Friday, November 05, 2010

This leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

And I don't even like the dude.

Political speech is protected, broadly speaking, by the First Amendment.  That any organization forbids its employees from contributing to political campaigns would seem to me to be an infringement of their rights.  Military members can get in trouble for participating in political action while in uniform, but they're obviously able to make donations as they please in their private lives.

I could almost understand the claims of journalistic integrity...If Olbermann had any.  Seriously, is there any question that MSNBC leans hard left?  That Olbermann leads in that?


Charlene said...

Keith knew the rules at MSNBC. He should have asked permission before he donated to candidates.

You rail against them as "liberal" leaning and this is some kind of indictment. FOX, the "fair and balanced" network who crows about being for Republican interests, employ several talking heads who say on air they support candidates and not only by their money but with their interviews of those candidates. The whole banter is the good old boy variety. ::Snicker Chuckle::

I am sure you are aware that General Electric sold NBC to Comcast at the end of last year. MSNBC is a network owned by NBC and Microsoft. So Comcast, run by one of the major fund raisers for George W. Bush now runs MSNBC. Pay attention. I predict things will further change at MSNBC.

the pistolero said...

The whole banter is the good old boy variety.

So, you think Chris Matthews talking about the tingle in his nether regions -- oh, sorry, I meant his leg -- is professional and unbiased, do you?

Dave said...

I firmly believe Olbermann is one of the greatest sports broadcasters of all time. Too bad he decided to also use his skills on MSNBC. I can't even stand the sound of his voice unless he is describing the way a running back avoided tackles. He is the Glenn Beck of the Left.

I simply no longer watch any of that crap. I don't watch Fox, MSNBC, CNN or anything that involves talking heads yelling at one another. Life is just too short.

Having said that, a) Olbermann violated the rules of his contract. b) it was a stupid rule intended for journalists, not commentators like him, and c)MSNBC has probably just alienated any remnants of their dwindling audience by suspending this jerk.

The issue to me isn't about "fair and balanced", it is about transparency. I know that if I tune into Fox, I will get information with a conservative spin to it. I also know that if I tune into MSNBC, I will get the liberal spin. What I don't want is for any of the announcers to attempt to come across as being unbiased when they are spinning toward a particular direction. It is impossible to find Olbermann (or Maddow, or Matthews) guilty of that, anymore than you would find O'Reilly, Hannity or Beck guilty of hiding their political leanings and support.

Attention MSNBC: We know that (regardless of which corporate fatcats own your company) that Olbermann is a liberal!

Sabra said...

The thing is, there's no indication it was part of his contract, and apparently question as to whether he was hired before the policy was put into place. I checked news articles again this morning to be certain I just hadn't missed it yesterday, and while everything I see says it's against NBC News's policy, but no mention is made of a contract, which I find significant.

BobG said...

I have to agree with you, Sabra. We all know he is a liberal commentator (I have trouble thinking of him as an actual journalist), so how does it matter where his donations go?

Bob S. said...

I think it isn't a free speech issue but a corporate rules issue.

I wouldn't be surprised if there is more going on behind the scenes personality wise then the donation.

Usually talent isn't let go for a reason like this unless management is having other problems with said talent.

Many companies have policies about donations/appearance of impartiality etc -- this isn't a governmental over reach.

Corporate over reach, probably.
Hypocrisy for canning him over donations yet letting him preach liberalism nearly unrestrained - yes.