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Censoring Keith Olbermann's Countdown

Taylor Marsh: Some NBC affiliates deliberately suppressed or refused to air the prime time debut of Olbermann's progressive program.
 
 
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This post, written by Taylor Marsh, originally appeared on Taylor Marsh.com

Lots of people were disappointed because local stations jacked us all around. "After the game" means, well, "after the game." First I was told it would air before the game. I had found stories that said "afterwards." But I couldn't get any time confirmed. However, when "Countdown" was preempted for local news after the game it was so typical of local programming. Then "Dateline" aired instead of "Countdown." Then, finally Keith.

Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" is a great show on MSNBC and local affiliates shouldn't have interested viewers and fans of "Countdown" scurrying around trying to find when the show is to air.

And when reports say "after the game" it doesn't mean two hours afterwards, at least not in my book. It was worth the wait, but it shouldn't have been aired as late as it was: 10:00 p.m. on a Sunday night, with fans trying to find the times, while others got only half of "Countdown," with others having none of it at all or way too late on a school night. This previous post outlines the silliness that viewers were subjected to across the country, from Baltimore to Spokane and points in between and beyond.

As far as I can tell right now, lots of NBC affiliates went out of their way to put "Countdown" out of reach of viewers.

I contacted the news desk and the person there did not care that Countdown was not being carried and stated the Steelers show was more important. I’m asking everyone to call 412-237-1100 and ask for the General Manager or email him at: gm@wpxi.com. There is no excuse for this but sadly that is the way it goes in Pittsburgh most of the time. - C&L reader, via John Amato of C&L

No, it's not a conspiracy or the end of the world, but viewers shouldn't have to chase down the debut of a great show. Yes, programming for ratings rules. But many NBC affiliates made no effort whatsoever to inform viewers or to make it easy to find "Countdown" and west coast reports that it would air after the game didn't tell the half of it. Local KVBC in Vegas could have cared less if viewers found "Countdown." Many others followed the same routine.

But at least at the end of the day -- and I mean the end -- finally Keith aired. He was great. As usual. Too bad all the NBC affiliates didn't appreciate what Olbermann could offer their station and the audience they serve. It could have been a win-win for everyone.

Taylor Marsh is a radio show talk host, national blog reporter and author who’s been a consistent political, social and cultural force on TV and radio for over 15 years.

 
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