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I know why Keith Olbermann's suspension ended so quickly

By Alexandra Petri

Two days?

That was "suspended indefinitely"? Two days? I've been suspended longer than that for failing to show up at chapel!

Clearly, NBC News cares deeply about the policy that Olbermann violated by donating to three Democratic congressional campaigns without prior approval, for which they suspended him "indefinitely without pay" on Friday, because they've announced he'll be back Tuesday! Two days!

Then again, Einstein once said, in explaining the concept of relativity, that when you put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, it feels like an hour. Sit next to a beautiful girl for an hour, and it feels like a minute. Perhaps, for Keith Olbermann, missing even two days of his show was the kind of acute suffering that ordinary individuals only experience after paying good money to see the Queen Latifah vehicle "Just Wright."

But really, two days? If they had decided not to feed or water Keith Olbermann for two days, he would have survived. Perhaps for the Keiths Olbermann of this world, having a televised program on a major cable network where you can declaim about things, using the Countdown format, is actually more essential than, say, shelter. This is useful information to have in case we ever need to ration things. "Shelter Keith last," we'll say. "Just make sure he is within two days of being on the air at all times."

I'm sure this is the calculation MSNBC made as well. Sure, Keith Olbermann showed a brave face to his Twitter fans, saying things like, "Greetings from Exile!" and "XO," an emoticon that means, "My face is distorted, either from joy or an unanticipated allergic reaction." But really, he was in a cellar somewhere weeping inconsolably and moaning about how he needed access to his "precious."

"You don't want to see him like this," one exec said to another. "This is cruel and unusual. I feel like the Worst Person in the World."

It's not that MSNBC does not care deeply about this policy, or that it began to fear it had applied it randomly and whimsically without contemplating its full ramifications, or that it was in any way backing down in response to criticism that it seemed odd to cut off its Keith Olbermann programming to spite its -- well, whatever it was trying to spite. It's just that they are decent human beings, or decent network executives, which is close, but not quite the same thing.

My only other theory on this is that his show on Monday was going to be really radical and groundbreaking.

Unlike most Keith Olbermann shows -- which, I have to confess, I don't watch because all the denouncing and numbers gives me horrifying flashbacks to seventh-grade math class -- this one was going to break the mold. It was going to be an hour of absolutely life-changing and magical television unlike any other television that has ever occurred before, except for this one episode of "Everybody Loves Raymond."

I can't describe it to you. It was literally ineffable. I could not eff it if I tried, not even if I imbibed considerably beforehand. As it is written, "Eye hath not seen, ear hath not heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which Keith had prepared for that Monday night episode."

Well, no, I have one other theory, actually. Ratings. But that seems so improbable.

By Alexandra Petri  | November 7, 2010; 10:53 PM ET
Categories:  Epic Failures, Petri, Reality? Television  | Tags:  Keith Olbermann  
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Comments

Missing in the above analysis is a discussion of the danger and naivety of MSNBC, in thinking that their political commentators should be neutral or unattached to the subjects of their interviews. In other words, the policy that Olbermann violated was unrealistic and foolish. For more, see http://paullev.libsyn.com/msnbc-wrong-to-suspend-keith-olbermann

Posted by: PaulLev | November 8, 2010 12:16 AM | Report abuse

M"BS"NBC is pulling a Juan Williams. Juan gave FOX big ratings numbers after his firing from NPR... considering how MSNBC couldn't touch FOX and even fell behind CNN during the elections... (and considering olbermann can never beat FOX ratings wise in his time slot)

I think they were trying a Juan Williams angle. I mean, he was suspended "indefinately" for less than a week. come on. seriously? am I the only one throwing out the "BS" card on this?

Posted by: Anniebobannie | November 8, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

How can people be SO STUPID?

Reporters live in AMERICA. They are not aliens from MARS. They see America being attacked by a hostile corporate takeover that spent over TWO BILLION DOLLARS to defeat every congressman for NET EQUALITY, and defeat CLIMATE CHANGE protections for all humans on Earth.

Wall Street heavies, who own the media stocks, like COMCAST, owner of NBC and owner of MSNBC, members of the US CHAMBER OF COMMERCE, spent $75 million with the Chamber, plus another $75MM with Karl Rove.

THESE EXACT SAME GUYS punished Olbermann for spending $75-HUNDRED of his own money on candidates who got creamed in the election.

It is SUICIDAL to just let the ReTHUGlicans get away with their economic treason. They export jobs, hoard the cash in the megabanks and strangle the national economy. Everybody can see it. Everybody knows it is happening. Everybody is affected.

It was dumb to throw away his cash. one minute on prime time is worth $20k, so interviewing the candidates he liked would have been far more effective. He safely could have offered equal time to the reTHUGs, knowing that they all refuse to go on MSNBC. Hey, it's not HIS FAULT that only the dems showed up, is it?

Posted by: Liann | November 8, 2010 1:09 AM | Report abuse

What? Shake my head. You babble.

300 THOUSAND people signed a petition to protest NBC's hypocrisy (BTW, check out the Sean Hannity connection here.)

You don't watch the show?

Posted by: WellHereWeAre | November 8, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Dear Ms Petri:

Despite what Milbank might tell you, you are not funny. Please stop trying to be funny, because you simply are not.

And pass the word to Dana too. He is also not funny.

Thanks!

Posted by: TeddySanFran | November 8, 2010 2:18 AM | Report abuse

Dear Ms Petri:

Despite what Milbank might tell you, you are funny. Please keep trying to be funny, because you simply are the best.

And pass the word to Dana too. He is also funny.

Thanks!

Posted by: divtune | November 8, 2010 3:21 AM | Report abuse

Great column, and I even learned a new word, as usual. Your eneffableness is effing eneffable! John Stewart may even tell you to go eneff yourself.

As to the reason for the quick reinstatement of Mr. O, you hit the nail on the ..uh.. side. I'm pretty bent out of shape because you failed to mention the actual reason NBC caved.

You may have forgotten because it was so long ago, but in response to your first "Obergate" column, I pledged not to blow my nose until Keith was back on the air. Since then, I have obtained the salt signatures of 2 marine iguanas on my petition to NBC, which states, "IT'SNOT FAIR!"

To avoid more snotty jokes, and the spectacle of marine iguanas invading NBC headquarters and blowing their noses onto their computers, NBC re-instated Olbermann.

This video shows how terrifying marine iguana snot can be. Watch the little guy in back, and just imagine what the big guy could do:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-UX35eAz2A

I only hope I can hold off until Tuesday before blowing my nose. I don't dare even tweet. The damaged to my house could be of biblical proportions.

And would you be interested in interviewing 2 marine iguanas for Countdown Monday when you guest host?

Posted by: divtune | November 8, 2010 4:15 AM | Report abuse

OMG. Big Surprise from CBS, two days suspension.

Now you wonder why CBS has NO RATINGS, Oberman has NO CREDIBILITY, and hence, NO BODY WATCHES HIM ANYWAY! Anyone game for buying their stock?

Posted by: pflynn70 | November 8, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Really? He should have been suspended indefinitely? Along with good old Morning Joe and Pat Buchanan, both of whom made political contributions? Oh, no, I forgot. Keith didn't say, Mother, May I? If some nut in Australia can release dangerous documents onto the internet, and to the news media who lap it up like starving kittens, I don't think $2,500 donations to three politicians is going to tilt the world. Keith is a liberal; he makes no secret of the fact, unlike the fair and balanced news Fox group, all of whom were responsible for millions being raised for republicans. Get over yourself! Oh yeah, and Keith is MSNBC, not CBS. Receiving over 300,000 signatures to get him back on the air in about 24 hours, would indicate to me he's got a pretty good following. Perhaps if anyone ever gets suspended from Fox for the unending lies, you can write a cute column about that.

Posted by: beaone | November 8, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

It's gonna be interesting to see what Keith has to say about all this on Tuesday. After all, he knows that we know, et cetera.

I signed the online petition, if only to register my support for a man whose principles I thoroughly admire and whose televisual presence I unfailingly enjoy.

It'll be fun when he hands it off to Rachel, too.

Posted by: the7letterkid | November 8, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

http://www.hulu.com/watch/42024/saturday-night-live-countdown-with-keith-olbermann

If you've watched Olbermann, Oberman, Obermann, or Olberman, this is one of the funniest skits you'll ever see. If you watch until the end, you'll also understand what Petri meant when she mentioned his "precious."

Posted by: divtune | November 8, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

IMPARTIAL JOURNALIST connected with MSNBC & all the news networks ,except FOX,
is certainly not possible. Every word that comes out of 99% of their staff is skewed to the far left. Fox allows people that i just can't listen to for the fair & balanced act, i.e. Juan W, Geraldo, Hill, and the list goes on. I simply turn the channel until they are off. I do believe the GOP has to take some blame for sleeping on the job, while muslim extremist, agnostics, atheist, etc took over a large % of the intellectuals in this country. NOW WE ARE AWAKE!

Posted by: MMort | November 8, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

pflynn70 said: 'OMG. Big Surprise from CBS, two days suspension. Now you wonder why CBS has NO RATINGS, Oberman has NO CREDIBILITY, and hence, NO BODY WATCHES HIM ANYWAY! Anyone game for buying their stock?'

Hello, he works for MSNBC....

Posted by: elkofan | November 8, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse


He's back because the entire matter was a publicity stunt and MSNBC has no replacement who could garner higher ratings.

Posted by: edbyronadams | November 8, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

It was a shockingly ill-advised business move. He is their highest rated personality. I said personality, not journalist.

Posted by: hakafos44 | November 8, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

This is a commentator? PUHLEEEZE! Can't the editors @ WAPO find someone who is bright AND funny instead of settling for inane and IQ-challenged. Someone like Gail Collins may be too much to expect but you should at least try. Hey! How about a commentator contest?

Posted by: dddvu | November 8, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

What a snarky, wiseass article a la Maureen Dowed! You should be ashamed of writing crap like this.

Posted by: fgominho | November 8, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

"IMPARTIAL JOURNALIST connected with MSNBC & all the news networks ,except FOX,
is certainly not possible. Every word that comes out of 99% of their staff is skewed to the far left. Fox allows people that i just can't listen to for the fair & balanced act, i.e. Juan W, Geraldo, Hill, and the list goes on. I simply turn the channel until they are off. I do believe the GOP has to take some blame for sleeping on the job, while muslim extremist, agnostics, atheist, etc took over a large % of the intellectuals in this country. NOW WE ARE AWAKE!

Posted by: MMort "


Please go back to sleep. If you think that Fox is even close to fair or balanced, you need to really go back to sleep.

Posted by: jjj141 | November 8, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

What a snarky, mean-spirited comment from someone who probably follows the Maureen Dowd school of idiotic pundintry. Alexandra, you should be ashamed of writing drivel like this and WaPo should refrain from publishing such rubbish!

Posted by: fgominho | November 8, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Money always talks loud. If people are dumb enough to buy the Fox BS, then we have the right to listen to Keith.

Posted by: letsgetreal | November 8, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they got a call from the White House. Their childish partisan, drivel is a turn off. Hardly anyone watches MSNBC just look at their ratings. The country is disgusted with this kind of news(?) and now Fox has more viewers than all the cable news channels put together. If you want to hear what normal Democrats are thinking , you have to go to Fox because they are given plenty of air time there.

Posted by: katie6 | November 8, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

pfflynn70, are you that completely out of it? CBS? You don't even know what network the guys on. He's on MSNBC and he has sufficient ratings for MSNBC to only suspend him for a few days. Quite obviously he has a significant audience. Maybe not as big as O'Reilly's but look, the audience for Olbermann is a cut above O'Reilly's lame dittohead audience.

Posted by: jaxas70 | November 8, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

He's a liberal shill working for a liberal news outlet.

There's no mystery there.

Posted by: postfan1 | November 8, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Reply to divtune:

Thank you for the link to the SNL spoof - that was hilarious! And BTW, I'm an Olbermann fan!

Posted by: ProfessorPeabody | November 8, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse


alexandra, i like my theory better:

why is olbermann back on msnbc after a mere 2-day suspension?

because msnbc sucks as much as olbermann does!

Posted by: potomacfever00 | November 8, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Funny, but I didn't even know that Olbermann was still on the air until he got suspended. I thought that he went down in flames along with Air America.

Well, I have to admit that keeping up with which gasbags are broadcasting, both liberals and conservatives, is not really what I consider a good use of my time. I do find it disturbing though that so many people get their information from these sources and then vote. Brrrrrr.

Does anyone know, or care, whatever happened to that Limbaugh guy?

Posted by: hisroc | November 8, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Alexandra:

How old are you??

I'm 47 and even at my advanced age I know that "XO" is not an emoticon, but rather shorthand for "Love and Kisses."

Jeez. Get with the program.

Posted by: stretchl | November 8, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Keith Doberman aka Olbermann is a Unitarian a New England religion that was present in my Boston roots, the white colonial church with a weather vane on top of the steeple. Doberman is similar to Unitarians, rare and exotic not found in any other land or media. He seems deranged and dangerous who should be watched by authorities.

Posted by: mascmen7 | November 8, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Actually, stretchl, it stands for "hugs and kisses." I'm 59 and I knew that.

Posted by: hisroc | November 8, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Don't quote me but my memory says that Olbermann gets about 1 million viewers a night while O'Reilly gets from 3-5 million depending on the night. Olbermann beats Chris Matthews at 647,000 who became more liberal when he considered running for US Senate seat that Arlen Specter held.

Posted by: mascmen7 | November 8, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

At all times and during all administrations the right wing plays the victim. When Bush Jr. was president and the House and Senate were GOP and the Supreme was 5 - 4 in favor of the right wing and Rush and Murdock and Wall Street Journal were spouting the right wing party line they had their useful idiots in the feneral population yell about being victims. If the GOP gains the WHite House and the Senate in 2012 my guess is that they will all STILL act like victims. It's a great cover for your corporate agenda.

Posted by: Ralph_Indianapolis | November 8, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Welcome back Keith...

Already see that your return is affecting those with FoxAIDES.

Keep giving them the truth RAW

ISA

Posted by: vettesport | November 8, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

jaxas70,

Thank you for standing up to your cousin, pfflynn70. As always, I'm impressed with your comments. But even more, I take my hat off to you for watching my favorite movie 70 TIMES!

But please show some respect for your cousin, Lynn. She holds the Guinness record for gas passing, with 70 eructations in a row without taking a breath.

But do you think we could all suspend the flame wars and have some fun here? Rather than putting a match to pff Lynn's prodigious exhaust, might we douse the flames with fire retardant drivel instead?

Just an idea. But I guess all you Nazi leftist pinheads are too stupid to try it.

Posted by: divtune | November 8, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I'm no fan of Olbermann. In fact, he makes me gag. However, let's be fair.

Olbermann is clearly not a news man expected to remain impartial. He is an opinion guy.

Shouldn't all Americans - those who aren't bound to remain impartial by profession or position - be allowed to express themselves and donate to any political candidate?

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | November 8, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Just an idea. But I guess all you Nazi leftist pinheads are too stupid to try it.

Posted by: divtune
============================
DUDE the NAZI's are today's Republicans

Right Wingers..

Posted by: vettesport | November 8, 2010 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Keith Doberman aka Olbermann is a Unitarian a New England religion that was present in my Boston roots, the white colonial church with a weather vane on top of the steeple. Doberman is similar to Unitarians, rare and exotic not found in any other land or media. He seems deranged and dangerous who should be watched by authorities.

Posted by: mascmen7 | November 8, 2010 12:46 PM
------------------------------------

And, pray tell, which denomination do you
follow? I was once a Unitarian as they are one of only two churches I've found that weren't a bunch of hypocritical bigots that
that put down every other church. They
emphacize working to solve present day problems rather than dwelling on dogmatic
Bible BS. I am no longer a member of any
organized religion as I find it sufficient
to conduct my life utilizing the only useful thing I've found in the Bible, The
Golden Rule. That's why I'm a progressive
liberal Democrat...I care about my fellow
man contrary to the aims of the other party.

Posted by: yorgo33 | November 8, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Thanks sport,

But I was referring to Nazi leftist pinhead Independents like me.

Posted by: divtune | November 8, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Missing in the article was any attempt at honest coverage!! Should the author have mentioned the other guilty parties? YES!! Failure to do so makes this "article" a hit piece - nothing more, nothing less.

Posted by: Freethotlib | November 8, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

What is you point, stupid.

Posted by: rappahanock | November 8, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Is it live, or is it the real Olbermann.

Hillarious.

http://www.hulu.com/watch/42024/saturday-night-live-countdown-with-keith-olbermann

Posted by: postfan1 | November 8, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

Olbermann's IQ is lower than than of the crash test dummies used in vehicle saftey tests. He is typical of the gaggle of emptyheaded, clueless loons on MSNBC.

Posted by: nmg3rln | November 8, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

You're both wrong! I'm 10 and even I know it stands for Tic-Tac-Toe.

Mrs. Petri, can Alex come out to play?

===
Alexandra:

How old are you??

I'm 47 and even at my advanced age I know that "XO" is not an emoticon, but rather shorthand for "Love and Kisses."

Jeez. Get with the program.

Posted by: stretchl
===
Actually, stretchl, it stands for "hugs and kisses." I'm 59 and I knew that.

Posted by: hisroc
===

Posted by: divtune | November 8, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

I paid my congressman thousands to keep our post office off the closing list.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 8, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Let the punishment fit the crime. Two days is plenty.

Posted by: DavidH3 | November 8, 2010 2:24 PM | Report abuse

What is you point, stupid.

Posted by: rappahanock
=====

Good point, rapp! You right. I was too stupid to point to my comment at 1:04 PM. It was a stupid idea, but what do you expect from me? My bad. I didn't mean to cross you, rappahanock?

Posted by: divtune | November 8, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Keith is back because the whole thing was staged to draw a line between MSNBC and Fox "News" after the Sanity Rally. Well done I think.

Posted by: MyCountry2 | November 8, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

They had to get him back. If Olberman loses his immediate family members as viewers he will be left with none since no one else is watching PMSNBC. I could give a good rats _ss if he contributed to Castro's campaign for what it's worth, but NBC looks nuttier than Olbermann, if that's even possible. I'm certain this will result in an enormous ratings jump however as Madcow and Mr. Tinglylegs's immediate family members will man-up and watch him for a night also. I'm certain the Neilson ratings in favor now of PMSNBC will have the No Spin Zone spinning. You Betcha!!! Question though, why don't Liberals patronize through viewship and on radio dialing up the PMSNBC's and Air Americas of the world. What is it about the Libby/Dimwit minds that they can't figure out if they would just use their little remotes to click the PMSNBC channel instead of Fox News, maybe just maybe PMSNBC's ratings would actually go up. Is there something in the genes of the Libby/Dimwits that there is an inbred "Failure to Communicate Problem"? Have you genuises figured out what "The Meaning of Is Is,Yet"? Yea, I didn't think so. Wouldn't that be a great question for the great intellectual minds to maybe tackle. Wouldn't that make a good Olbermann show to have with great Intellectual minds in a "spin-off" of the great,great,great Hannity panel, with maybe EJ,Madcow,TheTingler,Pelosi,Reid,ScaryKerry,Eugene,FranklyBarneyw/fellow,MsJoyless,MsWhoop_ss,and the greatest Intellectual of Intellectuals of all time The ONE, to have a round table debate of all debates on "What The Meaning of Is Is". Liberal Wonderland - Priceless and I guess Viewerless!

Posted by: bobcatbuzz | November 8, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Trust me, you will never have a TV news talk show with the convoluted nonsense you just wrote.

Of course it was ratings and the fact that 300,000+ people signed a petition demanding Keith be put back on the air. And MSNBC was wrong in suspending him. He never hides the fact that he is of a leftist leaning and anyone who watches him understands it. The bias is already there whether he contributes to candidates or not. Unlike a certain cable news orginazation that pretends to be fair and balanced with a stupid slogan, "fair and balanced"...

Posted by: AverageJane | November 8, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The utter hypocrisy of the conservative posters cracks me up. They were all up in arms about the "abuses to the freedom of speech!!!!!" when Juan Williams (with whom they agree) got canned for violating his contract at NPR (even though he immediately landed a sweet deal at Faux), but Keith Olbermann violates his contract at MSNBC by expressing his free speech rights by donating to political candidates (if it's free speech for corporations, Justice Roberts, it's free speech for individuals, too), and they excoriate MSNBC for only having suspended him (as opposed to firing him).

I suppose consistency is just too much to ask for from the right, eh?

Posted by: awashburn | November 8, 2010 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"IMPARTIAL JOURNALIST connected with MSNBC & all the news networks ,except FOX,
is certainly not possible. Every word that comes out of 99% of their staff is skewed to the far left. Fox allows people that i just can't listen to for the fair & balanced act, i.e. Juan W, Geraldo, Hill, and the list goes on. I simply turn the channel until they are off. I do believe the GOP has to take some blame for sleeping on the job, while muslim extremist, agnostics, atheist, etc took over a large % of the intellectuals in this country. NOW WE ARE AWAKE!

Posted by: MMort "
*******************************************
Please relax there in your warm and cozy trailer and turn on the TV...there are bound to be reruns of Jerry Springer and you can go back to what you do best...stupifyingly staring at a television set.

Posted by: kiler616 | November 8, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Best comment ever, bobcatbuzz! I've tried to watch PMSNBC, but my wife throws a hatchet through the TV once a month when she sees Olbermann's face. When Keith was indefinitely suspended, I used my last dime to buy one more TV set thinking it was safe. But NOoo! I haven't had a TV for 27 days, so I can't wait to watch Keith's return tomorrow. Hopefully my wife will be shopping that day. They're having a hatchet sale at Target.

Posted by: divtune | November 8, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

He's a former frigging SPORTS "reporter." Who cares what he says about anything of import???? Not me. I could care less about whether MSNBC cuts him loose. I've cut MSNBC LOOSE. As have millions of people. Why is that? Maybe because their "news" is garbage?
Whatcha think? Oh, Lordy. Does real reporting even exist any longer?

By real reporting, I mean just giving me some factual information--on the assumption that, given facts--I can come to conclusions of my own!

I really really really don't need to borrow mY conclusions from either sophomoric Mr.Olbermann or B. O'Reilly.

But almost no "journalist" any longer gives all us un-washed the benefit of the doubt:
give us some facts and we'll sort it out.

They hold us in contempt.

Posted by: mftill | November 8, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

This article is completely stupid.

Posted by: cholly85241 | November 8, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Mr.Olbermann,
The sound of one hand clapping.
The tree falling in an empty forest.
No one watches.
Will anyone care?

Posted by: jfv123 | November 8, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

The left has no principles or morals. Just look at Pelosi and Obama with no pain over this election. Just a ho hum!!

Look what's happening to the ethics committee trails for Waters and Rangel -- nothing. It's like they broke no rules.

Over and over we see the left forget about rules or grief. Why? The are communists. Mind numbed and ignorant.

Posted by: jjcrocket14 | November 8, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

=====
Trust me, you will never have a TV news talk show with the convoluted nonsense you just wrote. Posted by: AverageJane | November 8, 2010 2:50 PM
=====
Jane,

Any below average person knows that's NOT TRUE!

"Convoluted Nonsense" was the name of my rock band in college, and we were on TV news when our meth lab in the basement exploded and white powder ripped through the neighborhood. Damn!

You go, bobcatbuzz. Don't listen to smarty pants elitists like Jane. You're way below average!
=====
Sorry, that has to be my last comment. I have to go "poke the Queen." Flame amongst yourselves.

Posted by: divtune | November 8, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

I must accept you are far too intelligent for me to grasp the concept of this column. My sense of humor must be horribly undeveloped since I didn't laugh and ended up bemoaning the loss of the time it took me to read this.

Moment of disclosure: I watch Countdown, I have watched it regularly and felt that it was an opinion show yes but it did give me a better slant on the top news of the day and while liberal slanted has made some effort to be fair - far more than Faux.

While on-air personalities should abide by the rules and regulations of the company that pays them - that behavior is on-air or in public forums that might reflect badly on their bosses (Juan Williams on Faux is not a good match with NPR). Instead Keith felt as a person he wanted to donate - he did not submit ahead of time figuring word would get out -- and the question of whether he could do so as a "public figure" influenced others pro/con on a candidate. Instead by revealing after the fact he was honest (not hiding anything) and did not in any way influence (pro/con) voters nor the election (not that he is the grand pooh-bah in deciding but hey Hannity urges viewers to contribute and brags how much he has sent in). So this was a power play by the management of MSNBC and nothing more. They are the ones who made it a big deal -- call him in, tell him no big deal but here's the policy, either go and sin no more or we have a fine you have to pay -- to the charity of your choice but a fine and let it go.

Posted by: Lemon7221 | November 8, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Who cares? My cat has a bigger audience ... and makes more sense.

Posted by: pub123 | November 8, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Me and Dana and Alexandra are proud of our stupidity.

"I have to confess, I don't watch because all the denouncing and numbers gives me horrifying flashbacks to seventh-grade math class"

add to the list of flashbacks:
icky things like budgets
justice
the middle class
outsourced jobs
reading, intelligent conversations
Bush Sr.'s favorite hate, broccoli

Posted by: hrayovac2 | November 8, 2010 4:36 PM | Report abuse

What most people seem to miss is not that KO made political donations, but that he made them the SAME DAY as the recipients of the donations appeared on his show.
.
I'm a big MSNBC fan and supporter but that's a big no no whether you are news or opinion.
.
Just smacks of buying people to appear; something he should have disclosed not just to MSNBC but to his viewers.

Posted by: rpixley220 | November 8, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I think there ought to be a public service announcement on the big three cable news channels clarifying just what exactly the difference between a journalist, a reporter and a commentator is. Fox News is a "conservative" news outlet; Sean Hannity, a commentator on that channel, has a "conservative" (not technically true, but I digress) worldview, and is paid to air those opinions. MSNBC is the polar opposite of Fox News. Keith Olbermann is a liberal commentator (again, more accurately leftist or statist, but whatever) and is paid to air those views.

Looking to a commentator for unbiased information is like using a microwave as an icemaker. MSNBC has a right to suspend KO per the contract he signed, but the fact that they're pretending to hold their commentators to a standard of impartiality by slapping his wrist like this is a cynical attempt to outmaneuver Fox News, frankly.

Posted by: whorton1 | November 8, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

I fell to the floor laughing until my sides ached when I read Rachel Maddow's statement that MSNBC is different from Fox. She said that MSNBC was a "news organization" I guess she's never watched MSNBC. Check out every weekday night from 5 to 11 pm. Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, Matthews (again) Olbermann, Maddow, and Crazy (Joe Scarborough's term not mine) Larry O'Donnell. And then they rerun these programs again throughout the night. If this is news, Edward R. Morrow is spinning in his grave.

Posted by: Paaa | November 8, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

bobcattbuzz: Haven't YOU figured out yet that the reason Faux has higher ratings is that ALL the good little kool-aid drinking conservative sheep watch it, while the other networks SHARE the liberal/moderate viewers? Liberals watch more than one network, because liberals fact-check!

Posted by: awashburn | November 8, 2010 5:46 PM | Report abuse

The Left has the idea that they are important on cable. They are not. Maybe the people at MSNBC were afraid that their ratings powerhouse, Olbermann, and his six viewers might go to another network. Maybe he could replace Juan Williams at NPR. The bottom line is who cares a wit about MSNBC or Keith Olbermann except his relatives that make up the majority of his viewers and that of MSNBCs.

Posted by: bobbo2 | November 8, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

Where are all the conservatives that believe in the government trying to tell you what to eat, say or do? The idea that government cant tell you is bad but Big Business controlling what you say or do contrary to one's constitutional rights is ok.
No contract should be in violation to the constitutional rights of the individual. It is his right as a citizen to contribute to the party of his choice, where as a corporation can donate millions of dollars to the candidate of their choice without consulting the stock holders. Now that is what is wrong with America or should I say the United States of Corporate America.

Posted by: beachbum1938 | November 8, 2010 6:28 PM | Report abuse

Liberals watch more than one network, because liberals fact-check!

Posted by: awashburn | November 8, 2010 5:46 PM

**************************************

Oh, really? If liberals fact-check, then why did they believe that we could lower the Federal deficit by adding 30 million uninsured people to a government health care program? Why do they believe that you can increase economic activity by raising taxes when GDP growth has been largest when taxes are lowered? Why do they believe that when government spending fails to create jobs then the solution is more government spending?

Sure, liberals fact-check.

Posted by: hisroc | November 8, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

Missing from this speculation is the petition to reinstate Olbermann by over 300,000 viewers. That may have had something to do with the sudden end to his suspension. Just a thought.

Posted by: joe37 | November 8, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

The sad story is America has no T.V.news organizations left. That is a problem for democracy.
ABC, NBC, CBS have 20 minutes of headline news that is old news. Why are they paying millions of dollars for talking heads instead of spending those millions on reporters?.
Fox?? it is the best propagander network in the world. Give Rupert credit for taking the working class and molding them via his tabloids.
CNN tries, but employs to many pundits, and ignores the rest of the world.
Time and Newsweek? used to be great magazines.
Newspapers?. we still have great newspapers fighting for the fourth estate, which no democracy can survive without.
It is no accident that the attack on the fourth estate came from Bush and the Republicans who then drove the working class toward the Fox propaganda network.
Where will it end, America used to be the best educated country in the world, now we can't even fill jobs that are vacant even though we have ten percent unemployment.

Posted by: JillCalifornia | November 8, 2010 7:15 PM | Report abuse

Snotty, silly little piece, wasn't that?
Nothing worth reading. Nothing coherent
Very Washington Post.

Posted by: whistling | November 8, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

whistling,

So why are you here reading? Is there an access quota on Daily Kos or Huffington? Talk about snotty...

Posted by: hisroc | November 8, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

JillCalifornia,

Your user ID says it all. Keep up the good work out there on the Left Coast. The vast unwashed and ignorant masses in the rest of the country will just have to muddle along without your enlightened political views.

BTW, how's that budget thing out there working for you?

Posted by: hisroc | November 8, 2010 7:49 PM | Report abuse

Ofalman is a piece of CRAP!

Posted by: richardmcss | November 8, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

There is only one reason why Olbermann is back. Three of the nine people who actually watch MSNBC threaten not to watch again if he was not returned.

Posted by: jdonner2 | November 8, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

Not really that funny. Except the part about ratings not being the issue (what ratings?). Nobody watches this clown. Between O's crappiness and Maddow's "irony", and Chris Matthews getting one-upped by Michele Bachman ("I guess you don't feel that tingle up your leg, anymore, do ya, huh, Chris?" said Bachman), its just a never ending parade of losers over there on MSNBC. Only half-a-million viewers on most nights (the election got them one million while Fox had almost 7 million viewers). This whole left v. right thing is so oversold. The media is owned by the banks, and they don't want people to focus on the real issues.

Posted by: shred11 | November 8, 2010 9:42 PM | Report abuse

Simple. Because liberals have no standards or morality.

Posted by: carlbatey | November 8, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

The suspension of Keith was just a publicity gimmick by MSNBC to publicize that it has an ethic code, a fact that comes as a big surprise to most. Frankly, given Keith’s over-the-top antics, it is reassuring that he really believes in his ideology enough to put his own money into it, sort of like a celebrity endorser actually using the product he is foisting on all the rest of us, but still there should be a disclaimer that he is promoting a product that he has personally invested in.

Posted by: droberts57 | November 8, 2010 10:31 PM | Report abuse

Keith Olbermann gets the can (temporarily) because he contributed a piddling amount to a couple of campaigns.

Meanwhile, the corporation that punished him is free to give unlimited amounts of money to any candidate it desires, thanks to our "Corporations Are People Too (Only Better)" Supreme Court.

If it were not so tragic for our nation, the irony would be hilarious.

Posted by: RolphNadir | November 8, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Why is he back so soon? Easy. MSNBC couldn't find anybody stupider than Olbie to continuously get his clock cleaned by O'Reilly every night and come back for more.

Posted by: PanhandleWilly | November 8, 2010 11:50 PM | Report abuse

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