Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Phil Griffin caves: Keith Olbermann returning to MSNBC, Countdown on Tuesday

Cognizant of the potential for long term damage to MSNBC's brand and ratings, General Electric executive Phil Griffin has reinstated the network's most popular host less than seventy two hours after "indefinitely" suspending him.

In a brief statement, Griffin said:
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.
No doubt Griffin was motivated to make this move in part by the immense pressure brought to bear on MSNBC, including the barrage of phone calls and emails sent to his office. Reportedly, Griffin had to change his office number because he was being peppered with so many protests.

A number of prominent conservatives (displaying some integrity!) joined progressives in condemning Griffin's actions, helping to fuel a firestorm of criticism. Among them was Bill Kristol of the Weekly Standard:
Perhaps Olbermann violated NBC News “policy and standards.” But NBC doesn’t have real news standards for MSNBC — otherwise the channel wouldn’t exist. It’s a little strange to get all high and mighty now.

But there’s now a Republican House, and perhaps GE is trying to curry favor by dumping Olbermann?

Republicans of the world, show you believe in the free expression of opinion! Tell the crony corporatists at NBC — keep Keith!
Rachel Maddow also called for Keith's immediate reinstatement at the end of her show on Friday Night, after scolding the "competition" at Fox for being a political operation and not a news operation.

And the Progressive Candidate Change Committee (PCCC) circulated a petition through which quickly garnered more than a quarter of a million signatures. It's now surpassed 300,000.

A few hours ago, Olbermann tweeted his thanks to everyone who has come to his defense, writing, "Greetings From Exile! A quick, overwhelmed, stunned THANK YOU for support that feels like a global hug & obviously left me tweetless XO".

We at NPI were happy to be part of that "global hug". We're glad that Keith is feeling the love, and glad that he will once again be anchoring his own show as of Tuesday evening. Countdown just isn't the same without him.


Blogger Mike Barer said...

Good news for sure.

November 8, 2010 6:24 AM  

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