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Olbermann Suspended From MSNBC for Campaign Donations

 
 
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 12:26 pm
Quote:
November 5, 2010, 2:14 PM
Olbermann Suspended From MSNBC for Campaign Donations
By BRIAN STELTER AND BILL CARTER
Keith Olbermann, the top anchor on MSNBC, was suspended on Friday after the channel discovered that he had made campaign contributions to three Democrats.

http://mediadecoder.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/05/olbermann-suspended-from-msnbc-for-campaign-donations/?scp=3&sq=keith%20olbermann&st=cse

Should this be considered a violation of his first amendment rights?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 19 • Views: 4,099 • Replies: 76

 
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 01:03 pm
@tsarstepan,
Quote:
MSNBC has had a policy in place since at least 2007 that bars "anyone working for NBC News" to make political contributions
without prior approval of the network's president.
(Wash Post)

all he hadda do was get it approved ahead of time.
since he chose not to, he must now face the consequences...
0 Replies
 
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 01:14 pm
interesting, I've watched his program a few times, didn't care much for it. Not nearly as bad as Ed Shultz. Wondering what suspension but not fired actually means.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 01:21 pm
Maybe it just means that they want to see the public reaction before they take the plunge.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 01:27 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Maybe it just means that they want to see the public reaction before they take the plunge.
yeah prolly true, frankly I don't give a tinkers damn.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 01:30 pm
Holy Hell....there is an eruption of "ethics" in the major media. I wonder if the bosses have figured out how lowly esteemed they are by the masses and are trying to do something about it. Abusing the help is not likely to get them there. At most this should have been a warning, and Olberman has a point that this contribution in no way put in doubt his bias or caused a conflict of interest (he was doing exactly what anyone would expect that he was doing) so there-for he was not required to report and seek approval.

Hopefully there is a lawsuit next.

Quote:
Keith Olbermann, the liberal host of "Countdown" on MSNBC, has been suspended indefinitely and without pay for making political donations to three Democrats.

The network policy appears to ban such contributions. From a 2007 MSNBC.com story:

"Anyone working for NBC News who takes part in civic or other outside activities may find that these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest. Such activities may include participation in or contributions to political campaigns or groups that espouse controversial positions. You should report any such potential conflicts in advance to, and obtain prior approval of, the president of NBC News or his designee."


MSNBC is a left-of-center news network. Keith Olbermann is a left-of-center anchor. News of this left-of-center donation does not appear jeopardize his standing as an liberal journalist. It reaffirms the biases we all knew he had. But does it jeopardize his standing as impartial? Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, appears to think so.

This seems like a case of an organization's rules failing to keep up with network's strategy. MSNBC's strategy is to provide a left-of-center destination for news and analysis. The network rules, however, require the "appearance" of impartiality, vis a vis donations. One can debate the distinction between being honest about your biases and being impartial. I'm open to being convinced that there is a difference. But it's unclear how Olbermann's donation changes his audiences' views of his partiality.

Something to consider: Sean Hannity donated $5,000 to Rep. Michelle Bachmann's campaign, and he has not been suspended.

http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2010/11/keith-olbermanns-suspended-for-donating-to-democrats-but-why/66195/
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 01:34 pm
@hawkeye10,
I think it's more a matter of the policy not keeping up with their stated direction (the voice of the left) than the expectation that any of them are actually impartial.
0 Replies
 
Ceili
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 01:44 pm
Stupid. Is he not a citizen first? Does working for a MSNBC preclude him from voting as well?
dyslexia
 
  0  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 01:45 pm
Cable Network News should, above all else, be entertaining. Olbermann is not entertaining. I find Glenn Beck and Rachel Maddow entertaining but I almost never watch them either. I do watch Morning Joe with Joe Scarborough. His program provides a diversity of thought/opinions that I enjoy. (sometimes I even agree with Joe)
0 Replies
 
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 02:35 pm
Man. That's too bad. I like Keith. Hope he comes back.



squinney
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 02:48 pm
Cenk Uygur, of The Young Turks, is covering for Dylan Ratigan today and just announced we get a double dose of him today cause he'll be covering for Ed Shultz show, too.

0 Replies
 
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 03:52 pm
@squinney,

he was good on ESPN back in the day...
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 04:04 pm
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:

Should this be considered a violation of his first amendment rights?

The first amendment only protects you from government retribution for speech, not private employers.
parados
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 04:19 pm
News reports are adding a couple of interesting little tidbits.

Hannity and Scarborough have both donated to campaigns. We know Fox won't suspend anyone unless the donated to the wrong campaign but will MSNBC suspend Morning Joe?
Region Philbis
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 04:19 pm

this is not keith's first run-in with network brass...
Quote:
Early in 1997, Olbermann was suspended for two weeks after he made an unauthorized appearance on The Daily Show on Comedy Central with then-host and former ESPN colleague Craig Kilborn. At one point in the show, he referred to Bristol, Connecticut (ESPN's headquarters), as a "'Godforsaken place." Later that year, Olbermann abruptly left ESPN under a cloud of controversy, apparently burning his bridges with the network's management; this began a long and drawn-out feud between Olbermann and ESPN. Between 1997 and 2007, incidents between the two sides included Olbermann's publishing an essay on Salon.com in November 2002, titled "Mea Culpa", in which he stated: "I couldn't handle the pressure of working in daily long-form television, and what was worse, I didn't know I couldn't handle it."
(wiki)
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 04:20 pm
@engineer,
Well played engineer! Well played!
0 Replies
 
parados
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 04:22 pm
@engineer,
Yes, this goes to the "unbiased reporting" issue which was raised for Juan Williams firing from NPR.

If Fox doesn't suspend Hannity then it shows that Fox could care less about their people appearing partisan and makes no pretense of being unbiased.
squinney
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 04:38 pm
@parados,
parados wrote:

News reports are adding a couple of interesting little tidbits.

Hannity and Scarborough have both donated to campaigns. We know Fox won't suspend anyone unless the donated to the wrong campaign but will MSNBC suspend Morning Joe?



Supposedly only if Joe didn't get permission first. Before donating, employees are supposed to check with management and get permission. Joe may have followed protocol. Keith didn't.

I'm guessing Keith may have a home at Huffington Post if the suspension becomes permanent.
kickycan
 
  2  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 04:50 pm
Yes, Keith O. should be gone. If we had anything like a functioning media, that is. But we don't. We have asshole propagandists on Fox News, and then their watchdogs, MSNBC. They are both biased non-news organizations. Maybe they can be called news analysis, but actual journalism, none of that **** is. Jesus, Fox News actually directly funds Republican groups all the time. The whole ******* news organization is a Republican propaganda arm. Why the **** does nobody seem to care about objectivity at all?!

**** Keith Olbermann, and **** all this phony extremist propaganda masquerading as the news media.

GIVE US SOME GODDAMMED OBJECTIVITY!!!
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Fri 5 Nov, 2010 04:51 pm
@squinney,
Quote:
Supposedly only if Joe didn't get permission first. Before donating, employees are supposed to check with management and get permission. Joe may have followed protocol. Keith didn't.

I am thinking that Keith has a good case for challenging the policy in court, on the grounds that the corporation is not consistent. I believe the financial guys can buy and sell what ever they want, only need to tell the viewers if they own a company that they are speaking about. How can the corporation justify demanding the right to approve what the political guys do when it does not make the same demand of the financial guys? I dont think they can. I think that the corporation is biased against the political guys, and that if Keith wanted to he could get it over turned and get back pay and legal fee reimbursement. I would like to see him try.
0 Replies
 
 

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