Monday, June 20, 2011

Keith Olbermann back on Countdown - Now on Current TV

Great to see Keith Olbermann back on Countdown - on Current TV.  Agree or not with his views and stylings, his return proves that a spineless, often brainless network - in this case, MSNBC - does not necessarily get the last word, when it tires for whatever reasons of its vibrant, provocative talent.

To the content of tonight's Countdown -
  • Excellent discussion of the unconstitutionality of our war in Libya, with Michael Moore. I agree completely that the pursuit of this military action - or war - without  Congressional approval (not to mention Declaration of War) is one of the most disheartening, dangerous activities of the Obama administration.
  • John Dean talking about the Supreme Court decision - 5-4 - upholding Walmart.  I agree that this was a bad decision.  But, unlike Olbermann and Dean, I don't think everything this court has done regarding corporations is bad.  For example, I agree with the Court that corporations are entitled to all the protections of the First Amendment - speech is speech, and government should steer clear of regulating it.
  • "Time Marches On" - replacement segment for "Oddball" on the original Countdown, the title of which was a take-off on Chris Matthews' "Hardball" on MSNBC.   The new version with the new title is as funny as the original - meaning, evoking smiles to occasional chuckles and sometimes more.
  • Good expose with Politico's Ken Vogel about conservative radio talkshow hosts promoting political positions for advertising revenue on their shows.  (But Keith, this compares to payola in 1950s radio in no significant way - payola was a classic victimless "crime," and its prosecution by the Feds was motivated by a discomfort with rock 'n' roll.)
  • Good "Worst Persons in the World" - my favorite was the runner-up, in which Fox edited out Jon Stewart's mention of Fox exec Bill Sammon giving ideological "marching orders" to news commentators (from Chris Wallace's Sunday show).
  • Bombshell closer with Markos Moulitsas - founder and publisher of the Daily Kos - in which he explains his absence from MSNBC for more than a year: he antagonized morning anchor Joe Scarborough, who pressured MSNBC to keep Moulitsas off Olbermann's and every other evening show on MSNBC.  If true, MSNBC is even lamer than I thought, and owes its viewers and Moulitsas an apology.
Hey, I rarely if ever review cable news shows as such, so don't expect many more posts like this, for the new Countdown or any other news shows.  But I expect to keep watching it - as well as, yes, MSNBC - and I'm certainly glad that the progressive voice has a new, additional home.  Our democracy is best served by as many progressive, conservative, and in-between voices on the air as possible.
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