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NBC Toning Down the Rhetoric?

Keith Olbermann, among the most hateful and vicious liberals polluting the air waves, has parted ways with NBC, effective immediately. Speculation swirls as to the reason for the parting (Olbermann had two years remaining on his contract). One thing you can be sure of is NBC did not suddenly adopt character, ethics or taste - and they have no intention of toning down the rhetoric. Olbermann long ago rounded the bend on left-wing lunacy, and is being replaced by the equally odious Lawrence O'Donnell (the latter being replaced by Ed Schultz). Rachel Maddow also continues her thoughtlessly partisan NBC broadcast.

Here's a better idea on the motivation for canning Olbermann:

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

I quote Francis Preston Blair: "From the bottom of our hearts we are disposed to exclaim 'Good riddance to bad rubbish!'"

Categories > Journalism

Discussions - 14 Comments

So, let me get this straight. In the same post in which you toss out all sorts of groundless ad hominem against MSNBC for their supposedly "hateful and vicious", "odious", and "thoughtlessly partisan" commentators, and their lack of character, ethics, and taste, you finish your taunt with a Bronx cheer by noting that Olbermann had a lower number of viewers than the Fox crew?

Do you think the Fox analysts have any need to tone down their rhetoric, or is that unnecessary since they're (more) popular? Are character, ethics, and taste a product of popularity? Is FoxNews "thoughtlessly partisan" by virtue of giving money to the GOP? Were good journalistic ethics on display when FoxNews (and their commentators) organized and promoted Tea Party events?

Congratulations to COMCAST for ridding the airwaves of the viscious bigot, Olbermann. Let's hope they finish the job and say goodbye to Matthews, Madow, and Schultz as well. A little know fact about all of these talking heads is that their heights in inches and their IQs are the same number.

But what happened to The Left (represented in Wash. DC by President Obama - LOL) "shutting down" Glenn Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, O'Reilly and all the others? What happened to them implementing the Fairness Doctrine and tearing away all of the talkers' free speech rights? Not that any of that is going to happen, nor should it (although having the right to free speech and the Fairness Doctrine are 2 very different things), nor was it ever being seriously mulled anyway.

But doesn't the cognitive dissonance ever just become too much to bear?

Your talkers are able to get people in the Obama administration canned (based on bogus info), rake in huge $$$ contracts and primetime slots, yet they're obsessively warning their audiences how they're being muzzled or restrained in some unspecified way or their voice on the airwaves is in imminent danger. "It's coming! They're coming to take away our microphones!! Just like Obama took - or is going to someday take! - our guns!!!"

Our talkers get fired (which isn't necessarily unfair, but it also doesn't match up with the meme of leftist domination of the media, does it?). Yet the right is being perpetually victimized.

Odd.

I should also mention that Phil Donahue - excuse me, I mean "the demonic Phil Donahue" - had his show, which was also on MSNBC, cancelled, despite being that network's highest-rated show at the time.

ABC canceled Maher's "Politically Incorrect" show, despite Maher's controversial "cowards" comment being one where he was agreeing with conservative guest Dinesh D'Souza.

I suppose with a high enough dose of FoxNews, this all makes perfect sense.

Obviously you slept through your Economics 101 Class -or you attended Economics 101 in the public schools systems in California.

MSNBC is losing not only viewers, but $$$$$ and since Comcast is an evil capitalistic company and not hand-fed by Barack Obama, like GE, they need to get rid of losers - i.e. Olberman.

This is very simple. You should have taken an Economics 101 Class in Texas. Their public schools beat out all the blue states schools by miles.

Oh yeah, still waiting for you to take care of all the trash on my street.

Given that the jerk was their heavy-hitter (his numbers are actually better than the jerk replacing him), I suspect it has more to do with the fact that all these Lefty pundits are children at heart. They've never gotten over the fact that the world really doesn't revolve around them and their ridiculous demands. KO got into a fight with more reasonable people at NBC, I'm sure, and that explains this.

Ding dong, the witch is dead!

But I suspect he'll find some other foul venue to play, and we'll hear from him all too soon. All these people have worms for brains, and alas, there is a like-minded audience to support them.

It's a sad day for Arab terror but a good day for America.

Craig tries too hard, but is essentially correct. I actually do think that Fox is less "thoughlessly" partisan than MSNBC, but not by a large degree. O'Reily, I think, actually does try to play fair and is able to admit when he is wrong. But Hannity is a hack of the lowest order, and Beck, while actually being intellectually curious, delves too much into fever swamps to be taken seriously. Greta? Who cares.

If it's bad to be partisan (and I think honest people here at NLT will admit that they think it's NOT bad), would it be better or worse to be thoughtlessly or thoughtfully partisan?

Yeah, I suspect that they got rid of Olbermann from some combination of personality and salary-related reasons http://www.newsweek.com/2010/11/01/power-list.html

If the MSNBC operation is losing money it might make sense to replace Olbermann with someone who draws three quarters the rating at a small fraction of the salary.

MSNBC is in a bit of a pickle. It found its identity as a stridently partisan and liberal news outlet. The problem is that it doesn't really occupy the "liberal" news niche in the way that FOX occupies the conservative niche. Many other broadcasters have a kind of unconscious liberal default. I spent last weekend watching my regional cable news network horrified at the implied slanders at the Tea Party. I don't think the newscasters were trying to advance a liberal narrative as much as they were going with the narrative that was dominant in their social group. While this bias annoys me (and is a structural communications problem for conservatives who want to reach people who don't consume right-leaning media), it is an economic problem for MSNBC. If you want liberal-inflected media, you have a lot of choices. This is especially true if you like your news and news commentary to cover a broad range of subjects, make some effort give you several sides of the story (while framing the issue in a congenial way), and doesn't throw your biases in your face. If you are a conservative and want that kind of conservative-inflected (but trying to be fair-minded) television news, you can get it on FOX during the 6PM Special Report show, but I don't know where else. You also get the stridently partisan stuff, but FOX has less competition for right-leaning viewers. MSNBC has to compete not for liberal viewers per se, but for those liberals who hunger for tendentious, bitter, and smug partisanship.

Partisan shows, like partisan websites, have their place. To Olbermann's credit he never tried to play the role of "objective news analyst." He was full on partisan without apology. No issues with that.

I didn't watch him, but I would never have advocated for his removal under any "fairness doctrine." Let those who can secure the airwaves have their voice, and let the market of viewers and sponsors sort it all out.

Here's my guess --

o Low viewership, with trends pointing further down

o Pressure from sponsors to tone some of the heat down ... or lose their sponsorship (and that is not censorship ... Olbermann was free to refuse, and the sponsors are free to walk.)

o Executives just tired of his sh*t. From what I can gather, he's a bit of a prima donna.

o Comcast wishing to begin rebranding MSNBC away from the starkly partisan image.

Nothing -- absolutely nothing -- nefarious, conspiratorial, fascist or whatever about it. Pure free market give and take.

And in case you care, I don't watch O'Reilly, I don't really care that much for Hannity or Beck, I've long since stopped listening to Rush. I think Michael Medved posits his arguments poorly, and I can't stand the way he interrupts people. Michael Savage is just funny in a "are you nuts?" sort of way.

I like Dennis Prager ... he seems genuinely interested in being fair and decent.

But my favorite? Mark Davis, who broadcasts out of WBAP in Dallas. He used to have a nationally syndicated Sunday broadcast. The guy strikes me as just straight-on common sense.

So, let me get this straight. In the same post in which you toss out all sorts of groundless ad hominem

Those words do not mean what you think they mean.

Which words? Please correct me.

He is offering an assessment of Olbermann's manners and disposition, not assessing substantively any fact Olbermann referred to or argument he made. There is no opportunity for an ad hominem fallacy. Also, he did not make any factual assertions, 'groundless' or otherwise, unless you count this: "One thing you can be sure of is NBC did not suddenly adopt character, ethics or taste - and they have no intention of toning down the rhetoric". Well, yes, that assumes too much. Who knows what they have in mind? (We shall see, in any case).

You're right AD - I misused the phrase "ad hominem" somewhat. I'm sorry.

Still, Justin's posts too often strike me as juvenile rants where anyone to the left is ID'd as an enemy and a breathless rush is made to string together a bunch of negative adjectives - just so everyone's clear that he doesn't like these people, these enemies. (As if we couldn't have guessed it from the start)

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