During the 2007-2008 campaign, Olbermann had thoroughly degraded himself by acting the role of a media toady to the new Messiah, and the implacable defamer of Obama’s rivals. But, over the last few months, Olbermann had launched some critical sallies against the Anointed One. Olbermann was increasingly critical and disillusioned about the administration. He was especially indignant about Obama’s December sellout on the Bush tax cuts for the rich, pointing out Obama’s dangerous erosion of the integrity of Social Security, and the cynical betrayal of the 99ers, the long-term jobless.
So put two and two together: did Immelt fire Olbermann as a gesture to please Obama by silencing a possible critic of the White House’s stunning rightward lunge? This makes much more sense than the competing explanation, which is that Olbermann was driven out by Comcast, which is buying NBC Universal from GE. MSNBC is still under GE control, and will be for weeks or months.