This is not only ugly, it's frightening in the extreme. Olbermann was the network headliner and built MSNBC from a cable network wannabe to a competitor with CNN and Fox, often beating them in the prime demographics. It is this fact that makes the decision to "release" Olbermann so disturbing. No honest businessman would make this decision for any reason other than objection to the centerpiece political programming that Olbermann brought to MSNBC. This "parting of ways" can be interpreted as nothing else but a firing. It was political first and last and with prejudice.
Comcast, to whom blame for the silencing of this voice in opposition to the radical right wing of American politics will absolutely and deservedly adhere like stink on a mule, will pay the price of silencing Olbermann. They'll pay with ratings and boycotts on principle on all products associated with their NBC/Comcast name. They will be boycotted on principle, in many small ways, by everyone in the country except the 17% of the public which are hard core right wing zealots.
The voice of dissent is hated. It is especially hated when it rings true. No matter who you are you know that the modus operandi of the right is to lie. They accept and embrace the lie, and admit it to each other in the privacy of the country club. It's a sport. Turning the brains of the American public to mush is a sport!
To silence a political voice through means of the private enterprise prerogative of firing is as loathsome as government censorship. It is not illegal, but is despicable. There can't be any other reason for doing it but politics held close by those in charge. Indeed it speaks to the rising concern that government is now by the corporations, they now exerting political power equaled only by the robber barons in our history. They now equal government in power and are flexing their dominion with Olbermann as an example to chill and suppress real journalism.
An explanation of this with some softball format change or programming overhaul from Comcast will be ridiculed for what it is, a lie, a lie worthy of Fox News. Comcast has declared, through this act, open war on the liberal press and honest journalism right down to it's core. It's core has been Keith Olbermann these last few years. It is the equivalent of, if not of political assassination, at least of McCarthy's rein of terror against liberals and the press in the 1950s.
We can't, as a free nation, accept this kind of censorship without a fight, a desperate fight. It is on such men as Keith, or his cohorts Maddow, Shultz, Mathews and O'Donnell, that the public depends on for truths not tolerated by the corrupt. No consequence to Comcast is too dire for its imperiling of the foundation of liberty in such a way. It is an attack on democracy itself as dire as foreign troops on our shores. If corporations are going to posture as and direct our government then they should by God be bound by the Constitution as a branch of government.
The government is helpless to save us from Fox News by virtue of the 1st Amendment. But Comcast who has exercised its prerogative as a private corporation to silence one side of the political debate, should now compensate by dropping Fox News from its cable lineup altogether, as is its equal prerogative. If heated political rhetoric is not acceptable on one side of the issue, then it is clearly not acceptable on the other side.
Comcast, did you do this out of some conviction to calm down political discourse? If so, journalistic and business ethics require you to atone by dropping Fox from your cable system or demanding they cancel Glen Beck at least.