Who Won the Olbermann Wrangle? Bold Progressives
When NBC knocked MSNBC's Keith Olbermann off the air, a legitimate debate opened with regard to the character and content of cable TV programs—and whether the anchors of clearly ideological and at times partisan programs should try to maintain the traditional standards of journalistic objectivity. An even more legitimate debate opened about the question of why anchors are held to one standard and the owners of the channels on which those anchors appear are held to another standard when it comes to making political contributions.
But the Progressive Change Campaign Committee's co-founders—Stephanie Taylor and Adam Green—opted for action rather than debate. They immediately initiated a petition campaign demanding that Olbermann—who was suspended from his primetime slot after it was learned that he had made three campaign contributions to Democratic contenders in the 2010 election cycle—be restored to his position.
The PCCC campaign attracted more than 300,000 signatures, and when NBC announced that Olbermann would be back on the air Tuesday, Taylor and Green emailed their thousands of PCCC activists with a one word message: "Victory!"
These are tough days for what the increasingly ridiculous Robert Gibbs refers to as "the professional left"—and what serious observers refer to as "the people who were right when the Obama White House misread things"—but the restoration of Olbermann is indeed a victory.
And the PCCC deserves credit for fast action and a refusal to be discouraged or dysfunctional at a moment when energy, focus and, dare we say it, "professional left" activism was needed.
As Taylor and Green note: "It's clear MSNBC took notice of the public outrage. Progressives proved that when one of our own is targeted, we will fight back. And Keith Olbermann knows what an important role his supporters played. He posted on Twitter: 'Greetings From Exile! A quick, overwhelmed, stunned THANK YOU for support that feels like a global hug...'"
PCCC refers to itself as "the bold progressive movement."
They confirmed their claim on the title in the Olbermann fight.