Keith Olbermann has been suspended indefinitely without pay from MSNBC for making donations to three Democrats in violation of NBC’s ethics policy.
“I became aware of Keith’s political contributions late last night,” Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC, said in a statement. “Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay.”
Olbermann, who does not hide his liberal views, has acknowledged donations of $2,400 each to Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway and Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords during this election cycle.
NBC’s ethics policy generally bars political activity, including contributions, without the approval of the president of NBC News, Steve Capus, according to a 2007 story on MSNBC.com.
In response, Ed Morrissey awards Phil Griffin the Louis Renault Award:
The more I think about this, the more ridiculous it gets. MSNBC offers the most ridiculously biased televion coverage of politics possible, crowning it with Election Night coverage that had people wondering if NBC needed to hire grief and anger counseling for the entire on-air staff. And now, because Olbermann contributed to three Democrats last month, suddenly Griffin suspends him because “these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest”?For this, Griffin gets the Captain Louis Renault Award for his shock, shock! at finding that Olbermann may have jeopardized his standing as an impartial journalist:
Meanwhile, what’s going out on the air at MSNBC is almost as fascinating as its backroom machinations. At long last, we have the answer to that burning question: what sort of man reads Newsweek?
“Lawrence O’Donnell is a socialist,” Alexis Levinson of the Daily Caller writes:
At least, that’s what the MSNBC commentator himself told Glenn Greenwald when they duked it out on the air Friday on “Morning Joe.”
“I am a socialist,” O’Donnell said. “I live to the extreme left.”* * *
The loss of so many Blue Dog seats, Greenwald insisted, meant that this election was not an attack on liberalism, but O’Donnell was unconvinced.
“Blue Dog dominance passed the most liberal health-care bill!” O’Donnell retorted.
O’Donnell attacked Greenwald for being a “progressive,” a label he had accepted earlier in the show.
“Unlike you, Glenn, I am not a progressive,” O’Donnell said somewhat condescendingly, “I’m not a liberal who is so afraid of the word that I had to change my name to progressive.”
Also at the Daily Caller: “The Election Night clip MSNBC doesn’t want you to see.”
At Reason, Michael C. Moynihan asks, “Which is in worse shape, the state of the American economy or the state of American punditry?”
Or to tie this in with one of yesterday’s posts, no need to fire up the B-58s when the dinosaur media’s spent the last decade doing a remarkably job of imploding all by itself.
Related: MSNBC: the network that brings new meaning to the word “explosive!”
Update: Steve Krakauer of Mediaite.com, the Website created by NBC legal analyst Dan Abrams, adds, “‘indefinitely’ is David Shuster language. That’s a big statement.”
Will Olbermann’s be of similar duration? TV Newser reports, “Insiders we’ve talked to say Olbermann won’t be back. The question is whether he’ll leave or MSNBC keeps him off the air.”
Update: “It’s not about Olbermann’s job. It’s about Griffin’s. Well played, Phil.”
Update: Clearly, the solution to MSNBC’s myriad woes is obvious. Rehire Soledad O’Brien back from CNN, put the MSN back into MSNBC, and return the channel to its mid-1990s glory days. C’mon NBC, do this; win one for Dev Null!