UPDATE: MSNBC Dayside Ratings Lowest In 11 Years
Progressives don't usually take kindly to attempts by the far right wing, or even from the growing false equivalency gangs serving as their propellers, to ridicule our media heros.
We should like it even less when they kick them when they're down, or in a situation where they can't, for whatever reason, defend themselves.
But that's exactly what's happening to the "indefinitely suspended," contractually muzzled David Shuster.
Finally, this past week, Shuster could no longer hold his legendary tongue, and spoke out.
That's right. About softball.
He wasn't defending against charges that he cheated, or that he was secretly taking batting practice with Elena Kagan, or even that he was disloyally giving away his MSNBC softball teams catcher's signals to CNN's batters.
He was trying to rebut their attempts to totally dorkify him.
And in the only way, and on one of the very few subjects he still can, he was continuing his tradition of fighting back against their lies and distortions.
POLITICO, arguably somewhat less far to the right than many of the r/w blogs dumping on Shuster by carrying this all important breaking story, had this to say:
May 14, 2010
Which team is Shuster on?
David Shuster may be out of the anchor’s chair at MSNBC, but he is still playing for the network’s softball team, the Washington Examiner reports.
The story appears to shed some light on the mystery surrounding Shuster’s career, after his bosses benched him "indefinitely" following a New York Observer report that he had filmed a pilot for CNN.
The Examiner writes: "The weekend after Shuster was ‘suspended indefinitely,’ he told players on an opposing team (hint: one he considered playing on) about his suspension, saying he was on paid vacation for the remainder of his contract."
Inside Cable News notes that this state of affairs would make it very unlikely that Shuster would be returning to his old job.
But responding in an email, Shuster takes issue with the Examiner’s reporting on his alleged comments about being on paid leave: "I've never said any such thing to anybody in the media softball league. And the only conversations I've had about my status are with my agent, my immediate family, and my closest friends. None of them play or interact with anybody in the media softball league."
Note that, in line with his previous statements, he neither confirms nor denies the issue at stake. Calls to MSNBC’s press office are pending.
POLITICO's "reporters" are apt to have quite a wait on their steno-pad-encumbered hands.
David Shuster neither "confirms nor denies the issue at stake," because he has what amounts to a contractual gag order placed on him by the petty and "deeply, personally hurt" Phil Griffin. He is not even allowed to defend himself against false charges that he somehow violated an "exclusivity clause" because, calling the punitive Griffin's veracity into question in any way WOULD be a violation of his contract.
When Byron Yorks execrable rightwing rag, The DC Examiner, posted it's "exclusive" last week, it did not give a crap about the truth. In fact, the truth would have been of no use for their intended purpose, which was to ridicule and diminish a perceived political enemy at his most defenseless hour, in their fervent hope that he never returns to call them on the carpet again.
And it's working. I got about 7,370 hits for David Shuster "dork" in a cursory Google search
Have Phil Griffins attempts to obliterate any memory of David Shuster from MSNBC's core demographic's collective mind, and, for his personal reasons, try to destroy a fine newsman's career once and for all, also worked?
For those who relied on Shuster's work and depended on him to not let anyone get away with talking points and outright lies, who's memories may also be fading, here are a couple of sample YouTube Videos to remind us of what he brought to "cable-whipped," content-starved progressive viewers.
Hypocrisy watch YouTube video
Teabagging Tax Day YouTube video
Are you watching MSNBC during the daytime these days? Many of us aren't.
What about weekends, when Shuster, the consumate utility man, was often brought in for major breaking stories?
Early this coming week, Phil Griffin, Steve Capus and Jeffery Zucker of NBC Universal, along with CNN President Jon Klein and Comcast CEO Brian Roberts will receive a hard copy of our cover letter for our Petition to BRING BACK DAVID SHUSTER, and 12 pages worth of select comments left by MSNBC viewers (as well as many now former viewers)who think Phil Griffin's petty personal vendetta has gone on long enough and is not only at the expense of Shuster.
Please, if you, too, miss David Shuster's brand of assertive journalism, and agree that his overly long "suspension" has been to the detriment of progressive daytime viewers of MSNBC, sign the petition, and if you're also a Face Book user, join us at Punish David Shuster With His Own Show.
In an earlier diary last week, that scrolled away far too soon for many of the Kossacks who appreciate and miss David Shuster to see, I offered the following poll (ever so slightly tweeked)to determine the ranking of the TOP TEN THINGS David Shuster Can Do While Phil Griffin Leaves Him Twisting In The Wind.
TOP TEN THINGS: