Day: January 22, 2011

More on Keith Olbermann…

Cropped headshot of Keith Olbermann

Image via Wikipedia

There are some stories on the blogosphere that claim it was Comcast.  Others claim that Keith resigned and still others claim that he was fired by MSNBC executives.  We will undoubtedly hear the truth sooner or later.

KO had gone through about one-half of his $30 million 4-year contract when he was abruptly removed from the MSNBC line-up last night.  according to reports about that contract, he will not be able to work any where else until the contract expires.  More news from HuffPo…

Huffington Post

UPDATE: The New York Times’ Bill Carter reports that Keith Olbermann’s exit from MSNBC was “weeks in the making.” According to Carter, Olbermann and MSNBC have both signed on to an agreement which bars Olbermann from returning to television for a period of time, though he is free to take a job on the Internet or the radio. Olbermann is also not allowed to comment publicly on the specifics of the deal, and there are restrictions on when he can give interviews about his departure.

Carter notes that the terms of the deal are similar to the one NBC struck with Conan O’Brien upon his exit from the network–exactly a year before Olbermann’s.

Original Story:

[...]

An MSNBC source told the New York Times‘ Brian Stelter that Olbermann’s exit was “all about what he did after the suspension.”

The network suspended Olbermann last November for donating to three Democratic candidates, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot in Tucson January 8. The suspension brought Olbermann’s already volatile relationship with his bosses to a new low. Instead of apologizing for his actions and keeping quiet (as NBC executives would have liked), the host turned his silencing into a cause celebre, issuing a statement and apologizing to his viewers for “unnecessary drama.” As a result, MSNBC President Phil Griffin threatened to fire Olbermann if he went public with his grievances on other networks.

Whatever the reason for his departure, Olbermann leaves a strained and tense environment behind him, and MSNBC moved quickly to fill the hole in its schedule. Within minutes of the announcement, the network unveiled its restructured evening lineup. Lawrence O’Donnell, host of “The Last Word,” will move to 8 P.M., while “The Ed Show” with Ed Schultz will air at 10 P.M. Rachel Maddow’s program will remain in its 9 P.M. slot.

A source close to MSNBC management said network executives have grown increasingly impressed by O’Donnell and feel he has “grown into the job nicely.” According to the source, Schultz will play well with both the late night and West Coast audiences.

“The debut of the new lineup will be the State of the Union, with Lawrence now the central player,” the source said.   More…

West Wing Week: 1/21/11

 

The White House Blog

Learn more about the events featured in this edition of West Wing Week:

January 14th, 2011:

January 17th, 2011:

January 19th, 2011:

 

 

 

Politico’s:The Week In One Liners

 

The week’s top 10 quotes in politics:

“I am not going to shut up.” – Sarah Palin, responding to criticism she faced over her rhetoric in the wake of the Tucson shootings. 

“I’m so pyscho-busy, my days don’t finish until really late.” – Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker, explaining why he’s single. 

“Finally a piece of good news this week.” – Director Michael Moore, tweeting his reaction to Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman’s announcement that he won’t seek re-election. 

“Finally I met somebody that makes me look laid back.” – Former President Bill Clinton, describing Chicago mayoral hopeful Rahm Emanuel. 

“Slow down.” – Newt Gingrich, offering some advice to Sarah Palin. 

“Reince Priebus is also the name of a car often seen driven by Jay Leno.” – David Letterman, spoofing the new RNC chair’s unusual name. 

“She should stop talking now.” - Former Bush speechwriter David Frum, on Palin. 

“I promise you, that when Regis leaves television, I’ll leave the Senate.” – Lieberman, joking about how he arrived at his decision to retire. 

“I know how Caesar felt.” – Former RNC Chair Michael Steele, explaining what it felt like to be replaced by Priebus, a one-time aide. 

“If you take a shot whenever Republicans say something that’s not true, please assign a designated driver.” – Rep. Anthony Weiner, attempting to create a drinking game about politics.

Final Countdown: Keith Olbermann And MSNBC Announce They Are Parting Ways (VIDEO)

 

Good night and good luck!

 

I’m absolutely stunned!

Huffington Post

Keith Olbermann and MSNBC abruptly announced tonight that “Countdown” has ended, effective immediately.

Olbermann broke the news to his viewers during his show’s final sign-off (full video below). MSNBC issued a statement with the news following tonight’s episode. According to the New York Times, the host came to an agreement with NBC management late this week to step down. “Countdown” aired for just under eight years.

The bizarre timing of the announcement has raised a number of speculations, from Olbermann’s suspension last November to the departure of NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker in light of the network’s recent acquisition by Comcast.

NBC spokesman Jeremy Gaines said the Comcast merger had nothing to do with the decision.

Within minutes of the announcement, MSNBC unveiled their restructured evening lineup. Lawrence O’Donnell, host of “The Last Word,” will move to 8 P.M., while “The Ed Show” with Ed Schultz will air at 10 P.M. Rachel Maddow’s program will remain in its original 9 P.M. slot.

A source close to MSNBC management said network executives have grown increasingly impressed by O’Donnell and feel he has “grown into the job nicely.” According to the source, Schultz will play well with both the late night and west coast audiences.

“The debut of the new lineup will be the State of the Union, with Lawrence now the central player,” the source said.

Another source close to the network’s management said that O’Donnell’s background in both politics and entertainment helps him. “O’Donnell is a liberal Democrat, but he is an inside player — a player — by nature, having worked on the Hill for Pat Moynihan and in Hollywood.”

Others believe “Hardball” host Chris Matthews will benefit from the shakeup. “One of the other winners in this is Chris Matthews,” a source close to MSNBC management said. “He’s been steady and uncomplaining. His numbers are better and he has a natural Philly connection to Comcast.”

MSNBC’s statement on Olbermann reads as follows:

MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC’s success and we wish him well in his future endeavors.

In his final goodbye, Olbermann made a point to thank his audience for supporting him when he felt he could not continue the show:

There were many occasions, particularly in the last two-and-a-half years, where all that surrounded the show–but never the show itself–was just too much for me. But your support and loyalty and, if I may use the word, insistence, ultimately required me to keep going. My gratitude to you is boundless and if you think I’ve done any good here, imagine how it looked from this end…this may be the only television program wherein the host was much more in awe of the audience than vice versa.

Petitions by loyal fans supporting Olbermann have already surfaced online.

APNewsBreak: Hawaii won’t release Obama birth info

Scanned image of Barack Obama's Birth Certific...

Image via Wikipedia

Huffington Post

Democratic Gov. Neil Abercrombie will end his quest to prove President Barack Obama was born in Hawaii because it’s against state law to release private documents, his office said Friday.

State Attorney General David Louie told the governor he can’t disclose an individual’s birth documentation without a person’s consent, Abercrombie spokeswoman Donalyn Dela Cruz said.

“There is nothing more that Gov. Abercrombie can do within the law to produce a document,” said Dela Cruz. “Unfortunately, there are conspirators who will continue to question the citizenship of our president.”

Abercrombie, who was a friend of Obama’s parents and knew him as a child, launched an effort last month to find a way to dispel conspiracy theories that the president was born elsewhere. The governor said at the time he was bothered by people who questioned Obama’s birthplace for political reasons.

But Abercrombie’s investigation reached a dead end when Louie told him the law restricted his options.

Hawaii’s privacy laws have long barred the release of a certified birth certificate to anyone who doesn’t have a tangible interest.

So-called “birthers” claim Obama is ineligible to be president because they say there’s no proof he was born in the United States, with many of the skeptics questioning whether he was actually born in Kenya, his father’s home country.

Poll: Americans like bipartisan State of the Union seating

It looks like Democratic Senator Mark Udall’s(Colo.) suggestion has taken hold…

Politico

Americans are sold on the idea of bipartisan seating at the State of the Union address, a new poll finds.

Of those surveyed, 72 percent say that Democrats and Republicans should sit together during the president’s annual address Jan. 25, rather than in the traditional partisan arrangement, according to the new poll from CNN/Opinion Research Corporation released Friday.

Another 22 percent said they would prefer the partisan seating, according to the survey, which included 1,014 adults between Jan. 14 to 16.

Members of Congress have called for decorum and civility since President Barack Obama’s speech in Tucson commemorating the dead and wounded in the shooting earlier this month. The bipartisan seating has cropped up as one way for members to demonstrate their commitment to the new mood on Capitol Hill.

The idea is catching on. Since Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) circulated a letter last week calling for bipartisan seating arrangements, his office reports 59 members of congress have signed on to the effort.

The initiative is undoubtedly more popular in the Senate, where 33 members have officially signed on to sit with members of the opposing party.

Today Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) announced that she will sit with Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.). Gillibrand, who represents one of the most liberal states in the country, and Thune, a potential candidate for president, are also known for being two of the most telegenic senators in the chamber.

Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, a Democrat, also announced Friday that he will sit with his home state colleague, newly elected Republican Sen. Pat Toomey, during the president’s address.