Sunday, January 30, 2011
Corporate monopolies and censorship
This seems to a growing trend, as companies get bigger and take over more sectors of their industry, viewpoints become censored. An excellent example is the recent departure of Keith Olbermann from MSNBC. Neither side has come out and given the real reasons for his departure, but one growing theory has to do with Comcast's recent deal to purchase a majority stake of NBC Universal from General Electric. It seemed like an innocent deal at first, the two companies wouild merge the operations of their cable networks to create a giant operation controlling a large number of cable channels. Then dark side started to show through. It was reported that a Comcast employee was fired after making negative comments about Fox News Channel commentator Bill O'Reilly, because Comcast has a business deal with Fox News's parent company, News Corp. We all know that Fox News is regarded as the main foe to MSNBC, each taking opposite sides of the political spectrum for the most part. We also know that Keith Olbermann was one of the most out spoken critics of the conservative right and big business in politics on MSNBC and helped shaped its liberal point of view. So it would come as no surprise that shortly after the final deal was announced that Keith would sign off for the last time from Countdown. And while Keith's colleauges Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz have said that Keith's departure and Comcast taking over would have no effect on their shows, it has. Some of Ed's more radical segments like Psycho Talk have been taken off and his and Rachel's shows seem more subdued now. Could this spell an end to the liberal point of view at MSNBC? How knows, but we do know this, Keith leaving MSNBC was not a mere coinsidence. We also know this, he'll back, somewhere. He already took to Twitter to do some colorful commentary on the State of the Union address. But I digress. The important thing to remember is when one company owns a large portion of the industry, comeptition and opposition is silenced, so it's time we ended. Time for the trust-busters to come back.