The ‘Countdown’ to Olbermann’s Return

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann was suspended indefinably on Thursday after Politico reported that the ‘Countdown’ host donated 2,400 to three Democratic candidates. Olbermann released a statement to the website in which he said:

“One week ago, on the night of Thursday October 28 2010, after a discussion with a friend about the state of politics in Arizona, I donated $2,400 each to the re-election campaigns of Democratic Representatives Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords. I also donated the same amount to the campaign of Democratic Senatorial candidate Jack Conway in Kentucky…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.”

The controversy stems not from the fact that Olbermann donated money, but that he did not clear it with the network before doing so.

According to MSNBC TV’s policy:

“Anyone working for NBC News who takes part in civic or other outside activities may find that these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest.  Such activities may include participation in or contributions to political campaigns or groups that espouse controversial positions.  You should report any such potential conflicts in advance to, and obtain prior approval of, the President of NBC News or his designee.”

Olbermann will resume hosting duties on Tuesday after a two day “indefinite” suspension. This is good for the network. ‘Countdown’ is its highest rated show, according to MSNBC with an average of 1.1 million viewers a night.

A note to the bosses of MSNBC: for future reference when you want to prove you are NOT like ‘fox noise’, as Olbermann refers to the network, you may not want to say that you are doing so to show that you are the not like them. Doing so makes Fox News look like an actual news network that is worthy of competing against.  Next time just suspend the person and give the reason and that will show that unlike Fox News you appreciate actual journalism.

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