Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

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

Left-wing wackos click here to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Right-wing nutjobs click here for the same thing. Or follow us @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available here on Kindle now.

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

Comments () | Archives (140)

The comments to this entry are closed.

What crap!! Olbermann is somebodys scapegoat if the stupid story is correct.The media has this problem of trying to be "first" to report to boost their egos. How much publicity would this generate if he donated(legally I might add) to the republicans or to tea party people?? Olbermann is a good journalist. He is actually one of the few I watch. I put his honesty up ther with Anderson Cooper and Rachel Maddow.

Ha! I love the sweet picture of Bill and then the one of Keith with a crazed look on his face...pretty much sums up the nature of the 2 shows!

Keith Olbermann is hardly the worst person in the world for donating to political candidates whom he believes in. He donated modest amounts, and he is not a corporation or business. He is a real person. NBC violated his civil rights which includes the right to support the candidates he believes in, and further violated his civil rights by suspending him for a non job related legal act. NBC overreached its authority as an employer by dictating to any of its employees that they cannot donate to political candidates, and disrupted the entire electoral process by which candidates are able to mount campaigns. This is the worst and most egregious example of businesses dominating and invading the personal rights and civil rights of its employees by firing them for expressing their political views off the job in the form of donations to campaigns. The worst person of the world award goes to the CEO of NBC, who ought to be boiled in oil, and tied to a dunking stool and dipped in a well to see if he floats. If he does, he's a witch, and deserved to be burned at the stake, and if he drowns, he isn't worth saving. Either way, NBC stinks and should be disbanded and its assets distributed to all of its downtrodden serfs er, excuse me, employees! Feudalism stinks!

Keith Olberman for President! Keith take a vacation, If anyone approaches you about a job, get their $number then triple it and send it back.. You are the best host of any "Prime Time" show.. Definately worth more than a Charlie Sheen.. Ask for more, ALOT MORE! I suggest Surfing in Southern California it was 99 degrees in my frisbee golf game today. Rachel Moves to number 2 behind Chris Mathews.. Hasn't the next presidential election started? They need help! MSNBC Seriously?

Wonderful news to start the weekend! Thank you MSNBC. I have always found him to be completely over the top and irrational, not willing to even listen to another viewpoint other than his own. At least some of the other hosts will acknowledge common ground where there is some, but never Keith. To me, that represents a serious character flaw of his, especially in an on-air anchor.

Stupid, stupid, stupid!! The two best people at MSNBC are Keith and Chris! If these two go, than I go--completely--to CNN!

What kind of upper management have you got there? So what if he supported 3 of his choices? It had NOTHING to do with him doing his evening shows! Get real!!!

I can not believe that Keith Olbermann was suspended, his show is one of the best ones on msnbc he is very intelligent he tells the truth about subject matters he holds Republicans to the truth. Msnbc has really made a big mistake by suspending him, since when does a big corporation get to dictate what we do in our personal lives? What are you going to take away his voting rights next? "Unbelievable" BRING HIM BACK BEFORE YOU LOSE A MAJOR PART OF YOUR LISTENING AUDIENCE!

Guthrie - good, join the club. No one was watching anyway, and were also never planning to watch ever again.

Come on people. he was not fired for contributions. His ratings were falling (behind maddow it appears) and he made a fool of the network on election night, for which nbc was heavily and publicly criticized. This was just an excuse. We all know if msnbc wanted to keep him, they would have overlooked the infraction.

The truth is the right wing media can not dispute the truth. Keith, Rachael and Lawrence deal in facts and not propaganda or made up stories and some say comments that Fox and all the other Corporate owned media uses.There are currently over 1000 right wing radio blabbers plus cable and network TV owned and operated by 5 corporate media companies. Now, who interest do you think they have in mind. they have inter locking board members that control what we hear and see this includes MSNBC. MSNBC channel has right leaning programming period. Just listen to their other programs.
GE is one of the largest defense contractors in the World, along with the BUSH Family Carlyle Group and could not stand to befriend their corporate buddies.
The American People need to split up these corporations using the FCC Rules that are in place.

"You control the Media you control the People"

You can see it by this past 12 years elections results. "Wake up People before its to late."
Please research the facts on what you hear and see especially from FOX,Radio and TV (This is a republican right wing propaganda machine)

Liberal and proud

Let me see if I have this right. The Mainstream/Liberal News Station, MSNBC, made their own rule that certain employees are not allowed to donate. That's THEIR rule. So, THEY suspended him. No one anywhere says KO did anything illegal. And yet, all you Left Wing Liberals are somehow blaming the right for this. Amazing. FOX apparently doesn't have that RULE. So Mr. Murdoch can do what he wants under the laws, and so can Beck, or whoever... So long as they don't work for MSNBC.

MSNBC I thought you were about Leaning Forward - instead you took two steps back. So much for the truth. Will you be selling the network to Roger Ailes soon?

What an appauling state of affairs when a person is suspeneded from their job for making a politcal donation from the own funds !!!
I find it hard to believe this of MSNBC who I had judged to be one of the finest networks to balance the awful FOX - Keith certainly being its star.
If Murdoch can donate several $million dollars of his SHAREHOLDERS funds to a political party - why should Keith be suspended for the small donation from his OWN funds.
This action makes MSNBC look very much like its selling out its viewers.


MSNBC is out for me. Keith was the only good thing going for them.

I will return to this cable program until Keith returns.

You sure it didn't have something to do with his horrible halitosis? Diarrhea of the mouth is a horrible disease, cured by some soap and water.

Will not watch MSNBC until Keith returns

come on, people. this is another publicity stunt, just like juan williams (btw, NPR MADE OUT that week), the charlie sheen "episode," and bristol palin on dancing with the stars. jon stewart is right: why try to out fox Fox? why stoop to their level? what's great about this is Fox are the only people NOT reporting the story. why? because the whole right wing echo chamber has a pact not to mention he whose name we do not speak. AND all it does is point the finger back at Fox! because we know they have no scruples about their political pandering and manipulation of the sheeple.

So let us listen to the modern reincarnation of Joseph Gobbels: Fox News. Why everyone else is just crazy, right. Where are the weapons of mass destruction ? ( 50 plus year old retired Marines I know still insist they will show up eventually). Yea, right along with the death panels that should be showing up right now with the passage of the health care bill. Where are they? Oh, yea sometime in the future you'll see.... Keith is passionate, yes. But he is a cool breeze in the face of neo-facist, corporately controlled puppets, who pass themselves off as a "news" network. You creeps in the "TEA" Party, i paritally admire for the stocism you will need as the established corporate after the election put it up....


Spoken like a true Republican

You folks that will stop watching MSLSD because this moron got booted will begin to grow a little bit smarter and become independent thinkers almost immediately.

Is it any wonder that Al Qeada Keith got the boot? I mean Really! now that Comcast now owns CNBC, they are not about to let this shill ruin their newly acquired investment and take a hit on subscriber viewer-ship. I mean Really!

Fox News is kicking NBC, CNN, CNBC, CBS, ABC right in the $$ where it hurts and it will continue doing so for many years to come. I mean Really!

Chris Hackthews is next mark my words. Rachel Shallow's liberal ass is soon to follow and will be clearing her desk anytime now. I mean Really!

Bottom-line is Comcast is the new Sheriff in town and is going to come a gunning' to go do battle with ole Foxy.

Good luck and good riddance! I mean Really!

P.S. Jerry Brown is a perfect fit for you there in Potifornia..Really.

chris mathews is in the same league as olberman. I only pause to watch for a few minutes when I want a good laugh and then continue to click on. The chap who is replacing olberman tonight is good. I've actually had the station on for about 10 minutes. I hope you keep him.
I'm definitely in favour of arizona and other states in their fight.

MSNBC should reinstate Keith Oblbermann. Keith made those contributions as citizen participating in His democratic right as an American. It is very unfortunate that an employer has that much power over an individal. With Keith Olberman gone Msnbc has too it's most far reaching program from their telecast day or night.

Chris Hayes declined to do Countdown due to respect for Keith.

Just like the person that wrote this article, it is obvious that Keith is not close to being an "impartial" journalist.

A blog at crooksandliars:

"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."

That language clearly says "should" and not "must". Further, anyone who thinks Keith Olbermann is an impartial journalist should have their head examined. He's not, never has been, never will be, and is not presented as one."


What is all of this about? Why can't a man donate, as a private citizen, to a campaign? He wasn't doing it in the name of the station. He didn't do anything wrong. Please bring him back. He makes sense.

How in the world can you compare a News Channel's 2 million dollar donations to Right Wing organizations to a commentator's donation that is under 10K.

Worst Person in the world is MSNBC.
Andrew Malcolm is #2

Why is this not the headline on Yahoo? I found out from emails today. I'll not be watching MSNBC until he comes back. Interesting that known criminals win elections, but an honest human being like Keith must be done away with. This is our country, this 3rd World USA.

Kaith is so one sided--fire that non-fair and balanced bimbo
go yanks

You needed to take a break a long time ago


I will not watch MSNBC until this gentleman returns. His is the one program I enjoy and i am very disappointed on his night off. I know he needs time off but i do not like it.


Good to see how the "liberal media" republicans are constantly whining about is so "liberal."

The LA Times, newspaper of one the most liberal cities in this nation, is printing an article by this nimrod Malcolm defining nutjob Bill O'Reilly as a "suave, savvy and prescient fellow" and calling the GOP's unofficial propaganda headquarters, Fox News channel, a "fair and balanced network."

Indeed, the media is so liberal.

Great going MSNBC! First, David Shuster and now Keith Olbermann?
You have Morning Joe with the fake Democrats and right winger Pat Buchanon and that's not offensive?
Bring back Keith Olbermann and David Shuster.

Either put Keith back on or we're not watching MSNBS anymore!

This is what I call double standards in the extreme. What about all of the contributions that FOX NEWS and Rupert Murdock made to the GOP or the US Department of Commerce? Tell me that Hannity and Lush Limbaugh didn't donate at least 10 times the amount that Kieth contributed. MSNBC has lost all of my family and friends who watch or use to watch their shows.

This is disgusting.they have suspended the ONLY honest journalist in America (aside from Rachel Maddow,Hardball, and the Last Word) 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. Shame On You MSNBC

I will support Keith wherever he goes. I watched FOX news briefly until I became wise to the fact that they research nothing. I discovered Keith and Rachael Maddow and have been impressed that I actually hear the truth on TV!! I am devaststed that this is even an issue. I will continue to support Rachel but maybe not so much MSNBC.

For the approximately 20 of you who commented on this post that you will never watch MSNBC again because of the Olbermann suspension, this is really, really sad.

That would mean that MSNBC just lost over 25% of its viewership.

Okay its my favorite comment that someone actually thinks ol' Keith is honest. He is the worst possible excuse for a journalist - and the thing is folks, and get this - its not too hard to understand: journalists are supposed to maintain a sense of impartiality..I know, we are all just so jaded - used the media treating every liberal like they were king of kenya and every conservative like they were the nutjob of the century but in fact - people who present news programs should not make personal political contributions because it does hamper their ability to be impartial. Keith knew the rules but like most liberals, he doesn't feel the rules apply to him - BIG NEWS!

MSNBC should be sued, Keith Theodore Olbermann is a US Citizen therefore, he should be able to donate money to whoever he wants. Not only that,their is no one at MSNBC who can fill Keith Olbermann's shoes.

Andrew: We all know who Keith is...but, who are you? I don't seem to remember. Nice rant though.

very sad, but I hope he gets to come back, they will not find anyone as good as Keith; so they would be losing big time!

What a great week for America. First, congress gets cleaned up by kicking out liberal idiots and now television gets cleaned up too.

"I have never been as proud of America as I am today!"


Andrew Malcolm,

I can't figure out how ironic you are being, as your sarcasm is neither saccharine nor clever. Keith O. probably shouldn't give donations, as he should remain fiscally detached, but he isn't a left-wing wacko; he is a man of honor who in no way should be compared to the vassal-heirs to the corporate feudalists over at Fox.

I can't see where donating to a preferred personal candidate should be grounds for MSNBC firing Keith Olbermann. However, I guess if this is the rule at MSNBC that is that. That said, when will the FOX news media and the morons like them be thrown off the air because of their lies. Their influence is a far greater threat to our democracy than donating to a personal perferred candidate. The low information voters take their lies as truth. When will the news media come to their senses and make the news networks and radio broadcasts tell the truth or face consequences.

LOL. He's a pundit, not a journalist ( except in his own mind). MSMBC has lost all credibility as a news organization, and are now eating their young. I hope they choke as they croak.

OMG....One of the only HONEST...DOWN RIGHT PERSONS in the media today.....SHAME ON YOU MSNBC!!!!!!!

This is almost sadder than the recent mid term election. I'm sad beyond belief. Keith Olbermann's hour on MSNBC is my all time favorite. I was really missing his WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD, but I had no idea that his actual show was in jeopardy.

Talk about right wing domination of all forms of news. When are middle class Americans going to wake up?

And when is President Obama going to stop being a milk toast (I don't know how to spell "whoose?")


Why was Bill O'reilly even mentioned in this article? What a biased report!

TXLago Are you related to Bill O'Reilly? or are you O'Reilly himself?

It's not surprising that good people like Keith and Rachel are attacked by the ignorance on the right. They stand up for what is true and good about our society. Many people can't handle the truth and msnbc stands for it through its wonderful commentators. Keith deserves to be brought back and msnbc needs to value its employees who contribute to their success. I hear people attacking Keith and Rachel for their alleged, Mouthy-ness, the pot calling the kettle black so to speak. You should be ashamed bc you don't hear them on here bashing your ignorant rhetoric, or ability to spell. Who is the bigger person here, not you nor I? Keith and Rachel are of interest to so many of us because of their personalities and intelligence. They will forget more in their lifetime than we will ever know. They deserve their jobs for that and they deserve to be respected as well. Bullies only attack bc of inferiority in their own petty little lives. We criticise what we don't understand intellectually.

« | 1 2 3 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

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.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: