Friday, January 21, 2011

Keith Olbermann No Longer the Worst Person in the MSNBC World

The new civility has claimed its first media casualty. Keith Olbermann is leaving MSNBC.

That's it for Countdown. No explanation has been given for Keith Olbermann's departure, but it's clear from his signoff that he was pushed out. His signoff also described a personal fantasy involving pajamas and a raincoat. So maybe there is more to this than meets the eye.

I think Olbermann got fired for a Special Comment he aired in the immediate aftermath of the Tucson shooting in which he called for several political and media to be repudiated and shunned: Sarah Palin, Jesse Kelly, Allen West, Sharron Angle, Tea Party leaders, Glenn Beck, and Bill O'Reilly. MSNBC just decided to apply his own punishment to him.

Olbermann ended by reading a James Thurber story "The Scotty Who Knew Too Much" that ended with this moral: "It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers." That is certainly true of  Olbermann, he always came across as the man who had all the answers and would deliver them with a fervent moral self-righteousness.
Meanwhile, over at CNN they are going the politically correct route. John King apologized Tuesday when a guest, Chicago politics Andy Shaw, used the word "crosshairs" during a discussion of Chicago politics. No word on whether CNN has banned the term "Chicago-style politics," which certainly evokes violent imagery. If all words with weaponry or military connotations are banned on CNN, I'm looking forward to seeing how CNN covers the 2012 Presidential Campaign without using the word "campaign."

OK, maybe Lous Dobbs was the first casualty when he was forced off CNN in November 2009. But that was the old civility, this is the new civility.

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