Sen. Bernie Sanders on Corporate Media and Suspension of Keith Olbermann

The Olbermann Suspension and Corporate Media

Sen. Bernie Sanders

Independent U.S. Senator from Vermont

Posted: November 8, 2010 01:10 PM

I want to take this opportunity to congratulate the hundreds of thousands of progressives and others who demanded that Keith Olbermann be reinstated to his position at MSNBC. These people understand the enormously important role that the media play in contemporary American politics. They know the recent ascendancy of the Republican Party and right-wing politics had less to do with the leadership skills of Mitch McConnell or John Boehner and far more to do with the enormously powerful role played by Rupert Murdoch, Fox News and right-wing talk radio.

Progressives know there is something very wrong when a nation divided politically has one major network operating as a propaganda arm of the Republican Party and 90 percent of talk radio is dominated by right-wing extremists.

If there is a silver lining in the action of MSNBC against Keith Olbermann, it is that people will now pay more attention to the political role of corporate media in America. While commentators on Fox and right-wing radio have the backing of Rupert Murdoch, a major Republican contributor, and other conservative corporations, progressives understand that their position is extremely vulnerable. Keith Olbermann was suspended by General Electric’s MSNBC for a bogus reason. What will prevent the same thing from happening to Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and other progressives?

General Electric, NBC’s parent, is one of the largest corporations in the world with an anti-labor history of outsourcing jobs and with financial links to military and nuclear power industries. Surely we understand that GE is not going to provide the same backing for MSNBC commentators that Rupert Murdoch provides for his mouthpieces at Fox News.

What has not gotten a lot of attention in the midst of this controversy is that GE’s NBC Universal, one of the largest media conglomerates in the country, is in the process of merging with Comcast, the largest cable television provider in America. The new head of that company would be Stephen B. Burke, Comcast’s chief operating officer and a “Bush Ranger” who raised at least $200,000 for the 2004 reelection campaign of President George W. Bush.

As Vermont’s senator, I intend to do all that I can do to stop this merger. There already is far too much media concentration in this country. We need more diversity. We need more local ownership. We need more viewpoints. We do not need another media giant run by a Republican supporter of George W. Bush. That is the lesson we should learn from the Keith Olbermann suspension.

PLEASE HELP Save a Community Park from Destruction by Gas Drillers

Stop Gas Drilling in Rider Park

By Friends of Rider Park

October 30, 2010

Rider Park is a treasure selflessly donated to the people of Lycoming County from the late Thomas J. Rider.

This park has been in existence for over twenty years. The park is used by schools to educate children and by colleges to demonstrate biodiversity. Mountain bikers, hikers, trail runners, cross country skiers, birders, gardeners, and many other clubs, organizations and individuals enjoy the park in every season.

Rider Park’s 868 acres of beautiful vistas and diverse forests are now threatened by development from the gas companies.
Stakes are already in place for two well pads. This would mean the destruction of forest and meadow, the construction of well pads and roads, the noise and pollution from over 8,000 heavy trucks going up and down the park road (2200 per well – in and out) carrying gravel, toxic chemicals, water, sand, etc, glaring flood lights in the night sky, pipeline construction and a possible compressor station.
The park as we know it would virtually cease to exist.

The current owner of Rider Park is the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania (FCFPA). The Partnership is entrusted with stewardship of this much-loved and utilized land within our community. The Board of Directors, is scheduled to vote on signing the gas lease on November 8th.
The window of opportunity to save the park is extremely narrow.

Please join with the Friends of Rider Park today.
There are several ways you can help.

1. Sign the “Save Rider Park” petition at
2. Visit the Friends of Rider Park website
3. Write a letter to your local newspapers
4. Send a letter or email directly to the FCFPA. Email: Address: 330 Pine Street, Suite 401 Williamsport, PA 17701
5. Post the “Friends of Rider Park” website on your Facebook page, Twitter and other networking sites
6. Forward this message to everyone who may be concerned about this violation of public trust

Help STOP Rider Park from becoming an industrialized gas well drilling site.
The online Petition will be presented to FCFPA on November 8, 2010
Take Action Today!
Thank you