Intriguing story, via Politico:
MSNBC host Keith Olbermann has been suspended indefinitely without pay after POLITICO reported that he made three campaign contributions to Democratic candidates.
MSNBC President Phil Griffin said in a statement Friday: “I became aware of Keith’s political contributions late last night. Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay.”
Olbermann made campaign contributions to two Arizona members of Congress and failed Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway ahead of Tuesday’s election.
Olbermann, who acknowledged the contributions in a statement to POLITICO, made the maximum legal donations of $2,400 apiece to Conway and to Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords. He donated to the Arizona pair on Oct. 28 — the same day that Grijalva appeared as a guest on Olbermann’s “Countdown” show.
NBC has a rule against employees contributing to political campaigns, and a wide range of news organizations prohibit political contributions — considering it a breach of journalistic independence to contribute to the candidates they cover.
I really can’t stand Keith Olbermann whatsoever, and I understand MSNBC’s rules and regs when it comes to political contributions but Olbermann is an opinion “journalist” rather than a mainstream media “unbiased” reporter. Not seeing how this breaches any “journalistic independence” on his part considering he’s made it pretty darn clearn he’s not in the slightest bit independent. Ed Morrissey has a similar take:
The more I think about this, the more ridiculous it gets. MSNBC offers the most ridiculously biased televion coverage of politics possible, crowning it with Election Night coverage that had people wondering if NBC needed to hire grief and anger counseling for the entire on-air staff. And now, because Olbermann contributed to three Democrats last month, suddenly Griffin suspends him because “these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest”?
LOL. Yeah, MSNDC’s all of a sudden concerned about the appearance of a lack of journalistic integrity? Go figure.
First, he donated money to candidates he liked. He didn’t take money, or favors, in a way that influenced his reporting.
Second, he’s not a reporter. It’s an opinion show. If Olbermann wants to put his money where his mouth is, more power to him.
Third, GE, the corporate parent of MSNBC, gives money to political organizations. GE executives and, I’m sure, NBC executives give money. Why can’t Olbermann?
Perhaps Olbermann violated NBC News “policy and standards.” But NBC doesn’t have real news standards for MSNBC—otherwise the channel wouldn’t exist. It’s a little strange to get all high and mighty now.
But it does, however, have standards for CNBC: Don’t be so mean to Obama.
Anyway, so I see Morrissey’s and Kristol’s points: He’s an opinion journalist, so who cares, and MSDNC hasn’t demonstrated standards before so why worry now? However, I also see Michelle Malkin’s POV, which is – essentially – too bad, so sad, buhbye (emphasis added by her):
Olbermann railed against FNC in August for its corporate donations while whitewashing NBC/GE’s:
On the August 17 edition of ‘Countdown,’ host Keith Olbermann used the donations to do the only thing he’s capable of doing: criticizing Fox News.
“We now have another million reasons why Fox News is the Republican news channel, correct?” Olbermann asked Media Matters president Eric Burns.
Olbermann said that GE, MSNBC’s parent company, donated an equal amount of money to both the DGA and RGA. He didn’t mention, however, that according to OpenSecrets.org, in 2008, 100 percent of MSNBC Cable’s donations went to Democrats and 99 percent of NBC’s donations went to Democrats.
Additionally, so far in 2010, 100 percent of ABC News’s donations have gone to Democrats and CBS Corporation’s PAC has contributed $51,000 to Democrats in 2010.
The Media Research Center previously noted News Corp.’s donations favored Democrats and that other outlets critical of the donation, such as Viacom’s Comedy Central, have all given substantial money to Democrats, yet there is no outrage over their political contributions.
Olbermann’s sanctimony and hypocrisy only compound his core failure to disclose the donations before Election Day — especially during the show in which he hosted one of the beneficiaries of that cash.
Network “insiders” are saying that Olby won’t be back – at all. However, don’t feel sorry for the hateful clown who, in addition to numerious BushHitler comparisons, has made “jokes” about John McCain buying Depends, and who has taken misogynistic “comedy” to new lows – all with MSNDC’s blessings. He’ll land on his feet – hip deep in donkey poop, of course.
Bill Jacobson suggests the suspension frees Olby to officially join the Democrat team. If he does so, he’ll have a long line to wait in alongside the other 2,000 or so official Democrat Congressional aides who in effect lost their jobs this week after the “shellacking” their bosses took on Tuesday.
Cross-posted to Right Wing News.