It was a Black Friday for both the Left and the Right that loves to bash the media for left-wing bias.
Keith Olbermann and MSNBC went their separate ways with the final episode of “Countdown” airing Friday, January 21.
MSNBC’s statement reads as follows:
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.
As for the updated schedule, Lawrence O’Donnell’s show will be moved to 8 p.m.; while “The Ed Show” with Ed Schultz will air at 10 p.m. Rachel Maddow will stay in her regular slot at 9 p.m. Olbermann bid a brief three-minute farewell to the viewers, but among his “thank you’s” he pointedly neglected to mention MSNBC president Phil Griffin who suspended Olbermann for not disclosing campaign contributions to several Democrats including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
The question destined to burn up the liberal blogosphere is whether Olbermann jumped or pushed? MSNBC signed him two years ago to a four-year $30 million contract, but this relationship stopped being a love match early on once it became clear while Olbermann was great at doing opinionated and advocacy, he was not interchangeable as a straight and sober newsman.
Hear that? That’s the sound of Bill O’Reilly laughing his ass off.
Something I noticed on MSNBC this week was the appearance of a sight rarely seen in their evening programming. Republicans!
On her show Rachel Maddow interviewed former RNC chairman Michael Steele followed by Lawrence O’Donnell questioning Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) one of the president’s most committed (and bigoted) opponents. I can’t recall if I’ve ever seen Olbermann interview any Republican politicians. Even Sean Hannity invites a few token, weaker than day old beer “liberals” to show up for a little public humiliation.
It’s doubtful Comcast is going to turn MSNBC into a little league version of Fox News, but as Olbermann and the execs at MSNBC weren’t blowing sloppy kisses to each other, maybe they figured they’ve gone as far as they can go as the liberal alternative to Fox. The denials that the FCC approval of the sale has nothing to do with Olbermann’s exit is garbage. Like they would admit they waxed their most popular host as conditions of the sale?
I feel a little bad for Olbermann because I don’t know where he’s supposed to land. CNN seems unlikely the way he dumped on Campbell Brown. CBS and ABC wouldn’t touch him. ESPN might, but he burned a lot of bridges in Bristol.
If Roger Ailes calls it’s only because Bill O’Reilly is looking for someone to take his suits to the cleaners.
Aw, the hell with it. With a $30 million contract I’m sure Keith saved a few nickels to rub together. I never worry about wealthy White men and their uncanny ability to land on their feet. He may even find a better opportunity, though I can’t imagine where. With Olbermann hitting the bricks the new go-to guy at the network is a girl; Rachel Maddow, better known as the woman who made Rand Paul cry like a whiny baby.
We’re talking about a freaking Rhodes scholar. She’s a real doctor. Paul just plays one in Kentucky.
Dr. Maddow is only 37 years old. She’s not nearly as good now as she’s going to be. MSNBC should lock her up to a long-term contract. She is what Katie Couric wanted to be: the true star of her network and their brightest light. O’Donnell is well-liked by the front office as a Democratic insider, Ed Schultz will pick up the stragglers from Olbermann’s camp (maybe he’ll pick up the “Worst Person In the World” segment too?) Chris Matthews will get a tingle up his leg as he never seemed comfortable being paired with Olbermann. The breaking point was the lousy job they did covering the 2010 elections where they could barely hide their dismay and disgust at the Republican wave sweeping away Democrats across the country.
Meanwhile, MSNBC remains as predominantly male and White as ever. Some things just don’t ever seem to change.
I hate to be the skunk at the garden party, but instead of joining a Facebook page demanding Comcast/MSNBC hire back a guy they just paid $7 million to take a walk, why aren’t all good libs and progressives demanding they replace Olbermann with a liberal and progressive PERSON OF COLOR?
We haven’t tried that, have we? Let’s try a little thinking outside the box here, people.
It’s not like CNN or FOX are busting their asses to put someone in their primetime programming that adds a little diversity to the proceedings. Why does the default reaction to a wealthy White guy losing his show have to be “Oh no! We must get him back! Storm the ramparts!”