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Matt Taibbi: "We had a whole generation of journalists who sat by and did nothing while, for instance, George Bush led us into an idiotic war on a lie, plus thousands more who spent day after day collecting checks by covering Britney's hair and Tiger's text messages and other stupidities while the economy blew up and two bloody wars went on mostly unexamined ... and it's Keith Olbermann who should 'pay the price' for being unethical? Because, and let me get this straight, he donated money, privately, to politicians?"

Keith Olbermann delivers a Special Comment on MSNBC, 06/15/09. (image: MSNBC)
Keith Olbermann delivers a Special Comment on MSNBC, 06/15/09. (image: MSNBC)

Olbermann Suspension Is Lunacy

By Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone

06 November 10

The powers that be at MSNBC have a real public relations nightmare on their hands. How do they explain not suspending their morning show host for making political contributions? They explained in 2007 that Joe Scarborough "hosts an opinion program and is not a news reporter." Keith Olbermann's "Countdown" is not an opinion program? And what about NBC execs? Check out this report at -- SMG/RSN

ust quickly: I just found out about the suspension of Keith Olbermann for making political contributions. NBC apparently has some policy prohibiting journalists from donating to candidates, so they suspended him indefinitely without pay.

I went online and read the news and found the inevitable commentary by ostensible experts on journalistic ethics, who are all lining up to whale on Olbermann. One quote I found in this Bloomberg piece:

"Journalists who work for a news organization have an ethical responsibility to honor their guidelines and standards," said Bob Steele who teaches journalism ethics at Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Florida. "If NBC and MSNBC spelled out those guidelines clearly and Olbermann violated those guidelines, then he should pay the price."

He should pay the price? Is Bob Steele kidding? What the hell is wrong with people?

We had a whole generation of journalists who sat by and did nothing while, for instance, George Bush led us into an idiotic war on a lie, plus thousands more who spent day after day collecting checks by covering Britney's hair and Tiger's text messages and other stupidities while the economy blew up and two bloody wars went on mostly unexamined ... and it's Keith Olbermann who should "pay the price" for being unethical? Because, and let me get this straight, he donated money, privately, to politicians?

This is absurd even by GE's standards. There is no reason, not even a theoretical one, why any journalist should be prevented from having political opinions and participating in election campaigns in his spare time. The policy would be ridiculous even if we were talking about an evening news anchor - because the only "ethical" question here is the issue of NBC wanting to preserve the appearance of impartiality and being unable to do so, because political contributions happen to be public record and impossible to hide from viewers.

Again, that would be true even if we were talking about Brian Williams or Tom Brokaw, someone from whom viewers expect a certain level of impartiality. But what Olbermann does is advocacy journalism and it's not exactly a secret. NBC punishing Olbermann for donating to Democratic candidates is like Hugh Hefner fining the Playmate of the Year for showing ankle. It's completely and utterly retarded.

These periodic spaz attacks the people in our business have over obscure and usually completely made-up ethical controversies - often over this whole "objectivity" issue, which provides a seemingly endless source of false piety for some of the more obnoxious journo-ethicists - are really irritating. I'm biased, obviously, because I'm a guest on the show, but this is beyond stupid. And by the way, has anyone checked the donation lists for CNBC anchors? I'm guessing a few of those have shelled out to the Rs. What's the deal, GE? your social media marketing partner


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For months a stream of media reports have warned of coordinated propaganda efforts targeting political websites based in the U.S., particularly in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election.

We too were alarmed at the patterns we were, and still are, seeing. It is clear that the provocateurs are far more savvy, disciplined, and purposeful than anything we have ever experienced before.

It is also clear that we still have elements of the same activity in our article discussion forums at this time.

We have hosted and encouraged reader expression since the turn of the century. The comments of our readers are the most vibrant, best-used interactive feature at Reader Supported News. Accordingly, we are strongly resistant to interrupting those services.

It is, however, important to note that in all likelihood hardened operatives are attempting to shape the dialog our community seeks to engage in.

Adapt and overcome.

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Founder, Reader Supported News

+100 # refuge 2010-11-06 10:10
If this story is true then I will permanently cut MSNBC out of my watching,...and let them know it!
I wondered why he wasn't on the last few nights.I have a phrase for this.
WACOS! What a crock of _hit!
+35 # proud_lemming 2010-11-06 11:38
That is the nature of the corporate capitalist beast which uses liberal democracy to its own advantage. As Lenin put it so eloquently about a century ago: "A democratic republic is the best possible political shell for capitalism, and therefore, since capital gained possession of this very best shell ... it establishes its power so securely, so firmly, that no change of persons, institutions or parties in the bourgeois-democ ratic republic can shake it." firmly, that no change of persons, institutions or parties in the bourgeois-democ ratic republic can shake it."
+68 # DaveW. 2010-11-06 12:08
refuge, I understand your anger and indeed the anger of many on these postings. If we "cut MSNBC" out of our watching however, we are punishing good, progressive journalists like Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz and Lawerence Saunders. The folks at Fox must be happier than two dicked dogs right about now. This would be just the result of this sham firing they would like to see. This is the same mentality that Hilary Clinton supporters used when they threatened to vote for McCain/Palin because they're candidate lost to Barack Obama. I'm mad too, but abdicating MSNBC and the good people working there does nothing except embolden the enemy. We should be directing our ire at Supreme Court law that somehow equates Democracy with anonymous corporate donors and places an egregious sanction upon a private individual and American citizen using his own personal money in a completely transparent attempt to further the causes he believes in. "Less government in our lives" the GOP likes to crow. Let's see how fast they come to the defense of Keith Olbermann. We'd make better statement by refusing to buy ANY product associated with GE and look to see the "real" reason they did this.
+28 # maddave 2010-11-06 22:09
I wish I'd written this. Good show, Dave.
Don't boycott MSNBC commentators - boycott MSNBC sponsors. This is, after all, all about money, isn't it?
0 # monicaso 2010-11-08 15:38
Writing letters to MSNBC is where one starts. Voting with one's wallet is where we continue. Obviously we can no longer depend on our votes to matter Terrific insights, DaveW. Let's not forget Free Speech TV - Gosh, if we started supporting this and other progressive outlets we might actually have a chance.
+10 # bella6626 2010-11-07 01:52
Dave,How on earth can we not buy GE products or services when they own or produce our appliances, electronics, medical products and machinery, energy, aviation, rail, oil & gas, our clean water plants, etc. And, Comcast, the notoriously inept cable company now owns 51% of GE. They have taken over everything and we have to either live by their rules, or find a way to live without them. The only solution I can suggest is a snail mail campaign to GE, Comcast, and of course those jerks in our SCOTUS. Maybe, if they get truck loads of mail, they will see how inconvenient it is to do stupid things like deny any citizen his constitutional rights to participate in our electoral process.
+2 # DaveW. 2010-11-07 22:50
bella6626, You ask the 64 dollar question. I think maddave below me has the best answer for now. Boycott their sponsors as much as is humanly possible. Every commercial break they have comes an ad for erectile dysfunction drug "Cialis." We can't ALL be that hard up for a hard on. Who the hell makes Viagra?
+11 # carol cota 2010-11-07 10:29
You do know of course that a company affiliated with News Corp bought controlling interest in MSNBC. Also, that Rupert Murdock and his conservative friends are on the verge of controlling media world wide. Direct TV, Comcast are affiliated with Rupert and his cronies. Its just a matter of time before all progressive journalists are gone. If you really want to make a a serious statement as a progressive then cancel your cable. Period. Start fighting back against right-wing corporate control of everything. This is a fight for the soul of this country. Progressives need to be politically involved 24/7 365 days a year. That includes donations. Imagine what we could do with 1 dollar a week, 52 weeks a year, donated from 25 to 30 million people to a top-notch, well organized progressive pac. This is really serious.
+7 # genierae 2010-11-07 13:41
ms. cota: Excellent ideas! If Keith Olbermann's suspension leads to his firing, or restricts his message, I will cancel my cable. MSNBC's progressive evening line-up is the only reason I had it turned on anyway.
+5 # Suavane 2010-11-07 15:33
I doubt if this suspension leads to Keith's firing. I do wonder what Keith may decide to do. If he leaves his show, where will he go? I do know that I will follow his moves on television in the future.
+3 # genierae 2010-11-08 11:01
Suavane: I hope that this episode will bring much more attention to Keith's program, and he will gain a lot of new viewers. This may turn out to be a plus for all of us.
+3 # Barbara Smith 2010-11-07 16:26
Cutting cable is a little like cutting off electricity and going back to candles. Money, certainly. But neither money or advertising will work until progressives articulate a clear message that resonates with the "soul of this country." Where shall we start?
+2 # genierae 2010-11-08 11:06
Barbara Smith: As long as I have the internet, I can go without cable. I stopped watching television for several years in the nineties, and it was a very positive experience. I went back to it only because I didn't have any other way to keep track of the Bush administration' s crimes.
+4 # Ken Bonetti 2010-11-07 17:01
So we advocate a boycott of all MSNBC except Maddow, Schultz and Saunders. The rest? Don't watch don't buy from their sponsors. If MSNBC gets away with canning Olbermann for exercising his First Amendment rights, it's just a matter of time before the others are squelched.
+3 # Patti 2010-11-07 21:02
You are so right DaveW!!! What ever happened to sanity!!! Less government for the GOP...let them buy their own insurance and not have us taxpayers support these incompetent party of NO! Just tell them NO INSURANCE!
+5 # nvhorseman 2010-11-07 12:11
Quoting refuge:
If this story is true then I will permanently cut MSNBC out of my watching,...and let them know it!
I wondered why he wasn't on the last few nights.I have a phrase for this.
WACOS! What a crock of _hit!

That's Foolish! Then you loose Rachel Maddow and The Last Word, too. Write the sponsors, advertisers of the program and boycott their products. And Keep on writing, emailing and calling them as often as you can. Tie up their broadband, switch boards and personnel. Same with NBC and GE, the parent company. Get organized and become an activists not a commentator.
+83 # John Petersen 2010-11-06 10:13

I wrote him yesterday and told them that I will not be watching MSNBC, NBC, BRAVO, CNBC or even the Weather Channel (all owned by G.E.) untiil Keith is back on the air!

This is a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face. The boycotts will increase and PHIL GRIFFIN will be the one that gets fired!

We all know Chris, Keith, Rachel and Lawrence don't deliver the NEWS - they deliver the left VIEWS - that's why we tune in. If we wanted to watch newscasters we would be watching CNN or our local news stations. Makes no sense G.E. can contribute to candidates of their choice, and FOX can raise money for candidates on the air....but Keith didn't get permission? So they took him off the air? Then we can use our V-Chip and BLOCK the NBC channels until he is back on the air.
+22 # Alice 2010-11-06 16:10
Actually, if we want to watch news, where can we turn? BBC? C-Span? Comedy Central?

I wrote to Phil Griffin, and I hope it helps. I told him I would be forced to read the local paper -- and in Columbia, South Carolina, that's saying a lot.
+6 # christine 2010-11-07 01:17
Go to Spiegel International as one possible source. It does not cover all but is a good supplement to BBC.
+23 # Michelle 2010-11-06 16:22
This is what we need to do--inform MSNBC and related corporate groups as to why we are not longer viewers. I just received an ad in the mail to subscribe to Comcast. I called the number 18668560273 and explained why I would not be taking advantage of their 'terrific deal.' We must shout back at corporate interests.
-64 # Really? 2010-11-06 10:31
If liberals and the liberal media obsess about correctness, the Huns will have ridden through town a couple of times and chopped their collective politically correct heads off.
+26 # donna P 2010-11-06 11:39
dont you have a nice FOX blog to wrtoe on, you are a bore!
+36 # Really? 2010-11-06 14:11
I don't think you got the message here. My POINT was that Democrats, in general, bend over backwards way too much. Republicans are going to win this contest just because they don't take prisoners (see Fox News supporting Hannity, Palin and Huckabee's political contributions) while Democrats get moralistic on us (MSNBC suspending Olbermann). When is Obama, et. al., going to toughen up and get mean???? You may think I'm a "bore" but where we'll all end up if liberals don't get tough, that won't mean a pile of beans.
+29 # Carol Gardiner 2010-11-06 14:59
I get you and agree completely. Get some backbone, Dems!
+4 # nvhorseman 2010-11-07 12:16
Ok Carol, let's see you out there on the picket lines...let's see you leading the activists that YOU organize to demonstrate at Republican Campaign Hdqtrs., banks, brokerage houses, Wall Street, etc. There is a lot you can do besides be a non-paid commentator. We need action from the government and the government is YOU, EVERYONE out there. DO SOMETHING to bring about a change! That is one very big reason the Vietnam War was stopped. Lots of people got organized and demonstrated against it in the streets.
+1 # colbert2422 2010-11-07 16:25
I agree, and add: Sent to Joe Biden20101117

The Middle Class Task Force

Define ASSET as control over all or any part of any stock or flow of value. Move government held assets out from behind the shield of Sovereign Immunity and into the Prudent Person Standard of Care. One way to start this with NO government action needed would be to organize an Alaska-like Permanent Fund in every legislative district as a cooperative owned equally by every resident of each district, and require managers to be held to the standard required in the case of Brane v. Roth, in which the court ordered managers to pay restitution to members when managers failed to take appropriate steps to protect the members' interests. These organizations would lobby, advertise, etc. to make their members better off, just as corporations with much narrower special interests do, with the massive new blessing of the Supreme Court. See the website for more.
+9 # Marta Turpin 2010-11-06 15:51
All this talk about Dems "getting tough and mean" is not necessarily preferred behavior of either party member. Those of us who were brought up to respect ourselves and others prefer civility.
+5 # Really? 2010-11-07 01:51
Your delicate, respectful, moralistic attitude represents the collapse of the liberal middle class. The rules have changed. If you do not, then you will be pushed aside.
+3 # genierae 2010-11-07 14:08
Really? If living in this world means being like the Republicans, than I will gladly move on to the next one.
+22 # Alice 2010-11-06 16:11
Olbermann is our backbone!
+3 # Really? 2010-11-07 01:51
No, YOU are your backbone or our deadweight. You choose.
+6 # christine 2010-11-07 01:19
that is why they took him off the air... you know, they do that in China as well if they want to censor someone....
+9 # Hors-D-whores 2010-11-07 01:46
Unfortunately the way things are going, you may be right, that turning the other cheek may not be working. It makes me sad though that we have to maybe be as bad as the devil in order to keep our form of government in existence. It does seem that sometimes, if we equate the dichotomy of technique to a duel, it is as if the other side has very sharp swords, while we have a feather.
+11 # Heaviest Cat 2010-11-06 14:00
[quote name="Really?"] If liberals and the liberal media obsess about correctness, the Huns will have ridden through town a couple of times and chopped their collective politicall

Really? this is not about 'correctness" It's about freedom of speech and double standards displayed and lamely rationalized by NBC. And just what do you mean by "politcally correct"?
+4 # Really? 2010-11-07 01:52
You too don't get it. See above. Quit the BS.
+2 # FogHead 2010-11-07 09:06
Quoting Really?:
You too don't get it. See above. Quit the BS.

Bingo! Stand up and fight or stop complaining, drop yer pants and grab the lube. They sure won't when they arrive for their share of your behind...

People just don't get it. Civility is nice for a dinner party but while your government is being taken apart, I'd think it'd be best left in another location...

In closing - lose the 'holier than thou attitude' or be prepared to lose your country.
+32 # MEBrowning 2010-11-06 16:00
Really? is absolutely right. Last week, Obama declared himself "humbled" by the Republican victories in Congress and the states. Today, the headlines proclaim that he is set to "compromise." How naive can one chief executive be?? Really? is only recommending what we should have done a long time ago. WE NEED TO BAND TOGETHER AND SCREAM. That's the only way we'll be heard. Boycotting isn't such a bad idea, either. Boycott the advertisers on Fox, Rush, etc. Boycott Dixie Cups, Brawny paper products and other Koch Brothers companies. Boycott Wal-Mart and Home Depot, General Electric, and other big Republican funders. The only place where they have any feelings is in their quarterly balance sheets. We need to hit them there. The indies and undecideds, the young and even some conservatives, will come along if we speak loudly, jointly, and don't let up until real "change" happens.
+14 # ER444 2010-11-07 03:16
I understood what you meant !! Well said. The mugwumping Dems need to get on the right side of the fence and sell the naked fact that their policies are good and kind and social, not socialistic. They are not tough enough when it comes to getting the message across. The Republicans are selfish, self serving and brutal when it comes to selling their point.
+91 # Jack Altschuler 2010-11-06 10:32
My guess is that this is not at all about ethics. Think Deep Throat from the Watergate era: follow the money.

Who stands to gain by sidelining Olbermann? I've heard that Comcast is wanting to buy NBC from Universal and that they don't like Olbermann. Getting him out of the way would pave the way for a huge financial transaction. Whose wallet gets stuffed from that transaction?
+2 # genierae 2010-11-06 13:06
I thought that Comcast already bought NBC? Is it not a done deal yet?
+7 # bella6626 2010-11-07 02:01
GE used to own NBC. Comcast now owns 51% and GE owns 49%. Look up GE. It is a done deal.
+22 # kat 2010-11-06 13:45
I really think it's for another reason. Big Brother. He gets closer to the truth than anyone else on a news program. I've appreciated this enormously. The rest of the truth is on the internet. I thought he was sick or on vacation too. Who will be chopped next? Anderson Cooper? Keith, come back. I miss you. Sue them. They will lose their credability completely.
+29 # Curry 2010-11-06 14:24
Follow the money---EXACTLY . OK--it is said Politico first brought these donations to light. Just WHO knew what was in Keith's contract?? the person who alerted politico?? Someone who wanted to bring Keith down---this smacks of Rove et al. If MSNBC doesn't rectify this and bring Keith back it will be the beginning of many blood-baths to follow. Who would want to work for a network who can screw you over at a moments notice???
+17 # oimzgirl 2010-11-06 16:01
Quoting Curry:
Who would want to work for a network who can screw you over at a moments notice???

Somebody who will just show up, read what they are told to read, and never question the military industrial complex or their media-controlli ng friends.
+6 # oimzgirl 2010-11-06 15:58
I'm thinking Phil Griffin.
+68 # Sonia Liskoskii 2010-11-06 10:34
Dear Keith,
Whatever the venue, I for one (and millions of like mind) will look forward to your most eloquent , fileting of the behaviors of the "haves".
+74 # susan diwald 2010-11-06 10:44
Wonder what George Orwell would say about this?
Fire the head of MSNBC would be my suggestion.
Keith, go to Democracy Now; it's a democratic place to work, MSNBC doesn't deserve you.
+35 # donna P 2010-11-06 11:41
YES! Democracy now is why i dont watch MSNBC and never will. Amy Goodman is a true journalist. SCREW MSNBC!
+24 # RJ 2010-11-06 15:09
Amy Goodman is teriffic, I agree. However, my menu NEEDS some good ol' Keith Olbermann too on a daily basis. And don't forget Rachel Maddow, Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, and I'm just now developing a new must have - Lawrence O'Donnell. I'm wondering if there is some kind of godawful management school NBC execs are going to. How else do you explain their actions with Leno, Conan, Olbermann et al?
+13 # earlyautumn 2010-11-06 17:53
Why does Rachel not have Amy Goodman as a guest on her show? One gets tired of the repetitious parade of guests she has. They are good, but what about the rest of the knowledgeable people in the country. Amy would be a great start. C'm on Rachel.
+9 # C Walker 2010-11-06 21:18
Quoting susan diwald:
Wonder what George Orwell would say about this?
Fire the head of MSNBC would be my suggestion.
Keith, go to Democracy Now; it's a democratic place to work, MSNBC doesn't deserve you.

Trouble is Democracy Now has only us progressives as faithful viewers and we have to really look on our internet (not shown nationwide) to pick her up. I agree Amy is a fine journalist but like it or not MSNBC is more widely distributed (except in hotel rooms). Rachel, Ed and Lawrence (O'Donnell not Saunders) are good.
+67 # CB 2010-11-06 10:49
Sadly, Keith Olbermann is paying the price of supporting candidates on the losing side. His crime was in challenging MSNBC's right to dictate his personal conduct - which by the way is not in violation of any law of this land. While other journalists probably fund candidates on the sly, he did it openly. Well bravo for him!
"Out with the bathwater" the miscreants shout! (Like Olbermann hasn't improved MSNBC's bottom line tremendously.) Why didn't MSNBC fire him outright if his offense was so egregious? No, the pussies want to torture him first. They so get off on it.
+12 # Pat Williams 2010-11-06 16:50
Or they're afraid of us and want to see just how big a stink might be made. Griffin has wanted to get rid of Keith for a while now the way I hear it. No I won't boycott Maddow and O'Donnell. But I will not be watching that 8 pm slot. I have signed the petition and posted it to Face Book. I have sent a message to Mr. Griffin. I have sent another to the Countdown site. I think we should fill the e-mail boxes at MSNBC until it drives them crazy, always with clear, reasonable messages. Keith Olbermann's viewers are reasonable people who need this man to continue telling it like it is. We also need to make it clear that Griffin must not stifle the voices of reason on their other programs.
+68 # patricia w fail 2010-11-06 10:51
This without a doubt the craziest thing I
Have ever heard. I hope Phil Griffin is the one who is fired. Excuse me be why it alright for Joe Scarborough and not Keith. ABC hosts not only contribute they go out and raise money and anything else they want to do. Lets be fair about this. Keith I believe was within his rights to contribute money----that is all he did----he didn't campaign for them, he didn't try to get other people to raise money for them.
+79 # fFernando 2010-11-06 10:56
Keith Olbermann is NOT a Corporation, so, according to the Supreme[?] Court, he can't make political contributions.
The folks at MSNBC is a Corporation and CAN! This of course makes perfect sense, right?
Corporate America, with the help of it;s dupes, prevailed in this last election. Now we will ALL pay the price.
Good-by to our once world leadership.
The GOD, Profit, must be obeyed!
Brisbane CA
-33 # proud_lemming 2010-11-06 11:56
Of course he can! He just can't do so while employed by a corporation that explcitlt denies him that right under his employment contract.
+13 # Pat Williams 2010-11-06 16:53
There is a great difference between campaigning and donating as a private citizen. His employer is allowed to contribute to campaigns but not he?
+5 # wolfchen 2010-11-07 09:36
Ach du lieber Gott...have you ever heard of the illegality and unenforceabilit y of unconscionable contracts?
+41 # Anyfreeman 2010-11-06 11:01
This is simply a large client base (political advertisers) demanding some programming concessions as a condition of the buy.

As a Californian, I was personally offended by the saturation pollution
Inflicted by Whitman et al... And then I heard that the ads for 2012 start immediately, the money teat of political ads for broadcasters has corrupted them completely, and this latest incident demonstrates the problem swimming in all that "citizens united" loot presents- tonedeafnes. This most recent craven capitulation makes me wonder if our only source of credible information in the future will be dumpster diving and Wikileaks.
+87 # Vincent 2010-11-06 11:05
I don't understand how corporations can be deemed people and make enormous political contributions to the candidate of their choice, but people can be prohibited BY corporations from making personal campaign contributions as a contingency of employment.

Isn't that enslavement?
+27 # Denk about it 2010-11-06 12:05
So, if corporations are considered people, why are they not held to the same contribution limits as people? I think that is legisltation to lobby for.
-12 # proud_lemming 2010-11-06 12:08
Nope! Its corporate capitalism. Get used to it or change it.
+11 # Nan 2010-11-06 19:31
Best yet.
And, if John Roberts (et al) doesn't develop a conscience (RIGHT!) we are stuck with being miniscule ants with no voice against our overlords...the big bucks corps.

Lets take our country back-WARD!
I was wondering how a corporation was going to make it into the voting booth and pull the individual lever...I guess I found out.
+36 # dleot 2010-11-06 11:23
Follow the is the comcast deal that fuels this whole thing.
+53 # Carolyn Steinhoff 2010-11-06 11:23
it's not lunacy, it's repression...i fear they've only just begun.........
+59 # Evelyn Chiland 2010-11-06 11:26
I live in a neighborhood where I blatently display signs on my lawn for DEMOCRATS. My neighbors see these and thus know how I lean.I also contribute to candidates.
Our vOTING Precinct is staffed by both parties but....I AM THE HEAD OF OUR LOCAL VOTING PRECINCT.
When my neighbors arrive to vote I know how they are registerd.....but......
Somehow this works and we get along fanatics carry on.
One's private actions have nothing to do with one's job if it is being done correctly.
-11 # proud_lemming 2010-11-06 11:55
There is a difference between the legal right to support a candidate or party, which has now been foolishly extended to corporations and an employment contract that can abridge that right with mutual consent.

As an individual, I have the right to inform my neighbors that the hamburger at a local market "A" is of poor quality and overpriced, and that a much better deal can be had at market "B" down the street. However, if I inform my neighbors of these facts while employed in the meat department of market "A", my employer has every right to fire me.

Moral outrage is too valuable not to be put in the service of reality. You live in a liberal democracy, which gives you certain freedoms. You also live in a corporate capitalist economy, which denies you certain freedoms.

Want to make your society both moral and consistent? Change ir at least modify corporate capitalism. Failure to do so will just keep you falling for "change you can believe in."
+20 # genierae 2010-11-06 13:25
Lemming: I agree that corporate capitalism should be changed, I even have a suggestion. Make the common good the first priority, with capitalism supporting it. If we did this, it would transform our society, everyone would be taken care of, no one would be left out.

Employment contracts should treat everyone equally, but Republican, Joe Scarborough was allowed to break this rule, and Keith Olbermann was suspended for doing the same thing. Bias?
+17 # Heaviest Cat 2010-11-06 13:57
Maybe you're right, lemming. If democracy and corporate capitalism aren't compatible, as far as I'm concerned corporate captialism has to go. But the double standard displayed by NBC in suspeneding keith Olberman is brazen in its hypocrisy.
+28 # Regina1959 2010-11-06 12:06
Yes John - we all have written I hope by now to Phil Griffin. is the email - I've already written to his VP, Steve Camus. Keep writing, and calling - Someone else asked if now a "corporation is a person" that it can spend money on campaigns, why then can't regular people. It also mentioned that the other VIP's at MSNBC have made HUGE campaign contributions far in excess of what Olbermann has, and they were exempt? Meaning, if the CEO's can, why not their employees. Olbermann is also not a news reporter, he does a show very similiar to Scarborough's, so corporate should not discriminate because Olbermann decided to put his campaign money on Democrats. Keep up the pressure and we should have him re-instated soon.
0 # giraffe 2010-11-08 02:43
Evelyn - Keith just has to "incorporate" himslef with his family or anyone
Then he's legal and I "think" Corporations can't be sued.

Why is Joe S on MSNBC? His "right" is always showing!
+40 # Steve Cooperman 2010-11-06 11:27
I've already written to MSNBC, the Nightly News and to our local NBC affiliate, telling them that I will not watch their news programs until Keith Olbermann is reinstated.
+40 # Lois Hamilton 2010-11-06 11:29
As PAST daily watchers of MSNBC, we have made a commitment in our household to NOT watch any of the NBC network of stations until Keith Olbermann is fully reinstated. Keith was the voice of Progressives nationwide, and we want him back on the air to continue his good work for exposing the wrongs done to Middle Class workers, now unemployed AND uninsured, and the need for Health Care for ALL Americans! He is the voice of reason, sanity and TRUTH. Do not pull another "Phil Donahue" episode on the American people who love this man for his brave and truthful commentary!
+38 # RAD 2010-11-06 11:33
This is probably due to the impending Comcast takeover of NBC/MSNBC. The new head-to-be of MSNBC is a guy who is rabidly Republican - he was a fundraiser for Bush.
Someone like Keith, who speaks truth to power, is NOT someone they want. They want to be like Fox, and now, sadly, CNN. It's not about reporting news or truth. It is about propaganda.
If Keith leaves MSNBC, where does he go? There are no liberal news outlets anymore. And while I love Democracy now!, it doesn't have enough coverage - nor would they be able to pay Keith enough.
Olbermann has 2 years left on his contract. Something is in the works, but what? He can either quit and sue, or be reinstated. If they reinstate him, does that mean he's going to have to "tone it down" for his new overlords?
This is a contract thing. They're going to try and squeeze KO. Sign a new contact or you're gone.
Just wait.
+29 # Artie Kane 2010-11-06 12:35
Add me to the list of people who won't watch MNBC without Keith Olberman.

Artie Kane
-80 # BBFmail 2010-11-06 11:38
Good riddance to bad rubbish!
+17 # Len 2010-11-06 13:56
That's for you.

Bring Olberman back.
+2 # Lakshmi 2010-11-06 21:59
Then don't watch him. That's what makes our country free.
+2 # trottydt 2010-11-07 17:44
Quoting BBFmail:
Good riddance to bad rubbish!

Same knife stick goat stick sheep!. "First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people".
+35 # Jack Prins 2010-11-06 11:41
Get rid of Phil Griffin. He cuts off his nose to spite his face. If this nitwit disagreed with Keith, he could have called him in and discuss it behind closed doors. The suspension was an act of stupid vindictiveness. It also demoralizes the rest of the group Rachel, Chris, Ed and Lawrence. I for one will cease watching MSNBC
+32 # Judith 2010-11-06 11:43
a complete idiotic suspension!!! I will no longer watch NBC or MSNBE. More than likely you will loose a lot of viewers over this.
+42 # bookzen 2010-11-06 11:44
I don't watch the MSNBC evening team for Cronkite type news coverage. I watch for gutsy coverage by this unique team who have the gonads to rip into the scoundrels who twist and subvert the facts. GE can buy elections and TV operations, but the workers have to follow orders. Odorous GE BS.
+20 # Mea Culpa 2010-11-06 11:48
Olbermann is one of my favorites! But, as Agustine says, "The greater the Gift of knowledge the Greater the responsibility. " Mr. Olbermann is too bright to have missed this rule. Let's don't compare him to the "others" clearly not in his league. Keith, do your mea culpa and get back to work! You do enough through your gifts of wisdom. Keep your money in your pocket!
+25 # Steve Brant 2010-11-06 11:50
ThinkProgress has published an analysis of the Comcast take-over of NBC angle on this story. Well worth reading, even though Comcast does not yet run NBC...
+14 # cabotool 2010-11-06 14:56
Publish a list of Comcast businesses. I will boycott every one of them if they take of NBC and KO is not back on the air with back pay!!!
+32 # Charlotte Wales 2010-11-06 11:55
I'm joining everyone by writing to MSNBC, etc. to tell them they've just made a HUGE mistake in judging their audience; why do they think people watch Keith? It's because he really does speak for WE THE PEOPLE - and he'll continue to do so, if not there, somewhere else. The fight for our country has only begun!
+6 # Pat Williams 2010-11-06 17:03
There's nowhere else to go. Keep on writing. E-mail daily.
-21 # Steve 2010-11-06 11:58
Some of you may be missing some very important points. 1) Keith Olbermann criticized FOX and its hosts for contributing to GOP candidates. Then, he did the same thing. For that, even those of us that watch, listen and admire him, must let him know this was an act of hypocricy. 2)Rachel Maddow hit the nail on the head. MSNBC is a news station and must maintain its integrity. Keith can't donate to a candidate and then interview that same person,and he did. That undermines all journalistic principles of ethics. 3) Don't hold Keith, Rachel, Chris, Ed, Lawrence or any analyst to a lower standard because they present news from a particular viewpoint. They should be treated in the same as an op-ed writer, columnist, nightly news anchor or reporter. All of them must uphold ethical constructs if their reportage is going to have legitimate value. 4)If FOX actually had the nerve to suspend O'Reilly or Hanitty for similar behavior, most of us would be jumping for joy. At a time when we want our news organizations to stake higher ground, we should applaud MSNBC's actions. This benefits society as a whole. That being said, a one day suspension without pay would have been sufficient.
+6 # Hors-D-whores 2010-11-07 01:11
All that said, if we were certain that the right wing stations and all their hosts would be held to the same standards, I could excuse this. From what I understand Mr. Olbermann made the donation October 28th after many of us were frustrated knowing that so much corporate money and secret donations were being made to right wing candidates. Two of the three he contributed to were Grijalva and Conway, who deserved support, and if I had the money, I would have been tempted to donate the maximum to them as their opponents should have and deserved to lose. I'm not sure that boycotting MSNBC is the right way to show our disgust, as it would punish other good people left there, but we can certainly make calls and find other ways to support Keith.
Maybe we should all buy his book, "PItchforks and Torches" because that is what is coming after him.

Why is it that only Democratic supporters are supposed to have ethics and the Republicans can do whatever dirty deeds they want and not have any problems? Maybe, that is where Keith was coming from, he was disgusted with the unfair advantage the Repubs had with their Supreme Court legalized money. COME BACK KEITH!
+2 # giraffe 2010-11-08 02:36
Steve, EVERYBODY should criticize FAUX for any and all reasons because they cannot tell the truth about anything.

They are a JOKE
+28 # Ellen Almaguer 2010-11-06 12:02
I too am floored about Keith and my stomach did a nose dive. Slowly but surely the elite are taking away all our rights. I watched Keith plus the others on MSNBC but am putting them on notice:- until I hear and see an apology to Keith and us listeners I will not watch any MSNBC or NBC stations and am advising of same.
+18 # revbyrd 2010-11-06 12:06
I, for one, will not be watching any NBC programming until they reinstate Keith ---with the exception of Rachael. I don't think her ratings should suffer because of NBCs stupidity and I want to keep her on the air.
P.S. couldn't a family like the Kennedys but NBC so we can keep ONE liberal voice on the air?
+6 # Hors-D-whores 2010-11-07 01:16
Can you imagine if MSNBC turns into another FAUX News. Good by USA political morals, ethics, truth, justice, information, opposing viewpoint. I've got it, if they don't do justice by Keith, BOYCOTT COMCAST, cancel your subscription, and whatever else they own that you use. Let's keep the heat up on them.
+2 # petetree 2010-11-07 12:43
Quoting revbyrd:
I, for one, will not be watching any NBC programming until they reinstate Keith ---with the exception of Rachael. I don't think her ratings should suffer because of NBCs stupidity and I want to keep her on the air.

I will watch Rachel, too - and maybe she can have as her regular guest none other than Keith O!!!!
+25 # Teresa Lovern 2010-11-06 12:08
This is insane. I have sent emails, calls and facebook comments to this insanity. Talk about a violation of our first amendment rights. Anyone who watched Keith knew what his leanings were. He didn't make an announcement, he donated privately 6 days before the election??? Hypocrisy much, Phil?
-40 # fellbeaste 2010-11-06 12:13
As much as I disagree with the idiocy of Keith's suspension --- he absolutely did violated a company policy that he knew about beforehand (or should have, had he read his employee handbook).

It's almost like sexually harassing a co-worker and then claiming that you were just exercising your "free speech" rights.
+16 # CB 2010-11-06 13:28
Quoting fellbeaste:

It's almost like sexually harassing a co-worker and then claiming that you were just exercising your "free speech" rights.

No it isn't. Not at all similar in any way, shape, or form! This analogy is beyond absurd; in a sense it's quite disturbing.
+5 # Hors-D-whores 2010-11-07 01:30
Well then, he should have been suspended "temporarily" and NOT with this ominous, "Suspended INDEFINITELY without pay."

If this could be made into a case for ALL media people to not obviously support candidates of their choice on ALL networks, then great, (Check out Rachel Maddow's list and broadcast from ll/5/10 and the flagrant support given by Fox hosts) but why is it that only Democratic supporters have to be ethical?
+25 # Essie Blau 2010-11-06 12:13
I agree completely with Matt Taibbi of Rolling Stone. This is total nonsense! "Payback" for NPR's firing of Juan Williams? PLain old corporate hypocrisy? Keith and others who speak truth to power are an endangered species.
+23 # Rafael Martínez Aleq 2010-11-06 12:18
As a daily watcher of msnbc, I strongly opposed the suspension of Keith Olberman. He was and will be the voice of the oppresed people in this country. I will not be watching any of the outlet of NBC until Keith is put back at msnbc. Now, I urged, Keith's viewers not only to boycott NBC but the parents (GE) company products, until Keith's constitutional rights are granted.
+10 # Richard Cummings 2010-11-06 12:21
Emma Goldman famously said: "If elections ever changed things, they would abolish them." As Lamar Alexander once said, "Turn off the T.V." They were both right. American media is a joke, and a bad one. The internet may be nuts, but at least it is free from the phonies who control mainstream media. As for me I watch BBC News and sometimes, The Lehrer Report, and that's pretty much it. Also, PBS financial news. America is getting tiresome. Wars, natural disasters, famine, disease, and this is what they worry about? Enough already.
+17 # genierae 2010-11-06 13:38
Mr. Cummings, do you really think that the corporate elites will leave the internet alone? Now that Republicans are regaining power in DC, you can be sure that net neutrality is high on their list as the next thing to take away from the people. Those progressives who didn't vote Tuesday, can take some responsibility for this travesty.
-12 # Terrence McCarthy 2010-11-06 12:22
Love your writing, Mr. Taibbi. But am disappointed in your use of " retarded " and spaz attacks " here. That's the language of adolescents who don't know better. You should.

And more importantly, it clouds your argument.

Respectfully, Terrence McCarthy ( terrencemccarth )
+19 # Walter Galen 2010-11-06 12:27
Using the contact pages on their websites, I attempted to email NBC and MSNBC last night to express my displeasure at this suspension. Neither email would go through.
+20 # Missy 2010-11-06 12:27
I sent several letters to MSNBC coplaining about them only interviewing the Republicans during the election campaign. Icouldn't understand the reasoning behind having a Republican answer questions that should have been asked of a Dem. Also Obama's accomplishments were never touted. There were nothing but GOP lies and I would sit with fists clenched while the lies were not challenged. Honestly I felt like I was watching FOX. Now I am beginning to understand why if the Comcast deal is in the works.
+11 # Alturn 2010-11-06 12:33
Over 60 journalists whose names are well known to the public have direct experience that the Christ is in London. They have said nothing in fear of losing their jobs due to the type of action taken against Olbermann for presenting far less controversial perspectives. Corporate media, like the rest of the corporate community, does not want radical change. So the double standard applied to Olbermann is not surprising.
+9 # genierae 2010-11-06 13:48
Alturn, are you affiliated with Share International? Why not publish the journalists' names?
+27 # Klare 2010-11-06 12:34
We have not seen the last of Keith Olbermann... he could run for office and get elected easily by the left. Rachel Maddow's story about this last night was BRILLIANT... exposing Sean Hannity (that old woman) for exactly what he is. The takeover of once free America... I wonder what it will take to get our country back? This era is worse than the communist-hunti ng McCarthyism of yesteryear... I tried twice at to send up my two comments, and it never did appear that they went... why am I not surprised?

Long live Keith Olbermann, hero of truth, courage and the TRUE American way!

It gags me that G.E. owns NBC, purveyors of nuclear triggers and other such WMD! I have no GE products in my home, and I never will. Boycott GE!
+13 # C.P. 2010-11-06 14:19
Are you sure you have no GE products in your home? Check your light bulbs, freezer, washing machine, stove. And if you buy a car, make sure GE is not the lender for your car loan.
+21 # JoanWile2 2010-11-06 12:42
I suspected there was more than meets the eye behind the suspension of Keith, and reading some of the above comments convinces me. I am definitely persuaded that NBC committed this heinous and stupid act because they are capitulating to their would-be buyer, Comcast, which doesn't want Keith. Whatever the reason, I will not be watching any of the NBC channels until Keith is re-instated. We cannot afford to lose one of the few truth tellers left. Things are already on the brink of wipeout here in the U.S. as the clueless goons take over. Without the truth tellers like Keith, we are lost.
+22 # Dave Reynolds 2010-11-06 12:53
If I understood Rachel Maddow's explanation last night, the company policy that Kieth O. violated was one that requires its journalists to choose between a policy of disclosure IF they ever intend to make campaign donations, or a policy of no donations - no disclosure at all. So Keith's oh-so-horrible offense, it would seem, is a result of his having not chosen the policy of donation/disclo sure. Obviously, no laws or limbs were fractured and no ones moral characters or reputations were slandered either. So then, what exactly is the compelling logic behind MSNBC's continuing corporate punishment of not only one of the best journalists on televised news, but his viewers as well, who depend on his clear, well-researched blend of the facts and his point of view - a point of view his listeners tune in nightly to hear? Was not MSNBC's evening lineup assembled as a desperately needed antidote to the megaphone in an echo chamber that is Fox "News"? They not only allow open donations over there, they stage televised campaign fund drives openly on the air! C'mon, Captain Bligh, lighten up on our Fletcher Christian and put him back on our TV screens where he belongs!
+15 # d julien 2010-11-06 12:54
I am not boycotting MSNBC because I want to watch Rachel and Lawrence and some of the other progressive folks. If Keith goes somewhere else, I and millions of others will follow him.
+21 # Faye 2010-11-06 12:56
When one tells the truth, they are silenced. Keith Olbermann is being punished because he tells the truth daily. Msnbc is punishing Keith because management is not man enough to speak the truth. Management is friends with those who do not care about anyone but themselves. The public should boycott msnbc until Keith is back on the air, with back pay, and a public apology. If Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Ed Schultz, and Chris Matthews were not on msnbc, I would never watch. I will not watch again until Keith is back on with back pay.
+10 # CommonSense 2010-11-06 14:13
Totally agree!
+14 # PhillyPhil 2010-11-06 12:59
Thank you, and please note: "Journalism ethics expert" from the St. Petersburg-base d Poynter Institute. Poynter Institue is subsidized by a family trust, and staffed by journalistic nonentities and trivial-media blowhards. Nobody takes Poynter seriously.
+19 # BH 2010-11-06 12:59
If you're going to stop watching MSNBC, go to Comedy Central and watch The Daily Show and The Colbert Report...G.E. will definately notice the change in ratings.

If you want to hurt a corporation, the only way to do it is with money (read that as ratings in this case).
-20 # Sam Williams 2010-11-06 13:06
My understanding is that Keith Olbermann's contract stipulated that a condition of employment was that he could not donate to political causes without authorization from his employer. He did. He had not obtained permission. He was suspended.
One can argue the wisdom of the terms of his contract. Maybe Keith Olbermann should have done so before agreeing to them. To argue that MSNBC should not enforce their rights in that or any other contract - because differing political beliefs might be involved - is childish.
+21 # Linda M. Maloney 2010-11-06 13:11
If, as the Supreme Court has ruled, money equals speech, any person whose employer prohibits that person from making private political contributions should have a prima facie case for denial of free speech. Your employer (unless he be the US government and subject to the Hatch Act) may no more forbid you to make private contributions, legal and duly reported, than he or she may monitor and censor what you say at your dinner table.
+13 # Betty Harris 2010-11-06 13:13
Ah, corporations that make political donations to control elections want to punish an individual for making donations? So, they do own the world. Well, they won't make money if no one watches TV or buys their advertiser's products. I suggest mass boycott of the TV industry... period. They make money off the people and we don't have to buy from them. Try barter, freecycle, craigslist, local farmers, etc. We're going to have to do that to survive anyway because we've not hit the bottom of this market....
+12 # Regina 2010-11-06 13:15
I share all the outrage about the banishment of Keith Olbermann, the most able and dedicated investigative journalist in the American ranks. I emailed my wrath to Phil Griffin directly (, and have not received an error message as others say they have. Since my email is not via comcast I can't dump them, but their subscribers can and should. The preceding comments about contract obligations are unmindful of the fact that even contractual employees have private lives and Constitutional rights. I share the suspicion that comcast is already involved in this action even though their purchase is not yet completed. I also suspect that Rachel, Ed, Chris, and Lawrence are now on notice. I will continue watching them, but will NEVER patronize any company that advertises on MSNBC.
+12 # Patricia Black 2010-11-06 13:32
Keith Olbermann is one of my personal heroes. I don't understand the suspension. He didn't tell us to make contributions, unlike the right wing 'news' shows. Keith has a way with words, and expresses his ideas so well, he has brought me to tears many times. He will prevail.
+10 # Ruth Wantling 2010-11-06 13:40
No more will I purchase products that sponsor MSNBC until Keith is back and receives pay while on suspension. I will continue to watch Rachel, Ed, and Lawrence and Chris. Believe me, if ComCast purchases this corporate, we will have another Fox comedy on and none of the MSNBC celebrity brains will be broadcasting. When the "fall" comes it comes with a vengence. Keith, get going somewhere - while you can't have a voice on TV get to "Mother Jone" or "The Nation" and write, man, write.
+16 # Robert Hodge 2010-11-06 13:40
As I scan the comments and note that most declare that they will not "watch" NBC or MSNBC, one of the clearer and pertinent suggestions was to NOT punish the other commenters (Maddow, Lawrence etc.) by boycotting NBC, but by systematically boycotting the ADVERTISERS OF NBC/MSNBC. The smart thing here is to make your opinions known TO NBC with regard to the 'suspension'. NBC is just the outlet, its the ADVERTISERS that have the most to lose from this farce of a scandal. Once the "ad revenue" (admittedly the ratings as well) plummets due to public avoidance, you bet they will wish they could go back in time and erase this stupidity. Keith Olbermann will best serve us AFTER he leaves MSNBC and goes on the Oprah Network maybe.... If NBC/COMCAST wants to be last in line, let them. Olbermann, get off the Titanic and seek out avenues worthy of your attention. Corporations are now people, but people aren't.
+11 # angelfish 2010-11-06 13:48
You took the words right out of my mouth, Matt. How lame can MSNBC be to think Keith's viewers don't know that he supports an opposite view from "Fixed" news? LIFT the suspension, MSNBC and come back through the Looking Glass to where the rest of the adults live. Keith deserves better than this slap in the face. Get over yourselves!
+9 # marthafaulhaber 2010-11-06 13:50
I am thorougly outraged at your treatment of keith. Do not private citizens have voting-contribu tion rights as seeminly all of the rich have. He has never done anything on the station itself to cause your cancellation. I can no longer support this station until I have keith back. I find it hard to express adequate outrage. marth l faulhaber. I always thought your station was great before.
+8 # marthafaulhaber 2010-11-06 13:52
i am not even able to find adequate words with my outrage of your treatment of keith. restore sanity by restoring keith. martha l faulhaber
+10 # Asta 2010-11-06 13:52
Thank you, Matt, for the voice of reason. Is seems to me that Keith's firing has little to do with the "rules" of the corporate books; instead, this was simply a power play, whereas Griffin either intended to assert his authority, and/or his decision came from the orders of the upper echelon in view of the takeover speculations. Either way - democracy, free speech, and reason pay the price, as usual.
+7 # ProfT 2010-11-06 13:52
Gotta be like the Juan Williams firing -- they were looking for a reason to unload him already. I disapprove too. But firings like these just don't make common sense. The gun was already loaded for some other reason. Mighta been personal, financial, a turf war, a previous insult, whatever.
+8 # marthafaulhaber 2010-11-06 13:52
+7 # oimzgirl 2010-11-06 13:56
Bob Steele says one very important word that tips his whole hand. That word is "IF."-- as in "If NBC and MSNBC spelled out those guidelines clearly..."
As if the entire assumption is that the big, bad anchor deliberately ran the red light and the innocent corporate bigwigs are just trying to make everything fair for everyone. Poor little Phil Griffin. Won't anybody stand up for him?
-7 # oimzgirl 2010-11-06 15:56
**crickets chirping**
+11 # RichyD 2010-11-06 14:00
Just about everything's been said about the firng by msnbc*, but, in defense of Keith Olberman, might this not be time for a test to be presented to the federal courts and the supremes to ultimately describe what a citizen actually is!?

*Pardon me for not capitalizing a few words and a network, they truly don't deserve the honor!
+5 # Pat Williams 2010-11-06 17:25
Such a case going to these Supremes, after Citizens United, might well result in all citizens employed by corporations being prohibited from donating to their favorite candidates.
+11 # genierae 2010-11-06 14:01
To BH etal: Jon Stewart recently attacked Keith Olbermann and compared MSNBC to Fox News. He equated the two cable networks while totally ignoring the fact that MSNBC's evening progressive programs are based on facts, while Fox is a propaganda arm of the corporate elites. Then during his doting interview with Fox's Chris Wallace, he badmouthed these progressive programs once again. This was too much for me, we have enough problems from the Republicans, we don't need Stewart slamming our favorite shows. I will not watch him again unless he apologizes.
+7 # Beth Sager 2010-11-06 14:45
Yes, Genierae, I was wondering the same thing after watching that episode of Jon Stewart. The best thing he said was that Wallace's network was lacking . . . . . . . "the truth."
+13 # Gayle Kenny 2010-11-06 16:37
As an Australian may I say that I am truly ashamed of Rupert Murdoch's utter corruption of the news media. Fox is a disgrace. He well and truly finished any remnant of real journalism in this country and he is doing the same to the US. Democracy depends on the ability of people to be able to think and to get the truth. Journalists help us with that. If journalists are being constrained in such a way then this seems to me to be like the show trials of past totalitarian regimes and fascism. Is there any real difference? Can democracy even co exist with capitalism any more. I am thinking that sadly, it is not possible.
+15 # AZ Resident 2010-11-06 14:02
Both of the candidates Keith contributed to in Arizona won their races by the very narrowest of margins. Thanks Keith for making a difference, yet again!
+11 # CommonSense 2010-11-06 14:11
NBC is now on my _hit list. They just lost a viewer.
+8 # Charles R. Zeh 2010-11-06 14:25
Let's cut to the chase. MSNBC has this new promotional, "Lean Foreward." It seems Phil Griffin has instead bent over backwards, getting his head stuck where the sun doesn't shine with this assault on Keith Olbermann. Given this grossly excessive punishment in relation to the crime, if there even was one, what, then, is the real basis for this absurd action? I may not boycott all of MSMNB, but I surely will not watch the book mark, Chris Hayes, attempt to fill Keith Olbermann's shoes.
+4 # genierae 2010-11-06 22:37
Mr. Zeh, I read that Chris Hayes has declined their offer. He is a decent man and I can't see him helping Mr. Griffin dump on Keith Olbermann.
+20 # Jaycie 2010-11-06 14:25
It utterly confounds me when no one seems to understand the real difference between FOX "News" (All Lies All the Time) and MSNBC. I have been watching MSNBC for a couple of years now, and I have yet to hear any lies (fact not to confused with opinion) as is the staple at FOX (Death Panels! 200 mil per day, 34 war ships, 800 luxury rooms for Obama's trip to India!, etc). It is unethical to equate lies with fact as CNN does regularly, "telling both sides of the story". Lies are not one side, of the story, they are just LIES.
+15 # Donkle 2010-11-06 14:28
Now let me get this straight. If the Supreme Court ruled that corporations can donate unlimited amounts of cash to candidates it is perfectly legal. But if a TV news commentator donates a few thousand to three candidates, as Olbermann did, he is subject to punishment? As a private citizen doesn't he have the same rights as a corporation to support candidates?

Welcome to the new age of government by corporation.
+12 # forrest troy 2010-11-06 14:34
So he committed a boo-boo----that 's not grounds for taking him off the air. Is there are hidden agenda here? Keith is witty, sometimes over the edge, but he and MSNBC are my only refuge from the talking heads on radio and TV. Please restore him.
+17 # InSouthChicago 2010-11-06 14:36
I have been an avid watcher of Countdown from the evening after Keith delivered his Special Comment exposing Donald Rumsfeld for what he was (and is for that matter). I think from that moment on, Keith has been both a facilitator to MSNBC/NBC's top line and a thorn in the side to those who believe that America is by and for the corporations. In the last days of the 2010 elections Countdown (Keith) was particularly aggressive about reporting and exposing those who would secretly fund attack ads and Astroturf organizations. I think this was the last straw particularly for Comcast. (Comcast may not own NBC, but as the buyer, they have more influence that you might ordinarily believe.)

I think this is more than about ratings and money. Somehow I have come to believe that this is about who rules America. The corporations (this isn't true of all of them, but enough to be dangerous.) want smaller government only because it provides them with greater control, more power. And you talk to the leaders of these corporations, democracy is a hindrance to their activities. Keith and we all just get in their way. I think Keith is the first in line of many ...
+9 # Activista 2010-11-06 14:39
...and less voices in the media with a critical perspective on powerful business interests. Olbermann has stood out as a voice for working people in a media universe dominated .. business lobbyists posing as political pundits. It is unfortunate that Comcast and MSNBC have chosen to suspend him. . .. Brian Roberts tacitly acknowledged ...MSNBC shows and with hosts like Keith Olbermann:

Comcast is in line to acquire control of NBC Universal, once regulators sign off on the $30 billion deal. ..asked Mr. Roberts how he planned to handle daily editorial control of such an immense news operation. “Are you saying that you’ll never interfere?” he asked. Mr. Roberts blanched slightly at the question, which included a hypothetical situation that had Keith Olbermann, an MSNBC host, attacking a couple of Republican congressmen just as the approvals were being finished. “Let’s …..
COMCAST - corps want to control Internet content - it is too free ...
Roberts - gave to Bush over $200,000 in 2004 ... these neocons love preventive attacks ...
+16 # Samuel Freeman 2010-11-06 14:39
If the ONLY part of her anatomy a Playmate showed was her ankle, she should be fined. And executives at NBC who suspended Olbermann while they dump hundreds of thousand of dollars into political campaigns are as hypocritical and dishonest as the perverts who condemn Playboy while practicing their "wide stance" in public restrooms, or consorting with prostitutes, or flying off on secret trips to have sex with their mistresses, or telling their wife they want a divorce while she is in the hospital suffering from cancer.
+14 # Beth Sager 2010-11-06 14:43
Do the same rules apply for Glenn Beck at FOX? Since the FOX network donated $1M to the Republicans, can their talk show hosts do so, also?
+16 # gabriel lori 2010-11-06 15:00
Something does not ring here?? How can corporations give as much money as they want and little old me or bronx boy kieth Oberman cant??? A nice lawsuit would be justice to Keith and against the corporate establishment!! And to take up the issue of corporate donations? What democracy is this?? we the corporations, For the corporations by the corporations? Is this what we are about?? We forgot something? The people!!
+22 # Dr.Stephen R. Keiste 2010-11-06 15:10
As an Olbermann watcher for many years I have lived in dread of something like this happening, especially in view of the Comcast deal. How General Electric has permitted free expression each weekday evening has been a question that has bothered me. The USA is about money and little else...idealism is limited to a small percentage of the population. Read the history of the Third Reich and one sees that the voices of reason were silenced one by one.
+21 # Anarchist 23 2010-11-06 15:56
I refer often to a book called 'Blood & Banquets' written by Bella Fromm-actually compiled from her diary entries written in Germany from 1921 to 1939 when she got out. It seems that we stand at June 10, 1932. The great silencing begins; what comes next will not be pretty
+11 # Gayle Kenny 2010-11-06 16:46
Is there any difference between corporations running a country and a despotic tyrant doing so? At least a despotic tyrant is a face that can be identified. But money is fluid and its owners are faceless. And money rules now, not people. That's what democracy was supposed to do. Mitigate the power of despotic tyrants.
0 # Activista 2010-11-07 14:51
We have Internet - information from below - not party and fuehrer from the center. Comcast wants to handcuff internet - information.
And even the Internet is advertisment driven (GOOGLE) - corporate crap (MONEY CULTURE) is pushed to the front.
For example election in Brasil - trend in South America - is almost ignored.
+4 # CB 2010-11-06 15:17
Go to
and sign the petition. You may also add your own two cents to it as well.
+11 # Jean Palmer 2010-11-06 15:20
It's all corporate owned and operated media, don't you all realize that. Remember when Phil Donahue was dumped from MSNBC because he was against the Iraq war in the beginning when all the other media morons just blew the Bush trumpets? No one questoned anything except Donahue and his was the highest rated show. Corporations make money from wars... I think Olbermann is the highest rated show now and I think MSNBC just wants to be another FOX and MAKE LOTS OF MONEY. And Olbermann is not FOX material; he thinks. TV is all in the hands of the corporations now. Thank goodness for Rolling Stone and Matt TAibbi and his ilk.
+15 # Jim Martens 2010-11-06 15:20
The great American bullshit train rolls on. Again this Thanksgiving most of the world will be giving thanks that they do not live in a country as petty and twisted as the USA is becoming.
+10 # AdventureGirl 2010-11-06 15:44
I agree his suspension without pay is ridiculous. Was THAT part stated clearly in the policy prohibiting campaign donations?

I have a feeling Keith will land on his feet and come out ahead of the game in the long run.
+8 # BobbieGroth 2010-11-06 15:54
Wow, this is great! I don't watch TV and haven't for over 30 years because it's all a crock, but now I WANT to watch Keith Olbermann!!!
+7 # bill wolfe 2010-11-06 15:58
I guess, since the corporations can now contribute secretly, employees are not permitted to make private contributions.
+3 # Cynthia 2010-11-06 16:13
Steve and Lemming have cogent points. I would have to read his contract to understand its provisions, and then hear Mr. Olbermann's argument as to why he thinks he is not in breach. Secondly, I'd like to know the relationship existing with Comcast. And lastly, I'd like to be enlightened [by someone on this post?] about another point I read initially: that Joe Scarborogh and another news interpreter also contributed to candidates as private citizens, and work for NBC, but were not chastised. The recommend slap on the wrist for not asking permission seems more fitting than to be suspended indefinitely without pay. Really, a bit much. What's that old line--"let the punishment fit the crime"?
+4 # Jana 2010-11-06 16:15
Larry Kudlow gave to republicans ...

let's demand that they "indefinitely suspend" him, too!!
0 # BH 2010-11-06 16:17
Genierae, I don't agree with everything Stewart does, but I suspect there are things Keith has said that YOU disagree with, too. And I have heard Keith (on occasion) stretch the truth to make a point.

But the thing with most of Stewart's criticism with MSNBC is the shrill volume of the delivery. And you'll see he criticises Fox for that AND for lying...AND he criticises them 10 times more than he does the MSNBC personalities.. .'cuz they deserve it.

Is he perfect?? No, but neither is Keith. And your reaction to Stewart's criticism is the same reaction to MSNBC for suspending Olbermann. Is that equitable??
+2 # genierae 2010-11-06 23:05
BH: Stewart's rally underscored the middle ground in America, praising those who are moderates, as if its just as wrong to be too progressive as it is to be too far right. Now you may agree with that, but I don't. And his interview with Chris Wallace was downright fawning. Maybe Mr. Wallace is a credible journalist, but just being on Fox News gives that propaganda machine a legitimacy that it wouldn't otherwise have. He's a front for them, and he enables them in their corruption. If he cares about honest reporting, he should quit Fox and find a real news outlet.

If Jon Stewart wanted to truly contrast Fox and MSNBC, then when he talked about Fox lies, he should have stressed that MSNBC's programs base their stories on facts. He didn't do that.

Hmmm. Jon Stewart equates MSNBC with Fox. You need to ask him if that's equitable.
+8 # Cynthia 2010-11-06 16:18
A contract cannot exist, it is void, if there is a supervening illegality in it. To include a provision that violates Constitutional rights, even were the contract to be signed by all parties, might be interpreted as illegal. In that case, Mr. Olbermann might have a case for suit. Is there a contract attorney among us who can share an opinion about this?
+6 # granny 2010-11-06 16:22
C'mon, folks. This was the excuse Griffin et al were looking for. They are businessmen first and only, and they would not recognize freedom of expression if it sat and spread its legs before them.
+3 # maddave 2010-11-06 22:01
Go git 'emj, Granny!
+6 # redjelly39 2010-11-06 16:45
I like Keith and he seems like a nice man but I dont think there is a journalist on any major TV program that is doing real journalism. Corporations own the media and we will not get any "real" news that will possibly hurt the Corporations interests. We get bombarded with Britney Spears and BS celebrity stories whenever something serious happens in the world that may affect their interests. Mass Distraction....

I dont watch CNN, MSNBC and definitely not Faux Newz. I dont trust ANY of them to give me real news. They are designed for entertainment & distraction by keeping the masses pointing their fingers at each other...

Until we actually come together as ONE nation and repeal the Federal Reserve Act of 1913, the US does not exist per our Constitution. WE, Keith, MSNBC & the rest of this nation are living on temporary "privileges" not the "Bill of Rights" we once had. This ordeal with Keith is only another step of dumbing us down and showing us all who has the power - Corporations. "Shut up or you may suffer the same fate" is the message I get time after time through the media these days.

The movie "Idiocracy" is supposed to be a comedy but its pure prophesy.
+4 # Harriet Stucke 2010-11-06 16:46
I am so angry as to what MSNBC has done to Keith Olbermann. He was the only newscaster that I liked. He is immensely intelligent and sees things as they truly are. He was so caring in his help with the medical clinics he helped established. I hope all this turns around on MSNBC.
+4 # AML 2010-11-06 16:55
Boycott GE.
0 # Alfie 2010-11-06 16:57
I, too, love Keith, but I'd feel better about all this if he hadn't had the recipients of his largesse on his show, too.
+4 # Dianne Bazell 2010-11-06 16:59
Following MSNBC's logic, *objective* journalists should not reveal their political allegiances by registering as members of political parties. This would prevent journalists from voting in most states' primaries. Would it be legal for an employer to limit such civic participation?
+9 # elsa Lewin 2010-11-06 17:01
I have made a list of all the advertisers on NSNBC and I will notify them that I and everyone I know will boycott their products.

One of the first acts of Hitler was to take over control of the press. I fear this is happening here now in the US.
+9 # redjelly39 2010-11-06 17:42
Hi Elsa, This has already happened. There were 100's of individually owned media in the past, that was whittled down to 12 in 2000 and we currently have 6 Corporations that now own over 90% of the media. 6 - and they fall under the umbrella of Clear Channel Communications who is in bed with the FCC.
-17 # bubba 2010-11-06 17:06
God I so glad that our country is running so well under Obama that this is all people have time to worry about.
+12 # Accountability 2010-11-06 17:06
I'm an old codger and can't read fast enough to keep up with all your posts, but I am a political junkie and follow the business news.

There is only one strategy I know that is sure—always--to make a protest effective and get the desired result from businesses like MSNBC. What made Target back down and spend $millions in additional advertising and specials to placate outraged liberals and gays after Target donated to far right-wing candidates?

We viewer/consumer s can keep track of their sponsors, identify the major ones who depend on retail customers and have competitors whom we can substitute for them. Then organize a boycott via internet, phone and signs at their front doors. Extravagantly overpaid corporate executives want to let their bottom line be the excuse for using investor/corpor ate funds to support their political preferences? Then let's get organized and give them what they claim (publicly but falsely) they want: a reason for staying in business and out of politics.

The national Chamber of Commerce should be the next target (pun intended).
0 # monicaso 2010-11-08 16:27
As another "old" codger and political junkie, I am in total agreement with your words, Mr. Accountability. TARGET sure did miss me and my adult children's and friends' wallets when we made our points. It looks as though going forward it will be the only way to voice our choices.
+3 # AML 2010-11-06 17:07
ps. Thanks Matt!!
+4 # Jacquie 2010-11-06 18:10
Bold Progressives (the organization) is collecting signatures and comments on a petition to the PTB at MSNBC. You can sign here:
+3 # rmerr 2010-11-06 18:23
I wonder if Olberman will sue NBC. The supreme court has said that money in politics is equal to speech. Corporations are not to have any limits imposed on their right to political speech. Now will NBC be allowed to silence Olberman's political speech? I hope he sues. A good lawyer could make a nice case out of this. Fox TV "journalists" have no problem making political contribution -- cash, appearances, on-show extended ads, support, and so on. But we all know Fox is not a new network. But neither really is MSNBC.
+5 # Steve Millman 2010-11-06 18:38
Those of you who feel boycotting MSNBC hurts other liberal commentators are simply wrong!! As much as I love Rachel Maddow and other MSNBC hosts, if we let GE get away with this outrageous behavior ALL liberal commentators are at risk and none of them will have the freedom of self expression afforded the right wing hate merchants!! Time not just for democratic politicians to get a backbone ALL OF US MUST!!!
+3 # genierae 2010-11-06 23:10
I think that Maddow, Schultz, and O'Donnell should join forces and put pressure on Mr. Griffin to back off. If they refuse to do this, they might be next.
+6 # James Marcus 2010-11-06 18:39
Actually this is a feather in Keith's cap; affirmation of how dangerous he is to the Powers-That-Be.

Now he is free to really unleash his positions, and come forward through a new 'Trans-partisan ' position.

After all, at this point, is anyone seriously expecting meritorious results from either Party?
+5 # Gloria Keith 2010-11-06 19:48
"For, we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities. Against rulers of darkness in high places...Ephesi ans 6:12" Humanity does not war against humanity. Evil backs up oppression in any ways, possible. Evil controls the mind, when the mind is too weak to rationally control itself. Evil is trying to triumph over truth-positivel y and progressively.. . Olbermann shares truth with his audience. Americans are using more than 10% of human intelligence, 2010, as America moves slowly, but, surely to a rational human society. Traditional oppressors don't encourage Americans to exercise more brain power and would rather control Americans like oppressors are controling Sarah Palin..."By all means, evil will push to control every human being, in America. In the wide-world. Olbermann, President Obama, etc., teach self-sustaining methology. So, consider, the series of evil tactics against truth and true leadership.
-4 # aa 2010-11-06 21:44
agree wholeheartedly with your analysis but am deeply offended by your use of the word "retarded" to mean stupid. if you are truly enlightened, surely you recognize how offensive to those of us with children born with mental disabilities. i will be sure to pass over your opinions in the future.
+3 # maddave 2010-11-06 21:58
So getting forgiveness at MSNBC is NOT easier than geting permission. OK. Point made. Now give Keith back to us and I'll begin watching MSNBC again. This idiocy by management is punishing more of us that just Keith, you know: Rachel & the rest of your staff is suffering, too . . . not to mention your sponsors whom I refuse to patronize until you relen.

Or is this just a ruse? Like Stewart & Colbert's rally in DC? Say it's so and let's get back to normality.
Ally, Ally, All in free!
+5 # Mary in OKC 2010-11-06 22:13
Comcast is soon to be the parent company of MSNBC, so that should tell you something right there. It won't be long before Rachel and Ed are gone, too. That's the way it goes when big money runs the country - "If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em."
+4 # geraldom 2010-11-06 22:14
From what I've been hearing, MSNBC has been having difficult times in keeping up their ratings, and this was before they suspended Keith Olbermann. This idiocy isn't going to help them any.

Perhaps they want to morph themselves into Fox2.

Anyone that hasn't done so already, please go to the following URL and sign the petition to reinstate him:
+5 # Sanity 2010-11-06 22:18
Bad Omen - heads rolling already.
Boycott a good idea - the newly approved corporate 'being' - only listens to the sound of money.
Our power lies in consumerism - or lack of.
Can't help but think Obama feels like he's in a poisonous snake pit - you can almost hear the word 'lynching' co0ming from these hateful bastards. Will this end in my lifetime?
0 # genierae 2010-11-08 11:23
Sanity: I think that Obama and his supporters, of which I'm one, had no idea of how vicious these Republicans were, and what lowdown, dirty tricks that they would stoop to. I hope that Obama decides not to run for a second term, this country is not progressive enough to appreciate him.
+3 # Dot in Dayton 2010-11-07 00:08
Mary in OKC is right. The reason for the takeover must be politically motivated to get control of a democratic leaning channel. Keith is the strongest voice so they had to find any little way to get silence him "indefinitely." I would not expect Keith to come back as they will control what he says. Rachel, Ed, Chris and Lawrence will have to decide whether they dance to the music or not. They are all brilliant. This is so sad as it sounds like this voice for democracy is being silenced for good.
+2 # egh 2010-11-07 04:01
I think that journalists are also citizens with the right to enjoy the common rights given to ordinary citizens. A policy that precludes its employees from participating in the normal democratic process should be questioned. In order to avoid the appearance of bias, journalists should be allowed to either recuse themselves from segments that relate to persons to whom they have contributed, or disclose the fact that they have contributed to an individual. While insubordination should not be condoned, let the punishment fit the crime, so to speak. This, in my opinion, is a relatively small infraction, especially when we consider the consequential loss of the voice of one of our most important news commentators. The abuse from that other F.. network should be enough punishment and embarrassment for Keith. REINSTATE KEITH PLEASE!!!
+2 # John Ogden 2010-11-07 04:17
perhaps it is time for America to have a national broadcaster independent of the foibles and hypocrisy of proprietors and focus groups. Free speech and quality journalism have been shackled in the same way that the pentagon has been neutered by vested interests and big business.
+2 # genierae 2010-11-07 09:06
John Ogden: NPR and PBS were supposed to fill this slot, but Republicorp has infiltrated them and now they are biased and not worth listening to.
+2 # Sam Greenfield 2010-11-07 06:13
What will be interesting to me is what (if anything) Olbermann will say bout this suspension when he returns. We can't logically compare this incident to anything at Fox News because they are not a news organization.
The lamest part of this whole story is that Scarborough is off the hook because he asked before he contributed? Seriously? "Hi, is it okay if I break the rules regarding contributions? I can, oh gee thanks." WOW!!!!!!
+1 # Cathy 2010-11-07 07:13
I am so ticked off. MSNBC- and specifically Olbermann was all the truth that was left. This is obviously a "Corporate" decision just like everything else in this country.
As far as I see it We are screwed.
-2 # M. Ganocus 2010-11-07 07:20
Olbermann presumably knew about the rule when he agreed to work for MSNBC. While I may agree that the rule was ridiculous and, possibly, infringes on his civil liberties; he agreed to abide by that rule when we accepted the job. So is it reasonable to expect that, if he later decides he doesn't like a particular rule, he can violate the rule without consequence? I like Keith and would really miss him if his 'vacation' becomes permanent. But, as I've always told my kids, you can break all the rules you want; but if you get caught, be prepared to face the punishment.
+2 # Cathy 2010-11-07 07:24
Okay.... So let me get thia straight.
Citizens United allows a Corporation to be considered a "Person" and can contribute to campaigns and does not have to identify itself. But a journalist cannot?
Oh NOW I get it. Corporations have more rights than ever and we have less
0 # rm 2010-11-07 07:50
It is pretty clear that MS-LSD just wants to get rid of Olberman. His political contributions are just the pretext. No corporation has a right to control what a person does in their private life. Olberman is out because GE wants to gain some credit with the Teabaggers. Obama believes, too, that he has to make nice to them, as if they will like him if he bends over for them. This is really pathetic. The most ignorant and vicious segment of the amerikkkan population led by the snake-oil salesmen Beck, Hannity, Levin, Limbag are being kow-towed to by presidents and corporations like GE. Come on. what the teabaggers and their leaders need is just to be ignored.
0 # rm 2010-11-07 08:26
The conventional wisdom pronounced by the blowhards on AM hate radio -- Beck, Limbag, Hannity, Levin, et al -- says that Amerikkka is moving back to the right. MSNBC just wants to join the movement. Kieth had to go as a show of MSNBC's joining the rightward drift of the nation.

Too bad the conventional wisdom is false. The elections did not show a move to the right. Conservative republicans took control of the House only because democrats failed to come out to vote. They did not show up because they lost faith in Obamna's move to the right. Had Obama gone left and progressive, AMerica would have come out to vote and support him in the millions. The problem for the right wing will be how to keep the lunacy of the teabaggers going now that there is on Obama outside of their camp to protest.
0 # Windy126 2010-11-07 10:03
My husband is addicted to BBC. I loved watching the line up on MSNBC but will give it up if it means no Keith. Maybe Oprah can put him on her new OWN network. GE is not getting my business either. I have boycotted Sears for their lack of customer service and I can do others too. I am not rich and powerful but dam it I do count in this world so don't try to step on me I bite.
+2 # blah blah blah 2010-11-07 11:11
Could this whole stinking mess be as simple as the MSNBC executive (Griffin?) being threatened by Keith's continuing popularity? Trying to imagine a more complex rationale, I was thinking that the further out on the right Fox went, the more MSNBC got compared as the left equivalent. Not wanting to be brushed with the broad stroke of being an entire left leaning network, what would be the quickest shortcut alter this perspective? Have a public tar & feathering of Keith. That way the network paints Keith back into the left corner (discrediting all the good journalism he has done), while appearing to be "neutral" as a network. All MSNBC has done for me is make me question what kind of pressure the rest of the left-leaning commentators are under, how will this influence the words that they choose, and the topics they report on. MSNBC has caused me to distrust them, the network, and the conditions their employees work under. Rather than beg MSNBC to take Keith back, I hope some enterprising television or radio network will scoop him up, and then Ed and Rachel, etc.
+2 # SP 2010-11-07 11:18
Okay gang what do you do when facts don't matter?.Bill O'reilly straight out said it in his interview with Bill Mahre 11/5 perception is reality.How do you fight a perception based reality? George Lakoff(professo r of Linguistics and cognitive thinking at UC Berkley)has the best method I've come across,the argument must be made on a moralistic level not a factual one.Look at
Rachel's interaction with the Dick(Armey)on Meet the Press a few months ago.She put out all kinds of facts to support her arguments(with a doctorate in the philosophy of politics)you would expect her to do that.Armey countered with perception, and pretty much rendered the facts irrelevant.Ever yone can relate to morality, and the sense of right and wrong is more effective and adoptive than facts,facts can be denied.This is something that must be relentlessly hammered home with an intensity greater than the right's perception based arguments.PS. Democracy Now is on Link TV for those of you who have switched to Direct TV and away from Comcast.
-3 # cassandra 2010-11-07 11:57
Sorry folks, If Olberman knew the rules and agreed to the terms of his contract, his action was unwise, to say the least.
+1 # genierae 2010-11-07 14:21
cassandra: If Joe Scarborough was allowed to ignore the rules, then Keith Olbermann should have been given the same leeway. Also, this could have been handled without taking him off the air, since he is very popular. The harsh way they did this tells me that there might be other things going on.
+1 # john cothes 2010-11-07 12:03
Keith and heroes..just when we thought MSNBC were a cut above the nazi media..whats next..GE can and will go to hell and screw MSNBC for that matter..stupid sheep
0 # Hamblaster 2010-11-08 05:52
John, I
I had to respond. You sound alot like me. I'm getting really pissed off and am wondering, do YOU know of any spots on the blogosphere where PISSED OFF people go to meet other PISSED OFF PEOPLE? I don't want to be lagging when the PISSED OFF PEOPLE want to get active. Paul
+1 # tracey 2010-11-07 12:16
The suspension of Olbermann makes no point except that the news media do whatever they can to punish liberal news. It also makes a lie of the conservative charge that the liberal media have tried to control the U.S. media. I suppose Olbermann was unwise to make the contribution, however the right wing Republicans have been touting their lies from any number of "journalists" since before the 2d Bush administration with not a murmur of disapproval from any quarter. Accuracy of information goes unchecked and unquestioned. Right wing listeners accept said "information" as gospel (e.g. Obama is still thought of as muslim by a lot of tea partiers). All I say is thank God for Jon Stewart, Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann. In the midst of a fog of conservative inaccuracies and downright lies, their take on politics is sensible and for the most part accurate. Fox News and the rest pander to fear. Again, they pander to fear.
0 # Activista 2010-11-07 14:35
BBC in GB is on 3 day + strike. MSNBC does not have (I guess) union. Just bosses with nazi ideology. QUO VADIS AMERICA.
0 # hey jude 2010-11-07 15:23
Why are NBC employees required to ask permission to make a political donation? Are some requests denied? For what reason? If no donations are turned down, why is there any need to get permission? Is it purely a power trip? If Olbermann walks, and the others follow, don't worry, MSNBC. You'll still have lots of viewers for Lockup.
0 # Mardi Harrison 2010-11-07 15:39
And -- how do you think all this ties in with Keith's decision earlier in the week to stop the Worst Person in the World segment?
0 # Samantha H. Macy 2010-11-07 17:03
I am horrified at the twisted logic of punishing a guy for his private contributions. The truth is that television news increases revenues by overlaying facts with judgments and opinions reflecting the ideology of their targeted audiences on most news stories. Olbermann shows more restraint than most. His suspension in the face of such loose standards in the media smacks of something sinister. At the very least, a reprehensible, self serving double standard. MSMBC is finished in my household if it does not rectify this atrocity.
-5 # yakofujimato 2010-11-07 18:26
Tiabbi is Totally wrong! Olbermann's suspension is anything but "lunacy" It's incredibly sensible from an economic standpoint.

Olbermann is paid 7 million dollars a year

He May, 2010 averaged 323,000 viewers that month.

In May 2010 Bill O' Reilly averaged 2,554,000 viewers at yearly salary of 10 million dollars

Fox is paying Bill O' Reilly 33 cents per viewer and getting over 2 and half million viewers.

MSNBC pays Olbermann $1.80 per viewer and getting under 350,000!
+1 # cabotool 2010-11-07 18:48
Please publish a list of the GE companies and the sponsors of MSNBC, including email addresses. Then we can take positive action and hit them where it hurts (in their wallet).
+1 # Sir Vincent 2010-11-07 22:30
Suspending Keith OLbermann for simply exercising his constitutional right as is expected of a citizen in a democratic country, is one more proof that compulsory mis-education has and continues to take a toll on America. The US is becoming a place thirsty of a principle of order. There is something seriously wrong with people like Phil Griffin,Keith's boss and G.E. establishment. Shame on them.. Few people in America have the intelligence and straighforwardn ess of people like Keith, Rachel Maddow and Bill Maher, to mention a few. Why doesn't G.E. relocate its activities to some Banana lawless republic instead of bringing shame to America. Why not move to Somalia where this kind of stupid behavior would be tolerated? Keith deserves a more civilized Corporation to work for and if there isn't one within the USA, he is quite marketable worldwide. Phil Griffin and G.A as well as all other "shenzi" executives, apologize to Keith and re-instate him with full back pay or go fly
your kites as far away as Tel Aviv.
+1 # elsa Lewin 2010-11-07 22:50
Right. Publish a list of msnbc sponsors so we can tell all of them we will not buy any of their products until Olberman is restored.
Hitler stifled the press as soon as he took power. What is hapening in our country?
+1 # elton 2010-11-08 11:05
Well Keith has been re-instated(or suspended for only Two show-depending on how MSNBC wants to spin it) so a comment may be moot. But as a former INVESTIGATIVE journalist I have to say this article is right on in condemning those "journalists" who collected paychecks and press hand outs while the economy went in the crapper.Olberma n is one of the few real Journalists left.
0 # L. Hubbard 2010-11-08 12:21
The points are:
1. KO violated known policy
2. Rach made a cogent reply that clearly delineated the differences between Faux News and MSNBC; one a news
station and the other definitively NON-news.
3. KO's contributions were open unlike Rove and Koach
0 # Hali Fieldman 2010-11-09 12:44
The NPR program "On the Media" had an excellent piece on the issue this article treats in the most recent episode (I heard it on Sunday 7 Nov.). Like Mr. Taibbi, I am sceptical of the existence of a reasonable argument supporting Olbermann's suspension, but to the extent there is one, it is presented clearly and articulately on the program, and is not at all left unchallenged. Take a listen.

Hali Fieldman, Ph.D.
0 # Deward Houck 2010-11-14 19:36
I believe this was a serious misstep by NBC. They will live to regret it. I also agree with most of the sentiments expressed by the other posters. I have grave concerns about the corporate take over of society by the power granted them by "our" Supreme Court.
However, none of it matters, because global warming is going to end it all. I believe we should abandon the media. All of it lives by capitalist rules. We do not need cable. In 10 years global warming (and peak oil) will have us all reading books again by candlelight, and talking to our neighbors.
The Dems Olbermann supported weren't going to make a difference. They believe in growth, as Obama and Peloci do; and the GOP, and Tea Party members. The paradigm of growth has given us corporate overlords. The reality of a limiting finite world will do it in.
I for one am going to miss Olbermann's special commentaries, but lets be real. In the end it really won't matter.
We need a revolution - not in Washington by violence - but locally, in lifestyles.

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