Friday, November 5, 2010

MSNBC Suspends Olbermann

Keith Olbermann has been suspended indefinitely from MSNBC for making campaign contributions to three Democrats.

...Keith Olbermann:
"One week ago, on the night of Thursday October 28 2010, after a discussion with a friend about the state of politics in Arizona, I donated $2,400 each to the reelection campaigns of Democratic Representatives Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords. I also donated the same amount to the campaign of Democratic Senatorial candidate Jack Conway in Kentucky." Olbermann went on to say he "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."
What is happening to the democratic process in our country when an individual is denied participation via legal campaign donations because of a horrible ethics policy rule? There's something horribly wrong when one cannot participate in or financially support the candidate(s) of their choice, but it's fine for corporations to donate unlimited funds to candidates and political parties in an anonymous way.

NBC should reconsider an ethics policy that infringes on an individual's constitutional rights.

UPDATE (6:05pm): According to a Huffington Post article, "[w]hile 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." The more I read into it, it seems to be personal between the NBC exec Phil Griffin, and Olbermann. It's a "my dick is bigger than your dick" issue, hence the suspension.

But the bigger issue still remains. Corporate rules are currently in place thanks to the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision that make available unlimited funds to 501(c)(4)s in support of a specific campaign by corporate donors who can remain anonymous, but those same corporations can have ethics policies in place for their employees against making campaign contributions as an individual private citizen, or at least in the case of NBC, needing permission from the executives first, who really have no business knowing who you vote for or your political affiliation.  It's just not right. I'd begrudgingly say the same if it happened to Bill O'Reilly.

1 comment:

jhw22 said...

I agree, Carlos.

KO is also taking the "hypocrite" heat for all his bashing of Fox making donations to the RGA. But I think there is a difference between a corporation donating unrestricted MILLIONS to a party vs. a citizen who is only allowed to make a capped donation amount by the FEC. ALSO, I hate when corporations make donations for the obvious reasons as well as the fact that they speak for their employees with their donations, whether the employees agree or not.

IMO, KO was asserting his rights while in no way changing his image or tainting what people already think of him.