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Olbermann OUT!

 
 
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2011 08:34 pm
Quote:
9:24 p.m. | Updated Keith Olbermann, the highest-rated host on MSNBC, announced abruptly on the air Friday night that he is leaving “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” immediately.

The host, who has had a stormy relationship with the management of the network for some time, especially since he was suspended for two days last November, came to an agreement with NBC’s corporate management late this week to settle his contract and step down.

In a closing statement on his show, Mr. Olbermann said simply that it would be the last edition of the program. He offered no explanation other than on occasion, the show had become too much for him.

Mr. Olbermann thanked his viewers for their enthusiastic support of a show that had “gradually established its position as anti-establishement.”

In a statement, MSNBC said : “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.”

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/21/olbermann-hosts-last-countdown-on-msnbc/?hp

I think it was last week that it was announced that the ownership change at MSNBC will go through...looks like new owners dont want liberal shock jocks on the property...
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Type: Discussion • Score: 4 • Views: 2,443 • Replies: 26

 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2011 10:17 pm
@hawkeye10,
Keith's an asshole, but he's also an entertainer.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2011 11:07 pm
I only saw his show once. He seemed to like to talk a lot.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  0  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2011 11:13 pm
@JPB,
Oh yes he did.

Some people will do anything to meet their goals, and he's one of them.

Sad really.
snood
 
  2  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2011 11:47 pm
I first came across Olbermann a couple of years back - somehow I had managed to miss him even though he was supposed to be a bigtime voice of the left, or whatever. I started to be a regular watcher; for a while I considered him a good counterpoint to what I saw as all the extreme noise coming from Fox and talk radio.

I think it was the first time I saw him do one of his "special comments" - in which he oh-so-haughtily excoriates some person or activity he saw as needing to feel his terrible wrath - that I started to see him as a delusional windbag. I think Jon Stewart is right to a degree, when he says that the left is just as guilty as the right as far as rushing to demigogue and exaggerate. To a degree. At least as far as Keith Olbermann was concerned, anyway. (and Ed Shultz)

The guy became just some huffing and puffing cartoon to me - totally useless if I wanted to hear thoughtful commentary. He is smart enough, but somewhere along the line he started making it his sole business to rip away at the right, and little else. His "humor" was too snide and smirking to be funny to me - much like Dennis Miller's self-satisfied capering on the right.

He just did his "show" - regardless of any sense of proportion, and at the expense of the self awareness that might have tipped him to the fact that he wasn't being part of any kind of solution to the noise. In all honestly IMO he had become one of the noisiest nails on the blackboard.

I won't miss him while he's gone, but unless I misjudge the public hunger for his kind of Republican - bashing "entertainment", he won't be gone very long.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Jan, 2011 11:48 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
I dont have a problem with guys like Olbermann and Beck, they hearken back to tradition such as Hearst, Luce and even Ted Turner for being politically bent. As far a showmen in news media they have always been a dime a dozen. I am curious as to why he is out, and with what new ownership intends to do with MSNBC.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2011 12:39 pm
@hawkeye10,
What I understand is the MSNBC execs didn't like his reaction to his recent suspension for cmapaign donations.

I can only imagine what a pompous fool he was around the office.

I think his contract for for something like $30 million. Maybe he won't collect the full amount but he's still certainly rich enough to never have to work again.

He'll work again though. He's probably pitching FOX right now.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 22 Jan, 2011 12:44 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Quote:
He'll work again though. He's probably pitching FOX right now
The Fox lifeboat is not big enough to take in everyone who gets dumped from the other outlets. I am thinking that Olbermann does something web based. TV media is so last century.
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Jan, 2011 11:36 am
@hawkeye10,
Yes, he will almost certainly have his own Blog, but he needs to be on TV.
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 23 Jan, 2011 01:19 pm
@Finn dAbuzz,
Word is that he wants to follow the Arianna Huffington career path, which means that he will do much more than have "a blog"...

He will still show up on Cable, but his main motivation will be to sell his product...his web publication.
0 Replies
 
Endymion
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2011 11:13 am

Is it really about Olbermann - or is it media consolidation?

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27317.htm
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2011 11:20 am
Olbermann OUT!

of the closet?

about time
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2011 12:24 pm
@hawkeye10,
I will miss Olbermann. He was one of the few reasons I bothered to watch MSNBC. It was refreshing to hear someone voicing strong, emotional, generally well thought out and well researched opinions--unlike what one hears on Fox News (which Olbermann called Faux News)--on topics that went beyond politics, and which often involved basic ethical issues.

During his father's terminal illness, Olbermann's comments about the health care system, the manner in which modern medicine may prolong suffering, and how we arrive at very difficult end of life decisions, were moving, incisive, and very thought provoking. He shared his raw feelings about what he and his father were going through in a very productive and positive manner--he wanted people to think about, and discuss, such issues before they were confronted with them in their own lives. And, while the debate about the health care bill was going on, he made an ongoing passionate plea that everyone should have access to the sort of excellent medical care his father was able to receive.

Unfortunately, he won't be popping up on TV any time soon. His contract with MSNBC had two more years to run and, it is likely, the terms of his termination agreement with MSNBC prevent him from appearing on any other network during that period of time. He can go on radio or use the internet, and, if he wants to remain active during the interim, he might choose one of those venues.

But, I will miss him. I found him rather unique.
hawkeye10
 
  0  
Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2011 12:33 pm
@firefly,
Quote:
agreement with MSNBC prevent him from appearing on any other network during that period of time
This was a negotiated parting of ways...nobody is talking officially but unnamed MSNBC sources say that he is banned from TV for something like 6-9 months, not 2 years. He can get on with his internet product today.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  3  
Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2011 12:47 pm
@firefly,
You've just told us a lot about yourself firefly.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 24 Jan, 2011 12:54 pm
@snood,
I agree with that. Oberman's rhetorical stance was oddly like that of Rush Limbach, but with less pretense of factual objectivity.

However, MSNBC still has a full slate of left wing apoligists.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  1  
Reply Tue 25 Jan, 2011 08:51 am
Quote:
With each new iteration of conservative thought, every new conservative encroachment on a previously placid domain, the liberal reaction began to evolve, from indifference to condescension to irritation to tantrum. By the time Mr. Olbermann got into the business, the tantrum had given way to something stronger. Intellectual eclampsia. His genius was to embody it.


Quote:
All this matters in an era in which the greatest threat to public discourse isn't "incivility," as was so preposterously claimed after Tucson. Just compare the tedium of U.S. congressional debate with the rapier exchanges in Britain's House of Commons, the catcalling in Israel's Knesset, or the fist-fights in Taiwan's parliament.

Rather, the real threat is Good Morning America-style niceness, USA Today-style consensus-seeking, all-round squeamishness when it comes to words like "Islam," the political masquerade of "news analysis" from papers like the New York Times, and so on. In today's media landscape, audiences are being presented with a choice between voices who are honest (at least about their biases) but not objective, and those who claim to be objective but are rarely honest. Not surprisingly, Americans increasingly prefer the former.


Why I'll Miss Keith Olbermann
0 Replies
 
firefly
 
  1  
Reply Thu 27 Jan, 2011 10:40 pm
Quote:
A Tribute to Olbermann: Why He Is Different From the Pundits at Fox News
Mitchell Bard
January 23, 2011

Black and white is easy; nuance is hard. Which is why it's much easier to just lump media outlets and personalities into simple boxes: left v. right, or partisan v. objective, for example.

So if you want to play that game, it's easy to dismiss Keith Olbermann, who broadcast his final episode of Countdown on MSNBC Friday. It's simple to dash off a hack piece (like this one in the Daily Beast, which revealed its simple-minded bona fides by invoking the right's favorite jab at Olbermann: he used to work in -- gasp! -- sports) that lumps Olbermann in with Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, as if they all do the same thing just because they are all loud and aggressive.

I know nuance is less popular, but I feel compelled to try and give Olbermann his due.

An analysis of how MSNBC (which uses a traditional journalistic approach to report facts, but then, ditching objectivity, critically assesses how the facts compare with the progressive take on issues) differs from Fox News (essentially a right-wing propaganda operation pretending to practice journalism, with no allegiance to facts) is a book-length endeavor and beyond the scope of a blog piece. But Olbermann's approach reflects the difference between the two networks.

Anyone charging that Olbermann's show was equivalent to Beck's clearly hasn't watched either of them. Olbermann wasn't objective, but he was honest about it, not disingenuously claiming to be "fair and balanced." But his shows were well-researched and relied on facts to make his progressive points.

To be sure, Olbermann used inflammatory language, and he wasn't always as respectful as some thought he should be. But when he railed about something, he relied on quotes, polls, statistics and history (unlike the concocted charges offered by Beck as facts) to make his points. One (of many) examples was his 2008 response to statements made by President George W. Bush about terrorism and Iraq (with its much-discussed concluding line that Bush should "shut the hell up"). Does Olbermann use harsh language? Yes. Was he blunt and combative? Yes. But in doing so, did he use real evidence (facts) to refute the Bush statements that were getting heavy play in the news at the time? Yes. Consistently (including producing a photo of Bush playing golf months after the date he claimed to have given up the game as a symbolic sacrifice to support the troops).

To me, that was what made Olbermann such an essentially important commentator, especially during the Bush administration. Much focus is directed at how Olbermann made his points (his combative tone, his aggressive language, etc.), but it was the fact-based content that really mattered and separated him from his right-wing counterparts. The reason the founders accorded the press the protections of the First Amendment was under the belief that the press was, as Jeffery Smith described it, "A lash for government and a prod for the people." Under this point of view, government was rendered more stable by a free press, since it exposed problems (and allowed for reform), preserving the liberties of the people. What Olbermann did on his show, day in and day out, was to carry out that function, shining a light on elected officials (of both parties).

That's the difference between Olbermann and his Fox News counterparts. When Beck claims that radicals in the Obama administration want to kill 10 percent of the American population and overthrow the U.S. government, or Sean Hannity uses bogus footage to exaggerate attendance at a Tea Party event, or Fox News hosts give credibility to those claiming that the health care reform law included "death panels" or that the president wasn't born in the United States, they are not shining a light on anything. Instead, they are using the cloak of "the press" to lie, exaggerate and use innuendo as a way of promoting an agenda.

And one of the strengths of Olbermann's show was that he didn't only take on government officials, but he devoted part of nearly every program to fact-checking the lies being spewed by major right-wing media figures like Palin, Beck, Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly. Again, Olbermann was consistently looking to shine a light on the facts.

With Olbermann's departure, commentators will be going for the easy story, lumping him in with other pundits who shared a combative tone, without going the next step to describe the very different content of their shows. These writers will simplistically decry "hyperpartisanship" (as the Daily Beast piece did), as if Olbermann and Beck (and the others) were interchangeable. I'm here to say they are not.

Instead, I will pay tribute to Olbermann for the important role he played over the last eight years.

Really, I want to use this space to say "thank you" to Olbermann.

Thank you for your humor and insight, which was consistently smart and observant.

Thank you for giving voice to the anger so many of us felt during the Bush presidency, when few on television would do so. People accuse you of being "over the top," but when bad things are happening in the government or media, and too many are ignoring them, I don't want political commentators to be subtle.

Thank you for talking about the lies and fake journalism at Fox News when so many of us knew it was going on, but few on television would talk about it.

Thank you for always backing up your charges with facts, at a time when so many television news personalities, especially at Fox News, don't care about facts.

Thank you for having the guts to share your experiences navigating the health care system with your dying father, despite the personal pain doing so must have caused, all so you could educate viewers about the real experiences of those interacting with the system.

And thank you for regularly standing up for what was right, regardless of the consequences. You may not carry the objective legacy of Edward R. Murrow (whose "Good night and good luck" you borrowed for your sign-off line) into the 21st century, but you certainly embody his commitment to journalists playing the role of shining a light on the workings of government to ensure the American people have the information they need to be informed citizens. You consistently labored to urge politicians to act for the betterment of the country, adhering to longstanding American values of justice, equality and fairness.

Thank you.

The cartoon version of Keith Olbermann as a Beck-like screaming partisan will get a lot of play in the coming days. Sure, from time to time, Olbermann might have gone too far, but that's going to happen when you push the barriers of your field. I urge anyone who buys the caricature of Olbermann to go back and watch some of his Special Comments (a bunch of them are collected here--http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16270176/) and see past the bluster to the facts and logic at the heart of his words. The difference between Olbermann and his counterparts at Fox News will quickly become apparent.

The news media and our democracy will be much poorer without Olbermann's daily reports. I hope he surfaces back on the air sooner rather than later.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mitchell-bard/a-tribute-to-olbermann-wh_b_812770.html
0 Replies
 
snood
 
  3  
Reply Mon 31 Jan, 2011 06:28 am
Good riddance. He can entertain his biggest fan - himself.
0 Replies
 
georgeob1
 
  1  
Reply Mon 31 Jan, 2011 04:16 pm
@snood,
snood wrote:

I first came across Olbermann a couple of years back - somehow I had managed to miss him even though he was supposed to be a bigtime voice of the left, or whatever. I started to be a regular watcher; for a while I considered him a good counterpoint to what I saw as all the extreme noise coming from Fox and talk radio.

I think it was the first time I saw him do one of his "special comments" - in which he oh-so-haughtily excoriates some person or activity he saw as needing to feel his terrible wrath - that I started to see him as a delusional windbag. I think Jon Stewart is right to a degree, when he says that the left is just as guilty as the right as far as rushing to demigogue and exaggerate. To a degree. At least as far as Keith Olbermann was concerned, anyway. (and Ed Shultz)

The guy became just some huffing and puffing cartoon to me - totally useless if I wanted to hear thoughtful commentary. He is smart enough, but somewhere along the line he started making it his sole business to rip away at the right, and little else. His "humor" was too snide and smirking to be funny to me - much like Dennis Miller's self-satisfied capering on the right.

He just did his "show" - regardless of any sense of proportion, and at the expense of the self awareness that might have tipped him to the fact that he wasn't being part of any kind of solution to the noise. In all honestly IMO he had become one of the noisiest nails on the blackboard.

I won't miss him while he's gone, but unless I misjudge the public hunger for his kind of Republican - bashing "entertainment", he won't be gone very long.

Very well said.
0 Replies
 
 

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