In 2003 Phil Donahue’s show was cancelled by MSNBC with many believing it was because of the atmosphere which was unfriendly to liberals. In recent years we’ve seen an unprecedented degree of conservative control over the news media, with a serious lack of both objective reporting and liberal commentary. Many feared that Keith Olbermann would not survive long due to the manner in which he has been speaking out against the Bush administration.
Fortunately the political climate has changed in the last few years. NBC News has extended Olbermann’s contract through 2011. MSNBC reports:
“It (Countdown) is obviously an incredibly import franchise for us,” NBC News President Steve Capus said. “It is something that has really put MSNBC back on the map.”
In addition to his nightly newscast — which counts down the day’s top political and entertainment stories with Olbermman’s signature wit — the MSNBC host will contribute occasional “essays” to the “Nightly News with Brian Williams” and host two “Countdown” specials a year on NBC.
The move to more deeply involve Olbermann, labeled a “liberal hero,” with NBC comes at a time when the network has come under attack by conservatives, particularly Fox News and Bill O’Reilly, for advancing a “liberal” agenda. Olbermann and O’Reilly, whose shows compete for the same audience at 8 p.m. ET, have been feuding for years. Olbermann often names O’Reilly the “Worst Person in the World,” a nightly “Countdown” segment which Olbermann turned into a book.