Saturday, May 24, 2008

Boston blogsite defends Barry Nolan

Former tabloid television host Barry Nolan was fired from his job as a cable show co-host this week over a loud and passionate campaign to deny his former tabloid television rival Bill O'Reilly a Boston Emmy. Comcast isn't commenting, so it's not clear whether the cable television giant fired him for simply speaking out against a cable television superstar or because Barry spun out of control with liberal furor (his campaign included over-the-top name-calling-- labelling O'Reilly a "mental case"-- mass emailing of Academy members-- a personal attack on Tabloid Baby's editor for questioning the wisdom of his outburst-- Barry snarkily accused him of being sober, nasty shots at Tabloid Baby commenters who disagreed with him, and ultimately, the old-school propaganda tactic of leafleting the Emmy ceremony with quotes from O"Reilly and the "loofah-falafel" sex harassment suit that O'Reilly somehow overcame), but what has been most striking is the lack of public support for Barry.

Well, at least one Bostoncentric blogsite has joined us in challenging the firing (we've got no hard feelings-- we encourage the traditional literary feud). The Bostonist, part of The Gothamist group, stands tall:

Comcast Bows to O'Reilly, Fires Barry Nolan

For a while, it seemed safe to have opinions about overprotected, pasty professional jaw-flapper Bill O'Reilly. Stephen Colbert won awards for it. But local CN8 host Barry Nolan from "Backstage" just got canned for it.

Nolan protested the fact that the New England EMMY chapter honored O'Reilly and handed out flyers at the event. However, he didn't give that opinion on the air or even spoof O'Reilly a la Colbert. Nolan said that, when O'Reilly was honored by the EMMY chapter, other people booed. Will all of them be fired, too, for sharing their opinions off the clock?

This is sad. Bostonist fondly remembers when Nolan interviewed Slavoj Zizek, a professional jaw-flapper who seems far less uptight than O'Reilly.

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