Monday, September 08, 2008

Let's hear it for fair and balanced!

"Olbermann, Matthews removed from anchoring political event coverage at MSNBC"

Just a week ago, Keith Olbermann opened a two-hour report from New York on Hurricane Gustav, far away from where the Republican National Convention was (not quite) getting underway. The tone of his revised responsibility in the anchor chair struck me as a little solemn -- even a little chastened. Today the announcement leaks out that he and Tweety will give way to the odious Dancing David Gregory in the lead seat for the debates, as well as election eve and other notable political reporting at the cable arm of NBC/Universal/General Electric/K-Mart (I love that joke; it was on the Alec Baldwin profile on 60 Minutes again last night).

This was due in no small part to the caterwauling from every single conservative corner about "Bias" in the media. Both the White House and John McCain's campaign have been whining about it for months now. But when heavydeadweights Tom Brokaw and Brian Williams started piling on, the corporate fatcats decided they had to do something.

Glenn Greenwald makes all the salient points about how and why NBC knuckled under, that MSNBC has always knuckled under -- going back to Phil Donahue's show, their highest-rated at the time getting suddenly canceled at the start of the Iraq War -- and much more. Or, as Barb notes:

Translation: NBC bent over and took one for the GE team because of complaints from Republicans. So kudos to NBC ... America can't have too much fair and balanced news coverage.

Update: kos has the "nail, meet hammer" on why NBC caved: because McCain threatened to pull out of the debate to be monitored by Brokaw.

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