On his radio show today, while responding to Jimmy Carter’s claim that Glenn Beck and Fox distort the news, Beck stated that Comcast has marked MSNBC and Keith Olbermann for death. Beck said, “MSNBC is marked for death. Comcast is going to run it like a business…It won’t feature Keith Olbermann and they know that.”
Here is the audio courtesy of Media Matters:
While replying to Jimmy Carter’s statement on CNN Reliable Sources yesterday that he and Fox distort the news, Glenn Beck launched into his own Comcast/MSNBC conspiracy theory, “If I may make a prediction, they are going to make this into a talking point, a regular talking point. You are going to hear the liberals come out and start to throw MSNBC under the bus, and throw them under the bus hard, and here’s why, MSNBC is marked for death. If it is sold to Comcast, Comcast will run it like a business. If it remains liberal, it will just be a good liberal station. It will just run things that will actually get ratings. If it’s not, it will most likely just be a news channel, or I mean, I don’t know what they’re going to do with it, but it won’t feature Keith Olbermann and they know that.”
Next up, the conspiracy, “So just like everyone as soon as they start to outlive their usefulness for radicals and revolutionaries, they shoot them in the head, and that’s exactly what’s going to happen to MSNBC, and they’ll offer up a false choice, they’ll say look we’re willing to get rid of MSNBC and you get rid of Fox and we can have real news. Mark my words, that’s that what they’ll say. We’ll get rid of MSNBC, and you get rid of Fox. Yeah, really you’ll do that? You shoot the shows that nobody watches on one that’s marked for death anyway? Well, how big of you. I don’t think so.”
Ok, let’s break this down. It’s pretty much a given that if Comcast takes over, they will want to clean up MSNBC and run it like a business. MSNBC has been a circus for years, and it desperately needs to be reined in. There is nothing wrong with that. MSNBC could take the next step and continue to grow with a more professional structure.
If Comcast is going to run MSNBC like a business, the last thing they are going to do is kill the network and here’s why. MSNBC makes money. It is a small profit, but their expenses are flat and their revenues are growing. Revenue has really taken off for the network since they moved left. The reason why Comcast won’t turn MSNBC into a straight news channel can be found at CNN. The former cable giant is the only network remaining that does straight news. It is also the only cable news network that isn’t making money.
If Comcast is going to run MSNBC like a business, they are going to invest in the kind of programming that will produce the greatest amount of revenue. The partisan shows make money. Comcast won’t dump them, and they won’t go conservative because Fox News owns that market. Comcast could make quite a pretty penny catering to the under served liberal audience, and they know it.
Beck’s whole conspiracy theory is predicated on the idea that Comcast is going to kill off MSNBC, but he admits in his own comments that he has no idea what Comcast is going to do with MSNBC. He violates his own logic that Comcast will run the network like a business when he claims that they are going to kill it off. He contradicted his own conspiracy theory. Keith Olbermann is a different story. He has been a headache for MSNBC for years, and if the new bosses think that they can do something else with the 8 PM hour that will be less of hassle and make them more money, then they might not renew Olbermann’s deal, but again, it comes down to money, not liberal conspiracy to get rid of Fox News.
What makes absolutely no sense is why Comcast would want to go along with a liberal conspiracy to sacrifice MSNBC to get rid of Fox News? Why would Comcast throw away a profitable resource in order to do away with a network which their owner shares political agreement with? It makes no sense. Whatever occurs at MSNBC after Comcast takes over has nothing to do with eliminating Fox News, or Jimmy Carter’s thoughts on the media.
If anyone on the left actually believes that Comcast has some diabolical plan for either Olbermann or MSNBC, before you go any further, think about this. Glenn Beck agrees with you. That statement alone should cause anyone who is buying into the Comcast conspiracy theory to pause and rethink their views.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association