I was working on the computer, probably on my family tree Friday, January 21, 2011, and had MSNBC on in the background waiting for Keith Olbermann and Friday night with James Thurber, which Ken loved.
When “Count Down” with Keith Olbermann came on I watched but continued at the computer, turning to watch certain segments. Then the world of broadcast changed with Olbermann saying something like “Next this will be the last night of Countdown, more about that when I return”, cut to commercial break. I was stunned, was he changing the name of his show, what?? I never in a million years expected to hear what he said when he came back. I was stunned, looking at Ken and saying WTF???
Well we have found out some of that over the last two days as well as a lot of hype of being fired, quitting, Tom Brokaw, being a lefty, having problems with the powers to be, believing he was all omnipotent, wanted to go back to sports, wanted to be a comedy writer a lot of things spinning out there, but here are a few “truths” .
MSNBC was a third place cable news network never getting traction, we would watch for a few minutes and then always go back to CNN, love Anderson Cooper and 360 there and got my two hours of news a night from his format. Then in 2006, I had MSNBC on for some reason perhaps it was destiny and I listened to Olbermann’s first Special Comment and I cried. Here was a guy talking truth to power, and like Valerie Plame and her husband Ambassador Joe Wilson. I feared Olbermann would be silenced by the Bush regime, or as his nickname in Texas goes “shrub” .
Why was this important?? Because like other greats before him, Walter Conkrite, who I idolized and he truly was the most trusted man in America and then Tom Brokaw of which I watched every night with some “Meet the Press” with Tim Russert. What made all of these newsman great to me was that each controlled their own content. Cronkite broke what the Viet Nam War was really about and with that courage of Cronkite the war ended. As Nixon said; “If Cronkite says it is over, then it is over”. I don’t remember Brokaw doing much of that Bryan Williams did more with his coverage of Hurricane Katrina and taking up for those in the Super Dome that he had spent the night with as other media began to slam them as “just the pour and the unruly”. Russert had control of the whole news department in both NBC and MSNBC as Browkaw had with NBC and Cronkite had with CBS. These titans knew that success depended on being able to speak the truth when you felt strongly about something. “Control of content”, something every successful commentator has had. That is what made Olbermann climbed and taking MSNBC with him, he controlled the content of his special comments and wow did they deliver a punch.
We have often said we are moderate independents, that silent majority here in politics, no real voice out there and not aligning with anyone, but when Olbermann took on the Regime we were govern — all of us knew this was special, this could be career ending for Olbermann, but it needed to be said. He pulled MSNBC out of third place and propelled them into 2nd place leaving CNN behind in the dust so to say. There was finally a voice not just for progressives or bleeding heart liberals, but to all of us who wanted our country back, and believed that could happen.
Tom Brokaw needs to retire and go to Wyoming or Montana like he promised he would, but no, he is still powerful, thought all cable news as unneeded and refused to appear on MSNBC, he was a dinosaur and wanted to hang on to that era; although never doubt he had total control of his content and still does it appears as well as others content. We have learned that Brokaw is more powerful in retirement then what any of us knew, it was not the regime in power we needed to worry about taking a new and clear voice as Olbernmann down, it would be someone we all trusted at one time, Browkaw and his lingering power
It was Tim Russert who saw the vision of cable news for NBC via the vehicle of MSNBC and he began to appear and encouraged others from the NBC side of News to appear, eventually even Brokaw appeared on election nights. Dan Abrams totally saw the future and reformatted MSNBC before he was canned.
At the end of Olbermann’s nightly commentary of events that he found of interest that day; Olbermann said “Goodnight and Good Luck”, from Edward R. Murrow. There are many prestigious awards worth more on the mantle of accolades and there are multiple Murrow awards given out every year, too many to even list or remember. Olbermann prized his Edward R, Murrow award though more than any other award he might have been given. Murrow spoke truth to power and it cost him his whole career. He unmasked the witch hunt of the 50’s under McCarthy and lifted a veil of fear that had gripped this country after WWII. Murrow spoke truth to power and McCarthy lost his power, was unmasked for what he was and ended that regime. Murrow paid with his whole career being taken off news and put on some Sunday night Live interview show and then faded out into what those in power in the media hoped would be oblivion.
Walter Cronkite worked after his retirement on leveling the campaign field seeing cable news as a vehicle to help reform political campaign financing. He felt with 24 hours of cable that each candidate could be assured of equal time and by that would get the powerful corporations and lobbyists out of our politics which would give it back to the voter, and prevent a Corpocracy as even Thomas Jefferson used to warn the country to beware of and not to allow that to happen. I didn’t know that about Cronkite until his death but that made him even more the most trusted man in America in my eyes. Russert saw potential in cable news and supported the then fledgling MSNBC and believed in Olbermann. Russert understood “control of one’s content” and the power that gave a voice. Hell even Fox “News” gives O’Reilly control of content., but that is for another day.
Brokaw and Comcast won and we lost a valuable voice on Friday night and the cable network will bow to the gods that be and my respect for Brokaw has been taken forever, leaving only a bad taste in my mouth. Something I thought could never happened until the last two months cumulating in this past 3 days.
Take Action has asked those of us who put 350,000 signatures in less than 48 hours, to sign a Thank you to Olbermann On a petition to bring Olbermann back in November which was successful and with that the people speaking we put into motion both good and bad. Good in that we have a voice and the internet has leveled the playing field a bit, but also unknowingly we set into motion the eventual take down of Oblermann by Browkaw and his lords in the main offices. When you take risks, you make powerful enemies and those with Brokaw at the helm was determine to silence the “silent majority” and the progressives who loved Olbermann. Brokaw needs to fade away and perhaps as MSNBC goes down in the flames of ratings and those few advertising dollars that all networks and shows fight for diminish, it will be Brokaw who fades into obscurity.
Keith Olbermann or KO as he is called will be back, it is rumored he cannot come back on air for many months because of the non-competition clause of most contracts which are bought out and have as a condition for several months if not for the whole two years left on Olbermann’s contract. 15 million dollars in a buyout gives a lot of credence to the no compete clause. Olbermann it appears can be heard as a sportscaster or on radio or he can become an internet powerhouse, I hope the latter happens fast and during the time he has to remain off of the air. I can see something equal to the Huffington Post, say Olbermann’s View, with Olbermann giving those who work at some endeavor like that, control of their content, and if he does those who want to participate will line up to sign on, and Olbermann will make a ton of money along the way.
I will not be watching MSNBC again, even though I wish Rachel Maddow only the best, because at the end of day the little guys like us citizens can only control the media in ratings which equals advertising dollars and the money advertisers pay and that my friends gives us POWER.. That POWER we must each claim right now if we believe in freedom of speech, freedom of the press and those eloquent enough to make it in the media should have control of “their content and editorial opinions”. The ACLU says it best when they go head to head to protect that right for someone that makes me ill, because if we do not protect that person’s right then it will end for all of us. We can see that now in the censorship of American news and opinion shows and the difference in the U. K. media and Canadian media. How ironic that which our founding fathers fought so hard for to keep us free, is given more in the motherland of the U. K. then in America.
I encourage each of you to sign the thank you that is up on line at Bold Progressive site and watch David Shuster’s video from this morning’s CNN “Reliable Sources” He sums it up great.
I close with two additional things:
1. What I wrote on the thank you petition : “To Keith, Edward R Murrow spoke truth to power, you knew that and you knew what that cost him and yet you followed him and spoke truth to power, on both sides of the spectrum.
The internet has a way of making the stage more even today. I know you will be back and a million of us will be waiting for you. Advertising dollars are tight these days, and in that is power.
Last night as you said goodbye I was shocked and then when you said “Goodnight and Good Luck” I saw a class act. I will not be watching MSNBC again, looks like CNN is going to attack a lot of us until we learn where you will again appear.”
2. However much more importantly is what Thomas Jefferson wrote in a letter as the press of his day slammed him unmercifully: “If it were left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”
Join with us and the growing outcry and boycott MSNBC, in numbers, “We the people” still have a lot of power if we use that power wisely. Remember viewership equals advertising dollars, a simple rule that has a lot of power.
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Subtitle: Or is it an Excuse as Comcast gets Ready to Come on Board?
Late Friday afternoon, November 5 2010, CNN broke the news that Keith Olbermann had been suspended indefinitely without pay for making three political contributions without the “approval” of MSNBC president Phil Griffin. However by today, November 7, 2010 that is not holding water and the backlash is something Comcast, GE, and MSNBC probably never imagined.
If you want a story to die, you release it on Friday afternoon when no one will notice and then it dies over the weekend. Politicians do this all of the time, but this time the Keith Olbermann dispute is gaining steam and putting Griffin in a no-win situation, or as much of that kind of situation you can put a rich dude with a title in.
I watched Rachael Maddow on Friday night to hear the “most” that MSNBC is going to allow to be said on their network… “Allowed”??? Yes they have the final say in what will be on their network, like it or hit the door.
As Thomas Jefferson once said; “[A despotic] government always [keeps] a kind of standing army of news writers who, without any regard to truth or to what should be like truth, [invent] and put into the papers whatever might serve the ministers. This suffices with the mass of the people who have no means of distinguishing the false from the true.” Jefferson also had confidence which today rests with our computers and Google of saying; “I am persuaded that the good sense of the people will always be found to be the best army. They may be led astray for a moment, but will soon correct themselves. The people are the only censors of their governors, and even their errors will tend to keep these to the true principles of their institution.”
After that what did I do? I went to my favorite of “let Google be your friend” and began to hunt for my truth. What I found out there is amazing, confusing and should scare all of us. First Olbermann was suspended for giving political contributions without permissions from his overlords. By today it is because he would not apologize on the air, not that any of us would know why he was doing that, nor would we care. Griffin might be changing to this because over the weekend it is getting more difficult for Griffin to find employees that have not given as in no host to take over for Keith on Monday, so the story has again changed to the apology angle.
Joe Scarborough of “Morning Joe” with nutso co-host, Mika Brzezinski, (I say nutso because she is), and pundit Pat Buchanan, who guarantees a channel change in our home when he begins to spew his hate on air. Besides what Buchanan has given while being on MSNBC it was found that WAY back in 2006, Scarborough had given the maximum $4,200 contribution to the Oregon congressional race of close friend Derrick Kitts. On Friday MNSBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines put out a statement that said; “That contribution was made in accordance with (network) policy. Joe sought permission in advance. Since 2007 we have recommitted ourselves to following these important standards.”
That lasted about four hours before it was uncovered by POLITICO, the same organization that reported the Olbermann donations; found that statement was also FALSE. Scarborough made a $5,000 contribution in April 2010 to Alabama state legislative candidate John Merrill, who said the two have been close friends since they attended the University of Alabama together. Merrill had no real Democratic opponent.” So of course he needed Joe’s contribution, Joe tell us it anit’ so? That caused nutso Mika Brzezinski to give an interview to POLITICO, not something anyone is doing that works for MSNBC on behalf of Olbermann by the way. Mika basically said, Joe this is MY JOB, throw you long time friend under the bus, tell them he LIED. Her exact quote was in part; “That contribution should have been in the name of Scarborough’s wife, Susan Scarborough. The Scarboroughs expect John Merrill will amend his campaign report to accurately reflect that reality. If he does not, I will recommend they file an ethics complaint against him.” Brzezinski also challenged Merrill’s recollection of having brought Scarborough to Tuscaloosa for an August 2009 fundraiser for the county Republican Party, which Merrill said “was unbelievably successful. We raised a ton of money that we used to help local candidates.” Mika jumped on that to spin it as; “That event was billed as a tribute to Gov. Bob Riley on his retirement from politics, any suggestion that Joe Scarborough went to the University event to raise money for a political party is false. Sadly, many politicians try to elevate their standing by exaggerating their connection to Joe. This is one of those cases.” Yea Mika like unknown pundits wannabes like you elevate yourself in all of this.
That said it appears that Mika has the power to make a politician change his “story”, go figure Contrary to a VERY different interview with POLITICO earlier on Friday, I suggest you read that interview at POLITICO. Mika (cough cough seems to think she has the power she has claimed) cause on Friday evening, Merrill issued a chastened statement to POLITICO asserting that the $5,000 donation — his biggest individual donation of the campaign — was “from Susan Scarborough … I am very appreciative of her support.”
Mika shut up and sit down. We know your ratings are in the crapper but frankly I liked you better when you showed up at work, with curlers in your hair, very little make-up and chomping your breakfast on camera. I still turned you off though and even if by accident you and Morning Joe are on my television in the early morning hours by accident, WELL let’s just say thank God for quick remote controls. That said I would be doing this of you so think before you are fast to throw someone else under the bus, you might need support one day.
There is a much bigger story here that is probably closer to the truth, when POLITICO wrote that the decision was made by Steve Burke, a Bush fundraiser, who will be placed at the helm of MSNBC and other NBC companies after the buy-out of NBC Universal. Burke has not made any secret it appears of not liking Olbermann, and in previous interviews when asked about Olbermann’s style of reporting said to ask him again in six to twelve months. Perhaps this is a preview?
POLITICO corrected that error with the following: “UPDATED: We have been notified that Comcast has not yet officially taken over MSNBC/NBC Universal. Although Comcast has tentatively finalized a deal to purchase a majority stake in NBC, Comcast awaits final approval of the takeover from the Justice Department and from the Federal Communications Commission. A statement from Comcast reads: “The joint venture between Comcast and GE has not yet received regulatory approval. Comcast is not in any way involved with decisions made currently by NBC News.” However, once Comcast gains final approval from federal regulators to move forward, Comcast COO Steve Burke, a Bush fundraiser, will be placed at the helm of MSNBC and other NBC companies. Our original post inaccurately asserted that Comcast’s Burke was involved in the decision to fire Olbermann. We apologize for the error”.
All of this said and done what causes me the most alarm and this fiasco has I hope brought to the forefront for a lot of us is that Comcast has a pending deal with NBC Universal to buy them for $80 billion, that is right BILLION, dollars and has been moving on getting permission to do that with the Justice Department and the FCC. The why they need permission is what shocked me. With the purchase of NBC Universal Comcast will control 25% of what all of us see on TV. Let that sink in they will control ONE-QUARTER of what is available for every watcher of television. Now their deal is a sure thing to go through because they bought the votes with $32 million dollars in contributions to the best politicians for sale out there.
Twenty, , public interest, industry and consumer groups have announced a coalition to oppose the proposed merger between Comcast and NBC Universal, citing its potential harm on competition and consumer choice. “As the nation’s largest cable company, the largest Internet service provider, the NBC broadcast networks, owner of the local NBC and Telemundo stations in some of the nation’s largest media markets, owner of dozens of national, regional and local news, entertainment and sports cable networks, and owner or part-owner of some of the most heavily visited Web sites on the Internet, the merged entity will exert a degree of power unknown in our nation’s media history,” the coalition’s letter said. “That degree of concentrated power is fundamentally threatening to the public interest. Before allowing such a sea-change to take place, these impacts must be fully studied and understood – and the threats must be mitigated through energetic applications of the government’s regulatory authority.”
As a side note but one to pay attention to is Comcast is anti net neutrality as in they want you to pay to find sites like ours or block small sites altogether and to slow down both the ability to get to sites. , savetheinternet.com explains that companies like Comcast want “to be Internet gatekeepers, deciding which Web sites go fast or slow and which won’t load at all. They want to tax content providers to guarantee speedy delivery of their data. — while slowing down or blocking services offered by their competitors. These companies have a new vision for the Internet. Instead of a level playing field, they want to reserve express lanes for their own content and services — or those of big corporations that can afford the steep tolls — and leave the rest of us on a winding dirt road.”
In closing I want to quote two more great insights to all of this:
Russell Simmons’ op-ed at the Huffington Post.com in saying not only will he pay those pesky three contributions made by Keith but says what many of us feel. “Keith Olbermann has given voice to the voiceless, sanity to the madness, truth where lies are now a daily part of our political discourse. … If he goes we lose the Edward Murrow of our generation, the voice that spits truth to power and vested interests.”
Secondly another quote by Jefferson; “The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter…”
I also want to say that Olbermann puts his money and time in what he believes. When he saw Free Clinics in action in poor areas he took notice. He raised all of our awareness and promoted and help fund much larger Free Clinics to those in need. So for what everyone else is doing he is now punished and perhaps will not return to Count Down, if he does then whether on the right or left we all lose.
So with this being Rose Speaks.com first ever political or save anyone editorial here are the places you can go to make sure whether you love or hate Keith Olbrmann that his voice not be silenced for if he is silenced for MSNBC to become a baby “Fox” then who is next and when it is us who will be left to speak up?
Yes I have joined all of the efforts and in disclosure I gave to Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign a very small amount, but sometimes those small amounts or the lone voice can get traction and help.
Here is a sample you can send when signing the Petition and is what I added to my signature: “Friday, November 05, 2010 This is the last night for me to watch MSNBC until Keith is back. Only watched tonight to hear what Rachel Maddow had to say. GOOD BYE Mmmmmmmm where will your advertisers go, perhaps CNN where your viewers will go?”
Yes I love Rachel and think I would like Lawrence O’Donnald but sometimes you just have to watch reruns so MSNBC is hurt in the only way that matters, viewers which equal advertising dollars. Keep the heat of MSNBC and say, “you can’t hide something this unfair by saying it late on Friday afternoon, we are smarter than that”.
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We will be listening to all of our readers about new cases. Do you have a tip for us on a case to follow? If so Contact Us, a link appears at the top of all pages; ALL TIPS ARE OF COURSE CONFIDENTIAL