Monday, October 31, 2005

Too Many Liberals?

Too Many Liberals?
Olbermann says MSNBC bosses upset by liberal guests


MSNBC host Keith Olbermann recently revealed that network bosses were upset when he had two liberal guests too close together on his show in September 2003.

Speaking on October 25 to comedian and talk show host Al Franken, Olbermann said the following:

You were good enough to come on this newscast with me late in the summer of 2003. It was August or September. And by coincidence, either the next day or the day before, Janeane Garofalo had been a guest on the newscast. And I got called into a vice president‘s office here and told, "Hey, we don't mind you interviewing these guys, but should you really have put liberals on, on consecutive nights?"

Olbermann added, "Al, can you believe that the country was actually at that point that recently?" Later he would answer his own question, saying, "Thank goodness we have steered out of that time."

Franken was interviewed on September 2, and Garofalo on September 4. Apparently having them both on over three days--a period of time in which Olbermann's show interviewed a total of 9 guests--was grounds for being called on the carpet at MSNBC.

This incident is consistent with the phobia MSNBC executives have displayed about hosts featuring too many left-of-center views. Phil Donahue's talkshow was cancelled in February 2003--despite being the channel's highest-rated show at the time--explicitly for his left-of-center political views. An internal management memo worried that his program could become "a home for the liberal antiwar agenda" (All Your TV, 2/25/03).

Too many liberals? Huh? Orwell really must be spinning in his grave!