I don’t watch television much and I particularly do not watch much in terms of cable news. I prefer to get my news on the Internet from a variety of sources and make my own decisions. Anyway, I have of course heard about the Keith Olbermann situation. The MSNBC host was suspended for allegedly donating to Democrat congressional candidates.
After viewing an article about it I noticed there is a video clip of his colleague Rachel Maddow. Maddow spends much of the clip ranting about Fox News. In particular she goes after Sean Hannity, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, and of course none other than Sarah Palin herself. (What? Liberals attacking Sarah Palin? What a shocker there!) Last I heard, MSNBC does not take directions from Fox News even though Fox News has better ratings, so I’m not sure why Maddow is comparing the two.
Okay, let’s address Huckabee and Palin right away. Maddow’s complaint is that they host shows for Fox and then go out and do political appearances, support/endorse candidates, have PACs, etc. These are politicians. These people are famous BECAUSE of their political activities. Had Huckabee not been a governor who then ran in the Republican presidential primary, and had Palin not been a VP candidate skewered by liberals, it is more than likely that they never would have gotten Fox shows. They have viewers who know them from their political activities. I believe Huckabee’s show even introduces him as governor. I highly doubt anyone tunes into his show thinking of him as only a commentator the way they might think of O’Reilly, Maddow, Olbermann, etc. In fact, I would even suggest that because Huckabee and Palin generate news with their political activities, this in turn draws viewers to their shows. They are not doing hard news. They are not reporters. They keep themselves relevant due to their political activities. Their shows are basically secondary. People know them from politics and of course they expect they’re going to be doing political work.
Hannity is a bit different in that he has not run for office. He talks about politics, though he is not a politician himself. But it is plainly obvious Hannity is a conservative activist. Just listen to him. Consider that he has a history of appearing with political candidates, doing political events, etc. He too is not doing hard news; it’s all his commentary. In the marketplace, he has picked up a significant audience, much to the left’s disappointment. Hannity donates to conservative political candidates. If the information is available for those who want to research such things, then anyone who is curious can find it. I’d have been surprised if Hannity did NOT donate to conservative candidates.
I have seen clips of Maddow’s show before. She seems to like to rail about Fox News and show segments of their broadcasts. Seriously, she ought to start charging Fox News for this free advertising on her show. Liberal complaints about conservative media (or politicians for that matter) is the best kind of advertising possible. A good portion of Beck’s and Limbaugh’s success is due to liberal complaints. If they don’t want these people to succeed, then ignore them. Don’t give them any free advertising at all. It only builds their profile. What’s really behind this? Is Maddow a bit jealous of Fox News’ ratings? Seriously, if she wants to try to turn this around, she needs to spend an entire show doing her own content rather than just whining about what happens over on Fox News.
Really, if people want to watch Fox News, they’ll go directly to that channel. No need to tune into Maddow to get clips laced with a bunch of rantings.
Anyway, after spending several minutes of precious air time advertising Hannity, Huckabee, and Palin, Maddow suggests that Olbermann should be given a break and put back on the air. She then says this is the difference between her employer and Fox News. She feels her employer has standards and she suggests Fox News does not. Then she basically repeats the liberal mantra that Fox News is not really news. Well, she puts her employer in a quandry here. If she wants to play that game, then Olbermann’s “violation” must be severely punished, not simply forgotten. Afterall, if it was to be forgotten, then it shows MSNBC does not really enforce its own standards. What’s the point in having standards if they are not enforced?
The bottom line is this: Olbermann works for a company and allegedly violated a rule they have. So, the company is enforcing its rules. Hopefully it serves as a warning to its other employees. Fox evidently has no such rules for their commentators like Hannity. To each his own. But if you work for a business, you must abide by their rules as long as said rules are legal. Don’t like the rules? If you can’t persuade your employer to change them, then get another job or start your own company.
Personally, I’m not sure why MSNBC has such a rule for their opinion commentators. It’s kind of obvious Olbermann is a liberal. It doesn’t bother me in the least that he has contributed to Democrat candidates. In fact, I expect he would. But hey, rules are rules and if you are going to use those rules as an excuse to bash competition that happens to get better ratings, then you must support enforcing said rules.