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Olby’s Suspension, Part 2

The story that won’t go away.  I’m still convinced there’s more to this than what has been made public.   Opinion on this suspension seems to be all over the place:

ABC News reports:

In a statement, MSNBC said its ethics policy bans journalists from making political contributions. Olbermann, perhaps the cable network’s most famous face, is known as an outspoken liberal commenter. As one of the network’s highest-paid personalities, he is central to the network’s “Lean Forward” campaign, a rebranding effort promoting progressive points of view. Thomas Roberts anchored “Countdown” on Friday night.

CNN is talking about the dangers of a “partisan media”:

In the fallout, other MSNBC personalities were also found to have given to Democratic candidates, while Media Matters uncovered the fact that more than 30 Fox News hosts and contributors had donated to conservative candidates.

Whole news networks are being transformed into little more than on-air advocates for political parties. The idea of objectivity is now increasingly dismissed as a myth rather than honored as an ideal toward which the news industry should strive.

Americans are self-segregating themselves into separate political realities — responding to the proliferation of information by consuming news that confirms their political prejudices. Loyal viewers see opinion-anchors like Olbermann or Glenn Beck as the only “truth-tellers” in town, while dismissing the rest of the media as cowardly or biased. We are devolving back to the era when newspapers were owned and operated by political parties.

The result: Partisan warfare is on the rise, and trust in media is on the decline. The Pew Research Center for the People & the Press has documented the trend and concluded that “virtually every news organization or program has seen its credibility marks decline” over the past decade.

National Review writer Jay Nordlinger thinks the suspension is a crock:

I am another “Worst Person” alumnus — or whatever we should call ourselves — who thinks that the firing, or suspension, of Olbermann is a crock. Of course he supports Democratic candidates. He supports them every time he opens his mouth (unless his words backfire, which I trust they do).

And so does National Review writer Cliff May:

Is it possible that MSNBC does not realize that Keith Olbermann’s show is itself a political contribution? They don’t actually think it’s a news show, do they?

A Huffington Post writer says the suspension is justified:

The fact that MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann is a progressive liberal Democrat should come as no surprise to American news viewers. Nonetheless, NBC News policy, which also applies to MSNBC, clearly says that donating money to any candidate is a violation, as, “these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest.”

Olbermann’s political contributions reflect badly on all of NBC News. Therefore, his suspension without pay is necessary.



3 Responses

  1. I second the “more to the story” opinion. Politico speculates that it was a refusal to give an on-air mea culpa that got him canned -not necessarily the donations themselves. I’m thinking this was just the excuse they needed to rid themselves of a problem employee -who also happened to earn $7 million a year.

    • Well, apparently he hasn’t been “canned” after all. It has been announced he’ll be back on Tuesday. In other news, foot stomping and fist shaking has officially been deemed “danged effective.”

    • Gripweed – I just saw that, about to put up Olby, Part 3.

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