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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 will do everything to convince everyone I know, my children their husbands their friends to simply boycott MSNBC if Keith is not brought back immediately. I vote for the firing of MSNBC President Phil Griffin!!! In a time when corporations both in this country and outside it can and did contribute to candidates with complete secrecy this actions smack of a telecommunication industry void any creditability. Maybe old Phil Griffin should apologies for the recent comment of Heidi Harris calling Senator Harry Reid a COCKROACH that's hard to kill!! Your network smacks of Extreme Anti-semitism and viewers are beginning to questions the fairness of your news reporting.

Good riddance to bad rubbish! Just another cheeky SOB that couldn't keep his mouth shut. He should have been fired for his reports on President Bush.

Wha, Wha, Wha. You people really don't get it do you. Oberman works for a company who pays him alot of money. I'm sure he knew his company's policy. He broke the policy and was disciplined for that breach. It's got to be Bush and Palin's fault!

Couldn't have happened to a more worthless tool...finally

MSNBC has really gone too far. Keith Olbermann is the best thing they have going. They are crazy if they think MSNBC viewers want Keith gone because he donated to candidates he believes in. They should have their heads examined.

What is a Keith Olbermann? MSNBC is still on the air. Last time I check the Neilsen ratings, they had about 17 viewers (probably Rachel M family).

NBC employees and union representatives, run, don't walk to your nearest labor law class action lawyer. NBC's policies, under which Keith Olbermann has been punished, are not only illegal in California, they are classified as a crime.

There are at least 5 NBC controlled companies presently doing business in California, including NBC News Bureaus, Inc., NBC Studios, Inc. and NBC Universal, Inc. In obtaining authorization from the California Secretary of State to do business in California, NBC consented to being bound by California law.

California's Labor Code is very explicit that NBC's policies and practices are flat out illegal:

"1101. No employer shall make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or policy:

(a) Forbidding or preventing employees from engaging or participating in politics or from becoming candidates for public office.

(b) Controlling or directing, or tending to control or direct the political activities or affiliations of employees.

1102. No employer shall coerce or influence or attempt to coerce or
influence his employees through or by means of threat of discharge or loss of employment to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting or following any particular course or line of political action or political activity.

1103. Any employer who violates this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable, in the case of an individual, by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year or a fine of not to exceed $1,000 or both and, in the case of a corporation, by a fine of not to exceed $5,000."

From an employer's point of view, the Labor Code also has a particularly brutal "Public Attorney General Law" which allows even just one NBC employee to bring a lawsuit against NBC, and obtain an injunction, damages and attorneys fees and costs against the company.

The California appellate courts have said that your political free speech rights or First Amendment Rights cannot be qualified or bargained away as a condition of your employment.

He must know what he is doing?.....7200 is petty to risk such a great risk......he knows the rule.....he knows the laws......duh!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jennifer, Appreciate the research into labor laws but that has nothing to do with the "Keithster". HIS RATINGS S**K. JUST AN EXCUSE TO GET RID OF HIS LOUD MOUTH. The Majority of Americans DO NOT agree with his rants and he does not have the talent to convey his message in an respectful manner. If he did, perhaps he would have had more viewers (like 19 or 20)

I support Keith Olbermann. Thank you.

You mean Olbermann got fired for giving a candidate $2500 dollars. Wow, if your policy is we can't give to a candidate, or have a polictial party, or even favor one over the other, we are a sad organization. I don't see the problem. But Olber needs his own show. Someone please hire him.

Keith Olbermann is a scumbag

I very much enjoy Keith's show. Fox (faux) News is blocked on my TV. A good website to

MSNBC has lost one of the best commentator. Keith is a man of integrity and stood for what believe in. I am going to miss him more than I would miss MSNBC.

Rules are rules. FOX playes by their own rules.

This dude has been dead meat in the ratings for several years. They were just looking for a reason to dump him and this was seen as their chance. Would have been way easier just to dump the poor b**tard!! He is just a babbling blowhard like Rush.. but Rush gets better ratings..

maybe MSNBC need to grows some balls like fox I hate to say news maybe we would have done better in the midterm election see they don't mine not playing by the rules maybe MSNBC need more people like keith olbermann.

This just confirms what a lot of Americans think about Keith Olbermann, he plays by his own set of rules. A Classic Hypocrit who bends the truth with is share arrogance!!!
Why this man is on TV is beyond me. He is the vessel of hate and division in our country!!!

As he puts it so many times at the end of his diatribes

VICTORY IS OURS, you are off the air LOSER!

If only Keith had been a corporation he would have never been found out. Doesn't that hit anybody as sort of ironic? He need to be contrite for the moment, but bring this point up. He should simply crawl a little and say he understands MSNBC's point, and will be very careful to put any future contributions into a black box PAC, and then make an apology. There is a time to preen and a time to crawl. This way both MSNBC and Keith could both make their point and move on. I realize his left-wing rants are often unfair, but I really do enjoy them, and I want him back.

Does Beck-Rush-Hannity or OReilly have any liberals on their show like Bill Mahr does? Or Chris Mathews or Ratchel Maddow or KEITH did--Maybe Orielly did--the others are COWARDLY liars! Just in it for the millions that they make-they should all be put to the curb! Along with Murdoch!

This Andrew Malcom guy is a total IDIOT!


Folks he is not a journalist. He is an opinion commentator. Very liberal one. If its in his contract that he cant contribute. Then guess what he cant contribute. I am an independant and I cannot stand the one sided trash that comes out of his mouth. Not every democrate is great and every republican a stupid idoit. He didnt add anything to MSNBC

He knew the rules and he made his choice. Good riddance. By the way, I love the tone of this article. If you're gonna gloat, might as well make it count!

Faux News. What hypocritical lying nut cases.

What a fitting action for the biased, bigoted, bloviating big mouth, Keith Olbermann. He now has been reduced to the hypocrite he always was. His lowest rankings of anyone on cable TV seemed to make him a more hateful paranoid than he normally was and now the final straw with his own failing network. One would think, with the tremendous success of Fox News and its' brilliant and beautiful on air personalities, that MSNBC would get a clue with its' hateful, biased and irritating show hosts: Mathews, Olbermann and man-woman Rachel Maddow. All of them do nothing but smear, criticize and try to demean Fox, Republicans and conservative personalities each and every night. Hate only goes so far.

Keith Olberman and his co-horts on MSNBC are journalists 1st, commentators 2nd. Meaning they present Facts, then give opinions on the facts! Rush Limbaugh will tell you himself, he's not a journalist; therefore, he need have no Journalistic Integrity in regards to the content of his show. He & other Fox 'news" hosts present their opinions (and theories built on those opinions) as fact. The two are not one in the same.

Having said that, rules are rules (even short sighted ones). Keith broke the rules of his employer, and like the stand up individual he is, he accepts responsibility for his violation. However, to compare what he's done to how Fox News refers to itself as a "Fair & Balanced" News organization that in reality is a 24/7 GOP telethon, is quite a stretch. His meek $7200 doesn't even begin to counterbalance the millions of undisclosed donations to Republicans from major corporations and foreign interests. To consider Keith's offerings to 3 politicians as one in the same with how The Right Wing is buying and selling America makes the writer of this article, Andrew Malcolm, the Worst Person In The World!!! Don't worry Andrew, your pals (Glenn, Rush, Sean, Bill, etc) will reclaim their spots and push you back into obscurity in no time.

Left wing whackos? After Fox absolutely unAmerican barking moonbat stuff? And sauce for the gander? Why does MSNBC need to be ethical when Fox, O'Really, Hannity and other America-haters get to be unabashedly anti-American, even to donating $1M to the America-bashers? Gimme a break, Malcolm: somebody as morally challenged as yourself should not be commenting on ethics.

Olbermann is a selfserving idiot. It's time for NBC to fire him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Keith sure has earned the award just bestowed on him by the sagacious Mr.
Malcolm.I think MSNBC are just playing the suckers again and of course
they will shortly reinstate the hysterical one .Olberman is such a consolation
prize for all the depressed lefty lunatic fringe.

The lefty loosers just got an earfull and will get their walking papers for at leasr
a generation in 2012.

this suspension is a farce he'll be back because this is nothing but a ratings ploy by this joke of a network

Who is the bozo who wrote this "political commentary"? He called Bill O'Reilly "sauve". Yeah, right. And how much did Andrew Malcolm donate to right-wing causes???

Olberman should not have been suspended. MSNBC makes Fox look like a moderate network. MSNBC executives know good and well that Olberman, Schultz, Maddow, O'Donnell, Matthews, etc., are extremist Progressives who spew hate and venom at anyone or any issue that is not extreme Progressive in nature. The network fully supports them, knowing that they are not journalists, but political pundits who provide hours of free air time daily for Democrats and their causes. Those free hours of advertisement are of much more monetary value than the small contributions made by Olberman. Olberman's suspension was extremely hypocritical.

It is highly probable that this was nothing more than a publicity stunt in an attempt to build MSNBC's poor ratings. Controversy draws interest. People watch train wrecks more than they watch one being stopped.

Why doesn't everybody grow up, petty, petty, petty.

This man will not be missed......if MSNBC would do more house cleaning it would help them. Chris Matthews was so disrespectful Tuesday night to Michelle Bachmann.......she was just excited as she should have been, but she had a great come back for him.

I am glad that Olbermann's suspension has ended. Now I can go back to not watching him just as I have been not watching him since he was the goofy local sports guy. No Vic the Brick, relax, I'm not talking about you.

Talk about the mouse that roared.....Now that MSNBC has reversed their suspension of Olbermann, everyone can go back to ignoring him again and his ratings can go back into the toilet.

No one cares about him or his "precious" opinions which are nothing more than agitprop for the deluded left.

It is so laughable that the left has their knickers in a knot over this goof, Olberman.
No, he is NOT a news anchor. His show is 'Opinion' and opinion only.
But either a news anchor or a talking head with an opinion has signed a contract stating they will not do certain things at MSNBC.
One of those things they signed off on was that they will NOT make political contributions to any politician, political organization or entity.
Olberman violated the rules HE SIGNED off on stating he would not do that sort of thing.
MSNBC had no other recourse but to suspend him. Olberman is not special or above any other employee of MSNBC.
And that is all he is, an employee. He is not special, he does not have 'god-like' powers (if he did he would make his ratings higher other than being in the tank) and he thought he could get away with it.
He found out differently. Face it, he broke a signed contract which he agreed to.
And for those of you that think that Fox News should also fire Hannity, or Beck, or O'Reilly, or whoever you hate right now, because Olberman was suspended have some serious issues.
Fox News and MSNBC are two different companies. Owned by two different entities. ONE DOES NOT APPLY TO THE OTHER!
If Olberman worked for Fox News then he would not have been suspended because Fox News has a different policy than MSNBC does. However, Olberman working for Fox News is also laughable.
Fox News employ people from all political ideals, left, right, Conservative, liberal, Republican or democrat.
Unfortunately, MSNBC deems it best to employ only people with a left-wing bent. Also unfortunately, they cannot see that this is an error, looking at their last place ratings with them at last, CNN second, and Fox News on top of them all.
As much as three times the ratings, more, depending on who goes up against who.
O'Reilly has been on top, for what? A decade... Olberman has consistently been on the bottom, no matter which network he worked for. ESPN anybody?
C'mon lefties, didn't the mid-term elections teach you anything?
Your party has controlled the House since 2006 and controlled all three since 2008. Look where that got you.
oops... Tanked again.
Wake up, look around. Learn something.
Let the flaming begin. Oh, try and write a coherent sentence so we can understand what you are writing. Use a spell checker, too. Hard to understand when you can't spell or string a sentence together properly.

Amazing... the repukes are out in force on this site. They hate the TRUTH... it scares them. Of course, to them, GOD is truth. A story MADE UP thousands of years ago... yes 2,000 years ago is thousandS you moron repukes. More than one. Shame that I MUST explain that to the morons. Anyhow... sick people. Keith is an inspiration who believes in freedom of speech... of course, it's perfectly fine and awesome that Glenn Beck spews his VENOM on air daily, but when a dem does it, it's not good, whackjob material to them. STFU and die repukes... really. Vat of mercury.

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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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