Lefty Blogger Wonders If ‘The Media Died’ Because MSNBC Canceled Keith Olbermann’s Show

Five years ago this month, a great many Tea Party Republicans took office in Congress. For some on the left, however, that may not have been the worst political development of January, 2011. This coming Thursday, notes Washington Monthly blogger D.R. Tucker, “marks the fifth anniversary of the bitter night…when progressive Americans, and indeed Americans of all political persuasions who value honor, truth, respect, intelligence and decency, were shocked to learn that MSNBC had decided to end Countdown with Keith Olbermann.”

“What Keith Olbermann did for this country was profound,” declared Tucker in a post last Sunday. “He told the truth…He did more than just live up to the highest standards of American journalism. He did more than just stand up when so many around him stood down. Keith Olbermann kept our democracy safe.”

From Tucker’s post (bolding added; italics in original):

It was, perhaps, the day the media died.

[Thursday] marks the fifth anniversary of the bitter night—January 21, 2011—when progressive Americans, and indeed Americans of all political persuasions who value honor, truth, respect, intelligence and decency, were shocked to learn that MSNBC had decided to end Countdown with Keith Olbermann, perhaps the single best news program ever to air on cable television in the United States. The abrupt cancellation of Countdown was a victory for the dishonest political forces Olbermann had forcefully condemned during his nearly eight-year run—and a demoralizing defeat for democracy…

Think about just how important, just how vital Olbermann was: during a time when so much of the mainstream media knelt in fealty and obedience to the George W. Bush administration…

…Just imagine how much hate mail, how many threats, how much crap Olbermann had to put up with during those years. It would have broken a lesser man…but it never broke Olbermann. He grew in stature with every attack—and by standing strong in the face of savage right-wing criticism, he became an icon of American journalism…

…Today, with falsehoods trumping truth every second of the day, we need Olbermann’s voice now more than ever. Do the executives at MSNBC realize just how much he is missed?

What Keith Olbermann did for this country was profound. His courage and contributions should never be forgotten. He told the truth, defended what was right in the face of unrelenting political and cultural pressure, stood up for the powerless and voiceless. He did more than just live up to the highest standards of American journalism. He did more than just stand up when so many around him stood down. Keith Olbermann kept our democracy safe—and each one of us owes him our profound thanks.

Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson
Tom Johnson is a contributing writer for NewsBusters