Unless you’ve been living under a rock you’ve heard by now MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann is off-the-air for violating an NBC News policy. He donated to a political campaign without permission. Donating in and of itself is not against the rules. Permission from management is, however, required.
Others like Joe Scarborough have given to campaigns in the past. Scarborough followed the rules. No harm, no foul.
MSNBCs reacted swiftly.
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. – Phil Griffin MSNBC president
I’ve read a lot of people supporting Keith. Not me. Not this time. It has nothing to do with the program itself (though Keith became a little over-the-top over time) or its political bent.
Simply put MSNBC did the right thing.
My lack of support has nothing to do with other cable anchor/commentators making donations (as Rachel Maddow argued in her own commentary in support of KO). It has everything to do with Olbermann’s earlier criticism of Fox News for its political contributions and the political fundraising and drumbeating of ts ‘stars.’
I am a believer in taking the high road and standing by your principles. Keith Olbermann walked away from his. Corporate policies aside that’s sad in the abstract.
Brent Bozell of the Media Research Center called Olbermann “the worse hypocrite in the world.” It’s not that the conservative Bozell needed an excuse to rail against anyone on MSNBC, but here he is fully justified. The mere act of Olbermann making a contribution was totally hypocritical!
I hope the suspension is temporary. It was necessary.