Keith Olbermann

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Posted by pompos 03/06/2009 @ 17:11

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Keith Olbermann loves him some Ben Affleck - Boston Globe
Did MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann throw a fit when Ben Affleck appeared on Rachel Maddow's show instead of his? That's the word, according to CityFile, which says Olbermann was furious when his MSNBC colleague booked Ben in April....
Keith Olbermann vs. Carrie Prejean - The Week Magazine
Keith Olbermann is taking his misogyny to a new level, said Don Surber in the Charleston, WV, Daily Mail. The MSNBC host's vicious attack on Miss California USA Carrie Prejean—which included seven minutes of judgmental "yakking about Prejean's breast...
Keith Olbermann asks Miss California Carrie Prejean, WTF? [video] - Gay Socialites
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann has a new segment called the “WTF Moment?” His premiere WTF went to Miss California Carrie Prejean. Olbermann is mad that Prejean told James Dobson she thought God was using her to spread the message against gay marriage....
Opinion Line -
Has anybody ever listened to Keith Olbermann? He makes Rush sound like a sane man. Ten years ago I predicted the economic climate we're in now: too many people living off the system. Let's set the record straight on teacher salaries: They have...
Keith Olbermann's Girlfriend Joins the Family - Cityfile
Keith Olbermann's Girlfriend Joins the Family | Katy Tur, the 25-year-old girlfriend of Keith Olbermann, has a new job! She's now "chasing tornadoes as part of The Weather Channel's Vortex2 team." (You can see a clip of her doing just that here....
Keith Olbermann Wants Sean Hannity Waterboarded - Associated Content
After hearing Sean Hannity's proclamation, ultra-liberal, ultra-pinstriped political commentator Keith Olbermann of MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann announced on his program on Thursday night's program that he would like to see Sean Hannity put...
Little Seanny Hannity is a hypocrite - RantRave | Published Opinion.
But when Keith Olbermann offers to donate $1000 per second to charities that support the military, you cower. You shrink. You show yourself to be a hypocrite of the worst kind. If waterboarding is so benign, then why are you afraid of it?...
Governor should say what her book contract will earn - Fairbanks Daily News-Miner
For example, Keith Olbermann, on his MSNBC show last week, suggested Palin's contract was a political gift from Rupert Murdoch, the conservative media magnate. HarperCollins, Palin's prospective publisher, is a subsidiary of News Corp., where Murdoch...
Stadium Offer Not Quite So Generous - New York Times
There may be empty promises as well, according to Keith Olbermann, the MSNBC News anchor. Stung by criticism that their premium seats were overpriced, the Yankees two weeks ago said full season-ticket holders in some elite sections could demand a...
Keith Olbermann Calls For Rep. Virginia Foxx to Apologize or Resign - Gay Wired
By Lily Shavick | Article Date: 4/30/2009 12:10 PM Keith Olbermann named Congresswoman Virginia Foxx (R- NC) “The Worst Person in The World” for uttering what he described as “the most despicable thing said on the floor in decades” when she argued...

Countdown with Keith Olbermann

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Countdown with Keith Olbermann is an hour-long weeknight news commentary program on MSNBC which airs live at 8 p.m. Eastern Time and reruns at 10 p.m., 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. on weekdays. The show, hosted by Keith Olbermann, debuted on March 31, 2003 and counts down five selected news stories of the day with news reports and interviews with guests, along with commentary by Olbermann.

The show is the highest-rated program on MSNBC. In the first quarter of 2008, the show averaged 907,000 viewers a day, compared with about 550,000 viewers for Hardball with Chris Matthews which airs before it. This is an increase of about 230,000 daily viewers from the third quarter of 2007. Countdown has been referred to as the "flagship" MSNBC franchise, so much so that on February 15, 2007 Olbermann received a four-year contract extension, which includes two Countdown primetime specials on NBC.

The show is known for Olbermann's fast-paced rhetorical style, historical and pop culture references, ready interjections, and strong and often scathingly stated opinions. Olbermann melds news stories, both serious and light, with commentary, much of it critical of the Bush administration. The show has been the source of some controversy due to these criticisms, as well as its host's ongoing criticism of Fox News Channel – which he refers to as "Fixed News", "Fox Noise", "Faux News", and "Fixed Noise" – and his feud with rival commentator Bill O'Reilly of Fox's The O'Reilly Factor, whose show runs directly opposite Countdown.

Since October 22, 2007, the show airs live from NBC Studios 1A's Second Floor at 30 Rockefeller Center in New York City, and is currently published shortly thereafter each weeknight in its commercial-free entirety on the iTunes Store podcast directory, and in segment form, with shorter interstitial ads, on the show's web site.

Countdown originally was titled Countdown: Iraq. It premiered on October 7, 2002 and was hosted by Lester Holt. It focused completely on the military and diplomatic actions which would become the Iraq War. Countdown: Iraq aired at 7pm and replaced a show hosted by Jerry Nachman, which was moved up to 5pm before its eventual termination. In addition, a daytime version of Countdown entitled Countdown: 2002 Election aired from October 25, 2002 to November 2002.

After the new incarnation of Donahue was terminated on February 28, 2003, and because of the build-up to the start of the war, Countdown: Iraq expanded to a two hour program, from 7-9pm Eastern Standard Time. Ironically, President Bush's deadline for Saddam Hussein to leave Iraq was set for 7pm EST on March 19, 2003 the exact time the final Countdown: Iraq program started to air, the war began that evening Washington time. After the Iraq War began there was no need for the show in its current form since it was focused on covering the run up to the war. Also MSNBC went wall-to-wall with coverage of the war during the first few weeks of the invasion, removing the need for differentiated programing.

On March 28, 2003, MSNBC announced it was hiring Keith Olbermann to host the 8pm hour of Countdown. The show dropped the Iraq subtitle and was retitled Countdown with Keith Olbermann. The 7pm hour of Countdown was turned over to Hardball with Chris Matthews. Holt was moved to anchor rolling news coverage during the day.

Countdown is a nightly news and commentary program, covering a selection of national and international stories which provide fodder for the host's analysis and opinions. Clips from NBC network news broadcasts are featured on a regular basis.

According to The Cornell Daily Sun, Olbermann has a staff of roughly ten to twelve people who work on the show's editorial content. They spend the morning looking for noteworthy or interesting stories. The group meets via conference call at 11am for a half-hour discussion to toss around possible subjects for the evening's show (many times pulling information from online sites like and By 12:15, Olbermann receives a final list of story prospects, picks what he likes, and puts them in order. He emails the list back to the staff, and the writing process begins. He arrives at MSNBC's studios, originally in Secaucus, but now at the GE Building in Manhattan by 2:00 p.m. and works on writing the show's material in his office until 7:30, when he goes to makeup, before going on air at 8pm.

The punctuating theme music to the show's countdown is the opening eight beats of the second movement, a scherzo, of Ludwig van Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125, the "Choral". The theme is a historical reference to NBC's pioneering newscast Huntley-Brinkley Report with Chet Huntley and David Brinkley, which featured the scherzo of Beethoven's 9th over the credits.

Former The Most host Alison Stewart was the primary guest host for Countdown until the end of 2007. Other occasional substitute guest hosts have included Alex Witt, David Shuster (a regular contributor to the show), Amy Robach, and Brian Unger. From April 2008 until September 2008 Rachel Maddow hosted Countdown in Olbermann's absence. This ended when she was given her own show The Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC. On December 23 2008, MSNBC anchor Tamron Hall substituted for Olbermann, marking her first appearance on the show.

Olbermann has anchored away from MSNBC headquarters for such events as debates and more recently, the inauguration of Barack Obama. During the week of 26 January 2009, he took his show on the road to Tampa, in preparation for that week's Super Bowl, which he was covering for NBC.

In late August 2006, Olbermann started delivering occasional "Special Comments" in which he has expressed sharp criticisms of members of the Bush administration, including then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Vice President Dick Cheney and President George W. Bush. As of November 10, 2008, Olbermann has delivered forty of these commentaries, as well as a series of about ten "Campaign Comments" during the final weeks of the 2008 presidential election. While the majority of these comments have been directed at members of the Republican Party, Olbermann also directed two Special Comments in the first half of 2008 at Senator Hillary Clinton, criticizing aspects of her campaign for the Democratic nomination. One of Olbermann's Special Comments also spoke out against the passage of Proposition 8 in California on November 4, 2008.

Beginning with the Michael Jackson trial, Countdown presented comedic puppet "reenactments" of news which, due to court protocol or for other reasons, could not be captured on film titled Michael Jackson Puppet Theatre. Simplistic puppets created from printed photographs glued to popsicle sticks were manipulated in front of a bluescreen while Olbermann performed voice overs.

Other puppet theatre skits followed, including those involving Karl Rove and ethics within the White House; Anna Nicole Smith and the U.S. Supreme Court; Burt Reynolds; the election of Pope Benedict XVI by the College of Cardinals; the nomination of the Chief Justice of SCOTUS; Mel Gibson; Paris Hilton; Bill O'Reilly on the 2008 New Hampshire Primary trail trying to get an interview with Barack Obama, only to be held back by a member of Obama's staff, dubbed as "Bill O'Reilly Attacks Someone Taller Than Him"; the alleged ménage à trois of former New Jersey Govenror James McGreevey, his ex-wife Dina and a limo driver; and Bill and Chelsea Clinton campaigning on behalf of Hillary Clinton merged with the post-Easter holiday called Dyngus Day in South Bend, Indiana.

Done in the middle of the show, Oddball (a play on Hardball, the show that airs before Countdown) is a segment devoted to offbeat news items and "goofball video." The 'laugh' that comes between the intro graphics and the first item is Hardball's host Chris Matthews' laugh. Olbermann traditionally begins the segment with some interesting historical fact about that date. At the end of the month, Olbermann features "Oddball Plays of the Month", a compilation of some of the Oddball segments from that month. At the end of the year, a special show (sometimes two shows) covering the "Oddball Plays of the Year" is shown during Christmas week. It is generally a compilation of all the Plays of the Month.

The "Worst Person" segment is a nightly feature in which Olbermann recounts a recent news story involving people saying or doing something that Olbermann finds objectionable. In response to some critics, Olbermann has stated that the title of "Worst Person" is satirical and not meant to be a literal description. "Nominees" for Worst Person in the World are ranked at the bronze medal level ("Worse"), silver ("Worser") and gold ("Worst"). While many of his targets are not political, the overwhelming majority are conservatives or members of the Bush administration themselves. The segment is usually done with an organ playing Johann Sebastian Bach's "Toccata and Fugue in D Minor" in the background.

Olbermann usually ends the segment by saying ", today's worst person in the world", in which the words "worst person in the world" are, for the most part, stretched and intoned in a humorously frightening and devilish manner. However, on occasions he has strayed from this approach and uttered the line in a much more somber or angry tone to signify that the Worst recipient had done something that deeply offended him.

Based on this segment of the show, a book titled The Worst Person in the World was published in September 2006. It included transcripts of segments that aired from this feature's inception on July 1, 2005 through May 31, 2006, as well as some original material.

During 2007, Football Night in America, Olbermann also spun off this segment into an NFL-themed "Worst Person in the NFL" segment during halftime of the weekly NBC Sunday Night Football telecast.

The most frequent recipient of the honor is Bill O'Reilly. Olbermann has repeatedly named O'Reilly his “Worst Person in the World", naming him the winner (gold medalist) at least, in Olbermann's words, "about once a week" including a clean sweep of all three positions ("worse", "worser" and "worst") twice: the first on November 30, 2005 and the second coming November 10, 2008. Only one other person, former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, has received all three spots in the World's Worst countdown at the same time; this occurred on November 2, 2007.

Other frequent honorees include various right wing media personalities, members of the Bush administration, and members of Congress. Barack Obama was listed as "worse" for forgetting the date of his anniversary with his wife Michelle. Olbermann occasionally awards the bronze spot to himself, as a way of apologizing for a bad joke or of correcting a factual error in a previous show. Moreover, he also occassionally awards some of these spots to colleagues working for any of the NBC Universal networks such as when he pronounced Rick Santelli of CNBC on 20 February 2009 as "Worse" for an incident at the Chicago Board of Trade a day earlier.

During the 2008 U.S. Presidential Primary season, Olbermann began using the term "Keith number" in reference to the sum of a pre-election opinion poll's margin of error and the percentage of respondents who are undecided. Olbermann believes this value tends to be predictive of the extent to which a poll may vary from actual election results, and also of the volatility of the electorate's leanings.

Olbermann's "Keith number" is unrelated (mathematically or otherwise) to the more traditional use of the term.

Interviews with comedians are featured regularly during the final segment of the show; notable appearances have included George Carlin, Lewis Black, Richard Lewis, Mo Rocca, and John Cleese.

Olbermann's show on MSNBC occupies the same time slot as Bill O'Reilly's The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel. In addition to often naming O'Reilly "Worst Person in the World", Olbermann frequently lampoons him in other ways, including referring to him by several nicknames, e.g. "The Big Giant Head", "Bill-O" or "Bill-O the Clown", "Bill O'Rally", "Bill O RLY", "The Frank Burns of journalism", or–sarcastically–"America's Conscience". He also frequently refers to him as "Ted Baxter" or "Ted Baxter's Evil Twin" and, when quoting O'Reilly's words, will do so by impersonating Ted Knight's Ted Baxter voice.

For a time Countdown presented a segment titled "Factor Fiction", where O'Reilly's opinions were "fact-checked", introduced by animated character Stewie Griffin of Family Guy.

Olbermann responded to those criticisms by saying that Fox News had had less than cordial relations with CNN, referring to Fox having set up a billboard across the street from CNN Center in Atlanta, taunting them about their lower TV ratings; to when Fox News, through an unsigned statement, compared CNN to the Titanic; to when Fox News, through a press release, had claimed CNN founder Ted Turner had "lost his mind" after he criticized Fox News; and finally to when Fox News executives had made disparaging references to CNN host Paula Zahn's abilities after she had left Fox News.

The O'Reilly Factor continued to beat Countdown in the ratings, with Countdown only scoring occasional victories in what O'Reilly refers to as the "key demographic" of 25-54 year olds until mid 2008. That June Countdown won the demo for the entire week for the first time, although O'Reilly only worked three days that week. In October the ratings competition began to heat up more, with both sides trading victories and O'Reilly claiming foul play and calling for a federal investigation into the matter.

On February 22, 2006, O'Reilly initiated an online petition, that did not mention Olbermann by name, to have MSNBC remove Olbermann from the 8pm EST timeslot, purportedly to have former slot host Phil Donahue's show reinstated. The petition was in the form of a letter addressed to Wright saying: "We, the undersigned, are becoming increasingly concerned about the well-being of MSNBC and, in particular, note the continuing ratings failure of the program currently airing weeknights on that network at 8:00 p.m. EST". Olbermann responded two days later on Countdown by playing a selection of disparaging television clips featuring O'Reilly and mocked the whole affair by joining several MSNBC staffers, including Tucker Carlson and Dan Abrams, in signing the petition to have himself fired.

While Westwood One broadcasts O'Reilly's radio show, the program does originate from Fox News Channel's New York City studios. Olbermann noted that it would be unlawful for O'Reilly to send anyone to a listener's home for purposes of intimidation.

The Media Research Center (MRC), a conservative media content analysis organization, has been very critical of Keith Olbermann since he became the Countdown host. The organization has asserted that he has a liberal bias in the form of criticizing President George W. Bush, attacking FOX and O'Reilly, starting off his newscast with what it claims to be unimportant stories with a left wing motive, and avoiding the Bush administration's side of the story. MRC has also accused Olbermann of allegedly supporting President Bush's impeachment, among other practices. Bloggers from, a conservative blogsite, have also asserted that Olbermann exclusively chooses guests who reinforce his point of view. MRC issued a press release describing Olbermann's November 1, 2006 Special Comment as "preaching hate speech", and describing Olbermann as "a brown-shirted left-winger spew hate from an NBC-owned podium." ("Brown-shirt" is a term that was used to describe the Sturmabteilung paramilitary organization of the German Nazi party).

In response, Olbermann has on a number of occasions named MRC founder Brent Bozell, whom he has described variously as |title='Countdown with Keith Olbermann' for September 8, 2006 |date=September 8, 2006 |accessdate=2008-03-11 |work=Transcript |publisher=MSNBC }}</ref> "Redbeard the pirate", and "humorist", the "worst person in the world" for various comments he has made about Countdown and other topics, such as Bozell's criticism of the New York Times for sponsoring the 2006 Gay Games. The anchor has also said that the MRC desires "an institutionalized, pro-Republican slant" in the media.

To support its assertions of bias, the MRC researched Countdown's Worst Person in the World segment and claimed to find that of the approximately 600 nominees between June 30, 2005 and June 23, 2006, 174 had conservative political views and 23 had liberal political views, with the remaining 403 having no apparent political affiliation. Olbermann interpreted the results differently by pointing out that 71% were not conservative.

Olbermann has addressed the assertions of liberal bias by stating that he would be equally critical of a Democratic president who had invited criticism by his actions: "I mean, no one in 1998, no one accused me of being a liberal in 1998 because I was covering the Lewinsky scandal. And whatever I had to do about it, I tried to be fair and honest and as accurate and as informed as possible, and allow my viewer to be the same way. And nowadays it's the same thing. And now all of a sudden I’m a screaming liberal." However, Howard Kurtz has written that Olbermann departed MSNBC the first time as a result of the relentless Clinton-Lewinsky coverage which personally sickened him. The MRC responded by noting that they criticized him in 1998 for comparing Ken Starr to Heinrich Himmler.

On November 25, 2006, Fox News Watch's panelist Cal Thomas named Olbermann as his choice for 2006's "Media Turkey Award" for what Thomas alleged were Olbermann's "innaccuracies" and "hot air". Olbermann in turn gave the show the Bronze for "Worst Person in the World", not for naming him "Turkey of the Year", but for spelling his name "Olberman" on the onscreen graphic.

Countdown is one of the MSNBC and NBC News programming shown on the 24 hour news network Orbit News in Europe and the Middle East. In addition, the show can be seen in its entirety on and downloaded as a podcast on iTunes.

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Keith Olbermann

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Keith Theodore Olbermann (born January 27, 1959) is an American news anchor, sportscaster, writer, and political commentator. He hosts Countdown with Keith Olbermann, an hour-long nightly news and commentary program on MSNBC. Starting with the 2007 NFL season, Olbermann also has served as a co-host of NBC's Football Night in America.

Olbermann spent the first twenty years of his career in sports journalism. He was a sports correspondent for CNN in the 1980s, winning the Best Sportscaster award from the California Associated Press three times. He later co-hosted ESPN's SportsCenter from 1992 to 1997. After leaving ESPN amid controversy, Olbermann became a sports anchor and producer for Fox Sports Net from 1998 to 2001, during which he hosted several World Series broadcasts.

After leaving Fox, Olbermann began anchoring several news commentary shows for MSNBC, most notably Countdown with Keith Olbermann in 2003. Olbermann has established a niche in cable news commentary, gaining prominence for his pointed criticism of major politicians and public figures, directed particularly at the political right. He has feuded with rival commentator Bill O'Reilly, and strongly criticized the George W. Bush administration and John McCain's 2008 Presidential candidacy.

Olbermann was born January 27, 1959, in New York City to Theodore, a commercial architect, and Marie Olbermann, a preschool teacher, and is of German descent. He has one younger sister, Jenna, who was born in 1968. Olbermann grew up in Westchester County, where he was raised as a Unitarian. His parents enrolled him at the Hackley School. After graduating from Hackley in 1975, Olbermann attended Cornell University and graduated in 1979 with a B.S. in communications arts.

Olbermann suffers from a mild case of celiac disease, as well as restless legs syndrome. He also suffered a partial loss of depth perception following a head injury on the subway and, consequently, avoids driving. Along with Bob Costas, he supports the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation as an honorary board member.

Olbermann briefly dated conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham (who has won the "Worst Person in the World" Award numerous times on Countdown) in the 1990s. In June 2006, Olbermann began dating Katy Tur, a reporter with WPIX-TV; the two have lived together in New York City since October of that year.

As a teenager, he often wrote about baseball card collecting, appearing in many sports card collecting periodicals of the mid-1970s. He is referenced in Sports Collectors Bible, a 1979 book by Bert Sugar, which is considered one of the important early books for trading card collectors.

Olbermann graduated from the Hackley School in Tarrytown two years after future ESPN broadcaster Chris Berman. He began his broadcasting career while still in high school as a play-by-play announcer for WHTR, and later served as sports director for WVBR, a student-run commercial radio station in Ithaca while attending college.

Olbermann began his professional career at UPI and the RKO Radio Network before joining then nascent CNN in 1981. In 1984, he briefly worked as a sports anchor at WCVB-TV in Boston, before heading to Los Angeles to work at KTLA and KCBS. His work there earned him 11 Golden Mike Awards, and he was named Best Sportscaster by the California Associated Press three times.

In 1992, he joined ESPN's SportsCenter, a position he held until 1997. He often co-hosted SportsCenter with Dan Patrick, the two becoming a popular anchor team. In 1995, Olbermann won a Cable ACE award for Best Sportscaster. Olbermann would later co-author a book with Patrick called The Big Show about their experiences working at SportsCenter. On the May 10, 2004, episode for Countdown, Olbermann said that the short-lived ABC dramedy Sports Night was based on his time on SportsCenter with Patrick.

In 1997, Olbermann abruptly left ESPN under a cloud of controversy, apparently burning his bridges with the network's management. This began a long and drawn-out feud between Olbermann and ESPN. Between 1997 and 2007 incidents between the two sides included Olbermann publishing an essay on in November 2002 titled "Mea Culpa" in which he stated "I couldn't handle the pressure of working in daily long-form television, and what was worse, I didn't know I couldn't handle it." The essay told of an instance of where his former bosses remarked he had "too much backbone," a claim that is literally true, as Olbermann has six lumbar vertebrae instead of the normal five. In 2004, ESPN famously snubbed him from the guest lineup of its 25th Anniversary SportsCenter "Reunion Week," which saw Craig Kilborn and Charley Steiner return to the SportsCenter set. In 2007, ten years after Olbermann's departure, in an appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman, he said "If you burn a bridge, you can possibly build a new bridge, but if there's no river any more, that's a lot of trouble." During the same interview, Olbermann stated that he recently learned that as a result of ESPN agreeing to let him back on the airwaves, he was banned from ESPN's main Bristol, Connecticut campus.

Olbermann co-hosted an hour of the syndicated Dan Patrick Show on ESPN radio from 2005 until Patrick left ESPN on August 17, 2007. Olbermann and Patrick referred to this segment as "The Big Show," just as their book was known. Patrick often introduced Olbermann with the tagline "saving the democracy," a nod to his work on Countdown.

In 1998, Olbermann joined Fox Sports Net as anchor and executive producer for The Keith Olbermann Evening News, a sportscast similar to SportsCenter, airing weekly on Sunday evenings. While at Fox, he again hosted the 2000 World Series as well as Fox Broadcasting's baseball Game of the Week.

According to Olbermann, he was fired from Fox in 2001 after reporting on rumors that Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corporation owns Fox, was planning on selling the Los Angeles Dodgers. When asked about Olbermann, Murdoch said "I fired him...He's crazy." News Corp. went on to sell the Dodgers to Frank McCourt in 2004.

After Olbermann left Fox Sports in 2001, he provided twice-daily sports commentary on the ABC Radio Network, reviving the "Speaking of Sports" and "Speaking of Everything" segments begun by Howard Cosell.

In 1997, Olbermann left ESPN to host his own primetime show on MSNBC, The Big Show with Keith Olbermann. The news-variety program covered three or four topics in a one-hour broadcast. Olbermann also occasionally hosted the weekend edition of NBC Nightly News, and, along with Hannah Storm, co-hosted NBC Sports' pre-game coverage of the 1997 World Series.

Olbermann returned to MSNBC in 2003 as a substitute host on Nachman and as an anchor for the network's coverage of the war in Iraq. Prior to his return, Olbermann was a regular contributor to CNN and provided twice-daily commentary, "Speaking of Sports," for ABC Radio Network. His own show, Countdown, debuted shortly thereafter on March 31, 2003, in the 8 p.m. ET time slot previously held by programs hosted by Phil Donahue and, briefly, Lester Holt. On October 13, 2004, Olbermann launched Bloggermann, his Countdown weblog, hosted on Olbermann used the open format of the blog to expand on facts or ideas alluded to in the broadcast, to offer personal musings and reactions, and to break news at odd hours. However, in February 2007, Olbermann launched a new blog, The News Hole.

In a technique similar to that of former CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite in connection to the Iran Hostage Crisis, Olbermann closes the program by counting the days since May 1, 2003, the day President George W. Bush declared "mission accomplished" in Iraq, and then crumpling up his notes, throwing them at the camera and saying "Good night and good luck" in the mode of another former CBS newsman, Edward Murrow.

On February 16, 2007, MSNBC reported that Olbermann had signed a four-year extension on his contract with MSNBC for Countdown which also provided for his hosting of two Countdown specials a year to be aired on NBC as well as for his occasional contribution of "essays" on NBC's Nightly News with Brian Williams.

During the 2008 U.S. presidential election, Olbermann co-anchored MSNBC's coverage with Chris Matthews until September 7, 2008, when they were replaced by David Gregory after complaints from both outside and inside of NBC that they were making partisan statements. Despite this, Countdown was broadcast both before and after each of the presidential and vice-presidential debates, and Olbermann and Matthews joined Gregory on MSNBC's election day coverage. Olbermann and Matthews also led MSNBC's coverage of the inauguration of President Obama.

Since beginning Countdown's "Worst Person in the World" segment in July 2005, Olbermann has repeatedly awarded Bill O'Reilly, host of the The O'Reilly Factor on Fox News Channel, the dubious honor. The feud between the anchors originated with Olbermann's extensive coverage of a 2004 sexual harassment suit brought against O'Reilly by former Fox News Channel producer Andrea Mackris during which Olbermann asked Countdown viewers to fund the purchase of lurid audio tapes allegedly held by Mackris.

On April 16, 2007, Olbermann was named co-host of Football Night in America, NBC's NFL pre-game show that precedes their Sunday Night NFL game, a position which reunited him in 2008 with his former SportsCenter co-anchor Dan Patrick.

In January 2007 The Washington Post's Howard Kurtz wrote that Olbermann was "position his program as an increasingly liberal alternative to The O'Reilly Factor." Media watchdog group Media Research Center (MRC) compiled a list of the recipients of Olbermann's "World's Worst" for about a year from its beginning on June 30, 2005, and reported that, of the approximately 600 recipients, 174 (29 percent) of those fit their definition of "conservative" people or ideas while only 23 (6 percent) were what they considered "liberal." During the 2008 Democratic Party primaries Olbermann frequently chastised presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton for her campaign tactics against her principal opponent, Senator Barack Obama, and made her the subject of two of his "special comments". Olbermann has also posted on the liberal blog Daily Kos.

In a Countdown interview with Al Franken on October 25, 2005, Olbermann noted that in 2003, after having Janeane Garofalo and Franken on his show, a vice president of MSNBC had questioned him on inviting "liberals" on consecutive nights, contrasting that occurrence to the apparent ideological latitude he enjoyed at the time of the second Franken interview.

We enveloped our President in 2001. And those who did not believe he should have been elected — indeed, those who did not believe he had been elected — willingly lowered their voices and assented to the sacred oath of non-partisanship. And George W. Bush took our assent, and re-configured it, and honed it, and shaped it to a razor-sharp point and stabbed this nation in the back with it.

Mr. Bush, you say that our ability to track terrorist threats will be weakened and our citizens will be in greater danger, yet you have weakened that ability, you have subjected us, your citizens, to that greater danger. This, Mr. Bush, is simple enough even for you to understand. For the moment, at least, thanks to some true patriots in the House, and to your own stubbornness, you have tabled telecom immunity, and the FISA act. You. By your own terms and your definitions, you have just sided with the terrorists. You got to have this law, or we're all going to die. But, practically speaking, you vetoed this law.

It is not, Mr. Bush, about your golf game! And, sir, if you have any hopes that next January 20 will not be celebrated as a day of soul-wrenching, heartfelt thanksgiving, because your faithless stewardship of this presidency will have finally come to a merciful end, this last piece of advice . . . when somebody asks you, sir, about your gallant, noble, self-abnegating sacrifice of your golf game so as to soothe the families of the war dead. This advice, Mr. Bush: Shut the hell up!

Asked by MSNBC senior vice-president Phil Griffin if it was really necessary to tell the President of the United States to "shut the hell up," Olbermann replied that it was, because he couldn't say "fuck" on television.

Olbermann was a fill-in for newscaster Paul Harvey. The September 11, 2001 attacks provided the impetus for Olbermann to return to full-fledged news reporting. He won an Edward R. Murrow Award for reporting from the site of the attacks for 40 days on ABC Radio and Los Angeles radio station KFWB. Olbermann wrote a weekly column for from July 2002 until early 2003.

Olbermann anchored MSNBC's coverage of the death of fellow anchor Tim Russert on June 13, 2008. He presented a tribute, along with several fellow journalists, in honor of Russert.

Olbermann is a dedicated baseball fan and historian of the sport, with membership in the Society for American Baseball Research. He is also one of the most prominent baseball card collectors in the country, particularly of T-206 tobacco cards and other rare cards, such as the very rare 2006 Alex Gordon rookie card. He argues that New York Giants baseball player Fred Merkle should not be denied inclusion into the Baseball Hall of Fame because of a baserunning mistake. He contributed the foreword to More Than Merkle (ISBN 0-8032-1056-6), a book requesting amnesty for Merkle's error, also known as the "Merkle Boner." Olbermann was also one of the founders of the first experts' fantasy baseball league. He was one of the founders of the USA Today Baseball Weekly LABR league, giving the league its nickname (LABR stands for League of Alternative Baseball Reality). Because of his extensive baseball knowledge, Olbermann is a consultant to Topps, the baseball card manufacturer. Topps allowed him to open the first pack of 2007 baseball cards on Countdown the week before they hit stores. The first card of the pack was Johnny Damon of the New York Yankees. In high school, Olbermann compiled an extensive list of first and third base coaches. This documentation now sits in the Hall of Fame, and is considered the definitive compendium of first and third base coaches in baseball history. Olbermann wrote the foreword to the 2009 Baseball Prospectus Annual.

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List of Keith Olbermann's special comments

"Donald H. Rumsfeld is not a prophet." From the first special comment, aired August 30, 2006

Keith Olbermann occasionally delivers "special comments", commentaries usually several minutes long that are often directed at a political figure, on his MSNBC news show, Countdown with Keith Olbermann. The first commentary specifically designated as a special comment was delivered on August 30, 2006.

Olbermann's special comments have generated much attention and controversy, especially on the Internet. They have been viewed hundreds of thousands of times on YouTube, and, the day after the first special comment, Olbermann's name became the #4 search term on Technorati and the ranking of his book Worst Person in the World jumped from #98 to #19. On at least two instances, excerpts from special comments have been entered into the Congressional Record, including a speech by West Virginia Representative Nick Rahall on the House floor.

A book compiling Olbermann's Special Comments, Truth and Consequences: Special Comments on the Bush Administration's War on American Values, was released on December 26, 2007, containing all the Special Comments that aired on or before September 4, 2007, including the one on Hurricane Katrina.

Before Olbermann started designating his commentaries "special comments," he delivered a commentary on what he characterized as the Bush administration's incompetence in handling the Hurricane Katrina relief effort on September 5, 2005. The commentary was widely shared on the Internet and prompted Rolling Stone to name Olbermann a "truth teller" in its 2005 Men of the Year issue.

On December 18, 2006, MSNBC first aired a show dedicated entirely to Olbermann's special comments. The show, which aired during Countdown's normal time slot during Countdown's holiday hiatus featured four Special Comments: "This hole in the ground", "Feeling morally, intellectually confused?", "A special comment about lying", and "Where are the checks, balances?" Olbermann revealed during this show that his first special comment, "Feeling morally, intellectually confused?" was written on the back of a travel itinerary while waiting for a flight in Los Angeles. Later, on August 31, 2007, Olbermann spoofed himself and the special comments with a guest appearance on The Soup. In it, he and host Joel McHale berated Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan for their misbehavior, going so far as to put up a photo of Anna Nicole Smith as an example of what could happen to them if they don't change their ways. Olbermann similarly parodied the concept (and his own delivery) during the Keeping Tabs segment of the December 7, 2007 edition of Countdown with a "Special Come On." It was directed at FOX Network executives about the possibility of an Arrested Development movie, and extolled the virtues of the show both in terms of quality and marketability.

In 2008, Saturday Night Live guest host Ben Affleck portrayed Olbermann in a parody of Countdown, which featured a mock special comment against the co-op board that would not allow Olbermann to keep his cat, satirically named "Miss Precious Perfect", in an apartment he shares with his mother.

The links in this table are to transcripts or videos of the special comments. The special comment titles and summaries are taken from the MSNBC website; they are not mentioned on air.

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Dan Patrick

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Daniel Patrick Pugh (born May 15, 1956), better known as Dan Patrick, is an American sportscaster from Mason, Ohio. He currently hosts The Dan Patrick Show, co-hosts NBC's Football Night in America, and serves as a senior writer for CNN's Sports Illustrated. He attended the University of Dayton in Dayton, Ohio. His brother, Bill Pugh, is a longtime sports radio executive, and is currently the head of programming at Clear Channel San Diego.

Patrick was a basketball player in high school, becoming an Ohio all-state selection his senior year. He attended Eastern Kentucky University on a basketball scholarship for two years before transferring to the University of Dayton, where he joined the Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity. He has two sisters, Molly and Anne, and three brothers.

Patrick was an anchor on ESPN's SportsCenter (1989–2006). He also hosted The Dan Patrick Show on ESPN Radio from September 13, 1999 to August 17, 2007. Starting on March 19, 2006, until the final game of the NBA Finals, he became the host of ABC's then-titled NBA Nation, a pregame show for the network's NBA telecasts.

ESPN announced on July 9, 2007 that he would be leaving the network in August 2007. Patrick’s final radio show was broadcast on Friday, August 17, 2007. The mutual agreement allowed Patrick to pursue new interests outside of ESPN and brought to an end his involvement with ESPN’s radio, television and magazine outlets.

Patrick told about the following at the ESPN25 Silver Anniversary Spectacular.

In 1994, when calling the highlights for a game in which Marv Albert described Sam Cassell as being "on fire," Dan Patrick said he was "el fuego", which he thought was Spanish for "on fire." A few months later, he received a letter from a Spanish teacher in Pennsylvania suggesting that he say that athletes are "en fuego" (on fire) rather than "el fuego" (the fire). Since then, Patrick has used "en fuego" on certain occasions when a player is said to be "on fire." Patrick has used the phrase to describe many athletes such as Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Jeff Reed, and Eric Rosenthal. Patrick started using the "en fuego" phrase because he believed the standard "on fire" phrase had become cliché.

Patrick remained off air from ESPN Radio until August 15 for his three farewell shows. He was originally reported to be returning for a final week, but returned on Wednesday of that week.

ESPN's statement released to the media said that Patrick would be released from his contract August 31, 2007, exactly one year early from his deal that was to run until August 31, 2008. The statement also said this would be the final comment on Patrick's departure from ESPN. "ESPN contractually bans all employees from making specific announcements of their futures on their airways, but out of respect to Dan and all he's done for ESPN we allowed him an opportunity to end the speculation".

Reaction from media sources hit the internet by storm. Many webpages, blogs, and news media outlets have speculated on the reasons for Patrick's departure and possible future. On July 10, 2007's The Dan Patrick Show, Keith Olbermann and Dan Patrick himself put some of the rumors and comments to rest.

Patrick confirmed that he was asked by the producers of The Price is Right to audition for the vacant host position, but he declined. The job eventually went to Drew Carey. Patrick admitted that he was hurt when good friend, Sports Illustrated writer Rick Reilly wrote that, "Patrick was making one of the top 5 biggest career mistakes in entertainment history," ranking right under Shelley Long's leaving Cheers and Katie Couric's leaving NBC.

Keith Olbermann stated that it was only a matter of time before a website claimed that Patrick was fired from ESPN as was falsely reported of Olbermann. Patrick again stated he was leaving on good terms with ESPN and that he could return to ESPN if he would so choose. Patrick said that he wants to be on both television and radio again although some newspapers were reporting he only wanted to do radio.

August 17, 2007 was Dan Patrick's last day on ESPN Radio. He named his final three shows the "Farewell for Now" tour. The last 20 minutes of his show were filled with thank-yous and looks back. Guests included Bob Costas, Bobby Knight, Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Ken Griffey, Jr. and other sports stars. Will Ferrell also made a heavily promoted appearance in character as Ron Burgundy.

Patrick signed a syndication deal with Chicago-based Content Factory, which soon launched his new version of The Dan Patrick Show on October 1, 2007. It is distributed nationally by Premiere Radio Networks. The show airs live on most stations from 9 a.m. to noon Eastern, although some opt to delay the show into the evening. The show runs delayed on Sirius XM Sports Nation on Sirius Radio channel 122 and XM Radio channel 143. It is also available as a live stream and in podcast form via Patrick's website.

In January 2008, Dan Patrick's show replaced Out of Bounds with Craig Shemon and James Washington on Premiere Radio's Fox Sports Radio network. This brought an additional 60 affiliates to Patrick's portfolio, and brought the total affiliate count to over 200. It also allows XM Radio listeners to hear the show live on the Fox Sports simulcast on channel 142, in addition to the delayed broadcast on channel 143. Sirius doesn't carry Fox Sports Radio.

Sports Illustrated also announced in October 2007 that Patrick would become the magazine's senior writer. He would also contribute blogs to's "Fan Nation" and host the magazine's Sportsman of the Year show. SI collaborates with Content Factory to produce Patrick's web site, and helps stream his radio show. Patrick said he will produce non-television content exclusively for Sports Illustrated.

On July 7, 2008, it was announced that Patrick would join NBC Sports as a co-host of the inaugural season of Football Night in America with former SportsCenter co-anchor Keith Olbermann every Sunday night beginning in September. Patrick and Olbermann host a series of highlights on the show and a segment called "The Little Big Show" with the day's top NFL plays. Patrick served as the Super Bowl XLIII trophy presenter after the Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Arizona Cardinals. It was the most-viewed Super Bowl and second-most watched American TV event according to Nielsen ratings.

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MSNBC's former World HQ in NJ (now Home of MLB Network)

MSNBC is a 24-hour cable news channel based in the United States and available in both the US and Canada. Its name is a combination of "MSN" and "NBC".

A separate company,, is the news website for the NBC News family, featuring original stories and video as well as content from NBC News and partners such as The New York Times, Newsweek and The Washington Post.

Two partnerships with the name MSNBC were founded in 1996 by Microsoft and General Electric's NBC unit, which is now NBC Universal. Although Microsoft and NBC shared operations of MSNBC cable at its founding, it was announced on December 23, 2005, that NBC Universal would purchase a majority stake in the television network, which left Microsoft with 18%. The two companies remain 50-50 partners in MSNBC, like sister channel CNBC, shares the NBC logo of a rainbow peacock.

Some critics and observers of the network say that MSNBC has become increasingly politically liberal compared to other networks, particularly in its prime-time lineup.

Microsoft invested $220 million for a 50% share of the cable network, while MSNBC and Microsoft would share the cost of a $200 million newsroom in Redmond, Washington for NBC supplied the space with an 18 month old America's Talking network.

MSNBC was launched on July 15, 1996. The first show, which was anchored by Jodi Applegate, broadcast a lineup of news, interviews, and opinions. During the day, rolling news coverage continued with The Contributors, a show that featured Ann Coulter and Laura Ingraham, as well as interactive programming coordinated by Applegate, John Gibson, and John Seigenthaler Stories were generally longer and more detailed than the stories running on CNN at the time.

MSNBC originally demonstrated the interactive value of the Internet. The network's first slogan was It's Time to Get Connected, and e-mail addresses and phone numbers were displayed regularly.

Primetime featured an hour-long interview program called Internight (which showcased the stars of NBC News), followed by the network's flagship newscast, The News with Brian Williams, and The Site, a show about the Internet and computers co-hosted by Soledad O'Brien and a computer-generated character played by Leo Laporte. The first Internight included an interview with President Bill Clinton, who took questions from callers and e-mailers. Other shows that made use of the Internet included News Chat featuring Mary Kathleen Flynn, and a look into the past with Time & Again, anchored by Jane Pauley. Black Entertainment Television host Ed Gordon also contributed to the new network by hosting the Saturday version of Internight.

The start was a bit bumpy due to a series of changes in management and continuing internal squabbles over the direction of the network. Some NBC affiliates were concerned that cross-promotion would divert viewers from their own programs, although that fear abated. However, MSNBC was often first to break news. It broke the story of the crash of TWA Flight 800 eight minutes before CNN, ushering in an era of hypercompetitiveness between the news channels that continues today.

MSNBC signed a simulcast agreement with Infinity Broadcasting station WFAN to carry the Imus in the Morning radio show, which began on September 2, 1996. In November 1996, the network moved to new studios in Secaucus, New Jersey. In 2007 studios were relocated to NBC headquarters at 30 Rockefeller Plaza in Manhattan.

The web site, a separate company, remained relatively successful, becoming the most-used online news site in 1997, 1998, and 1999. MSNBC significantly increased during the impeachment of Bill Clinton, following a new "covering the Big Story" format that provided saturation coverage for the top stories. Keith Olbermann left over MSNBC's continuing focus on the impeachment. He returned in 2003 as host of Countdown, currently the network's most popular show. When Olbermann left "The Big Show" he was replaced by John Hockenberry, who achieved some success. Hockenberry's Edgewise program focused on newsmakers and showed off Hockenberry's documentary skills. Ratings began to drop, however, after the impeachment trial was completed. Fox beat MSNBC in numbers of viewers per 24 hours, particularly impressive considering MSNBC's distribution advantage. NBC News stars began shunning the network. Low-rated chat shows such as Watch It, and Equal Time, a Crossfire knockoff, filled out the schedule. Hockenberry was replaced after six months by a rebroadcast of Hardball from CNBC.

That show was replaced by Headliners and Legends, a biography program that has been a weekend staple on the network ever since. Also in 1999, the management of MSNBC replaced midday news coverage with a delayed broadcast of NBC News Today called Today on MSNBC and repackaged Dateline NBC stories into MSNBC Investigates, a decision that angered NBC affiliates. On the other hand, 1999 saw a partnership with the Washington Post that permitted more integrated coverage on the web site.

On April 3, 2000, a show named Home Page hosted by three women—Ashleigh Banfield, Gina Gaston, and Mika Brzezinski—began. Along with Home Page, MSNBC tried to attract female viewers by signing a deal in February 2001 with Detroit radio station WJR to simulcast the first two hours of The Mitch Albom Show. While the pairing was a ratings winner, both shows would eventually be canceled: Home Page due to sinking ratings; and The Mitch Albom Show due to its frequent preemptions and some disagreements with the MSNBC management.

In 2000, John Gibson, one of the original MSNBC hosts, left the network. His confrontational tenure as the host of the Feedback primetime program foreshadowed his opinion program on the Fox News Channel. MSNBC continued to repackage NBC News programs (Special Edition and Crime Files), and during the 2000 presidential election cycle, reporters and interviews were cycled constantly between broadcast NBC and the cable news channel. MSNBC also commissioned original documentaries similar to The Discovery Channel for use as filler on weekends. Later in the year, Lester Holt received kudos for his daily coverage of the Florida election controversy, allowing MSNBC to beat Fox News during November 2000.

On December 23, 2005, it was announced that NBC Universal would acquire an additional 32% share of the television network from Microsoft, solidifying its control over television operations and allowing NBC to further consolidate MSNBC's backroom operations with NBC News and its other cable properties. would continue to be 50% owned by both NBC and Microsoft, and its operations would be largely unaffected. NBC would have the option to buy the remaining 18% share from Microsoft after two years. Rumors circulated that the cable network would eventually be rebranded as NBC News Channel, a name currently used for the network's news service to NBC affiliates.

On October 22, 2007, MSNBC and NBC News launched broadcasts from new studios at NBC's "30 Rock" complex in New York City. After extensive renovations of the associated studios, NBC essentially merged its entire news operation into one building, and all MSNBC broadcasts, as well as the NBC Nightly News program, originate in the new studios. MSNBC is also expected to expand West Coast operations, as the network recently announced new studios near the Universal Studios lot, which will assemble all NBC West Coast news operations in one building. MSNBC's Master Control did not make the move to 30 Rock. It remained in the old Secaucus headquarters until it completed its move to the NBC Universal Network Origination Center located inside the CNBC Global Headquarters building in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, on December 21, 2007.

By the start of 2001, MSNBC continued to trail both Fox News and CNN. With the success of Fox News Channel, MSNBC tried to emulate the Fox News Channel's emphasis on opinion hosts. The Project for Excellence in Journalism found in 2007 after a seven year survey of cable networks that "MSNBC is moving to make politics a brand, with a large dose of opinion and personality." In January 2001, Mike Barnicle got a show on MSNBC, but it was canceled in June 2001 due to high production costs. In June, in a sign of continuing trouble of MSNBC, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer said that he would not have started MSNBC if he knew then what he knows now. After the September 11, 2001 attacks, MSNBC served as an outlet for NBC News to provide up-to-the-minute coverage, in contrast to broadcast NBC's longer stories. CNBC and CNBC Europe, with little financial news to report, ran MSNBC for many hours of the day following the attacks. The year also boosted the profile of Ashleigh Banfield, who had escaped injury while covering the World Trade Center on September 11. Her Region In Conflict program capitalized on her newfound celebrity and showcased exclusive interviews from Afghanistan.

In 2002, MSNBC's focus continued on opinion journalism and low ratings. MSNBC scored up to triple the usual ratings during the 2002 Winter Olympics, airing several events, but this success was not due to news programming. Alan Keyes is Making Sense debuted in January, featuring the conservative one-time candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination. MSNBC rebranded itself as America's NewsChannel, with a patriotic theme proclaiming MSNBC to be fiercely independent. Jerry Nachman joined MSNBC as its editor-in-chief and host of a news analysis program in May, and liberal talk-show pioneer Phil Donahue began hosting an evening talk show in July. The News with Brian Williams was moved to CNBC, leaving MSNBC with primarily opinion shows in the evening. In the afternoon, the cable network replaced rolling news coverage with talk shows featuring Curtis Sliwa, Ron Kuby, Bill Press, and Pat Buchanan.

The experiment did not last long. Keyes was gone by July. Sliwa and Kuby were removed in October, and Nachman's show was moved in October. Donahue's ratings plummeted, from 660,000 households in his first week to just 136,000 households in his sixth week, a drop of 80%. The network was regularly beaten in the ratings by CNN Headline News. Overall, ratings dropped 36% from the previous year. MSNBC publicly proclaimed support for Donahue and moved some shows to try to stabilize his ratings, helping to increase his viewership to 446,000 households. Donahue himself claimed that MSNBC was trying to "out-fox" Fox by removing him and adding Joe Scarborough to the lineup. Donahue's time slot was replaced by Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

In June 2006, Don Kaplan of the New York Post (owned by News Corporation, which also owns Fox News Channel) wrote a column titled "Do We Need MSNBC?" Addressing MSNBC'S low ratings, Kaplan quoted CNN co-founder Reese Schoenfeld, who said that "verybody compares MSNBC to Fox and CNN — when its real competition is Headline News". Schoenfeld pointed out that the ratings for MSNBC and Headline News are roughly the same, about 300,000 viewers on average and that "by comparison, Fox and CNN regularly average three or four times as many viewers." In the column Kaplan remarked that "the running joke in TV news is Fox and CNN are news channels with websites, but MSNBC is a website with a cable channel".

On June 7, 2006, Rick Kaplan resigned as president of MSNBC, after holding the post for two years. Following the announcement, it was announced on June 12, 2006, that Dan Abrams, a nine-year veteran of MSNBC and NBC News, had been named General Manager of the NBC News 24-hour cable news channel, effective immediately. NBC News Senior Vice President Phil Griffin would oversee MSNBC. Griffin would also continue to oversee NBC News’ Today, and Abrams would report to Griffin.

On June 29, 2006, Abrams announced a revamp to MSNBC's early-primetime and primetime schedule. On July 10, Tucker (formerly The Situation with Tucker Carlson) started airing at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. ET (taking over Abrams' old timeslot), while Rita Cosby's Live & Direct was taken off the schedule. Cosby was instead given the role of primary anchor for MSNBC Investigates at 10 and 11 p.m. ET, a new program that took over Cosby and Carlson's timeslots. According to the press release, MSNBC Investigates promised to "...complement MSNBC's existing programming by building on library of award winning documentaries." The move to taped programming during 10 and 11 p.m. was likely a result of the success that the network saw with their Friday "experiment" of replacing all primetime programming with taped specials.

On October 22, 2007 MSNBC moved to its new headquarters in New York at the newly renovated 3rd and 4th floors of 30 Rock. Studio 3A debuted that morning when MSNBC's Morning Joe opened its broadcast from the studio at 6 a.m. ET. MSNBC continued to broadcast from Studio 3A throughout the day, including Live with Dan Abrams in primetime. Countdown with Keith Olbermann broadcast live at 8 p.m. from the 2nd floor of studio 1A. At 6:30 p.m. ET, Brian Williams unveiled the renovated Studio 3C on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. More than 12.5 hours of live television across NBC News and MSNBC originate from the two studios daily. On September 24, 2007, Abrams announced that he would leave the position of General Manager to focus on his 9:00 p.m. ET talk show, "Live With Dan Abrams". Oversight of MSNBC is now provided by Phil Griffin, a senior vice president at NBC.

From mid-2007 to mid-2008, the network received a large increase in its ratings. Primetime viewings increased by 61% over that time. In May 2008, NBC News President Steve Capus said that "It used to be people didn't have to worry about MSNBC because it was an also-ran cable channel... That's not the case anymore." Tim Russert's sudden death removed what The Wall Street Journal called the "rudder for the network" and has currently led to a period of transition.

During the 2008 Democratic National Convention, changes by the network led to public tensions between network star Keith Olbermann and Joe Scarborough, Chris Matthews, and Dan Abrams.

As a result of a carriage agreement, MSNBC is currently not available to Verizon Fios TV subscribers in Verizon's Long Island & Northern New Jersey grouping as well as areas in New York City, Westchester County, and Orange County (FIOS does carry MSNBC on channel 103 in Secaucus, 103 & 603 on Long Island, NJ and in certain areas in Manhattan on channels 103 and 1545). The reason for the lack of availability is, in part, due to an exclusive carriage agreement that MSNBC entered into with Cablevision, which services the areas in question. The terms of the agreement (i.e. when the exclusive agreement expires in 2011) are unknown. Although areas in Verizon's Northern New Jersey area are serviced by another cable provider (Comcast), Verizon imposes the unavailability of MSNBC to all customers residing in their Northern NJ channel map. Customers who reside in the New York City area and do not live in Cablevision areas are affected, although MSNBC is available on FiOS in Staten Island, on channel 103.

MSNBC is shown only in the United States, Canada, parts of Latin America & Africa (see below). In 2001, a Canadian version—MSNBC Canada—was developed; however, it was soon discontinued in 2004, and the American version began airing in Canada.

In Southern Africa, MSNBC is distributed free-to-air on satellite on Free2View TV as MSNBC Africa, a joint venture between Great Media Limited and MSNBC. Free2View airs MSNBC's programming from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. ET in a block that repeats twice (live for the first airing), with local Weather Channel forecasts. Botswana's national television broadcaster, BTV, also provides an un-edited broadcast of MSNBC (including advertisements) after their scheduled programming each evening. BTV is available within Botswana, as well as to Southern Africa viewers on DStv.

In Asia and Europe, MSNBC is not shown on a channel of its own. When the network started in 1996 they announced plans to start broadcasting in Europe during 1997. This never happened. However, MSNBC is shown for a few hours a day on the 24 hour news network Orbit News in Europe and the Middle East. During breaking news MSNBC is also shown occasionally on affiliate network CNBC Europe. In the UK, during major US breaking news, the now-closed ITV News Channel (ITN) occasionally showed MSNBC; some of MSNBC's reports appeared in ITV News bulletins.

In Turkey, NTV-MSNBC is the news network of the Turkish broadcaster NTV Turkey. The network is a joint partnership between the two, although very little Turkish content makes its way onto English MSNBC. English content on MSNBC is translated to Turkish.

On October 23, 2008, Multichannel News reported that MSNBC will launch its HD version in the second quarter of 2009. The news network had been aiming to launch its HD offering in the fourth quarter of 2008. That turned out to be “a little aggressive,” MSNBC president Phil Griffin said. Although HD versions of other channels that NBC Universal owns are in 1080i, the resolution that MSNBC HD will be in has not been confirmed. More specific information regarding dates and which television providers will carry it are not available at this time., a separate company from MSNBC cable, is the online news outlet for the NBC News family, including network shows such as Today, NBC Nightly News, and Dateline NBC, as well as MSNBC TV. In addition to NBC News content and material produced by the site's own staff, also hosts articles and features from several partners, including The Washington Post and Newsweek magazine.

The web site is developed in Redmond, Washington, on the Microsoft campus and news content is produced out of newsrooms in Redmond, New York, and London. It is the news provider for MSN, the portal site and online service operated by Microsoft, but it is editorially and financially separate.

According to Nielsen Online, has risen above Yahoo! News and CNN for the position of top U.S. news site from June 2008 through January 2009.

In the February 2008 issue of Men's Journal magazine, a MSNBC interviewee quoted a senior executive who said that commentator Keith Olbermann "runs MSNBC" and that "because of his success, he's in charge" of the network. The New York Times has called Olbermann the network's "most recognizable face". In September 2008, MSNBC stated that they were removing both Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews as live political event anchors, and replacing them with David Gregory, due to growing criticism that they were "too opinionated to be seen as neutral in the heat of the presidential campaign." However, Olbermann continued to broadcast Countdown both before and after the presidential and vice-presidential debates, and both Matthews and Olbermann joined Gregory on the network's election night coverage.

Leaders of John McCain's campaign have publicly criticized MSNBC and its parent network at least twice during the 2008 presidential campaign. Senior McCain campaign strategist Steve Schmidt called it an organ of the Democratic National Committee in May 2008.

We enveloped our President in 2001. And those who did not believe he should have been elected — indeed, those who did not believe he had been elected — willingly lowered their voices and assented to the sacred oath of non-partisanship. And George W. Bush took our assent, and re-configured it, and honed it, and shaped it to a razor-sharp point and stabbed this nation in the back with it.

Mr. Bush, you say that our ability to track terrorist threats will be weakened and our citizens will be in greater danger, yet you have weakened that ability, you have subjected us, your citizens, to that greater danger. This, Mr. Bush, is simple enough even for you to understand. For the moment, at least, thanks to some true patriots in the House, and to your own stubbornness, you have tabled telecom immunity, and the FISA act. You. By your own terms and your definitions, you have just sided with the terrorists. You got to have this law, or we're all going to die. But, practically speaking, you vetoed this law.

It is not, Mr. Bush, about your golf game! And, sir, if you have any hopes that next January 20 will not be celebrated as a day of soul-wrenching, heartfelt thanksgiving, because your faithless stewardship of this presidency will have finally come to a merciful end, this last piece of advice . . . when somebody asks you, sir, about your gallant, noble, self-abnegating sacrifice of your golf game so as to soothe the families of the war dead. This advice, Mr. Bush: Shut the hell up!

Asked by MSNBC senior vice-president Phil Griffin if it was really necessary to tell the President of the United States to "shut the hell up," Olbermann replied that it was, because he couldn't say "fuck" on television.

Some supporters of the Democratic Party have criticized MSNBC during and after the 2008 Democratic Primaries, accusing it of covering Barack Obama much more favorably than Hillary Clinton. Democratic Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, who supported Hillary Clinton in the primaries and currently supports Barack Obama, called MSNBC's coverage "absolutely embarrassing." He also stated that “MSNBC was the official network of the Obama campaign". Writer Isaac Chotiner wrote in The New Republic that "MSNBC's coverage can lead to a perverse sort of cognitive dissonance in viewers like, well, me." He speculated that "it was the Obama cheerleading from MSNBC (among others) that helped lead to Clinton's New Hampshire comeback." A study done by the Project for Excellence in Journalism showed that MSNBC had less negative coverage of Obama (14% of stories vs. 29% in the press overall) and more negative stories about Republican presidential candidate John McCain (73% of its coverage vs. 57% in the press overall). This can be compared to Fox News in the same report, which showed their stories were 40% negative for both candidates which was more than the norm for Obama (29% average) and less than the norm for McCain (57% average).

A spokesperson for Obama's campaign has stated that "When the cable news channels had wall-to-wall negative coverage about our campaign for weeks on end, we didn't think it was particularly fair, but we also didn't whine about it all the time." He also said about the network that "Has it been too pro-Obama? Absolutely not". MSNBC head Phil Griffin called the network's coverage of Clinton "very fair".

During the week of the 2008 presidential election, MSNBC changed its on-air slogan to "The Power of Change" which was similar to the Obama campaign's message during the election. This fueled further allegations of bias from critics of the news organization.

In early April 2007, shock jock Don Imus, whose radio show Imus in the Morning was simulcast on MSNBC, made comments about the Rutgers University women's basketball team. The comments sparked outrage, as many individuals considered the comments to be both racist and sexist. After an initial two-week suspension of Imus' program, MSNBC canceled the simulcast as sponsors started withdrawing their advertisements from the show. Imus, as well as NBC News, apologized to the Rutgers Basketball team for the remarks.

In March 2003, MSNBC featured a weekend show hosted by conservative radio host Michael Savage. Savage snapped at a prank caller on his show, calling him a "pig" and a "sodomite," telling him that he "should get AIDS and die," and to "go eat a sausage and choke on it." Savage was immediately fired.

MSNBC has used five logos to date since 1996, and they are shown below.

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Source : Wikipedia