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.
Follow Us On Face Book at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001254987261 and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/RoseSpeaks and see who Rose Speaks is following.
Be sure to participate in our COMMUNITY , get the most out of the site by learning your way around in the community where you can discuss things about the cases in a debate area of the site.
Visit our Download Section for all documents on the cases we are following:
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. If you would like to do some articles for Rose Speaks.com send us that information and we will give you our rules for guest writers.
January 23, 2011
All Rights Reserved, do not reproduce in whole or in part without the express written consent of the author.