MSNBC Benches Olbermann Over Political Donations

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    Nov 05, 2010 7:16 PM GMT
    NEW YORK — MSNBC has suspended prime-time host Keith Olbermann indefinitely without pay for contributing to the campaigns of three Democratic candidates this election season.

    Olbermann acknowledged to NBC that he donated $2,400 apiece to the campaigns of Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway and Arizona Reps. Raul Grivalva and Gabrielle Giffords.

    NBC News prohibits its employees from working on, or donating to, political campaigns unless a special exception is granted by the news division president _ effectively a ban. Olbermann's bosses did not find out about the donations until after they were made. The website Politico first reported the donations.

    "I became aware of Keith's political contributions late last night," Phil Griffin, MSNBC's chief executive, said Friday. "Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay."

    Olbermann was not immediately available for comment.

    His "Countdown" show, which airs at 8 p.m. ET, is MSNBC's most popular program. His on-the-air transformation from the host of a straight news program to a liberal commentator led the network itself to go in the same direction, filling its prime-time lineup with left-leaning hosts and doing better in the ratings than anytime since its 1996 launch.

    Olbermann was a co-anchor of MSNBC's election coverage this week. The network's performance drew some criticism, particularly with Chris Matthews' contentious interviews with Republican Reps. Michele Bachmann and Marsha Blackburn.

    Chris Hayes will fill in for Olbermann on Friday's program, the network said.
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    Nov 05, 2010 7:54 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidOh dear.....

    And what does this say about Mr. Olbermann's personal ethics?


    Not much. He probably didn't give a shit if MSNBC found out. And as other articles on the subject state - NewsCorp gave millions in this campaign season. Does Olbermann have less of a First Amendment right then folks at NewsCorp?

    And before you leap into the "he has a contract" bullshit, I'll remind you that you constantly expect for union members to allow their contracts to be altered or violated, so you don't seem to give a shit about contracts?
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    Nov 05, 2010 7:58 PM GMT
    Christian73 saidDoes Olbermann have less of a First Amendment right then folks at NewsCorp?


    what is it with some ppl here not knowing basic civics 101?
    i mean i can understand that deco guy cuz he's old but christian73 is younger and should know.
    i mean...im a student in school and i cant believe that civics has changed that much since the 80s or 90s
    olberman has no 1st amendment rights here.
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    Nov 05, 2010 8:06 PM GMT
    Next it will be Maddow, and any liberal-minded anchor. Could this be a corporate Republican stance?
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    Nov 05, 2010 8:08 PM GMT
    marineboi1 said
    Christian73 saidDoes Olbermann have less of a First Amendment right then folks at NewsCorp?


    what is it with some ppl here not knowing basic civics 101?
    i mean i can understand that deco guy cuz he's old but christian73 is younger and should know.
    i mean...im a student in school and i cant believe that civics has changed that much since the 80s or 90s
    olberman has no 1st amendment rights here.


    Dude, if you're not even going to let your username "marineboi1" be public, please don't comment on my posts.
  • tongun18

    Posts: 593

    Nov 05, 2010 8:09 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    southbeach1500 saidOh dear.....

    And what does this say about Mr. Olbermann's personal ethics?


    Not much. He probably didn't give a shit if MSNBC found out. And as other articles on the subject state - NewsCorp gave millions in this campaign season. Does Olbermann have less of a First Amendment right then folks at NewsCorp?

    And before you leap into the "he has a contract" bullshit, I'll remind you that you constantly expect for union members to allow their contracts to be altered or violated, so you don't seem to give a shit about contracts?


    It's not about contracts, it violates his duty as a news anchor. How can he be perceived as unbiased if he's making political donations?

    In a healthy functioning democracy the press is supposed to keep the people informed as to the actions of their government (the concept of the press as the 4th branch of government). How are they to be trusted as watchdogs when they are seen fraternizing with those they are supposed to be watching? It's highly unethical and MSNBC was right to suspend him. He was/is fully aware of his duties and he knowingly violated them.

    Two excellent examples of what happens when this concept is violated: MSNBC as cheerleaders for the left and Fox News as cheerleaders for the right.
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    Nov 05, 2010 8:10 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    Christian73 said
    southbeach1500 saidOh dear.....

    And what does this say about Mr. Olbermann's personal ethics?


    Not much. He probably didn't give a shit if MSNBC found out. And as other articles on the subject state - NewsCorp gave millions in this campaign season. Does Olbermann have less of a First Amendment right then folks at NewsCorp?

    And before you leap into the "he has a contract" bullshit, I'll remind you that you constantly expect for union members to allow their contracts to be altered or violated, so you don't seem to give a shit about contracts?


    Please try and stay on topic...

    NewsCorp, as did GE (owner of MSNBC) contributed millions as well.

    Who at NewsCorp violated their contract by making political contributions?

    And when did I ever write that I "expect for union members to allow their contracts to be altered or violated" hmmm?



    Same topic.

    And you have supported Governor Christie's attempts to violated the union contracts of NJ teachers. YOu have elsewhere suggested that those contracts were somehow unfair, that they are overpaid, and how public pensions were too expensive to tax payers, etc.

    The only way to change those things is to alter or suspend the existing contracts of unions.
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    Nov 05, 2010 8:20 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    Christian73 said
    marineboi1 said
    Christian73 saidDoes Olbermann have less of a First Amendment right then folks at NewsCorp?


    what is it with some ppl here not knowing basic civics 101?
    i mean i can understand that deco guy cuz he's old but christian73 is younger and should know.
    i mean...im a student in school and i cant believe that civics has changed that much since the 80s or 90s
    olberman has no 1st amendment rights here.


    Dude, if you're not even going to let your username "marineboi1" be public, please don't comment on my posts.


    You know, I missed that one.

    Olbermann has the same First Amendment rights as anyone else.

    However... if he voluntarily enters into a contract that prohibits political contributions... then he has surrendered that particular expression of his own personal political speech.



    But corporations have not? Or local and state governments? Didn't they voluntarily enter into their contracts with the unions? Or did Randi Weingarten have a gun to someone's head? And, before you answer, remember that the Taylor Law forbids teachers and police officers among other from striking.
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    Nov 05, 2010 8:26 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    marineboi1 said
    Christian73 saidDoes Olbermann have less of a First Amendment right then folks at NewsCorp?


    what is it with some ppl here not knowing basic civics 101?
    i mean i can understand that deco guy cuz he's old but christian73 is younger and should know.
    i mean...im a student in school and i cant believe that civics has changed that much since the 80s or 90s
    olberman has no 1st amendment rights here.


    Dude, if you're not even going to let your username "marineboi1" be public, please don't comment on my posts.



    lol, I'll send you an email telling you who he is Christian.

    -Doug
  • conservativej...

    Posts: 2465

    Nov 05, 2010 8:26 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    southbeach1500 saidOh dear.....

    And what does this say about Mr. Olbermann's personal ethics?


    Not much. He probably didn't give a shit if MSNBC found out. And as other articles on the subject state - NewsCorp gave millions in this campaign season. Does Olbermann have less of a First Amendment right then folks at NewsCorp?

    And before you leap into the "he has a contract" bullshit, I'll remind you that you constantly expect for union members to allow their contracts to be altered or violated, so you don't seem to give a shit about contracts?


    NewsCorp does not make such behavior part of it's employment contract. On the other hand, MSNBC specifically does. I'd suggest buying shares and voting in the next shareholder's meeting.
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    Nov 05, 2010 8:32 PM GMT
    Christian73 said

    But corporations have not? Or local and state governments? Didn't they voluntarily enter into their contracts with the unions? Or did Randi Weingarten have a gun to someone's head? And, before you answer, remember that the Taylor Law forbids teachers and police officers among other from striking.


    oh boi..icon_rolleyes.gif
    i promise i wont comment on ur posts if u sign up for civics 101.ok?
    governmentt is not the same as corporation in the 1st amendment.
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    Nov 05, 2010 8:35 PM GMT
    meninlove said


    lol

    -Doug


    christian should know, but with you i understand. it's a generational thing
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    Nov 05, 2010 8:57 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 saidkeith-olbermann-300x224.jpg

    Some more hypocrisy from Olbermann:

    Olbermann, as well as MSNBC executives, was a vocal critic of the $1 million donation by Fox News' parent News Corp. to the Republican Governor's Association earlier this year, saying at the time, "We now have another million reasons Fox News is the Republican news channel."

    In a subsequent show,Olbermann also pressed House Majority Whip James Clyburn if there was a "legislative response" to a networks that "starts to shill for partisan causes."




    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/05/olbermann-donated-to-three-dems-in-apparent-violation-of-nbc-policy/



    With this in mind, surely you're up in arms about Citizens United. I mean, how can you tolerate publicly held companies donating to political campaigns? After all, those companies are given privileges to trade on public markets in return for transparency? So if they're giving anonymous donations to a group like Crossroads GPS, they are violating the public trust.

    And why hasn't Joe Scarborough been disciplined?

    Again, you think corporations uber alles.
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    Nov 05, 2010 9:04 PM GMT
    Christian73 said
    southbeach1500 saidkeith-olbermann-300x224.jpg

    Some more hypocrisy from Olbermann:

    Olbermann, as well as MSNBC executives, was a vocal critic of the $1 million donation by Fox News' parent News Corp. to the Republican Governor's Association earlier this year, saying at the time, "We now have another million reasons Fox News is the Republican news channel."

    In a subsequent show,Olbermann also pressed House Majority Whip James Clyburn if there was a "legislative response" to a networks that "starts to shill for partisan causes."




    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/05/olbermann-donated-to-three-dems-in-apparent-violation-of-nbc-policy/



    With this in mind, surely you're up in arms about Citizens United. I mean, how can you tolerate publicly held companies donating to political campaigns? After all, those companies are given privileges to trade on public markets in return for transparency? So if they're giving anonymous donations to a group like Crossroads GPS, they are violating the public trust.

    And why hasn't Joe Scarborough been disciplined?

    Again, you think corporations uber alles.


    Conservatives leap to defend Olbermann:
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/keep-keith_514980.html

    I have to wonder though given that it's not as if there would have been any uncertainty where Olbermann stood on the issues whether the real reason was falling ratings?

    Personally, I am against any restriction to free speech, why should only media firms get to adjust their punditry in what become open ended infomercials for specific groups? Besides, if a message doesn't resonate with voters, no amount of advertising will help - otherwise Meg Whitman would have been governor.
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    Nov 05, 2010 9:08 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 said
    southbeach1500 saidkeith-olbermann-300x224.jpg

    Some more hypocrisy from Olbermann:

    Olbermann, as well as MSNBC executives, was a vocal critic of the $1 million donation by Fox News' parent News Corp. to the Republican Governor's Association earlier this year, saying at the time, "We now have another million reasons Fox News is the Republican news channel."

    In a subsequent show,Olbermann also pressed House Majority Whip James Clyburn if there was a "legislative response" to a networks that "starts to shill for partisan causes."




    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/05/olbermann-donated-to-three-dems-in-apparent-violation-of-nbc-policy/



    With this in mind, surely you're up in arms about Citizens United. I mean, how can you tolerate publicly held companies donating to political campaigns? After all, those companies are given privileges to trade on public markets in return for transparency? So if they're giving anonymous donations to a group like Crossroads GPS, they are violating the public trust.

    And why hasn't Joe Scarborough been disciplined?

    Again, you think corporations uber alles.


    Conservatives leap to defend Olbermann:
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/keep-keith_514980.html

    I have to wonder though given that it's not as if there would have been any uncertainty where Olbermann stood on the issues whether the real reason was falling ratings?

    Personally, I am against any restriction to free speech, why should only media firms get to adjust their punditry in what become open ended infomercials for specific groups? Besides, if a message doesn't resonate with voters, no amount of advertising will help - otherwise Meg Whitman would have been governor.


    true
  • tongun18

    Posts: 593

    Nov 05, 2010 9:22 PM GMT
    riddler78 said
    Christian73 said
    southbeach1500 saidkeith-olbermann-300x224.jpg

    Some more hypocrisy from Olbermann:

    Olbermann, as well as MSNBC executives, was a vocal critic of the $1 million donation by Fox News' parent News Corp. to the Republican Governor's Association earlier this year, saying at the time, "We now have another million reasons Fox News is the Republican news channel."

    In a subsequent show,Olbermann also pressed House Majority Whip James Clyburn if there was a "legislative response" to a networks that "starts to shill for partisan causes."




    http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/05/olbermann-donated-to-three-dems-in-apparent-violation-of-nbc-policy/



    With this in mind, surely you're up in arms about Citizens United. I mean, how can you tolerate publicly held companies donating to political campaigns? After all, those companies are given privileges to trade on public markets in return for transparency? So if they're giving anonymous donations to a group like Crossroads GPS, they are violating the public trust.

    And why hasn't Joe Scarborough been disciplined?

    Again, you think corporations uber alles.


    Conservatives leap to defend Olbermann:
    http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/keep-keith_514980.html

    I have to wonder though given that it's not as if there would have been any uncertainty where Olbermann stood on the issues whether the real reason was falling ratings?

    Personally, I am against any restriction to free speech, why should only media firms get to adjust their punditry in what become open ended infomercials for specific groups? Besides, if a message doesn't resonate with voters, no amount of advertising will help - otherwise Meg Whitman would have been governor.


    There are differences between pundits and journalists. A pundit is is someone who offers to mass-media his or her opinion or commentary on a particular subject area (most typically political analysis, the social sciences or sport), it is understood/expected they will be doing so form a specific side or perspective. A journalist is supposed to merely present the new and let the viewer make their own decisions, they are expected to maintain non-bias.
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    Nov 05, 2010 9:28 PM GMT
    That's unfortunate that Olbermann broke his contract.
    On the other hand, at least he GAVE money to the Democrats.
    It would have been FAR more offensive if he had TAKEN money from the Democrats.
    The way some other folks have.
    Like Fox "News" blowhard Fred Barnes.
    BOUGHT AND PAID FOR by the Republican Party.

    http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2010/07/29/fred_barnes_paid_gop/index.html

    Tsk, tsk, tsk - shame, shame, shame.
  • metta

    Posts: 39166

    Nov 05, 2010 9:47 PM GMT




    Petition To Put Olbermann Back On The Air:

    http://act.boldprogressives.org/sign/petition_olbermann/?rd=1&source=e1-5mo
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    Nov 05, 2010 10:04 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    Christian73 said
    With this in mind, surely you're up in arms about Citizens United. I mean, how can you tolerate publicly held companies donating to political campaigns? After all, those companies are given privileges to trade on public markets in return for transparency? So if they're giving anonymous donations to a group like Crossroads GPS, they are violating the public trust.

    And why hasn't Joe Scarborough been disciplined?

    Again, you think corporations uber alles.



    No, I'm not "up in arms" about Citizens United.... or the unions being able to make political contributions.


    False equivalency, particularly since most industries are not unionized. Further, it's not political giving that is so concerning, it's the anonymous political giving, which unions as nonprofits have to disclose, but corporations can use groups like CrossRoads GPS or COC to remain anonymous, allowing them to claim one thing publicly while financing the opposite politically.
  • tongun18

    Posts: 593

    Nov 05, 2010 10:08 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said

    Olbermann is not a journalist. He did violate a provision of his contract with MSNBC.


    I withdraw what I said then. I don't watch MSNBC and saw Olbermann described as a news anchor somewhere so I assumed journalist. My mistake.
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    Nov 05, 2010 10:12 PM GMT
    After COMCAST takes over NBC, some believe that MSNBC will be cleaned up in ways that will not be too popular with many of the RJ liberals. Jeff Zucker, liberal chief of NBC Universal has already announced his departure.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Nov 05, 2010 10:14 PM GMT
    This is obviously a radical right wing Republican takeover of the airwaves, just like the Nazis and Communists did.
    We will be able to listen to their canned propaganda, or nothing.
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    Nov 05, 2010 10:17 PM GMT
    Webster666 saidThis is obviously a radical right wing Republican takeover of the airwaves, just like the Nazis and Communists did.
    We will be able to listen to their canned propaganda, or nothing.

    You could be on to something. Maybe that's why they formed a committee to select the specific martial music to be played. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Nov 05, 2010 10:40 PM GMT
    metta8 said



    Petition To Put Olbermann Back On The Air:

    http://act.boldprogressives.org/sign/petition_olbermann/?rd=1&source=e1-5mo


    lol. the petition totally makes sense.
    i mean what will libs do with themsleves if they cant watch primetime
    or worse, what will they do if the worser-worst person in the wooooooorld is not telling them how to think. icon_biggrin.gif
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Nov 05, 2010 10:45 PM GMT


    There are differences between pundits and journalists. A pundit is is someone who offers to mass-media his or her opinion or commentary on a particular subject area (most typically political analysis, the social sciences or sport), it is understood/expected they will be doing so form a specific side or perspective. A journalist is supposed to merely present the new and let the viewer make their own decisions, they are expected to maintain non-bias.[/quote]




    And, that's why Faux News shouldn't be allowed to call it's programming, "News."