TV Newser: “Insiders” say Olbermann won’t be back

posted at 5:06 pm on November 5, 2010 by Allahpundit

Nothing concrete, but scratching an ego this fragile might well cause it to crack and fall apart.

Olbermann, who signed a four-year, $30 million contract extension in Nov. 2008, has left MSNBC once before.

In the late 1990′s, Olbermann had a program on MSNBC called “The Big Show.” In 1998, he left the network after protesting the incessant coverage of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. He ended up joining , of all places, Fox Sports. Olbermann was wooed back to MSNBC during the run-up to the Iraq War when MSNBC had a show called “Countdown: Iraq” hosted by Lester Holt. That show morphed into “Countdown with Keith Olbermann.”

Insiders we’ve talked to say Olbermann won’t be back. The question is whether he’ll leave or MSNBC keeps him off the air.

Remember, this is the guy who once said of MSNBC President (then Senior VP) Phil Griffin — the same exec who suspended him today — “Phil thinks he’s my boss.” Having now received a humiliating reminder that Phil really is his boss, the modern-day Murrow may conclude that a man of his stature simply can’t bear the indignity of a chain of command, and thus off he goes. Which, under these particular circumstances, would actually be too bad, because this whole “scandal” is ridiculous. Over to you, Bill Kristol:

MSNBC’s suspension of Keith Olbermann is ludicrous.

First, he donated money to candidates he liked. He didn’t take money, or favors, in a way that influenced his reporting.

Second, he’s not a reporter. It’s an opinion show. If Olbermann wants to put his money where his mouth is, more power to him.

Third, GE, the corporate parent of MSNBC, gives money to political organizations. GE executives and, I’m sure, NBC executives give money. Why can’t Olbermann?

What bugs me about suspending Olby for “ethics” infractions is that, if only in a nominal way, it lets MSNBC go on pretending that its commentators are journalists. It’s like when a major paper runs a “news” story that’s obviously slanted to the left and which happens to contain a spelling error. They’ll happily issue a correction for the misspelling but the bias goes unmentioned; that’s their way of signaling to readers that they’re scrupulous about accuracy even while they’re dropping hatchet jobs on conservatives while professing impartiality all the while. As Ed noted earlier, it’s a sick joke to suggest that Olby throwing a few thou to Democratic candidates is an unpardonable journalistic sin while that horror show that MSNBC happily aired on Tuesday night is just good reportorial funsies for the viewers at home. I don’t care how many posters of Murrow Olby has on his wall: He’s not a reporter, he’s not a journalist, and no one but no one but no one thinks that he is, so why are journalistic ethics being applied to him? Remember, this is a guy who once donated to Bill Clinton’s charity, on camera, while interviewing Clinton. If MSNBC’s worried about the appearance of objectivity, I’m afraid that ship sailed years ago.

What this is really about, of course, is Fox:

In suspending Mr. Olbermann, NBC appeared to be trying to differentiate itself from the Fox News Channel, a unit of the News Corporation. NBC executives privately said that they saw a chance to draw a distinction between the journalistic standards of their news division and the standards of Fox, a favorite of Republicans. Media Matters, a liberal media monitoring group that opposes Fox, noted on Friday afternoon that two Fox News hosts, Neil Cavuto and Sean Hannity, had given money to Republican politicians in the past.

The News Corporation also came under scrutiny this year for a $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association — a donation that Mr. Olbermann has been sharply critical of.

Yes, MSNBC is forever trying to distinguish itself from Fox as a “real” news organization — and forever failing miserably. Again, compare the coverage on Tuesday night. (Mediaite did!) A few weeks ago, Griffin noted that Fox lets its guests fundraise on air and crowed, “Show me an example of us fund-raising.” Whereupon Johnny Dollar quickly compiled a bunch of examples. Media Matters has also been whining on MSNBC’s behalf about Fox giving too much airtime to particular candidates, like Rand Paul. Johnny Dollar turned that one around too in a big way. It’s not that one network has a slant and the other doesn’t; it’s that, as Jon Stewart said the other day to Chris Wallace, MSNBC is “double-A ball.” And suspending Olby for this nonsense is a weak, transparent attempt by them to convince people that they’re not.

The big question now: If Olbermann walks, who replaces him? Chris Hayes of the Nation was set to guest host tonight, but that idea was quickly scrapped. As of this writing, I’m not sure who’ll be sitting in, but I can think of an obvious replacement — one who’ll soon be available to work as often as MSNBC needs him. Dude — is it time?

Update: The boss emeritus, once infamously described by Murrow-mann as a “mashed-up bag of meat with lipstick,” is not aboard the “Save Olby” express:

Olby’s defenders say it’s wrong to punish opinion journalists for supporting candidates and causes.

But:

1) MSNBC has always promoted and allowed Olbermann to preen as an award-winning journalist and broadcaster of Edward R. Murrow’s caliber — above the fray and superior to the rest of us in the print/broadcast media who are open and honest about our political and ideological biases.

2) Whatever NBC’s guidelines may be, it was the basic journalistic failure of the Murrow wanna-be to disclose the donation on the night he hosted one of his cash recipients that seals his fate and undermines whatever iota of credibility his station has left.

Good night and good riddance.


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I wonder what Ann Coulter’s next syndicated column is going to be on?

PASS THE PUDDING!!

Khun Joe on November 5, 2010 at 7:39 PM

Guess this means MSNBC just got that opening for the premiere of their newest show, “DIE QUICKLY! with Alan Grayson”!

pilamaye on November 5, 2010 at 7:44 PM

Tonight’s Special Comment:

Bye.

Bruno Strozek on November 5, 2010 at 7:48 PM

I think the best remedy for this is that all “journalists” can contribute to whomever they want…

… but if they are on screen, under their names should be the disclaimer “Democrat Political Hack”.

Seven Percent Solution on November 5, 2010 at 7:48 PM

I vote for Barack Obama as replacement host. It’s a win-win for everybody. MSNBC is pretty much a democrat press release photocopier anyway, so why not just eliminate the middle man and let the Dude speak directly to the people. After all, Wunderkind just admitted he had not adequately communicated his message to the rest of us waterheads. Maybe a daily dose of his wisdom with polished production values are just what we need.

Obama gets the face time that he so desperately wants, but he will be harmless as a flea since no one watches the network.

The people win because it’s that much less time every day that he has to break things from his desk in the White House. If he’s paid $7.5 million(!!!!!) per year, his government salary will be recouped through income taxes he pays from his MSNBC gig.

Just so long as he doesn’t make donations to himself.

ObjectionSustained on November 5, 2010 at 7:52 PM

If it weren’t for Youtube clips of this ninny’s show on Conservative blogs, I wouldn’t even know he existed. Based on his shows ratings, I am sure the same is true for the vast majority of America.

Honestly, I hope this clown keeps his show on MSNBC. He is the perfect face of the Marxist left. MSNBC has lost any pretense of objectivity, the more clowns like Olberdouche on the network the better.

DeathB4Tyranny on November 5, 2010 at 7:54 PM

Rather than Grayson, MSNBC should go all in — a show jointly hosted by Alvin Greene & The Rent’s Too Damn High Party guy.

rbj on November 5, 2010 at 7:56 PM

For the love of God, not another post by a HA pundit defending Olbie!

Blake on November 5, 2010 at 7:59 PM

Guess this means MSNBC just got that opening for the premiere of their newest show, “DIE QUICKLY! with Alan Grayson”!

pilamaye on November 5, 2010 at 7:44 PM

…splendid idea!

…maybe they can tease Megan McCain’s ego (pretty big feather required there) and get her and Russ Feingold as America’s new on-air team…use their last names in the title…has a ring to it….

Puritan1648 on November 5, 2010 at 7:59 PM

It looks like MSDNC just grab some random hobo off the street to fill in for Bathtub boy.

Lance Murdock on November 5, 2010 at 8:03 PM

It looks like MSDNC just grab some random hobo off the street to fill in for Bathtub boy.

Lance Murdock on November 5, 2010 at 8:03 PM

Wow! Ace? I’m surprised they would tilt so quickly.

ObjectionSustained on November 5, 2010 at 8:06 PM

First…….could MSNBC not handle the criticism of Olbermann from Liberal Pope Jon Stewart?

Second……surely this is just an excuse to cut the dead weight of the network (next up Christ Matthews)?

Thirdly…..will he be heading over to Center for American Progress of Media Matters or maybe Soros Open Society?

Finally…..maybe he could move over to DNC Chair since that position might be open shortly.

PappyD61 on November 5, 2010 at 8:06 PM

I’m with the boss emeritus. Stip whining about KO’s suspension. One one hand we complain about how no one thinks they need to follow the rules and this POS clearly violated HIS EMPLOYER’S rules.

Who cares whether he openly carries Obama’s water? Who cares whether GE or FOX donate boatloads of money to politics. His rules required him to inform his employer and get approval. He didn’t do that. End of story.

katiejane on November 5, 2010 at 5:56 PM

I’m kinda surprised it took this long into the thread for someone to show support for MSNBC’s decision the way you did.

This wasn’t unmerited. Olberwomann’s insubordination deserved punishment – as you said, end of story.

Bizarro No. 1 on November 5, 2010 at 8:07 PM

ObjectionSustained on November 5, 2010 at 8:06 PM

It can’t be Ace, they cleaned him up. ;)

Lance Murdock on November 5, 2010 at 8:07 PM

“Insiders” say Olbermann won’t be back

Party @ my house!!! BYOB

Gwillie on November 5, 2010 at 8:10 PM

He won’t stay gone for long, he’s like Nancy Pelosi, neither can take a Hint, even when you Drop a House on them.

Dr Evil on November 5, 2010 at 8:18 PM

Strictly Bizness Folks

$30mil going out and time slot vs O’Reilly not improving one bit, actually dropping. Wait all in the lawyers! we have the excuse to break contract and get rid of him. Not particularly likable anyway, hence no reassignment, not even a non-renewal, just an escort to the door. The timing changes were ready to go out immediately.

Now the discussions can come to a head in the conference room. It will be interesting to see if they change the block to a more competitive format or do an Olberman lite. He probably hated working for a rich corporation anyway.

Bump: One day since Olby got fired.

Rea1ityCheck on November 5, 2010 at 8:25 PM

Guess this means MSNBC just got that opening for the premiere of their newest show, “DIE QUICKLY! with Alan Grayson”!

pilamaye on November 5, 2010 at 7:44 PM

I don’t care who yeh are, dat’s funny right dere

Sugarbuzz on November 5, 2010 at 8:27 PM

Rea1ityCheck on November 5, 2010 at 8:25 PM

That’s probably close to the truth. Comcast is taking over if it’s Olbermann or Griffin. I think Griffin made the choice for Comcast or maybe that was in the pipeline?

Who knows maybe after last Tuesday night, he is being used to make an example of, to get the rest of them to fall in line…Matthews and Maddow have to wonder if Olby isn’t safe….

Dr Evil on November 5, 2010 at 8:30 PM

Libs getting rid of fellow Libs? What’s up with that?
Somethings up….

dec5 on November 5, 2010 at 8:36 PM

It would be funny if Fox News hired him.

ebrawer on November 5, 2010 at 8:42 PM

He said he was suspending the “Worst Person in the World” indefinitely last week, didn’t he? He had no idea how true that was.

Hmmmm. He did suspend it just last week, didn’t he? Ya just gotta wonder. New bosses. Ratings were not so great. Perhaps they did try to “nudge” him out last week, but he didn’t take the bait.

humdinger on November 5, 2010 at 8:44 PM

a show jointly hosted by Alvin Greene & The Rent’s Too Damn High Party guy.
rbj on November 5, 2010 at 7:56 PM

Not a bad idea!
I’d watch that! And that would increase their ratings by 20%!

MSNBC could also do a show called “Hole in the Wall”.
The show could go from town to town find the local drunk at the local“Hole in the Wall”, stick a camera in their face and let them rant away!

Oh wait they already got that with Big Eddie and Tingles!

DSchoen on November 5, 2010 at 8:44 PM

TV Newser: “Insiders” say Olbermann won’t be back

Never wasted my time watching his show, so I can not say he will be missed.

That being said, this could not have happened to a more deserving individual.

rukiddingme on November 5, 2010 at 8:47 PM

It would be funny if Fox News hired him.

ebrawer on November 5, 2010 at 8:42 PM

Yes to sit on Beck’s set to answer the red phone in case it rings :)

Michelle Malkin added a poll to her post you get to choose who replaces Olbermann on MSNBC right now Jimmy McMillan “The Rent’s To Damn High” is leading with 54% of the vote.

Support Olbermann? No freaking way; Poll added

Dr Evil on November 5, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Libs getting rid of fellow Libs? What’s up with that?
Somethings up….

dec5 on November 5, 2010 at 8:36 PM

…not so new or different….

…back in the ’30′s, when similar people wanted to thin the herd, they called it a “purge”…Zinoviev, Bukharin, Tukhachevsky…single bullet behind the neck…Trotsky was an iceaxe, but the employment situation is pretty clear-cut….

…but, that was then, when the Left was more honest in method and message….

Puritan1648 on November 5, 2010 at 8:47 PM

Sayonara, FatAss. DLTDHYITFA on the way out.

Philly on November 5, 2010 at 8:53 PM

He wants to act like a journalist, then he should be punished by one – GTFO you bum.

I had to skim through what Allah wrote, it was all just a half hearted defense of Olby, trying to look balanced and trying get in the heads of MSNBC execs and what this means to Fox.

Look, the guy embarassed himself and the network on election night, he just gave them an easy out. I am thinking that the execs are doing nothing more than trying to save their own jobs now that Comcast is in, Immelt is out, and a shakeup is to be expected. If Comcast were smart though, they would get rid of the execs FIRST and start from scratch. Every single show should be pulled except for Morning Joe and Lester Holt should be brought back to do some hard news. If they keep any of their liberal personalities, I suppose Maddow would be the one, but that’s it.

Daemonocracy on November 5, 2010 at 9:03 PM

To be honest, I’m sorry to see him go. Everytime he opened his mouth he undermined the credibility of the left.

I don’t believe in silencing those I disagree with. Instead let them talk, and then show them where they are wrong.

I also disagree with censoring a newsman’s (he gets the benefit of the doubt, just like you, dear) freedom to contribute to a political campaign. Seeing who contributes to whom can be very instructional, and let’s face it, it is his right.

I do expect that the move will be good for MSNBC. Recently Olby had a guest host on, who got higher ratings than Olby. But will the new host be as entertainingly frothing? Only time will tell.

Johnny 100 Pesos on November 5, 2010 at 9:06 PM

He cant have it both ways – earlier this week Blabberman was whining to Jon Stewart about the vid she showed Saturday that had clips of him and clips of Hannity and Beck

Blabberman had his feelings hurt for being grouped with these non journalists

iam7545 on November 5, 2010 at 9:07 PM

Let’s get one thing straight, Olbermann couldn’t wipe Murrow’s @ss. There’s no measurement between the two.

Rovin on November 5, 2010 at 9:18 PM

Johnny 100 Pesos on November 5, 2010 at 9:06 PM

I’d like to see the return of actual journalism as it is quite dead these days. Fox has some of the most trusted hard news journalists, no matter what the left says and ABC at least has or had Jake Tapper. Once NBC lost Tim Russert, may he rest in peace, they were left with nobody.

I don’t even know who CNN has as they are so dull, but their subtle liberal bias isn’t much better. A newsroom with both conservative and liberal leaning journalists would do wonders for the reporting, especially if they are all professionals and check their agendas as the door. Ideological diversity keeps people honest and if Comcast were smart, they should build something like this.

Daemonocracy on November 5, 2010 at 9:20 PM

Sounds like NBC was looking for an excuse to axe the blowhard and this whole brouhaha over his contributions to Dem candidates was too good an opportunity to pass up.

Hellrider on November 5, 2010 at 9:46 PM

Newflash: Olbermann fired for being biased. In other news, water was fined for being wet.

Paul-Cincy on November 5, 2010 at 9:56 PM

Alvin Greene garnered about as many votes (360k) Tuesday as Olbie has viewers. Let him be the new host…(AG even has action figures)

Gohawgs on November 5, 2010 at 10:22 PM

Big fun going on Huff Po. They have a petition – 100K+ signatures to save Keith. Lots of operatic lefty posts. Awesome.

johnboy on November 5, 2010 at 11:00 PM

Quick, Obama. Hire him as WH Press Secretary!

tims472 on November 5, 2010 at 11:30 PM

Wait; Olbermann is a Democrat lefty? Who knew!

Midas on November 5, 2010 at 11:50 PM

I agree with Michelle’s good riddance but…

I don’t want the left to be silenced. I want Olbermann to talk and talk and talk and talk…

He was fired because he is an obvious liability to the socialist agenda. period.

It’s a shame to lose such a powerful tool for our side.

Maybe they will hire Grayson.

petunia on November 6, 2010 at 12:10 AM

I don’t even know who CNN has as they are so dull, but their subtle liberal bias isn’t much better. A newsroom with both conservative and liberal leaning journalists would do wonders for the reporting, especially if they are all professionals and check their agendas as the door. Ideological diversity keeps people honest and if Comcast were smart, they should build something like this.

Daemonocracy on November 5, 2010 at 9:20 PM

I don’t find CNN subtle in the least.

petunia on November 6, 2010 at 12:11 AM

Did his twin brother, Rachel Maddow, get fired also?

redwhiteblue on November 6, 2010 at 12:31 AM

Countdown with Alan Grayson.

Ronnie on November 6, 2010 at 2:56 AM

How about Karl Rove as a replacement? He seems to be as eager and adept at attacking The Tea Party and Conservatives as Keith.

DeathB4Tyranny on November 6, 2010 at 3:08 AM

It will be interesting to see what NBC does next.

dogsoldier on November 6, 2010 at 9:28 AM

I agree that the incident is really all about Fox and, my guess, the thumping from critics and ratings on election night. I think the left team truly embarassed management.

When politicians make fun of you on air and aren’t remotely interested in even pretending you’re legitimate journalists, it’s over.

AnninCA on November 6, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Wow!
Olberdouche, Grayson, Feingold, Sanchez in one year.
Would’a thunk it?

docjohn52 on November 5, 2010 at 6:00 PM

Yes, our God is an AWESOME God!

44Magnum on November 6, 2010 at 10:24 AM

It’s all George Bush’s fault he was fired!

BruceB on November 6, 2010 at 10:49 AM

Big fun going on Huff Po. They have a petition – 100K+ signatures to save Keith. Lots of operatic lefty posts. Awesome.
Oh Yeah ?? That is indeed awesome… modern day avatar of murrow has been fired ! lets save this sorry jacka** !!!

MSNBC should replace OlberDouche with atleast Grayson… otherwise there would be no fun for us at all :=(

Good Night and Good riddance indeed !

nagee76 on November 6, 2010 at 11:06 AM

It sounds like the ethics violation was just an excuse to dump the toad.

jhffmn on November 6, 2010 at 11:55 AM

I think Matthews, Maddow and Schultz should all stand in unison with Keefy-ee boy and walk off in protest. And……. STAY GONE!!!

joedoe on November 7, 2010 at 8:44 AM

Olbermann’s “indefinite” suspension lasted only a couple of days. So much for NBC standards. I have a sneaky suspicion that this was planned from the get go as a publicity stunt. People should have picked up on it but Olbermann was fairly quiet when he was “suspended” rather than whine and moan as he had done in the past when he actually departed from MSNBC and ESPN.

Carl on November 8, 2010 at 7:55 AM

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