Keith Olbermann ko’d



Like Chris Matthews, who was more interesting before his leg tingled, Keith Olbermann used to be better when his blatant bias did not intrude on his broadcast. Though the show can still be entertaining, when George Bush was the target of Olbermann’s barbed arrows, Countdown counted more. Now, Keith O makes no pretense of being fair and balanced. It remains to be seen if this ESPN/FOX refugee has pulled a Sanchez, who through willful stupidity, knocked himself off the air. This is unlikely because KO has a fan base.

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann suspended for contributing to 3 Democratic candidates

By David Montgomery
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, November 6, 2010

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann, the unabashedly liberal-leaning counterpart to cable television’s conservative hosts, was suspended indefinitely without pay on Friday for contributing a total of $7,200 to three Democratic candidates in late October, in violation of network policies.

Olbermann’s banishment leaves uncertain the immediate future of MSNBC’s top-rated show, “Countdown With Keith Olbermann.” MSNBC initially said Christopher Hayes, Washington editor of the Nation, would fill in for Olbermann Friday night — then revised the announcement to say that daytime anchor Thomas Roberts would host. Who will take the helm in coming days has not been decided, a spokesman said.

Olbermann’s audience at 8 p.m. weeknights averaged about 1.1 million people in October, according to the network. He launched “Countdown” in 2003.

Olbermann anchored MSNBC’s election coverage Tuesday night. The revelation of Olbermann’s contributions — first reported by Politico — means that the anchor was leading on-air coverage of races in which he had privately picked favorites.

Federal Election Commission records show that on Oct. 28 Olbermann gave $2,400 each to Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords, and on Oct. 29 he donated $2,400 to Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway. The donation to Grijalva came on the same day the Democratic incumbent appeared on “Countdown,” Politico reported. Conway and Giffords have also appeared on the show.

Under FEC rules, $2,400 is the most an individual donor can give to a candidate in a general-election campaign.

Conway lost to tea party favorite Rand Paul. Grijalva was declared the winner of his race late Thursday, and Giffords’s race remained too close to call as of Friday evening.

said in a two-sentence statement that he learned of Olbermann’s campaign contributions late Thursday night, and “mindful of NBC News policies and standards,” he acted quickly. However, the language of NBC’s policy leaves open the possibility that Olbermann would have been in compliance had he sought permission from his superiors first — though they could have denied his request.

The policy cautions the network’s journalists against taking part in activities that might create an appearance of conflict of interest. They include “contribution to political campaigns, political action committees or groups that espouse controversial positions. You should report any such potential conflicts in advance to, and obtain prior approval of, the president of NBC News or his designee,” the policy states.

Media ethicists said Friday it is prudent for all journalists — even those paid to espouse opinions — to demonstrate their independence by not contributing to candidates.

“There’s a presumption that an opinion journalist is still his or her own agent, that they are not really on a team, that they speak for themselves and are not actually writing speeches or functioning as activists,” said Tom Rosenstiel, director of the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. “I don’t see a lot of good that comes from giving the money, and I do see some potential downsides, even if you think opinion journalists are different.”

But the lines can be blurred, especially on competing cable networks, where sharply etched partisan opinion is popular with viewers, and different networks have different standards. FEC records show that Sean Hannity of Channel gave a total of $9,800 this year — $5,000 to a political action committee called Many Individual Conservatives Helping Elect Leaders Everywhere, and $4,800 to New York GOP congressional candidate John Gomez in the primary and general elections.

Hannity’s role at Fox is somewhat different from Olbermann’s. He does not anchor news coverage. In any case, according to Fox parent News Corp.’s rules, employees generally can make “personal contributions to candidates of their choice.”

Olbermann said in a statement released Friday by MSNBC that he decided to donate to the two Arizona candidates after a discussion of state politics with a friend, and he followed up with the donation to Conway.

“I did not privately or publicly encourage anyone else to donate to these campaigns, nor to any others in this election or any previous ones, nor have I previously donated to any political campaign at any level,” he said.

Exposés produced by fellow journalists in recent years have identified scores of journalists who have given to political campaigns, often in violation of their employers’ guidelines. (Journalists at The Washington Post are expected to refrain from partisan activity that could compromise the “ability to report and edit fairly,” according to policy.) MSNBC.com itself in 2007 reported on 143 journalists who made contributions from 2004 to 2008.

MSNBC ends suspension of host Keith Olbermann

By Paul Farhi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, November 8, 2010

Keith Olbermann’s “indefinite” suspension from MSNBC turns out to be definitely short: two days.

www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/11/07/AR2010110703863.html?hpid=topnews

From the Washington Post:

Ummm Melissa he’s on MSNBC…
Posted by: zendoghawk | November 5, 2010 2:25 PM

Wow. If you don’t know Olbermann is on MSNBC and not CNN, you really shouldn’t blog or write anything about it.
Posted by: ScottJensen | November 5, 2010 2:28 PM

Why can’t Mr. Olbermann as a private citizen concerned about the election make a contribution to a candidate he hopes to help? Mr. Olbermann did not urge anyone in the viewing audience to support the candidacy of these three. I think it is a shame to take him off the air; and, hope MSNBC reconsiders immediately. We have few voices for critical thinking on the tv. Mr. Olbermann’s presentations are interesting and thought provoking.
Posted by: MiriyamGevirtz | November 5, 2010 2:49 PM

Phil Griffin has got to be a total idiot. Everyone knows where Olbermann stands politically. If a FOX anchor does this he/she is a hero. I think the other MSNBC anchors should protest and walk off the set if necessary until Olbermann is returned.
Posted by: william51 | November 5, 2010 2:51 PM

What an outrage. Olbermann prohibited from supporting candidates while Rupert Murdoch openly shovels mountains of cash to Republicans? There is something basically wrong about these internal policies regulating the private lives of news professionals. Are they prohibited from voting or having any personal opinion at all? I thought it was wrong when news agencies prohibited participation the Rally for Sanity. It seems to me that Olbermann should sue the crap out of MSNBC based on unconstitutional infringement of his free speech rights. They can manage what he does on the job, but they have no right to determine what he does on his own time.
Boycott MSNBC!!!!
Posted by: truthwillout | November 5, 2010 2:53 PM

Beck is next.
Clean house.
Posted by: GaryEMasters | November 5, 2010 2:56 PM

Glory, Glory!!! That rat maggot has been needing to be slapped down for a long time.
In truth, MSN is in DEEP trouble and is about to do a major re-shuffling. Olbermoron saw the writing on the wall and spared himself the final indignity of being fired by THE most radical mouthpiece of the media.
Posted by: pd2710 | November 5, 2010 3:01 PM

Joe Scarborough is allowed to donate to Republicans and he keeps his job at MSNBC. Olbermann donates to Democrats and is suspended indefinitely. Well now we know who MSNBC supports…
Posted by: clintatl | November 5, 2010 3:09 PM

Will Fox suspend Hannity who donated $5000 to Bachman’s PAC and then interviewed her?
Posted by: grammyof9 | November 5, 2010 3:10 PM

I guess Mr. Griffin was the only person in the Country that didn’t realize what Keith’s political philosophy is. That’s why we watch this most articulate spokesman for our proud, Liberal political values! Is Rachel Maddow or Ed Schults next in the Foxification of MSNBC?
Posted by: NWhalibut | November 5, 2010 3:10 PM

Will Fox suspend Hannity who donated $5000 to Bachman and then interviewed her?
Posted by: grammyof9 | November 5, 2010 3:12 PM

Joe Scarborough is allowed to donate to Republicans and he keeps his job at MSNBC. Olbermann donates to Democrats and is suspended indefinitely. Well now we know who MSNBC supports…
Posted by: clintatl | November 5, 2010 3:14 PM

MSNBC has ‘standards and policies’…Are they joking? Have they ever watched the trash they broadcast? It’s embarrassing. I do have a suggestion for tonights ‘worst person in the world’…eh Keith?
Posted by: twann9852 | November 5, 2010 3:21 PM

How wonderful to get this disgusting human being off the air, even for a short time! According to most people I know, he is the most hateful individual on television. And from what I read, those who work with him feel the same way. Good riddens, vermin.
Posted by: Rehcab1 | November 5, 2010 3:21 PM

MSNBC has ‘standards and policies’…Are they joking? Have they ever watched the trash they broadcast? It’s embarrassing.
I do have a suggestion for tonights ‘worst person in the world’…eh Keith?
Posted by: twann9852 | November 5, 2010 3:22 PM

How wonderful to get this disgusting human being off the air, even for a short time! According to most people I know, he is the most hateful individual on television. And from what I read, those who work with him feel the same way. Good riddens, vermin.
Posted by: Rehcab1 | November 5, 2010 3:22 PM

Olbermann makes contributions to the democrats with every insult and condescending remark(much of which is out of context or simply untrue) that he makes on his show. How much is a minute of airtime worth on MSNBC? Oh…nevermind. At least Fox is fair and balanced- many more Liberals on Fox than Conservatives on MSNBC. Check the ratings from Tuesday night-Fox had Trippi, Williams and others-7 million viewers. MSNBC had K.O., Matthews and others (no conservative commentator) and all they did was hurl insults. Fox is soooo much better. Unless, of course you’re in a liberal trance.
Posted by: RayMaxwell | November 5, 2010 3:26 PM

I’ve been a consistent viewer for many years. Keith is the one who got me interested. When he’s back, so am I.
Posted by: DrBill2 | November 5, 2010 3:34 PM

Olbermann makes contributions to the democrats with every insult and condescending remark(much of which is out of context or simply untrue) that he makes on his show. How much ia a minute of airtime worth on MSNBC? Oh…nevermind. At least Fox is fair and balanced- many more Liberals on Fox than Conservatives on MSNBC. Check the ratings from Tuesday night-Fox had Trippi, Williams and others-7 million viewers. MSNBC had K.O., Matthews and others (no conservative commentator) and all they did was hurl insults.-2 million viewers. Fox is soooo much better. Unless, of course you’re in a liberal trance.
Posted by: RayMaxwell | November 5, 2010 3:37 PM

I understand what MSNBC is doing. They want their reporters to be objective and not be beholden to any political party. Fair enough. But, that should not mean that a reporter cannot contribute personally to a political campaign just as we would not want to prevent the reporter from voting. He was wrong to interview the candidate whom he had supported. That is a conflict of interest. But, having a policy that prevents reporters from supporting specific candidates or supporting a political party? No, that’s not reasonable. That is taking away their democratic rights (and would be illegal according the recent Citizens United decision of the Supreme Court). Instead, MSNBC should revisit their ethics policy in consultation with their staff and revise it to be more reasonable. Olbermann should be reprimanded for the one conflict of interest (essentially warned not to do it again), and then reinstated. That would be a better solution.
Posted by: NL_from_Houston | November 5, 2010 3:56 PM

This is about corporate governance (Comcast), pure and simple. Corporations already are basically running the US government, have co-opted the Democrats, paid off the Republicans and hoodwinked the majority of the Tea Party.
MSNBC is going to make one heck of a shopping channel!
Posted by: rogied25 | November 5, 2010 4:15 PM

The Fox channel is a network, not a person.
Joe Scarborough donated $4,200 to a Republican candidate,and was not suspended.
Does Msnbc not want viewers. Keith had the highest rated program on Msnbc. I will not watch Msnbc again, until he is reinstated.
Posted by: cindyn1 | November 5, 2010 4:21 PM

The Fox channel is a network, not a person.
Joe Scarborough donated $4,200 to a Republican candidate,and was not suspended.
Does Msnbc not want viewers. Keith had the highest rated program on Msnbc. I will not watch Msnbc again, until he is reinstated.
Posted by: cindyn1 | November 5, 2010 4:24 PM

I’m a big fan of KO and MSNBC, but he deserves this. Company policy for years has been to get approval before making donation. Apparently he didn’t. We don’t know if the other MSNBC anchors got approval prior to their donations, but the assumption would be that they did since they didn’t get suspended..
As for free speech rights, in KO’s own words, this has nothing to do with free speech. If he didn’t like the rules he is free to work somewhere else..
He broke the rules, he’s being punished, no issues here anyway.
Posted by: rpixley220 | November 5, 2010 4:24 PM

You have to realize that both the Grijalva and Giffords races are so close that we still don’t have official election results. There will certainly be recounts asked on both races. Olbermann’s money could have made a difference and if you think Grijalva is worthy of that donation take a look at this ad. Grijalva supporters made up flyers in Spanish with a fake bread brand with “McClung White Bread”. Slurring his opponent Ruth McClung’s ethnic background. Totally racist in nature. Is this the type of candidate that Olbermann and MSNBC supports? Is this the image that MSNBC wants to put out to the public? Here’s a link to the ad-

http://tucsoncitizen.com/in-the-aggregate/tag/ruth-mcclung/

Posted by: Desertdiva1 | November 5, 2010 4:29 PM

This is a shame! Keith is one of the sane voices on cable news and he has a good following. Personally, I dislike Chris Hayes. I am sure he is quite bright and knowledgeable, but is too young and inexperienced for the position and he talks too fast. I can’t listen that fast. I turn him off when he subs for Rachel.
Posted by: carolsch1 | November 5, 2010 4:30 PM

This is a shame! Keith is one of the sane voices on cable news and he has a good following. Personally, I dislike Chris Hayes. I am sure he is quite bright and knowledgeable, but is too young and inexperienced for the position and he talks too fast. I can’t listen that fast. I turn him off when he subs for Rachel.
Posted by: carolsch1 | November 5, 2010 4:32 PM

I guess Mr. Griffin was the only person in the Country that didn’t realize what Keith’s political philosophy is. That’s why we watch this most articulate spokesman for our proud, Liberal political values!
Is Rachel Maddow or Ed Schults next in the Foxification of MSNBC?
Posted by: NWhalibut | November 5, 2010 4:34 PM

This is repression. The fascists are here. Interesting that it happened right after NBC was taken over.
Posted by: gareacy | November 5, 2010 4:42 PM

I can’t stand Olbermann, but this is ridiculous. Was anyone under the pretense that he was an objective news reporter? He’s an opinion journalist, and, as such, should feel free to donate to whoever he wants to.
Posted by: nlcaldwell | November 5, 2010 4:43 PM

Keith Olbermann is the Edward R. Murrow of our time. Shame on MSNBC’s corporate executives for their indefinite suspension of Keith, especially when rival Fox cares not a wit when their political commentators contribute to Republicans.
Posted by: borisbakunas | November 5, 2010 5:00 PM

I am dismayed my Keith Olbermann’s suspension. I hope he & Mr. Griffin can work something out so that Keith can return to MSNBC.I loved watching his show. Every night at 8:00 p.m., I am in front of my TV waiting to hear from Keith. Please bring him back, Mr. Griffin. There are other media commentors that contributes to their favorite parties. Why can’t Keith? We already have a high unemployment rate as it is. You are adding to the already high unemployment rate. Please re-connsider your decision and bring Keith Olbermann back to MSNBC. Thanks!
Minnie
Posted by: medward7 | November 5, 2010 5:05 PM

You know what is wrong with this story??? Karl Rove donated money to the American Crossrad a Republican org. Murdoch gave a million dollars to Republicans, and The Supreme Court Gave Cooperations a free lunch on donating to campaigns, which they did to Republicans and Keith could not donate to whom he supports. What is wrong with this picture? I think his rights to free speech has been violated and take that to the supreme Court, and maybe we can get a ruling about the media.Haaahaaaa gues how they will rule haaaahaaa.
Posted by: Bryan_Claire | November 5, 2010 5:17 PM

Posted by: Bryan_Claire | November 5, 2010 5:18 PM

Posted by: Bryan_Claire | November 5, 2010 5:21 PM

Even though I understand MSNBC for taking this decision, I believe Keith should be reinstated as soon as possible. He is truly a bright journalist and very insightful At the end the republicans are winning in every respect, if the bright minds cannot be in the air, we are left with the Hannitys of this world and that is really depressing.
Posted by: normaacevedo | November 5, 2010 5:57 PM

hillarious. For all you people who are saying he should sue, that is stupid, but so is Kieth, so that makes sense. You ever heard of AT WILL EMPLOYER??? Hmmm . . . it means that a company can fire you for no reason. They dont have to list reasons for why they are firing you. This brings up another point. Come on people. They are not firing him because of the contributions. No one is watching his show, and he made a fool of the station on election night. See ya
Posted by: fightingleeclan | November 5, 2010 7:52 PM

You know what is really wrong with this country Bryan? People like you cant figure out how to use technology and they not only double post, but triple post. Again, morons, this is not a violation of free speech. You can “free speech” all you want, private companies can also fire you all they want. what a joke you people are. No company is required to keep you for any reason. The ONLY things they cannot fire you for are race, religion, etc. Yes, they can fire you for violating company policy for sure, idiots.
Posted by: fightingleeclan | November 5, 2010 7:57 PM

My husband and I have always looked forward to Keith’s comments. It is refreshing to hear the truth. I almost gag if accidently turn on Fox news and hear the lies. They spew hatred and love to stir the witches brew. This country is headed for disaster if we allow the hate mongers to run this country. Let Keith
expose them!!!!Bring Him Back!!! Helena Concannon Petrocci
Posted by: thetreadie | November 6, 2010 8:09 AM

Keith Olbermann KO’d


About Jerry Frey

Born 1953. Vietnam Veteran. Graduated Ohio State 1980. Have 5 published books. In the Woods Before Dawn; Grandpa's Gone; Longstreet's Assault; Pioneer of Salvation; Three Quarter Cadillac
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