MSNBC suspended "Countdown" host Keith Olbermann Friday after the news that he donated to three Democratic candidates.
"I became aware of Keith's political contributions late last night," MSNBC President Phil Griffin said in a statement. "Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay."
Olbermann gave the maximum individual donation of $2,400 to three candidates in Tuesday's election: Arizona Reps. Gabrielle Giffords and Raul Grijalva and Senate hopeful Jack Conway, who lost in Kentucky to Republican Rand Paul. (Grijalva appeared on Olbermann's "Countdown" on Oct. 28, the same day the host donated to his campaign; Conway was last a guest in May).
Phil Griffin is a Triple-D douchebag. He's just screwed his network right down the tube, and himself ultimately out of a job. That result, should it come to pass, would actually make me happy. Kos:
Real smart, Phil! Olbermann isn't just MSNBC's highest rated show, but it's the only one that breaks Fox News' stranglehold on the top 10 cable news shows.
Of course, this is par for the course for Griffin -- letting his lowest-rated host Joe Scarborough call the shots, to the point where Scarborough has dictated Olbermann's guest list by blackballing me from the network. As Atrios pointed out on Twitter, Pat Buchanan gave five political contributions between 2005-08, and he keeps his permanent cot in the MSNBC green room.
CNN's ratings are in the gutter. I'm sure they could use the boost in the ratings that Olbermann would provide.
Update: Hey, Phil -- What about this?
SCARBOROUGH, JOE PENSACOLA,FL 32503 MSNBC/HOST 3/31/06 $2,100 Kitts, Derrick (R)It's okay if you're Joe Scarborough I guess.
SCARBOROUGH, JOE PENSACOLA,FL 32503 MSNBC/HOST 3/31/06 $2,100 Kitts, Derrick (R)
MeMo at the Chron:
I have no inside information, but I know the workplace. Olbermann and his boss, Phil Griffin, do not love each other, and Olbermann often pushes the envelope in ways that, it is said, make some at MSNBC and NBC uncomfortable. ...
My point is this: Olbermann knew exactly what he was doing and he must have guessed there would be consequences. And the consequences are, in my opinion, deserved, though I think if Roethlisberger had to sit out four games, Keith should sit out no more than a week. It's not that bad, given that nobody had any illusions about where KO stood politically.
I don't know what, if any, policy opposite-number-cable-network Fox News has on contributions, but they gave a cool million to the GOP. Also, it seems like a lot tougher place to get suspended from.
As for the violation of MSNBC's policy, fine. I really hope Keith tells Griffin to shove it.
You may recall Griffin suspended David Shuster seven months ago -- he's on the same "indefinite" plan -- and not for just filming a pilot for CNN, but also for getting into a shouting match with Andrew Breitbart and Tweeting that James O'Keefe would likely go to prison for his anti-ACORN antics.
It's time for both guys to go to another network.