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Great article by Greg Sargent @ WaPo about Olbermann's Ouster

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Dennis Donovan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 09:29 AM
Original message
Great article by Greg Sargent @ WaPo about Olbermann's Ouster
Edited on Sat Jan-22-11 09:35 AM by Dennis Donovan
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/keith_olbermanns_ouster.html

Posted at 9:06 AM ET, 01/22/2011

Keith Olbermann out at MSNBC

By Greg Sargent

So Keith Olbermann is out. As best as I can tell, none of the news accounts about his departure have gotten to the bottom of what happened here. But Olbermann himself offered enough clues in his final broadcast for us to reasonably speculate that he abruptly got the ax, perhaps even as late as last night.

A "knowledgeable official" at MSNBC told Howard Kurtz that the separation was "mutual." But it's hard to see how that squares with this, from Olbermann's last words on Countdown last night:

"I think the same fantasy has popped into the head of everybody in my business who has ever been told what I have been told, that this is going to be the last edition of your show. You go directly to the scene from the movie 'Network,' complete with the pajamas, and the raincoat, and you go off on an existential, otherworldly journey of profundity and vision...

"When I resigned from ESPN 13 and a half years ago, I was literally given 30 seconds to say goodbye at the very end of my last edition of "Sports Center." As God is my witness, in the commercial break just before the emotional moment, the producer got into my earpiece and he said, `uh, can you cut it down to 15 seconds, so we can get in this tennis result from Stuttgart? So I'm grateful that I have a little more time to sign off here."

Between this and the shell-shocked look Olbermann had last night, it seems clear that he may have been abruptly informed that he was history, perhaps even during last night's show. That would also square with the experience of Josh Marshall, who was in MSNBC's studios last night and had no sense that anything was amiss.

</snip>


Must read!
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Ichingcarpenter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 09:33 AM
Response to Original message
1. Howard Kurtz
Edited on Sat Jan-22-11 09:35 AM by Ichingcarpenter
Enough Said..... he's a fucking Rightwing Asshole and he's the source?

On edit... I read the rest .....

Maybe but I don't trust the WP anymore either.
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roguevalley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. howie only speculated. he had nothing. he's an asshole
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
2. Keith did look shell-shocked last night
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dkf Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. Agree.
Mutual my ass.
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Dennis Donovan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. KO's tweet from last night ( 7:30pm) about changing the Thurber segment
...indicates he probably didn't know yesterday morning that last night's Countdown would be his last.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 10:11 AM
Response to Reply #5
9. You're right - that was a great Thurber last night
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Greybnk48 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 09:35 AM
Response to Original message
3. Fuckers!
That's it for me and MSNBC. I hope Rachel remembers that if it wasn't for Keith she wouldn't be there.
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madmax Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 10:15 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. Keith brought her to their attention
but, Rachel IS powerful, talented, and knowledgeable in her own right.

It's her talent and intelligence that got her the job and will either keep her there or get her fired, as it did Keith.
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Octafish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 09:40 AM
Response to Original message
6. ''Network'' is right.
No way will the nation's corporate power centers allow an independent thinker.

Case in Point: Howard Kurtz.
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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 09:41 AM
Response to Original message
7. I worked several places in engineering where they would tell you Friday at
Edited on Sat Jan-22-11 09:41 AM by old mark
2:55 that you would be unemployed as of Friday at 3PM...Go clean up your area and leave ASAP. Happened to me 2x, got to live on UC for a year or so.
I recall one time it happened, I stopped on the way home, bought a case of beer and a large bag of steamed soft shell crabs and had a private party.

I hope KO is recovering and I have no doubt we will be seeing and hearing from him again.
IMO, this is MSNBC's loss, not his.
His was the only program I enjoyed watching on their evening schedule.


mark
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BzaDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 09:45 AM
Response to Original message
8. I don't see how he could have been informed during last night's show. How would he have put together
Edited on Sat Jan-22-11 09:46 AM by BzaDem
his sign-off message -- during commercial breaks?

Furthermore, he had a contract. Settling the contract obviously takes longer than commercial breaks.

Out of all the possibilities, the one closest to what Greg saying might have been that he had planned to leave soon, and maybe that departure was pushed abruptly to today for some reason (maybe as late as yesterday). But I don't see how he could have gone from intending to stay through 2012 at least, to leaving immediately, all during last night's showing.
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Autumn Colors Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 11:29 AM
Response to Original message
11. Perhaps what he was "told" was that he was given an ultimatum
Edited on Sat Jan-22-11 11:30 AM by Autumn Colors
Stay, but you have to tow the corporate line, or refuse and leave. Your choice.

He may have left of his own volition, but the only alternative may have been to become a corporate mouthpiece with no freedom to speak the truth.
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NotThisTime Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 12:47 PM
Response to Reply #11
13. He may have also been told mid show his contract was being paid out and it was his last show....
Keith is smart enough and quick enough to put together his thank you and farewell with a few minutes notice.... which is what I strongly suspect. That show as as usual right up until it wasn't. Which would jive with what Josh Marshall has said...
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PDittie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
14. About thirty minutes before his show began
... he Tweeted "we will have a slight change in the Thurber selection tonight", having Tweeted an hour prior to that it would be the 'Peacelike Mongoose'.

http://twitter.com/#!/KeithOlbermann

They let him know late enough to prevent his pride from leaving the chair empty, too late to get a replacement. They no doubt sat with their finger on the censor button just in case he said something they didn't like.

They will pay out his contract ($14 MM over the next couple of years) and enforce the non-compete clause strictly. I'm guessing a minimum of six months. It might be a year, it might even be longer.

"Everything around the show was too much" for him, remember. The guy needs this sabbatical, people. We'll see him again next year on Oprah's network, or HBO, or someplace else that has no objections to the brutal truth.
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Tripod Donating Member (534 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-22-11 05:12 PM
Response to Original message
15. K&R. n/t
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