Keith Olbermann got an indefinite suspension without pay handed to him yesterday.  Nobody died. Nobody declared war. No one detonated a suicide bomb. There was no tsunami, no earthquake, no raging forest fire, no loss of life.

A 51 year-old celebrity talking head, who earned upwards of $8 million dollars per year knowingly breached a clause in his contract and got handed his ass on a plate.

Everyday someplace in this country, various and sundry fiftysomethings get handed their asses on a plate, usually by management in a company/industry where they’ve been working for the past thirty years; but they don’t have an $8 million dollar salary to sustain them, nor will many of them ever hope to work again, unlike Keith, who – if he’s not retained – will probably grace the portals of CNN for an even bigger salary.

But the way people are responding to this in the blogosphere is nothing less than astounding, and I don’t mean that in a good way. There’s been such a cyber renting of raiments and a gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair that all this expounded grief would find a better home in a Cecille B DeMille biblical blockbuster.

All of a sudden, the election is forgotten. The fact that a dangerous Republican party with a virulently reactionary Rightwing has just taken control of the House of Representatives, the fact that these people and their cohorts in the Senate won’t articulate their so-called American promise to remedy our economic woes, the fact that the Senate Minority Leader is dictating events as though he’s won a mandate, himself, to rid the White House of the black man in the Oval Office, the fact that a nationally elected official from the GOP is spreading an obvious lie all over the country about the totally inflated cost of the President’s 10-day trip to Asia, has all gone with the wind in the face of the fact that Keith Olbermann has been put on indefinite suspension without pay.

People are demanding boycotts of MSNBC, Starbucks and ComCast. People are speculating how long it will be before Rachel Maddow is the next head to roll. People are blaming ComCast, especially the CEO they’ve put in charge of MSNBC, pointing to Bushian associations and Republican leanings. There are petitions, there are pleadings.

If the so-called Democratic base had been this galvanised on Tuesday, Nancy Pelosi would be looking forward to another stint as Speaker for the 112th Congress.

What does that say about us that we could get all up in arms about a multi-millionaire talking head, a man whose ego is so ginormous and so thin-skinned that he won’t tolerate divergent points of view on his program every night, but we couldn’t be assed to go and vote in this election?

Oh, sorry … just remembered. Keith doesn’t vote either. He just criticizes politicians and the government. Sorry, Keith, but the way I was raised, if you don’t vote, you don’t have a voice; and without that voice, you’ve no right to criticize the elected government, because your non-vote gave them tacit approval.

And you have even less right to hold a nightly bully pulpit in which to influence the opinions of others.

Many of these lost souls lament the loss of a voice. Pardon me, but I didn’t realise we on the Left suffer from collective laryngitis or that we’d somehow elected Keith Olbermann to speak for us.

I didn’t.

I may agree with a lot of things he says, but sometimes I don’t. Sometimes he gets it wrong, and I have more than a little bit of a hard time with a man who refers to a woman as a mashed up piece of meat with lipstick, I don’t care what her party affiliation is. That man, that person, doesn’t speak for me.

It also bothers me a great deal to hear people from the Left lament the fact that there are no people on “our side” who can compare to the GOP operatives who spew for Fox. We’re supposed to be better than dittoes. Let the Rightwing and their Teabagging counterparts hang on every word of Beck, Hannity and Whoever the rising star of the moment in Murdochland be. Those people are used to being told what to think and how to think from the religious pulpit to the Republican demagogues.

Yet we’re cultivating our own brand who swear by Ed Schultz’s carpet-ridden rants and worship at the altar of St Keith.

Keith Olbermann made three financial contributions to as many Democratic Congressional and Senate candidates this year, one on the day he interviewed one of the three to whom he contributed. He made the maximum disclosable amount possible, which indicates that he knew that his contribution would be published in their individual disclosures … which means he knew MSNBC would find out what he’d done.

NBC and its cable affiliate MSNBC have had, since 2007, contracts which contain a clause forbidding news and opinion journalist personnel from making political donations to candidates or political parties without first obtaining permission from their respective managements.

Keith didn’t, so he is in breach of contract and was punished, accordingly.

This is what firms/companies/industries/businesses do when employees break the rules.

But I will admit that something doesn’t ring true in all of this: Since he was told to leave the premises of MSNBC on Friday, Keith’s been silence itself. Usually, when his ego’s been dented or he feels his pride’s been dealt a blow or someone’s done committed a grievous wrong against him, Keith hits the Twittersphere. This time, there’s been nothing.

And that silence brings a few conspiracy theories of my own to the fore.

First, after listening to Rachel Maddow’s excellent and rational comment on Keith’s suspension Friday evening, I thought that maybe this was a contrived event for a particular purpose. Rachel’s lengthy remarks weighed in heavily with fact-based findings and statements about how Fox (News) not only allows its news and opinion personnel to contribute to various GOP candidates’ campaigns, they also allow themselves and the candidates licence to ask for donations. The also have on their payroll at the moment, no less than five people who, plausibly, could be in contention for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012.

In other words, Fox is acting more like a PAC for the Republican party than the “fair and balanced” news organisation it purports to be.

MSNBC, on the other hand, has standards written into employment contracts to which its employees must adhere, regarding political contributions or endorsements. When the employee breaks that rule, he’s punished.

This is what news organisations do.

So maybe MSNBC contrived this whole occurrance by which they’ve driven home the point to the American public which the President stated over a year ago – Fox News is really the propaganda arm of the Republican Party.

Or, maybe Keith orchestrated this whole brouhaha for a different reason. Keith has form in leaving  jobs with panache. He’s usually fired and asked never to return to the premises. CNN approached him in 2006, offering him all sorts, the least of which being MSNBC’s total destruction by Countdown moving to CNN. That manouevre fell through, but maybe someone’s said something at which he’s biting. A bit of suspension time, his dittoes going mad on the blogosphere, a lot of publicity drummed up a la Conan.

Or … maybe he just broke the damned rules and is being punished.

Either way, people are reacting to this as if this were a tragedy of immense proportions. When I pointed out to a self-righteous soul on Facebook that Keith was a millionaire who, if he had to do so, would walk away from MSNBC to another network with no trouble at all, whilst his counterparts in ordinary life are doomed to unemployment insurance which the Republican Party would love to deny them; when I pointed out to this Left Coast soul that Keith would be all right, but his ordinary life counterpart would suffer, she gave me the po-faced reply of a prima donna: “And so will liberty.”

People, this man is a millionaire pundit who lives a lifestyle, even in unemployment, of which you can only dream. He’s employed by a major news corporation for a seven-figure salary, and he’ll probably live to be employed by another news corporation for an even bigger seven-figure salary. He’ll have Cadillac healthcare until the day he dies and the best tickets to Yankees’ games.

He’s a celebrity talking head, he’s not your boyfriend or your husband or your brother or the guy you have a drink with or the fella in your old fraternity. And whilst he loves your tweets and your online petitions and your threats made to MSNBC, he’s just nto that into you.

What he is into is his own brand, his ego, the size and weight of his wallet and the ratings for the corporation which pays him. Lately, his protegee, Rachel Maddow, has been bettering Keith in the ratings stakes … and that might well have something to do with this too.

At the end of the day, Keith is a voice for Keith, and a voice for whatever MSNBC want him to promote. We have our own voices on the Left. We don’t need corporate hacks, however many charitable ventures they front or promote, voicing opinions we’re capable of forming, ourselves. We should channel our critical thinking gene, even if that sometimes means listening to opinions from the other side of the spectrum.

My guess is that Olbermann will be back. There will be a brief, perfunctory apology and then it will be business as usual, with maybe even a return of the Worst Person in the World. Last Saturday at the Rally to Restore Sanity, Keith reckoned Jon Stewart had jumped the shark when Stewart included Keith next to Glen Beck in a montage of blowhards from both political extremes who contribute to the polarisation and ineffectuality at problem-solving in this country.

Friday the shark Stewart jumped took a chunk out of Keith.

Good night and good luck.

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bito
Member

I think I have read and heard as much about KO’s personality has I have read or heard about the fact’s of the case. Seems everybody knows “the REAL Keith,” whether they spoke to him once or watch his program every day.

I heard a preview for an upcoming interview with Paul Rubins.

Now be honest, when you read that he was arrested in a XXX movie house,years ago, you pictured some one in a too small suit and a funny face with a squeaky voice? You didn’t picture Paul but Pee-Wee Herman, right?
Quick, picture John Wayne!

KevenSeven
Member
bito
Member

A review, yes. Nice? Complete? I don’t know.

Questinia
Member

People like Griffin who engage in pissing contests don’t know what to do when they run out of piss.

KO didn’t kowtow because he is independently “above it all” for better or worse. Many bosses don’t like that and will cherry-pick and exaggerate an “infraction”.

I think that is all that happened. It is of academic interest to those who like to theorize.

The only thing interesting about the KO story is what controversies it spawned. So, as usual, we are more interesting than the people we talk about.

I can pretty much guarantee you, Marion, your post is more interesting than what actually happened.

KevenSeven
Member

“I can pretty much guarantee you, Marion, your post is more interesting than what actually happened.”

That actually is a pretty interesting view of the matter.

I hate to say it, but I am not sure yet that your friend Keith (who I like a lot) was not in part responsible for this mess. At least in part.

Questinia
Member

Keith is not my friend, he’s my boyfriend 😉

KevenSeven
Member

Oh, no he’s not!!!!

Don’t get me wrong. I like the guy. But he is one bull-headed bastard and you can tell him I said so. And AdLib knows my address, if Keith wants a word with me!

Questinia
Member

This is what Ketih is like, Kev:

[img]http://cdn.picapp.com/ftp/Images/8/3/7/f/PicImg_Defying_Inequality_The_466d.JPG?adImageId=1138826&imageId=4095023[/img]

KevenSeven
Member

You really must trust me, I like the guy. And I bet he is very nice most of the time. But I would be amazed to find that he does not have a bit of an ego.

I don’t hold it against him, really.

KevenSeven
Member

Marion,

Having read all this again, I don’t agree with you quite as much as I had thought at first blush. I’m not as critical of Olbermann as you are.

That said, I really appreciated this thread. Good give and take, and I applaud you sticking up for your views.

I anticipate with pleasure the topic that we are diametrically opposed on. I know you will have no complaints in a vigorous debate. I’m just afraid that you will beat me soundly!

KevenSeven
Member

Marion,

I gotta tell you, that you really pissed me off with this post.

It was so excellent and covered most of what I have been saying on the subject. I’ll get even with you some day. I will post a brilliant column that says everything you wanted to say, and leave you with nothing to do but agree. You just wait.

Lord, I was just frantic explaining to people that this has NOTHING to do with the First Amendment. (MSNBC is not Congress).

And that as long as the employer has a legitimate interest in restricting an employee’s actions, it can.

Just for comparison, this is what NPR says on the subject:

VIII. Politics, community and outside activities

1. NPR journalists may not run for office, endorse candidates or otherwise engage in politics. Since contributions to candidates are part of the public record, NPR journalists may not contribute to political campaigns, as doing so would call into question a journalist’s impartiality.

2. NPR journalists may not participate in marches and rallies involving causes or issues that NPR covers, nor should they sign petitions or otherwise lend their name to such causes, or contribute money to them.

Thanks again for the excellent column. I gotta give it a re-read and then go thru the comments…..

Khirad
Member

Since when is Keith in the same category of journalistic impartiality as NPR, though?

Unless your point is simply that the employer gets to do what it wants.

KevenSeven
Member

Assuming that an employer has a legitimate interest in restricting an employee’s actions, the employer has that right.

In this particular case it seems that MSNBC did not have a clear policy, nor did it impose it evenly. Set that aside.

If MSNBC wants to tell all its employees, including Keith, that they cannot contribute to campaigns, then MSNBC has that right and power.

If that troubles any of the employees, they can resign.

That is the reality of it all. News orgs have a legitimate interest in seeming unconnected to politics. If they want to do it, they can. If they don’t care, they don’t have to.

That is the boss’s decision.

AdLib
Admin

Hi Kev. I agree with what you say though as Khirad points out, would anyone reasonably describe KO’s show as an objective news show, requiring a prohibition on the host appearing partisan? From what I’m gathering, this policy was an NBC News policy, not an MSNBC policy.

Hard to see this as not agenda oriented, whether it’s a personal feud on Griffin’s behalf or a political manuver.

After all, why would it be okay for KO to aggressively display a partisan, pro-Dem persona every day verbally but when he does so quietly in a financial way, it undermines his impartiality?

In any case, this has worked out favorably for him and gave a black eye to Griffin and NBC.

KevenSeven
Member

I really cannot answer you questions, except to say that a news org can insist that its employees, including editorialists, not engage in politics outside the office.

NPR has people who profess opinions on air, and are expected to abide by the same policies as are the other employees.

The same holds true for most of the serious media.

As for what happened here and who was actually at fault, I am not prepared to accept any particular judgment on the matter. I am quite prepared to believe that Olbermann could have prevented it blowing up and instead told Griffin to stuff it. This despite what Keith says.

I like him a lot, but I think he has a very stiff neck.

boomer1949
Member

For Everyone’s Information… MSNBC is not NBC News. Shouldn’t the guy in charge have a better understanding of company policy and to whom it applies?

Keith Olbermann Appreciative of Supporters, Stands Firm Against MSNBC’s Inconsistency (UPDATED )

As had been shown a couple of days ago on Gawker.com, the whole Keith Olbermann debacle unraveled quickly to demonstrate that the journalistic standards being applied to KO haven’t been applied to MSNBC at all……even according to their own Standards department. Why? Because MSNBC isn’t NBC News, and hasn’t been measured by the same journalistic standard for quite some time.

And today, NY Times quoted an open statement that Olbermann has made, both about the incident, and about his response to the massive support he got from many corners to have him reinstated. (…more…)

VegasBabe
Member

I don’t get why there’s so much KO hate in your post girlfriend. More often than not, he IS an Obama supporter so why so much rancor? I didn’t sign any petition for him, but I certainly would have. With the O’Reilly’s, Glendduh’s, Insanities and let’s not forget rushlimpbisket getting away with anything seemingly they want, KO is clearly far more friend than foe to libs and progressives. And the clause in his contract is ludicrous and I could see him missing it on first read, especially with the loot being offered for the job which, btw, is a mere FRACTION of what the other pundits mentioned earned. Obama had a bad week. He’s not the messiah, and it’s ok to criticize him when appropriate. There are a few of us beginning to wish Obama would grow a bigger pair, get nastier and tougher which for the most part is what KO frequently demands of him. Having said all of that, your still an Obama supporter and though I can’t agree with this post, you remain awight with me! 😉

KevenSeven
Member

Hey Babe,

I don’t see any hate in Marion’s column.

Criticism, but I miss the hate. Care to show me?

AdLib
Admin

So, KO did apologize for contributing to this situation…but similarly criticized the dishonesty and hypocrisy of NBC in how they handled it.

Here is his letter:

“A Statement to the Viewers of Countdown”

KevenSeven
Member

I’m not certain that I am prepared to take the entirety of the second paragraph as true on its face.

In other words, could KO be fibbing? I think he is a bull-headed guy. I like him a lot, but I think he is a bull-headed guy (being one, I should know them when I see them).

So I am not prepared at this point to buy into an explanation that leaves Keith without some responsibility for this mess.

Khirad
Member

It is when they find out through the media and not a call or some other form of direct communication that I find real dickish. True, we only have Keith’s word here, but it’s happened enough in the past enough for me to believe it.

Questinia
Member

Who on earth ever reads fine print?

Phil Griffin is a d-wad.

KevenSeven
Member

The guy has a 7 million dollar contract.

He either has an attorney read it or he is ungodly stupid.

And I don’t think Keith is ungodly stupid, do you?

If he did not read the fine print, that is his own fault, and is no excuse.

Questinia
Member

I was being lightly sardonic.

KevenSeven
Member

OH. OK.

If ever there was a poster who could not complain about another being ironic or sarcastic, it would need to be me.

But I am not convinced that your friend Keith (who I like) possibly did not blow his top and tell the boss to stuff it.

I really do suspect that Keith is a very stiff necked guy.

Not that I am knocking that.

bito
Member

You, Q? OH, No’s!

AdLib
Admin

This is one Griffin that has the head of an ass and two right wings.

bito
Member

Thank You, Adlib,
Oh those pesky facts.

When a website contacted NBC about one of the
donations, I immediately volunteered that there were in fact three of them; and
contrary to much of the subsequent reporting, I immediately volunteered to
explain all this, on-air and off, in the fashion MSNBC desired.

AdLib
Admin

My pleasure, bito! What is kind of bewildering…did Griffin and Co. really think that their dishonesty and hypocrisy would not be exposed by KO…whose show is all about exposing dishonesty and hypocrisy?

Do they even watch their own channel?

It’s actually kind of amusing!

bito
Member

Here is one of those “facts” so widely reported in other articles.

BEHIND THE CURTAIN: Network sources tell Playbook that Keith Olbermann was suspended because he refused to deliver an on-camera mea culpa, which would have allowed him to continue anchoring

Chris- The Fold
Member
Chris- The Fold

ABSOLUTELY!! Pretty much what I said too, except I was a little shorter.

http://www.thefoldblog.com/2010/11/why-i-dont-care-about-keith-olbermann.html

Glad I found this place. I’m going to have to link it.

AdLib
Admin

Glad to have you on The Planet, Chris!

kesmarn
Admin

A belated but sincere welcome to the Planet, Chris!

boomer1949
Member

Welcome Chris!

Khirad
Member

Welcome!

Questinia
Member

At least he has fire in his belly when most Dems mince around. The only negative I can see is if KO is his indignation steals the anger away from Dems, especially since there seems to be such a little reservoir to begin with.

bito
Member

Welcome to The Planet, Chris. Hope you enjoy and participate in our respectful discussions. Welcome.

Chris- The Fold
Member
Chris- The Fold

Thanks everyone, I’m sure I’ll be back!

boomer1949
Member

[img]http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash2/hs385.ash2/66382_115446978514465_112713662121130_105117_2619465_n.jpg[/img]

Questinia
Member

I had dinner with KO two weeks ago. No, I was not the only one at the table 😉

A) No one has forgotten about the election. Go most any place to find that out.

B) KO spoke about just this. KO simply does not play corporate politics. He doesn’t care about the machinations of MSNBC. The person who suspended KO has a personal beef. What happens to people who don’t play by the rules in corporations? That’s right… As far as I’m concerned KO did something more of us ought to do when it comes time to corporate think.

C) KO has a healthy ego, not a too big one. The only thing big about KO are his hands, feet, and size. He’s like 6’5” and his hands are like mitts. But he is as joyful as a kid.

D) KO is very independent minded. He knows very well he can get another job, if he wants one. He said this. He DOES NOT CARE! This is the only thing you got right, Marion.

E) Keith is not a hack. KO is not a corporate toady. He is genuine. He may have six writers, but his voice is pretty much his own.

The only thing this article says is what you appear to project upon KO. But that is all most of us have when contemplating public figures, personas and their dramas. We certainly projected massively onto Obama. Look what’s happening there.

escribacat
Member

Questinia — What you say about KO confirms my impression of him. He comes off like a real guy who loved his dad, believes what he says and says what he believes. He also acknowledges it when he realizes he went too far. We need him to offset the Fox harangue — and he does it very well. Sometimes I mute him, but for the most part, I find him inspirational in a way that no other public figure is inspirational.

Questinia
Member

Hey e’cat! My husband and he were in the same elementary school classes. (Imagine playing with KO in the sandbox!) Both his mom and dad loved him, hence a feeling of invincibility, I think. I agree with the mute button sometimes!

escribacat
Member

Actually, I think it would be quite fun playing with KO in the sandbox! Hehe.

AlphaBitch
Member
AlphaBitch

An E-cat in a sandbox????

escribacat
Member

M-r-r-o-w-w.

bito
Member

😆 C’mon AB this is a serious thread!

bito
Member

Thank you for your personal knowledge, Q. So much informative than “inside sources say…..” “News” today is so often like the game of ‘gossip’ that I learned in Sunday school, proving the harm it can lead to others. (you youngsters may know the game by the name of ‘telephone’ 😉 )

Questinia
Member

I know it by the name “Chinese Whispers” 😉

bito
Member

OOOOHHHH, I like that one, Q. You must be ancient. 😉

Questinia
Member

During the Nineteenth Century, as a young girl, I’d play Chinese Whispers along with Dumb Crambough, which those of you mortals born in the 20th, may know as Charades.

Seriously, I was a docent at a Washington Irving’s Sunnyside as a teenager where we amused the tourists by playing parlor games.

Try playing Blow The Feather in a hoop skirt!!

Questinia
Member

bito, swooning couches were not just for swooning!

bito
Member

Blow The Feather in a hoop skirt

Something a tad erotic sounding about that game. 😆

Pepe Lepew
Member

You know Keith is very much his own man because he has really bounced around during his career, from ESPN to Fox, back to ESPN, then to MSNBC, then back to Fox, then back to MSNBC. He was told by ESPN many years ago that his big problem is he “has too much backbone.”

You gotta love a guy like this. He’s a rebel.

Questinia
Member

He said doing the World’s Series was as far as he could take it. It was when thinking that someone should write a response to something McCain said or did, that he thought “I should” that he got into the whole shtick we see today.

Who knows? There may have been a bit of publicity in all of this. Who cares? It’s THAT world.

whatsthatsound
Member

Marion, I think I know what happened here. Although I realize your choice of title was a play on the line about Obama not being anyone’s boyfriend (and actually quite clever), I think by using a personal pronoun some readers here might feel as if they are being preached to. Which in turn, invites a, perhaps, stronger reply than might otherwise have occurred, which, again, in turn, results in you feeling besieged and becoming defensive in your replies.

A lot of life is just knowing how to step back. Your piece stands on its own, there to be agreed with or disagreed with. When the latter, no reason to take it personally or make it personal.

Khirad
Member

Seconded.

AdLib
Admin

As always, I appreciate your bold POV. Sometimes I agree, sometimes I don’t but the diversity of people and opinions here is what makes The Planet vibrant and thought provoking.

That said, by stipulating that each of us is expressing our opinion, we can acknowledge that those of different opinions are not less sensible or reasonable than ourselves simply because they have an opposing perspective. However, if they are claiming taxes can be cut, job growth can be stimulated and the deficit can be reduced simultaneously, their opinion can indeed be logically dissembled.

As to your proposition, I see things a bit differently. I think there is a direct connection between the Progressive community’s ongoing concern about the new balance of power and the recent suspension of KO.

Let’s consider what happened just after the 2004 election right after Bush won re-election. Dan Rather was fired. Yes, he did present a story about Bush evading service in the Air National Guard, which, though it still appears to be true and has never been legitimately contradicted, was based on a letter that turned out to be a fraud. What was proven was that it was not Rather but another CBS News associate who dropped the ball on verifying this.

Was Rather fired right after the election because of CBS’ commitment to its principles? Was he fired because CBS had legislative issues it sought support from Bush on?

What we can say is that there is precedent showing that in most instances, journalists are not fired for the negligence of their associates. How many news anchors lost their jobs for falsely reporting that Iraq had WMDs?

So, the issue is not that NBC had no right to take action against KO for his violating their rules, it is a question of what their true motivation is for enforcing them when they did and how they did.

The issue is also, why they felt it necessary to sanction an opinion show host for using his political contributions to support the identical opinions he expresses on his show. I mean, is someone’s consistent verbal support of Progressive candidates on his opinion program not undermining NBC’s integrity but his financial support is? Frankly, if NBC finds it inappropriate for its opinion show hosts to express support for Dem or Repub candidates, they should fire all of them, KO, Rachel, Ratigan, Joe, O’Donnell, Matthews, etc.

This is a joke, it is hypocrisy and that’s what many of us are talking about. All here well know I despise Fox but Fox’s lack of rules are at least logical. Yes, they are partisan and they support the GOP and their corporation and employees are permitted to do so however they wish.

Fox admits by doing so, “We are not presenting news, we are presenting opinion.” Meanwhile, NBC is being dishonest and is trying to have it both ways. “We have partisan opinion show hosts…but they’re really impartial journalists!”

Just because a corporation can be hypocritical because they have contractual agreements that allow them to be, it may be legal for them to sanction others but it doesn’t make them “right” or “principled” for doing so.

I think there are many out there similar to me, who are concerned about this, not because we worry for the well being of Olbermann but because of what it may represent in MSNBC’s sensibilities and what it may portend for corporate sensibilities in 2011.

Prior to this incident, I have written here frequently about how I have recognized an ongoing shift to the right in the reporting at MSNBC. This incident may be unrelated but it is not inconsistent with the rightward shift of the network.

This is why I think you’ve overlooked what’s really going on with the people who are concerned over this. There are those of us who remember 2004 and America after 9/11, when the perception was that the GOP had the public’s support at their back and opposing them or being viewed unfavorably by them was perceived as a serious mistake. Corporations, including GE, have many things they want funded by Congress (especially defense) and many bills they would want Congress to support or oppose that would benefit them.

I think we can agree that neither of us would view the news-making actions of a corporation as unrelated to what they think is best for them. Perhaps they think this was best for them solely to underline their journalistic objectivity. Perhaps they see it as more beneficial to their dealings with an empowered GOP in Congress that has had a huge victory in this election and will be deciding on defense contracts and all kinds of legislation affecting NBC.

Personally, when it comes to the corporate media, I am less inclined to accept altruistic motivations. As a corporation, they literally can be sued for placing altruism above profits.

Ultimately, IMO, the concern of some Progressives over this matter is completely about the election and the threat the GOP represents, to our society and democracy. I don’t think Progressives have moved on from that or are distracted by this, I think many see this as a possible sign of a potential return to the lockstep GOP allegiance corporations had under Bush.