Originally published: November 8, 2010
Last updated: November 8, 2010 - 6:11pm
[Commentary] The recent ascendancy of the Republican Party and right-wing politics had less to do with the leadership skills of Mitch McConnell or John Boehner and far more to do with the enormously powerful role played by Rupert Murdoch, Fox News and right-wing talk radio.
Progressives know there is something very wrong when a nation divided politically has one major network operating as a propaganda arm of the Republican Party and 90 percent of talk radio is dominated by right-wing extremists. If there is a silver lining in the action of MSNBC against Keith Olbermann, it is that people will now pay more attention to the political role of corporate media in America. While commentators on Fox and right-wing radio have the backing of Rupert Murdoch, a major Republican contributor, and other conservative corporations, progressives understand that their position is extremely vulnerable. Keith Olbermann was suspended by General Electric's MSNBC for a bogus reason. What will prevent the same thing from happening to Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and other progressives? General Electric, NBC's parent, is one of the largest corporations in the world with an anti-labor history of outsourcing jobs and with financial links to military and nuclear power industries. Surely we understand that GE is not going to provide the same backing for MSNBC commentators that Rupert Murdoch provides for his mouthpieces at Fox News.
As Vermont's senator, I intend to do all that I can do to stop the Comcast-NBC Universal merger. There already is far too much media concentration in this country. We need more diversity. We need more local ownership. We need more viewpoints. We do not need another media giant run by a Republican supporter of George W. Bush. That is the lesson we should learn from the Keith Olbermann suspension.
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- Olbermann Offers Apology to Fans, but Not to MSNBC
- Forward Into Battle
- Comcast: We Weren't Involved In Olbermann Decision