Friday, November 05, 2010

Bizarre Development

MSNBC has suspended Countdown host Keith Olbermann for making political contributions to candidates seeking federal elected office. That Olbermann would not be aware of MSNBC policy prohibiting individuals in positions such as his from making such contributions is simply not credible. That Olbermann would not be aware that individual donations exceeding $200 must be reported BY NAME AND OCCUPATION to the Federal Elections Commission, and that this is then posted in searchable databases online, is simply not credible.


Olbermann donated the maximum individual contribution of $2400 to three campaigns. Here is where it's a bit weird. The three are Congressman Grijalva, Congresswoman Giffords, and get this, Kentucky's Jack Conway, who ran against Rand Paul.

Perhaps I should buy a lottery ticket. Either that, or stay in the house and not venture anywhere outside this weekend.


Blogger Sirocco said...

I have no real issue with the suspension. Regardless of whatever rules NBC or MSNBC has regarding donations, here is the time line of his donations and some air time on his show vis-a-vis Southern Arizona races:

Oct. 28 - Olbermann donates $2,400 to both the Grijalva and Giffords campaigns.

Oct. 28. - Olbermann interviews Grijalva on his show.

Oct. 29 - Olberman references Jesse Kelly during his "Worst Person in the World" segment.

Now, I suppose it's possible Olbermann made his donations after recording his show on the 28th, although from various comments made, including by Olbermann, this doesn't seem to be the case. Either way, he clearly had made the donations prior to airing the Kelly segment on the 29th.

As a matter of journalistic ethics, Olbermann ought to have mentioned his donations either immediately prior or subsequent to both the Grijalva interview, and to the Kelly segment as well. Since he didn't, I am completely OK with the suspension, and I think the amount of time for the suspension (as I write this, I have just read it is supposed to end tomorrow) is roughly appropriate.

11/08/2010 8:42 AM  
Blogger T. Pollock said...

Good news. Olbermann reinstated.

PS. Great blog.

11/08/2010 2:45 PM  

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