Olbermann & Rich: Rupert Payboch

The Global Worldwide Headquarters of Campaign Outsider has been swamped with compare-and-contrast exercises lately (see here and here and here).

Here’s another one: Keith Olbermann (in The Guardian) and Frank Rich (in New York) whacking their former employer Rupert Murdoch.

Rich worked as a film critic for the New York Post in the mid-’70s, shortly after Murdoch had purchased/rescued the tabloid. But Murdoch’s “corruption had seeped quickly even into my own soft-news beat. I left the Post soon after a newly installed Murdoch underling informed me that I had to ‘take the views of our advertisers into consideration’ when reviewing movies.”

Rich’s current view in his link-rich New York piece:

The real transgressions of the Murdoch empire are not its outré partisanship, its tabloid sleaze, its Washington lobbying, or even what liberals most love to hate, the bogus “fair and balanced” propaganda masquerading as journalism at Fox News. In fact, these misdemeanors are red herrings—distractions from the real News Corp. corruption that now threatens to bring down its management and radically reconfigure and reduce its international corporate footprint. The bigger story is this: An otherwise archetypal media colossus, with apolitical TV shows (American Idol), movies (Avatar), and cable channels (FX) like any other, is controlled by a family (and its tight coterie of made men and women, exemplified by the recently departed Rebekah Brooks) that countenances the intimidation and silencing of politicians, regulators, competitors, journalists, and even ordinary citizens to maximize its profits and power and to punish perceived corporate, political, and personal enemies.

Cue current Current TV savior and Murdoch arch-nemesis Keith Olbermann, whose pique-rich Guardian piece details his hiring – and firing – from Fox Sports by the House of Murdoch ten years ago after he aired a critical report on the Murdoch-owned Los Angeles Dodgers:

Nobody ever offered any explanation … that is, until seven years later, when Rupert Murdoch claimed personal responsibility for firing me. From my vantage point, the most important fact remains that, after my exit, Rupert had to keep paying me not to have to work for him: $800,000 over the next eight months.

It was the best job I ever had.

Optimal Keith Olbermann: Not on the air.

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One Response to Olbermann & Rich: Rupert Payboch

  1. Laurence Glavin says:

    Yes, I was among the, um, dozens(?) of people to contact my cable provider, Xfinity/Comcast in order to add Current TV to my channel lineup. It appears that the reps at X/C’s 800-number are instructed to go through all sorts of contortions (BTW: I once dated a contortionist. It didn’t work out…she was too wrapped up in herself) if a subscriber wants to change his or her channel lineup in any way, maybe as a result of the Comcast-NBCU merger (mustn’t appear to be limiting customer choice). It actually turned out that I was able to ADD Current plus some other channels for LESS moolah if I agreed to a two-year contract. Pretty good deal: I also got NatGeo and Science, which I also now like, since Discover and History are now all sharks or ice-road truckers and the like. Anyway, Keith is one of the great talents in TV (notice I didn’t say “on the air”) with a tremendously entertaining program usually, so much so I’m not pissed when the Daily Show and Stephen Colbert are on one of their frequent vacations, because the tag-team of Keith and Rachel is so much fun. I put the phrase “on the air” in quotation fingers, because YOU erred in using those words in the article above. He’s ON CABLE and the images I’m viewing come through fibre-optic conduits!

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