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Olbermann’s MSNBC Exit Was Weeks in the Making

NY Times January 22, 2011, 2:48 pm

By BILL CARTER

On Thursday, NBC’s news division staged an elaborate presentation for advertisers, seeking to sell commercial time in NBC’s news programs over the next year. All the members of MSNBC’s prime-time lineup spoke at the lunch with one exception: Keith Olbermann, the network’s biggest star.

For the last several weeks, Mr. Olbermann and the network have been in negotiations to end his successful run on MSNBC, according to executives involved in the talks who requested anonymity because the talks were confidential. The deal was completed on Friday, and Mr. Olbermann made the announcement on his final “Countdown” hours later.

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And this from the Ass Press

Knowing that the corporate media has absolutely no compunctions, about spinning the truth, the connection concerning the merger of Comcast and NBC can’t be ignored, especially when their denial began before the fact. The local paper in this area, I’ll name it “The Statesman Journal”, consists mostly of articles from the Associated Press, which in my opinion puts it in the catagory of toilet paper. Anyways, it is pretty obvious that Olbermann’s story will never see the light of day in the corporate media.

Mad as hell…

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What Role Did Comcast Play in Keith Olbermann’s Suspension?–UPDATED

Crooks and Liars- By karoli
November 05, 2010 12:14 PM

There is a double standard at work with regard to Keith Olbermann’s suspension, not only between other personalities appearing on MSNBC as commentators, but also at the very top level of the food chain.

Comcast now owns is about MSNBC after their acquisition was completed earlier this year is approved (and it will be, I’m sure), despite protestations from many of us. A look at campaign finance disclosures for several organizations shows that Phil Anschutz, chairman of Comcast major shareholder and content partner with Comcast, donated large sums of money to the First Amendment Alliance, one of the largest outside groups targeting Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections.

The Anschutz Corporation, wholly owned by Phil Anschutz, gave $50,000 on 9/24/2010 to the First Amendment Alliance. The two candidates targeted by the First Amendment Alliance? Jack Conway and Michael Bennet.

Keith Olbermann gave to Jack Conway’s campaign along with Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords.

In addition, the Anschutz family donated $169,900 to Republican candidates and committees during the 2010 election cycle, according to Open Secrets.

Additionally, Comcast Corporation has contributed $125,000 to the Republican Governors’ Association in the 2010 cycle (as of 9/30/2010).

There’s been a lot of chatter about MSNBC policy, and whether Olbermann should have gotten advance approval for his donations to Jack Conway, Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords on October 28th. The policy I’ve seen reads like this:

NBC and MSNBC TV require permission of the president of NBC News. (MSNBC.com is a joint venture of NBC Universal and Microsoft.)

“Anyone working for NBC News who takes part in civic or other outside activities may find that these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest. Such activities may include participation in or contributions to political campaigns or groups that espouse controversial positions. You should report any such potential conflicts in advance to, and obtain prior approval of, the President of NBC News or his designee.

That language clearly says “should” and not “must”. Further, anyone who thinks Keith Olbermann is an impartial journalist should have their head examined. He’s not, never has been, never will be, and is not presented as one.

But it leaves this question lingering for me: How is it that the parent corporation of NBC and chairman of that corporation, Pat Buchanan and Joe Scarborough are accorded First Amendment rights to political speech and Keith Olbermann is not?

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