Friday night left many media watchers stunned as MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann announced his exit from the network and the end of his nearly eight-year stint as host of “Countdown.”
But what does Olbermann’s competition, who has dominated him in the ratings, have to say about his departure? On Monday’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” host Bill O’Reilly addressed Olbermann’s departure, but without ever mentioning Olbermann’s name.
“They took one of their guys out and then they’re moving everybody else around. Doesn’t matter who he is or why they took him out,” O’Reilly said. “[I] don’t want to get involved with any of that personal stuff.”
“The O’Reilly Factor” host went on to rip the mainstream media’s coverage of the state of MSNBC.
“I want everybody to know the importance of the story because you and I are in the business,” O’Reilly said. “We pay attention to this stuff because we are in the business. Why should anybody care, OK? And they really don’t care. The folks don’t care, but when you have a press in America as blatantly dishonest as you have today, in almost everything, that they love MSNBC, they being the left-wing print media. They love them. And now it’s tottering, it’s like this – so, they are going to do anything they can to save it.”
O’Reilly noted that MSNBC was ranked 28th overall in cable ratings, which he said demonstrated failure, especially considering the fact the network has the resources of NBC behind it.
“Sure, look — we know the double standard, but it is and we’ve accepted the double standard, Bernie and I have because we can’t do anything about it,” O’Reilly said. “Bernie left CBS. I left CBS. Now we are here at Fox News. But let me ask you this: When you read in the print press about all of this garbage and that’s what it is, this network with NBC’s resources behind it to be ranked 28th is a disgrace. That’s a failure. Now they could squeeze out a few million dollars of profit, I guess, but it’s a failure. But the Fox News Channel is a colossal success – colossal success. You never read that. I very rarely read that.”
O’Reilly’s guest Bernard Goldberg offered an example of the coziness of the mainstream press to MSNBC and its programming. He cited a 2008 New York Times magazine piece about how Maddow spends her vacation time.
“To break it down to the simplest terms – they like those guys and they don’t like you guys,” Goldberg said. “I mean, The New York Times, just to take one newspaper, The New York Times in the past two years ran 12 stories, at least 12 that I found, about Rachel Maddow, the new big star at MSNBC. Twelve Valentine stories and one of them began, ‘Rachel Maddow,’ are you ready for this? ‘Rachel Maddow spends down time in 1865 house in western Massachusetts.’ I mean, are you kidding me? I mean, it’s like you can’t make stuff like that up. It’s embarrassing and the title, the headline over it is ‘A pundit in the country.’”