The Great Media Purge of 2010 - UPDATED

    The decision by MSNBC and its owner GE (Comcast is currently finalizing the purchase of MSNBC) to suspend Keith Olbermann without pay signals the start of a purge of liberal-leaning commentators.  With an activist right-wing Supreme Court, corporate media owners can, without fear of successful legal suits, prune from their trees anybody who speaks for limits on corporate power and against the redistribution of wealth upwards.  With a blood red House of Representatives, the masters of media know that no legislative response to their fiat will be forthcoming.  Some have questioned the decision to "suspend" MSNBC's most popular host and one of NBC's most versatile broadcasters.  Why, these naifs ask, would GE/Comcast act against the best interests of shareholders?  The answer is simple: Olbermann provides a cogent and compelling response to the right-wing in the mostly arid non-reactionary media landscape (obviously conservative media is anything but arid).  Clearing him (and presumably Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz) from the field now will remove potential thorns from the side of the Republican presidential candidate in 2012 - a candidate who will make John McCain look positively decent and who, if elected, will, with the acquiescence of a Republican Congress, 1) remove any barriers to media consolidation and fabrication and 2) keep the income tax rates applicable to GE's and Comcast's multi-millionaire managers obscenely low.

    Update: A 3rd reason to believe that silencing liberal voices in advance of 2012 was behind the decision is Comcast's very heavy involvement in the internet.  A Republican Congress and President will almost certainly deregulate the internet leaving Comcast with a free hand to speed downloads of favored clients websites and (as mentioned earlier) to gobble up other internet service providers.  See



    I won't have any reason to turn on MSNBC.   

    I'll repeat my comment from destor's post here - 

    Ach ...give me a break. There's no conspiracy. It's a power struggle between a producer and a star anchor gone amok, and the producer found a way to make his move. From all I hear, Olbermann is a class A schmuck with a huge head both figuratively and literally. This isn't a left-wing purge, or a conspiracy, MSNBC has made its name, its ratings and its money being a leftist answer to Fox and that isn't going to change anytime soon...

    D - I hope you're right - well not that Olbermann is a shmuck - but that we're not seeing one of a series of lurches rightward in our media landscape.  I fear you are not.  Time will certainly tell.

    I'm with Deadman on this.  I read your post here last night and thought, "Oy, what an overreach."  I still feel that way today.


    Time will tell for sure, but even Olberman's reinstatement doesn't quite assuage my fear. 

    Rachel had a really great reply to the whole mess on her show yesterday.


    Very interesting, thank you. Kind of blasts Hal's argument, doesnt it? Of course, she could be in on the GE/Comcast conspiracy, or just a naive lackey who doesn't know wassup in her own world.

    A trivia point as regards her last line

    what we do here -- and what goes on across the street..

    Those who haven't done the tourist thing in midtown Manhattan might not realize that what she says  is not metaphorical, it is literally true---those studios where most of their shows are done in are really literally across the street from each other. (And CNN is only slightly north of both of them.) If you happen to go to that nabe in person often enough, you get a better sense of it all simply being a business of competitors, where probably a lot of actual workers--I mean like cameramen, electricians, sound people, IT, secretaries, the maintainers of news tickers, set jockeys wheeling fake trees and furntiture in and out, janitorial--don't give a flying fuck what ideology their news corp wears, it's all "show business," without much difference from what their brethren are working at a few blocks away in the theater district.

    Also: the New York Observer started as the "trade rag" of the media and publishing business in NYC.

    If people want the really skinny on this story, I suggest they go there

    and read what they write on it over the next week or so, instead of going with feverish conspiracies created by their own imaginings.

    I haven't checked out all their coverage as the story doesn't interest me that much (beyond hoping, as a cable news viewer, that MSNBC eventually decides to offer something different in prime time than what they have been offering the last few years) but a glance at their home page shows they are covering all the skinny, with articles like: Chris Hayes' Career As An MSNBC Host Lasted About An Hour and Meet The Young Reporter Who Rocked MSNBC's World and The Media's Freaky Friday. Lest anyone think they don't cover how corporate profits influence their world, I would point out that another story on the home page is WaPo Earnings Up 256%, But Its Kaplan Cash Cow Is in Danger.

    What astounds me is that NBC hasn't been the flavor of the month for quite some time and now they wand to pour vinegar on their brand ? That's pretty crazy.

    The word "conspiracy, is being misused again and for the usuall reason that it has a negative connotation. As used in a couple of responses here it derides both an idea and the person putting forth that idea.  It does not correctly apply to what has been alleged in this blog.

    • Conspiracy (civil), an agreement between persons to deceive, mislead, or defraud others of their legal rights, or to gain an unfair advantage
    • Conspiracy (crime), an agreement between persons to break the law in the future, in some cases having committed an act to further that agreement

    Believing that management had reasons to take their action and forming a hypothesis as to what those reasons are is not to claim that management was guilty of a conspiracy. In  KRXA Hal's blog I don't see the word conspiracy and I don't see that he claimed any illegal activity was planned or carried out.

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