I haven’t been watching Keith Olbermann since his damaging and self-centered behavior regarding rape and the #MooreAndMe protest. In the aftermath of that, I felt a strong need to just not listen to those who insist on operating from a position of patriarchal arrogance and ignorance. The quiet reflection that has become possible in the absence of those voices has been wonderful and something I’ll write more about later.
But the result is that I am reacting to his departure from MSNBC with mixed feelings. Yes he has often said what needs to be said, but as the #MooreAndMe episode illustrated, not always. He was a white guy working for a large, white-guy preserving corporation. And some of his behavior on Twitter of late has been quite childish. I have no idea all the factors that have led to that–the enormous stress of his job, his father’s death, etc.
So there is a bit of tarnish there, and while it is not clear whether he got fired, left or what–one thing is for sure–even if he did quit–Comcast should have begged him to stay. But that was never in the cards and is a first very ominous indicator of just how bad their takeover of the NBCs is likely to be.
Differences aside–we can rant all we want about this, but here’s a better idea–a one night viewing stoppage. Don’t watch MSNBC on Monday night during Olbermann’s timeslot. Turn it off. Read a book, go for a walk, water your plants, talk to your neighbors and your children–whatever it takes to deal with the dt’s but turn it off and turn away. No it won’t solve the problem but Comcast bought MSNBC to make money and they need to hear that flipping off their viewers is not a good business model. And aside from that, everybody gets a bit of tv detox, and that could be the start of a good thing.