GREAT PROGRESSIVE VOICES (Part VI)

By Jack Jodell, June 16, 2011

KEITH OLBERMANN (1959- ) WILL BE RETURNING TO NETWORK TV NEXT MONDAY NIGHT, JUNE 20, AT 8 PM EASTERN ON CURRENT TV, CHANNEL 358 ON DIRECTV, CHANNEL 196 ON DISH TV, CHANNEL 107 ON COMCAST, CHANNEL 102 ON VERIZON FIOS, AND CHANNEL 103 IN NY AND CHANNEL 142 IN LA ON TIME-WARNER CABLE. HIS SHOW “COUNTDOWN WITH KEITH OLBERMANN” WILL BE ON M-F IN THE SAME TIME SLOT HE GARNERED 1 MILLION + VIEWERS PER NIGHT FROM WHILE ON MSNBC FOR THE PAST 8 YEARS.

It was longtime sports announcer and author Olbermann who helped chart then also-ran MSNBC into a clear left-leaning major alternative to the ultra-conservative and very Republican-biased FOX “News” Channel and the wishy-washy CNN. In the process, viewers were successfully stolen from both networks and the once cable news leader CNN was relegated to a poor third among the three networks. He made it possible for Rachel Maddow, Cenk Uyger, Lawrence O’Donnell, and Ed Schultz to each have a preeminent presence for leftists on cable news during prime time, and I expect he will begin the process anew at Current TV. For he has been given broad control of news programming for that network, something I know regular followers of this blog will all rejoice in. Olbermann has pledged to keep his new show closely tailored to the former version, complete with its rapid-fire, investigative political reporting/analyses and even his “Worst Persons” segment intact. For the first time in years, Olbermann will be totally free from the influence of corporate overlords. I, for one, can’t wait for the premiere!

Keith Olbermann was born into a Unitarian Lutheran family of German descent in New York City. He is the elder of two children. His mother, Marie, was a longtime Yankees baseball fan and instilled her love of the game, and all sports, into her young son by taking him to his first of many, many ball games. His father was an architect. Olbermann’s love of sports led him to pursue a career in sports journalism which lasted for twenty years. During this time, he worked with CNN, Fox Sports, and ESPN, devoting himself mainly to baseball and football. His very first book, The Major League Coaches: 1921-1973, was published by Card Memorabilia Associates in 1973, when he was at the tender age of only 14. He didn’t know it at the time, but his long and successful career in mass communication had just begun.He has since written for a number of other baseball publications as well as authoring several of his own books in the political realm. He still maintains close ties with those in the sports world.

After a long time spent in sports journalism, Olbermann shifted gears and became a reporter, analyst, and eventual commentator/anchor for MSNBC in 1998. In 2003, his first Countdown show was launched and slowly emerged as a no-nonsense, fact-based political commentary with a left-leaning emphasis. The excesses of the neoconservative Bush administration (i.e. the illegal war for profit and plunder in Iraq, the passage of the odious and nefarious Patriot Act, torture at Abu Gheraib and at Guantanamo, ridiculous tax cuts heavily favoring the very wealthy, among many, many other things) had given Olbermann the unique opportunity to emerge as a strong, vocal, leftist antidote to the blatantly Bush-supporting Fox commentator Bill O’Reilly and the weak-kneed,  fully docile and compliant  CNN. He grabbed the chance to forge a viable leftist presence on the tube and grew increasingly critical of the Bush way of mismanaging government. He brought in both Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell to host their own respective shows, and before long, MSNBC was running a solid number 2 in the ratings, continually gaining ground on Fox.

The secret of Olbermann’s success lies not only in his clever positioning, but also in his relevancy. He does not bore his viewers with meaningless diatribes on the wacky behabior of the currently reigning ill-behaved Hollywood figures. Rather, he presents serious discussions, analysis, and informed editorial opinion  on topical issues of the day. During the health care debate in 2009, he himself began a campaign to sponsor FREE health care clinics for the needy in selected cities, something no other politician or pundit, especially the rich, stuffy Bill O’Reilly, the bombastic blowhards Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck, or the smart-alecky Sean Hanity never even bothered to do, although all are awash in cash.

Some interesting facts on Keith Olbermann you may not be aware of: he does not drive, having suffered loss of depth-perception and equilibrium from an old head injury he received in 1980. He also suffers from a mild case of celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder which damages the small intestine and can lead to severe malnutrition, no matter how much food one consumes. As a result, Keith has been on a gluten-free diet for a number of years and it has kept him healthy. His shoe size is a huge 13 1/2. He has never married and has no children, but was voted Playgirl Magazine’s #1 sexiest male newscaster in 2004. He recently ended a three year cohabitation with former New York newscaster Katy Tur, and, for a time in the 1990s, briefly dated conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham of Fox “News”! We’re glad you left THAT one behind, Keith!

Current TV is very optimistic about having Olbermann aboard. He has planned to help launch a second prime time progressive news show there within the next year. Frazier Moore of the Associated Press has reported that Current TV CEO Mark Rosenthal has said, “I think we’ll become a very important home base for independent, progressive thinking on television…our goal is to get every last one of the viewers who watched Keith before – and then some. And I think we can do it.” When asked if he’ll be able to find another Rachel Maddow, Olbermann wryly replied, “I just might find the SAME Rachel Maddow. You never know.” I will certainly be a regular viewer of Keith’s starting on June 20, and I hope all of YOU will too!!! TELL YOUR FRIENDS!!!

About jackjodell53

I am an American Dissident trapped in a country where poor and middle class people are constantly being exploited and lied to by a very rigid and conservative plutocratic elite. I believe in government OF, FOR, and BY the people, not one controlled as it now is by corporations and special interests.
This entry was posted in Bush tax cuts for the rich, commentary, conservative Republicans, corporate greed, news, taxes and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to GREAT PROGRESSIVE VOICES (Part VI)

  1. Pingback: GREAT PROGRESSIVE VOICES (Part VI) | THE SATURDAY AFTERNOON POST | Welcome to SatTech

  2. Jack Jodell says:

    I don’t know who you are, but I hope publishing your comment here will help popularize Keith Olbermann’s new show.

  3. Stimpson says:

    Good to see KO back in the saddle.

  4. mudrake says:

    I was hoping that Olbermann would return to TV. I’ll have to check with our cable company to see if they will carry his program. I have missed his insight terribly; so has America. Thanks, Jack, for posting this and your current list of progressive voices- people attempting to communicate to The People through all of the noise from the right.

  5. Jack Jodell says:

    You’re very welcome, mudrake, and keep in mind that even if your system doesn’t carry Current TV, there will be video feeds over at the Current TV website. I can’t wait for his first Special Comment!

  6. Darlene says:

    Thank you for the personal information on Keith. Being a longtime FOK (Friend Of Keith) I miss him terribly. I am very afraid that Cox cable does not carry his network and I will have to continue seeing him on my computer. Since the video does not have closed captioning (which I need) that is not very satisfactory.

    • Jack Jodell says:

      Darlene,
      I am very sorry your cable provider is not offering Keith’s new network and to learn about your hearing difficulties. Perhaps the Current TV website will also offer printed transcripts of eaxh show—let’s hope!!!

  7. Well done on a great subject again, Jack. One thing bears adding, though. Your reference to “no nonsense” is a little off the mark.

    Olberamnn has a terrific sense of humor and extremely well-developed sense of the ridiculous. He has a tender spot in his heart for humorist writers, which is why he would read from James Thurber on the air, and he’s a big fan of comedy and comedians. As a kid he idolized New York radio personalities Bob (Elliott) & Ray (Goulding) (aka the Piels Brothers in beer commercials for years.) . Olbermann’s Worst Person segment is basically comedy relief, albeit one that often has a critical edge. And, he often had comedians on as guests, to comment of some event or issue. IMO, Olbermann’s comedic bent and sense of the ridiculous go together to form an important part of what makes him so effective and popular as a host and commentator.

  8. Jack Jodell says:

    Thanks, S.W. I stand corrected on that aspect of Olbermann.

  9. Jolly Roger says:

    I hope he washed well after contact with Ingraham. I know I would.

    Other than that, I have one small quarrel. I see CNN as a FOX imitator, and perhaps worse in some ways than FOX; it was CNN, after all, who thought Erick Erickscum was worthy of a slot on the staff, something not even FOX “News” was willing to stoop to.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Jolly Roger,

      Yeah, CNN has become the Corporate News Network and is pathetically trying to pattern themselves after Fox.Both closet Republican John King and Erick Ericksum STINK!

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Jolly Roger and S.W.,,
      It’s true that CNN is sliding toward becoming Fox Jr., and it’s a real shame. Closet Republican John King and Erick Erickson are pretty awful.

  10. While we’re giving CNN some just desserts, remember, that network put Beck on national cable TV before FOX did. CNN dumped Beck after (I think) only a year.

    CNN has been a mystery to me since about 1999. I can’t figure whether its main motivation for being so right-wing friendly and GOP helpful is due to its Southern location, its corporate culture or a desire to lure Fox viewers away. I’m guessing it’s a combination of those things. CNN might bill itself “America’s Most Trusted Network,” but it’s not trusted, or liked, by me.

  11. Another winning collection…. newletter time? You know this guy is my HERO. 🙂

  12. Montana says:

    You know what this current crowd of GOP liars want is to turn the United Sates into China, where only a few giant corporations run things, they own the factories, the apartments, the grocery stores, the gas stations, the newspaper and magazine publications, the radio stations, the television stations and you pay them and they get all the benefits, and if you do not like it go jump off cliff. Well some Chinese workers seeing that as individuals that they cannot progress have done just that by committing suicide.

    The current crowd of GOP liars want to steal Medicare from the elderly, they want to abolish a woman’s right to choose and have control over her own body, they want to abolish collective bargaining rights for our Unions, and on top of it all they want to blame the poor, the middle class and the public sector workers for a recession that the GOP created (Thanks to the Dullard “W”), while their beloved “Fat cats” continue to pay themselves exorbitant salaries, bonuses, fringe benefits.

    The GOP is like the “Chicken Littles” always saying that the “Sky is Falling”, like the same ones that were the “Chicken Hawks” (“W” Wars), big talk no courage.

    The United States, favors creativity wherever it can be found. We’re apostles of prosperity and defenders of the free exchange of ideas and when more people in more countries are free to rise, to invent, to communicate, to dissent, it’s not the doom of United States leadership, its the triumph of the American way.

    Generations have worked hard and sacrificed much for the country to reach this point (individuals and our Unions that represented our poor, the middle class and public sector workers), and with further hard work and sacrifice (along with our relentless self-doubt) the United States will rise again, we do not tire and we are coming back, no matter what Fox news and their GOP “Chicken Littles” lackies keep saying about our nation. The win in New York was the beginning but the next will be Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and later the other states of our nation, Never Bet Against the United States, watch out GOP, we are coming for you!

    • Jack Jodell says:

      Montana,
      What you say about the GOP is true. They have become an anti-American abomination, and we WILL prevail! I can’t wait for the far right Republicans to be recalled soon in Wisconsin! That will be just the start…

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