Thursday, May 22, 2008



It appears that a grave injustice has been perpetrated by the moguls of mass media, most likely under pressure from network bigwigs, politicos and a conservative audience. But whatever the forces lurking inthe background, former tabloid television host Barry Nolan has been fired from his job as a cable system infotainment show host because he spoke out against his former tabloid television rival Bill O'Reilly receiving a local Emmy award, calling O'Reilly a "mental case" and threatening to bring O'Reilly's comic TV foil and genuine mental case Keith Olbermann to the awards show as his date.

O'Reilly received his award on May 10th with nary a peep from Barry, who was in the crowd. But Barry reportedly had attempted to leaflet the room with pages from the sex harassment case filed again O'Reilly and was stopped by security .

And today it's reported that Comcast gave Barry the boot on Tuesday, after a two-week unpaid suspension.

Now, look: we wrote s few weeks back that we thought Barry was being silly and unfair in calling O'Reilly names and saying it was wring to award him, since O'Reilly obviously deserved the honor for rising so far above his lowly local news roots. And we had some fun with Barry after he wrote in and insulted our editor, Burt Kearns, accusing him of sobriety, then went on a literary rampage in our comments section, going so far as to call one of our readers a "dipstick."

But Barry was well within his rights to make a scene. And amid his pompous posturings and partisan pipings, he explained his motives pretty simply:

"It is an award that is meant to recognize high standards - and both personal and professional integrity. I grew up in the 60's. If you thought something morally wrong was being perpetrated - you protested (bringing Olberman ((sic))) you didn't just bend over and grab your ankles and say 'yes sir may I have another.'"

We don't know what has been going on behind the scenes, or if the bizarre behaviour Barry had exhibited on this site had carried over into his workplace. But we do know that public opinion in and around Boston, which is not as liberal as many perceive, was against him, and that if he's being fired simply because of this publicity stunt, then SHAME ON YOU, COMCAST!

Did Barry's O'Reilly obsession go too far?

Was O'Reilly behind the firing?

This story is only beginning.

Meanwhile, Barry went back to the Boston Herald, where he first shot off his mouth, to announce the repercussions:

May 22, 2008

Comcast fires Barry Nolan
over Bill O’Reilly protest

By Jessica Heslam / MediaBiz

CN8 has fired veteran TV journalist Barry Nolan for publicly protesting the decision by the local Emmy Awards to honor Fox News blowhard Bill O’Reilly.

Nolan tells MediaBiz he was fired Tuesday following a two-week, unpaid suspension.

“I knew going in that there was serious risk that I’d lose my job,” Nolan said yesterday, “but nobody likes it when people tell them to stifle, not even Edith Bunker.”

A CN8 spokeswoman issued this statement: “Effective May 20, Barry Nolan is no longer employed by CN8, The Comcast Network. Backstage will continue to air weeknights at 8:00 p.m. with host, Sara Edwards, and its talented team of reporters and contributors.”

Before the May 10 awards, Nolan sent e-mails to industry colleagues encouraging them to write to the Emmy governors - if they shared his opinion - and let them know “this is an appalling choice for an honor.”

“He’s delusional,” Nolan said of O’Reilly, a former Boston TV anchor. “He’s a man that mangles the facts.”

At the awards, Nolan said he quietly put fliers on tables that “simply had” quotes from O’Reilly as well as three pages from the sexual harassment lawsuit O’Reilly settled that was brought by his former producer.

Security approached Nolan and told him he couldn’t distribute information at the event.

Nolan says he has no regrets about speaking out against giving O’Reilly “the highest honor” that the local Emmy Awards can bestow. Past winners include Mike Wallace and Natalie Jacobson.

“When they announced O’Reilly people booed,” Nolan said, “and it wasn’t me. I was quiet.”

Nolan says he just got his five-year watch at CN8. As for his future, he plans to get his lawn in good shape and spend time with his wife.

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