Was Olbermann a “victim of his own success”?

posted at 9:45 am on January 22, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Many years ago, one of my closest friends told me that the small company for which he worked at the time couldn’t afford to fire him for taking a weekend off because he was “indispensable.”  The following Monday he learned a hard lesson when he was told he was fired, although the company itself learned its own hard lesson when they tried to rehire him a few days later (thinking he’d learned his lesson) and discovered he’d found a better-paying job with one of the industry leaders the very next day.  No one is indispensable to any organization unless they own it.  Salon’s Steve Kornacki believes that Keith Olbermann may have made himself a lot less dispensable through his success at MSNBC:

He became an all-purpose critic of the administration and its cheerleaders, and then of the Republican Party and the modern brand of conservatism it has embraced. For years, liberals had watched the growth of Fox News with dismay and alarm. With “Countdown,” they finally had their own prime-time cable news show to flock to. Olbermann embraced the rivalry, skewing Fox and its personalities — particularly Bill O’Reilly — with biting humor and sarcasm, daring them to respond and acknowledge him. His ratings climbed — not to Fox levels, to be sure, but to levels that had been unheard of at MSNBC.

MSNBC, for its part, embraced the identity Olbermann was offering them. By 2008, his frequent guest, Rachel Maddow, was given her own show at 9 p.m. And liberal radio host Ed Schultz was given his own shortly after that. Lawrence O’Donnell, another left-of-center voice, was added just a few months ago. Eventually, the network adopted a new motto — “Lean forward” — that’s about as subtle as Fox’s “fair and balanced” pledge. MSNBC’s prime-time lineup is now awash in progressive politics. The most conservative voice after 5 p.m. belongs to Chris Matthews, a former aide to Tip O’Neill who nearly ran for Senate in Pennsylvania as a Democrat last year. After casting about for years, MSNBC at last knows exactly who it is — and isn’t — trying to reach.

Of course, now that he’s surrounded by similar voices, Olbermann isn’t nearly as essential to MSNBC’s brand, which surely has something to do with his abrupt departure on Friday night. Exactly what led to his exit remains unclear, but it’s hardly a secret that he’s had several intense clashes with his bosses recently, one of which led to a brief suspension in November. Now that they’ve built a loyal prime-time audience of left-leaning viewers, NBC’s executives may simply feel that they can afford to be rid of Olbermann and all of the headaches he brings with him. It used to be that he was the only reason liberals turned on their channel at night. Now he’s one of many reasons — a victim of his own success, in other words.

I’m not so sure that this applies.  Other than Maddow, whom Olbermann most certainly discovered and nurtured into a parallel show, the other people in the lineup had careers in broadcasting before Olbermann.  Larry O’Donnell, who will replace Olby in the 8 pm ET slot, has been around NBC for years as a talking head, having also worked on Capitol Hill and as a writer and producer on NBC’s West Wing, for which he won an Emmy.  Ed Schultz came out of the sparse liberal talk-radio circuit (as was Maddow, who survived the Air America train wreck).

Olbermann may have set the tone for MSNBC’s prime time, but that didn’t come because he took over the hour of programming, commando-style, and refused to leave the set until MSNBC decided to get partisan.  MSNBC made that decision themselves when they hired and then rehired Olbermann.  The actual strategy decision to go full-tilt to the left rather than present some notion of balance was made years ago, which Kornacki again credits to Olbermann without much evidence.  Let’s not forget that MSNBC tried other hosts from the left-of-center for several years before Maddow and Schultz got their niche, like Jesse Ventura in 2003 and Donny Deutsch (who still appears as a talking head and guest host) a couple of years after that.  The decision to go fully leftward was made well before 2008; it’s just that their talent search routinely flopped.

The game-changing moment came last March, when O’Donnell subbed for Olbermann and the ratings went up.  Within three months, O’Donnell had his own prime-time show, and MSNBC had its parachute from Olbermann’s drama.  The writing was on the wall by the time Olbermann got a two-day suspension for political donations to show guests.  Clearly, MSNBC no longer needed its expensive prime-time star, and the outcome only surprises because of the abrupt nature of his public departure.

Does Olbermann still need MSNBC?  Anderson Cooper’s coverage on CNN included former MSNBC host David Shuster, who insisted that a talent like Olbermann’s would draw plenty of interest, to which Cooper politely agreed.  His other guests, including Howard Kurtz, Roland Martin, and Erick Erickson, didn’t offer the same assurance to fans of Olbermann.  It would be difficult to see where Olbermann’s schtick would work on national broadcast or cable television other than MSNBC.  CNN wants to pursue an ostensibly balanced, middle-of-the-road approach to news and opinion, and Fox obviously positions itself to the right of both CNN and MSNBC.  On top of that, no one will be eager to take on the legendary personality conflicts that allegedly took place behind the scenes just to get someone that angry and partisan on their airwaves, at least not in the news business. In the end, Olbermann needed MSNBC a lot more than MSNBC needed Olbermann.

I’d expect Olbermann to return in another medium.  A return to sports might be in the offing, although with bridges burned at both ESPN and NBC and his years-long animus towards Fox, there aren’t many options there either.  He’d make a good fit at Huffington Post if their rumored web channel gets off the ground, although I’m not sure they could afford him.  Olbermann himself might create his own web and/or cable channel and go the Al Gore route; he made enough money at MSNBC to have some capital put aside, and he’d find backers easily enough.  He has plenty of time to decide his next move, and has too much support among the Left to simply fade into oblivion. When he does return, we’ll all have new grist for our mills, and it should be entertaining indeed.

Addendum: I have to admit to being very amused to have been named by Olbermann as the Best Person in the World and then the Worst Person in the World within a period of ten weeks.  Who knew eternity would last 17 months?

Update: A few commenters think that President Obama’s call for civility precipitated Olbermann’s departure, but that’s pretty obviously not the case.  If so, MSNBC would have also ended the shows of O’Donnell and Schultz, who regularly rant on air in pretty uncivil terms.  It looks as though MSNBC and Olbermann got tired enough of each other to end the relationship, and I don’t think that had a lot to do with Comcast either, except that the departure of Jeff Zucker apparently left Olbermann with no allies in MSNBC management.

Be sure to read Noel Sheppard’s take on this at Newsbusters.  Also, read all of Kornacki’s thoughts; I don’t agree with his conclusions, but it’s definitely worth reading.


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I don’t care what caused his exit, just glad to see him gone.

OmahaConservative on January 22, 2011 at 9:48 AM

He’s just another mediocre media personality who caught the wind after Bill O. introduced that style.

But he lacked the judgment and business sense of how to use that.

And now, he’s burned out his employer. He’s more negative than positive.

I think that happens to all “super-novas” unless they are truly, truly bright.

AnninCA on January 22, 2011 at 9:51 AM

The game-changing moment came last March, when O’Donnell subbed for Olbermann and the ratings went up.

True, and a blissfully motionless Test-pattern would have scored higher still.

Geochelone on January 22, 2011 at 9:52 AM

I don’t care what caused his exit, just glad to see him gone.

OmahaConservative on January 22, 2011 at 9:48 AM

He’ll never be gone. He’s got an entire network of “reality TV,” and it won’t be the same, ever, as his own show.

But Bill Maher sure adjusted.

AnninCA on January 22, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Regardless of his political leanings – he just seems like such a mean, awful, arrogant person.

I can’t imagine too many people wanting to work with that.

gophergirl on January 22, 2011 at 9:53 AM

“Good riddance to bad rubbish.”

Fuquay Steve on January 22, 2011 at 9:53 AM

When this Shuster guy was asked by Anderson Cooper last night if KO was liked at MSNBC he only mentioned “make up artist” liked him. Case closed.

50sGuy on January 22, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Was Olbermann a “victim of his own success”?
============================================

Why yes,yes he was………..of,

Hate
Demonization

and,a legend in his own mind!!

canopfor on January 22, 2011 at 9:53 AM

why can’t people just accept the obvious reason and be done with it

the guy was a huge douche to work with and people finally got tired of his sh^t

Sugarbuzz on January 22, 2011 at 9:53 AM

I understand he’ll be joining the staff at Cornell – his alma mater – as an adjunct professor of animal husbandry. :)

Hat tip to Ann Colter for her revelation about this moron’s university degree!

honsy on January 22, 2011 at 9:54 AM

I don’t care either way as I never wasted time with MSNBC. It will be interesting to see where he turns up.

darwin-t on January 22, 2011 at 9:54 AM

I’m betting there’s a harassment issue by an employee that finally came to a boil. MSNBC faced a choice of an embarrassing multi-million dollar lawsuit (that would take Keith down as well) or firing him.

rbj on January 22, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Ed, you didn’t mention once President Obama’s call for civility as a reason.

Paul-Cincy on January 22, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Keith Olberman would really have to turn a big corner. Even the liberals on HuffPo were talking about his “anger.”

His reputation as a TV shock jock is pretty much cemented right now. That’s why Comcast knew it was OK to strike.

I can’t picture him having the flexibility to change. It would be like watching Michelle Malkom shift gears.

Sorry, but that’s how I see her, too. The only one I’ve seen really work that cynical deal well is Ann Coulter, but her playpen isn’t that big. Big enough for her, obviously. But she’s truly brilliant.

The others? Not so much. They are sort of pretend cynics.

AnninCA on January 22, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Useful idiot no longer useful.

Bruno Strozek on January 22, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Ed, you didn’t mention once President Obama’s call for civility as a reason.

Paul-Cincy on January 22, 2011 at 9:55 AM

I think that’s precisely the reason for the timing. The problem msn has?

Ed Shultz is equally awful in that regard.

AnninCA on January 22, 2011 at 9:56 AM

True, and a blissfully motionless Test-pattern would have scored higher still.

Geochelone on January 22, 2011 at 9:52 AM

Geochelone:Blissfully Motionless,oh boy,that is the Liberal
Pundit description,haha,ahem!:)

canopfor on January 22, 2011 at 9:57 AM

The saddest thing to watch is a buffoon that doesn’t know he’s a buffoon. That was Olby.

RBMN on January 22, 2011 at 9:57 AM

MSN will not get credit for trying to become more civil. Ed is awful, just as awful as Keith.

And they are promoting him.

AnninCA on January 22, 2011 at 9:57 AM

The saddest thing to watch is a buffoon that doesn’t know he’s a buffoon. That was Olby.

RBMN on January 22, 2011 at 9:57 AM

He did have a bizarre style.

AnninCA on January 22, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Useful idiot no longer useful.

Bruno Strozek on January 22, 2011 at 9:56 AM

LOL!!! How true!

Roy Rogers on January 22, 2011 at 9:59 AM

Olbie has all the qualifications for the new WH spokesperson.

erp on January 22, 2011 at 10:00 AM

I can’t picture him having the flexibility to change. It would be like watching Michelle Malkom shift gears.

Sorry, but that’s how I see her, too.

AnninCA on January 22, 2011 at 9:55 AM

AnninCA:

Michelle Malkin on par with Keith Olbermann,is that
your viewpoint,or how you see it!!

canopfor on January 22, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Even in as liberal a hothouse as NBC-Universal and in a corporation with as cozy a connection to the Democrats as Jeff Imhelt’s General Electric, you can only be so much of an a-hole before you tick even your ideological soul mates off. Olberman’s megalomania was already on display during his ESPN tenure, while his childish refusal to follow his bosses’ orders was shown by his reaction to having to cover the Monica Lewinsky scandal (ironically which started 13 years ago today) during his first stint on MSNBC.

The suits at MSNBC were Olby’s enablers in his second turn with the network, by allowing him to run a show which featured opinion over actual reporting but where nobody disagreed with the host in any meaningful fashion. When you have six years of a show where Keith spouts his inane analysis and the guests basically treat him like Billy Mumy in that old episode of “The Twilight Zone” where anyone who disagrees gets sent to the cornfield, what the hell did MSNBC expect would happen?

Of course Olbermann was going to spin out of control again, because he had come to believe he was indespensible because of the way the suits had let him get away with running a political show for spoiled, immediate gratification liberal children for over half a decade.

jon1979 on January 22, 2011 at 10:01 AM

I think that the opinion shows may need to all rethink.

They should be doing deeper research. There is a huge hole right now. We get the news. We definitely hear the political “take” from both sides on the news.

But what we’re missing these days is real research.

I think that real journalism has an opportunity here. Maybe blogs can think about expanding into this?

Blogs and major shows are doing the same right now. It’s all just superficial stuff.

There’s a niche waiting to be filled!

AnninCA on January 22, 2011 at 10:01 AM

You can try to wade through crap until it gets over your head. In that sense Olbermann was a victim of his success.

William Amos on January 22, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Look up ugly white American male, and you will see a photo of this moron with a title reading “no explanation needed.”

To think that ESPN fired Limbaugh for giving his honest analysis of a black quarterback, but allowed this vile man to state his rage against an entire country. Was this behavior sustainable? I don’t think any of us can tolerate such behavior long term. I had to back away from reading Ann Coulter for the same reason, and Ann backs up her rage with honest facts.

Keemo on January 22, 2011 at 10:01 AM

Ed:

I’d expect Olbermann to return in another medium.

The Cartoon Network?

Jeff on January 22, 2011 at 10:02 AM

Michelle Malkin on par with Keith Olbermann,is that
your viewpoint,or how you see it!!

canopfor on January 22, 2011 at 10:00 AM

She isn’t as successful. But yes, the style is the same. The politics are opposite.

But she’s all about biting remarks.

AnninCA on January 22, 2011 at 10:03 AM

no one will be eager to take on the legendary personality conflicts that allegedly took place behind the scenes

You’re a nice guy, Ed!

itsnotaboutme on January 22, 2011 at 10:03 AM

Now I’ll NEVER be Worst Person In The World. Lifelong dream crushed.

JamesLee on January 22, 2011 at 10:04 AM

I would like to see Ann Coulter start her own show like Jon Stewart.

She’s honestly very, very funny and capable.

AnninCA on January 22, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Do any of the other “stars” on their station make anywhere close to the salary that Olby made? If not, it was another good reason to can him.

I’ve read reports that as soon as ComCast took over, Olby would be gone because he is a pain in the a** and that is exactly what happened.

Blake on January 22, 2011 at 10:04 AM

But yes, the style is the same.

Michelle is 180º different in that she tells the truth.

Mojave Mark on January 22, 2011 at 10:05 AM

i dislike Ed Schultz equally.

kelley in virginia on January 22, 2011 at 10:05 AM

I think a lot of what you saw the night and day after the mid-term elections spoke volumes.

Night of: Olbermann, Tingles, Maddow, Crazy Larry and Special Ed: snarky and insulting Conservative guests like Michelle Bachmann.

Day after: Joe Scarborough and Tom Brokaw and David Gregory on MSNBC, discussing the election and all noticeably absent from MSNBC the night before.

I bet every loon’s head is on the chopping block there, courtesy people like Scarborough, Brokaw and Gregory who probably have told management your station can be serious, or it can be comical.

State of the Union Tuesday – lets see who shows up MSNBC Prime Time now that the head vampire is gone.

Marcus on January 22, 2011 at 10:05 AM

Malkin…She isn’t as successful.

She’s employed, he’s not.

But yes, the style is the same.

AnninCA on January 22, 2011 at 10:03 AM

She’s truthful, he’s not.

itsnotaboutme on January 22, 2011 at 10:06 AM

This obsession with Olberman, and MSNBC baffles me as I no longer have a working television receiver.

Skandia Recluse on January 22, 2011 at 10:06 AM

Ed Shultz is equally awful in that regard.

AnninCA on January 22, 2011 at 9:56 AM

A few years ago I heard of this liberal talk show host in North Dakota (Ed Schultz) who was quite popular, and, from what I heard, he was civil. And I thought, OK, finally, we could have a nationally heard liberal radio talk show host who was civil — who didn’t act like a jerk. And then I thought, seriously, maybe I’m prejudiced, maybe I’m some kind of bigot, but I just don’t believe a nationwide liberal host COULD be civil. I just didn’t believe it was possible. Liberal and civil at once. And I really have never listened to Ed Schultz. But apparently my suspicion was true. He’s NOT a civil person.

This brings me to Obama’s admonition towards ALL of us, left and right, to be civil. I must live on a different planet from Obama. My experience is the incivility and hate is predominantly on the left side, not the right. And yet Obama made no mention of that. Call me clueless.

Paul-Cincy on January 22, 2011 at 10:07 AM

i dislike Ed Schultz equally.

kelley in virginia on January 22, 2011 at 10:05 AM

I think I do too. My only exposure to either one has been here at HA.

OmahaConservative on January 22, 2011 at 10:07 AM

I’d expect Olbermann to return in another medium.

So Ed, when are you going to ask Malkin to put Olberman in the Green Room?

percysunshine on January 22, 2011 at 10:07 AM

Hey guys lets not forget that their are victims involved this decision. Namely, Johnny Dollar over at Olby Watch. What the hell is going to do now!!!!!!!!! I loved that website!

Lance Murdock on January 22, 2011 at 10:08 AM

News Flash:

***ATTENTION EVERYONE***

AnnInTheCan thinks Keith Olbermann is just like Michelle Malkin.

Ann honey, still think Ed Morrissey is a race baiter? Just wondering.

Geochelone on January 22, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Comcast is a business, they’re there to make money. Dumping the second lowest rated show on the second lowest rated cable news network is a good business decision, nothing more. If he was rated near the top in his time slot, his show would still be on the air.

Tommy_G on January 22, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Victim Victimization Victimism!!(snark).

canopfor on January 22, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Olby Watch ….never hitch your wagon to a shooting star.

percysunshine on January 22, 2011 at 10:11 AM

News Flash:

***ATTENTION EVERYONE***

AnnInTheCan thinks Keith Olbermann is just like Michelle Malkin.

Ann honey, still think Ed Morrissey is a race baiter? Just wondering.

Geochelone on January 22, 2011 at 10:09 AM

Geochelone:D*mmitt….I soooooooooo wanted to be wrong,
ugh,thanks alot Geo,I now need therapy,to get
over this!!!(sarc):)

canopfor on January 22, 2011 at 10:12 AM

Gust what Keith? “Mission Accomplished!” Now do the world a favor and stop breathing.

try again later on January 22, 2011 at 10:12 AM

From the article:

Olbermann embraced the rivalry, skewing Fox and its personalities — particularly Bill O’Reilly — with biting humor and sarcasm

Of course, when the left does it, it’s with biting sarcasm and humor. I saw a few Olby shows. There was no humor there. Just asshattery.

john1schn on January 22, 2011 at 10:14 AM

i dislike Ed Schultz equally.

kelley in virginia on January 22, 2011 at 10:05 AM
=========================
I think I do too. My only exposure to either one has been here at HA.

OmahaConservative on January 22, 2011 at 10:07 AM

OmahaConservative:Where is your COMPASSION!!!(sarc):)

canopfor on January 22, 2011 at 10:14 AM

Like a bad rash, Olby will emerge somewhere else soon. He’s way too narcissistic to be gone for very long.

Philly on January 22, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Michelle Malkin is a woman of color and a Conservative. This formula has brought her similar attacks from the left as we see directed at Palin and Bachmann. ON top of that, Michelle Malkin is very smart and articulate with a keen sense for the importance to back up her work with mega quantities of facts and soundbites. Comparing the work of Malkin to that of Olbermann is pathetic and unwarranted.

Keemo on January 22, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Sorry, but that’s how I see her, too. The only one I’ve seen really work that cynical deal well is Ann Coulter, but her playpen isn’t that big. Big enough for her, obviously. But she’s truly brilliant.

The others? Not so much. They are sort of pretend cynics.

AnninCA on January 22, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Coulter touts her Catholicism and then hangs out with Maher, talk about pretenders.

darwin-t on January 22, 2011 at 10:15 AM

Damn you BOOOOOOOSH!!

angryed on January 22, 2011 at 10:17 AM

She isn’t as successful. But yes, the style is the same. The politics are opposite.

But she’s all about biting remarks.
AnninCA on January 22, 2011 at 10:03 AM

AnninCA:And the Liberals and MSM,HATE HER,btw,and your
on her site,er,old site to boot,

interesting,and yet,reveiling!!

canopfor on January 22, 2011 at 10:17 AM

You just don’t get it…

Jon Stewart is like a god to libs. When he called out Olby, it was over.

freedomplow on January 22, 2011 at 10:18 AM

Maybe Dan Rather is hiring. Or possible George Soros can fund a new network for Keffums to head.

GarandFan on January 22, 2011 at 10:19 AM

To return to sports the benefits would have to outweigh the fact that many people can’t stand him, and no one wants to work with him. In fact, any sports show may lose viewers. His last gig on NBC was horrible. His swarmy, sickening attitude was even worse than it was in his earlier sports broadcasting career. “I’m a giant a$$hole” is all I saw and heard when Olbermann was doing Sunday night football.

darwin on January 22, 2011 at 10:19 AM

Bye bye bye…

mizflame98 on January 22, 2011 at 10:21 AM

Michelle Malkin deals in research. She lists numberous links to back up her remarks and opinions. But it does take some effort to click on the links.

Olbermann just spewed hate, facts be damned. But other than that, yeah I guess Malkin and Olbermann are cut from the same cloth.

search4truth on January 22, 2011 at 10:23 AM

Michelle Malkin is a woman of color and a Conservative. This formula has brought her similar attacks from the left as we see directed at Palin and Bachmann. ON top of that, Michelle Malkin is very smart and articulate with a keen sense for the importance to back up her work with mega quantities of facts and soundbites. Comparing the work of Malkin to that of Olbermann is pathetic and unwarranted.

Keemo on January 22, 2011 at 10:15 AM

+10
Damn Straight.

Geochelone on January 22, 2011 at 10:23 AM

It would be interesting to see if, starting Monday morning, you see the talking heads on that network suddenly toning down the rhetoric, as if they got the less than subtle message that if the head office can get rid of someone like Olbermann, they can get rid of anyone else, be it Scarborough, Matthews, O’Donnell, Maddow, or Schultz, and that, like they did with Olbermann, they can do so to anyone else on a moment’s notice.

In other words, it may be that the inmates are no longer running the asylum known as MSNBC.

pilamaye on January 22, 2011 at 10:26 AM

Michelle Malkin is a woman of color and a Conservative. This formula has brought her similar attacks from the left as we see directed at Palin and Bachmann. ON top of that, Michelle Malkin is very smart and articulate with a keen sense for the importance to back up her work with mega quantities of facts and soundbites. Comparing the work of Malkin to that of Olbermann is pathetic and unwarranted.

Keemo on January 22, 2011 at 10:15 AM
===============
+10
Damn Straight.

Geochelone on January 22, 2011 at 10:23 AM
——–

Geochelone:

+1010
Damn Straight.:)

canopfor on January 22, 2011 at 10:27 AM

It is all Rush’s,Glenn’s,SP,Hannity, and George Bush’s fault.
It also is the fault of GW CC

BruceB on January 22, 2011 at 10:30 AM

The most conservative voice after 5 p.m. belongs to Chris Matthews, a former aide to Tip O’Neill

Calling Pissy Chrissy a conservative is about as accurate as calling Fidel Castro an elected official.

oldleprechaun on January 22, 2011 at 10:31 AM

OK, he’s the best at MSNBC. Isn’t that a little like being the tallest midget?

Ronnie on January 22, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Maybe Jeffrey Immel was his benefactor, the boss who no one wanted to anger by suggesting Olbermann get the boot. Once Immel was out at GE, Olbermann lost his political standing with the business and became vulnerable. It happens all the time at places like Law firms where a junior partner suffers the long knives when the top brass guy who protected him retires.

pc on January 22, 2011 at 10:32 AM

It would be interesting to see if, starting Monday morning, you see the talking heads on that network suddenly toning down the rhetoric

pilamaye on January 22, 2011 at 10:26 AM

They hired these clowns specifically because of their rhetoric. Lawrence O’Donnell is insane … he can’t tone anything down. Ed Schultz, well that’s his only gig. If he toned it down he might have to present facts and that ain’t happening. Maddow is the same. She’s not quite as hyperbolic as the rest but how can she give opinions the lunatics on the left will like if she can’t throw in some vile lies and hatred now and then?

darwin on January 22, 2011 at 10:32 AM

Ronnie on January 22, 2011 at 10:31 AM

lol

I too was wondering what success he achieved by being part of an entire MSNBC lineup that was destroyed nightly by the Fox lineup.

hawkdriver on January 22, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Or maybe the Republicans said they wouldn’t start a stink about GE getting jillions in contracts with China transferring critical technology with their former boss now the government official who give regulatory approval for such transactions. The price? Olbermann. That wouldn’t surprise me either.

pc on January 22, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Coulter touts her Catholicism and then hangs out with Maher, talk about pretenders.

darwin-t on January 22, 2011 at 10:15 AM

I think if Jesus could hang with tax collectors, Coulter can hang with Maher.

john1schn on January 22, 2011 at 10:34 AM

Keith had the highest rated show on MSLSD. My guess is his salary had something to do with it.

Liberal hacks are a dime a dozen.
Could Chrissy be next?

NEWS RACE
THURS. JAN. 20, 2011

FOXNEWS O’REILLY 2,918,000
FOXNEWS HANNITY 2,079,000
FOXNEWS BAIER 1,940,000
FOXNEWS SHEP 1,786,000
FOXNEWS BECK 1,780,000
FOXNEWS GRETA 1,460,000
MSNBC OLBERMANN 1,106,000
CNN PIERS 1,025,000
MSNBC MADDOW 976,000
MSNBC O’DONNELL 855,000
MSNBC SCHULTZ 760,000
CNN COOPER 740,000
MSNBC HARDBALL 700,000

redridinghood on January 22, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Coulter should go on to her calling as the Ed Mcmahon straight man to Ellen Degeneres on a new late night show. It’d be a hit! She needs to crop that hair admit she’s just been making crap up out of a confused sense of who she was. She’s a huge pretender conservative. A joke.

pc on January 22, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Man – he is a bad dude. Always will be.

I can picture him now – wandering around his Midtown loft – raging against the man. I always wonder if guys like that ever have any regrets. Or ever learn anything.

KO is not dumb. But his demons won’t ever let him change. And he knows that he has become a parody of himself. Nobody would listen to the nice, reasonable Keith. Because he would be boring.

johnboy on January 22, 2011 at 10:41 AM

General electric paid him to attack Palin and conservatives. He was not hired to spread news. He was successful at being crude and rude.
GE was the largest recipient of TARP funds and Gubment company welfare. Kieths agenda of demonizing people has run out of time. If Comcast offered him 15 cents on the dollar, I suspect it looks like it was his idea to split.

seven on January 22, 2011 at 10:41 AM

Comcast roll-out of ‘digital cable’ in our captive market… it was haphazard, poorly done, had bad PR with customers, did massive channel swaps, became hostile to DVRs (outside of their super-special areas where you could get a Comcast DVR to do the magic of recording on one channel while watching another… 1970′s style!), pushing their ‘package’ of internet services after going through the throttle debacle, and then offering ‘extra’ channels for niche audiences I can’t figure out while giving space to Al Jazzy…. plus the crappy local cable tap deciding to waver in and out of usefulness.

The only thing worse than them is Verizon.

All for a household that watches, at most, 7 channels over a month, none of them ‘premium’.

I expect the rollout of the newly re-packaged MSNBC to be just like this.

Only worse.

ajacksonian on January 22, 2011 at 10:43 AM

More like his big mouth and unparalleled nastiness.Bye bye douchebag.

Southernblogger on January 22, 2011 at 10:44 AM

Wait a minute, was Keith Olberman “successful”? How do you define that term?

Were his ratings ever HALF as high as Beck, O’Reily or Hannity? People keep saying MSNBC has “surpassed” CNN. That’s a load of crap. CNN’s ratings just dropped off faster than MSNBC. The way things were going, Olbermann might have eventually beat Katie Couric, but that’s not because HE is making progress.

You say he was “successful” because he “set the tone” for MSNBC. That’s only success by a purely subjective measure: he warped the network around his own twisted image. But in what way did that objectively help the organization itself?

logis on January 22, 2011 at 10:44 AM

She’s a huge pretender conservative. A joke.

pc on January 22, 2011 at 10:38 AM

Really? Have you ever read any of her books?

As to seeing on TV. I think she would have smash ratings. She’s smart, funny, and would enviserate any guest who got out of line or started spewing liberal nonsense.

darwin on January 22, 2011 at 10:45 AM

Americans are finding out about GE, especially now that they are out of hiding and have a room in the Obama White House. The relationship between GE and the Progressive movement is deserving of our own investigation. Could they be the puppet masters?

Keemo on January 22, 2011 at 10:46 AM

I feel sorry for his bathtub

aikidoka on January 22, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Oh me, oh my, the smartest, man in the world is out of work? I guess he is next-in-line to become Obama’s press secretary./sarc

SC.Charlie on January 22, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Comcast?

BallisticBob on January 22, 2011 at 10:48 AM

Americans are finding out about GE, especially now that they are out of hiding and have a room in the Obama White House. The relationship between GE and the Progressive movement is deserving of our own investigation. Could they be the puppet masters? – Keemo on January 22, 2011 at 10:46 AM

GE had a room in the White House, now they have a suite of rooms.

SC.Charlie on January 22, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Was Olbermann a “victim of his own success”?

Only if he believes his own press.

Trainwreck on January 22, 2011 at 10:50 AM

I think the left is taking this rather well. It seems that he burned a few bridges there, too.

Blake on January 22, 2011 at 10:51 AM

redridinghood on January 22, 2011 at 10:38 AM

It takes a special “talent” to achieve that sort of “success.”

conservative pilgrim on January 22, 2011 at 10:55 AM

Hahahaha! I went to the cesspool to see what there reaction. As expected. I found this gem:

490 Floral Giraffe
Fri, Jan 21, 2011 9:52:37pm

Patterico is/was lapd, and got disciplined for his blog.
Need to spend some time on the research.

Uh, no, Patterico was never lapd and as far as I know, he’s never been censured by his employers. Talk about someone needing to spend some time on research… what a moron!

Blake on January 22, 2011 at 11:01 AM

there = their

Blake on January 22, 2011 at 11:01 AM

Olbermann was the leader of the pack of hatemongering bigots that dominate the landscape at MSNBC. The hate and vitriole that O’Donnell and Schultz emit with every breath will soon absorb his absence. I’m sure the station, whoever that is, that exhibits the hate on the level of Maher would love to present someone with Olbereman’s level of evil on a regular basis. Evil for profit is big business.

volsense on January 22, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Why KO got canned? Obama commanded civility in our media. MSNBC responded. Case closed.

chickasaw42 on January 22, 2011 at 11:04 AM

This is begging for a SuperBowl ad. Which advertiser has the gonads for that?

Limerick on January 22, 2011 at 11:04 AM

Why KO got canned? Obama commanded civility in our media. MSNBC responded. Case closed.

chickasaw42 on January 22, 2011 at 11:04 AM

I agree. How convenient that a perfectly good reason for letting him go fell into their laps recently. If they are going to follow the new civility handbook then we shall see if the other hosts tone it down. Matthews is bordering on the edge these days and if he tones it down a bit, the proof will be in the pudding.

sherry on January 22, 2011 at 11:10 AM

aikidoka on January 22, 2011 at 10:48 AM

LOL!!!!!

Auf Weidersehen Bathtub Boy! Now go away completely so we can really miss you.

You know, I used to really like Bill O’Reilly, and he is a SUPREME DB these days and I would be hard-pressed to believe ayone could out-arrogant that SOB, But Olberwoman surpassed him by 3 country miles.

Like most Liberals, he is a supreme hypocrite and NO ONE really likes him. His sort is why I am no longer a stupid Liberal. He was barely truthful and just lived in an alternate universe. Now, I hope they get rid of his little nephew Rick Maddow. He’s insufferable in a totally different yet equally annoying way.

I WISH we had a truely Conservative alternative to news. Sorry, I just can’t fully embrace Fox News knowing how much Prince al-Waleed Bin Talal owns and I think there are better Conservatives than Sean Hannity (but I can stomach Hannity way more than disgusting BOR). BOR’s disengenuious-ness paid off…he sucked up and got the interview. Hope he’s proud but he ain’t foolin’ anyone with a brain.

BOR and Olberwoman should be handcuffed together and locked in a room for eternity!

Gob on January 22, 2011 at 11:11 AM

This is begging for a SuperBowl ad. Which advertiser has the gonads for that?

Limerick on January 22, 2011 at 11:04 AM

HotJobs?

Ronnie on January 22, 2011 at 11:13 AM

Yep, I’m far from persuaded that Comcast had nothing to do with this, a few insider reports notwithstanding.

Even if Comcast intends to maintain the current political agenda, who wants to start off with a loose cannon disrupting everything everyday.

petefrt on January 22, 2011 at 11:14 AM

Huh. I’ve already forgotten who you folks are talking about.

Blacklake on January 22, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Yes, if by “success” you mean he has crafted a persona as attractive as loose stool.

Akzed on January 22, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Just thank the powers that he gets his 99weeks of unemployment insurance. His Mercedes lease agency is most grateful.

Limerick on January 22, 2011 at 11:21 AM

I hope Fox hires him. The fallout on the left would be hysterical.

Howcome on January 22, 2011 at 11:24 AM

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