Glenn Greenwald, the Salon blogger known as much for his stinging critiques of the corporate media as he is for his passionate defense of civil liberties, highlighted this New York Times story about how General Electric, the corporation that owns NBC and MSNBC, collaborated with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to quietly silence the public—and occasionally obnoxious—feud between MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and FOX News’s Bill O’Reilly.
Olbermann is often a blowhard, and his feud with O’Reilly often descended into mere name-calling and spouting off his ratings, but there is no denying that he is a progressive voice on cable news. What’s more, he and MSNBC’s other leftist host, Rachel Maddow, have been as willing to critique behavior from President Obama as they were from President Bush.
Olbermann and Maddow have been the loudest voices in the corporate media calling for attention to Obama’s continuation of Bush policies like indefinite detention, almost as loud as Greenwald himself.
That said, Olbermann (and Maddow) work for MSNBC, which is run by GE. GE is one of the world’s leading weapons manufacturers and one of its largest corporations. No matter how much Maddow and Olbermann may appear to be the good guys, they always have to work within a series of constraints, which are always going to be defined by the interests of the corporation and its profits.
It appears that those profits were being affected by O’Reilly’s tendency to go after GE in retaliation for Olbermann’s attacks on him. Greenwald writes: