Friday, November 05, 2010

Keith Olbermann Suspended Indefinitely?

It seems to me that there's got to be more to this story than meets the eye.

MSNBC star Keith Olbermann donated money to several candidates, a news bomb dropped by Politico. In response, the president of MSNBC, Phil Griffin is shocked! Shocked! That there's gamblingpolitical donations going on in this establishment.

Come on, Phil. Really?

I'm not arguing that employees don't sign away all sorts of rights when they join any company. Nor am I saying that Olbermann wasn't aware of the policy (he obviously had to be). But I have to agree with Bill Kristol that suspending Olbermann for donating to candidates is squirrelly.

First, he donated money to candidates he liked. He didn’t take money, or favors, in a way that influenced his reporting.

Second, he’s not a reporter. It’s an opinion show. If Olbermann wants to put his money where his mouth is, more power to him.

Third, GE, the corporate parent of MSNBC, gives money to political organizations. GE executives and, I’m sure, NBC executives give money. Why can’t Olbermann?

Liberals scream about Fox Corporation's $1 million donation to the GOP and now Republicans are comparing Olbermann's misstep with it. But the truth is that there's nothing wrong with either donation; individuals and corporations should be free to donate to the candidate of their choice. Unless Politico can show a clear connection between Olbermann's donations and coverage of these candidates, the suspension is bogus.