The Countdownis over and it ended, not with a bang but with a whimper bordering on a whine.
Liberal pundit Keith Olbermann, unsurprisingly rather theatrically, announced at the end of his show Friday night that he and MSNBC were parting company and that he had just finished the last episode of Countdown. He provided no further explanation of the reasons for this.
Liberals, of course, are already concocting various conspiracy theories. Most of them involve trying to paint NBC’s probable future owner, Comcast as being “to blame” for Olbermann’s and Countdown’s removal from MSNBC’s prime-time line-up.
As an American, I wish there was more substance to the Leftists’ paranoid, anti-capitalist drivel this time. It’d be great to think that Comcast and NBC were planning on shifting MSNBC to something closer to journalism. I doubt that is their plan though; there’s too much money to be made by being the Liberal propaganda machine and, as every Liberal is so wont to jabber, a corporation’s goal is to make money.
Personally, I think we’ll soon be seeing Olbermann, whose first love was sportscasting, as a major force on Comcast’s Versus, most likely heading at least one show and narrating and commenting upon others, much like Mike Rowe does for the Discovery Channel.
As most Americans know and Liberals bemoan, Keith Olbermann was suspended without pay indefinitely by NBC on November 5, 2010 for violating NBC News ethics policies. Specifically, he was removed for contributing to the election campaigns of three Democratic candidates this election season.
Silencing Olbermann is a great thing for America but I’m not sure this was the way to do it.
The stated reason for NBC’s suspension of the hyper-Liberal Olbermann was that he directly and willfully violated NBC’s Newsroom Policy when he made those donations with the one to Raul Grijalva being made immediately on the same day that Olbermann hosted Grijalva on his show:
Anyone working for NBC News who takes part in civic or other outside activities may find that these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest. Such activities may include participation in or contributions to political campaigns or groups that espouse controversial positions. You should report any such potential conflicts in advance to, and obtain prior approval of, the President of NBC News or his designee.
There is no doubt that Keith Olbermann violated NBC’s policy which is based upon the journalistic ethics code called – ironically given the foul and perfidious degeneration of the NY Times – the code of the Grey Lady.
Where doubt, both ethical and logical, arises is in whether or not such standards and policies should be applied to Olbermann.
The ethical question arises from NBC’s policies themselves. Legal or not, is it right to require as terms of continued employment that employees refrain from full participation in the civic process? These employees are private citizens, and there’s an ethical issue with any employment requirement that impinges upon their freedoms of speech and association.
The logical problem is nothing more than a result of a logical fallacy based upon an utterly false and well-disproven postulate, that Keith Olbermann is a journalist or even an employee of a news agency. MSNBC is not a news agency by a creditable definition of the term and Keith Olbermann doesn’t even attempt to bear any resemblance to journalist. Applying the code of the Grey Lady to him is patently ridiculous.
So, for what little it’s worth in the grand scheme of things, I’m ambivalent about Olbermann suspension. I’m ecstatic that he’s been, at least temporarily, stopped from further polluting the airwaves with his filth, but I’m not fond of why he was removed.
This entry was posted on Saturday, November 6th, 2010 at 7:15 am and is filed under 2010 Election, Ethics & Morality, Society.
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Below is an excerpt from Olbermann’s hypocritical rant:
In short, there are now no checks on the ability of corporations or unions or other giant aggregations of power… to decide our elections.
They can spend all the money they want.
And if they can spend all the money they want — sooner, rather than later — they will implant the legislators of their choice in every office from President to head of the Visiting Nurse Service.
And if Senators and Congressmen and Governors and Mayors and Councilmen and everyone in between are entirely beholden to the corporations for election and re-election to office, soon they will erase whatever checks there might still exist to just slow down the ability of corporations to decide… the laws.
It is almost literally true that any political science fiction nightmare you can now dream up — no matter whether you are conservative or liberal — it is now legal. Because the people who can make it legal, can now be entirely bought and sold — no actual citizens required in the process.
And the entirely bought and sold politicians, can change any laws. And any legal defense you can structure now, can be undone by the politicians who will be bought and sold into office this November, or two years from now. And any legal defense which honest politicians can somehow wedge up against them this November, or two years from now, can be undone by the next even larger set of politicians who will be bought and sold into office in 2014, or 2016, or 2018.
Mentioning Lincoln’s supposed ruminations about arresting Roger B. Taney… he didn’t say the original of this, but what the hell:
Right now, you can prostitute all of the politicians some of the time, and prostitute some of the politicians all the time, but you cannot prostitute all the politicians all the time.
The rank hypocrisy of Olbermann’s rant defies proper definition or description; American Standard English just doesn’t possess the nuance necessary to convey the depths to which Olbermann – albeit unsurprisingly – has, with great apparent passion and eagerness, sunk.
He has chosen to stridently complain about about Corporations being now permitted to make private expenditures of the wealth the have amassed by the special advantages which go with the corporate form to fund, create, and/or publish political advertisements during the various elections cycles. Yet Keith Olbermann earns his quite considerable salary by starring in political advertisements (Liberal infomercials, as it were) throughout the various election cycles – up to and including during the elections themselves – and is paid by a corporation through private expenditure of some part of its immense aggregations of wealth it has amassed by the special advantages which go with the corporate form.
Olbermann also conveniently “forgets” to mention that the Labor Unions also had their restrictions lifted and can also air political ads during the election cycles.
Whether you’re you agree with, are opposed to, or are, as I am, truly ambivalent towards the US Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision on Citizens United, the level Keith Olbermann’s hypocrisy should be shocking, galling, and cause for some form of punitive action.