Reason TV’s valedictory salute to Olby

posted at 8:15 am on November 6, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

First, let’s start on a lighter note with Reason TV, which put together a highlight reel of why no one should really miss Keith Olbermann, even in his more mundane moments.  On any other news network, a couple of these would have been enough to get a supposed “news anchor” fired, or at least provided a little counseling.  This is the longest Peter Finch imitation ever, as this fond salute demonstrates:

Yesterday a coalition of conservative voices, some of whom belong to the Worst Person in the World fraternity, began calling for Olbermann’s reinstatement.  Hugh Hewitt, a friend and mentor, called this the “Free Keith” effort, tongue somewhat in cheek.  Bill Kristol took it more seriously at Weekly Standard, as did National Review’s Dan Foster, Kathryn Jean Lopez, Jonah Goldberg, and Kevin Williamson.   Andy McCarthy even framed it as a free-speech issue, which I certainly hope was tongue in cheek.  Olbermann does not have a First Amendment right to demand publication by MSNBC or anyone else, and MSNBC is under no obligation to do so under the First Amendment — which bars government from silencing its citizens, not force cable news networks to hire (or re-hire) someone whom they do not wish to put on air.

Since I’ve been both a Best and Worst Person in the World in Olbermann’s universe, I have full moral authority to say that the entire exercise is ridiculous.  First, NBC is probably not going to fire Olbermann; their executives said as much to the New York Times yesterday.  They’re trying to make an absurd point that they treat MSNBC with the same journalistic standards as NBC’s traditional news organization, a suggestion that should have everyone in NBC News walking out in a wildcat strike.  As the video above shows, the product makes that argument an obvious and silly lie.  Olbermann will get a couple of days off and will return soon; he has nowhere else to go, and NBC doesn’t have many more options, either.

But even if Olbermann was fired for stupid reasons (and this is definitely a stupid reason) … so what?  As long as MSNBC operates within the contract, it’s their decision to have whomever they want in that slot.  Why would anyone rush to defend someone who refers to conservative women as a “big bag of mashed-up meat with lipstick” while supposedly filling the role of a news anchor?  Does a man with a long track record of launching hyperbolic insults and accusations deserve to have people rushing to defend his violation of what appears to be a long-standing rule (even a stupid one), especially when the same person spent prime-time air just a few weeks ago blasting his competition for doing essentially the same thing?

If NBC does fire him, they have plenty of good reasons to do so, not the least of which was the dreadful, histrionic, and completely unprofessional meltdown on Election Night from their entire prime-time lineup.  They shouldn’t stop with Olbermann; in fact, they should start with Phil Griffin and start working downward.


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Comment pages: 1 2

instugator on November 6, 2010 at 9:39 AM
“Money = speech and one ought to be able to participate anonymously if they desire.”

Here’s the rub on your rub

General Electric got a $140 billion bailout from Obama/Dems.

General Electric owns NBC, therefor NBC got a $140 billion bailout from Obama/Dems.

NBC owns MSNBC, therefor MSNBC got a $140 billion bailout from Obama/Dems.

As you correctly stated “Money = speech”

$140 billion of taxpayers money buy’s a lot of “speech” on NBC/MSNBC.

That $140 billion of taxpayers money comes from ALL Americans regardless of their political associations.

As laughable as it sounds NBC has a vested reason not to be seen as “one sided” politically. Considering the outcome of the election GE/NBC/MSNBC doesn’t want to be called before Congress to explain why $140 billion of taxpayers money is being used as a slush fund for the Democrats.

“I oppose what NBC did on basic principles alone.”

What “principle” is that? NBC trying to protect itself from stupid employees?

DSchoen on November 6, 2010 at 8:18 PM

especially when the same person spent prime-time air just a few weeks ago blasting his competition for doing essentially the same thing?

Yes. Let the Emperor model his new clothes in peace.

unclesmrgol on November 6, 2010 at 8:39 PM

Keith signed a contract in which he knew full well that he could not make political donations. He violated that contract, therefore, it is within their right and not stupid for them to hold him to it by firing him.

Jvette on November 6, 2010 at 9:14 PM

For just one minute can we be honest. First, it’s NBC. It’s not like they’re going to replace him with a more moderate voice. Chances are, the lunatic they give the show to will be even more radically lunatic left than Olberman. Second, it’s not like the rest of the NBC group wasn’t giving money, probably through various shadows, and almost certainly to Liberal Democrats.

Bring him back. He is absolutely the least effective person we could put in that show. No reasonable person no matter how apolitical they may be, thinks that Olberman is anything approaching an honest reporter. His Worst Person in the World segment is a Conservative badge of honor. I’m disappointed that I will lose my chance at this mark of having made it forever this way.

Finally, his ratings. Do you realize that his largest audience is merely the average nightly viewership of the Shake Weight informercial?

Now, lets bring back Olby, and go back to laughing at his perpetual rage at all things reasonable.

Snake307 on November 6, 2010 at 9:27 PM

Right at the beginning of the November Neilsen ratings period, olbermun is a sitting ratings slump I don’t think the few places that haven’t already rejected him will be handing him any more money. I’d bet one of the beginning wiser Comcast decisions, I’d be worried if I were one of the other air america revamps in the rating toilet. But Stupid olbermun broke the cardinal rule with his abrasive rants against the golden goose, don’t piss off the boss or you get fired.

Fineman can find a web page for him at the huffpost, no new page views but the drones will stay longer.

Rea1ityCheck on November 6, 2010 at 9:46 PM

I don’t miss him.

Boxy_Brown on November 6, 2010 at 9:48 PM

One more reason, if another was needed, for not bothering to defend Olbermann: his Special Comment on George W. Bush from 9/11/06.

Who has left this hole in the ground? We have not forgotten, Mr. President. You have. May this country forgive you.

Paul_in_NJ on November 6, 2010 at 10:12 PM


.
I hate to gloat…

ronsfi on November 7, 2010 at 5:44 AM

Tell me again why GE should reinstate K.O.? Because of his ratings?

No, NBC didn’t have the balls to correctly state the reason for Keith’s dismissal. His show sucked. Big Time.

Now, if NBC wants a post-mortem on exactly why Keith’s show sucked, I’m available . . .

BigAlSouth on November 7, 2010 at 7:15 AM

Oh, the hypocrisy. KO spent pretty much all of his on-air time shilling for the Democrats, and that didn’t seem to bother either his employers or his teeny, little audience. When he slips a few of (his own) dollars to a couple of democratic candidates, he gets the sack! Were they afraid that he’d compromised his impartiality? Seriously?

morganfrost on November 7, 2010 at 7:50 AM

Why was Olberman “suspended” rather than “fired”?

I suspect that when the dust settles and the usual amnesia sets in he’ll be back on the air.

I really don’t care; I don’t have a TV.

EL on November 7, 2010 at 8:08 AM

FART!

MrX on November 7, 2010 at 9:53 AM

Andy McCarthy even framed it as a free-speech issue, which I certainly hope was tongue in cheek. Olbermann does not have a First Amendment right to demand publication by MSNBC or anyone else, and MSNBC is under no obligation to do so under the First Amendment — which bars government from silencing its citizens, not force cable news networks to hire (or re-hire) someone whom they do not wish to put on air.

Ed, I think it is you who are mistaken. Note McCarthy, a well-respected lawyer, did not mention the 1st amendment. This is a mistake I see too often in public life — the equation of free speech with the 1st amendment. As you rightly note, all the 1st amendment is about is our protection from government interference with free speech…but that isn’t where our interest in free speech (and its PROMOTION) ends! We respect free speech because it is an important American value, essential to democracy, and necessary in a diverse and large society…NOT because it is protected by the 1st amendment. Hence free speech issues are not limited to 1st amendment issues.

So Andy is right to criticize MSNBC for dealing a blow to free speech in firing the execrable Olberman because he put his money where his mouth is and supported a few lib candidates. But even if you disagree with McCarthy and think that they were right to fire Olberman, I would hope that you would note that McCarthy did not turn this into a 1st amendment issue (contra the facts), rather, you conflated his invocation of free speech (perfectly appropriate) with an invocation of the 1st amendment (inapplicable in this case). D.GOOCH

DGOOCH on November 7, 2010 at 12:53 PM

Hey FoxNews, offer him a job! If he turns you down, then you have the high ground on trying to be fair and balanced.
If he accepts, that would be “Must See TV”. Maybe his viewers will tune in and become racist haters like the rest of us! It’s a win/win.

Fartnokker on November 7, 2010 at 2:46 PM

General Electric owns NBC …

NBC owns MSNBC …

DSchoen on November 6, 2010 at 8:18 PM

This is also a reason that people who object to the Supreme Court ruling that corporations and unions could donate to political causes – have no idea what they’re talking about.

GE owned MSNBC and used them for liberal political propaganda well before the Supreme Court ruling.

What we really need is an educated and moral citizenry that doesn’t get duped by the cheeky catch phrases of charlatans like “Yes we can!”

scotash on November 7, 2010 at 3:13 PM

“I will Follow Him (Obama)” Video Parody

A Humorous Musical Look At The Media’s Love Affair With Obama!!

Nearly Nobody on November 7, 2010 at 6:03 PM

Olby is back on Tuesday. Ah the joy of once again hoping that one day, I’ll be the Worlds Worst. I can only hope.

Snake307 on November 7, 2010 at 11:50 PM

Mountain out of a mole hill, much ado about nothing.

Olbermann’s back in.

Now, think what global events transpired without any coverage at HotAir while editors obsessed over Olby. Some kids are just too easily distracted.

maverick muse on November 8, 2010 at 7:16 AM

Apparently “indefinitely” means “a couple of days” for the brass at MSNBC. As silent as Olbermann was after the “indefinite suspension” I suspect he and the MSNBC brass agreed he would lay low for a couple of days and then make his “triumphant” return. Olbermann knows he can get away with almost anything at MSNBC and this confirms it. I expect Olbermann will be more offensive as ever.

Carl on November 8, 2010 at 7:52 AM

Why would anyone rush to defend someone who refers to conservative women as a “big bag of mashed-up meat with lipstick” while supposedly filling the role of a news anchor?

You can’t handle the truth!

Son, we live in a world that has political argument. And those political arguments have to be made by men with BIG OBSCENE MOUTHS. Who’s gonna do it? You? You, Captain Ed? Keith Olbermann has a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Conservative Women and you curse MSNBC. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Keith’s attacks on Conservative Women , while tragic, probably actually was patially responsible for the Republican Tsunami. And his existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, WON US SEATS…You don’t want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want Keith on MSNBC. You need him on MSNBC.

Keith uses words like “meatbag”, “lunatic”, “facist woman hater”…he uses these words as the backbone to a life spent in constant therapy. You use ‘em as a punchline. Keith has neither the time nor the inclination to explain himself to a man who writes on a piink IPad about the manic lunatic “freak outs” that Keith Olbermann provides, then questions the manner in which in which he provides those “freak outs” ! Keith would rather you just said “thank you” and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up your IPad and tune into MSNBC for the next dose of “lunatic Keith Olbermann”. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you’re entitled to!

HondaV65 on November 8, 2010 at 9:56 AM

I am glad Ogerman is gone. He bloviated all over the air that his vision was the only one that had any validity. Therefore, I am glad he is gone so we can look for someone that is truly educatated and understands how the political process really works.

MSGTAS on November 9, 2010 at 8:26 AM

The Onion’s take on Olby’s reinstatement:

A mere four days after Keith Olbermann’s “indefinite” suspension from MSNBC for contributing to Democratic campaigns, the network has already announced his return, saying that keeping Olbermann off the air through and including tonight’s broadcast is “an appropriate punishment” for violating NBC News policy. Yeah, and it’s also kind of hypocritical, considering fellow MSNBC host Joe Scarborough did the same thing—and there’s some question of whether Olbermann, Scarborough, or any employee of MSNBC even answers to those NBC News policies in the first place. Plus the fact that no one out here cares whether these guys actively, financially support the political movements they spend their careers arguing for ideologically, which just seems natural. Anyway, whatever. Olbermann got a four-day weekend, which makes us sort of jealous. We’re accused of liberal bias all the time, and yet every Monday morning, here we are.

Paul_in_NJ on November 9, 2010 at 8:35 AM

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