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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)

Yeah: nobody knew Olberman was a liberal. And nobody knew that American journalistic "neutrality" is a farce that succeeds only in making people here stupid. Two sides to every story? Why not one hundred? In a Rashomon world, we still believe in Santa Claus. (Of course that's great for business and people who can pay to promote their narrative, like the Koch Bros and Rupert Murdoch).

Keith Olbermann is a good man and an even better Journalist . One of the best msnbc has. He deserves a chance to right his wrong like ever one else.

Do you liberals ever stop whining? Fox this Fox that blah blah blah. Did anyone actually watch election night coverage? There was not a single conservative voice on the MSNBC panel. Maddow, Olbermann, Matthews, Robinson and O'Donnell were absolutely imbicilic. Personally I could care less if Olbermann is on the air. As you can see by MSNBC's colossal ratings no one else cares either. MSNBC is a circus and I don't see how suspending the head clown is good for business. Somewhere George Soros is weeping, one of his puppets had his strings cut.

Karma Keith Karma, you embelish so much of the conservatives viewpoints it is a shame. You are the Don King of bs politics.

Olbermann should have stayed in sports at KTLA5. Not that you can even classify MSNBC as a News organization. Their airtime is jammed full with sarcasm , with cutting whiney baby comments. Their producers have zero levels in the journalistic integrity department. They have sold out. MSNBC is simply the TMZ of news! End of story.

This goes to show you that MSNBC has rules and follows them. Okay, suspend Keith for a month but please bring him back! In comparison to Fix News who views themselves as credible, MSNBC is indeed legitmate fact base organization not a money making racket like Fix News who allow ALL their personalities to publically donate, endorse, and headline at GOP funding raising events!!!!

The ego has been grounded!

Many of the comments here illustrate the liberal's detachment from reality. Fox News has no rules restricting their employees from making donations to political candidates of their choosing. Yet, that does not prevent these posters from transferring their anger with their beloved MSNBC to Fox News. We certainly would not want the facts to get in the way of their obviously delusional hatred of all things conservative.

Pure hypocracy by MSNBC and their executives. This was wrong.

Olberman, Rattigan, O'Donnell, Matthews, Maddow, Schultz, etc. on MSNBC are not news anchors or journalists. They are political pundits with know biases for extreme progressive politicians or issues. MSNBC knows/knew this prior to Olberman's suspension. He is an American who can use his own money to contribute to who he wants or whatever cause he wants. MSNBC has created an atmosphere where these individuals thrive and the network and its executives have supported their views.

This may have been a stunt to improve poor ratings. Time will tell.

I watch PBS and BBC both every nite just to get a “neutral” POV, but Judy Woodruff is a blue-bible Dem and last nite she was chortling when she asked about Sarah Palin’s presence in Alaska to an Anchorage Dem reporter when he said “she’s not around when things aren’t going well…” Woodruff is as big a snark ho’ as the Courics and Sawyers of the admittedly blue channels. Sarah came out a winner three nights ago, but Woodruff and the rest of the third-raters on PBS, especially Mark Shields, an over-the-hill guy if there ever was one, are all in the bag for the DNC.
The BBC is the internationalist socialist channel, but since I was an FSO living overseas on four different continents in the day, I watch just to keep tabs on the EU & Middle East, just to name two areas I worked in at State. BTW, my best contact @ State runs the Afghanistan Desk and confides all the fire and brimstone about Karzai is merely Dick Holbrooke’s revenge for Karzai’s snubbing The Big Dick mercilessly over the last two years. All our US allies took bagfuls and suitcases full of cash from the CIA in the Middle East. Why should Afghanistan be an exception? Especially for Iran, on the country’s western border. We pay Karzai under the table or did so for five years or so, even before he was elected President.

as suggested by jennifer555, NBC is going to make Keith an even wealthier man when this hits the courts.

I would have thought that more from the Right would have supported him , despite their disagreements with what he says on his show, as this is an issue of principle about freedom of speech, something the Right shouts a lot about recently, but sadly I read too many postings here that are not about anything except irrational negative emotions.
Why is there such a difference between what the K.O haters/rightists say their politics are about and what they do?

It's all about ratings folks!

I don't even care that he did this. In fact, I pretty much assumed he was donating to Democratic candidates. And although I think he should probably disclose when he is interviewing someone he is supporting financially, I don't think anybody else does.

Still, this dude is SO snarky! SO sanctimonious with his "have you no shame!" bits and "Worst persons in the world," that it's nice to see him felled by his own hypocrisy.

MSNBC has ethics standards????? Now that's funny!!

Hey losers; the story is about Olbermann, not Fox News, O'Reilly or Beck!

David Gregory, objective substitution, there. A moron for a raving idiot, how appropriate.

Jeff...Beck doesn't donate to political campaigns. And FYI, there is nothing barring him from donating to the Chamber of Commerce. Do your homework, please. The Chamber of Commerce is being targeted by George Soros and his cronies who want to silence all dissenting voices. If you want freedom of speech to continue in this country, I suggest you take a step or two to educate yourself a little better.

Too bad for Olberman. If he would just follow the rules and show some honesty and integrity...that would go a long way.

There is a difference between journalists and commentators. Olberman is a commentator, not a journalist. He doesn't have to stay unbiased...but he does owe to people to be honest about that fact.

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