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Olbermann: Still no word


  No word from Keith Olbermann?!


  That's like "no heat from the sun."

  No "water from the ocean."

  No...well, you get the idea.

  Here below is my paper piece, and - while I love and respect all who have pointed this out - I specifically say that BROADCAST NETWORKS have a policy against on-air types from contributing to political causes; by obvious implication, this means CABLE NETWORKS do not, as far as I know, which is why everyone at Fox seems to be so generous, and elsewhere too, as best I can tell.

  That is why the suspension of Keith O is so odd - and why the punishment hardly fits "the crime," or would hardly seem to. Something else is going on here, one reasonably s suspects, and we'll find out soon enough.

  Anyway, today's paper piece...

  Keith Olbermann, leadoff host for MSNBC and national TV's most vocal
liberal commentator, was abruptly suspended by the network yesterday for
making contributions to political candidates.
  A spokesman referred questions to a statement released by MSNBC
president, Phil Griffin, who said, "I became aware of Keith's political
contributions late last night [Thursday.] Mindful of NBC News policy and
standard, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay." Griffin
declined further comment and a call to Olbermann's Manhattan residence
was not returned.
   Reports of Olbermann's contributions first surfaced in Politico. The
website said that Olbermann had contributed $2,400 to each of the
campaigns of Democrat Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway, and to Raul
Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords, both Arizona Democrats in House races.
According to website, Grijalva - who had supported a boycott of Arizona
businesses because of the new immigration law - had been a frequent
guest on "Countdown with Keith Olbermann."
  In a statement to Politico before his suspension, Olbermann said: “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.”
  Even though Olbermann was outspoken in his views - he devoted entire
editions of "Countdown" to monologues in support of President Obama's
health care initiative and bashes Fox News on a near-nightly basis -
each of the broadcast network news divisions prohibit campaign donations
by on-air news correspondents and anchors. On the web and Twitter
yesterday, supporters and critics of MSNBC's action quickly uncovered
discrepancies, including past campaign contributions by MSNBC
commentator Joe Scarborough or by Sean Hannity. Andrew Tyndall, a
veteran analyst of network news said in a blog post, "The idea that
[Olbermann] thought that three extra checks written from his personal
account to individual candidates would have made any incremental
difference to the outcome of the midterm elections is laughable," adding
that "it is impossible to see these campaign contributions as political
acts - self-destructive is more like it."
  Olbermann, in fact, has self-destructed before, most famously in 1997
after appearing on "The Daily Show" with then-host Craig Kilborn, who
asked him what the "most God-forsaken place on earth" was. Olbermann -
longtime host of ESPN's "The Big Show" - promptly answered "Bristol,
Connecticut," where ESPN is based.
  Reports of clashes with management at MSNBC during both of his tours
of duty there have periodically surfaced over the years. Olbermann's
success at 8 has tended to quickly stifle those, however. Both host and
show are lynchpins of MSNBC's new "Lean Forward" marketing campaign
which is designed to sharpen the network's left-leaning "progressive"
primetime tone. And while ratings have softened over the last year,
"Countdown" is seen by just over 1 million viewers at 8, MSNBC's biggest
draw - though less than a third the viewership of "The O'Reilly Factor."





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