Keith Olbermann Suspended for Making Political Beliefs Clear

Comments

1
Not to worry.
Fox will hire him for a few million.
After all, THEY believe in the First Amendment...
2
MSNBC was probably just looking for a reason to get this idiot off the air at this point.
3
Constitutionally, they can have any policy they want, but it's still a violation of his rights as a Citizen.

Him talking about on the air - that would be something - but since money == votes he can spend his money like Red China does and he'll win the lawsuit.
4
out of all the reasons to suspend Olbermann this is the last
5
He was suspended for violating policy, not for the donation.

Just to be clear.

#journalismishard
6
you have to ask pretty please. unless you're joe scarborough.
7
I can't stand him or Rachel Maddow.
8
As usual, Will is completely, totally wrong. What a surprise. As @5 (correctly) points out, the suspension is for violating their policy. They have every right to do that.
9
It is awesome to see the leftists eat each other, please continue.
10
Ridiculous - he made small, private donations and he gets sidelined.

Dumb policy, dumb enforcement. And you lose your second most-popular host for how long in the process? Smooth MSNBC. Smooth.
11
The policy is a blatant violation of his First Amendment right as a U.S. Citizen to engage in free speech, and there's no "conflict of interest" since he didn't go on the air to publicly endorse any of the candidates to whose campaigns he contributed.

Besides, I'll be TPTB at NBC-Universal/GE poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into political campaigns, and would take offense if anyone were to suggest that: A.) they didn't have a Constitutional right to do so, or that; B.) their "objectivity" may somehow be called into question for doing so.

Effin' hypocrites, the lot.
12
Now, now.... I know that It's difficult for, shall we say, "basic" people when their baseless beliefs get challenged by someone they judge to be smarter than them, but that's why they provide you with Fox News. Just tune into that channel, and you'll feel much better. After all, they're paid a lot of money to make you think they're "just like you"!
13
Every company has its policies. If you absolutely cannot exercise enough restraint to comply with a company's policies, then that company is not a good fit for you. Yeah it's silly (like my office's ban on making microwave popcorn in the kitchen), but it's there. Deal with it.

And yeah, being honest about opinions is probably what all journalists should be doing. As long as you don't let your opinions outweigh your facts. Like the title of this post, for example.
14
this suspension is tantamount to saying "Aha! We found out that despite being a journalist, you hold personal political beliefs that expres sin your private life! How daer you!?!"

So people who work in journalism are never, ever, under any circumstances allowed to express political beliefs or preferences, at the risk of thier jobs, now. What part of that is ok?
15
You should totally email Columbia J-school to offer to teach an ethics course on the finer points of this situation. Please do share with us their response.
16
Do we think he'll challenge the legality of the policy, or just wait until things cool off, make a halfhearted apology on the show, and just go on business as usual?
17
I read over at Sullivan that he made one contribution to a candidate the same night she was on his show. While I don't necessarily agree with the policy, if I was an producer/executive/whatnot, that kind of situation would make me nervous, especially to how it would be received by the public.

Poor policy, poor timing. I don't believe the suspension will be for long though.
18
@13,

Microwave popcorn is toxic. If you want to poison yourself in your free time, great. Your coworkers still shouldn't be forced to breathe in that shit.
19
Dominic,
I completely agree with you. No journalist is completely objective. On the other hand, he is being suspended for violating MSNBC policy. That's all. I'm certain that The Stranger has policies that one wouldn't want to violate else he/she be terminated. And, perhaps The Stranger doesn't have a policy prohibiting donations to political causes or candidates. But, MSNBC did and Olbermann violated it.
20
At least they HAVE an ethics policy. Think of all the undisclosed donations NewsCorp has made to the GOP, with no interest in even the appearance of neutrality or objectivity. Keep that in mind the next time you hear the canard that MSNBC is just "Fox News for the Left."
21
@18 Oh, I hate microwave popcorn. But our office policy has absolutely nothing to do with its adverse health effects.
22
Stupid rule, they should eliminate it. All it does is allow Fox news to ponce and say "Well now you gotta fire this guy, cause he gave 10$ to Obama!".

Had this happen ALL THE TIME on a video game called Asherons Call. An online only game, where one of the servers was Player Vs Player. There was few groups that were honerable, the majority of them were not. So when one player was caught being dishonerable (cheating rules, hacking the server, etc), the other guild would pounce and say "Its your own rules, you have to kick this guy out of your guild for doing this", when in reality, the accusing guild didnt care, would often violtate the very rules they accuses others of breaking and alot of what they did was bait people into breaking their guilds rules just to have some drama on the web forums.

Now that most Conservatives are aware of this rule, its only going to get worse for MSNBC. You will see countless conservatives accusing MSNBC employees donating money, or appearing to do so, forcing MSNBC to suspend or fire their staff. Even when its painfully obvious no ethics rules are being broken, conservative talking heads will keep harping on the subject on live TV until the person is forced out.

MSNBC needs to drop this rule, its only going to get worse.
23
Reading comprehension at an all-time low today on SLOG.

How would the Stranger handle an ethical lapse in policy violation? Light slap on the wrist, followed by a tussle of the hair?

Dan, care to weigh in?
24
OMIGOD GUISE, THE STRANGER HAS DIFFERENT RULES THAN THE SEATTLE TIMES! FOR SHAME! EVERYTHING SHOULD BE EXACTLY ALIKE, EVERYWHERE!

CELEBRATE DIVERSITY!
25
@21,

What's the reason? Noise? Either way, I'd rather work in your office. Someone in mine occasionally indulges.
26
Hey dipshits! THIS IS NOT A CONSTITUTIONAL ISSUE!!!

They are not and CAN NOT infringe upon his first amendment rights. There is no way possible they could infringe on his first amendment rights because the first amendment protects us from the GOVERNMENT infringing on our free speech. Unless MSNBC is getting the government to jail him for what he's said this has nothing to do with the first amendment.

We can argue all day whether this is a good policy or if it's been applied fairly. We can debate whether anybody in their right mind could possibly think that Olberman is unbiased in the first place. However there is no constitutional argument here.
27
olberman's a force. maybe he can hook up w conan. still i never watch that shit except when he was berating little boy bush. its good to have someone the right hates though, the more the better.
28
Meh. Olberman should stick to sports anyway.
29
And kudos to NBC for at least pretending to maintain journalistic integrity.
30
@25 The head boss hates the smell. Really, really hates it.
31
GE makes billions more in weapons sales to the government then they could ever make off Olbermann's ad revenue. I bet somebody in a corner office is trying their damndest to make sure this suspension sticks.
32
@31:

And how much $$ do you think GE poured into these mid-term elections?

This is what it's come down to now: you can't stop corporations from making unlimited campaign contributions, but corporations can fire your ass for making limited ones.
33
#32,

He was not fired.

He violated the terms of his contract.

Quit while you are behind.
34
Surely violating this policy warrants something... but indefinite suspension is a tad much. I get the sense that there was some irritation marination over at MSNBC between Griffin and Olbermann and he's using this as a front to really stick it to Mr. Keith.

Sullivan had some interesting undisclosed stats on FOX News contributions....

35
Uhh, I think Phil Griffin's statement was... like.. two sentences. Right?
36
It's not against MSNBC policy to donate, you just have to report it, which Olbermann failed to do. They admitted that they have people who donate money. He just didn't follow proper protocol. Calm down!
37
"journalistic ethics"

ffffffffffffffffffFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF
38
Who really cares what happens to a total political hack?? He is now a complete has been that actually has never even been so who really cares?