Patterico's Pontifications


Olbermann to Return Tuesday Night

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:39 am

Our brief national nightmare is over.


From Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC:

After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night’s program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy. We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night.

I have been torn by this “controversy.” On one hand, it’s obviously absurd to apply the standards of real journalism to a partisan blowhard like Olbermann. On the other, if MSNBC is going to pretend he’s a real journalist, I suppose he should be held to the standards of one. And when he inevitably fails to meet those standards, who am I to pooh-pooh the spectacle that ensues?

However, there is a little two-word phrase that keeps coming to mind for some reason: ratings stunt.

I wonder why.

22 Responses to “Olbermann to Return Tuesday Night”

  1. Why all the skepticism? Just because Uberdork’s lawyer didn’t file suit on Friday?

    PatriotRider (8cd725)

  2. Who decides what the “standards” are that he has to meet?

    imdw (0275b8)

  3. Who decides what “standards” he has to meet?

    imdw (0275b8)

  4. Patterico

    I wrote mine before i saw you had written yours. I lean toward leaving mine up because i do have a different take on the issue, namely, will Olbermann apologize?

    Also personally he should have disclosed those donations himself, and as per NBC policy, have done so to his boss ahead of time. Especially given that one of them was either right before, or right after he had the person he donated to on the air.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  5. Johnny Dollar had an epic smackdown of the MadCow “defense” of Olbergasm.

    This was not so much of a controversy as a matter of Olbie ignoring the rules established by his employer.

    JD (9d14f7)

  6. Treacher collected a number of Twitters from Keith on Juan being fired. According to Keith, that firing is good simply because Juan violated a term of his K.

    I don’t see a problem with Keith donating to dems and I don’t see a problem with him expressing his blowhard nonsense. This is between him and his would-be bosses at that train-wreck of a station.

    They will not make a ratings gain from this because they are still not in the business of giving viewers much news. Fox makes a point of letting me know what both sides of issues think. MSNBC is in the business of making a cartoon of both sides, one the valiant and one the villain, and it’s only useful for entertainment.

    It’s just cute how Keith acted when it was Juan’s job.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  7. Treacher rocks. Andithink he is originally from Indy, which makes him double cool.

    JD (9d14f7)


    This is the Johnny Dollar link I referenced above. Truly hysterical smack down.

    JD (9d14f7)

  9. Thanks, JD! And yep, I’m from Indy. Crawfordsville, originally.

    Jim Treacher (e041de)

  10. Jim – How are the wheels these days?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  11. Treach – next time you are going to be back this way, let me know. Dinner and drinks on me.

    JD (6e25b4)

  12. well executed PR stunt. it worked.

    Mike Riley (41420a)


    FEBRUARY 2010 February 4 – March 3, 2010
    MAY 2010 April 29 – May 26, 2010
    JULY 2010 July 1, – July 28, 2010
    NOVEMBER 2010 October 28 – November 24, 2010

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  14. Thank you for that, IMP. What do Van Braun and Maggie Thatcher and Dan Rather have to say about this?

    JD (b98cae)

  15. @Patterico “On one hand, it’s obviously absurd to apply the standards of real journalism to a partisan blowhard like Olbermann.”

    Hannity, O’Reilly, Maddow, Olbermann, etc.,… they all are. It would be entertaining to know which ‘Frank Hackett’ at NBC/Universal/Comcast or whoever is helming this Titanic today, instructed Griffin (or perhaps his name is actually Nelson Chaney) to put the angry man back on the air now that he’d made his point.

    From ‘Network,’ 1976:

    “Nelson Chaney: All I know is that this violates every canon of respectable broadcasting.
    Frank Hackett: We’re not a respectable network. We’re a whorehouse network, and we have to take whatever we can get.
    Nelson Chaney: Well, I don’t want any part of it. I don’t fancy myself the president of a whorehouse.
    Frank Hackett: That’s very commendable of you, Nelson. Now sit down. Your indignation is duly noted; you can always resign tomorrow.
    Nelson Chaney: The affiliates won’t carry it.
    Frank Hackett: The affiliates will kiss your ass if you can hand them a hit show.”

    Regardless, this all but voids the pretense MSNBC has attempted to present over many months that comparing itself to Fox is a false equivalency, as Jon Stewart so rightly lampooned a few weeks back. It’s an opinion channel like Fox, not a news outlet, and its talkers are opinionators, not journalists. What this does do is jeopardize the journalistic integrity of legitimate NBC News personnel who adhered to the guidelines violated by Olbermann and are tapped to appear on MSNBC opinion programs, live, outside of packages lifted from NBC News programming running on the broadcast network. Those that do, such as Andrea Mitchell, Nora O’Donnell, Chuck Todd and so on risk damaging their credibility as legitimate journalists. Recall how the rodents ran when the Imus crap hit the fan.

    Of course, if Olbermann truly admires the ethics of his hero, Edward R. Murrow, he’ll resign on air for violating the very high standards he has badgered other in television for transgressing. But then, Murrow was hardly upholding high journalistic standards when he anchored ‘Person To Person,’ the fluffy, ‘Larry King Live’ of it’s time.

    People will watch Tuesday, if only out of curiosity. And Arthur Jensen would be pleased.

    But they need a new promo. Ron Burgundy “leaning forward” into the camera, declaring, “Stay classy, MSNBC’ would work just fine.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  16. Mr. Griffin, it seems the policies designed by your company to show your company’s “neutrality” are nothing more than a crock of BS since you don’t enforce them. But what the hey, you all have been in the pocket of the left wing democrats for as many election cycles as I can remember. So I’m not surprised your rating are in the tank where they belong. Comcast may be the ones to cleanup that scummy house.

    Cheshirecat (0cd6a2)

  17. Life is not a freaking movie, no matter how much you wish it was, and blaming Fox is not much of a defense.

    JD (c8c1d2)

  18. I bet MSNBC’s ratings are awful despite this stunt.

    They aren’t trustworthy. The world faces serious problems and people turn to Fox to learn about them. And while internet commenters might either be too informed or too biased to the left to respect what Fox does, the fact is that their success is rooted in providing both angles and less narrative. It’s imperfect, but compared to this MSNBC circus and Baghdad Bob CNN, Fox News is simply the place to go for cable news now.

    Cheshirecat makes a good point. Keith is the effective CEO of this channel. The rules meant to prove neutrality were BS and you can’t even enforce them anyway.

    MSNBC’s credibility is halfway to China, digging the world’s deepest hole.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  19. @#20 – It’s all in the numbers.

    October 2010 Ratings: Fox News Dominance Continues; But Down From Last Year
    By Molly Stark Dean on November 2, 2010 3:55 PM

    October 2010 Ratings: MSNBC is Only Cable News Channel to Show Growth
    By Molly Stark Dean on November 2, 2010 3:39 PM

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  20. Well, if you’re trying to agree with me DCSCA, then thanks.

    MSNBC is not relied on for news by anyone but a very small segment of kooks. They only have one direction to go: up. Their numbers will not improve from ‘terrible.’

    Dustin (b54cdc)

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