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Is MSNBC censoring mentions of Stewart/Cramer conflict?
Muriel Kane
Published: Friday March 13, 2009


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Fans of MSNBC's Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow were watching closely on Friday evening to see if either one would mention the previous night's takedown of CNBC host Jim Cramer by Comedy Central's Jon Stewart.

MSNBC and CNBC are sister networks, and earlier in the day, Mediabistro had reported, "A TVNewser tipster tells us MSNBC producers were asked not to incorporate the Jim Cramer/Jon Stewart interview into their shows today."

Cramer is already experiencing fallout from his mauling by Stewart, including the abrupt resignation on Friday of the long-time CEO of his online financial news site, and the suggestion is that NBC may be attempting to limit the damage.

According to Mediabistro, MSNBC's Joe Scarborough had initially alerted fans of his show that Cramer would be putting in an exclusive appearance on Friday's Morning Joe -- but he was a no-show. NBC's Today Show's had also promised coverage of the encounter, which similarly failed to materialize.

Even Cramer himself avoided mentioning his showdown with Stewart on his own CNBC program -- except for teasing viewers with the prospect that he might do so and then revealing that he was speaking instead of an earlier appearance with Martha Stewart.

However, the greatest amount of attention was focused on MSNBC's two most liberal hosts. At Daily Kos, blogger crystal eyes wrote, "I will be watching Keith and Rachel closely tonight in hopes of seeing the clip of Stewart's interview, and the 2006 clip of Cramer admitting to questionable practices. If this story is ignored, or given a light touch in passing such a Best Person in the World, we will know that even our best and bravest news shows have been significantly censored. We will know that Keith and Rachel are not free to report on the compormised state of television journalism in America."

A lengthy thread developed in response to this posting, and as it became apparent that Olbermann was not going to mention the story -- while Maddow mentioned it only in passing -- many posters described themselves as "pissed" or even "enraged." Others, however, more philosophically suggested, "They're under contract. ... It sucks, but that's corporate media for ya" or "Have you considered that CNN only covered the issue because they're owned by the same company that owns Comedy Central?"


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