Democratic Party | Keith Olbermann | News

MSNBC Suspends Keith Olbermann for Contributions to Democrats

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann has been suspended indefinitely, without pay, for not disclosing contributions to the campaigns of three Democrats:

Olbermann "'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, earlier:

"MSNBC host Keith Olbermann made campaign contributions to two Arizona members of Congress and failed Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway ahead of Tuesday’s election — a potential violation of NBC ethics policies. Olbermann, who acknowledged the contributions in a statement to POLITICO, made the maximum legal donations of $2,400 apiece to Conway and to Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords. He donated to the Arizona pair on Oct. 28 — the same day that Grijalva appeared as a guest on Olbermann’s 'Countdown' show...NBC has a rule against employees contributing to political campaigns, and a wide range of news organizations prohibit political contributions — considering it a breach of journalistic independence to contribute to the candidates they cover."

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  1. In the world of broadcasting, "indefinite suspension without pay" means clear out your office and as soon as the lawyers are done covering the network's ass, you're gone.

    Seems Scarborough did the same thing. As did Buchanan. But they are Republican's and friends of Griffin. I'm sure an investigation would turn up other contributions by other MSNBC personnel that violate their "code".

    Griffin is a right winger and has been out for Olbermann's head for ages. Griffin's aim is to have him gone before ComCast takes over. I think he might have been afraid Olbermann would get his job.

    Any way, I'm done with MSNBC. I'm sure Schultz will be next (he's already been reprimanded and threatened by Griffin). I think Griffin wants to become FOX-lite, so watch for more "indefinite suspensions" or staff turnover in the not too distant future.

    Sadly, we on the left are now pretty much left without a voice except for possibly Stewart on Comedy Central. The GOP coup is in motion.

    Posted by: Bob R | Nov 5, 2010 4:34:39 PM

  2. Interesting that this happened just after the election. It could be a cover story for other problems, but seems too specific. Anchor positions are held to different standards than guest commentators, so contributions by Scarboro or Buchanan would be okay. However, to be fair to other reporters they require all the regular "objective" staff to hold the line.

    Posted by: anon | Nov 5, 2010 4:45:42 PM

  3. I agree with Keith being the Bill OReilly of the left. dont be fooled, hes not a newscaster. hes pandering to his audience and lookin to make a buck

    Posted by: jj | Nov 5, 2010 4:59:42 PM

  4. This is the story going around on the right-wing sites:

    Olbermann has a huge salary, and MSNBC has shrinking ratings.

    Olbermann is being suspended without pay.

    GE is selling its television properties to Comcast.

    Olbermann's boss is showing the new owners that he'll take care of the bottom line.

    Posted by: Jason (the commenter) | Nov 5, 2010 5:24:28 PM

  5. Keith Olbermann is a Democrat. Who would have ever guessed that?

    Posted by: Jason Young | Nov 5, 2010 6:16:40 PM

  6. Yellow Journalism is off and running. At least three media outlets (Hitfix, IMdB, and Mediate (Politico)) are suggesting that Olbermann was suspended for the donations, and not for getting permission to donate. The donations themselves are permitted by MSNBC.

    If I were Olbermann, I would sue them for libel and promoting sensationalism.

    Posted by: Rodney Wollam | Nov 5, 2010 7:46:39 PM

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    Posted by: anna | Nov 5, 2010 7:56:05 PM

  8. He sat on his show and condemed Rupert Murdoch for donating to repulicans, then donates to democratic candidates, and covers the elections of said democrats on election night. Can anyone say Pete Rose. The guy is not only a boob, he is a hypocrite.

    Posted by: manhattanvince | Nov 5, 2010 10:58:32 PM

  9. Maddow to the rescue!

    Posted by: Q | Nov 5, 2010 10:59:29 PM

  10. I never considered MSNBC a news sources, anymore than I do FOX or Comedy Central. Though, I tend to get a lot out of Comedy Central news-wise. But, since there are those that get their "news" from FOX, you have those that do the same with MSNBC.

    Sean Hannity made political contributions, but FOX claims he isn't considered part of their "news" division.

    I don't see what the big deal is. MSNBC is like an extension of the Democratic party. I would have actually been shocked if Olbermann WASN'T making contributions.

    Posted by: Vince in WeHo | Nov 5, 2010 11:39:46 PM

  11. Olbermann not only didn't contribute, he didn't VOTE in 2008 because he wanted to stay neutral. These donations are something WAY out of character for Keith-he's a big believer in journalistic ethics and neutrality. I suspect he made these donations on purpose, so MSNBC would fire him and he'd avoid a breach of contract lawsuit. Griffin wants him gone, and was afraid to fire him out right-for damn good reason.
    Keith will be fine-rumor has it that he's already got a job lined up with Showtime.

    Posted by: Doc Marten | Nov 6, 2010 1:00:59 AM

  12. @manhattanvince: Hmm... you can't even spell the name of your own political party correctly, and you presume to call Keith Olbermann a "boob"? Olbermann can be really obnoxious at times and he may be at fault in this case, but he still has ten times as much intelligence as Bill O'Reilly, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and all those short-skirted blonde newsbabes at Fox News Channel combined!

    Posted by: LARRY CRAIG (NOT THAT ONE) | Nov 6, 2010 4:59:46 AM

  13. I think it's pretty disturbing any corporation can have any sort of "code" or rule that says employees must clear their political activities through their bosses. The fact that a "policy" like that is allowed in any corporation in these United States is pretty scary, "news" business or not. I think it's payback for all his coverage of the hundreds of millions of dollars corporations poured into the elections through the Chamber of Commerce. After all, MSNBC is a corporation. See also:

    Posted by: Mike | Nov 6, 2010 11:27:46 AM

  14. Olberman was not suspended for donating to Democrats. He was suspended violating MSNBC policy which requires pre-clearing his political donations.

    Posted by: joe | Nov 6, 2010 11:38:08 AM

  15. CALL MSNBC at (212) 664-4444 and urge them to bring Keith Olbermann back!

    You can e-mail Phil Griffin who suspended Keith at:

    Posted by: John Petersen-Niedbalski | Nov 6, 2010 1:18:01 PM

  16. ANNA you are one stoopid twat

    Posted by: Christopher | Nov 6, 2010 3:23:02 PM

  17. To Larry Craig...Relax, it was a typo, and I am not a R-E-P-U-B-L-I-C-A-N...And I stand by the boob comment.

    Posted by: manhattanvince | Nov 7, 2010 12:11:00 PM

  18. Update: Keith will be back Tuesday night 11.09.10!

    Posted by: Patrick | Nov 7, 2010 11:12:13 PM

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