Updated: Chastened Olbermann returns to MSNBC, a sadder but wiser man
Returning to MSNBC after a two-day suspension after violating a company rule about making political donations, Keith Olbermann explained to his viewers that that rule was "probably not legal."
One day earlier, in preparation for his scheduled return afer a two-day suspension, Olbermann issues the following long-winded statement to the press:
I want to sincerely thank you for the honor of your extraordinary and ground-rattling support. Your efforts have been integral to the remedying of these recent events, and the results should remind us of the power of individuals spontaneously acting together to correct injustices great or small. I would also like to acknowledge with respect the many commentators and reporters, including those with whom my politics do not overlap, for their support.
I also wish to apologize to you viewers for having precipitated such anxiety and unnecessary drama. You should know that I mistakenly violated an inconsistently applied rule -- which I previously knew nothing about -- that pertains to the process by which such political contributions are approved by NBC. Certainly this mistake merited a form of public acknowledgment and/or internal warning, and an on-air discussion about the merits of limitations on such campaign contributions by all employees of news organizations. Instead, after my representative was assured that no suspension was contemplated, I was suspended without a hearing, and learned of that suspension through the media.
You should also know that I did not attempt to keep any of these political contributions secret; I knew they would be known to you and the rest of the public. I did not make them through a relative, friend, corporation, PAC, or any other intermediary, and I did not blame them on some kind of convenient 'mistake' by their recipients. When a website contacted NBC about one of the donations, I immediately volunteered that there were in fact three of them; and contrary to much of the subsequent reporting, I immediately volunteered to explain all this, on-air and off, in the fashion MSNBC desired.
I genuinely look forward to rejoining you on Countdown on Tuesday, to begin the repayment of your latest display of support and loyalty -- support and loyalty that is truly mutual.
One day earlier, MSNBC president Phil Griffin announced to the press:
[A]fter several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night's program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy.
Meanwhile, a clearly chastened Olbermann had tweeted:
Greetings from Exile! A quick, overwhelmed, stunned THANK YOU for support that feels like a global hug & obviously left me tweetless
And so ends -- we think -- the riveting two-day suspension imposed on MSNBC star Olberman after being suspended by the cable news network last week when news broke that he'd contributed about $7,000 to three Democratic candidates in October.
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