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MSNBC and Olbermann

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – Countdown with Keith Olbermann is was the only news show I regularly watched on MSNBC. I have always preferred CNN over MSNBC.

I’m feeling a little under the weather today, so I didn’t have the T.V. on so you can imagine my surprise when suddenly I started reading tweets about MSNBC and Olbermann parting ways (to put it nicely).

If you missed the show like I did, here’s a clip I found online:

And here’s MSNBC’s statement.

MSNBC and Keith Olbermann have ended their contract. The last broadcast of “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” will be this evening. MSNBC thanks Keith for his integral role in MSNBC’s success and we wish him well in his future endeavors.

Am I the only one who wants an explanation? Somehow that statement above doesn’t seem enough. I am hearing it has to do with the NBC and Comcast merger deal going through

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Follow Up Thoughts on Giffords & Memorial

In the immediate aftermath of the shooting in Arizona, I quickly wrote about what I was thinking then.

Now that a few more days have passed since, here are some of my expanded and more coherent (hopefully) thoughts on the matter. The second half will discuss tonight’s memorial in Arizona, which was appropriately themed as “Together We Thrive: Tucson and America”.

There are so many aspects that I could talk indefinitely about, but of course that is just not feasible.

As someone who is greatly interested in politics and has interest in someday possibly being more involved, this whole thing frustrates me. It frustrates me because Gabrielle Giffords’ “Congress on your Corner” was something Giffords did to directly talk to her constituents and hear what they had to say. One of the arguments/complaints (whatever you want to call it) I hear is that politicians don’t know what the public wants and/or that they don’t care.

In the aftermath of last Saturday, a few congressmen have already said that they too will start carrying guns for their protection. Furthermore, I read this article earlier that says:

Congressional law enforcement agents advised staff on Wednesday to run and hide in the event a shooter attacks, but as a last resort, police said: “Attack.”

Will all of this scare constituents from going to meet their representatives and getting their voices heard? Will politicians stop or at the very least be more hesitant to hold these “Congress on your Corner” types of events? I certainly hope not.

Moving over to tonight’s memorial event in Arizona:

I found it to be absolutely beautiful.

At first, I was kind of hesitant to the constant sounds of cheering at such an event… but you know what, they deserve that right after such a week. And it WAS more of a celebration… and as pointed out rightfully so by several people — this certainly was not a funeral. Fair enough. I might not have agreed with it right away, but I accept it.

It was great to see Daniel Hernandez, the intern that is credited with perhaps saving the life of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, receive a standing ovation/the gratitude he rightfully deserves. He was repeatedly deemed a hero, as he has all week. Hernandez, humbly, said he was not a hero… to which Obama later responded with the notion that ‘you may deny it, but we have all decided you are a hero’.

Hernandez gave an amazing speech (WITHOUT a teleprompter or a written speech in front of him). I wish him well in all aspects of life as I’m sure he’s healing from what he encountered on Saturday still also.

Onto Obama’s speech: the speech was leaked as usual, but I kept myself from reading it in advance because I wanted to hear it. I did, however, have it open during his speech. Inspirational, uplifting, genuine, and apolitical are some terms that come to my mind immediately.

The only part he added from the script that was released was the astounding news that Giffords opened her eyes several moments after Barack Obama and Michelle Obama visited her in the hospital today. How amazing is that? Modern medicine is absolutely amazing and it’s so great to see her recovering so well. I would have never thought someone who had a bullet wound to her head would not only survive, but be able to follow “commands” within a day, make movements, breathe on her own, and now open her eyes four short days after such a devastating injury.

I wish her nothing but the best in her road to recovery… as well as all the other victims.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords

I have so many thoughts on this issue, but I can’t seem to put the sentiment of it all together. By now, I’m sure you have read online or watching news on TV about the fact that a 22 year old shot and killed 6 people (including a judge and a CHILD) and wounded about 12 others (as reported last) including Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona.

It is absolutely remarkable that Giffords survived a shot to her head that passed through her brain.

There are two major aspects of this that bother me. The actual events and the way the media portrayed it.

It’s frustrating. It’s demeaning. It’s demoralizing. And most of all, it’s SCARY to think that there are so many people out there who think or use violence as a solution to what they perceive to be a problem. That’s not a new sentiment as it has been happening for a while, but it seems to be a growing trend.

Violence solves nothing. Period.

My first tweet on the matter earlier this afternoon was “When are we as a society going to grow the hell up? When/how does shooting someone solve anything?” and that feeling/question remains.

You don’t agree with the political views of someone or a party? Fine, use your freedom of speech and let it be  known and especially WHY you don’t agree. You have every right to do that. No one, however, has the right to take someone else’s life!

How heartless does someone have to be to deliberately take the lives away of innocent people, especially a little child! It’s disgusting and sickening.

Now on to the second part — the way the media covered the story in the early aftermath.

In this day and age of a 24 hour media cycle where each of the major media organizations are trying to be the first to report the latest, many times wrong information is delivered to the mass public. How about being the first one to report credible and correct information??

For every major news source (Reuters, NPR, MSNBC, CNN to name a few) to report that they have “confirmed” news from “reliable sources” telling them that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has passed away and stick with that story for over an hour at least only to later retract that because we all find out that Giffords is actually in surgery and alive is very demeaning!

Who are these “reliable sources” and how can you report “confirmed” news that is obviously not true? To report the death of someone when that is utterly false is absolutely absurd!

You want to be the first one to break the story? Fine, then about saying that you are getting reports from sources saying so and so and that you are waiting to confirm it!

Someone tweeted earlier that “Trashing the media for not knowing Gifford’s status is absurd. Imagine if Twitter had existed in the era of JFK.” While that is a fair argument, you can’t report CONFIRMED news when it obviously is not confirmed! Besides, I’m not just arguing about reports on twitter – I’m talking about all of the major news organizations reporting it on TV, their websites and on their social networks sites like Twitter.

Keeping the wounded in my thoughts and prayers, along with the family and friends of the deceased.

You can read a later post, an expansion, of this by clicking here.

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

MSNBC Suspends Keith Olbermann

So as you may (or may not have) heard, MSNBC ‘indefinitely’ suspended Keith Olbermann earlier today in light of the news that Olbermann donated to three democratic candidates in the midterm election. Olbermann, who acknowledged the contributions, made the maximum legal donations of $2,400 to each of the three candidates.

According to POLITICO:

NBC has a rule against employees contributing to political campaigns, and a wide range of news organizations prohibit political contributions — considering it a breach of journalistic independence to contribute to the candidates they cover.

It’s not like Keith Olbermann claimed to host a nonpartisan show – EVERYONE knows that the majority of times, he support liberals candidates and liberal causes. How is this any different from how he expresses his point of views on the show (along with all of the other journalists)? When has Olbermann ever claimed to be an impartial journalist?? That’s like saying a journalist on Fox News is impartial.

It’s always been an on-going battle at my house — I like CNN while my brother likes MSNBC — but the ONE show I actually liked on MSBNC was Keith Olbermann’s. The same article I mentioned earlier stated that Olbermann tripled MSNBC’s ratings at 8 p.m. Without a doubt, MSNBC’s rating will plummet without Olbermann.

What do you think about MSNBC’s decision?

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Tax Man Cometh Ad

So did you guys see this? I, in fact, hadn’t because I don’t watch much TV (and therefore I don’t see many commercials).

One of my professors showed it in class today and it just made me laugh:

P.S. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below on your thoughts! As always, I’d love to hear from you.

Twitter – the new facebook

Is it just me… or did twitter suddenly become really big this week (for news reporters)?

It seems as if all the journalists on the major news channels (at least the ones i watch most often) have joined it this weekend and keep talking about it on their shows. It’ll be interesting to see in the next couple of weeks. Even though I’ve been using it for a while now, I’m not sure yet of all the terminology (I think a person who uses twitter is a “tweep”, and the message is a “tweet”… they sound like insults :/), but so far i like getting all of my news updates all at one place. So far, not many people i know personally have joined in on twitter, so for now it’s just a news source.. and it’ll be interesting to see twitter grow as more and more people join.

It’ll be interesting to see if twitter becomes as big as facebook.. or even bigger (it has definite potential).

For those of you who are beginners at twitter, here are some tips to start you off:

1. Shrink Your URLs
Since you only have 140 characters to work with, instead of sharing a long URL, use one of several URL-shortening services to shrink that link, like tinyurl.com.

2. RT = Retweet
To copy and paste someone else’s tweet, just put “RT @name” in front of their tweet and post it yourself so you give the original tweeter/tweep(?) credit for it as well.

3. @ Sign
To reply or someone on Twitter, place an @ sign in front of their Twitter name at the beginning of the message.

“Joe the Plumber” and his 15 Minutes of Fame?

I’m signed up to receive breaking news from both CNN and MSNBC, and I literally just got a Breaking News alert from MSNBC alerting me like fifteen minutes ago (after the debate) that “Man now known as Joe the Plumber (25 deb mentions) has gone 2 sleep”. Um, do I care? A little absurd don’t you think. I’ve seen many insanely weird and pointless breaking news messages before.. but this has to top the list by far.

“Gossip Girl” Stars in Political Ad

Stars from “Gossip Girl” star in an ad made by Moveon.org in support for Barack Obama … well actually it’s more of an ad AGAINST John McCain. The ad runs along the theme of the famous anti-drug ad’s that everyone has seen. This ad urges the viewers to “talk to their parents” about the consequences of voting for John McCain.

You can watch the ad below:

Tim Russert’s Memorial Service

This afternoon was the memorial service that MSNBC held in memory of Tim Russert. Tim Russert’s son, Luke, also spoke. Tim Brokaw, Brian Williams, Maria Shriver, and Luke Russert were just four of the ten speakers who spoke in the service.

Here are the links to watch most of the speakers from the memorial service from this afternoon:

Tom Brokaw:

Betsy Fischer:

Sister Socciarelli:

Mike Barnacle:

Brian Williams:

Doris Goodwin:

and finally, Luke Russert:

In addition, make what you want of it .. but the service ended with the song “Over the Rainbow”.. and ironically enough, as everyone was leaving the service… there was a rainbow awaiting them.

Tim Russert

As I was sitting at work today in the city, I received a breaking news alert on my cell informing me that after suffering a sudden heart attack and collapsing, Tim Russert died today at the age of 58. Russert was recording voiceovers for Sunday’s “Meet the Press” program when he collapsed, the NBC News network said.

I can’t even begin to explain how weird it feels because for as long as I can remember my dad and I have watched “Meet the Press” mostly every Sunday.

Tim Russert will definitely be missed. He was admired by many. His charisma and way of asking the tough questions led to such a large group of admiring fans. It’s insane how sometimes you are effected by people you have never even met… but that is exactly the kind of guy Tim Russert was. Even with all of his fame, he was just a regular guy.. a “one of us”.

Here’s the original clip of Tom Brokaw breaking the sad news:

Random: Russert’s favorite saying” “Go get ’em”.