Once upon a time, children, there was a “liberal” television cable channel called MSNBC, which, after floundering for years as M(icro)S(oft)N(ational)B(roadcasting)C(Company), a partnership for the digital future that never actually went anywhere and which was, as General Electric’s poor little brother media property (GE being the largest defense contractor in the world) sometimes an embarrassment but generally not worth noticing, since the GE brass was usually watching CNBC, the business channel that they were VERY happy with. And, in the early G.W. Bush term, after Nine ‘Lebbin, MSNBC fired Phil Donahue, their top-rated host, for daring to question the upcoming Invasion of Iraq. And Joe Scarborough cheerled the invasion and the war and conveniently slithered away to become MSNBC’s LOWEST-rated host.
And Keith Olbermann had the temerity to question the election results in 2004, when no one else dared, even though it was the second consecutive election with serious questions about outcomes and exit polls. And MSNBC found an identity. And following Keith came Rachel Maddow, came Lawrence O’Donnell, came Chris Hayes, came the “liberal” tint to the network.
And then GE sold MSNBC to Comcast, who put the infotainment division under a Bush Bundler™ .
And slowly, MSNBC became Faux Lite™ with a little oasis of liberalism in the evening hours, and a new generation of “farm club” correspondents to groom for future anchor slots in the big leagues of NBC News. And it is Brian Williams’ personal purgatory.
And I predicted that.
I was looking in my old “drafts” folder, and Lookee what I found: complete from August 2, 2015 @ 13:50:00 (why I never published it, I do not know):
The (Predicted) Bloodbath at MSNBC
This is what I wrote in 2011:
‘However, one thing seems certain: MSNBC as now constructed is headed for the graveyard of
wherever phosphor dots go when they die, perhaps a suburb of the Land of the Freed Balloons.’
Farewell Camelot; Au Revoir MSNBC
It is not the first time that an historical figure has died on the fiftieth anniversary of an important moment in American history. No: the best known (and possibly first) was when John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826, fifty years to the day after the “signing” of the Declaration of Independence. Today, on the fiftieth anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural speech, Sargent Shriver, Kennedy’s brother-in-law by marriage to sister Eunice (Arnold Schwarzenegger’s mother-in-law) died.
Shriver will be remembered for being the first director of the Peace Corps, initiated by Kennedy, and their lasting monument to Kennedy’s call to public service.
Thus does Camelot pass into the mists of history.
Not coincidentally, perhaps, the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department approved the merger of NBC and Comcast, which is so terrifically ugly on so many levels that one shudders to consider the consequences. However, one thing seems certain: MSNBC as now constructed is headed for the graveyard of wherever phosphor dots go when they die, perhaps a suburb of the Land of the Freed Balloons.
Dear Friend, A big disappointment today: The FCC and the Department of Justice have signed off on the Comcast/NBC merger, paving the way for a single enormous media conglomerate to obtain unprecedented control over the flow of information in our country …
Comcast is going to take over the Fourth Place network, with carte blanche (and majority ownership, even without it) to remake NBC in Comcast’s image. (This is after winning the “net neutrality” fight last month.) Clearly monopolistic, and, more to the point, when you consider Comcast’s ties to “The Right Network,” the new multicast platform launched last spring to make sure that RIGHTIE points of view were reflected in the media, scary indeed.
So, do I think they’ll find a “reason” to get rid of the liberals on MSNBC?
Well, let’s just say that Comcast will undoubtedly remember John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address as:
“And so I say to you today, ask not what you can do for your country, but, rather, ask what your country can do for you!
Quite a lot, if you’re Comcast, evidently.
And then, three days later:
Holy Crap! Keith Olbermann’s Been Sh*t-Canned!
My “special comment” on MSNBC
7:20 PM PST Update: More news with video here.
8:20 PM PST Update: Crooks and Liars has video and a transcript of Keith’s signoff
Olbermann Leaves ‘Countdown’ on MSNBC — 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 …
Holy Crap! Keith Olbermann just signed off the last show of Countdown.
I didn’t think that it would come this quick when I posted “Goodbye Camelot; Farewell MSNBC” three days ago.
So, do I think they’ll find a “reason” to get rid of the liberals on MSNBC?
via press release:
STATEMENT REGARDING KEITH OLBERMANN
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.
More as I get it.
Keith Olbermann – A Spectral Commentary
It is curious—curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare. ~ Mark Twain
I had feared this day for a long time — long before the monopolistic Über-merger between General Electric’s NBC/Universal Division with Comcast holding 51% of the stock and management responsibilities and GE retaining 49% but leaving the headaches to Comcast was ever proposed.
Last week, it passed muster with the Federal Communications Commission and the Justice Department, who couldn’t imagine that it might be anti-competitive or harm the public interest, in whose name they abreact. And, on the day that Jeff Zucker, president and CEO of NBC Universal officially left, so did Keith Olbermann.
Was he fired or did he quit? Well, Howard Kurtz, longtime shill and media swine, who can be counted on for “Colonel Klink Syndrome” states that Olbermann quit, which means that he was fired. Kurtz is never right, but you can bank on his carrying water for those whose nether cheeks his lips so often find themselves caressing.
Keith Olbermann Quits Countdown
by Howard Kurtz
Keith Olbermann, the liberal crusader whose combative style put him increasingly at odds with his network bosses, resigned abruptly from MSNBC Friday.
The cable channel confirmed his unexpected departure as Olbermann was rather calmly announcing the demise of Countdown after an eight-year run that included a bitter feud with Bill O’Reilly, fiery denunciations of Republicans and occasional acknowledgements that he had gone too far.
Olbermann said he had been “told that this is the last edition of your show” and thanked his audience, saying: “My gratitude to you is boundless.” He also thanked a list of people who have worked with him, notably excluding MSNBC President Phil Griffin, whom he has known for three decades….
Ooooh. Insider Baseball™!
Suddenly the manager’s boy put his insolent black head in the doorway, and said in a tone of scathing contempt—”Mistah Kurtz—he dead.”
What’s truly repellent in all this (which has already come to the fore) is all the backstage gossip about matters which don’t mean a fucking thing as regards WHAT has been lost in an oozing septic tank of anonymous gossip about WHO’s been lost.
Media stooges are going out of their way to put the petty in petit bourgeois, with snarky comments about how eight years at MSNBC was the longest time Olbermann had ever held a position. Even their “praise” is noxious and reeking of sulphurous malodorousity. Kurtz (ibid.):
Olbermann almost single-handedly revived the network by leading it on a leftward march.
Yes, “Leftward” and “Leftists” are terms heard a thousand times a day, nearly all in contemptuous tones and almost all aimed at Americans who disagree with the poisonous Right whose interests Kurtz increasingly protects.* (Remember, he carried water for Bill Krystol and Rupert Murdoch in the Private Beauchamp controversy, breaking the story nationally for them that had previously been contained within a much less professional — shall we say? — blogosmear.)
2015: Note that I was “on” to Howie Kurtz’ secret right-wing agitprop long before it became apparent via his sudden move to Murdochia.
[* Which reminds me: notice any pattern to the coordinated takedown of media outlets? The attack on the New Republic. The takedown of Dan Rather. The takedown of Helen Thomas. The takedown of ACORN. Now, the takedown of Keith Olbermann. Do you think they were all COINCIDENCES?]
All of which begs the question of WHY Keith Olbermann was important. It is simple: Keith Olbermann had (in his MSNBC context) moral courage. He ALONE of the talking heads that dominate our national slander … er, discourse, ah, he ALONE was willing to question the election results in Ohio. He alone was willing to question the incredible lies, propaganda and wholesale murder of the Bush Administration.
Yeah, you fucking HEARD me: murder. (OK: “READ me.”)
When you invade a country that bears you NO direct threat, you have committed a war of aggression, and we HUNG Nazis at Nuremberg for doing just that. We have wholesale violated the Constitution’s provisions of “innocent until proven guilty”, habeas corpus, cruel and unusual punishment, and of course, the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners of war.
Oh, it wasn’t exactly a war, quoth they. And they’re not exactly prisoners of war, therefore.
Gee, then what is that army doing there? And why are those bombs dropping?
And why, when all we wanted to do was “get” Osama bin Laden, did we do the whole lynch Saddam Hussein mambo?
And who are those hundreds of thousands of corpses and millions of refugees?
REAL fucking human suffering. REAL murder of innocents (and not, as the “pro-life” fanatics would have you believe, the the only human life which is sacrosanct is a potential human life, but that the sacrosanctness ends the moment that potentiality becomes an ACTUAL human being).
Keith spoke truth to power, in the non-cliché sense.
And I can attest that this upsets people, even when they are people who agree with you. We crave conformity. We thirst for conformity as a species, and that is both our great strength, and our greatest failing. We cannot accept that even though everybody agrees on something, everybody can still be wrong. And we like to silence those who dissent.
It is worst of all when they are demonstrably correct. THAT’s when we demonize. Here is the media that has been left to us in this astonishing onslaught of hate-as-political-tool, fear-as-control campaign waged, effectively, against us since at least Reagan:
Look at the TOP news story: “Hooker Teach Quits.” Pulitzer stuff, fer shure
The file itself is titled “Keith Olbermann out at MSNBC – NYPOST.com” and it will be interesting to see if the tabloid-trash, shrieking headline changes after the initial pandering to grab customers. Note the “page 6 girl” up above, skimpy celebrities, since Rupert’s English tabloid “titties on page 3” doesn’t work in the American market.
That’s called “gutter sleaze” and it has made Rupert Murdoch one of the most powerful misanthropes in America, and the most powerful media baron on three continents, selling fake patriotism like cigto fake patriots in America, England and Australia, at the very least.
That’s the sort of thing that Keith spoke up against.
And now, that’s all that’s left.
It’s money that matters when it comes to infotainment.
[substitute illustration 2015]
You are certainly within your rights to nitpick and picayune and niggle and snark about Olbermann’s imperfections, but you cannot deny that he had moral courage, and that his departure from the national airwaves decreases our strategic national reserves of moral courage by at least 25%.
Keith Olbermann was American’s chief producer of moral courage over the past eight years, and, unlike the stock market, our production didn’t take any significant hits during that period. Sadly, while production was level, moral courage as a proportion of our GNP (Grotesque National Product) remains so depressingly low that it would take too many zeros to reproduce here.
And what no one seems to have noticed is that he is probably about to be PAID to NOT speak out publicly for some unspecified period. (In law it’s called a “noncompete” clause, but in this case, it’s called something like a “golden ball-gag.” Ask John Fogerty what that means.)
Mark Twain noted in a letter to the editor of another newspaper:
But you are proceeding upon the superstition that Moral Courage and a Hankering to Learn the Truth are ingredients in the human being’s makeup. Your premises being wild and foolish, you naturally and properly get wild and foolish results. If you will now reform, and in future proceed upon the sane and unchallengeable hypothesis that those two ingredients are on vacation in our race, and have been from the start, you will be able to account for some things which seem to puzzle you now.
S. L. CLEMENS.
Riverdale-on-the-Hudson, Dec. 21, 1901.
Fascinating that this happens just before the State of the Union Address on Tuesday. And fascinating that Olbermann was suspended IMMEDIATELY after the November Psy-Ops Tea Party triumph. And it reminds me of the day that Reagan was inaugurated and the Iranians released the hostages. Poorly understood at the time, we now know what it meant: The Iranians were signaling that they had kept their part of the deal. The Reagan administration would then keep THEIR part of the deal, using Israeli intermediaries and Swiss bank accounts to sell the Iranians the spare parts they needed for their awesome American weaponry (which we sold the the Shah, when he had the most powerful and advanced non-Israeli military in the Middle East).
We blinked at treason then. I doubt that this will cause much ruckus.
But sometimes convenient timing is too convenient far too often.
The bridge still stands, but Horatius is gone.
Hide your daughters, Romans.
Because this commenter from the New York Post is merely ONE representative of the horde that will be (and has been) crossing the bridge towards your house:
FOX is at least Fair and balanced. Just look at the ratings. Viewers would much rather tune into FOX.
All the guests that come on MSNBC are pre screened to be sure they are in agreement with the station on thier [sic] political views. Much like the Wrestling World Theatrics.
MSNBS is just a mouthpiece for left wing liberals.
Now that Oberman [sic] is gone maybe we can hear what HIS true feelins [sic] are about the political world.
Maybe he’s a closet Republican?
What’s in YOUR wallet?
It constantly amazes me that, when the outcome is so obvious so many years out, all the well-paid talking heads are so surprised when it comes to pass.
Surely, were I THIS good a predictor, someone would pay me to do so.
That was August 2, 2015 @ 13:50:00.
This is 2017: To bring the story up to date, I can only add this graphic evolution:
Created Monday, May 16, 2016
Created Thursday, May 12, 2016, 7:31:32 PM
Created Wednesday, August 31, 2016, 5:22:51 PM
Created Thursday, June 02, 2016, 5:36:19 PM
Created Wednesday, February 04, 2015, 4:54:57 PM
Oh and meet the new MSSNBC Kqueing of the Hill:
Keith Olbermann is doing a podcast on the GQ (you know, the magazine?) network. It’s called, appropriately, “The Resistance.”