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Russell Shaw Headshot

Vote Democrat-And Save Keith Olbermann's Job

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I have some very real fears about what happens to this nation if the Democrats fail to capture the Senate and the House.

Not the most, but not the least of them is that without a clear mandate for change signified by a Democratic takeover of both the House and Senate, heroic and harsh Bush critic Keith Olbermann's gig on MSNBC may have a narrow time horizon concerning the future.

Keep in mind that MSNBC fired Phil Donahue not long after 9/11. Phil asked too many questions, a persona not deemed suitable for a nation seen by the corporate suits at MSNBC as experiencing a rebirth of "patriotism." Phil's persona and commentary were seen as counter to the Zeitgeist that took root as the Twin Towers burned.

Now, we see Keith calling out this Administration for their willingness to play the fear card at the expense of the truth.

The fear card that if we don't win in Iraq, the "terrorists" will follow us home.

The fear card that is telling Americans that only "we" can protect us.

The fear card of all the gay couples that just might try to move to your street if that "San Francisco liberal" Nancy Pelosi becomes Speaker of the House- and although you might have been turned off by Mark Foley, remember who stands for your values when you vote November 7.

Now I have a fear card.

Fear that if a Democratic takeover doesn't happen in at least one chamber- or better yet, both- Keith Olbermann's corporate bosses may decide that, well, we gave him his say and although it was close, the results have shown America doesn't agree with him. That'd be the America who just might not want to buy products from advertisers on Keith's show.

Not saying that they would fire Keith on the spot. MSNBC would try to make the shameful deed outwardly graceful. Maybe cutting back his regular programs to guest commentaries, or simply "shuffling" the programming schedule by bringing in talking heads to yack about lifestyle issues and celebrities. Kind of like the Dan Rather treatment.

But if the Democrats take both chambers, then we are in for a battle royal between highly energized Democratic lawmakers (with subpoena power) and a lame-duck Republican Administration.

Now that'll make for good tv. And Keith's commentaries are good tv. Good enough for Keith's bosses to keep him around.

For awhile.