Patterico's Pontifications


Olbermann Contributed to Democrat on the Same Day He Appeared on his Show (Update: Suspended! and More Updates)

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 8:37 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; send your tips here.]

Update: Olbermann has been suspended indefinitely without pay!  Details here!

The blogs are jumping at the news that Keith Olbermann donated to three different Democrats:

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann made campaign contributions to two Arizona members of Congress and failed Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway ahead of Tuesday’s election — a potential violation of NBC ethics policies.

The policies discourage such donations and say they must be done ahead of time.  We can only guess if he told them he planned to do that.  But to me the most troubling aspect is revealed in this paragraph:

Olbermann, who acknowledged the contributions in a statement to POLITICO, made the maximum legal donations of $2,400 apiece to Conway and to Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva andGabrielle Giffords. He donated to the Arizona pair on Oct. 28 — the same day that Grijalva appeared as a guest on Olbermann’s “Countdown” show.

You got that?  So either before he got chummy with him or just after, Keith makes a donation.  Creepy.

And shouldn’t Olbermann have actually disclosed these donations to us himself, instead of letting someone else discover them?

Credit goes to Politico for catching this.  I would give them a link, but they have been bullying a smaller site and thus no linky for you!  You can read more, however, at Hot Air.

Update (II): Bill Kristol makes the case that this suspension is unjust, to Olbermann.  I think he makes a lot of valid points, although I still think Olby should have disclosed.  But I get the feeling that Kristol’s argument has less to do with Kristol’s sense of fairness, than his unstated belief that Olbermann is harming his own cause.  It’s sort of like why I fervently hope Pelosi is kept as minority leader of the House Democrats.  Still, read what he has to say and see what you think.

Meanwhile, American Digest makes the very strong case that this is about MSNBC President Phil Griffin’s fears coming into the ongoing sale of MSNBC to Comcast:

When Comcast takes control there will be blood for the sake of profits and ideology won’t matter a hoot.

What does matter is who exactly gets to keep their jobs at MSNBC, Will it be a loss leader like Olbermann or a conscientious executive like current President Phil Griffin who is “aware”, acts quickly, and is “mindful”? “Without pay” is good corporate-speak too. It show’s that Griffin is ready and able and willing to make the cuts where it counts. Olbermann makes somewhere around $4,000,000 a year. Even if he’s just suspended for a month that sends $308,000 straight to the bottom line.

It’s not about Olbermann’s job. It’s about Griffin’s.

Well played, Phil.

Wait, they pay him $4 million?  Why?  Is he bringing in even half that much in revenue?

Update (III): Via Hot Air, we learn that insiders say Olbermann is not coming back.  And we get a good explanation from Michelle Malkin why it is a big deal:

Olby’s defenders say it’s wrong to punish opinion journalists for supporting candidates and causes.


1) MSNBC has always promoted and allowed Olbermann to preen as an award-winning journalist and broadcaster of Edward R. Murrow’s caliber — above the fray and superior to the rest of us in the print/broadcast media who are open and honest about our political and ideological biases.

2) Whatever NBC’s guidelines may be, it was the basic journalistic failure of the Murrow wanna-be to disclose the donation on the night he hosted one of his cash recipients that seals his fate and undermines whatever iota of credibility his station has left.

Good night and good riddance.

What she is getting at is the concept of estoppel.  They have been pretending he is some kind of journalist.  So we can hold them to it.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

120 Responses to “Olbermann Contributed to Democrat on the Same Day He Appeared on his Show (Update: Suspended! and More Updates)”

  1. Except that having media figures be out and proud of their political affiliation is a good thing. The biggest problem with the MSM is not their bias, it is the combination of bias plus the increasingly fraudulent claim of objectivity. The more overt they are about which side their bread is buttered on, the easier it makes to weigh what media types say.

    Now I need a shower for having to defend Olbermann. Blech.

    Hadlowe (cd5b10)

  2. I expect Olby to be a moron, that’s not news.

    mojo (8096f2)

  3. Is not contributing supposed to make Olbermann less biased or just to allow him to make the risible claim he is less biased?

    daleyrocks (940075)

  4. Why else would anyone go on his show?

    zmdavid (118ec5)

  5. Perhaps the contribution makes up for the reputational damage caused by appearing on his show.

    Brother Bradley J. Fikes, C.O.R. (a18ddc)

  6. Is not contributing supposed to make Olbermann less biased or just to allow him to make the risible claim he is less biased

    When has he EVER claimed to be un-biased? I’m sort of uncomfortable defending him, since he uses way too many of the tactics that your Limbaughs and Hannitys use and I find it repellent when they do it.

    With that said, he makes no pretense on Countdown of being objective. Last time I saw him try was when he was on Football Night in America.

    timb (449046)

  7. If you truly listened to Rush, or listened to/watched Sean, you would never make such a statement as you did. Neither of those two stoop to the depths that Olberdouche resides in.

    AD-RtR/OS! (8cbfdc)

  8. Hannity can be annoyingly one dimensional, but repellent? I’ve never seen him linked to anything like the Olbermann style of reasoning.

    Rush is a good natured guy and that’s precisely why the left has to pretend he is the devil. You can divide the reasonable left from the unreasonable parrots based on who hates Rush.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  9. That’s awkward, but where are they going to mine the pure crazy for next time, Donny Deutsch is like near beer, maybe they’ll give Rich Sanchez another shot

    ian cormac (82637e)

  10. Thanks Lenny.

    ian’s right… Keith is probably actually a valuable part of their lineup because they are a boutique for lefty bubble seekers.

    They need their crazy.

    But they’ve been looking for a way to fire Keith for ages. They should hire Andrew Breitbart. I’d watch.

    CNN and MSNBC don’t seem to be able to figure out the formula for success. Having a panel of people who agree with eachother is dull. I tried to watch their election coverage and it simply got boring because every one of their people said exactly the same stupid thing.

    On FNC, I could see people argue different points. This just should be so hard for MSNBC to figure out.

    They’ll probably put Alan Grayson on there. Snort.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  11. “If you truly listened to Rush, or listened to/watched Sean, you would never make such a statement as you d”

    Oh please. You are correct that Limbaugh and Hannity aren’t nearly as self important or pompous as Olberman. Limbaugh is funnier than both of the others too.

    He has been suspended indefinitely anyway (saw it on Huffpo)for breaking the rules. No big deal, he had served his purpose on that network anyway.

    EdWood (c2268a)

  12. I have a hard time getting worked up over this.

    I mean, I hate Olbermann, but are we really SURPRISED here? Did his donation violate anyone’s trust? We know he was in the can for the Dems, my only surprise is that there weren’t MORE donations.

    Quite frankly, I’d prefer that reporters be allowed – heck, even mandated – to give money to candidates and have those donations made public. Then we could at least handicapp accordingly.

    headhunt23 (c35715)

  13. Ad, I’m listening to Rush right now, as he he talks about Sharon Angle and polls. Nice try. Hell, just today, he has blatantly mis-represented the relationship between insurance companies and government. He’s a giant douche.

    As for Hannity, Dustin

    Hannity can be annoyingly one dimensional, but repellent? I’ve never seen him linked to anything like the Olbermann style of reasoning.

    He stumped for Bush in Ohio in the week before the 2004 elections and basically held free political rallies for Bush and friends. He runs a constant GOTV memo every election day. He promoted a Massey Coal rally/Republican rally in West Virginia without acknowledging that Massey is one of the most dangerous companies in America to work for. He head-lined a Guiliani fund-raiser in 2008. He is a Republican party shill and if he has not personally donated to Republican candidates, then I bet Mrs. Hannity has!

    How he escapes approbation for his donations, which are legion? Because Fox doesn’t have ethics rules like that. Hell, since most Fox analysts are candidates for President in 2012, that would make using them hard.

    Still, you guys go get him. I’d much rather watch an 8pm Maddow or O’Donnell anyway.

    timb (449046)

  14. I forgot about that, didn’t Sgt. Schultz, the Chris Farley cartoon come life, donate to Grayson,

    ian cormac (82637e)

  15. Dang, link didn’t work. If you go to the FEC website and search for Hannity, you get 4 contributions (totaling 11,900 dollars) over the last five years, including two this year. here’s a link to the one to John Gomez

    timb (449046)

  16. This sort of thing never happens at Fox.

    Kman (d25c82)

  17. Nancy Pelosi just tweeted, “Driven by the urgency of creating jobs & protecting #hcr, #wsr, Social Security & Medicare, I am running for Dem Leader.”

    I assume “#hcr” is health care reform, but what’s “#wsr”?

    Joshua (9ede0e)

  18. oops, I see Lenny already commented on the suspension.

    Now was the suspension coz Olberman was having personality clashes with his boss, or was it because he is a bigot (I mean, he must have said somewhere, sometime that he gets nervous if, while getting on a plane, he sees people getting on the same plane who identify themselves as conservatives FIRST… you know by their well tailored clothing, copies of Machiavelli or The Fountainhead sticking out of their pockets, or their archaic revolutionary war era tri-cornered hats).

    EdWood (c2268a)

  19. Joshua, I’m guessing it means “wall street reform”

    timb (449046)

  20. timb, I think you miss my point.

    Keith is free, in my book to support politicians he likes. Clearly MSNBC thinks he should be. Their little mechanisms of firing a disgusting man are not my standards for Rush.

    Rush is simply a nicer, funnier, more persuasive guy. Far, far more people like his programming. More democrats like him than like Keith.

    Why? Because Keith has an ugly mind.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  21. Well, I guess we’ll still have Nancy Pelosi to kick around some more.

    ropelight (c1b8e9)

  22. Kman

    You never responded to my last post in the iowa gay marriage thread. why not?

    was it because of this?

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  23. Olberdouche should have been thrown in prison years ago because he’s a lying, pro-terrorist, Lord Haw-Haw style propagandist.

    IOW, he’s a typical leftoid “journalist”.

    Dave Surls (c9150f)

  24. Kman

    You never responded to my last post in the iowa gay marriage thread. why not?

    Because despite what you think, my life doesn’t revolve around your responses (I only drop in on this site from time to time — I don’t monitor it 24/7).

    But since you seem anxious to hear my thoughts, I’ve responded to you in that thread.

    Kman (d25c82)

  25. “plus the increasingly fraudulent claim of objectivity.”

    You’re wrong on one point. It’s not increasing. It’s always been that way.

    The media has never been the least bit honest or objective.


    Dave Surls (c9150f)

  26. Every time a liberal uses Hannity or Limbaugh to prove conservatives are dumber, just say two words: “Keith Olbermann”. It works.

    Triumph, in constructive mode (0692b1)

  27. I was just browsing HuffPo (oh my goodness, I hope no one I know reads this), and there are 8K comments of support for KO. I don’t think he should be suspended. No one thinks MSNBC is a news channel.Or that KO) is objective.Or smart.

    corwin (35b5f0)

  28. corwin, you’re obviously right. Olbermann did not violate any ethical standard here because his entire program is strictly about getting democrats elected.

    The problem is that Keith and Phil (who is supposedly the boss) are not seeing eye to eye, and apparently this was the best way Phil could come up with to oust him.

    One problem with hard ideologues such as anyone who actually enjoyed Countdown or Mark Levin (very similar programs) is that they really don’t give a crap about ratings. These people take it as an offense that MSNBC needs to change their lineup in order to become competitive.

    Phil’s had several problems with this because the personalities know he will be demonized if he asserts himself. It resembles Junior High politics.

    They should bite the bullet, change the name, and change the entire programming lineup. They sorely need some Brett Baier type for simple presentation of information. Their election night disaster says it all.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  29. dave

    > [someone else] “plus the increasingly fraudulent claim of objectivity.”

    > [dave] You’re wrong on one point. It’s not increasing. It’s always been that way.

    Maybe the right way to put it is this: “plus the increasingly OBVIOUSNESS that their claim of objectivity is a fraud.”

    it really does make you wonder how much history would have been different if we had the internet and blogging in the past.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  30. “Olberdouche should have been thrown in prison years ago because he’s a lying, pro-terrorist, Lord Haw-Haw style propagandist.
    Comment by Dave Surls — 11/5/2010 @ 12:19 pm”

    Dave, why are you being so nice to him?

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  31. MSNBC probably suspended Olbermann to improve their ratings. They usually go up when he is on hiatus.

    timb – A major difference between Olbermann and Rush and Hannity is that Olbermann is too cowardly to allow anyone with an opposing view onto his show. It is completely one dimensional. Rush and Hannity talk to liberals all the time.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  32. The Olbermann violation was that he made the donations then he tilted the field by having Grijalva and Conway on his show. That is crooked business. It’s also stupid on a most basic level. Why even bother with donating?

    Birdbath (8501d4)

  33. I missed where anyone suggested that Hannity or Rush had never donated to a politician, or advocated shared beliefs.

    JD (306f5d)

  34. birdbath

    > Why even bother with donating?

    I had thought of that, too. his in-kind help was worth more than any money he gave.

    Which is exactly the kind of thing they said in Citizens United. they said, look, if GE wants to harm the candidates they don’t like, they can sick nbc on them. so mccain feingold didn’t eliminate corporate speech in campaigns, it just limited it.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  35. A couple of things here:

    1) If Olbermann’s contract states that he is not allowed to donate to political candidates, particularly ones he has on his show, then MSNBC is within its rights to suspend/fire him.

    2) With that in mind, this smells really fishy. Are we really supposed to believe that in all the years Countdown has been on the air, that this is the first time Olby’s donated to Dem candidates? His show has been a de facto propoganda arm of the Democrat party during its entire run, and we’re somehow supposed to buy that it’s unethical for the host of such a show to donate to that party’s candidates? It’s simply not consistent.

    My feeling is that Olbermann finally wore out his welcome and rubbed enough people the wrong way that the higher-ups were looking for an excuse to get him out of their hair. “He donated to political candidates in violation of his contract,” sounds more legalistically justifiable than “He’s a douchebag and nobody can stand to work with him.”

    Another Chris (2d8013)

  36. chris

    chances are his contract has a clause saying that he will obey nbc policies, thus the policy cited in the original politico article probably was incorporated that way into it.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  37. I missed where anyone suggested that Hannity or Rush had never donated to a politician, or advocated shared beliefs

    I’m guessing that’s because you can’t read. teh link is only in this very thread to Hannity’s donation, this cycle, to a Republican and to scary Michelle Bachman’s PAC. Not to mention his appearance at Republican fundraisers, etc.

    Seriously, jd, is it so hard to click on a link?

    timb (449046)

  38. timb – A major difference between Olbermann and Rush and Hannity is that Olbermann is too cowardly to allow anyone with an opposing view onto his show. It is completely one dimensional. Rush and Hannity talk to liberals all the time.

    The significant major difference is that neither is employed by a news organization.

    Gerald A (0843ed)

  39. Seriously, jd, is it so hard to click on a link?

    Comment by timb

    Are you serious?

    He’s saying your link doesn’t contradict anybody.

    You snort at his comment because you are challenged to read it.

    Note the use of the word “never”.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  40. Comment by Another Chris — 11/5/2010 @ 1:49 pm

    I think you are zeroing in on it. Despite timb’s attempt to make this into either a free speech (pace Citizens United) or a “the other side does it too” issue, the whole point here is that Olbermann chooses to be employed by NBC, NBC prohibits this sort of activity, therefore Olbermann runs afoul of his employer’s rules. All this junk about Hanity doing it too is a distraction, since Hanity appears on a different network.

    And I think Another Chris is right that the timing of this is weird and that MSNBC & NBC brass probably knew about Olbermann’s donations to Democrats all along. I wonder if they are taking stock of the aftermath of Obamaism and Pelosism and deciding that maybe being a left-wing network doesn’t really pay the bills, especially when a huge chunk of your potential viewer base is getting their news from Comedy Central.

    JVW (eccfd6)

  41. JVW#, maybe they even are concerned about this from a sheer political angle. The people running MSNBC from the very top do want to help democrats win, very badly. That mission oozes from their network and their cable channel.

    Olbermann cost democrats votes. Maybe it’s as simple as that. We will know more when we see how he’s replaced. My bet is that it’s someone more persuasive for liberals, and not someone more responsible or intellectually curious about the right.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  42. Thomas, Sanchez, Williams, and now Olberman – is it possible that media higher-ups are thinking – “Maybe we oughta’ throw some red meat out there? What’s to lose? It may take some of the heat off us.”

    For me, they could all stay on the air. As long as Breitbart, Bozell, and the growing conservative ‘net aren’t prohibited from feeding on the detritus they’re no threat. They have already reduced themselves to an annoying comedy relief side-show for most of us.

    So they contributed to their favorite causes. So what? We know them by their words – their actions do little to enlighten or confuse us. Surely only the brain dead ever believed Olberman et al provided ‘neutral’ commentary.

    By firing the most public target the MSM may now don the white hat in an effort to regain some of their lost credibility: “See how fair we are. Look who we fired.”

    Beyond that, I don’t like the precedent – fired for low ratings, yes: fired on hypocritical grounds because they are the most obvious sacrifices, no.

    Old Bob (a2f97b)

  43. I think Kristol’s on to something in protesting the suspension:
    Never stand between your opponent and the gun he’s holding against his own temple!

    AD-RtR/OS! (8cbfdc)

  44. Oh good Allah. Timmah apparently is arguing with the voices inside his head again.

    His giving isn’t the issue. It is the fact that he ignored his employers rules on giving.

    JD (306f5d)

  45. With that said, he makes no pretense on Countdown of being objective.

    Olby’s no longer on that show, timb – he was taken off after last season…way too many complaints about his asshattery on that show. Try to keep up.

    This conversation about Olby is going to be moot in short order – Comcast is going to sh-tcan the whole network and start over, they’re in dead last place, and their ratings don’t come close to justifying the exhorbitant salaries for their “talent.” If you’re familiar with Comcast, they only care about one thing – profits, and nothing else. The unholy leftards there are all going to find out what it’s really like to work for a private company today.

    Leonard Pince Garnell (ad2c6a)

  46. Whoops, that was me – sorry.

    Dmac (ad2c6a)

  47. Olbermann cost democrats votes

    I don’t think so – anyone who chooses to watch MSNBC is an extremely self – selective audience. Unlike Fox, the vast majority of their viewers are self – identified liberals. The most interesting thing about Fox’s tremendous growth over the past decade is that recently the Nielsen audience research details that their audience is composed of a mix of about 35% liberals (and growing each year), 25% independents and the balance goes to Republicans. This helps explain why their election night coverage blew out the other networks by a mile – the majority of their viewership is not folks from the far right. That’s not only an interesting mix of demos, it’s also another page of brilliant business tactics from Ailes.

    Dmac (ad2c6a)

  48. JVW, never said it was unjust…in fact, such a reading of my original post is negligent and unjustified. I claimed I really didn’t like defending him, because his methodology is not that different from two giant douchebags. Dustin told me I was wrong to make the comparison and I demonstrated why my original comments were defensible.

    My opinion on Olberman is that he violated their policies and paid the price.

    I’m not some idiot who believes Juan Williams has a constitutional right to work at NPR or Olberman does at NBC. This isn’t a free speech issue. I merely pointed out he does not claim to be objective.

    The Hannity stuff comes about in response to other posts. Personally, what Sean does with the money he steals from rubes is not my business and his business is promoting the election of Republicans. it is certainly not outside his purview as opinion host (as Fox has noticed). The same goes for Olberman. If he wants to spend his ill-gotten money on politicians, I could care less. In fact, his donation to Raul Grijalva was awesome, because that guy is a treasure.

    As far as Dustin’s comments after yours go, Olberman does not cost Dems votes and MSNBC is no more interested in Democrats winning than it was interested in Republicans winning when it had Michael Savage and Alan Keyes on (Phil Griffin was the one who hired them too). Certain MSNBC personalities (not Scarborough, for example) would very much like Dems to win, but MSNBC is interested in ratings and advertising dollars.

    timb (449046)

  49. Why wouldn’t Bill Kristol defend Olbermann? Just shows which network has integrity and which one doesn’t. With out the support of one network which organized rallies and PACs for the teaparty, there would be no teaparty. Which network was that?

    Tom (9df40f)

  50. Another moronic convergence coming ….

    JD (0c5de4)

  51. Keith, if I come on, will the funds clear?

    Lindsey Graham (a8a9b2)

  52. Integrity. Heh… fair and balanced.

    W (9df40f)

  53. Not sure most of the crazies at MethNBC will survive the Comcast takeover anyway.

    Torquemada (a8a9b2)

  54. #28, Rush is lots brighter than Keith. Hannity I’d go with on par.

    Torquemada (a8a9b2)

  55. you can’t really blame olbermann for this. who really thought he wasn’t donating to democrats? and he is as surprised as any of us that MSMBC actually has ethics rules.

    tommy mc donnell (397858)

  56. How many names are you going to post under, Yelverton?

    JD (0c5de4)

  57. “Why wouldn’t Bill Kristol defend Olbermann?”

    How about because Olbermann is the scum of the earth?

    Dave Surls (c9150f)

  58. I wish this had not happened to Olbergasm. I could not care less if he donated to 73918374628294746 Democrats. It is a pity he was so arrogant that he did not think he had to follow his employer’s rules.

    JD (0c5de4)

  59. “I’m not some idiot. Comment by timb”

    HA! Ok, it’s out of context. But I couldn’t resist.

    PatAZ (9d1bb3)

  60. I not offended that Olbermann donated funds to Democratic candidates.

    I find it completely and howlingly hilarious that his hypocrisy, arrogance and belief that the rules don’t apply to him bit him in the ass.

    I’ll probably still be laughing on Monday.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  61. While NBC has the right to fire someone if they broke the rules of employment, but there is one problem. It would suggest that the rest of the newscasters are not biased or supportive of specific candidates as Olbermann, and I don’t think that is true.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  62. MD – Isn’t the only conclusion that can be drawn is that the other folks either followed the rules, or did not donate?

    JD (85b089)

  63. This is just a cheap ploy to increase KO’s ratings by making more lefties like him and watch his show.

    nk (db4a41)

  64. *getting more lefties to like him*

    nk (db4a41)

  65. That’s what it looks like, JD, except I never trust anyone (the rest of MSNBC) who believes in a guy who claims to control the ocean.

    Average Californian (3d3f72)

  66. This is just a cheap ploy to increase KO’s ratings by making more lefties like him and watch his show.

    Comment by nk

    Interesting theory and actually quite believable.

    eBay (b54cdc)

  67. God dammit sockpuppet.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  68. Courage!

    daleyrocks (940075)

  69. I told my wife that MSNBC had suspended Olbermann and she said: “Who?” So, I started to explain and she wandered off into another room.

    Anyway, I have a friend who is a die-hard Democrat, except he doesn’t keep up with politics at all. However, he is always trying to needle me for watching Fox News and he keeps coming up with weird comments.

    For example, Hannity’s annual road show came to our town in August and he kept calling it “The Oliver North Show.”

    One day he was telling me what a “hate-monger” Glenn Beck is (full disclosure: I don’t dislike Beck, but he’s not my cup of tea). So, I said, “Look, Fox News is no worse that MSNBC and Olbermann is probably as hateful as you imagine Beck to be.”

    I swear to God, his response was: “What? Olbermann is a sports guy.”

    If I have a point, it may be that whatever happens to Olbermann is pretty much inside baseball. Ask any 10 random people who he is, and the best response you would probably get is: “I liked him on ESPN.”

    Personally, I believe he should have been suspended for his misogynist characterization of Michelle Malkin, but if he broke MSNBC’s rules, he broke its rules.

    Ag80 (743fd1)

  70. The leftists will make Olbegasm out to be some kind of martyr, sacrificed at the reichwing altar of hatred and their desire to squelch dissent.

    JD (c8c1d2)

  71. It would be a good idea for MSNBC to hire Gleen for replacing Keith.

    I once went to a play where Stacy Keach did all the roles via videotape and lots of makeup, playing the central role as some eccentric character that interacted with the world via videophone. Every other character was Keach on tape doing the other characters’ lines in various makeup.

    Greenwald could do all the panels that way, using a dry erase marker to dry moustaches, goattees and wear Groucho masks to create the illusion of guests and panelists – and it will be as convincing as any of his sockpuppets.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  72. AG80, thanks for that insight. It’s hard to forget just how small Olbermann is in the scheme of things.

    And I forgot that mashed up bag of meat with lipstick comment. Malkin deserved a hell of a lot better, and she’s done a hell of a lot more with her career.

    Let Olbermann be a BS martyr. He’s going to embarrass himself even more. I doubt he could even swallow his ego enough to return at this point.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  73. _____________________________________________

    A major difference between Olbermann and Rush and Hannity is that Olbermann is too cowardly to allow anyone with an opposing view onto his show. It is completely one dimensional. Rush and Hannity talk to liberals all the time. Comment by daleyrocks — 11/5/2010 @ 1:38 pm

    I think that just about sums it up.

    Since I don’t get MSNBC on cable, and wouldn’t watch much of it if I did, I rely upon your description of Olbermann’s show. So it sounds like the program’s host shoots himself in the foot by ignoring the concept of “love me or hate me, please don’t ignore me (or put me to sleep).”

    Any talking-head program that lacks a diversity of POVs is a snoozefest. Plus if a person truly has the courage of his (or her) convictions, he should welcome conversations with those of opposing opinions.

    Mark (411533)

  74. As a matter of full disclosure, this writer has been a regular viewer of MSNBC’s ‘Countdown with Keith Olbermann’ since its inception and cops to enjoying his witty delivery and reports on events of the day, sometimes capped off with a blisteringly opinionated and clearly labeled ‘special comment’ –or just a little Thurber. Television news is, after all, always seasoned with a bit of showbiz and for the smart-minded, Olbermann is smartly entertaining as well as informative. Part of the corporate cosmology of Arthur Jensen, as it were.

    But the latest news out of MSNBC is less amusing and only the latest in a series of incidents with on-air talent at various cablers biting the hands that feed them. Very ‘inside baseball’ stuff at MSNBC, which is apropos in Olbermann’s case. The surface transgression is what it is– rules broken, errors made and player suspended w/o pay, indefinitely. The battle between the talent and the suits is eternal in television. Revisit Jack Parr’s ‘water closet’ incident decades ago ( he left, made peace and returned, but the bloom was off the rose,) the Smothers Brothers battle with CBS corporate or Dan Rather walking off his news set for eight minutes. The current corporate standing of MSNBC and the history of off-camera skirmishes between Griffin and Olbermann are not to be discounted in this dust-up and, with ‘corporate guidelines’ on Griffin’s side, managment wins. Ask Shuster. It’s the suits, who set the rules in cable TV’s unregulated game, who win out, not the hired help. (Something contracted cable opinion talkers need reminded on occasion.) Olbermann should have known better– or he just may have known all too well what he was doing given the situation MSNBC is in. But benching the biggest slugger on your second place team may have shown decisive executive action on the part of manager Griffin in winning the game at hand but it may also be a self-inflicted wound that’ll cost the team dearly where it counts – in the television ratings season. MSNBC built its prime time programming around Olbermann. If he’s off the roster for good at MSNBC, he’ll resurface in another cabler’s clubhouse, as he has done in the past. The fate for suits who operate in the front office is less certain. Particularly for those who”ll have to fill the hole in the line up and keep the ad rev flowing– especially if /when MSNBC changes hands.

    Kristol’s opinion on the matter is, well, another matter, given his own termination from the NYT in 2009 for a professional faux pas much more basic and much less esoteric than Olbermann’s goof. Just sloppy writing. “The problems that emerged were more fundamental. Kristol’s writing wasn’t compelling or even very careful. He either lacked a talent for solid opinion journalism or wasn’t putting his heart into it. A give-away came in the form of four corrections the [NYT] was forced to run over factual mistakes in the columns, creating an impression that they were rushed out without due diligence or attention to factual claims. A senior writer at Time magazine recounted to me a similar experience with Kristol following his stint in 2006-07. “His conservative ideas were cutting edge and influential,” I was told. “But his sloppy writing and failure to fact check what he wrote made us queasy.”- source,

    MSNBC’s Maddow, a friend/colleague of Olbermann, and who stated on air she and Olbermann are ‘liberals,’ provided viewers with her take on the Olberdish, Friday evening. It was a bit fallacious attempting to compare apples and oranges. Fox makes no secret that its opinion hosts are pitching conservative woo and the ‘right’ point of view, so outing them for contibuting/soliciting funding for GOP candidates on air is mastering the obvious. They are opinionators, not news anchors. NBC News guidelines– guidelines for a news organization– are different and these are the rules ‘Olbermann the Anchorman’ transgressed. Hence the indefinite suspension w/o pay which enhances and protects the NBC News franchise. Had he asked management first and they’d granted a waiver, as they’d done for their morning hosts, per Maddow, this would be a non-story.

    The American Digest piece may have the best take on this. After, all the bottom line is all that matters in cable television. It’s a business… as Ailes or Murdoch know.

    All the more reason for Fox to pitch a lucrative gig to Olbermann if he’s a free agent now. Yes, Rupert, hire him and let him do his humorous, angry man of the left mixing opinion with news- which is what he does/did at MSNBC- there on Fox. What a platform. A more vivid example of ‘fair and balanced’ programming could not be created with a $200 million ad campaign. Olbermann would never do it for $4 million. But $8 million? Who knows. Everything has a price in this world. So let bygones be bygones, Roger, schedule him between O’Reilly and Sybil The Soothsayer. The audiences will swell, the advertisers will sell and Fox will make out like a bandit. And why? Because, as Arthur Jensen would tell you, ‘They’re on television, dummy.’

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  75. Are you writing or copying, DCSCA?

    Assuming you are writing … “witty delivery” ? Really. How very droll. Oh, were you serious?

    Maybe the “smartly entertaining” was putting the sarcasm over the top, by the way.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  76. Tell you what, DCSCA, I am going to agree with you: Olbermann on Fox would be a capital idea. As you say, he can do the Angry Man of the Left bit to his heart’s content. The great thing about having him on Fox is that at long last perhaps there will be someone to challenge his inane comments and make him defend some of his more ludicrous ideas. For that reason, I would say there is about a one in a thousand chance that Olby takes the gig, unless he is in a very precarious financial position and has no choice.

    JVW (eccfd6)

  77. I think the DCSCA argument is absolutely wrong.

    Hiring Olbermann doesn’t prove Fox is fair and balanced. They already have many, many effective lefty communicators. All of them reach much larger audiences and are more trusted because they don’t call people “mashed up bags of meat with lipstick”, or “racist” at the drop of a hat.

    There is absolutely no way Fox would see ratings improve by replacing its current talent with Keith. Most people choosing not to watch Keith would continue to do so. Keith has already had his chance to beat Fox’s ratings, after all.

    Just more dreaming. Also, Keith doesn’t honor his contracts and is pretty horrible to his boss. Why in the world would someone react to this by offering him an $8 mill check? What happens to Fox when it needs Olbermann to show respect to an interviewee, another Fox contributor, or Fox itself? Keith doesn’t care about anybody but Keith. MSNBC didn’t remove Keith because of this clause being broken, but because he is a ratings and PR failure.

    However, MSNBC could do well to beg a conservative to replace Keith. I’d watch the Breitbart show.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  78. Witty delivery? For the smart minded? The rest is just vintage IMP. The only thing missing is a fictional anecdote about Maggie Thatcher’s reaction to this issue.

    JD (c8c1d2)

  79. “benching the biggest slugger on your second place team

    Second place? You haven’t been looking at ratings lately, have you DCSCA? Second place would be an improvement for MSNBC.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  80. Jeez, DCSA, I thought I was long-winded.

    Ag80 (743fd1)

  81. And as far as I can tell, he did not copy that.

    So he just wrote a term paper explaining why Fox should hire someone who hates fox, with inferior performance to Fox, who was uncontrollable by people who agreed with him.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  82. Thanks, IMP.

    People keep busting me for my blather, and I REALLY need you to help push the curve back a bit.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  83. That is not Lon winded. that is full- on, living, breathing kwayzee.

    JD (c8c1d2)

  84. Well summarized in 9:51pm, Dustin.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  85. That’s five minutes I’m never getting back, Keef is unintentionally amusing in his faux Howard Beale wannabe Murrow persona, he is not nearly the craziest, compared to Chris Farley manque Ed Schultz, or I can’t even find parameters to descrime Maddow, but those two are from the House
    that Soros built, Air America

    justin cord (82637e)

  86. Its weird, I want to like Rachel Maddow for some odd reason, she so good at looking earnest … but after only a few seconds, the crazy detachment from reality underlying her earnestness drives me off the MSNBC channel.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  87. Actually, I really appreciate this DCSCA. It’s comic relief.

    Can you imagine Olbermann on Fox? This would be the ultimate rickroll.

    Grandma tunes in for her Beck fix and there’s Olbermann!

    It would crush the spirits of the Kos kids like the Incredible Hulk trying to eat a cheap taco.

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  88. “All the more reason for Fox to pitch a lucrative gig to Olbermann…”

    Yeah, that would be a brilliant move…if Fox was trying to appeal to the cockroach demographic.

    Dave Surls (897d1c)

  89. Disco Stu doing his usual cut-and-paste job. *yawn*

    Icy Texan (6b61f8)

  90. Keith Olbermonkey: today’s WORST PERSON . . . IN THE WORLD!!!

    Icy Texan (6b61f8)

  91. So Keith gets fired because he is an ideologue masquerading as a journalist, all the while Bill O’Rusty, Sean Inanity or Rush Limboob keep their jobs precisely because they are ideologues masquerading as journalists (well, not really in Limboob’s case but you see my point)

    Pretty unjust.

    But pretty good news too.

    Triumph, in constructive mode (0692b1)

  92. Olbehrman is layin liberral traittor scum, I’m be glads he gots firred and I’m be hopping that others liberral sh*tmouthes like Maddow are be nexts in lines! We must have to purges liberrals and radikals out of ours airweves!

    The Anonymous Tea-Partier (0692b1)

  93. The nerve of that witch, we had a good thing, going not upsetting that elder statesman Biden, ready to
    have that special ‘cap n trade’ medical procedure,
    and then she had to butt in,

    Tom Ross (82637e)

  94. or just a little Thurber.

    Funniest comment of the thread – I read Thurber, and Thurber would have puked after one minute with Keefe.

    Dmac (ad2c6a)

  95. I hope Keef’s skin doesn’t get too wrinkled in his bathtub.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  96. For the FREE KEEF Movement, Reason TV posted a tribute to the man as a testament to his greatness.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  97. Come on Dmac. I’m sure the IMP knew Thurber.

    Kind of has a Yelverton-like confidence level, yes?

    Eric Blair (dcced2)

  98. Triumph – that was not at all why he was placed on indefinite suspension without pay. He did not follow his employer’s rules and guidelines as to donations. Period. Your mischaracterization followed by BUNNIES is typical.

    JD (85b089)

  99. JD

    you know, my favorite metaphor for a distraction isn’t “look, bunnies,” but “squirrel!” Think like in the movie “Up!”

    Aaron Worthing (b8e056)

  100. Triumph, the insult to intelligence, is really shoveling it today. Pushing the meme that Bill-O, Hannity & Rush portray themselves as journalists is pretty pathetic.

    Icy Texan (6b61f8)

  101. DuckCrap said (or plagerized):
    “…Television news is, after all, always seasoned with a bit of showbiz and for the smart-minded, Olbermann is smartly entertaining as well as informative…”

    How very Progressively Elitist of you!
    I’m confident, that if you posted this via a video-cam, we would see you scratching your nose in your best iteration of Teh Won “flipping off” those he disdains.

    AD-RtR/OS! (0f5c41)

  102. Keith on Fox?
    Keith was on Fox (Sports), after he left MSNBC the first time.
    Why would Fox re-hire Keith?
    Can they afford the ratings hit?
    It’s time for Keith to retire to his basement IT center, where he can spew his invective to the world in his PJ’s!

    AD-RtR/OS! (0f5c41)

  103. Comment emailed me from an old friend…

    “Fox news doesn’t have any rules against this for their hosts. Keith was subject to a higher standard. At least he wasn’t abusing prescription drugs or anything illegal like that.”

    Priceless: MSNBC has the moral high ground, and poor Keith was but the sacrificial lamb.

    …and last I checked, Rush was never a Fox employee – or did I miss something?

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  104. Dana, you’re correct. Rush has been a Nationally Syndicated (employed by EIB – which is his creation) host since he went national in 1987.
    Plus, when he was based in NYC, his studio was leased from ABC.

    AD-RtR/OS! (0f5c41)

  105. Curiouser and curiouser…

    After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night’s program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy. We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night.11/07/10 Politico

    Dana (8ba2fb)

  106. Well, they were looking into the abyss without Keith to bolster their ratings.

    AD-RtR/OS! (f6c1ad)

  107. Actually, Maddow and the other guy that MSNBC recently hired have been beating KO in the 25-55 demo.

    The Departed (d027b8)

  108. MSNBC is not a sane network, it’s the kind of place, that would have made Paddy Chavefsky shudder, and they don’t even have the excuse of
    a daring producer like Faye Dunaway’s character

    justin cord (82637e)

  109. The Long National Nightmare Is Over!!!!11ty!!!!!!

    daleyrocks (940075)

  110. Comment by The Departed — 11/7/2010 @ 8:30 pm

    Perhaps they’re going to aim KO at the under-25 demo; though he may be too juvenile for that audience.

    AD-RtR/OS! (f6c1ad)

  111. I’m thinking that maybe MSNBC figures that Pelosi will be the new minority leader that maybe they can get ahead of the next wave vote by returning Keith to the chair.

    That’s the best I can come up with.

    Ag80 (743fd1)

  112. Ag80 – I have a different kind of chair in mind for Keef.

    daleyrocks (940075)

  113. Update: Alright, it’s been raised on Twitter, so I might as well just clarify: the statement only says Olbermann is allowed back on the air Tuesday, not necessarily that he will be back on the air. So let’s just hedge it and say all signs point to Olbermann returning Tuesday.


    Dana (8ba2fb)

  114. MSNBC: Olbermann Suspension Ends Tuesday

    NEW YORK AP-(Nov. 7) — MSNBC says Keith Olbermann will be back on the air Tuesday, ending his suspension for violating NBC’s rules against making political donations after two shows.

    And Arthur Jensen just smiled.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  115. #107- There’s nothing curious about it, Dana. It’s all a circus and they’ll selling tickets 24/7/365. Get yourself a DVD of ‘Network.’

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  116. @#110- “…it’s the kind of place, that would have made Paddy Chavefsky shudder…” Agreed. They all are. Now, we direct your attention over to the center ring to see Olbermann the Murrow wannabe turn into Ron Burgundy right before your eyes.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  117. Olbermann,

    He is shown widely through the middle east – including the remotest of regions through Orbit Showtime Network

    Let that sink in 6 years of 24/7 Olby

    However, finally, Fox news just replaced MSNBC

    so now hearing he will be back is not the best thing IMO for America

    EricPWJohnson (ed309e)

  118. Are you kidding?

    24/7 of KO for 6 years?

    Hell, I’d want to blow us all up too…

    The Departed (d027b8)

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