Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Anchored by Melissa Bell  |  About  |  Get Updates:  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  RSS Feeds RSS Feed

Keith Olbermann suspended from MSNBC; Twitter reacts

By Melissa Bell
height
Keith Olbermann (Mark J. Terrill/AP)

Another media television head bites the dust? Sort of. This time it's merely a suspension, not an outright firing.

Keith Olbermann will be sitting out the countdown on MSNBC for awhile. After news broke Friday that the left-leaning talk show host donated to Democratic candidates before the election, MSNBChas suspended the anchor without pay for an undetermined period of time.

Olbermann made the donations after his harsh criticism of Fox News parent company News Corp., which donated to Republican-leaning groups.

He said in a statement that he "did not privately or publicly encourage anyone else to donate to these campaigns, nor to any others in this election or any previous ones, nor have I previously donated to any political campaign at any level."

Update: A Twitter-powered petition has been going around sponsored by Progressive Change Campaign Committee asking for Olbermann to be reinstated. It reads, "NBC policy does not prohibit employees from donating to political candidates -- but MSNBC president Phil Griffin is miffed that Keith didn't get "prior approval' first. Meanwhile, Republicans Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan also gave political contributions -- but are not suspended." So far 210,645 people have electronically signed the petition.

By Melissa Bell  | November 5, 2010; 2:04 PM ET
Categories:  The Daily Catch  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Imogen Heap live webcast of crowd-sourced documentary (Now)
Next: Halloween lives with our reader costume rundown

Comments

CNN? MSNBC? decide. Hint: MSNBC.

Posted by: sunthenot | November 5, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Ummm Melissa he's on MSNBC...

Posted by: zendoghawk | November 5, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Wow. If you don't know Olbermann is on MSNBC and not CNN, you really shouldn't blog or write anything about it.

Posted by: ScottJensen | November 5, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Why can't Mr. Olbermann as a private citizen concerned about the election make a contribution to a candidate he hopes to help? Mr. Olbermann did not urge anyone in the viewing audience to support the candidacy of these three. I think it is a shame to take him off the air; and, hope MSNBC reconsiders immediately. We have few voices for critical thinking on the tv. Mr. Olbermann's presentations are interesting and thought provoking.

Posted by: MiriyamGevirtz | November 5, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Phil Griffin has got to be a total idiot. Everyone knows where Olbermann stands politically. If a FOX anchor does this he/she is a hero. I think the other MSNBC anchors should protest and walk off the set if necessary until Olbermann is returned.

Posted by: william51 | November 5, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

What an outrage. Olbermann prohibited from supporting candidates while Rupert Murdoch openly shovels mountains of cash to Republicans? There is something basically wrong about these internal policies regulating the private lives of news professionals. Are they prohibited from voting or having any personal opinion at all? I thought it was wrong when news agencies prohibited participation the Rally for Sanity. It seems to me that Olbermann should sue the crap out of MSNBC based on unconstitutional infringement of his free speech rights. They can manage what he does on the job, but they have no right to determine what he does on his own time.

Boycott MSNBC!!!!

Posted by: truthwillout | November 5, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Beck is next.

Clean house.

Posted by: GaryEMasters | November 5, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Glory, Glory!!! That rat maggot has been needing to be slapped down for a long time.
In truth, MSN is in DEEP trouble and is about to do a major re-shuffling. Olbermoron saw the writing on the wall and spared himself the final indignity of being fired by THE most radical mouthpiece of the media.

Posted by: pd2710 | November 5, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Joe Scarborough is allowed to donate to Republicans and he keeps his job at MSNBC. Olbermann donates to Democrats and is suspended indefinitely. Well now we know who MSNBC supports...

Posted by: clintatl | November 5, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

Will Fox suspend Hannity who donated $5000 to Bachman's PAC and then interviewed her?

Posted by: grammyof9 | November 5, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

I guess Mr. Griffin was the only person in the Country that didn't realize what Keith's political philosophy is. That's why we watch this most articulate spokesman for our proud, Liberal political values!

Is Rachel Maddow or Ed Schults next in the Foxification of MSNBC?

Posted by: NWhalibut | November 5, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Will Fox suspend Hannity who donated $5000 to Bachman and then interviewed her?

Posted by: grammyof9 | November 5, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Joe Scarborough is allowed to donate to Republicans and he keeps his job at MSNBC. Olbermann donates to Democrats and is suspended indefinitely. Well now we know who MSNBC supports...

Posted by: clintatl | November 5, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

I guess Mr. Griffin was the only person in the Country that didn't realize what Keith's political philosophy is. That's why we watch this most articulate spokesman for our proud, Liberal political values!

Is Rachel Maddow or Ed Schults next in the Foxification of MSNBC?

Posted by: NWhalibut | November 5, 2010 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I guess Mr. Griffin was the only person in the Country that didn't realize what Keith's political philosophy is. That's why we watch this most articulate spokesman for our proud, Liberal political values!

Is Rachel Maddow or Ed Schults next in the Foxification of MSNBC?

Posted by: NWhalibut | November 5, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

MSNBC has 'standards and policies'...Are they joking? Have they ever watched the trash they broadcast? It's embarrassing.

I do have a suggestion for tonights 'worst person in the world'...eh Keith?

Posted by: twann9852 | November 5, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

How wonderful to get this disgusting human being off the air, even for a short time! According to most people I know, he is the most hateful individual on television. And from what I read, those who work with him feel the same way. Good riddens, vermin.

Posted by: Rehcab1 | November 5, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

MSNBC has 'standards and policies'...Are they joking? Have they ever watched the trash they broadcast? It's embarrassing.

I do have a suggestion for tonights 'worst person in the world'...eh Keith?

Posted by: twann9852 | November 5, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

How wonderful to get this disgusting human being off the air, even for a short time! According to most people I know, he is the most hateful individual on television. And from what I read, those who work with him feel the same way. Good riddens, vermin.

Posted by: Rehcab1 | November 5, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I guess Mr. Griffin was the only person in the Country that didn't realize what Keith's political philosophy is. That's why we watch this most articulate spokesman for our proud, Liberal political values!

Is Rachel Maddow or Ed Schults next in the Foxification of MSNBC?

Posted by: NWhalibut | November 5, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

How wonderful to get this disgusting human being off the air, even for a short time! According to most people I know, he is the most hateful individual on television. And from what I read, those who work with him feel the same way. Good riddens, vermin.

Posted by: Rehcab1 | November 5, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Olbermann makes contributions to the democrats with every insult and condescending remark(much of which is out of context or simply untrue) that he makes on his show. How much is a minute of airtime worth on MSNBC? Oh...nevermind. At least Fox is fair and balanced- many more Liberals on Fox than Conservatives on MSNBC. Check the ratings from Tuesday night-Fox had Trippi, Williams and others-7 million viewers. MSNBC had K.O., Matthews and others (no conservative commentator) and all they did was hurl insults. Fox is soooo much better. Unless, of course you're in a liberal trance.

Posted by: RayMaxwell | November 5, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I've been a consistent viewer for many years. Keith is the one who got me interested. When he's back, so am I.

Posted by: DrBill2 | November 5, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Olbermann makes contributions to the democrats with every insult and condescending remark(much of which is out of context or simply untrue) that he makes on his show. How much ia a minute of airtime worth on MSNBC? Oh...nevermind. At least Fox is fair and balanced- many more Liberals on Fox than Conservatives on MSNBC. Check the ratings from Tuesday night-Fox had Trippi, Williams and others-7 million viewers. MSNBC had K.O., Matthews and others (no conservative commentator) and all they did was hurl insults.-2 million viewers. Fox is soooo much better. Unless, of course you're in a liberal trance.

Posted by: RayMaxwell | November 5, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

I understand what MSNBC is doing. They want their reporters to be objective and not be beholden to any political party. Fair enough. But, that should not mean that a reporter cannot contribute personally to a political campaign just as we would not want to prevent the reporter from voting. He was wrong to interview the candidate whom he had supported. That is a conflict of interest. But, having a policy that prevents reporters from supporting specific candidates or supporting a political party? No, that's not reasonable. That is taking away their democratic rights (and would be illegal according the recent Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court). Instead, MSNBC should revisit their ethics policy in consultation with their staff and revise it to be more reasonable. Olbermann should be reprimanded for the one conflict of interest (essentially warned not to do it again), and then reinstated. That would be a better solution.

Posted by: NL_from_Houston | November 5, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

This is about corporate governance (Comcast), pure and simple. Corporations already are basically running the US government, have co-opted the Democrats, paid off the Republicans and hoodwinked the majority of the Tea Party.

MSNBC is going to make one heck of a shopping channel!

Posted by: rogied25 | November 5, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

The Fox channel is a network, not a person.
Joe Scarborough donated $4,200 to a Republican candidate,and was not suspended.
Does Msnbc not want viewers. Keith had the highest rated program on Msnbc. I will not watch Msnbc again, until he is reinstated.

Posted by: cindyn1 | November 5, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

The Fox channel is a network, not a person.
Joe Scarborough donated $4,200 to a Republican candidate,and was not suspended.
Does Msnbc not want viewers. Keith had the highest rated program on Msnbc. I will not watch Msnbc again, until he is reinstated.

Posted by: cindyn1 | November 5, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

The Fox channel is a network, not a person.
Joe Scarborough donated $4,200 to a Republican candidate,and was not suspended.
Does Msnbc not want viewers. Keith had the highest rated program on Msnbc. I will not watch Msnbc again, until he is reinstated.

Posted by: cindyn1 | November 5, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I'm a big fan of KO and MSNBC, but he deserves this. Company policy for years has been to get approval before making donation. Apparently he didn't. We don't know if the other MSNBC anchors got approval prior to their donations, but the assumption would be that they did since they didn't get suspended.
.
As for free speech rights, in KO's own words, this has nothing to do with free speech. If he didn't like the rules he is free to work somewhere else.
.
He broke the rules, he's being punished, no issues here anyway.

Posted by: rpixley220 | November 5, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

You have to realize that both the Grijalva and Giffords races are so close that we still don't have official election results. There will certainly be recounts asked on both races. Olbermann's money could have made a difference and if you think Grijalva is worthy of that donation take a look at this ad. Grijalva supporters made up flyers in Spanish with a fake bread brand with "McClung White Bread". Slurring his opponent Ruth McClung's ethnic background. Totally racist in nature. Is this the type of candidate that Olbermann and MSNBC supports? Is this the image that MSNBC wants to put out to the public? Here's a link to the ad-

http://tucsoncitizen.com/in-the-aggregate/tag/ruth-mcclung/

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | November 5, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

This is a shame! Keith is one of the sane voices on cable news and he has a good following. Personally, I dislike Chris Hayes. I am sure he is quite bright and knowledgeable, but is too young and inexperienced for the position and he talks too fast. I can't listen that fast. I turn him off when he subs for Rachel.

Posted by: carolsch1 | November 5, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

This is a shame! Keith is one of the sane voices on cable news and he has a good following. Personally, I dislike Chris Hayes. I am sure he is quite bright and knowledgeable, but is too young and inexperienced for the position and he talks too fast. I can't listen that fast. I turn him off when he subs for Rachel.

Posted by: carolsch1 | November 5, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I guess Mr. Griffin was the only person in the Country that didn't realize what Keith's political philosophy is. That's why we watch this most articulate spokesman for our proud, Liberal political values!

Is Rachel Maddow or Ed Schults next in the Foxification of MSNBC?

Posted by: NWhalibut | November 5, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I guess Mr. Griffin was the only person in the Country that didn't realize what Keith's political philosophy is. That's why we watch this most articulate spokesman for our proud, Liberal political values!

Is Rachel Maddow or Ed Schults next in the Foxification of MSNBC?

Posted by: NWhalibut | November 5, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

This is repression. The fascists are here. Interesting that it happened right after NBC was taken over.

Posted by: gareacy | November 5, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I can't stand Olbermann, but this is ridiculous. Was anyone under the pretense that he was an objective news reporter? He's an opinion journalist, and, as such, should feel free to donate to whoever he wants to.

Posted by: nlcaldwell | November 5, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I guess Mr. Griffin was the only person in the Country that didn't realize what Keith's political philosophy is. That's why we watch this most articulate spokesman for our proud, Liberal political values!

Is Rachel Maddow or Ed Schults next in the Foxification of MSNBC?

Posted by: NWhalibut | November 5, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

This is repression. The corporate fascists are here. Note that it happened right as NBC is taken over by Comcast.

Posted by: gareacy | November 5, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Keith Olbermann is the Edward R. Murrow of our time. Shame on MSNBC's corporate executives for their indefinite suspension of Keith, especially when rival Fox cares not a wit when their political commentators contribute to Republicans.

Posted by: borisbakunas | November 5, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

I am dismayed my Keith Olbermann's suspension. I hope he & Mr. Griffin can work something out so that Keith can return to MSNBC.I loved watching his show. Every night at 8:00 p.m., I am in front of my TV waiting to hear from Keith. Please bring him back, Mr. Griffin. There are other media commentors that contributes to their favorite parties. Why can't Keith?

We already have a high unemployment rate as it is. You are adding to the already high unemployment rate. Please re-connsider your decision and bring Keith Olbermann back to MSNBC. Thanks!

Minnie

Posted by: medward7 | November 5, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

You know what is wrong with this story??? Karl Rove donated money to the American Crossrad a Republican org. Murdoch gave a million dollars to Republicans, and The Supreme Court Gave Cooperations a free lunch on donating to campaigns, which they did to Republicans and Keith could not donate to whom he supports. What is wrong with this picture? I think his rights to free speech has been violated and take that to the supreme Court, and maybe we can get a ruling about the media.Haaahaaaa gues how they will rule haaaahaaa.

Posted by: Bryan_Claire | November 5, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

You know what is wrong with this story??? Karl Rove donated money to the American Crossrad a Republican org. Murdoch gave a million dollars to Republicans, and The Supreme Court Gave Cooperations a free lunch on donating to campaigns, which they did to Republicans and Keith could not donate to whom he supports. What is wrong with this picture? I think his rights to free speech has been violated and take that to the supreme Court, and maybe we can get a ruling about the media.Haaahaaaa gues how they will rule haaaahaaa.

Posted by: Bryan_Claire | November 5, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

You know what is wrong with this story??? Karl Rove donated money to the American Crossrad a Republican org. Murdoch gave a million dollars to Republicans, and The Supreme Court Gave Cooperations a free lunch on donating to campaigns, which they did to Republicans and Keith could not donate to whom he supports. What is wrong with this picture? I think his rights to free speech has been violated and take that to the supreme Court, and maybe we can get a ruling about the media.Haaahaaaa gues how they will rule haaaahaaa.

Posted by: Bryan_Claire | November 5, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I guess Mr. Griffin was the only person in the Country that didn't realize what Keith's political philosophy is. That's why we watch this most articulate spokesman for our proud, Liberal political values!

Is Rachel Maddow or Ed Schults next in the Foxification of MSNBC?

Posted by: NWhalibut | November 5, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Even though I understand MSNBC for taking this decision, I believe Keith should be reinstated as soon as possible. He is truly a bright journalist and very insightful At the end the republicans are winning in every respect, if the bright minds cannot be in the air, we are left with the Hannitys of this world and that is really depressing.

Posted by: normaacevedo | November 5, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

hillarious. For all you people who are saying he should sue, that is stupid, but so is Kieth, so that makes sense. You ever heard of AT WILL EMPLOYER??? Hmmm . . . it means that a company can fire you for no reason. They dont have to list reasons for why they are firing you.

This brings up another point. Come on people. They are not firing him because of the contributions. No one is watching his show, and he made a fool of the station on election night. See ya

Posted by: fightingleeclan | November 5, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

You know what is really wrong with this country Bryan? People like you cant figure out how to use technology and they not only double post, but triple post. Again, morons, this is not a violation of free speech. You can "free speech" all you want, private companies can also fire you all they want. what a joke you people are. No company is required to keep you for any reason. The ONLY things they cannot fire you for are race, religion, etc. Yes, they can fire you for violating company policy for sure, idiots.

Posted by: fightingleeclan | November 5, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Foreigner Rupert Murdoch, owner of the Wall Street Journal and False News, contributes two million dollars to Repub candidates....and nothing happens. American Keith Oberman contributes $2000 to Democratica candidates is canned.
Something smells rotten in KNBC.

Posted by: analyst72 | November 6, 2010 8:05 AM | Report abuse

My husband and I have always looked forward to Keith's comments. It is refreshing to hear the truth. I almost gag if accidently turn on Fox news and hear the lies. They spew hatred and love to stir the witches brew. This country is headed for disaster if we allow the hate mongers to run this country. Let Keith
expose them!!!!Bring Him Back!!! Helena Concannon Petrocci

Posted by: thetreadie | November 6, 2010 8:09 AM | Report abuse

This move on the part of MSNBC has the same corporate, under-handed stench that reeked when NBC fired Conan O’Brien from the Tonight Show. Phil Griffin, the head of MSNBC said in a statement released late Friday afternoon, "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."

Who’s buying that? K.O. is MSNBC’s biggest star. It’s just too convenient that this news was released late on a Friday afternoon at the end of the news cycle, heading into the weekend of less coverage. There’s more to this story; I am certain of that.

If it looks like a rat, and smells like a rat….

Olbermann sat behind the camera of MSNBC’s top rated show (he tripled the ratings in his time slot there). He is well-known for his liberal leanings as well as his acerbic criticism of many, including Phil Griffin, the executive who suspended him.

What’s that I smell? Eau de rat? Other MSNBC employees have made political contributions, including Republicans Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan and, ironically enough, Chris Hayes who will be filling in during Olbermann’s absence.

That bears repeating: the guy filling K.O.'s shoes did the very same thing. These pundits make no bones about their political leanings and that’s why people follow them! I would expect Olbermann to support Democrats in the very same way that I would expect Scarborough to support Republicans.

A larger, more Constitutional question plays with the mind: Can a company, even a news network, tell its employees who they can or cannot donate their private funds to? Doesn’t Olbermann have the same rights as every American, whether Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative or anarchist?

Tim Russert must be rolling over in his grave. I miss him, and I will miss Countdown, but I will not miss NBC or MSNBC as I plan to boycott both networks until Olbermann is once again Counting Down.

Of one thing I am certain, Phil Griffen is NBC/MSNBC's all-time BIGGEST LOSER.

Please click on the following link to sign a nation-wide petition to restore KO to Countdown: http://act.boldprogressives.org/sign/petition_olbermann/?source=fbc&referring_akid=.752602.3nWJ9i

Posted by: Penny2010 | November 6, 2010 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Just another ratings ploy - MSNBC is in the toilet -Keith will be back, proudly stating his viewpoints - Rachel will be kissing his backside -don't be fooled by all this garbage!!!

Posted by: robertshriner | November 6, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

For me Olbermann is the 'heart & soul'of MSNBC nightly programming and the primary reason I watch the network. Phil Griffin is the one who should be suspended, or rather fired. I guess I will be watching CNN at night from now on.

Posted by: zelie1 | November 6, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Once again, the double standards applied throughout LIFE in the US rears its ugly head. Phil Griffin...never heard of him...nor do I care to hear of him again. No one turns on the TV for you Phil - we do for Keith. So get over your ego trip Phil and reinstate one of the best presenters/reporters the US has...and show us all in other parts of the world that you're man enough to admit you made an error.

Keith Olbermann is not just an informed and balanced individual - he is one of the most reliable sources of information I turn to when I seek out news from the US.

Up until today MSNBC was my news of choice - unless Olbermann returns - I am choosing someone else.

Keith if Phil isn't clever enough to work out the solution, give these losers a miss and post on-line I for one will be watching you!

Posted by: trimbojd | November 7, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Keith Olbermann is one of the best journalist in this country, he report the truth. Keith is the conscience of America who is always speaking for voiceless, the middle class and the poor in this country.
Keith hold your head high, people with good conscience in this country are behind. You are in the mold late famed Edward Murrow of CBS, Dan Rather, late Walter Concrite and late Tim Russell. Keep up the great reporting you are doing along with Ed Schults, Chris Mathews and Rachel Maddow. All of your reporting are based on the truth.
Those working in Fox propanga TV are not jornalist, it is a shame Chris Wallace, son of one the true jornalist, Wallace of 60 minutes is working at such a shameless propaganda TV.
Keith and Co, Truth on your side. Keep it up. All the Progressives in this country are very proud of the reporting you are doing at MSNBC.


Posted by: wadesoyes | November 8, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Keith Olbermann is one of the best Journalists in this country, he reports the truth. Keith is the conscience of America who is always speaking for voiceless, the middle class and the poor in this country. Keith’s reports at MSNBC are based on facts. Extreme Conservatives cannot refute any of his reporting, Republicans are afraid to go on his shows because he will not let get away with their lies they spit out Fox Propaganda TV, so they want to keep him off the air. They will not succeed.
Keith hold your head high, people with good conscience in this country are behind you. You are in the mold of late famed Edward Murrow of CBS, Dan Rather, late Walter Cronkite and late Tim Russell. Keep up the great reporting you are doing, along with Ed Schultz, Chris Mathews and Rachel Maddow. All of your reports are based on the truth not lies or make up stories at Fox Propaganda TV and on all right wing radio stations. Those working at Fox propaganda TV are not journalist. It is a shame that Chris Wallace, son of one of the true journalist, Wallace of 60 minutes is working for such a shameless Fox propaganda TV. I don’t think Chris Wallace needs the money. C. Wallace, you need to move to a true News Network, you are soiling your father’s name as you continue to work at Fox Propaganda TV.
Keith and Co, Truth is on your side. Keep it up. All the Progressives in this country are very proud of the reporting you are doing at MSNBC.
I am looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday.

Posted by: wadesoyes | November 8, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company