MSNBC has suspended prime-time host Keith Olbermann indefinitely without pay… Olbermann contributed to the campaigns of three Democratic candidates this fall, including one on the same day he appeared on Olbermann's "Countdown" program. Olbermann is MSNBC's highest-rated personality and the linchpin of its move to a prime time show of liberal viewpoints. He was one of the network's anchors for election day coverage this week.
"I became aware of Keith's political contributions late last night. Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay," MSNBC president Phil Griffin said in a statement…While NBC News policy does not prohibit employees from donating to political candidates, it requires them to obtain prior approval from NBC News executives before doing so…. In a statement earlier Friday, Olbermann defended his donation, saying, "I did not privately or publicly encourage anyone else 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.
Needless to say, none of this makes any kind of sense in the midst of MSNBC's very recent splashy -- and surely expensive? -- "LEAN FORWARD" re-branding campaign, casting itself explicitly as the progressive alternative to Fox everybody already thinks of it as being, and it is especially senseless given that campaign donations are not even prohibited by network policy and we are living in a world in which Fox gleefully flings millions upon millions of dollars at Republican campaigns. And Atrios has already documented here the many substantial campaign donations made, unnoticed and without consequence, by Olbermann's, er, "colleague," MSNBC contributor (and also white racist, fascist gasbag, anti-gay bigot, and patriarchal prick) Pat Buchanan.
Of course, everything here becomes perfectly clear when you realize that Olbermann is not being fired, just pointlessly punished, and this is all just about Phil Griffin being a typical asshole scratching around the rooster pen and asserting his dumb dominance of MSNBC, which is, whatever else it is, a typical corporation in our crappy corporate world.
Griffin's statement underscores that it was Olbermann's failure to obtain approval, and not the actual political donations, that prompted the suspension…. "Keith doesn't run the show," Griffin told New York Magazine recently…. In recent months, Griffin has taken several bold steps to declare his authority over the network and its sometimes unruly talent: he… banned Markos Moulitsas from the network, and reprimanded Ed Schultz for threatening to "torch" the network.
Marvelous. If you would like to provide MSNBC with helpful feedback in this moment of suicidal stupidity authored by an infantile greedhead, by all means contact them right here.