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Olbermann Departs, as Media Consolidate Further [View All]

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Joanne98 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 04:36 PM
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Olbermann Departs, as Media Consolidate Further
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Edited on Sat Jan-22-11 04:41 PM by Joanne98
People are blaming the abrupt departure of Keith Olbermann from MSNBC on that companys merger with Comcast and Olbermanns loss of the protection and patronage of Jeff Zucker, the former head of NBC programming. MSNBC says that the issue has nothing to do with Comcast.

It seems Olbermann is too extreme for US television. But Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, now they are mainstream. What universe could that proposition be true in? That of cranky old white billionaires. And television news is owned by them. Not by you.

Whether Comcast is the villain of the piece directly, things like the Comcast merger with MSNBC are responsible for there being very few voices on American television (and despite the proliferation of channels) like Olbermanns. And for there being relatively little news on the news programs. Time Warner, General Electric and Comcast (partners in NBC), Viacom, Disney, and Rupert Murdochs Newscorp own almost all television news. In other words, six big corporations determine what you will hear about the world if you get your news from television. There are fewer and fewer t.v. news outlets that do not belong to one of these six, a process called media consolidation.

For reasons of profit-seeking, when Disney acquired ABC, it looted the companys news divisions. Profits are not to be had in hard news, but rather in tabloid news. It used to be that human interest stories would be desert, but they have become the main meal.

"The Scotty Who Knew Too Much."

"Several summers ago there was a Scotty who went to the country for a visit," James Thurber begins in "The Scotty Who Knew Too Much." The Scotty was contemptuous of the farm dogs he met. These dogs were afraid of a creature they encountered that had a white stripe down its back. The aggressive Scotty announced that he would take the creature on. "Don't you want to ask any questions about him?" a farm dog asked. "Naw," said the Scotty, "you ask the questions."

Undeterred by a squirting and the odoriferous result, the Scotty was soon ready to confront another animal all the farm dogs were afraid of. "Don't you want to ask any questions about him?" a farm dog asked. "Naw," says the Scotty, "just show me where he hangs out." The farm dog showed the Scotty where the animal lived, and within moments, the farm dog was pulling quills out of the Scotty.

Infuriated, the Scotty announced that he had now learned how to fight in the country and would beat up the farm dog. He held his nose with one front paw to ward off squirts and odors and covered his eyes with the other to keep out quills. "The Scotty couldn't see his opponent and he couldn't smell his opponent and he was so badly beaten that he had to be taken back to the city and put in a nursing home," concludes Thurber.

"Moral: It is better to ask some of the questions than to know all the answers."

Thurber's Fables for Our Time

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