Keith Olbermann will be allowed to resume his nightly program on MSNBC on Tuesday, the channel’s president said Sunday night, after he was suspended for donating money to three Democratic candidates.
The policy at MSNBC’s parent, NBC News, says journalists cannot make political contributions without permission from the head of the news division. “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,” the MSNBC president, Phil Griffin, said in a statement. “We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night.”
On Friday night, the MSNBC host Rachel Maddow asserted that MSNBC’s enforcement of its policy in this case confirmed that Fox News was a “political operation” while MSNBC was a “news operation.”
“Let this incident lay to rest forever the facile, never-true-anyway, bullpucky, lazy conflation of Fox News and what the rest of us do for a living,” Ms. Maddow said. “I know everybody likes to say, ‘Oh, that’s cable news. It’s all the same.’ Fox News and MSNBC, mirror images of each other.”
“Hosts on Fox raise money on the air for Republican candidates,” she added. “They endorse them explicitly; they use their Fox News profile to headline fund-raisers.”
She concluded, “We are not a political operation. Fox is. We are a news operation. And the rules around here are part of how you know that.”
I, along with many conservatives, found nothing wrong with Olbermann putting his money where his mouth is.
The larger issue is the lie that would suggest that MSNBC is an objective news outlet and the third or more of the country’s psychophants who’ve bought into that lie.