This has probably been kicked around here before, but, hey, it's summer, and I haven't been around to catch up on everything.
I remember seeing KO announce, after his devastating demonstration that O'Reilly contributed to the culture that led to the assassination of Dr. George Tiller, that he would retire the O'Reillly callouts. I wondered about it at the time, because it seemed to me that, while he sometimes went a bit overboard in his sarcasm, KO was performing a major public service in his monitoring of O'Reilly's daily pompous nonsense.
According to yesterday's New York Times, it was the bigwigs at GE and News Corp. that engineered the truce, and it was business that was the basis for it. The story does not indicate that anyone considered that Olbermann might be right about O'Reilly and O'Reilly wrong about KO.
As the Times' lead says:
It was a media cage fight, televised every weeknight at 8 p.m. But the match was halted when the blood started to spray executives in the high-priced seats.
Turns out it was the old on-the-one-hand-on-the other-hand song-and-dance again, this time at the corporate level. And who was the mediator? The oleaginous Charlie Rose. At one of those executive powwows that attract hangers-on like Rose, he presided over a discussion with Murdoch and GE Chairman Jeffrey Immelt. (Can't you just picture it?)
Over time, G.E. and the News Corporation concluded that the fighting “wasn’t good for either parent,” said an NBC employee with direct knowledge of the situation. But the session hosted by Mr. Rose provided an opportunity for a reconciliation, sealed with a handshake between Mr. Immelt and Mr. Murdoch.
GE apparently ran scared when O'Reilly-inspired email campaigns, a GE shareholders' raid and bogus claims about GE's business in Iran started upsetting the board and investors. Instead of taking the opportunity to make a courageous stand, GE quickly bowed to pressure and called Olbermann off. Fox has also seemingly cooled down O"Reilly.
This then spread to other MSNBC programs:
Shortly after, Phil Griffin, the MSNBC president, told producers that he wanted the channel’s other programs to follow Mr. Olbermann’s lead and restrain from criticizing Fox directly, according to two employees. At Fox News, some staff members were told to “be fair” to G.E.
I can't say I'm surprised; I know the bottom line always rules. But it's a shame that the case against O'Reilly, which needs to be made daily, is no longer available on MSNBC. This reminds me of the "balanced" journalism that the tradmed practices. No matter where the truth lies, the object is to consider both sides in a controversy equal.