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Friday, November 5, 2010

Olbermann Fired for Ethics Violations

Keith Olbermann, purveyor of all that is right with the liberal agenda, watchdog over the evil and despicable Republican Party and denizen of all that is true and honest and good has been fired by MSNBC for donating to Democratic candidates in blatant and defiant violation of MSNBC's code of ethics, a document which apparently exists! Read about it here.


denature said...

A few quick notes:

Not fired.

MSNBC is not covered by the same ethics requirements that apply to NBC news. There is debate both externally and from MSNBC employees about whether this was actually a violation of its policy.

MSNBC's current and future parent company makes campaign donations all the time.

Joe Scarborough of MSNBC made a contribution to a republican candidate in the past (before new policy?).

Fox news personalities Hannity and that financial guy have made republican donations. And Newscorp makes donations all the time, including significant ones this campaign season.

Douglas said...

This is probably no more an ethics violation than was the firing of Olson or whatever his name from KOTA was. Most likely the equivalent of a labor agreement violation like walking into work an hour late every day.

Bill Fleming said...

Douglas is right, it's a labor/management dispute, nothing more. It's not an "ethics" issue at all. It's a "permissions" issue. Here's the "policy" such as it is:

“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.”

Note the language: MAY find... MAY include... obtain prior APPROVAL...

In other words, it MAY be okay, but you better check with your boss first.


Bill Fleming said...

Olberman was HIRED to be a strong voice for the left. That's his role as an NBC employee. He doesn't even pretend to be objective nor does NBC claim that he is.

There is no "conflict of interest" because the leftist position IS his interest.

Bill Fleming said...

Now, if he had donated to a moderate, or a conservative, THAT would be a conflict of interest.

Douglas said...

Bill, for a liberal to contribute to a conservative is probably not even a conflict of interest, but it would be an example of the same kind of hypocrisy that pervades corporate contributions to front groups with good sounding patriotic names, but which are aimed at destroying the interests of the corporations customers and middle income share holders.

Duffer said...

One analysis I read yesterday indicated that Keith has not been appropriately deferential to his "boss". In the eyes of his boss.

Imagine that.

"Bosses" often look for any opening possible to obtain the "respect" of their employees. If one can't earn respect - one demands it.

I watched Rachel last night to get her take (or the take she was allowed to present). Interesting. Her point was that Faux News (Mike's Kool-Aid) is a political organization; and that MSNBC is not.

The divide will never narrow. The hate will never stop.

Douglas said...

Here is a link that may have some insider info on the general goings on at MSNBC.

Michael Sanborn said...


I hope you're not referring to me in the Kool-Aid remark.

I have as much disdain for Beck as I do for Olbermann.

I refer you to this post:

Bill Fleming said...

Having as much distain for Olberman as for Beck is part of the Fox Kool Aid, Mike. That's what Fox wants you to think... that the two are somehow equivalent. They are not.

Not even close.

Duffer said...

Talking points and (tone) are what I observe - and it's the same thing I hear on Faux News - a political organization to be sure.

What I'd like to see is an offering of alternative solutions - rather than bashing the guy holding the bag.

I had to laugh listening to NPR earlier today - some bloke from National Review offering "more corporate tax breaks" as the only solution to create jobs. Right.
10 years and an empty bag - how long is trickle-down Mr. Friedman?

Michael Sanborn said...


I'm in the middle looking both ways. You're on the left backing your guy. Sibby and Ellis are on the right backing their guy.

From my perspective, they're the same. Like it or not, you are every bit the left wingnut that those two are right wingnuts. You are right and everyone else is wrong and those of us who believe the solutions are somewhere in the middle are simply uneducated simpletons unable to comprehend the complexities of your point of view.

It's condescending, Bill. And, condescension doesn't win anyone over in my recollection.

Bill Fleming said...

Mike, just because someone doesn't understand how to do calculus doesn't mean that someone who does has their math answers wrong.

It's not good to promote ignorance. Never has been, never will be. And someone who points that out is not being condescending, they are instead promoting the advancement of the species.

Bill Fleming said...

Mike, maybe for fun you could post this quiz so we could all take it and see where we sit on the political spectrum.

When I did mine, here's what it said:

Bill is a left moderate social libertarian. Bill is also a non-interventionist and culturally liberal. Bill's scores (from 0 to 10):
Economic issues:+5.67 left
Social issues:+2.85 libertarian
Foreign policy:+6.66 non-interventionist
Cultural identification:+6.14 liberal

Bill Fleming said...

Looks like Griffin figured it out. Suspending Olberman was about as good an idea as stepping on his own foot.

Sarcasm Meter pegged at 10 said...

Did I miss Sanborn's correction re: "... and good has been fired ..."?