened the same day as the big boss at NBC, General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt, was named to the Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

Update. Also too, Comcast just gained final approval to become the majority owner of NBC.

Update. Anderson Cooper says a source told him it’s no coincidence that Olbermann got canned once Jeff Zucker got forced out. Shuster also says this is almost certainly related to the Comcast deal.

Update. We are going to get to see Erick Erickson discuss this if we’re lucky. This is too good.

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247 replies
  1. 1
    stuckinred says:

    Yea, let’s speculate since no fucking-body knows shit!

  2. 2
    Bnut says:

    I heard he helped Glenn Beck rape and murder a girl back in 1990.

  3. 3
    Pollyusa says:

    Josh Marshall was on Countdown tonight

    Here’s his take…more at link

    But I was a bit more stunned than I might otherwise have been because I was just over there. And I did not have any sense that there was anything any different than normal going on. Everything seemed calm and pretty sedate. There were a few more people than I’m used to seeing in the studio — maybe two or three who seemed to be there to watch. (Something I don’t remember seeing before.) But nothing that made me think twice that anything odd was going on.

    http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/

  4. 4
    lol says:

    Not a fan of him but it’s rather sudden and bizarre.

  5. 5
    BethanyAnne says:

    Favorite tweet about it yet: “Do not want Countdown with Harold Ford”

  6. 6
    Dave says:

    Comcast just finished buying NBC. Correlation doesn’t necessarily equal causation. Still…

  7. 7
    eemom says:

    @stuckinred:

    what else we gonna do? Find out what’s actually going on before we open our yaps and start flapping our gums? Surely you jest.

  8. 8
    Zifnab25 says:

    Was this part of the deal that got the GE CEO his White House post? It would be irresponsible not to speculate.

  9. 9
    AxelFoley says:

    HO-LEE SHIT

  10. 10
    dslak says:

    Looks like a mutual decision by both parties – http://mediadecoder.blogs.nyti.....-on-msnbc/

  11. 11
    Violet says:

    Wow. Crazy. Timing with the Comcast thing seems awfully suspect for it to be just a mere coincidence. Dang. I couldn’t take too much of Keith, but it was nice to have his voice out there.

  12. 12

    i guess i’ll trash the post i was in the middle of writing. :)

    my favorite tweet about it: MSNBC is the worst person in the world.

    Rumor has it that Cenk Uygur will be getting is own show. Blergh.

  13. 13
    Kryptik says:

    I’m still suspecting another replay of the Phil Donahue deal from a few years back. Yeah, MSNBC has a different reputation back then…but then again, it’s just going under a radical redux thanks to that damn merger.

    I’m fully expecting Rachel to get marginalized and pushed out soon at this rate. Lawrence and Ed get to stay because they get to be used as caricatures.

  14. 14
    asiangrrlMN says:

    I’m lobbying for MSNBC to hire me, ABL, and ee to fill Keith’s time slot. It will be huge!

    OT (since it got buried below): I’m pondering a username/brand change. Help me out here!

  15. 15
    hilts says:

    It is well known that both Comcast chief Brian Roberts and NBCU chief Steve Burke have donated heavily to the Republican party with Burke more recently donating money to a few Democrats as well as heavily to Republicans. Roberts was a co-chairman of the host committee at the 2000 Republican Convention while Burke raised at least $200,000 for George W Bush’s re-election campaign.

    h/t http://www.deadline.com/2011/0.....ow-tonight

  16. 16
    Larry Signor says:

    All part of Immelts new job creation plan.

  17. 17
    Adam Hyland says:

    It was on the wall after the previous pissing contest over the political contributions. May very well have been mutual, but it sure wasn’t unexpected.

  18. 18

    The main point of my post is this:

    I don’t think this country will survive Fox News.

    There’s no left media outlet now.

    Also, if Arianna has all white folks running her new HuffPo for black people, I ‘m going to be very put out.

  19. 19

    MSNBC is still airing Lean Forward ads featuring KO.

    ugh.

  20. 20
    eastriver says:

    It’s a Comcast thing. And a stark example of what it looks like when business controls the slant of the news.

  21. 21
    beltane says:

    I’m going to take this opportunity to confess that I have hated television for most of my life. The idea of losing oneself in a screen and of passively receiving the images and ideas that are projected on that screen has always disturbed me a bit. The media owners aren’t just trying to influence your purchasing decisions, they are trying to influence all your attitudes and decisions. Having a few good guys here or there doesn’t change that.

  22. 22
    Davis X. Machina says:

    Shit. I wasn’t through standing with Coco yet, and now this.

  23. 23
    stuckinred says:

    Starting Monday, January 24, “The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell” will move to 8 p.m. ET/PT and “The Ed Show,” hosted by Ed Schultz, will move to 10 p.m. ET/PT on MSNBC. The announcement was made today by Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC. “The Rachel Maddow Show” will continue to air live at 9 p.m. ET/PT

  24. 24
    Poopyman says:

    @eemom: Stop calling me Shirley.

    I predict we’ll get about 5 separate stories, so we’ll have plenty to pick from.

  25. 25
    Mike Kay says:

    Olbermann is German for Quitter.

  26. 26
    Texas Dem says:

    According to a tweet I got from Sam Stein, Keith’s departure is connected to the downfall of Jeff Zucker, who was Keith’s protector. Keith could see what way the wind was blowing, and knew he’d have to restyle the show to suit his new employers. Probably just decided to cash it in. Wouldn’t be the first time he’s walked away from a successful gig (see, e.g., ESPN). And now that Rachel Maddow is a big star (and, by the way, not nearly as annoying), Keith was expendable. Or so the guys at MSNBC probably thought.

  27. 27
    Kryptik says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    But…but…EVERY media outlet is psycho-leftie except Fox! Why don’t you see the truth, dammit?! Why do you want America to get Sorosified?! We need another Joe McCarthy STAT or we’ll never survive the Libz Commie Wonderland! WOLVERINES!!!!!!!!

    *COUGH*

  28. 28
    BethanyAnne says:

    @brianstelter is reporting on the story on twitter – seems to be the most up to date info

  29. 29
    Poopyman says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Mrs. Schitzengiggles?

  30. 30
    Mike Kay says:

    @Texas Dem: not true. Olbermann is a quitter. He quit on ESPN at the height of his popularity, and he quit on MSNBC once before in the late 90s.

    Like an earlier NBC personality, Jack Parr, and like many people on tee vee, Keith is too sensitive.

  31. 31
    Gravenstone says:

    They’d had Sam Seder sitting in for him during the last couple of weeks. I can think of worse people to build a replacement show around.

  32. 32
    handy says:

    @Mike Kay:

    And here all along thought it translated best as “obnoxious prick”

  33. 33
    beltane says:

    @Angry Black Lady: You are so right. The only, and I mean only, hope is that television as a medium will wane in influence over the coming decades. In the old Soviet bloc people were very well aware that the media spewed nothing but propaganda; maybe it’s time Americans realize the same thing.

  34. 34
    Dennis SGMM says:

    As I asked on the other thread; how in hell did this merger get past the FCC and the Department of Justice? It isn’t as if we don’t have media consolidation running riot already.

  35. 35
    hilts says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    MSNBC is still airing Lean Forward ads featuring KO.

    Those guys in the control room aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer.

    CNN and Fox News will now have a field day using this story to trash MSNBC.

  36. 36
    Texas Dem says:

    From Ana Marie Cox: “I’ve always said that Olbermann having helped bring Maddow on the scene was a huge mistake for him. So much for karma.”

  37. 37
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @Poopyman: Oh my god. That made me snort out loud. I don’t know why. Thanks for that.

    @Texas Dem: WTF? So it’s Rachel’s fault now? Make some damn sense (typed sex there), Ana Marie!

  38. 38
    stuckinred says:

    @Mike Kay: Let me say, just for the record. You are a total douche bag. Thank you, thank you very much.

  39. 39
    lamh32 says:

    And who appointed the GE guy to the Council…yeah, you know who.

    I blame Obama. /snark

  40. 40
    DougJ DougJson says:

    @Zifnab25:

    In all candor, it would be irresponsible not to speculate about what is going on here.

  41. 41
    Mike Kay says:

    For people who like/love Keith, don’t feel bad, he’ll return to tee vee within six months on CNN.

  42. 42
    Alex S. says:

    Wow, Olbermann leaves shortly after the big NY mob sweep. Coincidence???

  43. 43
    Dave says:

    Cenk is getting a 6 PM slot. That should be suck-tastic.

  44. 44
    Violet says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    I don’t think this country will survive Fox News.

    Take heart. A recent poll showed that people don’t trust Fox News. Can’t remember where I saw it. But the tide is turning. I hope anyway.

  45. 45
    Texas Dem says:

    MSNBC is still airing Lean Forward ads featuring KO.

    Exactly. That tells us that it wasn’t a planned departure, and that Comcast probably had nothing to do with it. Keith has a history of blowing up good gigs and walking away. That’s what happened at MSNBC in the 1990s, and at ESPN.

  46. 46
    DougJ DougJson says:

    @eastriver:

    That’s my guess as well.

  47. 47
    Mike Kay says:

    @stuckinred: for what? what did I say that was incorrect? nothing. facts are facts. I’ve been watching Keith since he started on ESPN more than 20 years ago, and he’s always been like this.

  48. 48
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    From The Great Orange Satan via a tweet from Karl Frisch
    New MSNBC lineup: 6pm Cenk Unger, 7pm Hardball, 8pm Lawrence O’Donnell, 9pm Rachel Maddow, 10pm Ed Schultz.

  49. 49
    Kryptik says:

    @beltane:

    The problem here is way too many people have gone the complete opposite way. They already mistrusted the news, and only became slavish zealots of it once Fox News made propaganda easy and even more mainstream acceptable.

  50. 50
    You Don't Say says:

    @Angry Black Lady: God, I hope you heard wrong.

    Chris Hayes isn’t too polished, but I really like him.

  51. 51
    stuckinred says:

    @Mike Kay: Blah blah blah.

  52. 52
    Thoroughly Pizzled says:

    @Angry Black Lady: One of the most insufferable people I’ve ever seen. He always seems so self-serving and smarmy, and TYT isn’t even entertaining. I remember him being on Dylan Ratigan when Ratigan suggested that Cenk get his own show. Ugh…

  53. 53
    James E Powell says:

    I can never feel bad for any Big Stars of the news business when they lose their shows. I don’t like the fact that the news business has Big Stars.

  54. 54
    Dennis SGMM says:

    MSNBC is going to change its motto to “Balanced and Fair.”

  55. 55
    goblue72 says:

    This is what a corporate controlled mass media looks like. But it’s ok – liberals still have public mindshare access through some blogs. AmIRight?

  56. 56
    Mike Kay says:

    @Texas Dem: THIS!

    finally, someone who knows Keith’s history and who isn’t overly emotional, and who realizes Keith will resurface on CNN by summer, and then quit CNN in 5 to 10 years.

  57. 57
    stuckinred says:

    asiangrrlMN

    I’ll be back in 7 hours, keep em talking!

  58. 58
    gbear says:

    @beltane: I’m having trouble reading your comment because of the sidebar advertisements that are in the way. (fuck you site upgrade)

    In other words, there is no media that isn’t thoroughly polluted with commerce.

  59. 59
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee:
    What, no Ross Douthat Show?

  60. 60
    me says:

    O’Donnell? yawn. Good by any ratings for MSNBC at 6ET.

  61. 61
    Elizabelle says:

    I cannot stand Ed Shultz.

  62. 62
    Greenhouse Guy says:

    WTF? Stop the merry-go-round! I feel HST trying to jump off to the drugged out Doc Gonzo in this media world. (I hope that made sense) I’ll sign off now.

  63. 63
    AxelFoley says:

    Y’know, I like Keith (have ever since I first saw him on Sports Center years ago), but I’m loving the reactions to his separation from MSNBC over a the GOS:

    http://www.dailykos.com/story/.....-Olbermann

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyo.....-LAST-SHOW

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyo......-21,-2011

    Someone already blamed Obama for hiring Immelt.

    Hahahaha, where is your god now, Kossacks?

  64. 64
    hilts says:

    @DougJ DougJson:

    How the Hell did MSNBC manage to keep this story from leaking out in advance?

  65. 65
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Tweety is hit or miss, mostly miss, O’Donnell is bland as hell, Schultz is mostly hyperventilating, Ratigan is all over the place and Scarface is like listening to a direct wingnut pipeline. For me, Rachel is all they have left and I’m sure that she will be out of there as soon as they can figure out a way to do it at minimal cost. My MSNBC viewing sure is being cut back to the bare minimum but I’m sure that Comcast is looking to peel viewers away from Faux.

    Crazy shit makes money, sane stuff doesn’t. There is no news anymore, it’s all about crazy shit to bring in the eyeballs and advertising to sell shit to those crazies.

  66. 66
    DougJ DougJson says:

    @Mike Kay:

    When I say it may be connected with Comcast or Immelt, it could be that is what prompted Olbermann to quit, if he quit. Just wouldn’t be surprised if there is some connection.

  67. 67
    Dave says:

    Good Lord…Cenk AND Ed?? All they need to do is give Jane her own hour and I’ll officially be ready to hurl myself off a cliff…

  68. 68
    Mike Kay says:

    @stuckinred: you’re such an adult.

  69. 69
    Texas Dem says:

    @asiangrrlMN: Of course it’s not Rachel’s fault, and I doubt that was what AMC was suggesting. She was merely pointing out the obvious: now that Rachel is a big star, MSNBC probably felt like it could afford to lose Keith and survive. So when Keith decided to walk away (and I’m betting that’s what happened here), they said, in effect, good riddance. And remember that it was Keith who brought Rachel to MSNBC in the first place.

  70. 70
    asiangrrlMN says:

    Cenk? Really? How about Melissa Harris-Perry? Her back-to-back with Rachel? I’m SO there.

    @Texas Dem: Oh, OK. Sorry. AMC gets on my nerve, so I am quick to snap. Thanks for the clarification.

  71. 71
    Kryptik says:

    All I got left to say here really is damn, I’m amazed at just how outright hostile and celebratory many people here are about this. I mean, I stopped watching Olbermann for the same reason many others did, that I felt he was getting way too over the top, but jeez….

  72. 72
    hilts says:

    MSNBC is still airing Lean Forward ads featuring KO.

    Anderson Cooper just mentioned this on the air.

  73. 73
    beltane says:

    @Kryptik: I guess in a stridently anti-intellectual country such as ours it is too much to hope that ordinary people shut off their TV and talk radio and engage in a little critical thinking.

  74. 74
    askew says:

    Seriously, I expected the bullshit conspiracy theory about the Comcast merger causing Olbermann’s ouster at FDL and GOS with asides to how this is all Obama’s fault. I thought this site was more reality-based.

    Considering Olbermann can’t jump immediately to another network, I’d say he quit and wasn’t fired.

    As for Olbermann’s replacement, please let it be someone who isn’t won’t join in the anti-Obama brigade at MSNBC. I am sick of hearing the same guests and hosts spewing the same anti-Obama talking points day after day. That, of course, means Huffington, Hamsher and Cenk are all out. I vote for Eugene Robinson or Richard Wolffe as the new replacement.

  75. 75
    AxelFoley says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    Rumor has it that Cenk Uygur will be getting is own show. Blergh.

    Double Blergh. I can’t stand that rat bastard.

  76. 76
    beltane says:

    @Dave: If you were on a mission to discredit liberalism who would you chose to host your show?

  77. 77
    Alex S. says:

    I really doubt that Comcast would fire Keith and promote Cenk for some political reason.

  78. 78
    WarMunchkin says:

    Are you serious, Cenk is getting a TV show on MSNBC? Ah, dishonor to us all…

  79. 79
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    Relax guys, Keith is leaving to run Tunisia. He’ll be much better appreciated there.

  80. 80
    askew says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    If your post doesn’t include conspiracy theories, I hope you’ll post it.

    If Cenk gets a show on MSNBC, I’ll never watch the network again. That man is dumb and mean. He’s the left’s Glenn Beck, except Beck is smarter.

  81. 81
    Dave says:

    @beltane: Exactly…Ed and Cenk are the perfect duo for that…

  82. 82
    Mike Kay says:

    @DougJ DougJson: oh c’mon. Stop with the rationalization. It’s his history.

    he’s done this TWICE before. Once from the non-political, highly successful gig at ESPN and once from… wait for it… MSNBC.

    This is Keith at his worse. I mean, just think how upset he got when some one rank and file Kossack hurt his fee fees at Daily Kos — he quit that as well (before returning a month later). Talk about being thin skinned. He could even take a crank on Dkos.

  83. 83
    BR says:

    @Dave:

    Don’t forget America’s favorite syndicated columnist (TM), David Sirota.

    I’ve always said Hamsher and Sirota are two scoops of stupid. It only makes sense to have them on together.

  84. 84
    stuckinred says:

    @Mike Kay: Oh yea, tell us all about it. You run your fucking mouth about how he hasn’t kept a job. What is that bullshit? I asked it on the other thread, are you a career counselor? The dude doesn’t take a bunch of shit from people, that’s good enough for me.

  85. 85
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee:

    I will never watch Cenk, never. His guest hosting was all I needed to see and that was more than enough to gag on.

  86. 86
    AxelFoley says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Olbermann is German for Quitter.

    I thought that word was Palin?

  87. 87
    sistermoon says:

    David Shuster is now on Anderson Cooper. Speaking very graciously and kindly about Keith.

  88. 88
    Mike Kay says:

    @beltane: the grand dutchess of kookyness.

  89. 89
    DougJ DougJson says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Yeah, sure, but why is this happening now? It’s related to Comast. If that makes me Jane Hamsher to say that, then so be it.

  90. 90
    asiangrrlMN says:

    MELISSA HARRIS-PERRY! Seriously. Can we have a person of color in that damn lineup?

  91. 91
    Tax Analyst says:

    This is good news for John McCain!

  92. 92
    Mike Kay says:

    @AxelFoley: BAM!

    Yup, once again, for at least the THIRD time (4th if you include when he quit Daily Kos), Olbermann has pulled a Palin.

  93. 93
    AxelFoley says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    Shit. I wasn’t through standing with Coco yet, and now this.

    Maybe we could make some shirts that say “I’m with KeKe!” Or better yet, “I’m with Keef!”

  94. 94
    morzer says:

    @Dennis SGMM:

    More like “Bare and Phalanxed”.

  95. 95
    sistermoon says:

    @Angry Black Lady:
    Triple blergh. Cenk makes me want to scream.

  96. 96
    handy says:

    @Kryptik:

    Meh. He was the right voice at the right time during the middle years of the Bush presidency, but outside of that rather brief window I’ve never been a fan. He always struck me as too self important, even in his SC days and before that when I watched him at Channel 2 in LA years ago. He parlayed his liberal firebrand demagoguery into a nice deal. Good for him. But really he’s not doing us any favors.

  97. 97
    Suffern ace says:

    Somerby was happy for two minutes.

  98. 98
    Texas Dem says:

    @Alex S.: Of course not. The guys at Comcast may be right wingers but they’re not stupid. They know that Fox has the market cornered on right wing-leaning news, and that the only folks left are in the middle or to the left. No way in hell they’d fire their top rated show without a solid replacement, and you sure as hell wouldn’t still be seeing advertisements featuring the guy whose show just got canceled. Keith pulled an ESPN: he walked away. He’ll turn up somewhere after a short exile, because he’s a talented broadcaster.

  99. 99
    morzer says:

    @stuckinred:

    You know, Mike Kay is much improved if you use the pie filter. He keeps telling me he’s REDACTED, which I guess is the politically correct way of putting it.

  100. 100
    BR says:

    Man, I hadn’t seen Cenk in ages. I’m reminded of how he’s like a dumb football player of a TV host:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yCWVnQ_u84

  101. 101
    lamh32 says:

    From what I’ve read, Keith actually re-signed his contract, if he was up for renewal, I don’t know, but people are def saying that this is a Comcast thing.

    A blogger I respect just tweeted that “a friend” said that he “quit”.

    And God forbid I ever defend Olbermann, but this was a REALLY bad idea for MSNBC. Seriously, expect MSNBC to begin to go full wingnut pretty soon.

    BTW, Unlike some of ya’ll, I do NOT think that Rachel is any safer than Olbermann was. Countdwown was STILL the #1 rated show on MSNBC. Rachel may have been getting bigger star status, but Olberrmann was still the ratings winner.

  102. 102
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Mike Kay: I suspect as long as he gets played by David Strathairn in the biopic, Mr. Olbermann couldn’t care less.

  103. 103
    Mike Kay says:

    @DougJ DougJson: Why did he quit ESPN when he was their top talent. Why did he quit MSNBC in the 90s when he was their top talent. Why did he quit Daily Kos when he was their top celeb.

    How many times does he have to pull a Palin before some one says, maybe Keith is too high strung.

  104. 104
    lamh32 says:

    @sistermoon:

    I was just gonna post this. The reporter on Cooper also said that Olbermann may NOT be able to actually be on TV for the remainder of his contract, which was a 4 years contract he signed in 2008, meaning he was up for negotiation in 2012. It would be very interesting if keith left, and didn’t at least try to tweka that number.

  105. 105
    AlphaLiberal says:

    And on the anniversary of Citizens United.

  106. 106
    BR says:

    @Texas Dem:

    I think this is a little of both. Comcast probably wanted him out, but didn’t want to have to pay him to break his contract. So they probably squeezed him as soon as the deal was approved, and he decided to get the hell out.

  107. 107
    sistermoon says:

    He parlayed his liberal firebrand demagoguery into a nice deal. Good for him. But really he’s not doing us any favors.

    No, he only helped raise awareness (and money) for people who didn’t have health insurance, or couldn’t afford transplants, or lost their homes when the dumb assed fire department wouldn’t come to their aid.

    Keith’s done us a lot of favors…

  108. 108
    DougJ DougJson says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Yeah, but why wouldn’t the new deal and coming new corporate culture be a trigger? I’ll bet there were triggers to the other stuff he did too. Just because people are high-strung doesn’t mean that they act randomly.

  109. 109
    hilts says:

    Keith Olbermann and Regis Philbin are simply trading places with each other.

  110. 110
    Mike Kay says:

    @lamh32:

    A blogger I respect just tweeted that “a friend” said that he “quit”.

    Yes. Of course.

    John Kenneth Galbraith once said people have limited institutional memories. Thus people don’t seem to know/remember/understand that Olbermann is a habitual quitter.

  111. 111
    Mike Kay says:

    @DougJ DougJson: Lol Whatevers.

  112. 112
    John Cole says:

    Cenk Uygar and Ed Schultz on the same network. I’m starting an online petition to have MSNBC just show LOCKUP and To Catch a Predator all day every week.

  113. 113
    Mike Kay says:

    This just in: Shit happens.

  114. 114
    BethanyAnne says:

    @asiangrrlMN: I liked KO, but I adore Maddow.

  115. 115
    Kryptik says:

    @handy:

    True, but at the same time, I wouldn’t be surprised by apathy or ‘meh’ at the news. What I am surprised about is just how hostile and celebratory some folks are, like a whole plate of schaudenfreude dropped in their laps at seeing Olbermann off the air.

    I honestly care less about the implications for Olbermann himself so much as it is a hope that it isn’t the beginning of a paradigm shift for MSNBC because of Comcast.

  116. 116

    Well, if Comcast just bought NBC, I guess it’s unlikely, but I’d love to see Chris Hayes get a show…

    I really don’t understand what makes a monopoly these days. These big companies like NBC-Comcast-Universal-Whatthefuckever just seem bad. Bad, bad, bad. How much clout does a media company have to have before somebody in the Justice Department sits up and takes notice? Movie studios, television networks, cable companies, hell, for all I know, telephone companies, too, are all bound up in about, what, 4 or 5 big bundles by now?

    I know it’s better than having only one company own every outlet, but, damn, this is just bad. Same as the banks. They’re all swallowing each other up left and right. Again, it’s true, there are still more than one of them left, but the relatively few that are dominant are just to big, they have too much reach into every corner of our lives, and when one of them fails, it fucks the whole country up badly. How few banks, how few broadcasting outlets, how few companies in any line of business have to be left before it becomes time to break them up? There must be somebody here who can answer this intelligently for an economic and legal bonehead like me.

  117. 117
    AxelFoley says:

    @Dave:

    Good Lord…Cenk AND Ed?? All they need to do is give Jane her own hour and I’ll officially be ready to hurl myself off a cliff…

    Aw, fuck, don’t give them any ideas.

  118. 118
    hilts says:

    @Tax Analyst:

    This is good news for John McCain!

    No, actually this is great news for Jon Stewart!

    Doug, per Howie Kurtz: Olbermann was in a virtual war with his bosses. He saw this as inevitable.

  119. 119

    ZOMG ZOMG

    Rachel Maddow is on Bill Maher tonite, but bet she didn’t know about it when this was taped …

  120. 120
    BR says:

    @DougJ DougJson:

    That’s my theory too – Comcast wanted to fire him without costing money, so they imposed new restrictions on his show or its content, and he quit (as they were hoping).

  121. 121
    askew says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    I was pushing for Eugene Robinson. I agree we need some diversity on MSNBC. But, even the need for diversity doesn’t excuse hiring that jackass Cenk.

    I am guessing MSNBC is trying to corner the market on the Obama-hating lefties. There entire evening line-up from top to bottom is full of assholes who spend more time attacking Obama (mostly based on rumors and conspiracy theories) than they do in reporting news or attacking Republicans. Maddow has moments of sanity, but they don’t last long.

  122. 122
    Dave says:

    You know, both POVs on this can be right. It could very well be Comcast was going to make changes, so Keith decided to quit before having to go through that.

  123. 123
    beltane says:

    @John Cole: Just wait until they fire Rachel and replace her with Jane Hamsher.

  124. 124
    asiangrrlMN says:

    @BethanyAnne: Agreed. I quit watching KO awhile back. I don’t watch Rachel all the time, either, but I will watch her show from time to time–more so than I do Keith’s.

    ETA: Dave said it better than I up-thread.

  125. 125
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Texas Dem:

    The guys at Comcast may be right wingers but they’re not stupid. They know that Fox has the market cornered on right wing-leaning news,

    This. MSNBC/CNBC tried, desperately, to break into that market– Michael Savage, Dennis Miller, Alan Keyes. I repeat: Alan. Freakin’. Keyes. Tucker Carlson’s Fabulous Dance Hour. And I’m sure there were more. CNN is flailing with wishy-washy center-rightism. Hiring Cenk Ugyur and keeping Ed Schultz hardly signals an ideological shift.

  126. 126
    MattR says:

    @Southern Beale: Bill Maher is live. And she just commented that she didn’t know much more than everyone else. A mutual decision to end the show.

  127. 127
    BR says:

    @AxelFoley:

    As I said in the other thread, now we’re going to get FDL-style nonsense at 6pm, Beltway Spazz and nonsense at 7pm, Arrogant Insiderism at 8pm, Rachel at 9pm, and Angry Dude at 10pm.

  128. 128
    handy says:

    @Mike Kay:

    I think it was a combination of things, most likely culminating in this Comcast deal. The people at the top who had his back were no longer there. In his last production meeting suggestions to “improve” the show were probably given to him that he couldn’t stomach. So in light of all that he just said “To hell with it I don’t need that” and bailed.

    In the end, the Wingnut Welfare ship steams forward and I just am that much more grateful I no longer have cable news.

  129. 129
    AxelFoley says:

    @Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people):

    Relax guys, Keith is leaving to run Tunisia. He’ll be much better appreciated there.

    :spits out drink:

    HAHAHAHAHA

  130. 130
    Poopyman says:

    Rachel on Maher’s show:

    Nothing new from her. She’s on the West Coast and probably out of the loop.

  131. 131
    Ija says:

    @Angry Black Lady:

    Put it up anyway, ABL. Sounds interesting. I’m already sick of the KO story anyway.

  132. 132
    Mark S. says:

    Mike Kay is accusing other people of being too high strung. Letting that sink in. Also

    Why did he quit Daily Kos when he was their top celeb.

    Do you ever realize how stupid you often sound?

    My guess is that this didn’t have much to do with Comcast. I think he was still pissed off about that bullshit suspension he got. Something like that can really poison a business relationship.

  133. 133
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @hilts:

    No, actually this is great news for Jon Stewart!

    Oh Lord. The false equivalency sanctigasms are gonna break my TeeVee!

  134. 134
    askew says:

    @John Cole:

    Boy would I love to sign that petition. When the new all-hating Obama line-up crashes and burns, the media will spin it as the public hating liberal news as opposed to the public not being interested in yet another network who spends all day attacking this president.

    [quote]As I said in the other thread, now we’re going to get FDL-style nonsense at 6pm, Beltway Spazz and nonsense at 7pm, Arrogant Insiderism at 8pm, Rachel at 9pm, and Angry Dude at 10pm. [/quote]

    And that sums up why I will now longer be watching MSNBC which is fine. My only problem is who am I going to watch on election night. The MSNBC line-up will be unbearable. Obama could win 40 states and Cenk would call him a failure. CNN is full of dolts and Fox is Fox.

  135. 135
    asiangrrlMN says:

    FYWP.

    @askew: Dur. Strike I said that about people of color. I forgot about Cenk. I like Robinson a lot, but I don’t think he could carry a show. I’m still stumping for Melissa Harris-Perry, whether she likes it or not.

  136. 136
    Dave says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Well, it looks like the shift is hanging fire on Obama from the Left. Since Fox already took that hilltop on the right.

  137. 137
    lamh32 says:

    @MattR:

    I’m not as sure as the rest of some of ya’ll that Rachel’s show is completely safe.

    Like I said, love him or not, Olbermann’s rating were higher than Maddow were, and i can see Olbermann minions completely boycotting MSNBC including Rachel’s show.

    BTW, I cannot stand Cenk Unger (sp?). The dude is just an abrasive douchebag!

  138. 138
    Marc says:

    You’re being an prick Mike. Some of us like the guy, and your fact-free speculations on what happened are not wearing well. If it turns out that he was pushed out in a right-wing makeover of the network, for example, the sneering will seem a little…misplaced.

  139. 139
    BR says:

    @beltane:

    I was amazed to learn recently that Jane Hamsher is in her 50s. I had assumed she was at least twenty years younger (and that her youth was the reason for her stupidity – and I say this as a young person). Now I know it’s just innate.

  140. 140
    Mike Kay says:

    ♫♪ Don’t cry for me, Blogotopia.….♪♫

    Keith loves being Evita.

  141. 141
    WarMunchkin says:

    I dunno, at this point I’d like to just medevac Rachel from the smoldering ruin that MSBNC is going to become between Scarborough, Buchanan, Tweety, Ed and Cenk. Failed media experiment indeed.

  142. 142
    RossInDetroit says:

    @beltane:

    I’m going to take this opportunity to confess that I have hated television for most of my life.

    I hear ‘ya, bro. I quit watching in ’75 and can’t abide it. It’s a waste of the brief time that I have on this planet and I won’t do it.

    ETA: This is not to say that anyone else shouldn’t watch if it makes them happy.

  143. 143
    me says:

    @BR: He signed a non-compete so it’s certain he got some money, probably his salary for the length of the non-compete.

  144. 144
    DLewOnRoids says:

    Somewhere Chris Matthews is propping up a bar and cackling like a schoolgirl right now.

  145. 145
    lamh32 says:

    @MattR:

    Sorry, but I hope Rachel doesn’t cop out, like she did with the whole Pat B brouhaha.

    The way she handles this news might be an indication of how she reacts to her new overlords.

    I kinda hope she goes “balls to the wall” on MBNBC.

  146. 146
    Texas Dem says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: This. I hate Comcast as much as the next guy, but there’s just no way you’re going to chip away at Fox’s audience share. The only way to make money is by going to the left, so I doubt there will be any ideological purges at MSNBC. It just wouldn’t make any business sense, and Comcast is in business to make money.

  147. 147
    hilts says:

    @Tax Analyst:

    This is good news for John McCain!

    I’m revising my previous response. This is still great news for Jon Stewart, but it’s also great news for Joe Scarborough.

  148. 148
    Cacti says:

    Well, Keith isn’t without a history of leaving a network under mysterious circumstances.

  149. 149
    Cynicor says:

    Cenk.

    Whenever I listen to him on Sirius/XM, he is always making a plodding, obvious point that sounds like it was written for an 11th grade term paper.

    I’m looking forward to hearing Mike Malloy tonight about this. He should be calm and reasoned.

  150. 150
    Mike Kay says:

    @lamh32: for what? because Keith quit on volition? I would hope she’s not overly emotional, paranoid, conspiratorial.

  151. 151
    BR says:

    I think my ideal show would be a cross between a Tim Russert-style Meet the Press, Keith’s show, and Bill Moyers. Invite politicians, interesting people (start with the speaker list from TED), activists, etc. and do interviews, say three per show. No political “analysis”.

  152. 152
    Texas Dem says:

    @lamh32: Which is yet another reason why this probably had nothing to do with Comcast. Keith didn’t want to change the show or his style to suit the changing times (over the top heated rhetoric was fine during the Bush years, but it was starting to look at little foolish with Obama in the WH), and he walked away. He’ll be back. It’s just a matter of time.

  153. 153
    AxelFoley says:

    @John Cole:

    Cenk Uygar and Ed Schultz on the same network. I’m starting an online petition to have MSNBC just show LOCKUP and To Catch a Predator all day every week.

    BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  154. 154
    J. Michael Neal says:

    @DougJ DougJson: I don’t know about the others, but with ESPN, Olbermann had some disagreements with management, but has also admitted that he was behaving like a complete jackass. On his way out the door, he did a hit job on Suzy Kolber that was incredibly inappropriate. And he has admitted that he basically just quit.

    In addition to being high strung, I also think he gets bored if he’s in one place too long. I think that also explains why the quality of his shows go downhill over time.

    At ESPN, it was Dan Patrick that kept everything on the rails and allowed Keith’s schtick to work. Patrickj is, I believe, an underappreciated talent in the broadcasting world.

  155. 155
    Ija says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Sheesh. We got it, okay? He’s quit jobs before. You don’t have to repeat it every few minutes, listing all the jobs he quit over and over again. Man, your obsession with KO is getting worse than matoko_chan’s obsession with ED Kain.

  156. 156
    Mike Kay says:

    @Marc:

    right-wing makeover of the network,

    yeah, pushing Keith out and bringing Cenk in is a step to the right.

  157. 157
    Cacti says:

    And maybe, just maybe, this departure has something to do with KO being an ass.

  158. 158
    lamh32 says:

    @Mike Kay:

    Dude aim ur fire elsewhere. I haven’t watched keith O steadily since his “primary Obama” rant. I rarely if ever catch Rachel O.

    I think Keith O is a pretentious, prima donna, and the alleged “quitting” doesn’t surprise me in the least.

    All I’m saying, if keith O did quit, cause he couldn’t handle his new overlords, then we will have to see if Rachel changes or curbs her critic in any way.

    That’s all I’m saying.

  159. 159
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Well at least Gov Jane Brewer is happy, now she can whack all those poor Arizonans who can’t afford transplants, and not have that spotlight all over her. Sarah Palin has just sacrificed a baby moose to the altar in Thanksgiving. Glenn Beck is jizzing in his pants and will have Handel’s Messiah played all day. Rush is celebrating the Dominican Republic with his boytoys!

  160. 160
    AxelFoley says:

    @BR:

    As I said in the other thread, now we’re going to get FDL-style nonsense at 6pm, Beltway Spazz and nonsense at 7pm, Arrogant Insiderism at 8pm, Rachel at 9pm, and Angry Dude at 10pm.

    Fucked up, ain’t it?

  161. 161
    Peter says:

    Not terribly surprised or upset about Keith (his performance seems so juvenile when placed next to Dr. Maddow), but I retch at the thought of Cenk getting his own show. He’s already way too self-important for my tastes.

  162. 162
    beltane says:

    Maybe they’ll give Matt Taibbi a show. OK, they won’t do that. Time to PANIC AND FREAK OUT!!!

  163. 163
    askew says:

    @Texas Dem:

    This. I hate Comcast as much as the next guy, but there’s just no way you’re going to chip away at Fox’s audience share. The only way to make money is by going to the left, so I doubt there will be any ideological purges at MSNBC. It just wouldn’t make any business sense, and Comcast is in business to make money.

    Considering MSNBC has gone all in on attacking Obama from the left by hiring Cenk, I can’t say that this is a wise business decision. Cenk, Ed, and O’Donnell all appeal to a very small set of Democrats who want to spend all their time trashing Obama. They’d be smarter hiring someone who doesn’t spend all their time repeating frustrati talking points and appeal to the 90% of Democrats who approve of Obama.

  164. 164
    Cacti says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee:

    Arizonans don’t watch Keith Olbermann.

  165. 165
    hilts says:

    Josh Marshall’s reaction

    I doubt I would have had any heads up or known anything was happening if Olbermann was going to go off the air. But I was a bit more stunned than I might otherwise have been because I was just over there. And I did not have any sense that there was anything any different than normal going on. Everything seemed calm and pretty sedate. I didn’t sense anything different in Keith’s manner or affect (though it’s not like we’re tight and I would have been the person to notice.) There were a few more people than I’m used to seeing in the studio — maybe two or three, seated, who seemed to be there to watch. (Something I don’t remember seeing before.) But nothing that made me think twice that anything odd was going on. I’m sure we’ll be hearing soon enough what on earth happened here. But color me stunned. And really disappointed.

  166. 166
    madeinamerica says:

    @Mike Kay: Dude, you’re the last person I expected see saying “Keith Olbermann is worse than Sarah Palin!.1!1!” Perspective, plz?

  167. 167
    Mark S. says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: @Texas Dem:

    I think you guys are right. People who watch cable news (who, as has been pointed out many times are a small minority) are generally political junkies who have strong opinions. They prefer watching someone who shares their political views, not some wishy-washy both-sides-do-it type host. Fox has got the right-wing cornered, so the only way to make money is to go left.

  168. 168
    freelancer says:

    @asiangrrlMN:

    This. I would love for two brilliant Ph. D. women to have their own informative news shows.

  169. 169
    Mike Kay says:

    DougJ DougJson: Meh. it make you oliver stone.

  170. 170
    jinxtigr says:

    I don’t know what to say because I don’t watch television either… hoping Rachel Maddow doesn’t run into any problems, as far as Olbermann, it was nice to have a guy on TV too self-important to care about kowtowing to wingnut corporate attitudes, but that’s not the ONLY way you can report reality. You can just try to keep a level head in lieu of the swelled one…

  171. 171
    Mike Kay says:

    @madeinamerica: but i didn’t say that. I said he’s a thin skinned quitter, like Palin. never said he was worse.

  172. 172
    BR says:

    @Mark S.:

    Fox has got the right-wing cornered, so the only way to make money is to go left.

    The problem – and this really is a problem with the MSM’s bubble and the beltway – is that they (MSNBC) think that the 15% of the Democratic base that subscribes to FDL’s definition of “left” is actually the majority. Even if more of those folks watch political shows, I’d be surprised if firebaggers really are a majority of MSNBC’s potential audience.

  173. 173
    hilts says:

    I’m starting an online petition to have MSNBC

    Hire Glenn Greenwald to replace Olbermann.

  174. 174
    eemom says:

    Um……guys?

    This is fun and all, but Keith Olbermann at his best was just a highly paid teevee personality that generally was on our side, but was also kind of a pompous egomaniacal ass.

    Don’t mean to pull out the “more important shit” card, but a little perspective plz.
    The sky ain’t falling over this.

  175. 175
    Felanius Kootea (formerly Salt and freshly ground black people) says:

    @beltane: Oh I would looove a Matt Taibbi show. First guest: David Gergen.

  176. 176
    lamh32 says:

    Not for nothing, but this is probably the BEST DAY OF BILL O’REILLY’S life!

    How soon before wingnuts claim responsibility? I was watching AC 360, but then Howard Kurtz came all being his usual douchey self, and I refuse to even read the closed captions of what Erickson had to say

  177. 177
    BR says:

    @eemom:

    You know, I’d only agree with you if you divide Keith Olbermann’s show into two pieces – pre 2008 and post 2008. I think 2008 was when his show went down hill. Before that he was quite measured, did hard reporting that was happening nowhere else, and still packed a punch, and I watched him daily for it.

  178. 178
    NobodySpecial says:

    It’s too bad. I didn’t watch him enough (hazards of the job), but if only for getting Rachel Maddow hired, he deserves a round of thanks from liberals. Which explains Mike Kay’s reaction.

  179. 179
    AxelFoley says:

    @hilts:

    Hire Glenn Greenwald to replace Olbermann.

    Aw, hell naw! He’s just as bad as Cenk.

  180. 180
    Mike Kay says:

    Olbermann’s tearful final words

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWdPmapuOd4

    It really gets to you

  181. 181
    Mike Kay says:

    @BR: too much caffeine.

  182. 182
    BR says:

    I think Mike Kay must actually be Mike Kay +6.

  183. 183
    hilts says:

    @Mike Kay:

    At least, Olbermann wasn’t a pathological liar like Palin.

  184. 184
    John Cole says:

    Alright, Mike Kay is taking a week break. I’m tired of the personal attacks on Jane, which just start a fucking shitstorm that is predictable and annoying.

    Email me in a week, Mike.

  185. 185
    Davis X. Machina says:

    I thought I’d end all the suspense and let you know the real story: Obama more or less ordered Immelt to do it.

    Just so you know.

  186. 186
    Jager says:

    @DougJ DougJson:

    Olberman is (was) making about 7.5 a year, less than Tweety more than Rachel and more (way) than Ed and O’Donnel, I’m guessing Cenk pays them. Ratings rankings all about the same…the only “insider” they have is Tweety maybe O’Donnel, they are safe. Rachel is less toxic than Keith and there would be hell to pay for firing the only woman and lesbian on that gets any buzz in their line up. Keith gets paid through 2011 on his current contract, shuts the fuck up…new owners are happy and life moves on. Keith will be fine. MSNBC losing alot of buzz and chatter though. If Keith walked without the money, he’ll take time off and then come back on fire.

  187. 187
    lamh32 says:

    Hey DougJ,

    what did Erick “son of douche” Erickson have to say?

  188. 188
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @John Cole:
    Thank you.

  189. 189
    eemom says:

    @BR:

    oh, I totally agree with that. He was absolutely a breath of fresh air in the dank, putrid stench of the Cheney years. A flickering candle flame in the darkness. A sweet melody amid the cacophany. A life preserver in the torrential sea.

    Yep, alla that.

  190. 190
    BR says:

    @Davis X. Machina:

    I was wondering how long it’d take to be Obama’s fault.

  191. 191
    DougJ DougJson says:

    @lamh32:

    Exactly the same thing as Kurtz said: Olbermann’s a jerk and that’s why this happened.

    Erickson isn’t bad on tv. Kurtz was worse, saying more or less the same thing.

  192. 192
    Mark S. says:

    FYWP

  193. 193
    hilts says:

    @lamh32:

    Erickson was more restrained than I expected.

    If MSNBC actually aspired to be a serious news organization, they’d pull the plug on all of the true crime documentaries right now.

  194. 194
    General Stuck says:

    testing

  195. 195
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I saw good Olbermann tonight, when he was sticking up for Social Security against Jonathon Alter’s oh-so-respectable mewling. Is there one mainstream, establishmentarian, bigfoot pundit who will actually stick up for Soc-Sec? Hating on it and the teachers unions, a la Joe Klein, is the express-line for Very Serious Status.

  196. 196
    Texas Dem says:

    Media reports are saying that there’s an extended non-compete, so I’m assuming there was some sort of cash payout.

  197. 197
    lamh32 says:

    @hilts:

    My God, I NEVER understood MSNBC’s “lockup & scared str8” weekend line-up. Ughh. Is there REALLY a market of people who love to see “lockup” documentaries?

    Couldn’t they just watch “Scared Straight” or something?

  198. 198
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @BR: Isn’t it obvious? Olbermann’s scalp was the price that Obama demanded before he appointed Immelt to head the jobs-commission-thingy? Oh, and Immelt had to drive around with his headlights off….

  199. 199
    eemom says:

    @John Cole:

    John, I really don’t think that’s fair. He wasn’t attacking Jane at all in these last two threads, at least not that I noticed. Folks objected to what he said about Olbermann, but I don’t think he was over any kind of line, especially not for here.

    Jussayinzall.

  200. 200
    lamh32 says:

    I just can’t imagine Olbermann being “quiet” for the next 2 years! If he really believes what he was selling, then shouldn’t it be hard for him to wait til 2013 to express his political views?

  201. 201
    Texas Dem says:

    @hilts: Good point. Hard to take MSNBC seriously as a rival to Fox when they don’t even bother to do any news on weekends, and run back to back episodes of Lockup or To Catch A Predator. And I’ve seen all of the damned episodes! Film some new stuff!!

  202. 202
    bkny says:

    damn. so, what’s the replacement — yet another hour of basic cable porn…

  203. 203
    beltane says:

    @eemom: Look carefully. There is one particularly nasty comment about Hamsher’s physical appearance. I despise the woman but that comment was out of line.

  204. 204
    CaffinatedOne says:

    @Texas Dem

    You note that it’d be a stupid business decision for comcast, but it sort of depends on the scope. It could make perfect sense to shift msnbc in such a way that it were less profitable itself, but more conducive to promoting/protecting comcast’s quite extensive other business interests.

    I’m not saying that’s what’s going on here certainly, but it wouldn’t be the first time that a media operation’s utility outweighed the need for it to be profitable (see “washington times” as an example)

  205. 205
    Texas Dem says:

    @CaffinatedOne: Possible, but if Comcast really forced Keith out, or they were putting pressure on him to quit (more likely), then why in the hell were they still running ads on MSNBC featuring Keith even after they announced the show’s cancellation? Sounds like a very sudden and unexpected decision by Keith to jump ship, based on very bad blood between him and MSNBC management. It’s happened before. And as others have pointed out, the new MSNBC lineup (Tweety, O’Donnell, Rachel, Ed, Turk, etc.) doesn’t exactly suggest a move to the right, which wouldn’t make any business sense anyway.

  206. 206
    hilts says:

    @lamh32: @Texas Dem:

    The true crime programming block has always been my biggest gripe with MSNBC. If they weren’t ratings obsessed whores, they could dip into NBC News’ archive and re-air something like Edwin Newman’s documentary Violence in America.

  207. 207
    eemom says:

    @beltane:

    yeah, but by the standards of this blog….? And he was replying to someone else.

    Whatever. It’s Cole’s blog, but if the ban button is normally reserved for the likes of “change” and BoB and people who call women c***s, I’d say that was a massive overreaction.

  208. 208
    hilts says:

    @lamh32:

    I just can’t imagine Olbermann being “quiet” for the next 2 years!

    That’s like trying to imagine Sarah Palin being sane and reasonable.

  209. 209
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @beltane:

    I’m going to take this opportunity to confess that I have hated television for most of my life. The idea of losing oneself in a screen and of passively receiving the images and ideas that are projected on that screen has always disturbed me a bit.

    Yeah, fuck that tv shit. The Wire, Planet Earth, the moon landing, the Miracle on Ice…bunch of consumerist trash.

    I would ask how you use the internet without passively receiving images, words and ideas that are projected on a screen by other people, but maybe you’ve devised some new form of personal immersion technology you haven’t shared with the world.

    By the way, this thread is cuckoo bananas.

  210. 210
    Comrade Luke says:

    I really wish Olbermann, Schuster, Seder and others would join forces to create a podcasting network.

    Kind of an Air America On Demand, without the shitty parts of Air America :)

  211. 211
    Texas Dem says:

    Read Howard’s Kurtz’s piece over at Daily Beast. Suggests that Keith decided to quit because he probably figured that he would no longer have so much freedom now that Comcast was taking over, and that the bad blood between Keith and MSNBC meant that no one tried to stop him.

    And with Rachel now a big star, MSNBC probably thinks that its strong enough to survive without him. Only time will tell.

  212. 212
    BobS says:

    It’s probably too much to hope for that MSNBC would consider Laura Flanders, a smart and experienced broadcaster with a good pedigree (Uncles Alexander, Andrew, and Patrick Cockburn).
    Nice looking too, always an asset on television.

  213. 213
    eemom says:

    @Texas Dem:

    And with Rachel now a big star, MSNBC probably thinks that its strong enough to survive without him. Only time will tell.

    I think it’s more likely that than any kind of anti-liberal purge.

    It always about the bottom line$$$$. Always.

  214. 214
    frosty says:

    @beltane: You need to read “Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television” by Jerry Mander, former ad exec, published in 1978.

    Argument 1: The Mediation of Experience
    Argument 2: The Colonization of Experience
    Argument 3: Effects of Television on the Human Being
    Argument 4: The Inherent Biases of Television

    First experiment. Next time you watch, count the camera tricks that separate you from real life. Zooms, pans, quick cuts. Especially the latter, which have become faster and more disorienting every year.

  215. 215
    CaffinatedOne says:

    @Texas Dem

    Whatever happened, happened quickly. No one aside from Keith and the NBC/Comcast execs seem to know anything (and they’re not speaking). If there were a move to push him out, it wouldn’t be surprising if they didn’t tell many people beforehand. Getting the commercials changed would require bringing people into the loop, which would increase the chances of a leak.

    Once again, that’s just speculation, of course, but them still running commercials with him isn’t inconsistent with the execs pushing him out quickly.

  216. 216
    freelancer says:

    @John Cole:

    I don’t know Jane, so I can’t comment one way or the other with regard to her personality, but her website blows (TBogg notwithstanding).

  217. 217
    hilts says:

    @BobS:

    Laura Flanders is too smart to be hired for a cable news show.

  218. 218
    Texas Dem says:

    @eemom: Exactly. Comcast wants to make money, and they’ll no doubt remember that when MSNBC tried, in the pre-Keith era, to go Fox light, it bombed.

  219. 219
    General Stuck says:

    @eemom:

    I guess we need to watch our p’s and q’s on mentioning the name of you know who else.

  220. 220
    Davis X. Machina says:

    @Texas Dem: It was the lawsuits that ended the Fox-light experiment.

    Their show “Alan Keyes is Making Sense” violated the universal requirement, in common law, statute law, and FTC regs, that a product substantially be what it’s advertised.

  221. 221
  222. 222
    eemom says:

    @General Stuck:

    srsly. I’m getting kind of creeped out here.

    Out of the daily maelstrom of nastiness, adhominem, and adwominem that populates this right honorable blog, those are some awfully strange choices for sacred, um, cows.

  223. 223
    John Cole says:

    @eemom: He made a very personal attack regarding botox and other things, and we all have been down that road before. I’m sick of it.

    You want to spend all day talking about Hamsher’s politics, I will hate listening to it but you can. But I am sick and tired of the personal attacks on her appearance and the like.

  224. 224
    johio says:

    Just curious but am I the only one that doesn’t consider a privatee citizen quitting a job as a moral failing? We’re not talking about someone elected to do a job, who swore an oath to do so. He’s just someone who may have wanted to.move on for whatever reason. People do that all the time without the moral condemnation. Why shouldn’t Olbermann?

  225. 225
    General Stuck says:

    @Texas Dem:

    Sometimes these things aren’t ordered, but parts of gentlemens agreements around the bargaining table of such a huge merger, or buyout, or whatever it was. Keith was the biggest star on the MSNBC primetime lineup. I seriously doubt his difficult nature over road that fact, especially since he had two years left on an existing contract. Though I am fairly certain Zucker’s exit was part of it also. Comcast is, and has been a highly ideological outfit, politically, at it’s highest levels of management. I suspect they simply hate the guts of someone like Keith O, star or not. But at the same time, don’t want to be seen as so political, especially to liberal viewers.

  226. 226
    General Stuck says:

    @eemom:

    I agree, but then I almost always consider equal blog commenters and comment sections over blog owners and front pagers. I suspect that’s why none of them communicate anymore, other than drop an occasional rhetorical rock on my head.

  227. 227

    @Kryptik: i’m crafting my tin foil helmet right now.

  228. 228
    Triassic Sands says:

    @beltane:

    In the old Soviet bloc people were very well aware that the media spewed nothing but propaganda; maybe it’s time Americans realize the same thing.

    A lot of Americans want nothing more than propaganda that reinforces their strongly held fantasies.

  229. 229
    hilts says:

    @Texas Dem:

    MSNBC probably thinks that its strong enough to survive without him.

    I think MSNBC is seriously mistaken in their thinking.

  230. 230
    IronyAbounds says:

    What the hell is a Cenk Uygur, and why haven’t they developed a drug to cure it yet?

  231. 231
    Triassic Sands says:

    @Odie Hugh Manatee:

    Tweety is hit or miss, mostly miss

    Tweety is repulsive. The world would be a better place if Matthews simply disappeared from public view — completely and forever.

  232. 232
    piratedan says:

    @Cacti: well some of us do…..

    sad to see him go because without him, I wouldn’t have found Rachel and that’s a gift beyond measure imho. Also, despite his over the top style, he was one of the first, in a public forum to call bullshit on all of the crap being done by the right and as such, broke trail for damn near everyone else and I’m sorry, he deserves more than a Joe Liebermann type of obituary for his walking away from his show.

    Since we don’t know the entire story, it could very well be that since he lost his protector and his new Corporate overlords were on the way, perhaps, there were some compromises that he just wasn’t willing to make. For example, the political donation crapola that went on with him and Scarborough, he comes clean and does a mea culpa and Scarborough has to be outed and never admits that he had done wrong and they treat Olbermann as if he was the problem child. It’s easy to scapegoat folks that decide to make a stand and since he’s emotional and been a convienent target in the past, its natural that he gets made an example of.

    It’s pretty obvious that KO would rather walk with his dignity and principals rather than be told to put his crap in a box and not come back. Perhaps homey don’t play that and will walk on his terms not theirs. I may not have always agreed with him or his style, but he’s an important voice lost and one less staff to call the Right on their collective idiocy and diffidence.

  233. 233
    Gus says:

    Meh. I like Olbermnn’s politic,but I find him smarmy and sled satisfied. Don’t much care.

  234. 234
    schnooten says:

    @hilts: Because they didn’t know. That’s the best evidence that KO just quit.

  235. 235
    Jager says:

    These comments, “I love Rachel, never cared for Keith”, “Ed Schultz is an asshole” “I never cared for Olberman’s attitude” prove why Air America (setting aside the bullshit management) failed and MSNBC has been a weak number 2. You would never, ever, never hear any winger say they didn’t like Hannity or that they hated Bill O. The left is a big tent, but there is little agreement under the big top. The strength is the weakness and vice versa. What’s the line, “United we stand……

  236. 236
    hilts says:

    @schnooten:

    I will never buy the idea that Olbermann quit. This was a firing and MSNBC did a truly amazing job of keeping the lid on this story.

  237. 237
    Ija says:

    @johio:

    Just curious but am I the only one that doesn’t consider a privatee citizen quitting a job as a moral failing?

    Nope, not just you. If he has the savings to survive being unemployed for a while, more power to him.

  238. 238
    AxelFoley says:

    @IronyAbounds:

    What the hell is a Cenk Uygur, and why haven’t they developed a drug to cure it yet?

    LMMFBAO!

  239. 239
    Allan says:

    @IronyAbounds:

    What the hell is a Cenk Uygur, and why haven’t they developed a drug to cure it yet?

    Fortunately for all of us, there will be a cure, in the form of his Nielsen ratings.

  240. 240
    hilts says:

    @IronyAbounds:

    What the hell is a Cenk Uygur, and why haven’t they developed a drug to cure it yet?

    They’re too busy trying to figure out what the hell a Reince Priebus is and how to cure it.

  241. 241
    chaseyourtail says:

    Good. LO in, KO (water carrier for the fringe left) out. Makes sense. Now if they would just get rid of that ignoramus Ed Shultz, MSNBC might actually be worth a damn.

  242. 242
    Sloegin says:

    Lol, water carrier for the fringe left. Loads o’ trolls out tonight. You could tell KO was bored of doing the show when he started doing his Thurber schtick.

    And a quitter? Jeebus, how long do you have to work a job before you can quit? Teevee personalities don’t have to be lifetime gigs ya know. It’s not like he’s stop-lossed in Iraq or something.

    And duh, Comcast bought em out, and his producer was out. How hard is simple arithmetic anyway?

  243. 243
    wazmo says:

    If folks actually paid money for what THEY wanted to watch rather than have a smorgasbord provided to them (which the provider controls) these kinds of incidents would be few and far between.

    Why should anyone on the left pay for Fox anymore than someone on the right pay for MSNBC?

  244. 244
    Paula says:

    Only in this loony country is Keith “Jon Stewart w/o jokes” Olbermann a “water carrier for the fringe left”.

    That said, sad to see him go. He practically made MSNBC, and his abrupt exit unworthy of his contributions.

  245. 245
    Admiral_Komack says:

    YAWN.

    I haven’t watched KO since April, 2009, and my blood pressure is the better for it.

    So, once again, YAWN.

  246. 246
    piratedan says:

    @Sloegin: well per KO himself, the Thurber stuff was a sort of homage to his father, in a way, a nightly grieving for the passing of his old man and a way to get us all to think a bit more about the world around us and if he reintroduced a literary legend such as Thurber into the mainstream again, so much the better. In a way, I felt that the Fridays with Thurber was KO sharing himself with his audience and an escape from the political goofballs that he’s been covering daily for 8 years.

  247. 247
    Larkspur says:

    @Bob Loblaw: Thank you, Bob. Why is it that if you watch television, it’s so often assumed that you’re totally immersed, mesmerized, passive and half-past brain dead? I watch the television. It does not watch me. (And it never will, no matter what kind of tech capabilities get invented and deployed.) Whenever I see that old bumpersticker, “Kill Your Television”, all I can say is, damn, people, all you have to do is turn it off. It’s a machine.

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