According to the Huffington Post and several other media outlet, MSNBC has suspended Keith Olbermann for contributions to Democrats. Here’s the key info:
MSNBC has suspended star anchor Keith Olbermann following the news that he had donated to three Democratic candidates this election cycle.
“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,” MSNBC president Phil Griffin said in a statement.
Politico reported Friday that Olbermann had donated $2,400 each to Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, and to Kentucky Senate contender Jack Conway. While NBC News policy does not prohibit employees from donating to political candidates, it requires them to obtain prior approval from NBC News executives before doing so.
I’m guessing the above reasoning is bogus and an excuse to get rid of, or seriously discipline Olbermann for other more personal reasons that will transpire later. To put this in context, according to the Washington Monthly, Murdoch’s News Corp has routinely dontated and helped Republicans get elected without disclosing any public information:
News Corp made multiple undisclosed donations to the Republican Governors Association, totaling at least $1.25million, in addition to a $1 million contribution to the U.S. Chamber ofCommerce for its pro-Republican election-year activities. Fox News hashelped GOP candidates raise money on the air; Fox News personalities are featured guests at Republican fundraisers; while other Fox News personalities continue to help generate financial support for Republican candidates now, even after the elections.
I’m not sure whether MSNBC understand the wrath it is about to unleash in progressive circles given Olbermann’s popularity. To suspend him for something like this is completely ridiculous and clearly a power move by NBC boss Phil Griffin.
We’ll see who makes the first move towards reconciliation, but given Olbermann’s notorious stubbornness, he could be off the air for some time.
Ben Cohen is the editor and founder of The Daily Banter. He lives in Washington DC where he does podcasts, teaches Martial Arts, and tries to be a good father. He would be extremely disturbed if you took him too seriously.