Free Olbermann

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I think that Keith Olbermann is one of the lowest of all media low-lifes — a rude, ignorant and bigoted opinionator posing as a journalist, but I am frankly flummoxed by MSNBC’s decision to suspend him indefinitely for making political donations to Democratic candidates. This is, apparently, a portion of their employee code of conduct, and so they are certainly within their rights to do so. But it makes no sense to me that they should suspend him for donating a could thousand dollars to a specific Democratic candidate, when he nightly performs the far more valuable service to the Democratic party of supporting them and attacking their opponents before hundreds of thousands of views. It would be an insult to sock puppetry to compare this charade of journalistic objectivity to such.

If MSNBC objects to the flagrant support of one party over the other, they should simply shut down. If not, they should leave Olbermann alone, and silently signing a check is doubles one of the less offensive ways that he has supported the Democrats in recent years.

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  1. My only question is, how is what MSNBC any different than the schilling that Fox News does for the Republican party?

  2. I’m kind of conflicted over this. Yes, I think Olbermann is classless and a moron, yet I am still for his free speech rights no matter how much I disagree with him but at the same time he did violate NBC’s rules. Even though I agree that Olbermann violated NBC’s policy I don’t think that suspending him indefinitely is the correct course of action.

    Maybe fining him would have been more appropriate?

  3. Bill,

    Personally, I think they tend to be more rude to their opponents, but I watch TV very infrequently, so I’m not an expert.


    MSNBC can, obviously, do whatever they want within employment law, but my main beef is with this “we can’t have anyone being partisant by donating to candidates” charade. Olbermann is one large, walking political rant, the idea that his giving a couple thousand dollars in cash to a candidate constitutes a lack of otherwise intact objectivity strikes me as intensely laughable.

  4. Yeah, I can’t see any reason why that policy should apply to people like Olbermann or Maddow or O’Reilly or Beck. Their whole job is to rouse the troops with tales of the perfidy of the other political party. Why shouldn’t they be allowed to put their money where their mouths are?

  5. I don’t mind a company having a code of conduct. In fact, I’m in support of such things, generally speaking. But Olberman’s infringement of the MSNBC code of conduct seems to be contradictory to their business model.

  6. Freedom of the press (or cable channel, or blog) is granted to those who own one. You violate your employer’s rules, you get fired. End of story.

    That being said…having been a journalist myself, I think it is ridiculous to expect them all, in the name of “objectivity,” to be opinionless robots without any discernable personal convictions. They need not wear their political leanings on their sleeves (I never did), but neither do they have to pretend not to have any political or philosophical leanings either.

    As long as a journalist shows FAIRNESS to both or all sides of an issue when doing straight news reporting, what he or she does or what causes he or she supports on their own time, with their own paycheck, is their own business as far as I’m concerned.

    If Olbermann had been OFFERED some kind of “donation” or gift to his favorite political candidate, group, charity, etc. by a prospective guest in return for favorable coverage, that would be an entirely different matter. However that was not the case here — just the opposite. He gave money to them, not the other way around.

  7. I think they canned him for not giving enough money to the Democrats.

    I wonder if this makes him one of the (start spooky music) “The worst person in the world” (end spooky music).

  8. I am sure that the hundeds of Olbermann fans will soon announce a viewer boycott of MSNBC and reduce their ratings from abysmal to below test pattern.

  9. Oh, and as a service to the 99% of Americans who have never seen Olbermann in action, here is his reaction after Scott Brown began the GOP electoral avalanche at the beginning of this year:

  10. @DarwinCatholic,

    You are spot on. If MSNBC wanted to pretend that it is unbiased and objective then MSNBC shouldn’t have employed such people as Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann who violate their so called code of objectivity pretty much every time they open their mouths and speak.

  11. As Charles II said of a minister: “He preaches the kind of nonsense which suits their nonsense”. He sounds like schoolyard name calling.

  12. We have one network – Fox – that is pro-Republican. We have all the rest that are pro-Democrat: ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, NPR, PBS, etc. No contest. I am always glad when a Democrat gets canned. But if MSNBC (owned by GE) really wants to change, then it’s got to change all its liberal left wing zealots who parade as journalists. The same is true for the rest. In the meantime, I’ll be cheerleader for Fox News. At least that’s an alternative to the rest of the pro-Obama socialist nonsense that pretends to be news.

  13. I suspect that this is MSNBCs way of starting to move Keith along. He has really bad ratings. It is all about profit and MSNBC can’t charge very much for ad time if no one is watching.

    Keith should have stuck to being a Sports Anchor at ESPN.

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