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Archive for Saturday, November 6, 2010

Keith Olbermann suspended for political donations

November 6, 2010

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— MSNBC has suspended prime-time host Keith Olbermann indefinitely without pay for contributing to the campaigns of three Democratic candidates this election season.

Keith Olbermann of MSNBC poses May 3, 2007, at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif. MSNBC has suspended Olbermann indefinitely without pay for contributing to the campaigns of three Democratic candidates this election season.

Keith Olbermann of MSNBC poses May 3, 2007, at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif. MSNBC has suspended Olbermann indefinitely without pay for contributing to the campaigns of three Democratic candidates this election season.

Olbermann acknowledged to NBC that he donated $2,400 apiece to the campaigns of Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway and Arizona Reps. Raul Grivalva and Gabrielle Giffords.

NBC News prohibits its employees from working on, or donating to, political campaigns unless a special exception is granted by the news division president — effectively a ban. Olbermann’s bosses did not find out about the donations until after they were made. The website Politico first reported the donations.

“I became aware of Keith’s political contributions late last night,” Phil Griffin, MSNBC’s chief executive, said Friday. “Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay.”

Olbermann was not immediately available for comment.

His “Countdown” show, which airs at 7 p.m., is MSNBC’s most popular program. His on-the-air transformation from the host of a straight news program to a liberal commentator led the network itself to go in the same direction, filling its prime-time lineup with left-leaning hosts and doing better in the ratings than anytime since its 1996 launch.

The rise in opinionated cable news programming has called into question whether the traditional rules of news organizations to preserve the appearance of impartiality should apply to people who have their jobs in part because of a clear point of view.

Sean Hannity, a conservative radio talk show host with a popular hour on Fox News Channel each weeknight, donated $2,400 to the congressional campaign of New York Republican John Gomez in May. In August, he donated $5,000 to Michelepac, or Many Individual Conservatives Helping Elect Leaders Everywhere, according to the Federal Election Commission. The PAC is associated with Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann.

Fox’s Bill Shine, senior vice president of programming, told the Twin Cities Pioneer Press after the Bachmann donation that “it’s always good to remember that he’s not a journalist; he’s a conservative TV host. If he wants to donate to a candidate, he certainly can.”

Comments

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

Well, I am too, which proves, once again, that you are wrong.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

Geez, there goes the entire audience.

But at least (in case there was any surprise), we know where grammady and scottie have been getting their pablum spooned to them.

llama726 4 years, 1 month ago

Reasonable question: How is this any different from any Fox News fan spouting THEIR ideas of facts?

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

Did I say their was? On the other hand, we have a couple of Fox-bashers here who are getting their "news" from MSNBC. I don't listen to either one.

llama726 4 years, 1 month ago

I'm just trying to point out that there are as many MSNBC / Liberal Media bashers. One poster even has their avatar set to the Fox News logo. Not implying that you disagree with me on that point.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

No, I agree with you. That wasn't my point, I apologize if it was confusing. I was just saying I don't like the ones that consider MSNBC to be objective and say Fox is biased, neither would I like it if the situation was reversed.

I don't watch either one, personally.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

Well, nobody really has to any more. With the incredible proliferation of information sources that we have today, you don't have to pick from one of three network evening news programs like in the old days, or rely solely on your local newspaper. In the half-hour you might have spent watching the news on TV or reading the paper, you can go online and check out dozens of sources, and investigate further immediately from a virtually unlimited number of others.

I think that's been both good and bad. I think that as there are more and more sources with smaller and smaller audiences, they tend to target their offerings ever more specifically to what that small audience wants to hear from them. But on the other hand, there are an awful lot of them, and it's not all that time consuming to browse a whole bunch and then do your own investigating. The problem comes in when someone takes what one source says as gospel, and is satisfied without looking any further.

llama726 4 years, 1 month ago

You put it quite well... I think that the Internet is a blessing in the amount of information it opens up, but a curse in that it allows people to only consume the information relevant to their existing views and biases.

Liberty275 4 years, 1 month ago

Weicome! I've boycotted msnbc from the beginning and will continue if he ever comes back. It's good to have you aboard comrade!

jumpin_catfish 4 years, 1 month ago

Please, this guy is a huge democrat operative and is a fine example bias in the media. Should have been fired.

kansasmutt 4 years, 1 month ago

Sounds like a crap network. I think a lawsuit is in order for Kieth.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

If the requirement was part of his contract, then he violated it.

The only possible lawsuit would be some sort of claim that the requirement in the contract shouldn't be allowed - I'm not sure on what grounds that would be.

TheOriginalCA 4 years, 1 month ago

Except for Fox News, they are ALL crap! :-)... BUTT... Keith should be allowed to contribute his money however he likes..

jmadison 4 years, 1 month ago

Olbermann a Dem--who knew? Does parent company GE proscribe donations from its execs and its company's PAC to political candidates?

VTHawk 4 years, 1 month ago

He excoriated FOX for its alleged donations to Republicans while personally violating his contract and donating to Democrat candidates. Additionally, he hosted at least one of the candidates in question on his show. While Olbermann obviously favors the left of center candidates, he should know better than to personally donate.

texburgh 4 years, 1 month ago

Just why should he "know better?" He SHOULD know better than to violate his contract, but you imply that Olberman should "know better than to personally donate" but apparently it is okay for Hannity to do so? Either NONE of them should donate or all of them - left and right - should be allied to do what they want with their own earnings.

Liberty275 4 years, 1 month ago

If you have proof Hannity has violated his contract, I suggest you forward it to Fox.

texburgh 4 years, 1 month ago

I suggest you read my post instead of skimming for whatever meets your preconceived notions of what I might say. I pointed out that Olberman should not have violated his contract and that, while VT posits in his/her last sentence that Olberman should "know better than to donate," he/she/it does not come to the same conclusion when it comes to Hannity.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

That's because the FOX contracts don't include that provision.

Liberty275 4 years, 1 month ago

Are you suggesting olberman and hannity have the same contract? Should hannity know better than donate if his contract doesn't forbid it? Also... If you have proof Hannity has violated his contract, I suggest you forward it to Fox. I can look up their email, phone number and address for you if you can't find them.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

They're private companies - if Fox wants to allow it, and MSNBC to disallow it, that's their prerogative.

And personally donating is violating his contract.

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

Also, the language of the GE/MSNBC rule states that the employee "should" seek the company's permission to exercise his first amendment rights, not "shall."

So let's review. A corporation, under the Citizens United case, has a First Amendment right to spend unlimited amounts of money in support of its political causes and candidates, but the same corporation may apparently restrict the right of its employees to do the very same thing. Seriously, right here in America. The right wing media machine will blather on & on & on about where President Obama was born, imagined restrictions on Second Amendment rights or all the supposed horribles of the Democrat band of socialists, but here's an actual infringement of a Constitution right and nary a word from our Tea Party (We're a Grassroots Organization, Honest) Inc. friends. Telling.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

Hi.

You know I support removing money from politics entirely, so I'm with you regarding the CU ruling.

But, the fact is that many constitutional protections apply to government, and not necessarily the private sector. The document was written in order to protect citizens from an intrusive government.

That's why it's apparently ok for this site to remove posts, or for private companies to have requirements like the one MSNBC had.

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

Oh, I suppose you are right, but they are using the publicly regulated airwaves and get their license from the FCC, so the hypocrisy is a bit hard to stomach. We're a corporation and have a right to do whatever we want with our money, but we can elect to silence our employees in a selective manner.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

That's a point.

I've never really understood why it's ok for private organizations to make all that money using "public" airwaves.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

"Oh, I suppose you are right, but they are using the publicly regulated airwaves and get their license from the FCC, so the hypocrisy is a bit hard to stomach."

They are paying for the use of those airwaves, the same way a mining company might lease federally own lands to use for making money.

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

Hmmm, well if deficits are a big concern for right wingers, perhaps all these media conglomerates should be paying more for the right.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

Well, of course scottie believes anyone making money (at least more money than HE is) should be paying more. I'm shocked.

Liberty275 4 years, 1 month ago

"but they are using the publicly regulated airwaves"

I think the content of networks in question are only on cable or satellite and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the FCC.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

I was going to say that, but Fox is also an over-the-air company. The same goes for the parent companies of CNN, MSNBC, etc. But you're right, the programming in question doesn't use the public airwaves to make money.

Liberty275 4 years, 1 month ago

Wow, I'm proud of you. That was nice.

llama726 4 years, 1 month ago

VT Hawk, please think critically. What is News Corporation? What is Keith Olbermann? One is a person with rights, one is NOT a person...

slowplay 4 years, 1 month ago

Good. Now get Beck, Maddow, Hannity etal off the air. "clowns to the left, jokers to the right"

slowplay 4 years, 1 month ago

A clown is a clown. Some wear smaller shoes and have smaller noses but they are still clowns.

slowplay 4 years, 1 month ago

Tom,

You have lost all credibility with your leftist media conspiracy theories. Olbermann is an idiot as is Beck (your idol). Neither Fox or MNBC are models for journalistic integrity.

woodscolt 4 years, 1 month ago

Who is then? New York Times? Wa. Post? lol!

Oh, well I guess that makes fox a good model then.

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

There are very few left, Tom, proving once again the damaging impact of the corporate controlled media.

MSNBC is owned by GE. In order to ensure it's point of view is adhered to it issues and selectively enforcing these rules restricting what its employees can do. Olbermann is silenced as a result of contributing a few thousand dollars to candidates he supports.

GE? According to the Center for Responsive Politics, GE made over $2 million in political contributions in the 2010 election cycle (most coming from the company's political action committee). The top recipient was Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman from Ohio. The company has also spent $32 million on lobbying this year, and contributed over $1 million to the successful "No on 24" campaign against a California ballot initiative aimed at eliminating tax loopholes for major corporations (New York Times, 11/1/10).

So the owner of this mainstream media outlet silences its employees, but continues massive corruption in it own interests off of the productivity of those employees.

Liberty275 4 years, 1 month ago

"Fox has on many left-wing guests and employs many left-wing contributors. Does MSNBC?"

Ummmm, yes? You might want to reword your question.

BrianR 4 years, 1 month ago

HA! Where did he think he was, Fox?

And to think, msnbc's parent company was the number TWO donor to GWB's campaign. They have this nice 'liberal' TV station so people think there is some balance in the world. And still there are morons who think the media, as a whole, is liberal. That is a right-wing marketing tool with no basis in fact.

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

No, it is not the end of the story. Joe Scarborough, the host of the Morning Joe show at the same network, supports republican candidates but has not been suspended. Why?

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

Has he personally donated money to them?

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

Hmm.

That sounds bad.

If an employee has to request permission, though, why would it be illegal for the employer to permit one (Republican) and deny another (Democratic)?

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

As noted above, probably legal, just hypocritical and generally scummy. More proof of the supposed liberal media bias.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

Yes.

What happened to that "liberal" MSNBC?

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 1 month ago

Fox, as a corporation, donated one million dollars (!) to the Republican party. The very fact that MSNBC has a "no contribution without prior permission" clause is an indication of the very difference between the two corporations. MSNBC did this to preserve it's integrity. Fox could care less if it's commentators donate to political candidates as it has no integrity or conscience to begin with and certainly has no such clause with it's commentators. One, just one, of Olbermann's contributions was to a candidate that he had on his show, while such contributions to show guests of Beck and Hannity are more than routine but a given. That clause in Olbermann's contract proves that MSNBC is something that Fox is not; a true news corporation. The fact that MSNBC is punishing Olbermann for violating his contract proves it as well. Too bad there isn't a leftist version of "Fox Entertainment" for Olbermann to go too.
One also wonders if Olbermann didn't do this deliberately for the sole purpose of outing Fox, although that seems silly since Fox's contributions to the Republican Party are well known. It's just that nobody cares about Fox's support of the Republican Party and people keep drinking the Kool Aid like it's the gospel truth. I am not saying that what Olbermann did was right. He violated his contract. But if you can't call MSNBC a "true news organization" after this, something is very wrong.

Jimo 4 years, 1 month ago

Indeed. What a stark contrast between journalistic ethics and partisan hackery. One can pursue 'viewpoint programming' but you still have to behave ethically (if you're an actual news organization).

whats_going_on 4 years, 1 month ago

with keeping my neutral status here...I seriously don't think MSNBC has much "journalistic ethics" when their commentators use the same bashing tactics as their right counterpart.

TrekkerKen 4 years, 1 month ago

"Preserve it's integrity"...wow...that's a laugh. MSNBC has no integrity. Look at it's lineup and tell me how they have any integrity. MSNBC stands for Modern Socialist News Broadcasting Corporation. MSNBC IS what you would call a leftist version of Fox. While I would agree there are many programs on Fox that are pundit shows, Fox also has REAL NEWS programs....I am still trying to come up with any for MSNBC. Maybe Olbermann can get a job with NPR, since they are as far out there as he is. That's where the real kool-aid drinkers are.

whats_going_on 4 years, 1 month ago

there are a lot of other things on the air...you didn't know that you pay for channels other than Fox?

woodscolt 4 years, 1 month ago

c48 says

"Fox, as a corporation, donated one million dollars (!) to the Republican party. The very fact that MSNBC has a "no contribution without prior permission" clause is an indication of the very difference between the two corporations."

enough said.

puddleglum 4 years, 1 month ago

Fox commenting on their own employees: "it’s always good to remember that he’s not a journalist; he’s a conservative TV host."

He is not a journalist

Fox news in not News

He is a conservative TV host

Fox is a news-commentary digest entertainment channel

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 1 month ago

Too bad that most righty tighties don't understand and could care less.

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

And let's not lose track of the bigger right wing offensive here. Emboldened by the mid term results the repubs have launched their offensive.

Chris Matthews is in trouble for questioning the consciousness of clear space alien Michelle Bachmann. Olbermann has now been silenced for some period of time (effectively silencing a leading liberal voice in order to allow the rest of the corporate media propaganda machinery to lock in their message on the meaning of the midterms.) Clearly false accusations of the President's Asia trip costs are released to further damage the Democratic party. The Karl (hmmm, sounds vaguely socialist) Rove corporate graft "nonprofit" announces it will continue to spend secret Chamber of Commerce, corporate influence buying money for the next two years to continue to enact its big media, big military and big business agenda.

Very dangerous days ahead.

TrekkerKen 4 years, 1 month ago

WOW...perhaps you have been drinking the MSNBC kool-aid. It appears so anyway.

Liberty275 4 years, 1 month ago

I thought he was canned for violating his contract.

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

Actually, I think it is suspended, not yet canned.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

Yes.

Suspended indefinitely without pay.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

I suspect they'll have to make a decision on his continued employment rather soon, or some other network will pick him up.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

He did violate his contract, but you have to wonder at the double standard involved in having that clause in there at all. Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan also made political donations, but MSNBC hasn't suspended them.

If he isn't reinstated relatively soon and/or those people aren't likewise suspended, then this is another call from the top at either GE or MSNBC to move to the right, just as they did when they fired Phil Donahue, host of their most popular program at the time, for openly questioning BushCo warmongering.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

There's not a double standard inherent in the policy.

If they routinely approve contributions to one side, but not the other, then that's a clear bias.

But is it illegal to do so?

If the other guys sought and gained approval, then they didn't violate their contracts.

But it is strange that MSNBC, which is often portrayed as a left-wing organization, seems to actually have a right-wing bias - hmmm.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

From what I understand, the other guys didn't have the same clause, even though their jobs with the network are fairly comparable (political commentary.) I'd call that a double standard.

And, no, it's not illegal. But it does tell you something about how "liberal" this network actually is.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

Yes.

If some have to seek approval, and others don't, that a clear inequity.

Maybe right-wing folks will stop harping on MSNBC as left-wing?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Not likely. I wouldn't be surprised of they start complaining about Fox's left-wing bias.

Katara 4 years, 1 month ago

I think it is more telling about who is better at negotiating an employment contract.

ralphralph 4 years, 1 month ago

If a vacuous lefty cheerleader is suspended on a cable network nobody watches, does it make a .... oh, never mind.

PS - Maddow is Olberman, sans appendage.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

"PS - Maddow is Olberman, sans appendage.""

Have you checked? Or are you just willing to make a homophobic comment based on scant evidence?

Liberty275 4 years, 1 month ago

I think he was just assuming since nobody really wants to check. Also, his comment was misogynistic, not homophobic. Sexuality is not related to the organs on your body. Your assumption that homophobia was the intent is in itself homphobic because you are associating a person's sexual preference with parts of their body.. Look up the "T" in LGBT and you'll understand.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

I think it was a questionable assumption.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

Awww, come on, Whitney, that was funny!!!

(I actually expected more flack over the post I made preceding that one.)

Jimo 4 years, 1 month ago

Good Lord, who can stand to watch his program?

I've only found him watchable on one occasion: http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/countdown-with-keith-olbermann/805561/

beatrice 4 years, 1 month ago

This seems like a lot of finger pointing, when clearly FoxNews and MSNBC are biased with their reporting and reporters.

For instance, why hasn't Fox fired Hannitty for blatantly lying about this recent Obama trip costing $200 million a day? He made an absolutely false statement based on a blog coming out of India. I don't care that he is one of their "opinion" guys since he is on a NEWS channel and he blatantly lied. Weirder still is that those who are lied to turn around and support the guy like it was the right thing to do and continue to repeat the lie! If you need to lie to support your own world views, that is just bizarre. It is all just nonsense.

It isn't all just FoxNews, either. MSNBC likewise pushes the envelope and distorts facts in a way that would make Ben Stein or Michael Moore cringe.

How anyone could watch either channel is beyond me. I'm a liberal, but I don't need to confirm this by slanting the news I receive. Why do others need that?

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

Because you, unfortunately, are an anomaly in this country. Vast majorities of the public are under-informed and get their news via these sorts of television shows. Furthermore, the vast majority of free television programming is biased toward the right wiong,corporate/big media, big military and big business views of the handful of corporations that control the mainstream media. MSNBC's left of center programming is rare (and getting rarer) and needs to be supported with viewership if it is to continue and flourish.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

"Vast majorities of the public are under-informed and get their news via these sorts of television shows."

Coming from the MSNBC-watcher himself.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

"MSNBC's left of center programming is rare (and getting rarer) and needs to be supported with viewership if it is to continue and flourish. "

Soooo - you're boycotting them?

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

First, I don't think Olbermann should have been suspended for donating money to political candidates. Oh, I agree he violated his contract, but I don't think that should have been a contractual agreement. I wonder if the free speech component of political contributions would fall under the category of an inalienable right; inalienable rights, by definition, can not be given up, even willingly. (I.e., a person may choose and even agree not to exercise such a right, but the right still exists.)

We all have biases and we all have preferences and we all have interests and we all have values, and that extends to who we choose to be our government and to represent all of those. I understand the principle behind any news organization feeling the need to "preserve it's integrity" as cait said above, or at least to give the appearance of doing so. It's not very different than the proscription against government employees engaging in political activity in such a manner that would identify them as government employees. (For example, when I was s state employee years ago, I participated in a political rally outside the agency where I was working, but we had to take off our ID badges - as if that made a difference.) The problem is, though, that for individuals at least, their political contributions are public record. There is no way to not have your political preferences known these days. (Or maybe Olbermann should have contributed through someone like the National Education Association, who spent millions on a couple of tight Senate races, and doesn't disclose their donors.)

I've never thought Olbermann was the brightest bulb in the chandelier, but he's not that stupid. He had to have known this would not stay a secret, and I suspect he did what he did for exactly that purpose. It grabs him a little limelight, while at the same time allowing him to bring the issue to the forefront. Good for him, and I hope he prevails.

All that being said, I DO find it hysterical that he lambasted Fox for demonstrating their lack of impartiality, while on a personal level doing the exact same thing. Oh, I'm sure he'll fall back on some variation of the liberal mantra ('But ... but ... but ... but that's different!'). And/or the elitist excuse that while those that do not agree with his views are obviously allowing their leanings to influence their reporting, he, being god's gift to journalism, is not subject to such failings and is the only one capable of separating his political views from his work.

I also find it an absolute laugh riot that some of the people on this message board - and you know who you are - constantly whine about the bias of Fox News, while at the same time have been swallowing everything MSNBC has been dishing up for you.

llama726 4 years, 1 month ago

"All that being said, I DO find it hysterical that he lambasted Fox for demonstrating their lack of impartiality, while on a personal level doing the exact same thing."

Olbermann = Person Fox = Corporation (not a person, shouldn't have all of the same Constitutional rights)

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

"Olbermann = Person Fox = Corporation"

Really, no kiddin'. Thanks, I didn't know that.

As you pointed out, a corporation is "not a person". Integrity is a human quality. Not to say that a corporation is incapable of demonstrating that quality, but it exists in the people that make up that corporation.

If an individual person believes that the policies, guidelines, by-laws, contractual agreements, or even the articles of incorporation themselves, are inconsistent with their own personal values, they are free to violate those rules and agreements.

As Mr. Olbermann DID in THIS case!

The Catch-22 here is, though, that pretty much by definition, a person of integrity adheres more to their own values than to those of their employer. So yes, I put more stock in the ability of someone to be objective despite working for a biased corporation than I do in someone's ability to do so if it means ignoring their personal bias.

llama726 4 years, 1 month ago

I guess what bothers me here is that it wouldn't really bother me if I found out that Hannity, O'Reilly, etc., had violated a similar item in their contract. I think, like you, that the right to contribute to an election by an INDIVIDUAL shouldn't be lost. He is, after all, a political pundit. I don't expect any more of a balanced opinion from him than from any other columnist.

Meaning, I think Olbermann is clearly NOT objective. I think that being a cable news pundit or a columnist or an opinion seller of any kind requires that you be sold on the opinions you spout. We have an obligation not to blindly follow these people.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

Agreed, 100%. I mean seriously, did anyone, even anyone on the left, really think Olbermann was objective? And I actually do give him credit for doing what he did, because as I said, he had to know it would come out, and I believe he did it deliberately to take a stand. And he has the same right to do so as anyone else.

Again, my issue is with his implication that just because the corporation they work for gave money to a political cause, the employees at Fox can not possibly be objective in carrying out the duties of their profession. And with those who watch MSNBC and then scream "bias" about Fox. Way too much of a darkly colored pot commenting on the complexion of a kettle.

llama726 4 years, 1 month ago

"Again, my issue is with his implication that just because the corporation they work for gave money to a political cause, the employees at Fox can not possibly be objective in carrying out the duties of their profession."

This is a deeper point, but do you believe that any journalist can be objective? My feeling on objectivity is that it ends up timid, like CNN (in most cases), where no analysis of facts is ever undertaken. And then, no one wants to consume the product, because it lacks any direction. Rather, it presents an issue and simply gives a liberal and a conservative opinion without much analysis.

It's silly to make an assumption about all employees of a network. However, we can both agree that Fox News has more resources than their individual pundits do, as MSNBC has more resources than Olbermann, Maddow, etc. Fox devotes its resources to furthering a political agenda, and MSNBC does as well. It's just the nature of the beast.

llama726 4 years, 1 month ago

Sorry. MSNBC does it differently than Fox - a little less directly, I'd say.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

"This is a deeper point, but do you believe that any journalist can be objective?"

No. I don't think anyone can be in any profession. And yes, that includes judges.

I'm a mental health provider. One of the things they taught us way back in school is that everyone has biases. The quickest way to get into trouble is to pretend you don't. As long as you're aware of what they are, you take steps to do your best to keep them from interfering with your work, which, in the extremist cases, might mean a referral (not a lot of people like working with child molesters, for example).

As far as the news goes, it's a tough call. People expect some level of objectivity, which might mean, for example, news organizations shouldn't make endorsements, since they can obviously not be objective in any sense as to what would be best for all viewers/listeners/readers.

But maybe the problem is with the expectation in the first place. In my business, we recognize that unrealistic expectations are the problem of those that hold them, not those who fail to fulfill them.

llama726 4 years, 1 month ago

I agree. I wish that people didn't get into these battles over who is the fairest news station. It's largely irrelevant. I'd rather have people disclose their bias, then state their case so I can weigh it in my own mind.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

"Sorry. MSNBC does it differently than Fox - a little less directly, I'd say."

I'd rather have it direct. I tend to be abrasive on these message boards. Part of that is that most people talk like I do where I grew up and it's my natural style. But part of it is I prefer to say what I mean. The members on these forums that gall me the most are the ones that think that because they couch their condescending insults in polite words they're somehow superior.

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

I have yet to see a timeline of when the donations were made, nota? Are you aware of when he made the contributions? Knowing the timing might help divine the intent of his actions.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

He made them last week. Do you read the news?

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

What a nice response.

Well, I suspect he made them purposely to generate the debate.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

As, um, let me see - yep, there it is - I said in my original post.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

"One week ago, on the night of Thursday October 28 2010, after a discussion with a friend about the state of politics in Arizona, I donated $2,400 each to the re-election campaigns of Democratic Representatives Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords," he said in the statement. "I also donated the same amount to the campaign of Democratic Senatorial candidate Jack Conway in Kentucky."

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2010/11/05/olbermann-donated-to-three-dems-in-apparent-violation-of-nbc-policy/

BTW, I'm curious - where does Olbermann live?

beatrice 4 years, 1 month ago

Why does where he lives matter? He was obviously thinking nationally, not just locally. That doesn't seem out of line to me. How many out of state supporters contributed to O'Donnell's campaign?

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

"He was obviously thinking nationally, not just locally."

Gee, nice try.

"...after a discussion with a friend about the state of politics in Arizona..."

beatrice 4 years, 1 month ago

Nice try at what? He spent money outside of his own immediate area for national house seats. That is national. Not that hard to grasp.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

Apparently, bea, you're having difficulty grasping the definition of the word "in".

And yes, I realize both of the candidates were running for national office. I also realize that both of them were outspoken opponents of Arizona's immigration law, in districts where the law was heavily favored by residents.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

"All that being said, I DO find it hysterical that he lambasted Fox for demonstrating their lack of impartiality,"

I don't (didn't) watch Olberman often, but I think what he lambasted Fox for was it's claim to be "fair and balanced" while contributing $1 million to the Republican Party.

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

Well, Tom, if the so-called liberal bias of the mainstream news media in fact existed, I would think the offers would be numerous.

scott3460 4 years, 1 month ago

Well I thought the myth of the liberal media was premised on the elites foisting their views on a right of center country. Nice to see you admit the true bias of the corporate media - for profit news coverage.

"All the news fit to make a buck off of."

Jimo 4 years, 1 month ago

MADDOW: "There are multiple people being paid by Fox News to essentially run for office as Republican candidates. If you count not just their hosts but their contributors, you're looking at a significant portion of the entire Republican lineup of potential contenders for 2012. They can do that because there's no rule against that at Fox. Their network is run as a political operation. Ours isn't. Yeah, Keith's a liberal, and so am I. But we're not a political operation -- Fox is. We're a news operation. The rules around here are part of how you know that."

Sounds about right.

beatrice 4 years, 1 month ago

Compared to the Right's having activist judges on the supreme court?

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 1 month ago

"Rules are rules Jimo. I know the far-left has a real problem with that concept."

As opposed to Fox which has none? I guess the Right has just as big of a problem with the concept as well, Tom.

"We've seen it in abundance with the Democratic Party's propensity to break voting laws."

I want proof and sources for this statement.

Cait McKnelly 4 years, 1 month ago

I'm not the one making the assertion. You are. Prove it or it's a lie.

jafs 4 years, 1 month ago

If one is making a claim, then the burden of proof more logically falls on that person to prove the claim.

beatrice 4 years, 1 month ago

Funny, you are asking Tom to use logic.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

"But we're not a political operation -- Fox is. We're a news operation."

Now THAT was funny!

TrekkerKen 4 years, 1 month ago

WOW...drinking some of that kool-aid yourself I see. MSNBC is not a news operation, it's a cheerleader for Obama and the left. Where were objective news persons on election night over at MSNBC? Oh...nobody was there who was objective? Surprised? Na....not with the most liberal left "news" organization in America today. Your statement sounds vaguely familiar....did you get that off MSNBC or another liberal channel?

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

It could only damage the business if anyone actually believed that MSNBC was an unbiased news operation.

Oh, wait ...

(Although somehow I doubt this has tarnished their image any in Jimo's eyes.)

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

"However, if you agree to it, you gotta abide by it."

Do you think free speech - including the right to contribute to a candidate for political office - is an inalienable right (i.e., one which can neither be taken away nor surrendered)?

It's not always the case that if you agree to something, you have to abide by it. If what you contracted for was illegal, for example: If you contracted to transport 10 kilos of heroine from here to California, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't be able to sue you for failing to deliver. A loan shark can't go to court to collect from a debtor. A truck driver can't be fired for refusing to exceed the speed limit or operating an unsafe vehicle.

You can not enter into an agreement in this country to be a slave. You can not enter into an agreement to work for less than the minimum wage. You can (usually) not enter into an agreement to give up your rights to workman's compensation. That truck driver can not enter into an agreement to exceed the speed limit or operate an unsafe vehicle. Well, let me correct that - you can agree to any of those things, but your employer can not hold you to them.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

Well, it's also a way to grab some attention for himself (let's remember what he does for a living). I'm sure he'll portray himself as the martyr, saying 'Waddaya' mean Fox can give a million dollars to the Republicans, but here I am, a humble private citizen ... yada, yada, yada ..." I wouldn't be surprised if he'd been planning this since the Supreme Court ruling on corporate donations, except I don't think he's actually that bright. I wouldn't even rule out the possibility that MSNBC was a party to the whole stage act; I said before he must have known it would come out, but don't you think it's strange that it came out so fast, just a week after he made the donations?

TrekkerKen 4 years, 1 month ago

I like the fair and balanced news programs on Fox. I also like the conservative programs on Fox. I do not like the far left programs on MSNBC. I don't agree with socialism or communism so I don't watch MSNBC.

llama726 4 years, 1 month ago

... Please don't act as though Fox is truly a fair and balanced network. It's simply not.

whats_going_on 4 years, 1 month ago

what a bleeping idiot.

I think MSNBC is just as bad as Fox, and I refuse to watch, but jeezus, this is not what the liberal base needed right now.

I like how Fox just goes ahead and admits they are scumbags though. Nice.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

No disagreement in that. But interestingly, the "liberal" MSNBC apparently has no problems with donations to conservative candidates by its commentators. Just donations to liberals/progressives.

classclown 4 years, 1 month ago

For a long time I've seen various people here refer to FOX news as FAUX news. Personally, I don't care about Fox news. I don't watch it and I could care less what anyone thinks of it.

However, I find myself wondering how many of you that like to use the term are actually aware that the word 'faux' is actually pronounced foe.

I know the people that write it as faux news assume they're being clever, but since I read it the way it's pronounced, it comes across to me as someone being dumb rather than clever since FOE News makes absolutely no sense.

Unless of course you're referring to them as being a foe to your political sensibilities, though I really don't think that is the case.

Have a nice day.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Umm, this is a text-based forum. It's used because of its meaning (fake or artificial) and the way it's written, not the way it's pronounced.

whats_going_on 4 years, 1 month ago

"Faux" means fake or artificial. It's a play-on-words.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

From that paragon of objectivity, Jon Stewart.

notajayhawk 4 years, 1 month ago

Since when does a comedian offer the "best analysis"? Although that explains a lot of your posts.

whats_going_on 4 years, 1 month ago

.....since the politicians and regular "news casters" on these two channels (and others) are extremely unbalanced and creepy.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

yourworstnightmare 4 years, 1 month ago

This is a stunt of which Olbermann is a part. It might even be his idea.

This stunt was meant to highlight Fox "news" political activities, including Hannity's donations as well as the $1 million given to the Republican Governor's Association.

That Fox is not bothered by such donations proves that it is not a serious, objective news organization but rather an opinion machine favoring the GOP.

I have no problem with this, but let's not kid ourselves that Fox "news" is a valid news organization.

It should be called Fox Opinion.

uncleandyt 4 years, 1 month ago

Cenk is COMING !! Tell your friend, tell your neighbors, tell Randy Gonzales. A lot of you seem to be interested in what is happening in the world. You seem to be familiar with the computers. After all these years, and all that logging in, how do you remain so proudly mis-informed?? I have some guesses, but, It is you who must find the truth. Are you one of them Americans who complains about Olberman without having actually listened to Olberman ? Is someone else thinking for you ?

commuter 4 years, 1 month ago

I agree that Keith did this as atunt. The best think to do is to just ignore him.... that will hurt him more than anything....

Flap Doodle 4 years, 1 month ago

In different view of this:

"...Well, it's been a couple of days since MSNBC put Keith Olbermann on indefinite suspension, and more details are coming out. The rationale has become clearer -- and more defensible.

MSNBC, like most media organizations, divides its on-air personalities into two categories: "news" and "opinion" folks. News folks are supposed to be the traditional, objective journalists, while the opinion ones are more free to express those opinions in various forms.

Olbermann was defined as a "news" guy, both by MSNBC and himself. (Let's not get into what little resemblance this bore to reality; we're talking strictly on how MSNBC and Olbermann defined his role.) Olbermann openly proclaimed his neutrality, talking about he refused to vote, and repeatedly cast himself as the heir to legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow. MSNBC went along with that fantasy.

Under MSNBC's rules, though, that meant that Olbermann had to seek their approval for any kind of political contributions he made. Contributions are seen as endorsements, and "objective" people don't do that sort of thing.

So when Olbermann gave significant financial donations to a couple of Democrats in Congress without clearing it first with MSNBC, he left them open to being blindsided when news of those donations broke.

Further, it came out that one of those donations (to Arizona's despicable Congressman Grijalva) on the very same day Olbermann was interviewing Grijalva on his show -- without disclosing that he was a backer of Grijalva.

That's going way too far by someone who is pronounced -- by both his network and himself -- as an objective journalist...."

http://wizbangblog.com/content/2010/11/07/olbermann-its-german-for-hubris.php

Flap Doodle 4 years, 1 month ago

MSNBC is saying that Olby will be back on Tuesday. Both people who watch MSNBC are thrilled.

booyalab 4 years, 1 month ago

indefinitely without pay= a long weekend? They just gave him an extra day to work on his righteous lip pursing face. He'll be stronger than ever.

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