Keith Olbermann and MSNBC part ways

On Friday night Keith Olbermann announced that this was his final ‘Countdown’ show; to say the least this was a shocker to all his fans and detractors.

Many will say that Olbermann is easily the face of MSNBC politics; but it seems that MSNBC thinks differently.  While at MSNBC Olbermann has had a bumpy relationship with management.  During the 2008 campaign Olbermann anchored the coverage for MSNBC; never bashful to express his opinion Olbermann showed his Liberal bias on several occasions and this rubbed people like Tom Brokaw the wrong way.  Word has it that Brokaw spoke with MSNBC’s management about Olbermann’s behavior and  let it be known that NBC is not FOX News.  Olbermann was removed as anchor but later returned towards the end of the campaign coverage.

More recently Olbermann was suspended for campaign donations to Liberal candidates; MSNBC cited Olbermann was in violation of rules that stated he had to notify management whenever making donations to any campaign.  Before the suspension Olbermann had recently brought attention to FOX News and how Republican candidates were using the network to raise campaign funds.  It seems as if the network was punishing Olbermann to protect themselves from similar scrutiny.

The suspension of Olbermann upset his fans to the point where they started an online petition to have him reinstated; the overwhelming support was well received and Olbermann’s suspension was lifted a couple of days later.  At this point you have to believe the relationship between Olbermann and management was at its lowest point.  With that said Olbermann’s show remained the flagship of the network as all other shows like Maddow and Ed Schulze revolved around it.

Then there was the introduction of Lawrence O’Donnell’s show ‘The Last Word’, like Olbermann O’Donnell is hard-hitting and passionate about politics.  The difference between the 2 is that O’Donnell has worked in Washington; he was worked as senior advisor to Senator Patrick Moynihan.  So far O’Donnell’s show has ben very successful as he has been able to have guests from the hill that are both Republican and Democrat.  For all of  his success Olbermann seems to lack the ability to book the big time guests that are Republican, while O’Donnell has had the likes of Tom Delay and more recently had a powerful exchange with Representative Trent Franks (R-AZ).

So with the Comcast deal to buy NBC finalizing, it is very possible new management decided it was time for a change.  Behind the scenes it is no secret in the industry that Olbermann has not been the easiest person to work with; in Comcast opinion this might have been the perfect time for a change.  It has already been announced that Lawrence O’Donnell will take over the 8pm slot; and he will definitely have big shoes to fill.

For Olbermann, there is no doubt in my mind that he will be back on TV it’s just a question of when.  According to reports Olbermann had 2 more years remaining on his contract and it is not clear if the agreement reached between Olbermann and MSNBC management will allow him to work for another network for the remaining years on his contract.  Since we all know there is no chance in hell that FOX News will hire him, I think it is a safe bet that Olbermann will end up on CNN.  I think a combination of Olbermann, Piers Morgan, and Anderson Cooper is pretty formidable and would give MSNBC and FOX a run for their money.

Until then it looks like the ‘Countdown’ has had its final count down; 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0…..

As always….

If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!

MSNBC suspends Joe Scarborough for GOP Donations

Joe Scarborough host of MSNBC's Morning Joe

After suspending Keith Olbermann for making political donations to Liberal candidates; MSNBC is now trying to come off as being a fair and balance network by suspending MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough.  MSNBC announced about earlier this evening that Scarborough will be suspended for 2 days without pay (same punishment Olbermann received).  When Olbermann was suspended MSNBC was highly criticized by Liberal pundits for the move as information started to come out that Scarborough had made similar political donations to GOP candidates.

One particular Liberal pundit that made the most noise about Olbermann’s suspension was his colleague Rachel Maddow.  The Friday after Olbermann was suspended Maddow used the closing remarks of her nightly show to voice her support.  Maddow unleashed a verbal assault pointing out the number of FOX News hosts that have donated to political campaigns and how GOP candidates use Fox News to openly raise campaign funds.  She pointed that unlike Fox that Keith does not attempt to hide his donations and that there is difference in how Fox and MSNBC hosts do their jobs.  During her verbal lashing of unfair treatment of Olbermann, Maddow made sure to mention that other hosts on MSNBC have donated to political campaigns without punishment…

“You can [donate] if you ask in advance and management tells you OK. That’s what I understand happened with our morning show host’s political donations in 2006, under previous management,” she said.

At the time it was thought that the only difference between Olbermann and Scarborough’s donations was that Scarborough asked for permission.  Days after Olbermann’s suspension Scarborough spoke with MSNBC President Phil Griffin and supposedly reassured Griffin that all his donations were on the up and up with MSNBC policy.

End of story right???  Not really…

Political new service Politico (first to scoop the Olbermann donation story) uncovered at least 5 political donations of $500 each that were not mentioned by Joe during his conversation with Griffin.  When confronted Scarborough admitted to making in total 8 donations of $500 each to candidates in his home state of Florida.  In light of this news Phil Griffin released the following statement

“This morning, Joe Scarborough informed me that he’d made eight contributions of $500 each to local candidates in Florida between 2004-08,” wrote Griffin. “In my conversation with Joe two weeks ago, he did not recall these contributions. Since he did not seek or receive prior approval for these contributions, Joe understands that I will be suspending him for violating our policy.”

Scarborough will be able to return to his show Nov. 24th

For Joe Scarborough this has to be a little bit embarrassing and there will surely be jokes on Joe and MSNBC from the likes of Jon Stewart (The Daily Show) and Stephen Colbert (The Colbert Report).  For the record I like Joe and I love his show “Morning Joe”; Scarborough is one of the more fair Conservatives and he tries to give fair opinions as he is critical of both Liberals and Conservatives.  Hopefully we have heard the last of MSNBC hosts being suspended, fingers crossed.

Meanwhile FOX News has to be laughing at all the negative press their rival is receiving.

As always….

If there is something to be said, “It’s On Broadway” to step up and say it!!!