It is reported that MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann has been suspended because he had donated to three Democratic candidates in this year’s election. This will be starkly known as the Keith Olbermann donations episode (read Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay).
Everybody loves the way MSNBC’s all-star left-wing anchor, Keith Olbermann stares down the camera and says pointed things, such as, “I’m calling your bluff, Mr. President,” or, “You are not a real person, Sarah Palin. You are less than human.” (I made that up, but I don’t think it’s too far out of line). Also, when I say everybody loves Olbermann’s manner of sharply addressing America’s most ‘prominent’ citizens, I meant me. I love it.
Phil Griffin, MSNBC’s president, said, “I became aware of Keith’s political contributions late last night. Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay.”
Call him Tough-Guy Griffin. No playing around at MSNBC. You’re supposed to ask for permission first, before you live your daily life:
NBC policy does not prohibit employees from making political donations to candidates, but it does require employees to obtain approval from NBC News executives before doing so.
That means you, too, Keith Olbermann! Phil Griffin’s out playacting importance over people who are more interesting and special than he is.
Who did Olbermann make political contributions to? He gave $2400 to Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, and to Kentucky Senate contender, Jack Conway (read the report at Politico-Keith Olbermann suspended after donating to Democrats).
Olbermann gave a statement Friday, defending his political donations: “I did not privately or publicly encourage anyone else to donate to these campaigns nor to any others in this election or any previous ones, nor have I previously donated to any political campaign at any level.” (source)
There has been tension between Griffin and Olbermann. Olbermann once told the New Yorker, “Phil thinks he’s my boss.” And Griffin recently told New York Magazine, “Keith doesn’t run the show…I do a lot of things he doesn’t like. I do a lot of things he does.”
I can’t help but support Olbermann, and shun Griffin’s policy-minded, playacting-importance-over his most famous anchors. But, I may change my mind tomorrow morning.