Keith Olbermann Suspended by MSNBC

Photo: kirstenlovesputi (CC)

Photo: kirstenlovesputi (CC)

Wow — Comcast (owners of NBC) didn’t waste any time coming to terms with the United States’ political shift to the right! The leading liberal television commentator Keith Olbermann is left in the dust… From the New York Times:

Keith Olbermann, the top anchor on MSNBC, was suspended on Friday after the channel discovered that he had made campaign contributions to three Democrats.

The MSNBC president, Phil Griffin, issued a statement saying, “I became aware of Keith’s political contributions late last night. Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay.”

No one at NBC News would speculate about what this might mean for Mr. Olbermann’s future, though one NBC executive suggested this was not a step toward firing him.

Politico had reported Friday morning that Mr. Olbermann’s contributions were in apparent violation of MSNBC policy.

Mr. Olbermann hosts the most popular program on MSNBC, “Countdown.” He worked at MSNBC in the late 1990s and re-joined the channel in 2003.

He has long been a volatile figure inside MSNBC, in part for his polarizing points of view. He has sometimes clashed with Mr. Griffin and other managers over editorial decisions, and he has been publicly critical of some of his former bosses…

[continues at the New York Times]

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  • Andrew

    From the article:

    “In suspending Mr. Olbermann, NBC appeared to be trying to differentiate itself from the Fox News Channel, a unit of the News Corporation. NBC executives privately said that they saw a chance to draw a distinction between the journalistic standards of their news division and the standards of Fox, a favorite of Republicans. Media Matters, a liberal media monitoring group that opposes Fox, noted on Friday afternoon that two Fox News hosts, Neil Cavuto and Sean Hannity, had given money to Republican politicians in the past.”

    • Haystack

      Yeah, I totally thought of Olbermann as an objective, non-partisan journalist until I heard about this. *g*

      • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

        Hell…thats not what he’s known for…Fox is a fucking cancer on the face of humanity…Olbermann is chemo…maybe a little heavy handed and brutal…but it gets the job done.

        • Butter Knife

          Honestly… no, he’s not. He’s just another type of cancer racing to kill you first.

          Fire all of them, close down their studios, raze the buildings and salt the earth they stood on. If it weren’t so damned messy, I’d even call for enough orbital nukes to make sure even the cockroaches posing as MSM journalists can’t survive… alas, like the terrorists they truly are, they put their bases of operation and safe houses nearby to schools and churches and hospitals.

        • Haystack

          Right…He’s known for being a highly-opinionated liberal commentator. So, what is MSNBC worried about? That people will find out that he gave money to the Democrats and collectively gasp as the realization that Olbermann has a partisan agenda? If they don’t want to be compared to Fox, then they shouldn’t brand themselves as the liberal counterpart to Fox.

          This is another example of how the Democrats fuck up on messaging. They’re so afraid of offending anyone that they’re always on the defensive.

        • E.B. Wolf

          Olbermann is the silken glove covering the iron fist, nothing more.

  • Andrew

    From the article:

    “In suspending Mr. Olbermann, NBC appeared to be trying to differentiate itself from the Fox News Channel, a unit of the News Corporation. NBC executives privately said that they saw a chance to draw a distinction between the journalistic standards of their news division and the standards of Fox, a favorite of Republicans. Media Matters, a liberal media monitoring group that opposes Fox, noted on Friday afternoon that two Fox News hosts, Neil Cavuto and Sean Hannity, had given money to Republican politicians in the past.”

  • GoodDoktorBad

    While I don’t neccesarily agree with Kieth Olberman in all instances, I believe he’s got some mighty big balls of steel. He doesn’t seem to hold anything back and that makes him a hero in my book….

    What wrong with him making political contributions to causes and candidate he believes in?
    It’s not as though he made the contributions on behalf of MSNBC -he did it on his own time and with his own money -just like anyone else is free to do if they choose…

    It sounds like someone on the corporate high end of MSNBC thinks he is somehow dangerous to there interests. Olbermann should sue them or better yet, find a new job where he can rip MSNBC a new asshole…

  • Anonymous

    While I don’t neccesarily agree with Kieth Olberman in all instances, I believe he’s got some mighty big balls of steel. He doesn’t seem to hold anything back and that makes him a hero in my book….

    What wrong with him making political contributions to causes and candidate he believes in?
    It’s not as though he made the contributions on behalf of MSNBC -he did it on his own time and with his own money -just like anyone else is free to do if they choose…

    It sounds like someone on the corporate high end of MSNBC thinks he is somehow dangerous to there interests. Olbermann should sue them or better yet, find a new job where he can rip MSNBC a new asshole…

  • $927230

    If only Keith were a multinational corporation…

    • MoxAmok

      Corporations cannot contribute to political campaigns, nor can unions. Citizens United ruled that freedom of speech gives them the right to fund ads. They can also screen themselves behind non-profits, but this is a necessary evil because businesses must be able to donate anonymously to non-profits.

  • Anonymous

    If only Keith were a multinational corporation…

  • Ironaddict06

    Keith knew the rules that MSNBC had in place and he violated them. His boss has every right to fire him. I’m sure other factors were probably in place also(low ratings). If the allegations are true of Cavuto and Hannity-the decision would be up to FOX depending on their rules for political contributions.

    • Hypnos1

      So you think a private employer has “every right” to define what legal political actions a person may take while they’re not on the clock?

      You also think that the highest rated show on MSNBC can be squashed for low ratings?

      With logic like that, you must one of those tea-partiers, right?

  • Haystack

    Yeah, I totally thought of Olbermann as an objective, non-partisan journalist until I heard about this. *g*

  • Ironaddict06

    Keith knew the rules that MSNBC had in place and he violated them. His boss has every right to fire him. I’m sure other factors were probably in place also(low ratings). If the allegations are true of Cavuto and Hannity-the decision would be up to FOX depending on their rules for political contributions.

  • LeeSanDiego

    What has happened to the right to chose your own candidate. I see NBC’s action as a violation of personal preference and that stipulation should not be in their credo. Freedom of speech is slowly disappearing from the American Way.

  • LeeSanDiego

    What has happened to the right to chose your own candidate. I see NBC’s action as a violation of personal preference and that stipulation should not be in their credo. Freedom of speech is slowly disappearing from the American Way.

  • Hypnos1

    So you think a private employer has “every right” to define what legal political actions a person may take while they’re not on the clock?

    You also think that the highest rated show on MSNBC can be squashed for low ratings?

    With logic like that, you must one of those tea-partiers, right?

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    They had rules on the books…he broke them. I like the guy personally, he’s eloquent, passionate, and usually just plain right…but that’s not an exemption from standing rules he already knew about. If they just censure him in some way and let him back on the air, that would be appropriate…but I suspect that he’s being ousted to score legitimacy points in the war against Fox…or because he’s become to strong an anti-corporate voice…which is never safe to do when you work for a corporation. Either way, MSNBC is still fully retarded…and Fox is still worse because they only cheer their people on when the line between work and personal politics gets crossed. At least MSNBC, no matter what its bias may be, appears to have rules and uses them…Fox is just GOPTV, aka American Pravda.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    They had rules on the books…he broke them. I like the guy personally, he’s eloquent, passionate, and usually just plain right…but that’s not an exemption from standing rules he already knew about. If they just censure him in some way and let him back on the air, that would be appropriate…but I suspect that he’s being ousted to score legitimacy points in the war against Fox…or because he’s become to strong an anti-corporate voice…which is never safe to do when you work for a corporation. Either way, MSNBC is still fully retarded…and Fox is still worse because they only cheer their people on when the line between work and personal politics gets crossed. At least MSNBC, no matter what its bias may be, appears to have rules and uses them…Fox is just GOPTV, aka American Pravda.

  • MoxAmok

    Corporations cannot contribute to political campaigns, nor can unions. Citizens United ruled that freedom of speech gives them the right to fund ads. They can also screen themselves behind non-profits, but this is a necessary evil because businesses must be able to donate anonymously to non-profits.

  • 5by5

    This is such transparent BULLSHIT, I barely know where to start.Actually, I take that back — I know EXACTLY where to start.MSNBC host Joe Scarborough gave twice this much to a Republican candidate just this past April, and made another donation back in 2006, which the network even commented on as being “ok”, because the Republican candidate he was giving money to “was an old friend”.Here’s the 411 on what’s going on in the media world that explains this giant sack of ASS decision, and why this “standard” isn’t applied equally:1.) Two months ago, Comcast purchased the parent company of MSNBC.2.) Comcast was a prime sponsor of the Republican convention.3.) The exec in charge of Comcast is this half-wit called Burke (if you just started making associations in your mind with the corporate asshat character of Carter Burke in “Aliens”, you win a puppy).4.) Stephen Burke is a Bush Pioneer, having raised at least $200,000 for Bush in the 2004 presidential election. [That’s Eau ‘d Hypocrisy you’re smelling. Along with sulphur.]5.) Comcast is a big opponent of Net Neutrality/Internet Freedom, and the Olbermensch was a big proponent of keeping the interwebs free and fair for all.To sum up, this is an obvious political attack, and utter CRAP.And I’m telling you now, Rachel Maddow (the one remaining Liberal news host on ALL of TV) needs to start forming a backup plan, because these little corporate asshats won’t be happy until they fully destroy any alternate viewpoint from their own.WELCOME TO THE NEW FASCISM.Smells as bad as the old fascism.This, ladies and gentlemen, is why media consolidation is BAD.

  • Anonymous

    This is such transparent BULLSHIT, I barely know where to start.Actually, I take that back — I know EXACTLY where to start.MSNBC host Joe Scarborough gave twice this much to a Republican candidate just this past April, and made another donation back in 2006, which the network even commented on as being “ok”, because the Republican candidate he was giving money to “was an old friend”.Here’s the 411 on what’s going on in the media world that explains this giant sack of ASS decision, and why this “standard” isn’t applied equally:1.) Two months ago, Comcast purchased the parent company of MSNBC.2.) Comcast was a prime sponsor of the Republican convention.3.) The exec in charge of Comcast is this half-wit called Burke (if you just started making associations in your mind with the corporate asshat character of Carter Burke in “Aliens”, you win a puppy).4.) Stephen Burke is a Bush Pioneer, having raised at least $200,000 for Bush in the 2004 presidential election. [That’s Eau ‘d Hypocrisy you’re smelling. Along with sulphur.]5.) Comcast is a big opponent of Net Neutrality/Internet Freedom, and the Olbermensch was a big proponent of keeping the interwebs free and fair for all.To sum up, this is an obvious political attack, and utter CRAP.And I’m telling you now, Rachel Maddow (the one remaining Liberal news host on ALL of TV) needs to start forming a backup plan, because these little corporate asshats won’t be happy until they fully destroy any alternate viewpoint from their own.WELCOME TO THE NEW FASCISM.Smells as bad as the old fascism.This, ladies and gentlemen, is why media consolidation is BAD.

  • Girlindaytona

    Fire Olberman and lose me as a viewer forever. Take that to the bank, you stupid shit heads.

  • Girlindaytona

    Fire Olberman and lose me as a viewer forever. Take that to the bank, you stupid shit heads.

  • http://voxmagi-necessarywords.blogspot.com/ VoxMagi

    Hell…thats not what he’s known for…Fox is a fucking cancer on the face of humanity…Olbermann is chemo…maybe a little heavy handed and brutal…but it gets the job done.

  • Simiantongue

    Olbermann is a sacrificial lamb to new owners of the right leaning MSNBC. Find a reason to fire him, was the command from on high no doubt. True Oblermann gave them a reason, as weak as it is. It wouldn’t do to have any Howard Beale types running amok at the corporate network though. Much like MSNBC canceled Phil Donahue because it would be a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war”. Even though his ratings were the highest MSNBC had at the time. Effectively silencing any dissenting voices on MSM on the war.

    That is what this is all about really, controlled opposition. They will put some left leaning people in the media, just so long as they don’t lean too far left and it’s not too much of an inconvenience to them. Despite the fact that right wing media swings so far radical right even those in the far right look to their right and say “damn the exited the political scales stage right”. That’s how it’s done. Put on as far right radicals as you can find. And some moderate left of center neoliberal leaning types, who are supposed to give the appearance of a bi-partisan view in the wide media picture, as long as the left don’t get too much out of hand. Which puts the whole countries mainstream medias political dialog well into the arena of the far right views as the natural starting point for any political discussion.

  • Simiantongue

    Olbermann is a sacrificial lamb to new owners of the right leaning MSNBC. Find a reason to fire him, was the command from on high no doubt. True Oblermann gave them a reason, as weak as it is. It wouldn’t do to have any Howard Beale types running amok at the corporate network though. Much like MSNBC canceled Phil Donahue because it would be a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war”. Even though his ratings were the highest MSNBC had at the time. Effectively silencing any dissenting voices on MSM on the war.

    That is what this is all about really, controlled opposition. They will put some left leaning people in the media, just so long as they don’t lean too far left and it’s not too much of an inconvenience to them. Despite the fact that right wing media swings so far radical right even those in the far right look to their right and say “damn the exited the political scales stage right”. That’s how it’s done. Put on as far right radicals as you can find. And some moderate left of center neoliberal leaning types, who are supposed to give the appearance of a bi-partisan view in the wide media picture, as long as the left don’t get too much out of hand. Which puts the whole countries mainstream medias political dialog well into the arena of the far right views as the natural starting point for any political discussion.

  • Butter Knife

    Honestly… no, he’s not. He’s just another type of cancer racing to kill you first.

    Fire all of them, close down their studios, raze the buildings and salt the earth they stood on. If it weren’t so damned messy, I’d even call for enough orbital nukes to make sure even the cockroaches posing as MSM journalists can’t survive… alas, like the terrorists they truly are, they put their bases of operation and safe houses nearby to schools and churches and hospitals.

  • Haystack

    Right…He’s known for being a highly-opinionated liberal commentator. So, what is MSNBC worried about? That people will find out that he gave money to the Democrats and collectively gasp as the realization that Olbermann has a partisan agenda? If they don’t want to be compared to Fox, then they shouldn’t brand themselves as the liberal counterpart to Fox.

    This is another example of how the Democrats fuck up on messaging. They’re so afraid of offending anyone that they’re always on the defensive.

  • E.B. Wolf

    Olbermann is the silken glove covering the iron fist, nothing more.

  • Liam_McGonagle

    Lot of good comments made here. Clearly the fact of Olbermann’s contribution should NOT result in moral condemnation given his openly partisan stance.

    But the fact of the matter is that his organization has certain rules in place and he violated them, maybe unwittingly. Those rules make a little more sense for the reporting end of the bench instead of the editorial end of the bench,but the fact is that Olbermann violated the rule.

    I’ve never been much of a prophet of how the powers that be decide to call contentious issues. But my guess is that, given the irrelevance of the violated regulation with regard to opinion guys like Keith, the valid relevance of the regulation to reporters of fact within the organization, and the fact that Olbermann is likely more than ever to be a huge draw for liberals confronting an even more polarized post-election environment, they’ll eventually let Keith off with a wrist slapping and quietly change the rules behind the scenes.

  • Anonymous

    Lot of good comments made here. Clearly the fact of Olbermann’s contribution should NOT result in moral condemnation given his openly partisan stance.

    But the fact of the matter is that his organization has certain rules in place and he violated them, maybe unwittingly. Those rules make a little more sense for the reporting end of the bench instead of the editorial end of the bench,but the fact is that Olbermann violated the rule.

    I’ve never been much of a prophet of how the powers that be decide to call contentious issues. But my guess is that, given the irrelevance of the violated regulation with regard to opinion guys like Keith, the valid relevance of the regulation to reporters of fact within the organization, and the fact that Olbermann is likely more than ever to be a huge draw for liberals confronting an even more polarized post-election environment, they’ll eventually let Keith off with a wrist slapping and quietly change the rules behind the scenes.

  • Anonymous

    am I understanding this?
    As a Comcast employee i cannot spend my money as i wish on my own time in my private life?
    As a Comcast employee i cannot support the political candidate of my choosing?
    Am i allowed to vote?
    what a bunch of crap.
    i wonder what BS they will use to fire Maddow?

  • samthor

    am I understanding this?
    As a Comcast employee i cannot spend my money as i wish on my own time in my private life?
    As a Comcast employee i cannot support the political candidate of my choosing?
    Am i allowed to vote?
    what a bunch of crap.
    i wonder what BS they will use to fire Maddow?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SLNDMWH56RM3VV44EMUMYMKEOI Fio White

    Awwwwww whats the poor subhuman liberal commie going to do? Go toss Obama’s Islamic salad?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_SLNDMWH56RM3VV44EMUMYMKEOI Fio White

    Awwwwww whats the poor subhuman liberal commie going to do? Go toss Obama’s Islamic salad?

    • Andrew

      See a therapist.

  • Andrew

    See a therapist.

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