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Suppressed Knowledge => Media Matters => Topic started by: Byron on November 06, 2010, 01:39:40 am



Title: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Byron on November 06, 2010, 01:39:40 am
Danny Shea
danny@huffingtonpost.com | HuffPost Reporting
      
Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay

First Posted: 11- 5-10 01:42 PM   |   Updated: 11- 5-10 04:55 PM

(http://i.huffpost.com/gen/192665/thumbs/s-KEITH-OLBERMANN-large.jpg)

MSNBC has suspended star anchor Keith Olbermann following the news that he had donated to three Democratic candidates this election cycle.

"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.

Politico reported Friday that Olbermann had donated $2,400 each to Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, and to Kentucky Senate contender Jack Conway. 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."

Griffin's statement underscores that it was Olbermann's failure to obtain approval, and not the actual political donations, that prompted the suspension.

The move is doubly significant in that it represents a major development in the relationship between Griffin and Olbermann, who once told the New Yorker, "Phil thinks he's my boss."

"Keith doesn't run the show," Griffin told New York Magazine recently. "I do a lot of things he doesn't like. I do a lot of things he does."


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Danny Shea
Danny Shea
danny@huffingtonpost.com | HuffPost Reporting
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Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay

First Posted: 11- 5-10 01:42 PM   |   Updated: 11- 5-10 04:55 PM
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MSNBC has suspended star anchor Keith Olbermann following the news that he had donated to three Democratic candidates this election cycle.

"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.

Politico reported Friday that Olbermann had donated $2,400 each to Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, and to Kentucky Senate contender Jack Conway. 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."

Griffin's statement underscores that it was Olbermann's failure to obtain approval, and not the actual political donations, that prompted the suspension.

The move is doubly significant in that it represents a major development in the relationship between Griffin and Olbermann, who once told the New Yorker, "Phil thinks he's my boss."

"Keith doesn't run the show," Griffin told New York Magazine recently. "I do a lot of things he doesn't like. I do a lot of things he does."
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In recent months, Griffin has taken several bold steps to declare his authority over the network and its sometimes unruly talent: he sent a stern memo warning hosts to not publicly fight with each other, he suspended David Shuster indefinitely for filming a CNN pilot, suspended Donny Deutsch, banned Markos Moulitsas from the network, and reprimanded Ed Schultz for threatening to "torch" the network.

The New York Times' Brian Stelter and Bill Carter report that, according to one NBC executive, Friday's suspension is "not a step toward firing" Olbermann, though a source also told the New York Observer that there was "no time frame" for Olbermann's potential return. The Nation's Chris Hayes will host "Countdown" Friday night, the network said (according to a tweet from Yahoo's Michael Calderone). (UPDATE: Stelter later tweeted that Hayes will not host Friday's show after all. MSNBC has not announced who would be replacing him.)


Title: Re: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Byron on November 06, 2010, 01:41:25 am
Chris Hayes: Why I'm Not Filling In On Olbermann
11/05/10 18:06:39


MSNBC contributor Chris Hayes, who regularly fills in for primetime MSNBC hosts, said on Twitter that he's not subbing for Keith Olbermann tonight as originally planned.


(http://a0.twimg.com/profile_images/1107169548/image_normal.jpg)

Here's the tweet:
chrislhayes twitter profile image
news broken on twitter via @chrislhayes...
OK: I'm not filling in on Countdown tonight because I didn't feel comfortable doing it given the circumstances.


Title: Re: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Byron on November 06, 2010, 01:43:08 am
Adam Green

Co-founder, Progressive Change Campaign Committee
Posted: November 5, 2010 06:25 PM

      
150,000 sign petition for Olbermann


As Danny Shea, Sam Stein, and others are well documenting, Keith Olbermann's suspension is getting a ton of attention. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is organizing the public to do something about it. In just a few hours, 50,000, 75,000, 100,000, 150,000 MSNBC viewers signed our petition saying:

    "Keith Olbermann made your network a success. If you want your viewers to keep tuning in to MSNBC, put Keith back on TV now!" Sign here - keep the momentum going!

Literally thousands of people have shared the petition on Facebook and Twitter, including Michael Moore who Tweeted, "Sign this emergency petition to @msnbc to put @KeithOlbermann back on the air." The petition's now on Reddit too.

In our email to PCCC members announcing the petition, we pointed out the irony of this move -- given this week's election:

    The Democratic Party sadly saw this week what happens when you alienate your base. Tell MSNBC that if they want to keep their viewers, they must put Keith back on the air NOW!

This is a no-brainer. Keith was one of the only people speaking truth to power for years -- and we need to speak truth to power now, for him. Sign the petition today -- then tell your friends.

(https://s3.amazonaws.com/s3.boldprogressives.org/images/komsnbc5.jpg)
 

Follow Adam Green on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Adamgreenonline


Title: Re: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Byron on November 06, 2010, 01:44:19 am
Petition: Put Olbermann Back On The Air NOW!

http://act.boldprogressives.org/cms/thanks/petition_olbermann?action_id=5142148&akid=.772625.TibXOl&rd=1

Thanks for signing!


Title: Re: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Byron on November 06, 2010, 01:57:55 am
Want to contact Olbermann's boss?

212-664-4444

phil.griff­in@nbcuni.­com


Email for Phil Griffin's bosses:

steve.capu­s@nbcuni.c­om (President, NBC News)

jeremy.gai­nes@msnbc.­com (MSNBC VP of communications)


Complain! 



Title: Re: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Trina Demario on November 06, 2010, 06:01:38 pm
Eliot Spitzer: Olbermann Suspension 'Ridiculous' (VIDEO)

Jack Mirkinson First Posted: 11- 6-10 10:12 AM   |   Updated: 11- 6-10 01:13 PM

(http://i.huffpost.com/gen/216505/thumbs/s-PARKERSPITZER-large.jpg)

On Friday's "Parker Spitzer," CNN's Eliot Spitzer became the latest in a long line of critics to blast MSNBC's decision to suspend Keith Olbermann indefinitely in the wake of his campaign donations to three Democratic candidates.

Spitzer raised the issue during the "Political Party" segment of the show. Before he gave his opinion, his co-host Kathleen Parker asked if Olbermann's suspension wasn't a simple and clear-cut violation of NBC's rules, which require its employees to get prior approval of any political contributions.

"As a journalist, I would never do this but also the policy is clear and if that's the policy, that's the policy," Parker said. "End of story, right?"

Spitzer said that, while that reading of the situation was technically true, the "big question" for him was that "it's a silly policy...it is ridiculous to believe that MSNBC any more than FOX is impartial."

WATCH:

He went on to say that there was a "ridiculous false line that's being drawn in the sand and I don't buy it for a second. He is partial. He is a partisan. He made it very clear he was. That's the First Amendment."

The National Review's Will Cain, who was a guest on the show, said that, while he agreed with Spitzer about the unjust nature of the suspension, he wondered why Olbermann felt the need to make a monetary contribution at all, given that the air time he lent to liberal candidates and causes probably led to far greater donations than the ones he gave.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/11/06/eliot-spitzer-olbermann-suspension_n_779890.html


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Eliot Spitzer: Olbermann Suspension 'Ridiculous' (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post   |  Jack Mirkinson First Posted: 11- 6-10 10:12 AM   |   Updated: 11- 6-10 01:13 PM
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On Friday's "Parker Spitzer," CNN's Eliot Spitzer became the latest in a long line of critics to blast MSNBC's decision to suspend Keith Olbermann indefinitely in the wake of his campaign donations to three Democratic candidates.

Spitzer raised the issue during the "Political Party" segment of the show. Before he gave his opinion, his co-host Kathleen Parker asked if Olbermann's suspension wasn't a simple and clear-cut violation of NBC's rules, which require its employees to get prior approval of any political contributions.

"As a journalist, I would never do this but also the policy is clear and if that's the policy, that's the policy," Parker said. "End of story, right?"

Spitzer said that, while that reading of the situation was technically true, the "big question" for him was that "it's a silly policy...it is ridiculous to believe that MSNBC any more than FOX is impartial."

WATCH:

He went on to say that there was a "ridiculous false line that's being drawn in the sand and I don't buy it for a second. He is partial. He is a partisan. He made it very clear he was. That's the First Amendment."

The National Review's Will Cain, who was a guest on the show, said that, while he agreed with Spitzer about the unjust nature of the suspension, he wondered why Olbermann felt the need to make a monetary contribution at all, given that the air time he lent to liberal candidates and causes probably led to far greater donations than the ones he gave.
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"Will, you're exactly right." Spitzer replied. "You know what? And that was true for Rupert Murdoch's contribution through News Corp. He gave millions of dollars to the Republican Party. It cost him a lot more in credibility."

Besides Spitzer, a string of journalists and pundits on all sides of the political spectrum have criticized MSNBC for suspending Olbermann. Senator Bernie Sanders also released a statement in support of the "Countdown" host, and on her Friday show, Rachel Maddow called for the suspension to be lifted.


Title: Re: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Trina Demario on November 06, 2010, 06:03:22 pm
Take a look at this article.

Can you say hypocrisy?

http://www­.examiner.­com/politi­cal-buzz-i­n-washingt­on-dc/msnb­c-s-owners­-give-mill­ions-polit­ical-contr­ibutions


Title: Re: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Trina Demario on November 06, 2010, 06:07:03 pm
(http://s.huffpost.com/contributors/rep-bernie-sanders/headshot.jpg)

Sen. Bernie Sanders

Independent U.S. Senator from Vermont
Posted: November 5, 2010 09:50 PM


Posted: November 5, 2010 09:50 PM
      
MSNBC's Disgrace


It is outrageous that General Electric/MSNBC would suspend Keith Olbermann for exercising his constitutional rights to contribute to a candidate of his choice. This is a real threat to political discourse in America and will have a chilling impact on every commentator for MSNBC.

We live in a time when 90 percent of talk radio is dominated by right-wing extremists, when the Republican Party has its own cable network (Fox) and when progressive voices are few and far between.

At a time when the ownership of Fox news contributed millions of dollars to the Republican Party, when a number of Fox commentators are using the network as a launching pad for their presidential campaigns and are raising money right off the air, it is absolutely unacceptable that MSNBC suspended one of the most popular progressive commentators in the country.

Is Rachel Maddow or Ed Schultz next? Is this simply a 'personality conflict' within MSNBC or is one of America's major corporations cracking down on a viewpoint they may not like? Whatever the answer may be, Keith Olbermann should be reinstated immediately and allowed to present his point of view.




Title: Re: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Trina Demario on November 06, 2010, 06:08:49 pm
HUFFPOST COMMUNITY MODERATOR
zelduh   34 minutes ago (5:10 PM)

I have to agree. Methinks GE's and Comcast's lawyers did lots of research on his contract to nail Keith on.

BUT (that being said...)


I'm sure NBC, MSNBC, GE & Comcast expected a response in the form of a backlash of, maybe up to 10,000 followers. But I doubt they saw coming the total AVALANCHE of support heaped on Keith and against this act. Heck, over 200,000 people signed the petition at http://act­.boldprogr­essives.or­g/sign/pet­ition_olbe­rmann/?sou­rce=huff . (I'll bet that they had no idea the response would be be so massive.) And a sitting senator issued a press release.

People have written to:
* http://wor­ld-news.ne­wsvine.com­/_news/200­9/06/26/29­73987-phil­-griffin#e­ntercommen­t
* http://www­.msnbc.msn­.com/id/10­285339

They have phoned MSNBC at: 212-664-4444, 212-664-2456, 1-888-676-2287

They have Faxed MSNBC at: (212) 664-4426
And they have emailed Steve Capus, the president of NBC News, and Jeff Zucker, the chief executive of NBC Universal - as well as
letters@msnbc.com
jeremy.gai­nes@msnbc.­com
phil.griff­in@nbcuni.­com
viewerserv­ices@msnbc .com


Title: Re: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Trina Demario on November 06, 2010, 06:09:33 pm
Petition: Put Olbermann Back On The Air NOW!

http://act.boldprogressives.org/cms/thanks/petition_olbermann?action_id=5142148&akid=.772625.TibXOl&rd=1


Title: Re: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Jennifer O'Dell on November 06, 2010, 06:45:33 pm
What a waste, the corporate media strikes again.


Title: Re: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Austin Heller on November 07, 2010, 05:07:59 pm

      
MSNBC Wants Keith Olbermann Mea Culpa

First Posted: 11- 7-10 12:58 PM   |   Updated: 11- 7-10 12:58 PM

(http://i.huffpost.com/gen/135333/thumbs/s-OLBERMANN-large.jpg)

MSNBC suspended anchor Keith Olbermann on Friday for making contributions to Democratic candidates without obtaining prior approval from his superiors.

Now, Politico's Mike Allen reports that the suspension came about, not because Olbermann violated network policy -- but because he wouldn't apologize on-air:

    Network sources tell Playbook that Keith Olbermann was suspended because he refused to deliver an on-camera mea culpa, which would have allowed him to continue anchoring "Countdown." Olbermann told his bosses he didn't know he was barred from making campaign contributions, although he is resisting saying that publicly. Olbermann may not hold as many cards as he thinks. He makes $7 million a year and MSNBC's prime time is not as dependent on him as it was before the addition of Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell, who make considerably less.


Olbermann's indefinite suspension without pay has sparked criticism from reporters and pundits, particularly in light News Corp's million-dollar donations to conservative groups.

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow argued on her show Friday night that Olbermann's suspension proves the difference between MSNBC and Fox News.


Title: Re: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Austin Heller on November 07, 2010, 05:10:20 pm
Keith Olbermann: 'Greetings From Exile!"

First Posted: 11- 7-10 03:41 PM   |   Updated: 11- 7-10 03:41 PM


(http://i.huffpost.com/gen/216623/thumbs/s-TV-NBC-OLBERMANN-large.jpg)


About 48 hours after news of his suspension was announced by MSNBC, Keith Olbermann has published a tweet thanking his supporters:


(http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/olbermann.png)


Title: Re: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Kristina on November 07, 2010, 11:45:33 pm
SHORTEST SUSPENSION IN THE WORLD

(http://i.huffpost.com/gen/216650/thumbs/r-KEITH-OLBERMANN-RETURN-MSNBC-huge.jpg)


Title: Re: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Kristina on November 07, 2010, 11:47:03 pm
Keith Olbermann To RETURN Tuesday, Phil Griffin Announces

First Posted: 11- 7-10 09:21 PM   |   Updated: 11- 7-10 10:18 PM


Keith Olbermann will return to the air on Tuesday after being suspended without pay for two shows (this past Friday and the upcoming episode on Monday).

The host of MSNBC's "Countdown" was given an indefinite suspension last week after his boss, network president Phil Griffin, discovered that Olbermann had made political contributions without seeking prior approval, as per NBC News policy.

A network spokesman released the following via email:

    STATEMENT REGARDING KEITH OLBERMANN - SUNDAY, NOV. 7

    From Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC:

    After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night's program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy. We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night.

Earlier on Sunday, Olbermann broke his silence via Twitter, telling his followers "Greetings From Exile!" and thanking people for their support.

Over the past few days, a number of public figures have rallied behind Olbermann, who gave a total of $7,200 to three Democrats running for federal office. Even reporters and conservative pundits defended the MSNBC host. CNN's Eliot Spitzer called the punishment "ridiculous." Another MSNBC host, Rachel Maddow, immediately called for his reinstatement and used the opportunity to illustrate that her network is "not a political operation" like Fox News.


News Corp., which owns Fox News, has made multiple million-dollar donations to conservative groups, and progressive watchdog Media Matters has identified more than 30 instances of Fox News employees or personalities supporting Republican causes.

Olbermann defended his actions on Friday, noting that "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."

As reported earlier on HuffPost:

    Olbermann donated the maximum legal amount of $2,400 each to Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, and to Kentucky Senate contender Jack Conway. All three were in tight races with their Republican counterparts. The MSNBC host made the donations on Oct. 28, the same day that Grijalva made an appearance on "Countdown."

Another MSNBC host, Joe Scarborough, made several thousand dollars in political contributions during the 2006 election -- prior to a change in company policy, which currently reads:

    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.


Title: Re: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Kristina on November 07, 2010, 11:47:33 pm
(http://i.huffpost.com/gen/216649/thumbs/s-KEITH-OLBERMANN-RETURN-MSNBC-large.jpg)

Keith Olbermann will return Tuesday to MSNBC after being suspended.


Title: Re: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Kristina on November 07, 2010, 11:49:39 pm
Sure glad that's over with, Griffin at MSNBC was the first to blink. That's what happens when you get a petition with 350,000 signatures in three days, not to mention thousands of l letters, phone calls and emails to go with it.


Title: Re: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Volitzer on November 08, 2010, 04:12:25 pm
Like MSNBC isn't already in the tank for Democrats.

Probably just politics.


Title: Re: Keith Olbermann SUSPENDED From MSNBC Indefinitely Without Pay
Post by: Adrienne on November 09, 2010, 02:56:27 am
Olbermann Apologizes To Viewers, Strikes Back At MSNBC [UPDATE]

First Posted: 11- 8-10 07:35 PM   |   Updated: 11- 8-10 08:22 PM


(http://i.huffpost.com/gen/217072/thumbs/s-OLBERMANN-MSNBC-large.jpg)




NEW YORK (AP) -- Keith Olbermann is apologizing to his fans -- but not NBC News -- for the "unnecessary drama" surrounding his two-day suspension for making political donations.

Olbermann is due to return to work Tuesday night on MSNBC's "Countdown" show. In a statement issued Monday, he says he wanted to apologize to viewers "for having precipitated such anxiety and unnecessary drama."

He was suspended for donating money to three Democratic candidates in violation of NBC News rules. Olbermann says it was an inconsistently applied rule that he had known nothing about before making the donations. He says he was suspended without a hearing after being told that no suspension was contemplated.

An MSNBC spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

UPDATE: Olbermann's full statement appears below:

   A STATEMENT TO THE VIEWERS OF COUNTDOWN


    by Keith Olbermann

    I want to sincerely thank you for the honor of your extraordinary and ground-rattling support. Your efforts have been integral to the remedying of these recent events, and the results should remind us of the power of individuals spontaneously acting together to correct injustices great or small. I would also like to acknowledge with respect the many commentators and reporters, including those with whom my politics do not overlap, for their support.
  

    I also wish to apologize to you viewers for having precipitated such anxiety and unnecessary drama. You should know that I mistakenly violated an inconsistently applied rule which I previously knew nothing about that pertains to the process by which such political contributions are approved by NBC. Certainly this mistake merited a form of public acknowledgment and/or internal warning, and an on-air discussion about the merits of limitations on such campaign contributions by all employees of news organizations. Instead, after my representative was assured that no suspension was contemplated, I was suspended without a hearing, and learned of that suspension through the media.

    You should also know that I did not attempt to keep any of these political contributions secret; I knew they would be known to you and the rest of the public. I did not make them through a relative, friend, corporation, PAC, or any other intermediary, and I did not blame them on some kind of convenient 'mistake' by their recipients. When a website contacted NBC about one of the donations, I immediately volunteered that there were in fact three of them; and contrary to much of the subsequent reporting, I immediately volunteered to explain all this, on-air and off, in the fashion MSNBC desired.

    I genuinely look forward to rejoining you on Countdown on Tuesday, to begin the repayment of your latest display of support and loyalty - support and loyalty that is truly mutual.

    --K.O.