The decision by MSNBC and its owner GE (Comcast is currently finalizing the purchase of MSNBC) to suspend Keith Olbermann without pay signals the start of a purge of liberal-leaning commentators from the so-called “mainstream media.” With an activist right-wing Supreme Court, corporate media owners can, without fear of successful legal suits, prune from their trees anybody who speaks for limits on corporate power and against the redistribution of wealth upwards. With a blood red House of Representatives, the masters of media know that no legislative response to their fiat will be forthcoming. Some have questioned Comcast’s decision to “suspend” MSNBC’s most popular host and one of NBC’s most versatile broadcasters. Why, these naifs ask, would Comcast act against the best interests of its shareholders? The answer is simple: Olbermann provides a cogent and compelling response to the right-wing in a mostly arid (Fox News and extreme radio excepted) media landscape. Clearing him (and presumably Rachel and Ed) from the field now will remove potential thorns from the side of the Republican presidential candidate in 2012 – a candidate who will make John McCain look positively decent and who, if elected, will with the acquiescence of a Republican House and Senate 1) remove any barriers to media consolidation and fabrication and 2) keep the income tax rates applicable to GE’s and Comcast’s multi-millionaire managers obscenely low.
Update: A 3rd reason to believe that silencing liberal voices in advance of 2012 was behind the decision is Comcast’s very heavy involvement in the internet. A Republican Congress and President will almost certainly deregulate the internet leaving Comcast with a free hand to speed downloads of favored clients websites and (as mentioned earlier) to gobble up other internet service providers. See http://thinkprogress.org/2010/11/05/burke-comcast-msnbc/.