Regarding Liz Wahl and Abby Martin, Just a Reminder That Phil Donahue Was Crucified Twice in America for Opposing War with Iraq

Pic: Alan Light (CC)

Pic: Alan Light (CC)

via chycho

With all the coverage of Liz Wahl’s resignation from RT and Abby Martin’s comments (2 ) on why she condemned Russia’s actions in Crimea, thought I would just remind everyone that Phil Donahue, “an American media personality, writer, and film producer best known as the creator and host of The Phil Donahue Show”, a show that had a “29-year run on national television in America”, a person who was “ranked #42 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time”. a person that Oprah Winfrey credits for giving birth to her show, stating that “if it weren’t for Phil Donahue, there never would have been an Oprah Show!”, was fired from MSNBC for opposing the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, “even though his show was a highly rated one on the network.”

I believe Chris Hedges put it best in an article entitled, “The Day That TV News Died”:

“I am not sure exactly when the death of television news took place. The descent was gradual — a slide into the tawdry, the trivial and the inane, into the charade on cable news channels such as Fox and MSNBC in which hosts hold up corporate political puppets to laud or ridicule, and treat celebrity foibles as legitimate news. But if I had to pick a date when commercial television decided amassing corporate money and providing entertainment were its central mission, when it consciously chose to become a carnival act, it would probably be Feb. 25, 2003, when MSNBC took Phil Donahue off the air because of his opposition to the calls for war in Iraq.

“Donahue and Bill Moyers, the last honest men on national television, were the only two major TV news personalities who presented the viewpoints of those of us who challenged the rush to war in Iraq. General Electric and Microsoft — MSNBC’s founders and defense contractors that went on to make tremendous profits from the war — were not about to tolerate a dissenting voice. Donahue was fired, and at PBS Moyers was subjected to tremendous pressure. An internal MSNBC memo leaked to the press stated that Donahue was hurting the image of the network. He would be a ‘difficult public face for NBC in a time of war,’ the memo read. Donahue never returned to the airwaves. “

Phil Donahue fired for opposing the invasion of Iraq

It’s also very important to note, and shows the sheer will and integrity of Donahue, that this was not the first time that he was crucified for his opposition to war. Donahue also opposed the first gulf war, and he paid the price dearly:

“The show also lost support after Donahue expressed his feelings regarding the first Gulf War. In the fall of 1995, ABC-owned KGO-TV in San Francisco dropped Donahue after carrying it for several years and, weeks later, New York’s WNBC-TV also canceled it. Donahue was also evicted from its Rockefeller Plaza home, and relocated to new studios in Manhattan. Many other stations, such as KTRK-TV in Houston, and KYW-TV in Philadelphia moved it to late-night and early-morning time slots, causing a further loss of viewers. Donahue never aired on another station in New York or San Francisco, two of the largest U.S. television markets.

“After 29 years (26 of which in syndication) and nearly 7,000 shows, the final episode aired on September 13, 1996, culminating in what remains to be the longest continuous run of any syndicated talk show in U.S. television history.”

As I have stated previously, in my opinion and those of many others, our corporate western mainstream media (2) is garbage, as Immortal Technique puts it, just “The 4th Branch” of the government, so view it at your own peril.

Immortal Technique-the 4th branch

As for Liz Wahl and Abby Martin, I like what RT and James Corbett had to say about it (Corbett’s comments follows RT’s press release):

“Ms. Wahl’s resignation comes on the heels of her colleague Abby Martin’s recent comments in which she voiced her disagreement with certain policies of the Russian government and asserted her editorial independence. The difference is, Ms. Martin spoke in the context of her own talk show, to the viewers who have been tuning in for years to hear her opinions on current events – the opinions that most media did not care about until two days ago. For years, Ms. Martin has been speaking out against US military intervention, only to be ignored by the mainstream news outlets – but with that one comment, branded as an act of defiance, she became an overnight sensation. It is a tempting example to follow.

“When a journalist disagrees with the editorial position of his or her organization, the usual course of action is to address those grievances with the editor, and, if they cannot be resolved, to quit like a professional. But when someone makes a big public show of a personal decision, it is nothing more than a self-promotional stunt.

“We wish Liz the best of luck on her chosen path.”

The Resignation Seen ‘Round the World – #NewWorldNextWeek

  • Thurlow Weed

    Poor, old Phil. Yep, they threw him under the bus real quick after he said no to oil war. He seemed genuinely dismayed by it at the time, as if all the years he spent propping up false consciousness under the guise of real understanding, plus diaper commercials, some how entitled him to more than complete disregard by his handlers once he strayed from the official script. What a dummy.

    But, Abby Martin is a whole different animal. Or, is she?

  • Liam_McGonagle

    I remember being in Florida for training with a bunch of co-workers in 2005, as it was starting to become clear (even to the thickest amongst us) that Iraq was a huge mistake.

    A few drinks in, and contrary to all good sense, the conversation began to drift THERE. Some meathead goes “Yeah, but NOBODY saw this coming at the time.”

    Yeah, we’re living in Hell alright. And ain’t a good g*ddamn anyone can do about it.

  • Thad McKraken

    Let us not forget that Bill Maher’s Politically Incorrect got axed because he stated that american foreign policy had something to do with 9/11 back in 2001…which is a fact I might point out. At the time PI was hitting all time high ratings marks. We forget that because he successfully relocated to HBO and became even more successful.

    • misinformation

      It’s also forgotten because he’s become a harvester of the lowest-hanging-fruit-comedy-method (I may have just coined that extremely clunky phrase). In other words, he’s an unfunny douchebag.

  • misinformation

    I like what Corbett had to say, as well. Essentially, Wahl’s resignation is pretty much a CV intended for FOX News

  • BuzzCoastin

    how could wee know anything
    without talking heads there to guise us
    thanks philip addy lizz
    I’m glad your thrre to glide wee