UPDATE 9:11pm 11/07/2010: Olbermann returning to Countdown.
MSNBC progressive firebrand Keith Olbermann made personal donations to three candidates in the recent election. He has been suspended indefinitely. Read more here and here. If you feel, as we do, that this suspension is ill-advised at this time, sign the petition to reinstate him here.
I assume FOX employees are scratching their heads.
In light of the financial cannon fodder now deemed permissible under Citizens United, this seems patently wrong-headed. Perhaps MSNBC has some sort of end game in mind for this; Maybe they are trying to throw a light on donations from the pundit class in general to force disclosure from the FOX gang. More likely, however, MSNBC is just covering their ass following a relatively small contractual violation.
"I became aware of Keith's political contributions late last night," Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC said today in an e-mail. "Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely and without pay."
He failed to disclose to MSNBC personal donations. Okay, he violated one of his contractual obligations. The violation itself is a key Constitutionally protected activity. This isn't some embarrassment to his corporate masters with hookers and coke or racist/sexist pejoratives.
"Olbermann contributed the maximum $2,400 to three Democrats. Arizona Representatives Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords received payments on Oct. 28, the day Grijalva appeared on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” the network’s most- watched show. Olbermann also donated to U.S. Senate candidate Jack Conway of Kentucky, who lost to Republican Rand Paul."