POLITICAL observations & opinions

* Is the sudden departure of Keith Olbermann from MSNBC an ominous example of free speech restrained by the military-industrial-financial complex?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 23, 2011


Robert Parry writes for consortiumnews.com (1/22/11) …

  • Keith Olbermann’s abrupt departure from MSNBC should be another wake-up call to American progressives about the fragile foothold that liberal-oriented fare now has for only a few hours on one corporate cable network.
  • with Olbermann’s permanent departure on Friday, the remainder of MSNBC’s liberal evening line-up, which also includes Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Lawrence O’Donnell (who will fill Olbermann’s 8 p.m. slot), must face the reality that any sustained friction with management could mean the bum’s rush for them, too.
  • MSNBC’s parent company, General Electric, never seemed comfortable with Olbermann’s role as critic of the Bush administration, nor with the sniping between Olbermann and his Fox News rival, O’Reilly, who retaliated by attacking corporate GE on his widely watched show.
  • In 2009, the New York Times reported that GE responded to this pressure by having GE chairman Jeffrey Immelt strike a deal with Murdoch that sought to muzzle Olbermann’s criticism of O’Reilly, in exchange for O’Reilly muting his attacks on GE.
  • a reminder that GE, a charter member of the military-industrial complex and a major international conglomerate, had bigger corporate interests at play than the ratings for MSNBC’s evening programming.
  • So, too, will Comcast, the cable giant that is assuming a majority stake in NBC Universal, which controls MSNBC.
  • The Washington Post reported on Saturday that sources at MSNBC quashed speculation that Olbermann’s departure was connected to the Comcast takeover, which was approved by federal regulators this week.
  • Unlike News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, who stands solidly behind the right-wing propaganda on Fox News, the corporate owners of MSNBC have no similar commitment to the work of Olbermann, Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz.
  • “For the suits at headquarters, it’s just a balancing act between the ratings that those shows get and the trouble they cause as Republicans reclaim control of Washington.”
  • Those corporate priorities also were underscored in the pre-Iraq invasion days when MSNBC dumped Donahue, then the network’s biggest draw. But Donahue had allowed on some guests critical of Bush’s planned war.

the ongoing significance of America’s media imbalance

is that it gives the Right enormous capabilities

to control the national debate

  • Republicans can deploy what intelligence operatives call “agit-propaganda,” stirring controversies that rile up the public and redound to the GOP’s advantage.
  • One week, the Right’s theme is “Obamacare’s death panels”; another week, it’s “the “Ground Zero Mosque.” The Democrats are left scrambling to respond – and their responses, in turn, become fodder for critical commentary, as too wimpy or too defensive or too something.
  • This dynamic has been instrumental to the Right’s political victories over the past three decades even as those policies – from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush – have worsened the lives of middle- and working-class Americans.
  • The sudden disappearance of Keith Olbermann from television is another ominous omen that this dynamic will continue.

read the entire article at … http://readersupportednews.org/off-site-opinion-section/71-71/4691-the-disappearance-of-keith-olbermann



Is the sudden departure of Keith Olbermann from MSNBC an ominous example of free speech restrained by the military-industrial-financial complex?



2 Responses to “* Is the sudden departure of Keith Olbermann from MSNBC an ominous example of free speech restrained by the military-industrial-financial complex?”

  1. hoboduke said

    GE owning a media news outlet is ominous for the USA. Don’t expect any investigations on defective GE products or anybody in government that influences buying GE products. The great god Mamnon has crushed independent journalism.

  2. Yes.

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