Keith Olbermann Suspended Over Political Donations

Friday, November 5, 2010


Keith Olbermann, the MSNBC anchor and a leading liberal voice, was suspended indefinitely Friday for making campaign donations to three Democratic congressional candidates. The donations violated NBC News ethics policy.

The announcement came in a one-sentence statement from MSNBC TV President Phil Griffin:

“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.”

The donations were first reported by the Politico website earlier in the day.

Olbermann acknowledged the donations in a statement to Politico, saying he gave the maximum legal donation of $2,400 to Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords and Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway, who waged an unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Senate against Tea Party standard-bearer Rand Paul.

Politico noted that the donations to Grijalva and Giffords were made on Oct. 28, the same day that Grijalva appeared on Olbermann’s “Countdown with Keith Olbermann” show. Grijalva won re-election on Tuesday, while Giffords on Friday was clinging to a narrow lead over Republican Jesse Kelly in a race the Associated Press has not yet called.

In his statement to Politico, Olbermann said he did not encourage his viewers or other staff members to donate to the candidates.

Editor note: I learned this afternoon, “The standards department says that MSNBC doesn’t answer to NBC News standards.” So, why did Phil Griffin suspend Olbermann without pay, indefinitely? One word: Comcast.

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23 Responses to Keith Olbermann Suspended Over Political Donations

  1. DMason says:

    So much for MSNBC’s liberal bona fides? Rachel had better tow the line or she may be next. The shift to the right is underway. Franco’s Spain, anyone?

  2. R.J. Lawson says:

    It’s not okay to make campaign donations and yet Fox News Network gives airtime and salary to a handful of 2012 GOP presidential candidates? What the f*ck is wrong with this picture?

  3. okjimm says:

    ya, what RJ said. I suppose if he had donated to ASPCA they would have taken his puppy away.

  4. enchantedrocker says:

    I’ve just sent an email to MSNBC stating that I will not boycott their programming, but I DO intend to watch every show tonight & write down every company that runs commercials on their evening shows. I’ll then write to these companies & explain that I’m boycotting their products over MSNBC’s suspension of Olbermann. If we hit them where it hurts (in the wallet), they’ll be much more apt to give Keith back! Please pass this idea along to your friends.

  5. Pechanga says:

    What everyone needs to remember is, MSNBC, while employing a few left and center-left on air anchors, all work work for a cable news network owned by General Electric.

    General Electric — or GE, is a military, industrial complex team player and as conservative as the much hated News Corp, which owns Fox News.

    What MSNBC does is fill a niche ignored by CNN and Fox News. But, it’s a myth to think MSNBC in anyway embraces the left and our agenda.

  6. Arizona Leatherneck says:

    Here is Phil Griffin’s email at NBC.

    Send him some love and tell him what an asshole you think he is over suspending Keith Olbermann.

    phil.griffin@nbcuni.com

  7. Eric Equality Kuntz says:

    Phil Griffin is obviously trying to curry favor with the new, conservative House.

    He’s a fuckwit coward.

  8. Kate Novotny says:

    If Keith is off, then I’m not watching MSNBC.

    There’s plenty on network TV I can enjoy watching after dinner. MSNBC can go fuck itself.

  9. Mets Fan says:

    MSNBC should expect blowback from this decision.

    I like Rachel and Cenk but the rest can be flushed down the commode. Beginning with Tweety and proceeding forward.

    Keith IS the face of MSNBC. Phil Griffin is a total tool.

  10. Estacada says:

    “The standards department has told us that MSNBC doesn’t answer to NBC News standards,” — Gawker from an MSNBC source.

    So why the witch hunt at MSNBC? Are they going the way of FIXED Noise?

  11. Conejo1982 says:

    “So, why did Phil Griffin suspend Olbermann without pay, indefinitely?”

    Easy. There is now a concerted effort to silence all liberal and progressive voices in the media.

    There is one acceptable political voice in late-2010 and it belongs to Sarah Palin.

  12. Tiny Dancer says:

    So let’s talk about Joe Scarborough? Are we to believe he never contributed a dime to any GOP candidate since MSNBC hired him? Or Pat Buchanan?

    I don’t believe it. Sorry but, no sale.

  13. James McPherson says:

    True, Olbermann shouldn’t have done it. But it’s accepted practice at Fox News: http://mediamatters.org/research/201010270005

  14. VicoDANIEL says:

    I just fired off an email to Phil Griffin.

    Sadly for fans of Keith Olbermann, my guess is, this has everything to do with Comcast’s purchase of the Peabrain network. They threw Keith under the bus to placate the rightwing suits at Comcast.

    I’m finished with MSNBC.

    Even if Keith returns, I hate MSNBC so much now that I can’t compartmentalize my dislike for what they did and my appreciation for Keith and Rachel Maddow.

    My gut tells me, to hell with MSNBC.

    vicodaniel1987@yahoo.com

  15. feminazi says:

    We’re drifting toward the right in this country and I don’t like it one bit. What’s acceptable at FOX is not acceptable at MSNBC. Poor Keith. He’s no longer an American citizen. The price you pay to be on MSNBC in 2010.

  16. Bungy says:

    Kudos to Maddow for turning this event into an opportunity to mark a significant difference between MSNBC and Fox.

    I predict KO will be back soon enough. Griffin and KO have had ego clashes before. This was a particularly ill-timed one on Griffin’s part. And I think he will ultimately lose, and KO will have proved his assertion that Griffin is his boss in name only.

    I was surprised (impressed even!) that the guest host on Countdown last night acknowledged the reason for KO’s absence.

  17. lea-lea says:

    I have this fantasy where Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, and Lawrence O’Donnell, all leave MSNBC and go over to CNN and build a solid 8pm, 9pm and 10pm block of programming.

    MSNBC doesn’t deserve them. They are the on-air talent and suspending Keith for being an engaged, American citizen is chilling.

    Have we become the Soviet Union?

  18. Peace Nick says:

    I think you’ve hit the nail on the proverbial head, Christopher.

    The CEO of Comcast, Brian Roberts, is a Bush/Cheney fundraiser and an arch conservative. This is the crew about to takeover NBC and by extension, MSNBC.

  19. Harry says:

    Suspending Keith is disgraceful. I hope he leaves and sets up shop elsewhere.

  20. karmanot says:

    Rachel just pissed all over her former mentor with a little wrap-up screed about: “Fox Did It.” Rachel is a tool. Disappointing. Her gophers over at Maddow Blog are working overtime to block criticism of her betrayal.

  21. KEITHFAN001 says:

    Sign the petition to bring Keith Olbermann back.

    227,000 so far on the path to a goal of 250,000.

    http://saveolbermann.com/

  22. bradfrmphnx says:

    lea-lea…I like your line up, but I would start things out with Ed just to get things warmed up. Ya gotta love Ed’s passion.

  23. Pingback: A Focused, Non-Terminal Repeating Troll « NoOneOfAnyImport's Blog

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