Monday, 08 November 2010


Ken Berwitz

Excerpted from an Associated Press article I found at (what I would think to be a highly amused) Fox News:

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann will be back on the air Tuesday, ending his suspension for violating NBC's rules against making political donations, the network announced Sunday.

MSNBC's chief executive Phil Griffin said late Sunday that after several days of deliberation, he had determined that two days off the air was "an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy."

The left-leaning cable network's most popular personality acknowledged donating $2,400 apiece to the campaigns of Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway and Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords.

I'm trying to figure out who looks worse here:

-MSNBC - which obviously caved in to enormous pressure from the left (and, fascinatingly, the right as well) to put olbermann back on,

-or olbermann himself, who might have to try faking a bit of his non-existent humility tomorrow night.

Either way, MSNBC is still a hard-left venue with little attachment to real news and olbermann , after all these years, is still drawing only one third the audience of his hated nemesis Bill O'Reilly.

So it goes.........

Zeke .... ..... ..... ..... Seems Keith "The Worst Person in the World" Olbermann is getting a slap on the wrist -- suspension until Tuesday, then back ranting on the airwaves. ..... .... (11/08/10)


Ken Berwitz

NPR claims it is neutral.  I don't know whether the humor value of that claim is intentional or unintentinonal,

National Review's Matthew Shaffer - presumably after he stopped laughing - actually did some serious digging into the backgrounds of NPR' senior people.  His article describing where their political sympathies lie is well worth reading.  But these excerpts should hold you over for a while:

On Sunday, October 17, the New York Times reported that NPR had accepted a $1.8 million grant from George Soross left-leaning Open Society Institute. To some, it appeared to be a watershed, especially when Pres. Vivian Schiller went on in short order to fire and insult Juan Williams. But in fact, in his politics, Soros isnt that different from the people who already control and raise money for NPR.

I investigated the political sympathies of every power player on two boards of directors: that of NPR itself, and that of the NPR Foundation, which controls the flow of private money from donors to NPR. I obtained lists of board members from, a website that keeps up-to-date information on non-profits, as NPR was not eager to provide information about the Foundation. I found information about their political sympathies on,,, the Huffington Posts Fundrace blog, Google, and The results are presented here. And they are telling.

I found information about all but seven of the 55 board members (50 directors plus the five public members of the NPR board). Of these 48 members, nearly all have demonstrably liberal political sympathies, with heavy support for the Democratic party, pro-abortion-rights groups, and environmental activism in particular.

Mr. Shaffer goes on to lay out the evidence for his claim in pretty much irrefutable terms.

The conclusion?  NPR is about as "neutral" as a fundraiser for Nancy Pelosi.

Please do not tell me you are shocked by this.


Ken Berwitz

It is less than a week since Joe Manchin's election as the new Democratic Senator from West Virginia.  But all of a sudden the rumors are flying thick and fast that Republicans are trying to get him to switch to the other side of the aisle.

From an article by Chris Stirewalt of Fox News:

Republicans are making some big promises to try to lure West Virginia Senator-elect Joe Manchin to cross the aisle.

Aside from his pick of committee assignments (likely the Energy and Natural Resources Committee), Manchin might get support for one of his pet projects - a plant to convert coal to diesel fuel that has stalled under Democratic leadership in Washington.

It's one of Manchin's pet projects and could mean big money for the state's coal producers.

"Republicans believe in an all of the above' approach to energy," one top Senate aide told Power Play. "And coal-to-diesel could certainly be part of that."

Manchin's switch could mean Republican support for not just $1 billion in seed money for the project but also a deal, much sought in coal country, to require the armed forces to use converted coal for fuel.

Republicans believe Manchin is particularly susceptible to the overture because he is up for reelection in 2012 and will have to be on the ticket with President Obama, who is direly unpopular in West Virginia. Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Independent Joe Lieberman are the other two prime targets of Republican advances.

Is this fair play?  Is Joe Manchin susceptible to switching parties immediately after Democratic money (and lots of it) helped secure his win as West Virginia's Governor?

An argument - a very strong argument - can be made that this would be about as dirty as it gets.  That it would show Manchin as having no moral core.  That he would be a traitor and never could be trusted again by either side.

But it can also be argued that Governor Manchin won by positioning himself as a conservative Republican (did you see that ad where he shot a bullet hole through the cap and trade bill), most Democrats dislike his politics and that the party helped him only out of concern for losing its senate majority.

If I were a betting man, I would bet against Mr. Manchin flipping parties - at least at this moment.  But I would not discount the possibility that, somewhere between now and 2012, he might declare he's had enough and take the plunge.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

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