MARK KARLIN, BUZZFLASH EDITOR FOR TRUTHOUT
If you don't think Keith Olbermann was fired from MSNBC due to Comcast's impending takeover - whatever cover story comes from NBC Universal - I have an igloo I want to sell you in the Mojave desert.
Comcast is a right-leaning, big media entertainment corporation that is about to control content, television, telephone and Internet service, all through one giant portal. Its interests are in dictating what consumers pay, see and hear by owning the delivery system and what it delivers.
Its acquisition of NBC Universal will accelerate an already-monopolized big media presence on television to include content control that extends even to the Internet.
Anybody who thinks that a company that is the epitome of Pac-Man corporate growth is going to tolerate liberal programming on MSNBC that is critical of corporate governance - well, you're floating down the river of "de-Nile."
When Olbermann was suspended for a couple of personal political donations, even though it is hardly an uncommon practice among millionaire broadcasters -especially on FOX - there was a lot of Internet chatter about the role of Philip Anschutz, a billionaire Christian financier of fundamentalist causes, who is allegedly a big shareholder of Comcast.
But whether or not Anschutz is a big shareholder, his Anschutz Entertainment Group (and other large holdings) could be considered, like Comcast, a kindred spirit to the Koch brothers brand of tilting America to the right.
Just as a small example of what we are in store for has to do with a Comcast subsidiary in its home base of Philadelphia: Comcast Spectacor, which owns the Philadelphia Flyers and 76ers, as well as media and entertainment/sports management services.
According to James Wolcott of Vanity Fair the chairman of Comcast Spectacor, Ed Snider, is funding a right-wing cable channel/Internet site called "RightNetwork." Wolcott sniffs at "RightNetwork" as a "pseudo-populist operation" starring an array of right-wing freaks.
Ominously, Wolcott notes "that it was Snider who invited Sarah Palin to drop the hockey puck at the Flyers' season opener in 2008, and Palin's been dropping pucks ever since."
There's little reason to doubt that Olbermann's abrupt exit from MSNBC was the first puck to drop as Comcast slap shots MSNBC away from being a progressive beachhead.
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