South Dakota news anchor suspended for Tea Party participation

posted at 7:04 pm on April 28, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Let a thousand tu quoques commence!  For once, though, conservatives may have some impulse to defend a member of the mainstream media.  Shad Olson, a Rapid City, South Dakota TV news anchorman, will return to the air soon after completing a suspension received for his participation in a Tax Day Tea Party rally:

KOTA TV newsman Shad Olson will be back on the air soon, following a disciplinary suspension from his news anchor duties in the Rapid City coverage area because of his speech at a tea party rally.

Olson was taken off the air locally a few days after his April 15 speech at the Citizens for Liberty tax day rally in Memorial Park.

“Shad’s speech to the tax day rally was a lapse in ethics, so we took appropriate action,” KOTA news director John Petersen said.

Petersen said Olson will resume his anchor duties for KOTA at some point in the near future, but declined to offer a date. He also declined to discuss specifics of the disciplinary action taken against Olson.

Olson gave an impassioned speech at the rally, as reported at the time by the Rapid City Journal:

Featured rally speaker Shad Olson, a news anchor for KOTA TV, spoke of misconceptions about the makeup of tea party participants.

“Did you all forget your militias?” Olson said, referring to allegations of militia influence in tea party gatherings. “We must have forgotten to notify the militia.”

Olson also noted the absence of insulting, profane signs or misspelled slogans. He said most Americans agree with the tea party mission, once they understand its consistent place in American history.

“The point is, most people agree with us; they just haven’t been taught enough history to know they agree with us,” he said.

Olson said the group is “not radical.”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch got Peterson to state that “a journalist should not participate … A journalist should report the news, not make the news.” Olson responded by pointing out that no one had discerned his politics after several years of anchoring the news, which demonstrated his ability to report without bias. Olson’s unlikely to press his case further, and his return will certainly be closely watched by KOTA management and his audience after this contretemps.

Will conservatives defend Olson? Dan Rather took a lot of heat for speaking at a Democratic fundraiser in Texas, which conservatives used to paint him as biased. Rather claimed that he didn’t know the event was a fundraiser, but as the Washington Post reported at the time, he wasn’t exactly contrite about it, either. His management at CBS had a different opinion, but didn’t suspend Rather, calling it an “honest oversight.”

Olson’s appearance didn’t involve fundraising, or even partisan identification. However, it still speaks to the basic problem for supposedly objective journalists and political activism. The Tea Party is at least philosophically opposed to the current agenda of the Democratic Party, even if its activists aren’t entirely sold on the GOP, either. A keynote speech would not be a problem for an opinion journalist, but for a reporter? I suspect that had we seen Brian Williams as a speaker at an antiwar rally in 2004, he’d still be hearing about it from conservative critics. While reporters are American citizens like anyone else and have the right to participate in the political process, their publishers/editors have the right to consider whether that erodes confidence in their product, too.

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Yes, because then I’ll know exactly where their loyalties lie.

kagai on April 28, 2010 at 9:30 PM

Yeah. Can you think of any? O’Reilly was even soft on the guy. Most of what Obama got was “how do you function being so wonderfully wonderful? How proud do you think your parents would be right now? How does it feel to have the hopes and dreams of so many resting on your gorgeous shoulders?” Give me a break.

ddrintn on April 28, 2010 at 9:20 PM

….Hardly anybody can press their lips tighter to Obama’s a$$ than the NY Times:

NYT reporter to Obama: What is it about the office that’s “enchanted” you?

posted at 10:20 pm on April 29, 2009 by Allahpundit
http://hotair.com/archives/2009/04/29/nyt-reporter-to-obama-what-is-it-about-the-office-thats-enchanted-you/
Tonight’s celebration of media “independence,” in honor of the first 100 days.


….well the NY Times has to do what it has to do when they are in competition with Newsweek Editor’s who proclaim Obama is a God.

Baxter Greene on April 28, 2010 at 9:32 PM

I don’t want journalists to show their colors. But, where are the journalists? The people I see here in the Twin Cities are the proverbial talking heads, who haven’t a brain to utilize. I want my news unfiltered. But, that is in the past.

MNDavenotPC on April 28, 2010 at 10:05 PM

Employers should have the right to stop paying someone whenever they want. By dropping even the charade of impartiality, the station owner could project a possible loss of a large amount of viewers. Even if it’s only in the minds of the advertisers, that’s a pretty big deal. I stand up for the newsman’s freedom to say what he wants, and I also stand up for his employer’s freedom to fire him.

Freedom of Speech only protects you from government action–not real-world reactions by private employers who may feel they need to protect their income, as well as that of their remaining employees.

Mephistefales on April 28, 2010 at 10:32 PM

Dude, could you possibly cite an instance of clear liberal-media-bias within the past quarter-century?

Thanks.

The Race Card on April 28, 2010 at 7:41 PM

A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

Let’s talk a little media bias here. The media, I think, wants Kerry to win. . . . They’re going to portray Kerry and Edwards as being young and dynamic and optimistic and there’s going to be this glow about them . . . that’s going to be worth maybe 15 points.”

Newsweak “Editor” Evan Thomas, 2004.

You’re dismissed.

Del Dolemonte on April 28, 2010 at 11:14 PM

My opinion on this is that the media shouldn’t be participating in stuff like this.

HOWEVER, since a number of people have done so in the past for lefty events and not been censured over it, with Dan Rather’s speech at the Travis County Democrats’ fundraiser being at the forefront, Olson shouldn’t be in trouble.

Call it down the middle on stuff like this. Since Olson gets suspended for doing a speech at a Tea Party rally, then they better suspend someone else from that same news team if they speak at a liberal-themed rally, such as something anti-war or pro-illegal immigration.

teke184 on April 28, 2010 at 11:48 PM

Baxter Greene on April 28, 2010 at 9:03 PM

I appreciate the invective. Thanks.

Now, again when did I refute liberal media bias? Asking you to cite one is not nearly the same thing. I know journalists are mostly liberal because I know many journalists. I’ve worked with and among journalists at majors and mid-size metros. I have some but not much insight into local broadcast news as well. I have seen instances of media bias that would flare your hemorrhoids.

I said exactly what I mean, asking if you could. You did, kinda. You were able to cite one instance and you were able to albeit one that the WaPo ombudsman found for ya. My point was, and thank you for proving it, is that you could not come up with one on your own. You simply regurgitate talking-point mantras, which I find annoying. You can’t even discern between journalism and commentary.

Thank you for your citations. Next time you can try to ride the two-wheeler on your own. Anyhooters, thanks cuddlenut.

The Race Card on April 29, 2010 at 1:41 AM

The most dangerous bias is subtle. I’m afraid I can’t provide a link, which means you’ll probably just disregard this… but not long before the 2008 election I recall reading AP stories in my local newspaper (on the same day) about rallies held by McCain and Obama.

The report on McCain’s rally was dry and factual. Obama, on the other hand, was described as “confident” and the size of the crowd was “jaw-dropping”. The use of language was clearly promoting one candidate over the other.

malclave on April 28, 2010 at 8:05 PM

That happened a lot. That’s a great example despite the lack of specificity. We all know what you mean.

It would be worth it to find a link. I’ll look too.

The Race Card on April 29, 2010 at 1:42 AM

Newsweak “Editor” Evan Thomas, 2004.

You’re dismissed.

Del Dolemonte on April 28, 2010 at 11:14 PM

Another great example, second one I’ve read.

Frankly, I would like to see them seriously addressed by somebody other than MM and Bernie Goldberg. A forum-thread, or updated blog post. I think there should be some conservative accounting for media eff-ups and slights.

Why do you think that I don’t believe they exist? Listen if somebody says they don’t want fries that does not mean they hate fries. It means they don’t want fries at that time.

Good grief Encyclopedia Brown! You’re engaged in the same leftist logic that casts people like you as bigots simply because you ardently oppose Obama’s (and Dem) policies. I wonder if you’re able to see that.

Again, thank you for your citation. That’s the kind of ish I’m talking about. I’ll take it, even with your snark. Thanks.

The Race Card on April 29, 2010 at 1:49 AM

You are to stupid and infantile to even suggest that there is no bias and when you challenged for it to be produced, you are to stuck on stupid to acknowledge that you just got your “posterior handed to you.

….how pathetic.

Baxter Greene on April 28, 2010 at 9:03 PM

Scroll up, learn a bit.

Keep this in mind for next time. I have never shied away from admitting I’m wrong at Hot Air, not once. That’s because I don’t have an emotional attachment to information insofar as I’m excited to share and receive it. If your info is better than mine, I’m taking yours.

Currently, you have no new info. However, I do welcome you to try again.

The Race Card on April 29, 2010 at 1:59 AM

Everyone has an opinion and picks sides. If they are on their own time and not representing their employer I don’t see a problem with it and we would at least be aware of their political leanings.

New Patriot on April 29, 2010 at 9:39 AM

The Race Card on April 29, 2010 at 1:42 AM
The Race Card on April 29, 2010 at 1:49 AM
The Race Card on April 29, 2010 at 1:59 AM

..I know in the huffington post bubble you live in those last 3 posts were considered a “refute” of all the facts that were presented to you…but in the real world you have done nothing but reveal yourself as some kid jumping up and down in the middle of the room with his hands over his ears yelling “because I said so!!!!…because I said so”.

..once again let me show you what “you” actually posted:

Dude, could you possibly cite an instance of clear liberal-media-bias within the past quarter-century?

Thanks.

The Race Card on April 28, 2010 at 7:41 PM

….I posted many instances of clear liberal bias from many spectrum’s of the MSM…even posted direct collusion between the media and the White House to push the White House’s talking points.

…your lame line of:

..:I said exactly what I mean, asking if you could. You did, kinda. You were able to cite one instance and you were able to albeit one that the WaPo ombudsman found for ya. My point was, and thank you for proving it, is that you could not come up with one on your own.

…is nothing but word games and parsing to move the goalposts because you don’t have the intelligence or maturity to admit you don’t know what you are talking about.

…..If you can prove that the many instances in my post of obvious media bias is not true…then you will have a point.
But the facts are that you can’t…that is why you are reduced to your infantile whining and pathetic pretzel logic in trying to explain away your ignorance of the subject at hand.

Baxter Greene on April 29, 2010 at 10:06 AM

I don’t see why Journalists can’t participate in a political event. They just shouldn’t pretend to be neutral after doing so, and should let their viewer/readers know that they are taking sides.

Count to 10 on April 29, 2010 at 10:19 AM

You simply regurgitate talking-point mantras, which I find annoying. You can’t even discern between journalism and commentary.

Thank you for your citations. Next time you can try to ride the two-wheeler on your own. Anyhooters, thanks cuddlenut.

The Race Card on April 29, 2010 at 1:41 AM

..let’s break it down for the liberal simpleton:

(via Wikipedia)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_bias


Media bias
refers to the bias of journalists and news producers within the mass media, in the selection of which events and stories are reported and how they are covered.

….this plainly states what media bias is ….you able to follow so far race card…you should be able to understand that definition since most of the words are one and two syllables.

…race card asked:Dude, could you possibly cite an instance of clear liberal-media-bias within the past quarter-century?

….and was provided many instances including these obvious examples of ….are you ready for this race card….media bias that you asked for.

…here we have Rahm and another White House official working hand and hand to coordinate a specific message that they want the press to push:
(please see media bias definition to help you understand this race card)”


Rahmbo’s Echo Chamber

Filed under: General — Karl @ 6:36 am
[Posted by Karl]

Unlike those other groups, however, the Common Purpose meeting has involved a White House official, communications director Ellen Moran, two sources familiar with the meeting said. It’s aimed, said one, at “providing a way for the White House to manage its relationships with some of these independent groups.”

However, Jane Hamsher let slip who is really behind Common Purpose, calling it “one of the many groups Rahm Emanuel has set up to coordinate messaging among liberal interest groups”:


….Here is a “reporter” race card…a “journalist” that is stating for a fact that they took sides in their reporting concerning a Presidential election
:(once again…reference the definition if this is to hard for you to piece together)

Reporter: ‘We Took Sides, Straight and Simple’ Against Palin
By Tim Graham
Created 2009-07-10 07:56

On AOL Politics Daily [1], long-time White House reporter Carl Cannon bluntly declared that the political press gave Sarah Palin a raw deal in the 2008 campaign, and seriously failed to scrutinize Joe Biden, especially his fact-mangling and odd statements in the vice presidential debate. Cannon summed up:

here is the White House again using someone to push their talking points while trying to portray them as an “Independent voice”….which is no only unethical..but shows media bias (once again..if this is to hard for you to understand race card..see definition above):


How the White House Used Gruber’s Work to Create Appearance of Broad Consensus

Jane Hamsher
Founder, FireDogLake.com
Posted: January 13, 2010 10:14 AM

Up until this point, most of the attention regarding the failure to disclose the connection between Jonathan Gruber and the White House has fallen on Gruber himself. Far more troubling, however, is the lack of disclosure on the part of the White House, the Senate, the DNC and other Democratic leaders who distributed Gruber’s work and cited it as independent validation of their proposals, orchestrating the appearance of broad consensus when in fact it was all part of the same effort.

….Here is a commentator who is part of the …get ready for it race card…part of the “media”….who portrays himself as a “journalist” also…plainly stating that he is going to do everything he can to push the Presidents message and help him be successful…

Matthews: My Job Is To Make Obama Presidency a Success
By Mark Finkelstein
Created 2008-11-06 09:35

CHRIS MATTHEWS

: Yeah, well, you know what? I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new presidency work, and I think that –

JOE SCARBOROUGH:

Is that your job? You just talked about being a journalist!


MATTHEWS:

Yeah, it is my job. My job is to help this country.

…this is “media bias” race card…plain and so simple that a 7 year old child could easily grasp this.
…..you on the other hand..appear to have the thinking and comprehension ability of a rock.
But keep spinning and denying the obvious so that you leave no question in anyone’s mind what a useful idiot you truly are to the democratic party.

Baxter Greene on April 29, 2010 at 10:34 AM

How many democrap reporters (I know that’s redundant) attend pro abortion rallies, pro illegal immigration rallies, pro gay marriage protests and other leftwing protests and give their support to those causes without even a censure letter, let alone a firing, from their publishers? Answer you could count such adverse determinations on the finger of one hand.
Again, if the leftwingers can give their reportorial support to leftwing causes then the center right reporters should be given the same latitude. Otherwise there might be some issue of bias and slanting the news and we know that lamestream media never ever nuh huh does that.

eaglewingz08 on April 29, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Every journalist should have the cowboy parts required to stand by their convictions. And, those convictions should be part of the public record.

There can be no transparency in reporting while jounalists practice ninja politics.

applebutter on April 29, 2010 at 12:17 PM

Although it might be unethical it is not illegal. He has a right under The Constitution to speak out. As long as he wasn’t representing KOTA and made no reference to the station then I don’t see where they have the right to suspend him. An individual has the right to Freedom of Speech and by telling him that he can’t speak out surely violates those rights. Now if he was there doing his job and instead made a speech that’s totally different story and yes I can see a suspension for being sent for one purpose and doing something else. By KOTA suspending him it has escelated this to a higher media level. They made it a news item when it shouldn’t have been.

RonAck on April 29, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Freedom of from speech!!!

landlines on April 29, 2010 at 1:00 PM

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