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Keep Keith! – William Kristol

MSNBC’s suspension of Keith Olbermann is ludicrous.

First, he donated money to candidates he liked. He didn’t take money, or favors, in a way that influenced his reporting.

Second, he’s not a reporter. It’s an opinion show. If Olbermann wants to put his money where his mouth is, more power to him.

Third, GE, the corporate parent of MSNBC, gives money to political organizations. GE executives and, I’m sure, NBC executives give money. Why can’t Olbermann?

Perhaps Olbermann violated NBC News “policy and standards.” But NBC doesn’t have real news standards for MSNBC—otherwise the channel wouldn’t exist. It’s a little strange to get all high and mighty now.

But there’s now a Republican House, and perhaps GE is trying to curry favor by dumping Olbermann?

Republicans of the world, show you believe in the free expression of opinion! Tell the crony corporatists at NBC—keep Keith!

Ummm… I don’t know what to say.

Kranky requested an open thread. Knock yourself out.

13 COMMENTS

  1. Once again. Another town crier being silenced for expressing his constitutional rights.

    This is getting scary. Stop the insanity.

    I cannot stomach Olberman but he has done nothing wrong and he has every right to contribute to candidates he chooses if he does so privately and without trying to proselytize people using his status as a news person.

    I have Olbermans back too. This is pure bunk. Perhaps Fox can find a job for him.

  2. I can’t believe MSNBC suspended Olbermann while NBC host Joe Scarborough to a Republican candidate, this one made in April of this year for $5,000 to a GOP candidate in Alabama. Combined with his 2006 contribution of $4,400 to a GOP congressional candidate, Scarborough has donated at least $9,400 to Republican candidates as an MSNBC host — more than the amount that led to Keith Olbermann’s suspension. Where’s the double standard?

    http://twitter.com/kenvogel/status/669640040648704

  3. supposedly he violated his contract by not getting prior approval to donate, which I think is complete BS. Me thinks there’s more going on than just this.

  4. MSNBC must like losing viewers, because that’s what they’re doing by suspending Olbermann. It’s not as if Fox news would suspend Hannity for having found that he gave to the GOP would they? For god’s sake, the higher ups at MSNBC are morons. They didn’t even make a story of Newsmax and Rupert Murdoch’s donations to the GOP. So: Keep Keith!

  5. MSNBC is entitled to set whatever moronic standards it chooses, so long as they are applied consistently. It’s not entirely indefensible to insist that editorial staff not make undisclosed campaign contributions. But given how much dough the corporation throws around on its own political interests, they look like they lack real principles. No news there.

    Olbermann does look like quite the douche for criticizing other folks for doing the same thing. But where’s the news in that, right?

    If I get a job and my employers set employes rules that I don’t like, and I don’t follow them, I might get suspended or lose my job. So, welcome to the workingman’s workforce Keith. So I don’t feel that sorry for Olbermann. If he weren’t such a relentlessly sanctimonious dick, I would probably feel a bit differently.

    And after all, we don’t know the whole story of how this played out. Perhaps he was called before his boss or bosses to explain why he disregarded the known policy. And then perhaps he was an unrepentant horse’s ass. Perhaps then his bosses felt that Olbermann gave them no choice but to make clear who the bosses were.

    I find it hard to believe that Olbermann could not be easily replaced. And I find it quite easy to believe that Olbermann has an extremely inflated sense of his own importance. So do the math.

  6. Put me in the Kristol camp, though I strongly suspect we do not even remotely have the whole story. I may despise the Rabid Ranter, and I’d be the last to say that MSNBC can’t hire and fire as they choose, but this strongly smells of corporate crap-weasels in heat.

    Keef’s “indefinite suspension without pay” for rules violations was probably just as selective a decision to apply the “letter of the law” as was NPR’s firing of Juan Williams. The real reason(s) lie elsewhere, the rules violations are just the hook to hang the hat on to avoid expensive contractual issues and embarrassing PR issues.

  7. Yeah, Tully, that all sounds right to me….that the higher ups want to get rid of him, but instead of just dumping him, they also want to save themselves some money and look good while doing so.

    So we’re left trying to pick a side between corporate crap weasels and one sanctimonious dick. Heh.

    One last thought: these higher ups really think they’re preserving some sort of illusion of journalistic integrity because it props up a version of their brand that no one one else believes in the first place.

    Almost no one is being fooled.

  8. Another day, another moron confusing “first amendment rights” with free speech. Well done, Wickedways; always good for a laugh. Perhaps NBC can violate Olberman’s 4th amendment rights while they’re at it.

    As to the story, I already wrote about it at SF. NBC pays Olberman to be biased and suspends him for a donation that could call his impartiality into question. Well done, NBC, you’ve confirmed that no one in NBC’s senior echelon watches your station.

  9. Maybe NBC and GE just got tired of Olberman’s insane vitriol that he spouts every day at people he doesn’t agree with.

    Olberman is the poster child of John Stewert’s DC rally and I don’t blame NBC for wanting to dumb him.

  10. alegedly he didn’t abide by his contract by not getting prior approval to donate to the cause, which I think is complete BS, if you ask me. Me thinks there’s more going on than just this…

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