That’s what a series of events yesterday and today make it look like, at any rate. According to the Times, Donny Deutsch was kicked from a scheduled weeklong stint hosting suspended anchor David Shuster’s daytime program because he made an unflattering mention about Keith Olbermann. Olbermann is MSNBC’s top anchor and, according to many reports, the prime mover in MSNBC office politics. During Deutsch’s show, which he called “America the Angry,” he included clips of Olbermann in montages of media bloviators in a segment wondering how such commentary might inflame tempers in viewers. According to four Times sources, this sent Olbermann into a rage and got the plug pulled on Deutsch’s subsequent appearances.
“The segment did not go unnoticed and we’re dealing with it internally,” a spokesman acknowledged, but Olbermann vehemently denied that he himself had any role in taking Deutsch off the air, even pointing the finger instead at MSNBC president Phil Griffin. But clearly MSNBC’s stars are extremely nervous about pissing off Olbermann or appearing to diss him at all. Witness this clip (via Mediaite), in which Salon editor Joan Walsh sets Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough into a tizzy when she innocently asks who is the left wing’s Rush Limbaugh:
Sorry, but that is not the behavior of people who are not terrified of pissing off Keith Olbermann.
MSNBC Pulls the Plug on Donny Deutsch’s Weeklong Anchoring Stint [Media Decoder/NYT]