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Keith Olbermann booted from MSNBC

By Greg Sargent

Keith Olbermann's suspension from MSNBC without pay for making $7200 in political contributions is, I think, clear proof that MSNBC brass is extremely sensitive to claims that the network is evolving into the Fox News of the left.

MSNBC has had a policy in place since at least 2007 that bars "anyone working for NBC News" to make political contributions without prior approval of the network's president.

But Olbermann is hardly the first MSNBC personality to make political contributions. As Atrios notes, Pat Buchanan has made over $2000 in political donations. He doesn't have his own show, though, and he's just playing the role of your grumpy conservative uncle. So maybe he doesn't really count, or something.

But Joe Scarborough, too, gave at least $4,200 in 2006, to House GOP candidate Derrick Kitts of Oregon, according to the FEC.

To be fair, Scarborough may have notified MSNBC's president and gotten prior approval. Or maybe this policy didn't exist in 2006. I've asked an MSNBC spokesman for comment and will update if I hear back.

At the same time, even if there's a legit explanation, it doesn't seem like that meaningful a distinction. We know where both these personalities' sympathies lie in any case. If the decision to translate their political leanings into donations is problematic, it's not clear why it would be any less problematic if the boss were notified first.


UPDATE, 2:51 p.m.: Ben Smith notes that Olbermann's suspension undercuts "the source of MSNBC's success, its unabashed liberalism in prime time."

UPDATE, 3:01 p.m.: Check out the Post's story, which has MSNBC's original statement explaining Olbermann's ouster.

UPDATE, 4:29 p.m.: Did Olbermann even violate NBC policy to begin with?

UPDATE, 6:55 p.m.: More updates on the Olbermann/MSNBC mess right here.

By Greg Sargent  | November 5, 2010; 2:41 PM ET
Categories:  2010 elections, Political media  
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Next: Did Keith Olbermann even violate NBC policy?

Comments

Put Mika in that time slot and produce a centrist show

That will get ratings against Hannity


Otherwise, NBC can stay in third place

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Reposted from last thread:

In light of the Citizens United decision, I find it hard to believe that it's legal for a corporation to limit the political speech rights of its employees.

Maybe Olbermann should test it in court.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 5, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Good. I can't stand Olberman any more than I can stand O'Reilly.

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

Well, all righty then.

As FOX dumps a whopping $2.25 MILLION into GOP coffers.

If it was in his contract, then he'll have to fess up. Still, this is chump change.

Olbermann will be back.

Posted by: wxdancer | November 5, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Well, all righty then.

As FOX dumps a whopping $2.25 MILLION into GOP coffers.

If it was in his contract, then he'll have to fess up. Still, this is chump change.

Olbermann will be back.

Posted by: wxdancer | November 5, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

KIETH OLBERMAN biased! Say it ain't so Joe, say it ain't so.

Posted by: blhfish | November 5, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Now I can watch my regular shows without having to worry about missing KO. Get to watch Medium tonight instead of watching on DEMAND.

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

Now I can watch my regular shows without having to worry about missing KO. Get to watch Medium tonight instead of watching on DEMAND.

Posted by: CarmanK | November 5, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

'Tis a sad, sad day when a person who IS a person cannot make a reasonable contribution to support a cause he openly believes in, while a corporation who is NOT a person can make an unreasonable contribution to a cause they support only subversively. I have never been so deeply saddened about the State of the Nation as I am now. What happened to We, The People?

Posted by: MamaKat74 | November 5, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

As hard as this is to believe, maybe the folks at MSNBC actually thought of Olbermann as an objective journalist?

Posted by: sbj3 | November 5, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

Keith O broke company policy. He deserved what he got. If someone else got away with it then management was ready to ditch him anyway. What in the world did this have to do with Fox News? But the writer of this article couldn't report on just the facts without taking a shot at the leader of the pack.Sad!

Posted by: jgreen7023 | November 5, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Keith O broke company policy. He deserved what he got. If someone else got away with it then management was ready to ditch him anyway. What in the world did this have to do with Fox News? But the writer of this article couldn't report on just the facts without taking a shot at the leader of the pack.Sad!

Posted by: jgreen7023 | November 5, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

As Kevin W. pointed out on the last thread, every one of Olberman's shows is effectively an in-kind contribution to the Dems, so dumping him over this seems utterly ridiculous.

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 5, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Now if they would just get rid of Ed Schultz, move Chuck and Savanah to Ed's spot and replace Olberman with a left of center pragmatist...

Posted by: nisleib | November 5, 2010 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Now wait a minute. So an NBC News employee can make political contributions, so long as the boss approves of who he or she is contributing to?

It seems that MSNBC doesn't see any problem with news people making political contributions, so an appearance of bias one way or another isn't a problem to them. The problem seems to be that they want to "approve"/control the flow of cash.

Since Buchanan and Scarborough made their contributions without consequences, this must mean that GOP contributions pass muster with the top brass?

I agree with Sue. If the issue isn't the appearance of bias then MSNBC is limiting the free speech rights of their employees. Any rule that dictates that the boss has to approve of who an employee contributes to is on shaky ground.

Posted by: elscott | November 5, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse


Notice that Fox News brass is extremely insensitive to claims that the network is evolving into the MSNBC of the right.

Posted by: Thoughtful-Ted | November 5, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

@TPM:

Also revealed today, Fox News' Sean Hannity and his wife gave $10,000 to Rep. Michele Bachmann this year. Fox did not respond to a request for comment.

http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/olbermann-suspended-without-pay-after-political-contributions.php

HAHA! Faux is such a joke.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 5, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

elscott - I don't know for certain, but I'd guess this is, "The last straw," more than the sole justification.

I wouldn't be surprised if management had prior problems with Olberman and was just looking for an excuse. Otherwise, as Kevin and SBJ have opined, this makes little sense.

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

Some would say his supension is making better television, but maybe that's just me.

I've never understood how you fight misinformation by being extremely smug and pretentious, and acting like those on the other side live in trailers and have much lower IQ than you.

It's not as if he had a long list of accomplishments other than being a very successful sportscaster.

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

PMSNBC is a much better description of that Olberman network. Buncha prissy, disgruntled, liberals on a 24 hr hissy-fit is it's format.

Another "Air America", with visuals.

FOX NEWS runs circles around it.

Posted by: battleground51 | November 5, 2010 3:09 PM | Report abuse

I'm a conservative and I think this unfair to Olbermann. Does NBC brass really think that we don't know he's a liberal? Neither he nor MSNBC hides that fact so let him contribute to whomever he wishes. This is a silly and transparent ploy by MSNBC to convince people they are unbiased. C'mon, who you kidding?

Posted by: IntoTheWild | November 5, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

I've never understood why being insufferable, smug and pretentious was supposed to be appealing to potential viewers of MSNBC.

Judging by their numbers, I guess the general public doesn't understand it either.

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

FIRST THING

The first thing we have to do is STOP all borrowing which stimulates the Chinese economy.

It is plain and simple - The US is borrowing to keep the Chinese in business. This is incredibly stupid.

That means the CLINTON DEALS WITH THE CHINESE have to go - no matter what.


__________________________


The issue has become - the democrats when they try to make the stimulus "fair" and they try to "push" the benefits to the middle class, they are only using a superficial analysis.

That money really ends up in China - it really doesn't help the poor or the middle class. It is just more borrowing that will HURT the middle class in the long run.

The borrowing from the Chinese has to stop immediately.


That will take care of some the deficit situation - some of the 1.3 Trillion dollar problem


The TRADE DEALS have to be re-worked - leaders of BOTH PARTIES have to stand up against the massive corporate interests who have RAPED both parties and destroyed American jobs - and destroyed small town America.

Only when BOTH parties turn away from these Corporate interests - that will be one step toward the Economic Recovery.


.

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

I've never understood why being insufferable, smug and pretentious was supposed to be appealing to potential viewers of MSNBC.

Judging by their numbers, I guess the general public doesn't understand it either.

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

@TPM:

Also revealed today, Fox News' Sean Hannity and his wife gave $10,000 to Rep. Michele Bachmann this year. Fox did not respond to a request for comment.

http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/olbermann-suspended-without-pay-after-political-contributions.php

HAHA! Faux is such a joke!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 5, 2010 3:18 PM | Report abuse

We need an Air America on TV.

Lineup:

Rachel Maddow

Keith Olbermann

Democracy Now

The Sargent and Benen News Hour

I would suggest emailing MSNBC with your thoughts about their actions.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 5, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

It could not have happened to a nicer guy...and while he sits at home maybe he could learn that restrictions that limited 527 groups campaign contributions were lifted via the efforts of Bob Bauer,the White House's own lawyer -who fought for it while representing Emily's List - a pro-choice liberal group. The liberals wailed that restricting donations would pose a threat to democracy! Makes you wonder. PLEASE NBC, take this clown off T.V.

Posted by: jzeikel | November 5, 2010 3:20 PM | Report abuse

It could not have happened to a nicer guy...and while he sits at home maybe he could learn that restrictions that limited 527 groups campaign contributions were lifted via the efforts of Bob Bauer,the White House's own lawyer -who fought for it while representing Emily's List - a pro-choice liberal group. The liberals wailed that restricting donations would pose a threat to democracy! Makes you wonder. PLEASE NBC, take this clown off T.V.

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

"Keith O broke company policy."

Perhaps, but companies cannot set policies that are in violation of federal or state law. If companies can contribute to political campaigns, how can they forbid their employees from doing so?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 5, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

I've never understood how you fight misinformation by being extremely smug and pretentious, and acting like those on the other side live in trailers and have much lower IQ than you.

*******

My feelings exactly.

I loved his Boston Market commercials though.

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

@TPM:

Also revealed today, Fox News' Sean Hannity and his wife gave $10,000 to Rep. Michele Bachmann this year. Fox did not respond to a request for comment.

http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/11/olbermann-suspended-without-pay-after-political-contributions.php

HAHA! Faux is such a joke!

Posted by: Ethan2010 | November 5, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

"MSNBC brass is extremely sensitive to claims that the network is evolving into the Fox News of the left."

You seem confused. PMSNBC is already so far left that it just makes real news LOOK biased.

Posted by: BubbaCoop | November 5, 2010 3:24 PM | Report abuse

If the democrats had a reasonable Board room


- Put Durbin in for Harry Reid

- Get Nancy to step asid for Steney Hoyer

- Put Mika Brezenski in for Olberman

- Get Obama to resign for Biden

- Moderate the Message drastically, including agreeing to striping down the health care bill to a far less expensive version RIGHT AWAY


This program would give a new face to the democratic party and postion them well for the 2012 elections which start early with the primaries.


Hey - I'm just giving some advice here - more of the same is just not going work.


.

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

Sorry for the multiple posts, connection problems.

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

We need an Air America on TV.

Lineup:

Rachel Maddow

Keith Olbermann

Democracy Now

The Sargent and Benen News Hour

I would suggest emailing MSNBC with your thoughts about their actions.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 5, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

It could not have happened to a nicer guy!... Now, while he sits at home maybe Obermann - who constantly rants about republican campaign contributions - could learn that restrictions on campaign contributions made via 527 groups were lifted through the efforts of the White House's own lawyer, Bob Bauer, who was representing Emily's List, a pro-choice liberal group. The liberals wailed that restricting donations would pose a threat to democracy! PLEASE NBC, take this clown off T.V.

Posted by: jzeikel | November 5, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

For ethan - the FNC policy: ""The prohibitions and limitations on political contributions outlined above relate only to the use of corporate funds and services and are not intended to discourage employees from making personal contributions to candidates or political parties of their choice."

Greg already provided the link.

Posted by: sbj3 | November 5, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"MSNBC brass is extremely sensitive to claims that the network is evolving into the Fox News of the left."

You seem confused. PMSNBC is already so far left that it just makes real news LOOK biased.

Posted by: BubbaCoop | November 5, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

nisleib:

"I don't know for certain, but I'd guess this is, "The last straw," more than the sole justification."

That could be. Otherwise it doesn't make a lot of sense.

BTW, does anyone actually believe that a journalist who is prohibted from advertising his biases publicly (thru donations, attending politcal rallies, whatever) doesn't actually have any? It is a bizarre thing that poltical journalists, who onstensibly exist to make the world of politics more transparent to everyone else, are required to keep information about their own politics as secret as possible, so we can pretend that they don't have opinions about the things they report on. Again, does anyone actually fall for this ruse?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 5, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"MSNBC brass is extremely sensitive to claims that the network is evolving into the Fox News of the left."

You seem confused. PMSNBC is already so far left that it just makes real news LOOK biased.

Posted by: BubbaCoop | November 5, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

We need an Air America on TV.

Lineup:

Rachel Maddow

Keith Olbermann

Democracy Now

The Sargent and Benen News Hour

I would suggest emailing MSNBC with your thoughts about their actions.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 5, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

If the democrats had a reasonable Board room


- Put Durbin in for Harry Reid

- Get Nancy to step aside for Steney Hoyer

- Put Mika Brezenski in for Olberman

- Get Obama to resign for Biden

- Moderate the Message drastically, including agreeing to striping down the health care bill to a far less expensive version RIGHT AWAY


This program would give a new face to the democratic party and postion them well for the 2012 elections which start early with the primaries.


Hey - I'm just giving some advice here - more of the same is just not going work.


.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

It could not have happened to a nicer guy!... Now, while he sits at home maybe Obermann - who constantly rants about republican campaign contributions - could learn that restrictions on campaign contributions made via 527 groups were lifted through the efforts of the White House's own lawyer, Bob Bauer, who was representing Emily's List, a pro-choice liberal group. The liberals wailed that restricting donations would pose a threat to democracy! PLEASE NBC, take this clown off T.V.

Posted by: jzeikel | November 5, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

nisleib:

"I don't know for certain, but I'd guess this is, "The last straw," more than the sole justification."

That could be. Otherwise it doesn't make a lot of sense.

BTW, does anyone actually believe that a journalist who is prohibted from advertising his biases publicly (thru donations, attending politcal rallies, whatever) doesn't actually have any? It is a bizarre thing that poltical journalists, who onstensibly exist to make the world of politics more transparent to everyone else, are required to keep information about their own politics as secret as possible, so we can pretend that they don't have opinions about the things they report on. Again, does anyone actually fall for this ruse?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 5, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Keith Olberman was fired for running a story called "Climate is Over" -where he exposes the exclusion of hydrofracking fluid from the clean drinking water act in section 322 of the Energy Act of 2005. This election contribution crap is a lie to discredit a man who put his job on the line to inform America their water suppliy and air is being poisoned with neurotoxins and carcinogens. Don't believe me? Read section 322 and WATCH GAS LAND!

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

Keith Olberman was fired for running a story called "Climate is Over" -where he exposes the exclusion of hydrofracking fluid from the clean drinking water act in section 322 of the Energy Act of 2005. This election contribution crap is a lie to discredit a man who put his job on the line to inform America their water suppliy and air is being poisoned with neurotoxins and carcinogens. Don't believe me? Read section 322 and WATCH GAS LAND!

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

We need an Air America on TV.

Lineup:

Rachel Maddow

Keith Olbermann

Democracy Now

The Sargent and Benen News Hour

I would suggest emailing MSNBC with your thoughts about their actions.

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

Is everyone else experiencing thread lockup when they post comments?

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

Keith Olberman was fired for running a story called "Climate is Over" -where he exposes the exclusion of hydrofracking fluid from the clean drinking water act in section 322 of the Energy Act of 2005. This election contribution crap is a lie to discredit a man who put his job on the line to inform America their water suppliy and air is being poisoned with neurotoxins and carcinogens. Don't believe me? Read section 322 and WATCH GAS LAND!

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

Keith Olberman was fired for running a story called "Climate is Over" -where he exposes the exclusion of hydrofracking fluid from the clean drinking water act in section 322 of the Energy Act of 2005. This election contribution crap is a lie to discredit a man who put his job on the line to inform America their water suppliy and air is being poisoned with neurotoxins and carcinogens. Don't believe me? Read section 322 and WATCH GAS LAND!

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

We need an Air America on TV.

Lineup:

Rachel Maddow

Keith Olbermann

Democracy Now

The Sargent and Benen News Hour

I would suggest emailing MSNBC with your thoughts about their actions.

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

In a better world, it would be unnecessary to do this, but "congratulations on your integrity, NBC." In our climate of "ratings, ratings, ratings equal ad $, ad $, ad $, you managed to do the right thing - and in a timely manner.
FOX: What have you done lately?
Olbermann: You idiot ! You had the ability to affect public opinion far more via Crosspoint than you dollars could ever do. Do your penance, do the talk circuit, and when you're let back in, and you will be, act "older and wiser."

Posted by: mikeburns2 | November 5, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

"...suspended him indefinitely without pay."

Is that like saying "He's fired, unless doing so is really unpopular, in which case he's suspended"?

Posted by: CaptainMcGlew | November 5, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

nslieb:

Yes the comment system is messed up.

Also, if they really were brilliant, as they are not at MSNBC, they would throw millions of dollars Bill Clinton's way to do any kind of a show that he wanted to in that hour.

Bill loves being free, but he loves money more!

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

CP3O said "It seems to me far more sensible to allow journalists to publicly support the political causes/positions that they like..."

There is plenty of that, there is no problem with that, opinion sells, Fox News is nothing but that, so is NPR, a relentlessly liberal take on the day's news.

But if you are saying there is no place in America for an industry that just reports stories without having already woven them into the fabric of a political agenda, I disagree.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

CP3O said "It seems to me far more sensible to allow journalists to publicly support the political causes/positions that they like..."

There is plenty of that, there is no problem with that, opinion sells, Fox News is nothing but that, so is NPR, a relentlessly liberal take on the day's news.

But if you are saying there is no place in America for an industry that just reports stories without having already woven them into the fabric of a political agenda, I disagree.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

CP3O said "It seems to me far more sensible to allow journalists to publicly support the political causes/positions that they like..."

There is plenty of that, there is no problem with that, opinion sells, Fox News is nothing but that, so is NPR, a relentlessly liberal take on the day's news.

But if you are saying there is no place in America for an industry that just reports stories without having already woven them into the fabric of a political agenda, I disagree.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Something is wrong with the posting system. I'm seeing lots of doubles and triples, and experiencing lock-up when trying to post.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | November 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

In a better world, it would be unnecessary to do this, but "congratulations on your integrity, NBC." In our climate of "ratings, ratings, ratings equal ad $, ad $, ad $, you managed to do the right thing - and in a timely manner.
FOX: What have you done lately?
Olbermann: You idiot ! You had the ability to affect public opinion far more via Crosspoint than you dollars could ever do. Do your penance, do the talk circuit, and when you're let back in, and you will be, act "older and wiser."

Posted by: mikeburns2 | November 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

In a better world, it would be unnecessary to do this, but "congratulations on your integrity, NBC." In our climate of "ratings, ratings, ratings equal ad $, ad $, ad $, you managed to do the right thing - and in a timely manner.
FOX: What have you done lately?
Olbermann: You idiot ! You had the ability to affect public opinion far more via Crosspoint than you dollars could ever do. Do your penance, do the talk circuit, and when you're let back in, and you will be, act "older and wiser."

Posted by: mikeburns2 | November 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the multiple posts.

Something is haywire with my connection to this web site.

Comments not loading then not visible then there many times.

Very frustrating.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the multiple posts.

Something is haywire with my connection to this web site.

Comments not loading then not visible then there many times.

Very frustrating.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

In a better world, it would be unnecessary to do this, but "congratulations on your integrity, NBC." In our climate of "ratings, ratings, ratings equal ad $, ad $, ad $, you managed to do the right thing - and in a timely manner.
FOX: What have you done lately?
Olbermann: You idiot ! You had the ability to affect public opinion far more via Crosspoint than you dollars could ever do. Do your penance, do the talk circuit, and when you're let back in, and you will be, act "older and wiser."

Posted by: mikeburns2 | November 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

In a better world, it would be unnecessary to do this, but "congratulations on your integrity, NBC." In our climate of "ratings, ratings, ratings equal ad $, ad $, ad $, you managed to do the right thing - and in a timely manner.
FOX: What have you done lately?
Olbermann: You idiot ! You had the ability to affect public opinion far more via Crosspoint than you dollars could ever do. Do your penance, do the talk circuit, and when you're let back in, and you will be, act "older and wiser."

Posted by: mikeburns2 | November 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

In a better world, it would be unnecessary to do this, but "congratulations on your integrity, NBC." In our climate of "ratings, ratings, ratings equal ad $, ad $, ad $, you managed to do the right thing - and in a timely manner.
FOX: What have you done lately?
Olbermann: You idiot ! You had the ability to affect public opinion far more via Crosspoint than you dollars could ever do. Do your penance, do the talk circuit, and when you're let back in, and you will be, act "older and wiser."

Posted by: mikeburns2 | November 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

William Kristol: "Keep Keith!"

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/keep-keith_514980.html

Posted by: sbj3 | November 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

CP3O said "It seems to me far more sensible to allow journalists to publicly support the political causes/positions that they like..."

There is plenty of that, there is no problem with that, opinion sells, Fox News is nothing but that, so is NPR, a relentlessly liberal take on the day's news.

But if you are saying there is no place in America for an industry that just reports stories without having already woven them into the fabric of a political agenda, I disagree.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

All these double postings are the Post computer - not the people commenting

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

From the WaPo link
------------
Politico first reported Friday morning that the host of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" gave $2,400 apiece in late October to Kentucky candidate Jack Conway and to Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords. The donation to Grijalva came on the same day the Democratic incumbent appeared on "Countdown," Politico reported.
-------------

Maybe it had to do with the donation coming on the same day as the appearance. Almost looks like Olbermann paid the guests to come on and I'd have to imagine any legit news organization would frown on that.

If it's just about the donations themselves, it does seem like a real harsh punishment to suspend him indefinitely. After all, the guy's job is to give opinions, not objective fact.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 5, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Sorry for the multiple posts.

Something is haywire with my connection to this web site.

Comments not loading then not visible then there many times.

Very frustrating.

Posted by: BGinCHI | November 5, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

OT: Why we love Sarah.

http://desmond.yfrog.com/Himg574/scaled.php?tn=0&server=574&filename=6k8m.jpg&xsize=640&ysize=640

*Sigh*

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 5, 2010 3:59 PM | Report abuse

From the WaPo link
------------
Politico first reported Friday morning that the host of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" gave $2,400 apiece in late October to Kentucky candidate Jack Conway and to Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords. The donation to Grijalva came on the same day the Democratic incumbent appeared on "Countdown," Politico reported.
-------------

Maybe it had to do with the donation coming on the same day as the appearance. Almost looks like Olbermann paid the guests to come on and I'd have to imagine any legit news organization would frown on that.

If it's just about the donations themselves, it does seem like a real harsh punishment to suspend him indefinitely. After all, the guy's job is to give opinions, not objective fact.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 5, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

@bg: You are not alone...

Posted by: sbj3 | November 5, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Kevin's program is causing the blog computer to get really, really slow.

.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

OT: Why we love Sarah.

http://desmond.yfrog.com/Himg574/scaled.php?tn=0&server=574&filename=6k8m.jpg&xsize=640&ysize=640

*Sigh*

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 5, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you but then again that's MSNBC's right to have its own policies.

Posted by: trumeau | November 5, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Kevin's program is causing the blog computer to get really, really slow.

.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

@nisleib: "I wouldn't be surprised if management had prior problems with Olberman and was just looking for an excuse. Otherwise, as Kevin and SBJ have opined, this makes little sense."

And it's just a really lame excuse. And I just have trouble seeing justification for requiring opinion journalists to not give their own money to a campaign they support. I just don't see what the problem is there. While not apples to apples (I'm told I'm famous for that), what would the reaction on the right be if a union attempted to punish a member who donated to a Republican? What if Fox news fired Sean Hannity for donating money to Sarah Palin's PAC . . . and then replaced him with Sarah Palin?

Really? Suspending Olberman over a $7200 donation? To a political candidate? And . . . MSNBC? Come on.

Although, this may have the benefit of prompting Keith Olberman and Juan Williams to team up and become costumed crime fighters.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | November 5, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

Kevin's program is causing the blog computer to get really, really slow.

.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Kevin's program is causing the blog computer to get really, really slow.

.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

Kevin's program is causing the blog computer to get really, really slow.

.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you but then again that's MSNBC's right to have its own policies.

Posted by: trumeau | November 5, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

This is why,
Keith Olberman was booted,
he was on top of this story here:

http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/guess-where-karl-rove-was-after-elect

Posted by: huj534op | November 5, 2010 4:07 PM | Report abuse

Kevin's program is causing the blog computer to get really, really slow.

.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

It is like the Plum Line developed a serious stutter!

Posted by: nisleib | November 5, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/guess-where-karl-rove-was-after-elect

Posted by: huj534op | November 5, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

At least Olbermann is not doing a woe-is-me like Juan Williams.

I bet if NBC researched all its newsers for political contributions, they may have to play their prison series 24/7, instead of the current lineup.

As a result of this suspension, I wonder what kind of legislation Senator Jim Demint is going to introduce?

Posted by: dozas | November 5, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Kevin's program is causing the blog computer to get really, really slow.

.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/guess-where-karl-rove-was-after-elect

Posted by: huj534op | November 5, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree with you but then again that's MSNBC's right to have its own policies.

Posted by: trumeau | November 5, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse


keith was onto something maybe?

to shut him up?

http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/guess-where-karl-rove-was-after-elect

Posted by: huj534op | November 5, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Kevin's program is causing the computer to run really, really slow.


.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

DD I responded to your ? back there on the pull a clinton string.

Greg, please start a new thread, this one has server problems.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

keith was onto something maybe?

to shut him up?

http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/guess-where-karl-rove-was-after-elect

Posted by: huj534op | November 5, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

keith was onto something maybe?

to shut him up?

http://crooksandliars.com/susie-madrak/guess-where-karl-rove-was-after-elect

Posted by: huj534op | November 5, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Kevin's program is causing the computer to run really, really slow.


.

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

Kevin's program is causing the computer to run really, really slow.


.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Why we love Sarah

*****

Who is this "we" you are speaking of? Do you have a turd in your pocket?

So you love her because you saw a picture of her holding a gun? I'm guessing you aren't a fan of morons in general, but morons holding guns you love?

As an Alaskan born and raised I'd suggest you move to Alaska; we have plenty of well armed morons, you can take your pick. (That said there are a lot more men than women, and the men are even better armed than the women.)

Posted by: nisleib | November 5, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

Kevin's program is causing the computer to run really, really slow.


.

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

Latest update to Troll Hunter, only one change. It now converts links like this:

http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/89140

If you were using the latest version of Troll Hunter, you'd just be able to click on that link up there.

Into live, clickable links that open up the link in a new window or tab, depending on your browser.

That make is much easier to follow links that commenters post to see what the heck it is they are talking about.

How cool is that?

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

Maybe MSNBC is trying to fix its terrible TV ratings by firing Olbermann and hiring Glenn Beck?

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

Outrageous. Sign our emergency petition to MSNBC and tell them to put Olbermann back on the air: Sign our emergency petition to MSNBC. Tell them to put Olbermann back on the air NOW! http://act.boldprogressives.org/sign/petition_olbermann/?source=blogs

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

@PolarBearMadness: "Kevin's program is causing the computer to run really, really slow."

I'm dubious that's the problem, but . . .

Then turn it off. In Firefox using Greasemonkey, just click on the monkeyhead in the lover righthand corner. It's small, but if you click it, it goes gray, and then Greasemonkey is off.

In Chrome, click on the wrench next to the URL bar. Select "Tools -> Extensions" and disable WaPo Troll Hunter.

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

Nancy Pelosi -

what a mess

Obama and the democrats are sounding exactly like they did last January after Scott Brown won and handed Obama his a...


So, at this point, the democrat appear on track to be tone-deaf again, and to lose another 50 seats in the House next time - and another 14 seats in the Senate because of the combination of States up in the Senate next time.


Obama is destroying the democratic party. It's over.

I predict a new party to emerge in the middle of the political spectrum - the liberals are completely insane.

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

Maybe MSNBC is trying to fix its terrible TV ratings by firing Olbermann and hiring Glenn Beck?

Posted by: cprferry | November 5, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

Maybe MSNBC is trying to fix its terrible TV ratings by firing Olbermann and hiring Glenn Beck?

Posted by: cprferry | November 5, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Nancy Pelosi -

what a mess

Obama and the democrats are sounding exactly like they did last January after Scott Brown won and handed Obama his a...


So, at this point, the democrat appear on track to be tone-deaf again, and to lose another 50 seats in the House next time - and another 14 seats in the Senate because of the combination of States up in the Senate next time.


Obama is destroying the democratic party. It's over.

I predict a new party to emerge in the middle of the political spectrum - the liberals are completely insane.

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

Outrageous. Sign our emergency petition to MSNBC and tell them to put Olbermann back on the air: Sign our emergency petition to MSNBC. Tell them to put Olbermann back on the air NOW! http://act.boldprogressives.org/sign/petition_olbermann/?source=blogs

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

All, it's not even clear that Olbermann violated NBC policy to begin with:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/did_olbermann_even_violate_nbc_1.html

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

Shrink, I just read your reply.

But you highlighted the main reasons why stimulus is preferred to tax cuts to spur job growth. You're right that writing people checks isn't going to increase demand or spending. That's why stimulus is better. Government can artificially bump up demand. No one is going to demand a hole in the ground and demand for it to be filled a week later. Government can. This means hiring people to dig/fill hole, buying shovels, making shoves, getting the raw goods to make shovels, hiring people to move raw goods or shovels.

And while stimulus works with digging and filling holes, we do actually need stuff done. Take a drive around a city you live near and tell me it can't use some infrastructural improvements. Private sector doesn't build our roads, educate our kids, or keep crime off the streets. Government can create demand and it's really important to do that now. While ideally states and counties should be doing this, they are handcuffed by reduced revenues by the recession and they can't run deficits. The Fed can. This is why the deficit focus is so patently stupid. Uncle Sam needs to run countercyclical to the economy. It should tighten its belt during prosperity, but while people are hurting, it needs to make up the slack.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 5, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Nancy Pelosi -

what a mess

Obama and the democrats are sounding exactly like they did last January after Scott Brown won and handed Obama his a...


So, at this point, the democrat appear on track to be tone-deaf again, and to lose another 50 seats in the House next time - and another 14 seats in the Senate because of the combination of States up in the Senate next time.


Obama is destroying the democratic party. It's over.

I predict a new party to emerge in the middle of the political spectrum - the liberals are completely insane.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

All, it's not even clear that Olbermann violated NBC policy to begin with:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/11/did_olbermann_even_violate_nbc_1.html

Posted by: sargegreg | November 5, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Nancy Pelosi -

what a mess

Obama and the democrats are sounding exactly like they did last January after Scott Brown won and handed Obama his a...


So, at this point, the democrat appear on track to be tone-deaf again, and to lose another 50 seats in the House next time - and another 14 seats in the Senate because of the combination of States up in the Senate next time.


Obama is destroying the democratic party. It's over.

I predict a new party to emerge in the middle of the political spectrum - the liberals are completely insane.

Posted by: PolarBearMadness | November 5, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

shrink:

"But if you are saying there is no place in America for an industry that just reports stories without having already woven them into the fabric of a political agenda, I disagree."

Nope, not saying that.

What I am saying is that absence of public political activity does not produce "objectivity". Just because a reporter abstains from making political donations does not mean that his opinions don't influence his reporting. Likewise, a reporter who engages in public political activity can still be objective (or, rather, as objective as one who doesn't).

Reporters have political views, and those views will (or won't) influence their reporting, regardless of whether or not those views are expressed publicly outside of their profession. Why pretend otherwise? And isn't it strange that a profession that ostensibly seeks to shed light on things for the benefit of its audience does its utmost to keep its audience in the dark about itself?

Posted by: ScottC3 | November 5, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Outrageous. Sign our emergency petition to MSNBC and tell them to put Olbermann back on the air: Sign our emergency petition to MSNBC. Tell them to put Olbermann back on the air NOW! http://act.boldprogressives.org/sign/petition_olbermann/

Posted by: forrestbrown | November 5, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

I know what you are saying, but all professionals are used to leaving the personal life at home. It is part of working for someone else of behalf of other people. Doctors sure have to do that. I don't want my airline pilot lecturing those of us back in the seats about politics.

But I think we understand each other, I agree with this statement for sure, "Likewise, a reporter who engages in public political activity can still be objective (or, rather, as objective as one who doesn't)."

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

DD, I'll respond back there so as not to contaminate the Olbermann thread.

Posted by: shrink2 | November 5, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

I'll find something else to watch at 8:00

Posted by: JohnY1928 | November 5, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

SORRY for the multi-posts. Even I don't like my opinions that much. App problems???

Posted by: mikeburns2 | November 5, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Now if he gave the money through the unions, nothing would have come of it...unions are what gave Reid the big boost...same as Jerry Brown....

Posted by: SeniorVet | November 5, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

forrestbrown:

Do you hate MSNBC THAT much?

Posted by: 54465446 | November 5, 2010 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Non issue. Just like Juan Williams. And Rick Sanchez.

Violate the policy and pay the price.

Read your damn contract, and respect it, or deal with the consequences

Posted by: HumanSimpleton | November 5, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

"...I think, clear proof that MSNBC brass is extremely sensitive to claims that the network is evolving into the Fox News of the left."

Oh, since when?

That being said, anyone who denies that FoxNews is not a mouthpiece for the GOP is sadly deceiving himself (Huckabee, Palin, et al).

Posted by: clogwearer | November 5, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

If Olberman does not like the MSNBC rule, he can always quit. A job is a privilege, not a right.

Olberman has an absolute right of free speech vis a vis his relationship with the government.

But his employer can have rules. If Olberman does not like the rules, Olberman can quit and give whatever he wants to whomever he wants as a private citizen.

Posted by: cpameetingbook | November 5, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

If Olberman does not like the MSNBC rule, he can always quit. A job is a privilege, not a right.

Olberman has an absolute right of free speech vis a vis his relationship with the government.

But his employer can have rules. If Olberman does not like the rules, Olberman can quit and give whatever he wants to whomever he wants as a private citizen.

Posted by: cpameetingbook | November 5, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

Sensitive? Looks more like a witch hunt.

Posted by: BurfordHolly | November 5, 2010 11:51 PM | Report abuse

battleground51 wrote:

FOX NEWS runs circles around it.
-----
Do you really think that Fox NEws is a news program, because if you do, you have quite a problem with reality, buddy boy.

It only took me five minutes, watching a so-called newscast no less, to figure out that Fox news was not news, just biased rightwing garbage with as much relation to fact as any fiction book listing, but then, battleground51, I have something you do no have - intelligence and an ability to think for myself.

What this proves is that when it comes to reality-based news, MSNBC runs circles around Fox.

You really are a moron.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | November 6, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

battleground51 wrote:

FOX NEWS runs circles around it.
-----
Do you really think that Fox NEws is a news program, because if you do, you have quite a problem with reality, buddy boy.

It only took me five minutes, watching a so-called newscast no less, to figure out that Fox news was not news, just biased rightwing garbage with as much relation to fact as any fiction book listing, but then, battleground51, I have something you do no have - intelligence and an ability to think for myself.

What this proves is that when it comes to reality-based news, MSNBC runs circles around Fox.

You really are a moron.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | November 6, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

battleground51 wrote:

FOX NEWS runs circles around it.
-----
Do you really think that Fox NEws is a news program, because if you do, you have quite a problem with reality, buddy boy.

It only took me five minutes, watching a so-called newscast no less, to figure out that Fox news was not news, just biased rightwing garbage with as much relation to fact as any fiction book listing, but then, battleground51, I have something you do no have - intelligence and an ability to think for myself.

What this proves is that when it comes to reality-based news, MSNBC runs circles around Fox.

You really are a moron.

Posted by: nyrunner101 | November 6, 2010 12:39 AM | Report abuse

MSNBC brass is extremely sensitive to claims that the network is evolving into the Fox News of the left.

-------

Evolving? What a crazy notion. The evolution was complete 3 years ago. All they are doing now is going the extra step to solidify a far left position.

Posted by: sagedutch | November 6, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

MSNBC brass is extremely sensitive to claims that the network is evolving into the Fox News of the left.

-------

Evolving? What a crazy notion. The evolution was complete 3 years ago. All they are doing now is going the extra step to solidify a far left position.

Posted by: sagedutch | November 6, 2010 1:14 AM | Report abuse


"Network sensitive to liberal bias claims"


If only American corporations would be sensitive to conservative bias claims.

But we all know that's not going to happen!

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | November 6, 2010 1:27 AM | Report abuse


"Network sensitive to liberal bias claims"


If only American corporations would be sensitive to conservative bias claims.

But we all know that's not going to happen!

Posted by: helloisanyoneoutthere | November 6, 2010 1:28 AM | Report abuse

I for one am tired of liberals having to be so fair. We get elected, it's "let's have bipartisanship." They get elected, it's "let's destroy the other party by any means, legal or not." We have a rally, it's "sanity." They have a rally, it's "bring your guns, make sure they're loaded, and be ready to shoot at anyone who doesn't agree with our narrow viewpoint." MSNBC, give Keith a raise and boot Joe and Mika off the network entirely.

Move your walkers to the side of the aisle Tea Party, make room for a new party of rabid, angry, take-no-prisoners liberalism.

Posted by: noGOP4me | November 6, 2010 1:31 AM | Report abuse

Indeed, we know from the election that evolution is neither a word nor a concept.


Sagedutch wrote:

Evolving? What a crazy notion.

Posted by: Barry8 | November 6, 2010 1:34 AM | Report abuse

I am waiting to hear what Mr. Olbermann's friend Eugene Robinson has to say. And how Mr. Robinson will be able to apply the race card in his opinion.

Posted by: bobbo2 | November 6, 2010 1:37 AM | Report abuse

msnbc is far left wing and liberal? surely, you can't be serious?????

Posted by: Socialistic | November 6, 2010 3:08 AM | Report abuse

Enough! Olbermann violated company policy. End of discussion. Get over it media already! We all know that Mr. Olbermann and Phil Griffin were feeding off each other for years. Griffin 'shocked, shocked' that Olbermann goes to far and Olbermann, 'shocked shocked' that MSNBC is the mirror of Fox News. As far as Joe Scarborough he DID have permission from MSNBC prior to giving the contributions, no one as Fox went against company policy and every single one of you reporters 'donates' daily with your rants and raves for liberalism FREE OF CHARGE!
The media has a choice, stop the donations all together - follow the rules - stop pretending to be neutral or for the love of all that's holy, SHUT UP when you get caught.
AS far as the "Worst Person" ever on cable tv, let's not pity the fool, he will be making more money from getting canned then when he had a job shilling for Obama.

Posted by: RWells2 | November 6, 2010 3:58 AM | Report abuse

MSNBC is sensitive to claims of liberal bias? That's just about the funniest thing I've ever heard.

Are they still on the air?

Posted by: hammeresq | November 6, 2010 6:20 AM | Report abuse

It's just a stunt to make a martyr out of a loudmouthed birdbrain whose ratings fall somewhere between PBS begathons and the Watching Paint Dry Channel.

Howler: 'Olbermann's suspension undercuts "the source of MSNBC's success, its unabashed liberalism in prime time."'

SUCCESS?? MSNBC?? LOL!!

Posted by: thebump | November 6, 2010 6:23 AM | Report abuse

To claim that MSNBC is trying to show that it's not biased is ridiculous.

There's got to be a lot more to this story than what's being reported.

Olbermann got canned for something else.

I wonder what??

Big ole juicy scandal comin' down the pike?

Posted by: buddy2105 | November 6, 2010 7:06 AM | Report abuse

MSNBC claims it's sensitive to claims of liberal bias. To get their take, we now go to Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow. Chris? Rachel?

Oh, um, we're having technical delays. Chris Matthews is regenerating his Obama "tingly legs," and Rachel Maddow has yet to decide on, uh, "her" gender. We'll be right back.

Posted by: hofbrauhausde | November 6, 2010 7:19 AM | Report abuse

Of course MSNBC is liberal. The management is also mindless, since clowns like Olbermann( who wasn't even mediocre as a sports news reader), Matthews and Maddow are its stars.
They are liberal nitwits who illustrate the typical characteristics of liberals, ignorance, hate and intolerance.

Posted by: LarryG62 | November 6, 2010 7:25 AM | Report abuse

I rarely agree with the thoughts of Keith Olbermann, but he was entertaining. I can't believe that very many thoughtful individuals were persuaded by his buffoonery, but he was fun.

Posted by: JohnRice | November 6, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

The main thing is that this hateful individual is gone.

Good.

Nothing else matters.

Posted by: websterr1 | November 6, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

MSNBC is afraid and sensitive to the charges of a liberal bias..what a surprise!
Although, It's not as if the obnoxious, loudmouth drone Joe Scarborough is liberal! I remember when this bully had his own evening show and threatened to "cut the mike" more than once when ironically, a guest (always a Democrat) would not stop talking when Scarborough commanded him to!
It's not as if Mica Brezenski is nothing more that a well groomed potted plant and his guests aren't a Greek chorus of neo-cons.

I knew MSNBC would find a way to get rid of Olbermann, he was too darn good!

They can't be liberal or Democratic for a few hours in the evening after al, different from right-wing hacks CNN, CSPAN and the Neo-con jackboots, Fox can they?

I'm not in the least bit surprised that Keith was let go, MSNBC was just waiting for an excuse ... Who is next, Rachel Maddow? She did nothing if not make hypocrites of MSNBC over the Olbermann firing on last night's show.'

I might mention Don Imus, who before he was fired for insulting blacks made it a daily mission along with his wife Deidre and the two right-wing storm troopers Bernie and Charles .... the show was devoted to smearing and demeaning Democrats .. that Democrats willingly showed up on his show to get a blast of insults was nothing short of pathetic .. that Imus bashed John Kerry for months made no difference to the spineless Democrats ... MSNBC showed NO liberal bias back then! That most of MSNBC's "pundits" have consistently supported the Iraq Invasion is a fact. Olbermann was just too darn individualistic and smart for the Neo-Cons who run MSNBC.

Posted by: mimosa1 | November 6, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Very interesting! Greg is clearly in Olbermann's corner on this issue and I wonder if, again, any code of ethics on the part of journalists when it comes down to abiding by their employer's rules matters to them. It makes no difference as to what the political leanings of the employer or employee are. What matters is rules are rules and it is clear that Olbermann violated those rules. As far as his popularity is concerend, yes he is No. 1 at MSNBC. No big deal though beacause his arch nemisis Bill O'Reilly still beats him over 3 to 1 every night of the week. It has been proven by fact over and over again that left leaning media loses on ratings to right leaning media almost all of the time! Good luck in your next job Mr. Olbermann!

Posted by: jobbuster | November 6, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Yes, they must be very concerned about being perceived as liberal with an election night lineup of maddow, robinson, odonell, matthews and overbite. Very concerned. Man did Michelle Bachman crush matthews on air. Mental midgets all.

Posted by: j751 | November 6, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Is Fox sensitive to consertive bias? Why are we scared of the conservatives? They are not afraid to speak out and make a stand, but we are, trying to be "sensitive" - that's why the Dems lost the election!

Posted by: LYang39204 | November 6, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

As a conservative, I disagree with msnbc dismissing Olbermann. It's the left that wants to silence debate. Conservatives know that our principles will always win out in the end if freely debates and absolutely nothing to fear from Olbermann or any of the comentators that appear with him.

Posted by: xanroc | November 6, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

you still need to do this. two wrongs don't make a right.

fox news shouldn't be donating to republicans. olby shouldn't be donating to dems.

news shouldn't be slanted. and, what if any of these candidates get a DUI or are charged with beating their spouse?

is olby less likely to run the story? more likely to go easy on the candidate.

good for NBC. the sad thing is - I don't think many will appreciate what the station did in this case.

Posted by: CF11555 | November 6, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

"...MSNBC brass is extremely sensitive to claims that the network is evolving into the Fox News of the left..."

'Evolving?'

Don't make me laugh.

Posted by: cynicalidealist | November 6, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"At the same time, even if there's a legit explanation, it doesn't seem like that meaningful a distinction."

What a strange assertion. Policy is policy. While varied enforcement standards are troubling, it isn't as if they do not come into play across the board and, if Keith Olbermann was winning the ratings game at his time slot, they would in this case too.

Posted by: edbyronadams | November 6, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

"...I think, clear proof that MSNBC brass is extremely sensitive to claims that the network is evolving into the Fox News of the left."
_____________

This is one of the reasons newspapers are failing, by failing to report the truth.

Anyone who watches MSNBC and Olberman KNOWS they already have evolved into the Fox of the left.

Posted by: llrllr | November 6, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Olbermann must have known what was in the works on Tuesday night as he was mostly reserved the whole evening. The owners that advertised for customers to come to their bars on Election Night to watch Olbermann's head explode on live TV had some disappointed customers, although they seemed happy with the election results where I was in attendance. Fortunately Chris Matthews picked up the idiot ball and ran with it so the evening wasn't a total loss.

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

Sounds like a Comcast inspired identity crisis that shuts up a progressive voice in the market place of ideas. I very much doubt if this was a GOP contribution any of us would have heard of it. Obviously, Fox doesn't have this kind of angst considering that it functions as free airspace for the GOP, donates and fund raises. Welcome to the old soviet union.

Posted by: SarahBB | November 6, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Sounds like General Electric - MSNBC had a policy in their news division of no campaign cintributions w/o prior approval.

Olbermann violated that.

Apples and oranges and pears, BTW, to the Sanchez and Juan Williams situations. None match up. Sanchez was canned for demeaning his bosses as biased Jews.
Williams was canned for giving an honest opinion about a sociological phenomenon air travelers have - if not saying "Oh crap!" as they are in line with a woman with TWO screaming babies they just learned will be sitiing right behind them on a 5 hour flight...they just might be saying "Oh, crap!" as they see 4 sinister-looking Muslim men about to board the same flight as them.

1. Campaign contributions that a company bars certain employees from making - unless strict conditions apply. (And yes, everyone knows GE and Microsoft as corporate entities make tons of campaign contributions..but individual employees are under different rules of employment).

2. Guy with a national show starts talking about "those darn Jew bosses above me".

3. Guy makes an opinion as a commentor on something that if 100 million people in America were polled about "what would make you anxious if you were getting on a plane" - would be in the Top 5 - flying with suspicious Muslims.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | November 6, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

MSNBC has FOUR - count 'em FOUR - Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, Lawrence O'Donnell - liberal show hosts.

The rest are ALL right wing/conservative/center right/tea party sympathizers.

It is beyond dishonest and ludicrous to pretend that MSNBC is the liberal Fox equivalent.

I watch Keith Olbermann's show almost every night. He, unlike the right wingers, deals with FACTS.

No wonder a huge corporation is trying to get rid of him. The stupider people are the more they fall in line. And this country is getting stupider and stupider with the tea party taking us back to the 1800's.

Posted by: solsticebelle | November 6, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Wapo: How much did NBC and GE donate to the campaign? We know it wasn't zero.

Posted by: clairevb | November 6, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Where is the conflict, or even any potential, even CONCEIVABLE, conflict? Keith Olbermann does not hide where he stands on the issues or the candidates. He is not working for any candidate; he merely contributed to their campaigns and openly supported their election.

The conflict might have come in had the money flowed in the OPPOSITE direction, perhaps as a bribe in return for favorable reporting, but that's not what happened here.

There is a clear double standard operating for liberals and conservatives in the media. Liberals have to be chaster than Caesar's wife; conservatives get away with all but the most egregious and flagrant misdeeds. This is true even in other areas of public life, where, for instance, Eliot Spitzer was hectored into an immediate resignation while David Vitter, WHO DID EXACTLY THE SAME THING, remains in the Senate. Fox donates millions to Republicans while Olbermann gets bounced for putting his money where his mouth is, quite literally in this case.

This is just stupid. Put Keith Olbermann back on the air and apologize to him profusely.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | November 6, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Rachel Maddow did herself and MSNBC no favors by bring up her conservative counterparts at Fox. Fox apparently has no policy forbidding its own journalists to make campaign contributions. But then, Rachel tries to cast Fox in an even more unfavorable light by claiming that "MSNBC is a news channel. Fox is a political channel." As if there were a noticeable difference? You only need to watch two nights of Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann or Chris Matthews to see just how political MSNBC is. MSNBC is NBC's answer to Fox News.

Both news sources are staffed by highly opinionated talking heads who regularly engage in ratings-grabbing drama, wild hand gestures, occasional yelling and bashing liberals OR conservatives, never both. The day networks return to simply reporting the news and letting viewers decide will be the day they can honestly call it fair, unbiased reporting.

Posted by: manicdrummer | November 6, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

ok he broke the rule and should be punished. However, this is so minor compared to what happens at Fox that it seems ridiculous to punish him. I don't know how they let Fox keep the name Fox News because it has nothing to do with the news. The proper name is Fox Propaganda!!

Posted by: guyachs | November 6, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

DAY 2 since KEITH OLBERMANN was SUSPENDED / for fans of Free Speech & Free Press

Posted by: JnetNW | November 6, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

There's no reason MSNBC should be sensitive about having a liberal bias. Faux news isn't ashamed, why should they be?

In fact, MSNBC should start running stories about whether John Boehner likes to molest little girls or not. The truth doesn't matter to Republicans, so they shouldn't mind.

Posted by: bigbrother1 | November 6, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

When a college coach is fired after an NCAA violation, it is often not for the violation, but for lying about it to his boss. Someone can't work in the White House and spend all his free time bad mouthing the President and his policies and expect to keep his job. You work at the pleasure of your boss.

Olbermann lied to his boss by omission. Bosses don't like that behavior. We don't know if Olbermann was aware of the policy or not when he made the donations without informing his bosses, but the fact that the bosses found out by reading Politico rather than from Olbermann himself tend to implicate Olbermann as a deliberate liar.

Posted by: sscritic | November 6, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Fox News targets conservatives as a base, succeeds, and proudly acknowledges the fact. NBC takes a page from their book, targets liberals with MSNBC, successfully, and now wants to deny it?

Hilarious! You couldn't make this up.

Posted by: jd5024 | November 6, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Anyone else think this is a publicity stunt:

MSNBC exec: Keith, you know, we kinda tolerate your being a a-whole and all, but ratings are down, and frankly, you need a vacation.

Olberman: Yeah, I could use a little time off, but I can't run away now. Otherwise that Palin woman will claim she ran me off the air.

Exec: We need a diversion. I know, didn't you say something about supporting some Arizona backbencher?

Olberman: Yeah, Garcia, Gravila, something like that.

Exec: Perfect! Brass will suspend you for "violating" company policy, you get a 2 week break, and come back to even better ratings.

Olberman: Perhaps we can even tack on a raise!

Exec: Well, let's not go too far...

EXUNT

Posted by: Jacknut | November 6, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Give it a rest. So now corporations can trump the free speech of their employees, even when it is done privately and the corporation's name kept out of it.
The corporate-owned GOP is flexing its muscle and soon average citizens will have NO rights. Strict Constitutionalists, my ....

Posted by: pjohn2 | November 6, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

"MSNBC brass is extremely sensitive to claims that the network is evolving into the Fox News of the left"

Who are they trying to fool? On election night I tried to watch MSNBC, but the vitriol and shrieking from Matthews, Maddow, and Olberman made it too difficult.

Suspending Olberman is just an intended distraction by MSNBC - they don't want the public discussion of their descent from once being a news org.

Posted by: CHSchwartz | November 6, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

who will be next, morning joe? msnbc fired the # 1 talk show host on the network. what keith olbermann did is not illegal. he was just using his first amendright rights/free speech. what will happen with the ratings now. he was actually beating oreilly. just like point/counterpoint. please bring him back. please please please. 8pm won't be the same with him. he waws a breath of fresh compared to the bias on the other "faux news".

Posted by: wendywac | November 7, 2010 1:51 AM | Report abuse

Just don't call it news and get him back on. But the information does need to balance Fox commentary, which is not news at all, as everyone knows, but which is taken as fact by its millions lazy-minded, yet voting, viewers.

You have to listen to more than one newscast these days. It used to be the reporter balanced out his story, but not anymore.

In fact, I listened to Wait Wait Don't Tell Me yesterday and got all the news questions right. Then I realized I heard this week's news from Jon Stuart and Stephen Colbert.

Posted by: HookedOnThePost | November 7, 2010 5:29 AM | Report abuse

NBC, CBS and ABC have contributed virtually millions of dollars to the Democrat Party by distorting the news and engaging in abusive and insulting "interviews" on virtually a nightly basis, without reporting their in-kind contributions to the FEC, but then Olberslobber gets a token suspension for adding $7200 cash to his prime-time freebies. Who gets to suspend NBC after its parent corporation (at the time) GE got a sweetheart deal from the regime in regards to processing electronic medical records (under Obama-care), in return for which NBC perverted the news night-after-night to promote the Democratic ticket? If you look at the comments here, it is sad to see so many people who have been misled by the twisted and distorted pro-left "news" that they have been spoon-fed by the government controlled media. These same morons attack FOX news (never providing specifics) because FOX challenges their comfort zone by presenting both sides of the news with a mix of both conservative and liberal commentators. Since liberals lack the intelligence to consider opposing points of view , it is natural that they would immediately rush to attack FOX on learning that Olberslobber has been made a token by "MSDNC." By the way, any libs out there care to comment on the news that Soros was investing in FOX?

Posted by: MARKM2 | November 8, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

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