Monday, September 08, 2008

MSNBC Waves The Right Flag

MSNBC Removes Olbermann & Matthews From Election Anchor Duties
Well, what can you expect?

This is from the same nitwits, the stuffed shirts and suits in the upper echelons of NBC, MSNBC, General Electric (or some combination of, maybe all), that fired Phil Donohue and hired Rita Cosby.

Rita Cosby, for heavens sake!

The public (very public) dumping, demotion, spanking, and/or otherwise, stiff slap-to-the-face of Keith Olbermann and Chris "Tweety" Matthews by Phil Griffin, the president of MSNBC was/is meant to embarrass them.

(And dig how the NYT helped with the slapping - MSNBC Takes Incendiary Hosts From Anchor Seat)

Whatever it was about their chores as anchors of political events (debates, primaries, conventions), could have been handled internally, without public fanfare, a subtle shift that may, or may not, have gone unnoticed.

Ratings, maybe, likely were the biggest reason, however, with the various outcries from the Right Wing, most recently by Stumblin' Bumblin' John McCain's camp, it certainly gives the appearance the Griffin is caving in to the Freak Show crowd.

And, perhaps, the three-martini-voiced Tom Brokaw.

From Atrios;
I'll just add, for the hundredth time, that Keith Olbermann's expressed "liberalism" is almost entirely limited to a dislike and distrust of the Bush administration, a view shared by 70% of the public, and a concern for civil liberties and executive power abuse. On top of that he has a somewhat liberal "sensibility," but his show covers little of the broader "liberal agenda." But he makes Tom Brokaw uncomfortable so, you know.

And guess what ...

They're plugging in Karl Rove's dancing partner, the dreadful David Gregory to man the Captain's chair for future political events.

Yeah, that oughta send the ratings skyrocketing ...

With Tweety, it could be nothing more that him being Tweety that pushes him off the main stage.

But Olbermann, this is what is going to give this story legs.

To get the full scope of this, Glenn Greenwald has a excellent breakdown of it, with his "The right dictates MSNBC's programming decisions", and he says this;
The irrefutable fact is that nothing attracts ratings for MSNBC -- and nothing has attracted ratings in the entire history of that channel -- the way that Olbermann does. Yet here is MSNBC removing him from the anchor position, reducing his role in its political coverage, and clearly diminishing his stature (and implicitly criticizing his coverage). That is extraordinary for a media company to publicly embarrass, diminish and tarnish its own principal asset. It is plainly doing so for ideological, not ratings-based, reasons: namely, it fears doing anything to anger the White House, the McCain campaign and the Right in this country.

The most recent item that, likely, drew ire, was Olbermann pissing in the tea of the Republican's cup, rightly calling them out on the propaganda 9-11 Tribute video they ran at the convention last week.

Check it out.

The 9-11 Tribute at the RNC - And Olbermann's Reaction

"This "tribute" which served to only throw fear into the political discourse and frighten voters was shown at the 2008 Republican National Convention. Keith Olbermann spoke for many of us at the sickening images used for political gain"

A classic, if anything, to show who's pulling Stumblin' Bumblin' Johnny's strings, with his Rovian campaign.

Leni Riefenstahl would have been most proud of them.

Because the video narrator assured us, this won't happen again, as in "This is a war American will win, because we'll have a President that knows how".
Knows "how to" what - make propaganda films?

Start wars on lies and false information?

Torture people, obstruct justice and stomp on the Constitution?

Inferring McCain will be the "President that knows how"?
Please ....

(We should note, as, no doubt, you heard, how the GOP, in their video shows, used stock images of African Americans, and, more hideously, of a soldiers' funeral, and the infamous McCain Green Screen, in which they screwed up showing Walter Reed Hospital, instead, displaying a school in Southern California has been much-discussed.

The only thing missing from this video was, at the end of it, a 'Sponsored by Walmart' and voiceover from Stumblin' Bumblin' John McCain, telling the RNC crowd that he wants to thank them for going shopping after September 11th).

Olbermann wasn't the only one to notice.

The Jed Report asked "Did they just cross the line on 9/11?", Creature, on State of Day, simply labeld it Exploiting the dead, while Hilzoy, over on Obsidian Wings, was "Angry";
I didn't want to write about that. It's still pretty close to the bone. But I have never thought that I had a monopoly on honor and decency and love for my country. I wish more prominent Republicans would stop assuming that they do.

Sasha Issenberg, in The Boston Globe, penned an obit, "The death of a taboo";
ST. PAUL -- One of the most enduring taboos in American politics, the airing of graphic images from the September 11 attacks in a partisan context, died today. It was nearly seven years old.

The informal prohibition, which had been occasionally threatened by political ads in recent years, was pronounced dead at approximately 7:40 CST, when a video aired before delegates at the Republican National Convention included slow-motion footage of a plane striking the World Trade Center, the towers' subsequent collapse, and smoke emerging from the Pentagon.

The September 11 precedent was one of the few surviving campaign-season taboos. It is survived by direct comparisons of one's opponents to Hitler.

It was intimated that Olbermann may do a "Special Comment" on this 9-11 Tribute Video, and with this naked, public rebuke, by his own bosses, it should, possibly, make for some good fireworks.

Then again, Olbermann, if he really wants to push the envelope, rock the boat, and risk being fired, he can always have Phil Griffin be the "Worst Person in the World" tonight (though, he may want to do a Special Edition of it, and label Griffin the "Biggest Asshole in the World!").

Also worth watching, aside from it being the debut, is to see if Golden Girl Rachel Maddow weighs into it at all.

Holy Neilsen Ratings Batman!

Stay tuned ...

Bonus MSNBC Cave-in Riffs

MahaBlog: So Much for Freedom of the Press


Joe Gandelman: Quote of the Day: On NBC Axing NBC Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews As MSNBC Anchors

Bob Cesca: Keith And Chris

Oliver Willis: MSNBC Caves In To Right Wing Bellyaching Again

Brilliant at Breakfast: MSNBC capitulates to Karl Rove and the Republican Party

John Aravosis : You can turn off NBC and MSNBC during the debates and elections

Digby: The Refs Begin To Tremble

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