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Keith Olbermann, Worst Person in the World, suspended by msnbc

Keith Olbermann on msnbc screaming again

Keith Olbermann has been suspended without pay indefinitely. (UPDATE: On Nov. 7, MSNBC announced the suspension would end after Olbermann's Nov. 8 show.)

9) The jolly, evening TV salesman for wacky political causes was suspended by msnbc, a cable channel noted for the immense size of its commentators' heads. Olbermann's disciplinary trouble stems not from hiding his political beliefs in today's increasingly wide-open piehole commentary competition for viewers' ears and readers' eyes. Nor was Keith Olbermann suspended for being a lifelong Yankees fan or for constantly losing in that viewership coFox News Channel's savvy and popular commentator Bill O'Reillympetition to a fair and balanced network across the dial featuring a suave, savvy and prescient fellow named Bill O'Reilly, who writes best-selling books and donates to charities. (See warm, intelligent photo to the right.)

8) Keith Olbermann was suspended because he donated a total of $7,200 to three political candidates who had been on his program or supported by his comments. Worse, two of them were from Arizona. And most offensive of all, the entire trio are Democrats.

7) Politico discovered the political contributions by broadcast's Big O during a check of donors' names filed as required with the Federal Election Commission. Asked for comment about political donations that violate the rules of its NBC corporate parent, MSNBC immediately replaced KO indefinitely with....

...Chris Hayes, editor at The Nation. But then it canceled that choice upon discovering, oops, that Hayes too has donated to politicians.

6) In a written confession, the host of "Countdown with Keith Olbermann" admitted:

5) 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 reelection 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.

4) Olbermann also said he wasn’t using his influence to solicit other donations for candidates. This is probably true, given Olbermann's influence and the demographics of his several dozen viewers killing time until the overnight infomercials begin. But Olbermann is an interesting fellow who draws a lot of attention from friends and fiends, not as much as, say, Sarah Palin, but still pretty good for msnbc.

3) The funniest part of the incident is that Olbermann has been a critic of News Corp., corporate parent of the leading Fox News Channel. News Corp., which doesn't feel compelled to follow NBC's rules, donated the sum of $1 million each to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Republican Governors Assn,, apparently surmising that pro-business officeholders might somehow help the climate for their businesses.

2) In his soft-spoken way Olbermann appeared to object to such donations and last month queried at least one powerful Democratic member of Congress if there was something legislatively that could be done to stop such self-interested donations to the Republican side. Not that the known liberal would limit any disagreeable freedom of speech rights. And not that the Democratic member of Congress is powerful anymore, given the new Republican House majority.

1) Making Keith Theodore Olbermann today's Ticket Worst Person in the World.

(UPDATE: Politico's Mike Allen reports in his Sunday Playbook that Olbermann was suspended because he refused to apologize on-air.)

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo: Getty Images (the personable Bill O'Reilly).

Comments () | Archives (140)

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I think it's disgusting that they have suspended the ONLY honest journalist in America (aside from Rachel Maddow). I'll never watch MSNBC again!

I think it's a stretch to compare more than 7 figures of donations by NewsCorp to republican groups to Olberman's personal donations to democratic candidates (all legal personal donations). Your job title should not keep you from enjoying the legal right to personally donate to a candidate. However, corporations are NOT PEOPLE and should not share the same rights and priveledges.

Personally, if we are going to treat NewsCorp like they're making personal donations, then we can just limit their donations to the personal maximum of $2,400.

Olberman is like erectile dysfunction!!

Keith Olbermann is one of the best commentators on air...
AND SO WHAT if he contributed???? Who cares? He's allowed!

i have been a loyal msnbc viewer and remember when Countdown, Hardball and Dan Abrams show (sorry, forgot the name) first came on the air. I have continued to be a loyal viewer. Now I watch The Ed Show. Rachel Maddow, and The Last Word too. BUT MY FAVORITE IS COUNTDOWN with Keith.

Since Keith is well known for his "rants" and has made his opinions clear, their argument is weak.

Until Keith is back, I wont be watching ANY MSNBC
maybe if the ratings tank, they will realize that he represents a lot of people's views.

I'm sure Keith will land on his feet, so it is really his audience that is going to suffer. If there is a petition to sign, a demonstration to attend, or anything else I can do, let me know. New York is only a 3 hour drive, and Keith is well worth the trip.

Who is the idiot who wrote this piece?

Bout time....what a wack job!

Trust me the fact that Olbermann was spanked by MSNBC is a good thing, if MSNBC disappeared tomorrow it would not bother me one little bit. However I don't agree that what Olbermann did was wrong. If it were a "news" or "unbiased report" then I would. It's a commentary and opinion. Not to mention openly biased. Who he wants to contribute to, or promote on his program is his business.

Keith O., never throw rocks in glass houses. I suspect that many on MSNBC including that left-wing Democratic loud-mouth Rachael Maddow probably contributed. Not that I have a problem with them giving money, but don't act like if you give money to Republicans that you are violating the law.

Crumble Crumble Crumble and self destruction will be inevitable. "Live by the Sword, Die by the Sword."
Keith Olbermann is the WORST PERSON that is such a hypocrit!!!
MSNBC needs to keep this a permanant decision and keep this VILE, name calling idiot with such disrespect of humanity and obviously grows BIG SOUR GRAPES and eats them to spew his hatred over the air nightly. I have some belief that the top of MSNBC still has a decent bone in thier body who ever made this decision. Good JOB and good riddence Keith!

Glad MSNBC finally woke up

Other than being a lifelong Yankee fan, I'm thrilled that his head will not be filling my screen during those brief interludes when I stop at MSNBC.

I've always been incensed at how he stole Ed Murrow's signature signoff of "Good night and good luck." Murrow doesn't have to turn over in his grave anymore.

Skipping the "Rule", I think MSNBC was wrong. ( trust me boys and girls don't like em), If Olbermann had hosted a "news" or "journalistic report" fine. He has an openly biased commentary and opinion program. There is no difference contributing to individual candidates or a PAC. I would prefer donating to the individual candidates.

a truly disgusting and not at all funny comment....

Have Rush Limbaugh, Hannity or O'Reilly made any similar donations?

I don't know the right or wrong of this but I Love Keith and I will support him anyway I can he is tne best.

Andrew is a bit misinformed about the reach of Keith and his counterparts at MSNBC. Thousands watch and listen since these talking head shows use actual facts and not the made up kind we see/hear on the unfair and unbalanced network. Check your facts first, Andrew. Not everyone is goofy enough to believe Rush and Glenn. Thanks for trying.

Rumor has it that Keith has been suspended. I certainly hope this is not true. He is my only level on this awful democracy.

Olbermann is a good guy. I hope they reinstate him quite soon. He did not give big money about as much or less than many ordinary journalists who are caring might. The suspension of Keith is a joke. Murdock gives millions. Many ordinary people give a few hundred or a couple of thousand. Fair enough. I hope they get him back on MSNBC many people I know enjoy him.

Olberman should have been fired a long time ago. He is a foul mouthed, smart mouth, no talent jerk that does not know how to spell creativity. Those are his good points! If he did not have Fox News and Republicans to criticize, he would not have had a show at all. I only switched from Fox during commercials so i could see how many mean and stupid things he would say.

If you truly think that this wasn't a calculated move by Olbermann and MSNBC, then you're even dumber than your post (or dumb as a post)

Wow! I didn't know the Los Angeles Times was such a reactionary news media. I guess it should not be a surprise they think that an individual donation of $7,200 is the same as a corporate donation of 2 million dollars. I guess when people can tell apart individuals from corporation this might happen. It looks like the right is fast tracking fascism in this country.

MSNBC should put Olbermann back on! Over 40k have already signed our petition.

This is disgusting. The only place in the media where you can learn the truth about the secret donors taking the representation away from us true Americans who care about anything but giving the wealthy even more money, is MSNBC and Keith Olberman. I have not seen any of the anonymous donors to our candidates who are supposed to represent us, not corporations and foreign interests. We need him to expose them to us. I, for one, will not be watching MSNBC in that hour until he returns.

Bring Keith Olbermann back, We have watched his intelligent program for many year, in fact this is one of the reason we have a cable network. If we can not have liberal views in this U.S. we are most to be pitied. I trust he will be back soon.

Sincerely Carol Jury

MSNBC has ethics??? Looks to me like they are using this as an excuse to pull the plug because of horrible ratings.

Comcast will take over soon and clean house. This it just the management trying to save their jobs before the takeover.

So is this way NBC handles their people who have a political opinion other than theirs,hell I might as well watch FOX network if NBC is going to stoop this low.

this was hilarious man, great work

Pretty bold coming from a completely irrelevant newspaper

It is outrageous that Keith Olbermann has been suspended. We will no longer watch anything on MSNBC if this is allowed to go on. We want Keith Olbermann BACK!!


Now just get rid of that Pig Chris Matthews. It would truly be a great day.

That's a start over at MSNBC. Soon other left wing loon commentators at MSNBC will be kicked to the curb. No ratings worth a crap on any of their broadcast of left wing hate.

I think suspending the best news reporter, Keith Olbermann indefinitely from MSNBC was a big mistake. I just don’t understand why a great news station like MSNBC would suspend a hard working honest man like Mr. Olbermann while crappy news anchors or TV talk show hosts like Glen Beck; Bill O’ Reilly; Hannity and Rush can distort the truth and rearrange the facts still maintain their position. You suspended a great man for giving a few bucks to 3 Democrats while our on U.S. Chamber of Commerce solicited money from foreign country on the behalf Republicans to run attack aids against the Democrats. It is hard to believe that any party would stoop so low just to win a seat. This action against our country is worst than any terrorist group. This is a treat to our democracy and a receipt for corruption. Some Americans are not stupid and know the payback is polices that will benefit foreign country and big corporation. If we stand by and let foreign country dictate our policies, we are in trouble. No limitations on big donations are a dangerous to our political system. Nothing is said about this critical issue but major headlines on a good man making a little donation. I use to have great faith in MSNBC news especially with Rachel, Ed, Cris and Keith because I knew I would be getting the facts, but to suspend the best for such a manor incident is ridiculous.

Rupert Murdock, the head of Fox News, is he an American citizen? How much did he really contribute? How many other foreign interests financed the Republican party election campaign?
Is Bill O'Reilly and Fox news a fair and balenced news program? What are you talking about? What is your criteria for determining that? Who finances You and your organization?

Mr. Malcolm, Is this your idea of a clever, snarky, oh so witty column???Olbermann fights for 'wacky political causes'? Well if you consider health care for all, objecting strenously to the dumbest, most unnecessary war in American history and a general sympatico for the voiceless and the little guy, then yes, I suppose the causes he champions are wacky.

As regards his influence, he has made a dramatic improvement in MSNBCs ratings. If they dont' match those of the Fixed Noise Channel, there is a simple explanation for that. Namely, there are far more semi illiterates out there who have a real hankering for the kind of trashy, grossly biased and just plain journalistically lousy 'reporting' that Fox offers. You don't think it's an accident that almost all of the bimbos who are on Fox appear as gum snapping tarts in short skirts.

If you don't see the difference between Keith making nominal personal donations to a candidate and the owner of Fox donating millions to right wing advocates, there is little I can do to convince you otherwise. Very few real journalists work for Fox and there's a damn good reason for it. Conversely, every 2 bit, right wing demagogue is sure to find a home there along with a healthy salary.


Our family and friends will boycott MSNBC for this new attack against the freedom to express ideas and beliefs.

No. Glenn Beck is still the worst person in the world. Today and every other day that he is on the air spewing his psycho right wing garbage.

3) The funniest part is the irony you try to convey is a ridiculous comparison. A private donation vs a unlimited corporate donation by Faux Newz who employs political candidates to further help their career.

PS. Olbermann Suspended worst persons on Monday.

Do some research........

Do not suspend Keith Oberman!!!!!!!!!!!!
He is the best news caster on all of TV

Dr R Boyd Carter

To MSMBC Mgm't

The news concerning Keith Obermann was long in coming. As a news organization your channel has become a laughing stock in presentation of political news and blame can be in large part to Mr. Obermann and his bias comments on the political right. Not far behind of course is Chris Matthews and his bias. It may be said that Fox has a leaning to the right but at least they offer disenting opinion by the hosts and their guests. Keith should have stayed in the sporting arena as he has knowledge in this area. Thankfully we will not have to see his face again on your channel.

Keith Olberman's pretextual suspension is prologue to what else?

Leave Keith Alone.

I would like to quote Nelson Muntz of the Simpsons and say to Keith "HaHa".

Wow. A openly liberal commentator backing up his on-air opinions with some personal donations. How shocking! Whatever is the world coming to?


The best thing that could have taken place just did, and your decision to fire Mr. Olbermann was correct. And not only for his contributions to a bias political cause but for his daily rant on Republicans and what they stand for. He has caused many otherwise patrons of your channel to switch to other news stations for objective viewpoints. And please let this be a lesson to Mr. Matthews who is also very bias in his reporting. With the midterm results, one can only wonder what your anchors can pontificate to upset more viewers.
Regards, ED G

"Wacky political causes"? Really?

You call factual political analysis with some satire added "wacky"?

I think what is more accurate is perhaps Comcast, now that it owns NBC, is thinking about buying the Los Angeles Times.

And Rupert Murdoch's Fox/NewsCorp is the largest contributor of content to Comcast.

Sean Hannity donated to a political candidate, and was taken off hosting a Tea Party event promoted by Fox as punishment. Should Hannity have been suspended indefinitely? Or should Fox have even been promoting anything remotely political?

Several presidential contenders, Republican, of course, are currently actively employed by Fox News and appear on air regularly. Fox routinely allows Republican candidates to fundraise on air.

Also, Chris Hayes said he is "not filling in on Countdown tonight because I didn't feel comfortable doing it given the circumstances."

The real issue is bringing back the Fairness Doctrine, and instituting publicly-funded elections, without radio or television advertisements.

Because the fact is, There is no counterpart for Obermann on the right, because the right does not do news. Instead they lie, report on the lie, then question and criticize the "lamestream media" on why it's not reporting the lie.

HE only disliked NEWS corp donating 1 million dollars because they claimed that they are not partisan. Plus 7,200 dollars from a person who is a news show anchor is quite different from a Million dollars coming from a broadcasting corporation.
I agree with some the people below the person who wrote this is an idiot. Maybe when Mr. Malcolm moves from, middle school to high school he will realize just how stupid this article is.

Good riddance to bad rubbish! Keith Overblownman is the cheekiest b@#tard on TV for no apparent reason. ESPN sent the stiff packing. Now he labors in obscurity on MSNBC along side the equally nauseating Rachel Madcow.

I cannot believe this. Who decided it was a crime to donate to any candidate? Who made this public? If this is related to Comcast in any way I will cancel my subscription at once. I really enjoy hearing both sides of an argument and only Keith can hold his own with Right Wing wackos.

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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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