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Keith Olbermann did a Special Comment on Obama’s compromise with the Republicans last night…

Here it is… worth listening to:

Thank you, Keith. I hope everyone listens.

Newsflash: MSNBC President Phil Griffin Threatened To Fire Keith Olbermann

This from HuffPo:
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
MSNBC President Phil Griffin vowed to fire Keith Olbermann if he went on other networks to discuss his suspension, The Daily Beast‘s Howard Kurtz reports.
Kurtz writes that the threat came during a conversation with Michael Price, Olbermann’s manager, on Nov. 7, two days into Olbermann’s suspension. Price told Griffin that, if the suspension was not resolved quickly, Olbermann would appear on “Good Morning America,” “Larry King Live” and David Letterman‘s “Late Show” to air his side of the story.
“If you go on GMA, I will fire Keith,” Griffin reportedly replied. Minutes later, though, Griffin released the statement announcing the lifting of the suspension and preventing an even more serious showdown. When Price asked Griffin why he had made such an extreme threat, Griffin told him, “we are at war.”
Be sure to check out Kurtz’s whole report at The Daily Beast.
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“A STATEMENT TO THE VIEWERS OF COUNTDOWN” by Keith Olbermann

This was just issued by Keith:

I want to sincerely thank you for the honor of your extraordinary and ground-rattling support. Your efforts have been integral to the remedying of these recent events, and the results should remind us of the power of individuals spontaneously acting together to correct injustices great or small. I would also like to acknowledge with respect the many commentators and reporters, including those with whom my politics do not overlap, for their support.

I also wish to apologize to you viewers for having precipitated such anxiety and unnecessary drama. You should know that I mistakenly violated an inconsistently applied rule – which I previously knew nothing about – that pertains to the process by which such political contributions are approved by NBC. Certainly this mistake merited a form of public acknowledgment and/or internal warning, and an on-air discussion about the merits of limitations on such campaign contributions by all employees of news organizations. Instead, after my representative was assured that no suspension was contemplated, I was suspended without a hearing, and learned of that suspension through the media.

You should also know that I did not attempt to keep any of these political contributions secret; I knew they would be known to you and the rest of the public. I did not make them through a relative, friend, corporation, PAC, or any other intermediary, and I did not blame them on some kind of convenient ‘mistake’ by their recipients. When a website contacted NBC about one of the donations, I immediately volunteered that there were in fact three of them; and contrary to much of the subsequent reporting, I immediately volunteered to explain all this, on-air and off, in the fashion MSNBC desired.

I genuinely look forward to rejoining you on Countdown on Tuesday, to begin the repayment of your latest display of support and loyalty – support and loyalty that is truly mutual.

–K.O.

Juan Cole, too! Most of the best bloggers on the web have made support statements for Olbermann…

…and many, me included, are just not going to turn MSNBC back on unless Olbermann is restored.

Here’s part of Juan Cole‘s LONG piece… get all of it HERE:

That Olbermann is being treated unfairly is obvious. Joe Scarborough has also donated to a political campaign while at MSNBC. And Sean Hannity at Fox has given far more money to candidates than Olbermann ever did. In fact, Hannity donated to Michele Bachmann, which suggests he is better suited to playing a bit part in a remake of the Night of the Living Dead than to anchoring a major ‘news’ show.

Hell, most of the main Republican candidates for president are working for Fox Cable News! So it goes beyond giving some campaign a couple thousand dollars, nowadays!

Fox argues that Hannity is not a news anchor but the equivalent of an op-ed columnist, a purveyor of opinions, and so may also be a political actor.

But MSNBC has already marked Olbermann also as an opinion person, not a hard news anchor, when it took him off election coverage in 2008. So MSNBC has put Olbermann in the same category as Fox has put Hannity. But one is on the air and the other is not.

MSNBC has a long history of throwing liberals under the bus, despite its recent strategy of trying to use them to counter-program against Fox.

In the build-up to the Iraq War, MSNBC had Phil Donahue, whose evening magazine show was the highest-rated thing on the network. As the momentum for war built, the top corporate management became very nervous about having a show starring an anti-war liberal, so they fired Donahue Rick Ellis wrote at the time that General Electric-owned NBC had commissioned a study of its public image, and that the consultants produced a report in which they wrote, that Donahue was a “difficult public face for NBC in a time of war……He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration’s motives.” The report worried that the war fever would benefit rival, pro-war, pro-Bush networks and implied that Donahue might succeed in branding NBC in a way that caused viewership and therefore advertising revenues to plummet.

MSNBC replaced Donahue with far right wing shock jock Michael Savage, Dick Armey and Republican Joe Scarborough (who went on to donate to a Republican politician while on the air).

Matt Taibi at Rolling Stone has commented on the Olbermann layoff…

Cropped headshot of Keith Olbermann

Bring Back Keith!

I like Matt Taibi. Here is about half of his comment. The rest is HERE.

We had a whole generation of journalists who sat by and did nothing while, for instance, George Bush led us into an idiotic war on a lie, plus thousands more who spent day after day collecting checks by covering Britney’s hair and Tiger’s text messages and other stupidities while the economy blew up and two bloody wars went on mostly unexamined… and it’s Keith Olbermann who should “pay the price” for being unethical? Because, and let me get this straight, he donated money, privately, to politicians?

This is absurd even by GE‘s standards. There is no reason, not even a theoretical one, why any journalist should be prevented from having political opinions and participating in election campaigns in his spare time. The policy would be ridiculous even if we were talking about an evening news anchor — because the only “ethical” question here is the issue of NBC wanting to preserve the appearance of impartiality and being unable to do so, because political contributions happen to be public record and impossible to hide from viewers.

Again, that would be true even if we were talking about Brian Williams or Tom Brokaw, someone from whom viewers expect a certain level of impartiality. But what Olbermann does is advocacy journalism and it’s not exactly a secret. NBC punishing Olbermann for donating to Democratic candidates is like Hugh Hefner fining the Playmate of the Year for showing ankle. It’s completely and utterly retarded.

These periodic spaz attacks the people in our business have over obscure and usually completely made-up ethical controversies — often over this whole “objectivity” issue, which provides a seemingly endless source of false piety for some of the more obnoxious journo-ethicists — are really irritating. I’m biased, obviously, because I’m a guest on the show, but this is beyond stupid. And by the way, has anyone checked the donation lists for CNBC anchors? I’m guessing a few of those have shelled out to the Rs. What’s the deal, GE?

Even Bill Kristol opposes MSNBC’s Olbermann Action…

This from William Kristol… and who is more Conservative?:

MSNBC’s suspension of Keith Olbermann is ludicrous.

First, he donated money to candidates he liked. He didn’t take money, or favors, in a way that influenced his reporting.

Second, he’s not a reporter. It’s an opinion show. If Olbermann wants to put his money where his mouth is, more power to him.

Third, GE, the corporate parent of MSNBC, gives money to political organizations. GE executives and, I’m sure, NBC executives give money. Why can’t Olbermann?

Perhaps Olbermann violated NBC News “policy and standards.” But NBC doesn’t have real news standards for MSNBC—otherwise the channel wouldn’t exist. It’s a little strange to get all high and mighty now.

But there’s now a Republican House, and perhaps GE is trying to curry favor by dumping Olbermann?

Republicans of the world, show you believe in the free expression of opinion! Tell the crony corporatists at NBC—keep Keith!

Rachel Maddow: Bring Back Olbermann…

Here’s Rachel’s comment in full from her show last night (which, I’ll admit, I didn’t watch since I won’t watch MSNBC until Keith is reinstated… I picked this up on Mediaite.com):

You may have heard today that my friend and colleague Keith Olbermann was temporarily suspended from his job hosting Countdown on this network, because he made three personal political donations to candidates in this last election cycle. The reason that resulted in Keith’s suspension is that, here at MSNBC, there is an explicit employee rule against hosts making contributions like that. You can do it if you ask in advance, and if management tells you ‘okay.’ That’s what I understand happened with our morning show host’s political donations in 2006 under previous management. But if you don’t ask in advance for an exemption from the rule, you are more bound by the rule. For the record, the rule applies to us hosts here at MSNBC and NBC News staff. CNBC is not under NBC News, so CNBC staffers are not bound by the same thing.

I understand this rule. I understand what it means to break this rule. I believe that everyone should face the same treatment under this rule. I also personally believe that the point has been made and that we should have Keith back hosting Countdown. Here’s the larger point though. That’s going mysteriously missing, from all the right-wing cackling and the beltway, old-media cluck cluck clucking about this. This is what I think is missing.

Let this incident lay to rest forever the facile, never true, bullpucky, lazy conflation of Fox News and what the rest of us do for a living. I know everyone likes to say ‘Oh, that’s cable news, that’s all the same, Fox and MSNBC, mirror images of each other. Let this lay that to rest forever. Hosts on Fox raise money on the air for Republican candidates. They endorse them explicitly, they use their Fox News profile to headline fundraisers; heck, there are multiple people being paid by Fox News to essentially run for office as Republican candidates, If you count not just their hosts but their contributors, you are looking at a significant portion of the whole line up of Republican presidential contenders for 2012, they can do that because there is no rule against that as Fox, they run as a political operation, we’re not.

Yes, Keith’’s a liberal and so am I, and there are other people on this network and their political views are shared with you, our beloved viewers. But we are not a political operation, Fox is. We are a news operation. And the rules around here are how you know that. Before it was politically safe to do it, Keith Olbermann attracted the ire of the right wing and a lot of others besides when he brought to light and raged against what he saw as the errors and sins of the previous presidential administration. Keith was also the one who brought to light Fox News’ water carrying role for the Bush administration, he was one who point-of-view journalism posed and put exclamation points on the problems in the political operation disguised as a news network model embraced by the guys across the street at Fox.

Now weirdly, it is Keith who is illustrating the difference between what he does on TV, what we do here at MSNBC and what goes on across the street. Good night.

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.

Polls in the East will be closing in a couple of hours…

…and then the television chatter will begin, especially on CNN, MSNBC and FOXnews. All of these stations started blabbering early today, pushing the polls and debating possible upsets and surprises. I’m not sure there will be any surprises, but that’s me. It would sure be nice if there WAS a surprise… like the Dems kept control of both the House and Senate, the Tea Party Crazies get voted down, or voter turnout meets no one’s expectations.

I’ll tell you one thing, this election season has made me much more of a Liberal (and I didn’t say “Progressive”.) But that’s me… I usually side with people who seem to be meeting a real challenge. Tomorrow I’ll be posting to this blog results and comments and guesses as to the future… then we can start working on 2012.

As of now, I’m taking the night off. See you all tomorrow.

Quote for the Election Day

“Just a reminder: if you vote GOP today or sit it out, you are voting for a tax cut FOR ME and none FOR YOU.”

Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann did an amazing Special Comment this evening…

… Take 15 minutes and listen to it. Email the address of the post to your friends and people you know so they can listen to it. Keith sums up the Tea Party and the mess the Republicans are trying to drag us into… and how they will try to bring us back into the early 20th Century.

There’s an election coming up and we can’t crumble under the advanced stupidity of some of these candidates. We live in dangerous times.

Here’s Keith:

Exposing the Koch Brothers

Cenk Uygur, host of The Young Turks, discusses a New York Times story about an event organized by Koch industries.

The Dirty Two Weeks…

At 2 weeks until the election on November 2nd we are entering into the time of filthy tactics… and, as it seems, the filthiest of the tacticians are Republicans disguised as Tea Party people or Republicans hidden by Supreme Court supported corporate anonymity.

In Nevada we have a right-wing Hispanic “front” group running commercials to persuade Latinos not to vote as a method of telling politicians that they won’t be used anymore… an obvious play to withhold votes for Harry Reid and get Sharron Angle, the Tea Party lunatic, into office. As of this past afternoon, Univision, the great Hispanic television network has refused to run these ads… and Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC pinned Mr, Posado, the creator of the ads, to the wall…exposing him as a Republican front.

The Delaware debate yesterday morning had Christine O’Donnell revealing how little she knew about the Constitution when she made it clear she knew nothing about the separation of Church and State in the First Amendment, something Chris Coons explained for her. And she kept coming back with the same comment. Listening to people laugh at her, the facial expression she gave out was indicative that she thought she had smashed Coons. This is a brainless woman… scary to think of her in office.

Sarah Palin is Tea Party Busing around the country making more comments revealing her lack of knowledge of who is running where confusing West Virginia candidates with Pennsylvania candidates.

I think Saturday Night Live is wonderful… once a week. It’s when real life becomes SNL 24 hours a day that I wish it all would go away. Yet my big fear is that after the election we will be living in an unrecognizeable country run by Glenn Beck and spending most of its time trying to repeal the 14th Amendment.

Here’s why Harold Ford won’t be on Morning Joe for a while…

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
Harold Ford Jr.’s role as an NBC political analyst has been “put on hold.”
Politico’s Michael Calderone reports that, according to an MSNBC spokesperson, Ford’s NBC contract “was put on hold” weeks ago. His appearances on the network are now in the capacity of potential political candidate.

Harold Ford
Ford is mulling a run for Senator against Kirsten Gillibrand in New York.
“Now I’ve taken a 45-day unpaid leave of absence from my job at Merrill Lynch,” he said recently. “It’s not right to draw a salary when I’m out every day campaigning. Fortunately, I’ve still got a little NYU teaching job and some MSNBC, so for a while I think I can put food on the table.”
Ford will appear on the “Meet the Press” roundtable this Sunday, along with David Brooks, Rachel Maddow, and Republican freshman congressman Aaron Schock.

UPDATE: A spokesman for Ford told the New York Observer that he asked for the time off from MSNBC:

“Harold Ford asked for the leave of absence from NBC as a paid analyst while he weighs a run for the U.S Senate. Consistent with that, he also asked for an unpaid leave of absence from Bank of America/Merrill Lynch while he travels the state, listens to voters and weighs an opportunity to serve them in the Senate.”

Dylan Ratigan Sums Up The Economic Problem

… and he does it to a T. I don’t usually copy an article in it’s entirety, but I want to make sure you read this one. It comes from HuffPo:

Americans Have Been Taken Hostage

The American people have been taken hostage to a broken system.

It is a system that remains in place to this day.

A system where bank lobbyists have been spending in record numbers to make sure it stays that way.

A system that corrupts the most basic principles of competition and fair play, principles upon which this country was built.

It is a system that so far has forced the taxpayer to provide the banks with the use of $14 trillion from the Federal Reserve, much of the $7 trillion outstanding at the US Treasury and $2.3 trillion at the FDIC.

A system partially built by the very people who currently advise our President, run our Treasury Department and are charged with its reform.

And most stunningly — it is a system that no one in our government has yet made any effort to fundamentally change.

Like health care, this is a referendum on our government’s ability to function on behalf of the American people. Ask yourself how long you are willing to be held hostage? How long will you let our elected officials be the agents of those whose business it is to exploit our government and the American people at any cost?

As hostages — was there any sum of money we wouldn’t have given AIG?

Why did we pay Goldman Sachs and all the other banks 100 cents on the dollar for their contracts with AIG, using taxpayer money, while we forced GM and others to take massive payment cuts?

Why hasn’t any of the bonus money paid to the CEOs that built this financial nuclear bomb been clawed back?

And more than anything else — why does the US Congress refuse to outlaw the most anti-competitive structure known to our economy, one summed up as TOO BIG TOO FAIL?

It has become startlingly clear that we as a country, and I as a journalist, had made a grave error in affording those who built and ran those banks and insurance companies the honorable treatment of being called capitalists. When in fact the exact opposite was true, these people were more like vampires using the threat of Too Big Too Fail to hold us hostage and collect ongoing ransom from the US Government and the American taxpayer.

This was no unlucky accident. The massive spike in unemployment, the utter destruction of retirement wealth, the collapse in the value of our homes, the worst recession since the Great Depression all resulted directly from these actions.

Even with all that — the only changes that have been made, have been made to prop up and hide the massive flaws on behalf of those who perpetuated them. Still utterly nothing has been done to disclose the flaws in this system, improve it or rebuild it.

Last fall was an awakening for me, as it was for many in our country.

And yet, our Congress has yet to open its eyes, much less do anything about it. In fact conditions have never been better for the banks or worse for the rest of us.

Why is this? Who does our Government work for? How much longer will we as Americans tolerate it? And what, if anything, can we do about it?

As we approach the anniversary of the bailouts for our banks and insurers — and watch the multi-trillion taxpayer-funded programs at the Federal Reserve continue to support banks and subsidize their multibillion bonus pools, we must ask if our politicians represent the interests of America? Or those who would rob America of its money and its future?

As a country, we must demand that our politicians stop serving those whose business models are based on systemic theft and start serving those who seek to create value for others — the workers, innovators and investors who have made this country great.

Was worth it, no? BTW, if you don’t listen to Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC at 9:00 AM weekdays, you are missing a great news analytics show. You can replay it 24 hours a day on MSNBC’s Web Site.