The new, extremely conservative owner of MSNBC, Comcast, has done a great disservice by ending Keith Olbermann's contract - not to Olbermann, but to the ability of the nation to hear another side of the story uniquely presented within the tenets of journalism. Countdown is by its own admission full of commentary and subjectivity to be sure, but it also uses sources, attribution, and the historical record to back up and document its arguments logically, factually, and sincerely.
Countdown was the highest-rated show on MSNBC and wasn't even matched in the ratings by any show at any time on rival CNN, either. Comcast obviously wanted to quiet the most-popular voice that opposed their right-wing political philosophy.
One doesn't have to agree with the progressive side of the story to recognize its place in journalism, which is much in opposition (and NOT a mirror image) to another network that operates outside professional parameters by promoting faux-journalistic fiction, gossip, and abominable inaccuracies in order to persuade the gullible and weak-minded.
MSNBC's level of trustworthiness and respectability has taken a huge hit as will, I'm sure, the ratings and financial rewards of the network. It is their loss, the viewers' loss, and the loss of another piece of honest discourse in our society.