Friday, November 5, 2010

@MSNBC - You suck. And now your ratings will too.

Holy shit. Alright, look, I'm only here (instead of working on NaNo) because I've seen the most ridiculous fucking thing on the planet. Keith Olbermann was suspended today for making contributions to 3 Democratic campaigns. NBC has stated that this is a violation of their ethics policy - "prohibits political contributions by its journalists without prior approval of the president." (

Here is the official statement made by NBC:
"Anyone working for NBC News who takes part in civic or other outside activities may find that these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest,” it reads. “Such activities may include participation in or contributions to political campaigns or groups that espouse controversial positions.  You should report any such potential conflicts in advance to, and obtain prior approval of, the president of NBC News or his designee."

Ok, wtf. Yes, technically speaking NBC has every right to fire him for violating their ethics policy, just as NPR had a right to fire Juan Williams (as stupid as that was too...) But those rules should be enforced for EVERY employee, not just the ones with whom the network head has a personal problem.

Conflict of interest? "Impartial journalist"?!?!? Have they ever watched his show? He's the most unabashedly biased, smug, snarky, sarcastic bastard on nonfiction TV-- and I LOVE him for it. He's not afraid to say what he wants to. That's why I watch. First of all, Olbermann's show is OPINION & COMMENTARY, not a news broadcast. (Seriously, if you take the "Worst Persons in the World" that literally, you probably should be watching Nick Jr.) MSNBC acknowledges this. My cable company acknowledges this. If journalists are supposed to be unbiased and purely objective, I wouldn't (or couldn't) consider him to be a journalist, but a news commentator. And a fucking good one, at that. By suspending Mr. Olbermann, the NBC network stands to lose a great deal of its primetime viewership. Meaning, - bye bye ratings, MSNBC! (Not to say that Rachel isn't worth watching. Because she totally is. But I won't be watching until Olbermann is reinstated, because this is ridiculous. He is a commentator, a host of a political opinion show, and not a reporter. If Joe Scarborough can donate, why not Keith?) And on the other hand, how many of Fox's staffers-- hell, the NETWORK ITSELF-- how many campaigns have they donated to? Millions of dollars, $500K of which was to the fucking Chamber of Commerce! AFTER Murdoch himself said they should be "non-partisan." (Which, admittedly, does show that NBC clearly values ethics far more than FOX, but for once that's beside the point.) It was also revealed today that a certain Sean Hannity donated $10,000 to Michele Bachmann. (And the maximum is $2400? Even if half of that $10,000 was "from" his wife, that's still over the limit. So... No one's freaking out about that?!?!)"Journalists" have lives outside of their jobs.

Why is it that corporations are allowed to do whatever they want in this country? First Amendment rights don't mean a thing if you have a job-- unless you're a corporation, in which case have at it. (Speaking of which - I did not sign a non-compete-- so why should my boss have the power to fire me for finding a second job wherever I can so that I can actually afford to pay my bills, if it doesn't affect my first job? Just wondering. Because I need to find another job, and now it seems I'm extremely limited in where I can go...) The fact that Mr. Olbermann spent his own money on something he wanted is none of the company's concern. Whatever happened to being more than one's job? I don't need your permission to donate my own money to who I please. If this is really just a feud between Griffin & Mr. Olbermann- Griffin, grow the fuck up and stop acting like a douchebag.

But to be fair, this article does make some valid points.

End angry rant. Though the good news is that, as someone just pointed out, Mr. Olbermann will have a new "Worst Person in the World" for a while once he gets his show back, or a new one (taking his viewership with him.)

Phone number for MSNBC - 212 664-4444 (Extension #6 for Countdown)
Twitter is @MSNBC, @KeithOlbermann
And I'm sure there's a petition floating around here somewhere... The internet has been in a fury over this, and rightfully so. Of all the things that we, and NBC, should be concerned about, political donations from TV show hosts are the least of it. So please-- in light of the recent elections and the deep depression we on the left have found ourselves in now that our hopes for a brighter American future have been dashed-- let us keep the few uplifting moments we have left-- Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Keith Olbermann, & of course, the brilliant Rachel Maddow. Keep Countdown with Keith Olbermann on the air! (Or let the hypocrites over at FOX gloat, as your ratings plummet lower than those of Lone Star. Your choice.)

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