Keith Olbermann announced on Tuesday that he will host a one-hour, nightly primetime show on Current TV starting in late spring. He will also become the “chief news officer” for Current.
In a conference call with reporters, Olbermann said that “nothing is more vital to a free America than a free media, “and nothing is more vital to my concept of a free media than news that is produced independently of corporate interference.” He called Current “the model truth seeking entity” in television, and said that his new show was “the most exciting event in my career.”
I caught Sam Seder filling in for Keith Olbermann this week and it was a real treat, one because I’ve been a fan of his work from his days on the Majority Report with Janeane Garofalo right up to his commentaries on calling BS on right-wing propaganda against immigrants and two because he was discussing the movement to reform the fillibuster rules in the Senate that ended up killing the DREAM Act in the last lame duck congressional session:
Just in time for the Christmas season, Governor Brewer has decided to reject the spirit of empathy, compassion, and generosity inherent in the celebration of the birth of Christ by callously letting people die as a consequence of fiscal policies she has put into place that refuse urgent organ transplants for people in her state. This is a follow up segment to a previous story Keith Olbermann did on the terrible consequences of Governor Brewer’s so-called “death panels” that have been destroying the lives of working class families, many of whom are Latinos:
Since Sarah Palin popularized the term “death panels“, these disturbing cases in Arizona beg the following question: will Palin denounce what is taking place in that state, or will she conveniently ignore them, once again siding with extremists all in the name of advancing her political career?
Update: since this post was written, Keith Olbermann has been reinstated to return to the air Tuesday on MSNBC.
The suspension of MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann (click here for the segment Rachel Maddow did on her colleague being suspended) implicates more than just a question of whether or not he should have been suspended due to the political donations he made. The double-standard that was applied to Keith Olbermann as a progressive, while MSNBC has turned a blind eye to conservative hosts that have made political donations but have gone unpunished, starts to scratch at the surface of a larger issue.
[Video]: Keith Olbermann segment on this story:
In September, ThinkProgress published an investigation into the prison industry’s role in helping enact SB1070, the anti-immigrant racial profiling law passed in Arizona. We charted the role of the private prison company Corrections Corporation of America, which builds and manages immigrant detention centers, in assisting SB1070 sponsor State Sen. Russell Pearce (R-AZ) and how lobbyists from the company work closely with Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ), who signed the bill into law. Private prison companies have funneled money to legislators sponsoring SB1070 copycat bills across the country, and the industry is using a corporate front group called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) to help lawmakers in Tennessee, Florida, Colorado, Oklahoma, and Pennsylvania to create anti-immigrant laws to encourage police to arrest more immigrants and people of color.
It’s become a familiar tradition for right wingers to claim that “illegal aliens are voting” committing “voter fraud” on whatever election cycle we happen to be in at the moment. As any sane person knows, it is impossible for undocumented immigrants to vote because first they would have to register to do so, and an individual can only register to vote if the U.S. government validates to the local agency that processes a voter registration that that person is indeed a U.S. citizen.
Another deceiving tactic that right wingers use is to claim that Latino organizations register fraudulent voters, as was the case recently when the conservative propaganda cable channel Fox News used a false report to push another fake “voter fraud” story. Via Media Matters:
Just what is up with anti-immigrant xenophobe candidates that often claim to be for “free markets” yet admire the work of communists building border walls to keep people out and pal around with foreign powers by accepting money from countries like communist China?
As Countdown [video] said, Ronald Reagan wanted to ‘tear down walls‘; Republican candidate to the Alaska Senate seat Joe Miller wants to build walls to keep brown people out:
The Chamber has promised to spend an unprecedented $75 million to defeat candidates like Jack Conway, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Jerry Brown, Rep. Joe Sestak (D-PA), and Rep. Tom Perriello (D-VA). As of Sept. 15th, the Chamber had aired more than 8,000 ads on behalf of GOP Senate candidates alone, according to a study from the Wesleyan Media Project. The Chamber’s spending has dwarfed every other issue group and most political party candidate committee spending …
Even though the blogosphere and twitter have been on fire the past few days since Harry Reid made the announcement and Keith Olbermann featured the news of the DREAM Act being voted on next week, to this day the Rachel Maddow Show has not done a segment on it. It would not be a stretch for her to cover the momentous vote on the DREAM as a first step towards comprehension reform, being that her team has been doing quite a lot of coverage this year on the topic of reforming our immigration system; just take a look at her MSNBC Blog archives. In fact, it would be a perfect follow up story for her.