Monday, January 24, 2011

Oprah, Olbermann and Orson Wells

Is there a connection between Oprah Winfrey launching "OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network" and Keith Olbermann's sudden departure from MSNBC? Well, maybe! And maybe even back to Citizen Kane...

The Wrap writes:

"With two years left on his $7 million-a-year contract, Olbermann was seeking a full exit package but he really has his eye on creating his own media empire in the style of Huffington Post, according to the individual. That way, Olbermann would control his own brand and, in his view, potentially earn far more as an owner." 
Did Keith Olbermann Bolt MSNBC to Create Media Empire?
Does that mean that it wasn't the big bad Comcast engulfing NBC that caused the radical TV-commentator to jump ship. Was it greed? Or narcissism!

What does it mean when media stars starts their own networks? Is this a good thing for democracy? What happens to editorial integrity when the media channel is so tightly linked to one person?

Makes me think of Citizen Kane.
"Kane's career in the publishing world is born of idealistic social service, but gradually evolves into a ruthless pursuit of power." (from Wikipedia)  
Hans Sandberg

Monday, January 10, 2011

Political Discourse in Tucson's Shadow: To Share the Blame, or Place It Where It Belongs?

The Wrath of Fools: An Open Letter to the Far Right
This is a hard-hitting letter by William Rivers Pitt, a young democratic activist and writer, who in 2004 was press Secretary for Dennis Kucinich. I'm sure it will be written off as fiery left-wing rhetoric by the same folks in media that never found an absurd and outrageous claim they didn't feel obliged to milk for ratings. Pundits, like the obnoxious Republican-turned-anchor, Joe Scarborough (MSNBC's "Morning Joe") are now preaching moderation, but such sudden even-handedness sounds fake to say the least. It's more damage control than serious rethinking.

Pitt doesn't mince his words. At first I felt that maybe he should tone it down a notch, but when you read the quotes at the end of the article, you can't really criticize him. The far right has pretty much had a monopoly on vitriol over the past decade or two, and they have gotten away with it. The left on the other hand has been feeble and defensive, ever afraid being called "liberal" or "socialist".

Hans Sandberg