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Keith Olbermann suspended from MSNBC over Democratic donations

Olbermann "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann has been suspended from MSNBC over recent donations he made to three Democratic candidates.

The website Politico called the cable network Thursday night and began asking about the contributions of $2,400 apiece to Democratic Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and Democratic Senate candidate Jack Conway in Kentucky. Conway lost, while Grijalva has declared victory; votes in the Gifford race are still being counted.

"I became aware of Keith's political contributions late last night," MSNBC President Phil Griffin said Friday in a statement. "Mindful of MSNBC's News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay."

In a statement, Olbermann said he had made the Arizona contributions on Oct. 28 after a discussion with a friend about that state's politics. "I did not privately or publicly encourage anyone 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 host said.

Newsgathering organizations generally frown on journalists openly supporting political candidates or causes, but Olbermann's partisanship — on full display in "Countdown" — has gotten MSNBC in trouble in the past. Although he anchored the network's election coverage Tuesday, critics complained about his lack of objectivity back in 2008, when he was temporarily replaced by David Gregory.

Friday's "Countdown" will be hosted by Chris Hayes, a familiar "Countdown" guest. An MSNBC representative said he had no information on when Olbermann might return to air.

— Scott Collins (Twitter: @scottcollinsLAT)

Photo: Keith Olbermann. Photo credit: Peter Kramer / Associated Press.



Comments () | Archives (138)

Keith Oberman provided excellent reporting and commentary. His airtime was backed up by well researched stories effecting the everyday (wo)man on the street.

If NBC, the parent company of MSNBC, does not return Keith Oberman to his anchor position we should immediately boycott NBC and all of their affliates.

MSNBC can suck it. I don't see Fox News suspend anyone over their ridiculous "journalism". And who didn't know that Olbermann wasn't democratic leaning?

I don't watch MSNBC at all, but in between this and the NPR firing over a Muslim comment, these two news sources I will further avoid.

Keith Olbermann is a hateful person and I won't be sorry to see him taken off MSNBC.

Keith Olberman was the reason I tuned to MSNBC - all he did was fix the lies spewed by Fox news -

I am going to miss his "fixing" of Fox's news reports of Obama 2 Billion dollar trip to India.

Those who can, do. Those who can't, watch cable news.

How much money did GE directly or indirectly bribe Republican candidates? St Thomas Aquinas, a Catholic philosopher and theologian, once wrote: THE SAME THING CANNOT BE AFFIRMED AND DENIED AT THE SAME TIME. GE corporate honchos cannot affirm that it makes bribes to Republican candidates either directly or indirectly, and at the same time deny it to their employees. I believe the lawyers call this estoppel. I wonder which Republican called the President of MSNBC and complained about this. We need a public hearing on this matter under oath.

Corporate policies trump an American's First Amendment right? No they didn't! They didn't get away with this - Olbermann needs to see that he has an opportunity to take this to the Supreme Court and win.

Fox News does not have a policy that was broken, NBC does. This is not a legal matter, it is network policy. If Fox decides to make a rule for their business and someone breaks it, then it is up to Fox on whether or not they are fired.

Blame NBC and Olbermann's boss. I have no idea why anyone would bring up Fox News with relation to this.

Olbermann has a filthy mouth and is very insulting to anyone that does not believe as he does, so I am happy to see him go.

First it Juan Williams and now Olbermann, what can anyone do anything anymore or are we all PC - Other then the Republican Party who can say anything and eveything about our President ???? Two-Faced Hypocrites

Was MSNBC under the illusion that he is/was a real journalist? Did they never watch his show? He was so far left and blatantly biased he made Rahm Emanual look like a Nazi. Heck, I'd be shocked if he DIDN'T make political contributions to Democrats. I use joke with my wife that they probably filmed his show in the basement of the DNC. Let the guy go back on. He makes me laugh.

This guy should have been terminated much earlier for hate
speech. Some of the stuff he says that goes unchallenged is incredible.
He is the portrait of a man consumed by hate.

Those of us who worked with Keith during his years on LA TV aren't too surprised that he apparently decided company policies don't apply to him or that he did something so obviously self-destructive. There's a long history.

Someone has already commented that Olbermann was an entertainer, not a jounalist. True, but that goes for all the "news" shows hosts these days. Keith was canned because his ratings were low. The donations were just the excuse.

News has never been the same since Network.

Howard Beale: " 'I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!' I want you to get up right now, sit up, go to your windows, open them and stick your head out and yell - 'I'm as mad as hell and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Things have got to change. But first, you've gotta get mad!... You've got to say, 'I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!' Then we'll figure out what to do about the depression and the inflation and the oil crisis. But first get up out of your chairs, open the window, stick your head out, and yell, and say it:

Olbermann and all the rest just keep delivering these same lines with different graphics.

More proof, although none is needed, that liberals are held to a higher standard than the anal-retentives on the far-right.

Corporate money? Orange Johnny handed it out on the floor of the House of Representatives. No suspension. No penalty at all... because republicans are not expected to have moral guidelines.

For its own dark reasons the network suspended one of the most intelligent journalists in the TV wilderness, preferring to have him be a potted plant.

This has got be a bad joke!
Did Rupert Murdoch buy NBC?

We, on the right, will miss him. He was one of our most effective recruiters...

Keith, have you become stupid now to go along with being terminally bombastic? If you keep this up, they'll have you covering tennis. Luv your suits though.

MSNBC is a real mess... and I love the network! Jon Stewart was right in his comments a few weeks back. The folks running Fox News may be corrupt, but at least they're disciplined and stay true to their narrative. MSNBC appears to be run much like the Democratic electorate; Passive/Agressive and lathargic. The promotional tag line "Lean Forward" doesn't even make sense, much like "More Colorful" makes no sense in promoting NBC's sh!tty Thursday night lineup. Should be "NBC: Several Shades Of Brown"!

"Keith Oberman provided excellent reporting and commentary."

You're joking aren't you Phillip? Keith Olbermann is about as "excellent" as Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh.

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