Daily Archives: November 5, 2010

Sen. Sanders blasts Olbermann suspension, cites Fox News contributions

clipped from mediamatters.org
Sen. Bernie Sanders issued a statement on the suspension of MSNBC‘s Keith Olbermann:
“It is outrageous that General Electric/MSNBC would suspend
Keith Olbermann for exercising his constitutional rights to contribute to a
candidate of his choice. This is a real threat to political discourse in America
and will have a chilling impact on every commentator for MSNBC.
“We live in a time when 90 percent of talk radio is dominated by
right-wing extremists, when the Republican Party has its own cable network (Fox)
and when progressive voices are few and far between.
“At a time when the ownership of Fox news contributed millions
of dollars to the Republican Party, when a number of Fox commentators are using
the network as a launching pad for their presidential campaigns and are raising
money right off the air, it is absolutely unacceptable that MSNBC suspended one
of the most popular progressive commentators in the country.

“Is Rachel Maddow or Ed Schultz next? Is this simply a ‘personality conflict’ within MSNBC or is one of America’s major corporations cracking down on a viewpoint they may not like? Whatever the answer may be, Keith Olbermann should be reinstated immediately and allowed to present his point of view.”

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MSNBC makes a BIG mistake…It lays off Olbermann.

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
 

 

Cropped headshot of Keith Olbermann

Image via Wikipedia

MSNBC has suspended star anchor Keith Olbermann following the news that he had donated to three Democratic candidates this election cycle.

“I became aware of Keith’s political contributions late last night. Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay,” MSNBC president Phil Griffin said in a statement.

Politico reported Friday that Olbermann had donated $2,400 each to Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, and to Kentucky Senate contender Jack Conway. While NBC News policy does not prohibit employees from donating to political candidates, it requires them to obtain prior approval from NBC News executives before doing so.

Griffin’s statement underscores that it was Olbermann’s failure to obtain approval, and not the actual political donations, that prompted the suspension.
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In a statement earlier Friday, Olbermann defended his donation, saying:
“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.”

Griffin’s statement underscores that it was Olbermann’s failure to obtain approval, and not the actual political donations, that prompted the suspension.

The move is doubly significant in that it represents a major development in the relationship between Griffin and Olbermann, who once told the New Yorker, “Phil thinks he’s my boss.”

“Keith doesn’t run the show,” Griffin told New York Magazine recently. “I do a lot of things he doesn’t like. I do a lot of things he does.”

_____

This from Variety:

Progressive bloggers almost immediate pounced on the suspension, noting not only the campaign contributions of Fox News personalities Sean Hannity and Neil Cavuto, but of other MSNBC and CNBC employees as well.

Joe Scarborough contributed $4,200 to Derrik Kitts, an Oregon Republican running for Congress, in March, 2006, even listing his occupation as “MSNBC host” in FEC records. At the time, Scarborough hosted “Scarborough Country,” a predecessor to “Morning Joe.” Pat Buchanan, a frequent contributor, also made numerous contributions to candidates in recent years.

Politico pointed out that Olbermann’s contribution to Grijalva was made the same day that the Arizona congressman was a guest on his show, and that he failed to disclose it. But bloggers note that Kitts was a guest on Scarborough’s show a month after the contribution was made.

Jed Lewison wrote on DailyKos, “The bottom-line here that both Keith Olbermann and Joe Scarborough both host opinion shows. They both made personal contributions to political candidates. But Olbermann supports Democrats, and Scarborough supports Republicans, so even though Olbermann is the network’s top-rated host, and even though Scarborough hides his ratings sheet in a little box in the basement, it’s Olbermann that gets silenced.”

Filmmaker Michael Moore, a frequent guest on “Countdown with Keith Olbermann,” circulated a petition calling on MSNBC to reinstate him.

From the LA Times This Morning: The Supreme Court May Take Us One Step Further into a Corporate Dominated America…

What if the little guy couldn’t participate in a class action suit to protect his kind from big corporations? It could be the newest thing the business-oriented Supreme Court majority inflicts on us. 

Here’s part of the article by David Lazarus… go in and read the whole thing at the LA Times:

clipped from www.latimes.com
It hasn’t gotten a lot of press, but a case involving AT&T that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court next week has sweeping ramifications for potentially millions of consumers.
If a majority of the nine justices vote the telecom giant’s way, any business that issues a contract to customers — such as for credit cards, cellphones or cable TV — would be able to prevent them from joining class-action lawsuits.
This would take away in such cases arguably the most powerful legal tool available to the little guy, particularly in cases involving relatively small amounts of money. Class-action suits allow plaintiffs to band together in seeking compensation or redress, thus giving substantially more heft to their claims.
The ability to ban class actions would potentially also apply to employment agreements such as union contracts.
 

High courts in California and elsewhere have ruled that class-action bans are unconscionable and contrary to public policy.
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Overnite: Patty Murray is victor in Washington state… Opponent Rossi concedes.

This was good news. Adding one more Democrat to the Senate majority makes us, thankfully, not dependent on Joe Lieberman

At a news conference last nite, Murray thanked Dino Rossi and his family, saying he had been gracious in defeat. Murray said her priorities in a fourth term will include securing tax cuts for the middle class and helping the Boeing Co. win a lucrative Air Force refueling tanker contract:

“Now we have to get to work. I want to make sure Washington state has what it needs to get its economy back on its feet.”

The only state not finalized on the Senate is Alaska, but that will not help the Democrats. It will be a slap in the face to Sarah Palin if Murkowski‘s write-in campaign beats Tea Party candidate and Palin endorsee Joe Miller. It looks like that will happen by a large margin.