Another “Liberal” Television Commentator Gets the Boot

The beat goes on… This time it’s Piers Morgan who must say goodbye. I see a trend here, don’t you? Keith Obermann’s head was the first to roll as I remember it, but checking the web, I see that the NBC suits dumped Phil Donahue back in 2002 because (according to a leaked internal memo) they thought he would act as “a home for the liberal antiwar agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity.”

Muzzling liberal commentators obviously isn’t new, but the trend seems to have accelerated in recent years. MSNBC, which pretends to be the liberal answer to Fox News, has fired several hosts for being too outspoken. Dylan Ratigan for one. Cenk Uygur for two. They even tried to sweep Ed under the rug but the fans wouldn’t let them.  Ed seems safe for now, but it looks as if Rachel is in danger.

When “liberal” icon Bill Maher starts picking on you, watch out. And he’s not the only one. Even Olbermann is criticizing Rachel these days.

The corporate television establishment tolerates people like Maher, smug and obvious though he so often is because – hey – he’s only kidding! He’s a humorist, see? You’re not supposed to take his jibes seriously. The same goes for Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. Who says conservatives can’t take a joke?

What they can’t – and won’t – take is the truth.

Olbermann wasn’t trying to be funny. He was trying to jolt Americans out of their complacency, shouting the truth from the rooftops, as it were. Ratigan, too. He was trying to warn Americans that the big banks were stealing the nation’s money in broad daylight.  Uygur also thought he could get away with telling it like it is. He didn’t last long.

And did I mention Martin Bashir? Who, you ask. How soon we forget.

Which brings us to Piers Morgan. He lasted three years. And he thought he could speak truth to power. Wrong.

CNN will tell you the Piers Morgan show gets low ratings. But isn’t that true of all of CNN’s programming? CNN is in one of the worst ratings slumps of its history. I don’t think it was his ratings that did Piers Morgan in. My guess is that he took on the wrong folks.

You don’t tug on Superman’s cape and you don’t mess around with the National Rifle Association. Not in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Not in this era of corporate-owned media.

You gotta know when to hold ’em, Piers. You got to know when to fold ’em. You gotta know when to walk away. You gotta know when to run.

The corporate suits call the shots. Corporations own the TV and radio stations – all of the commercial ones, anyway (the politicians own NPR).  And corporations own the Republican Party. So do the advertisers who keep TV and radio alive.  Remember that the next time you find yourself in front of a TV camera, Piers.

Whatever happened to the good old days when the unions owned the talk radio stations? How does the left expect to win the message war when they’ve let the right grab all the microphones?

Click for Piers Morgan’s firing.

Click for Maher’s swipe at Rachel.

 

 

gwgraeme

I am a Jamaican-born writer who has lived and worked in Canada and the United States. I live in Lakeland, Florida with my wife, Sandra, our three cats and two dogs. I like to play golf and enjoy our garden, even though it's a lot of work. Since retiring from newspaper reporting I've written a few books. I also write a monthly column for Jamaicans.com

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