Olbermann returns after two nights off on Tuesday

posted at 8:48 am on November 8, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

So that makes the suspension equal to, what — 40 minutes of air time for every unapproved political donation?  MSNBC will put Keith Olbermann back on the air after two unpaid days off following the admission that the anchor broke NBC’s ethics rules designed to protect their staff’s “standing (cough) as an impartial (cough cough) journalist (cough cough cough cough cough)”:

MSNBC says Keith Olbermann will be back on the air Tuesday, ending his suspension for violating NBC’s rules against making political donations after two shows.

MSNBC’s chief executive Phil Griffin said late Sunday that after several days of deliberation, he had determined that two days off the air was “an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy.”

The left-leaning cable network’s most popular personality acknowledged donating $2,400 apiece to the campaigns of Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway and Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords. NBC News prohibits its employees from making political donations unless an exception is granted in advance by the network news president. In this case, Olbermann’s bosses didn’t know about them until being informed by a reporter.

“We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night,” Griffin said in a statement.

Look, the application of the rule to Olbermann is absurd in the first place.  If NBC’s ethics rules really apply to MSNBC, then their entire prime-time lineup should get canned after the Election Night fiasco.  No one cares whether Olbermann, Chris Matthews, Rachel Maddow, Larry O’Donnell, or Ed Schultz contribute to Democrats.  Donations could not possibly tell us any more than even a first-time viewer wouldn’t glean in the first five minutes of their shows.

Obviously, ethics had nothing to do with it.  Why did Griffin go through this little farce?  He wanted to use it to supposedly position MSNBC as somehow more journalistically pure than Fox News, and to give the channel’s defenders a talking point after one of the most embarrassing displays in American telejournalism on Tuesday night.  Olbermann, who kept oddly quiet during his hours in the wilderness, presumably knew better what was happening than the “Free Keith” contingent who demanded that Griffin reverse his decision and who worried that Olbermann’s right to free speech was somehow threatened.

Basically, this was nothing more than a farcical publicity stunt, and a pleasant long weekend for the supposed perp/victim.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Remember, MSNBC is a news organization. Rachel Maddow said so. So it must be true.

trapeze on November 8, 2010 at 8:52 AM

It may have been a publicity stunt. I’m still not gonna watch MSNBC….so good luck with that Comcast.

Dr Evil on November 8, 2010 at 8:52 AM

Now bring back Pelosi too.

forest on November 8, 2010 at 8:52 AM

No extended bump in his numbers, perhaps a blip and then back to flatline.

darwin-t on November 8, 2010 at 8:53 AM

I guess there is still hope that Comcast will clean house when they take over and now they can add Griffin to the list.

trapeze on November 8, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Yep, NBC is trying to make it look like they’re actually objective and actually journalists.

No one is buying.

dogsoldier on November 8, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Welcome back good friend. Two days off seemed like an eternity without you.

Mojave Mark on November 8, 2010 at 8:54 AM

Did anyone really doubt this outcome?

CantCureStupid on November 8, 2010 at 8:55 AM

I hope more people tune in to his show this week who have never seen it before. It’ll be that many more folks who see how unhinged the left has become if they haven’t already – especially in post mid-term blow-out tantrum mode.

forest on November 8, 2010 at 8:55 AM

I’m sure his 3 viewers are tickled pink. The rest of us will continue to not give a sh*t that he exists.

mjk on November 8, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Either Ed and I think very much alike or HE’S BEEN STEALING MY MATERIAL when I commented on the DUmmie FUnnies or on the Yahoo story in much the same way.

The only two holes in my theory are:
1.Yahoo commenting is silly because it gets buried in seconds

2.DUmmie FUnnies is a great site but it doesn’t get nearly enough traffic.

I’m gonna go with “great minds think alike”.

rihar on November 8, 2010 at 8:56 AM

Does not matter. Did not watch, will not watch. Olby Watch Lives!

EliTheBean on November 8, 2010 at 8:56 AM

to supposedly position MSNBC as somehow more journalistically pure than Fox News, and to give the channel’s defenders a talking point after one of the most embarrassing displays in American telejournalism on Tuesday night.

epic fail

cmsinaz on November 8, 2010 at 8:57 AM

Did anyone really doubt this outcome?

CantCureStupid on November 8, 2010 at 8:55 AM

I did. I thought they were using this as an excuse to unload a highly paid deranged kook who isn’t getting ratings. They could fill the 8:00 slot with another kook for less than half the price.

forest on November 8, 2010 at 8:58 AM

I guess there is still hope that Comcast will clean house when they take over and now they can add Griffin to the list.

trapeze on November 8, 2010 at 8:54 AM

we hope

cmsinaz on November 8, 2010 at 8:58 AM

Did anyone really doubt this outcome?

CantCureStupid on November 8, 2010 at 8:55 AM

I figured he’d be back(although not this soon). But I did think there was a slight possibility that the pending takeover by Comcast coupled with the embarrassment of Tuesday night’s midterm coverage might have prompted MSDNC management to finally get their act together. Apparently I thought too much of them.

Doughboy on November 8, 2010 at 9:02 AM

PMSDNC is “…nothing more than a farcical publicity stunt…”

oldleprechaun on November 8, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Join “bold progressives” and congratulate him for this show of victory over the wingnuts!

hoosiermama on November 8, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Is it just me or do liberals not know how to properly punish??

Ian on November 8, 2010 at 9:04 AM

They have to be trying to get ratings up. While I doubt that Comcast cares much about the content, how do they continue a network with those ratings? If you go to the headlines Johnny Dollars Place has a video of MSNBC doing exactly the same thing the Ms. Maddow accused Fox of doing.

Cindy Munford on November 8, 2010 at 9:04 AM

So little Keefie has been allowed to go back out and play after having a two minute time out in the MSNBC naughty corner.

Hellrider on November 8, 2010 at 9:05 AM

Imagine the righteous indignation that will be on display on Tuesday night. Or he could try to do the humble mea culpa. Of course, KO needs to understand what it means to be humble….

Mallard T. Drake on November 8, 2010 at 9:06 AM

“Suspension” my ass. Olbermann’s donations of $7200 are mice nuts compared to his nightly In-Kind Contributions to the Democrat party. I smell a rat. Why did Maddow’s coverage on Olbermann segue into an attack on FNC? Because this whole stunt is directed at Fox – notwithstanding Olbermann’s man-crush on O’Reilly.

perroviejo on November 8, 2010 at 9:07 AM

Most of us ignore what the left wing media says anyway Ed,so this comes as no surprise and who cares really?Only pmsnbc and their viewers:)

ohiobabe on November 8, 2010 at 9:08 AM

I’ve seen his ratings, he needs all the publicity he can get.

Tommy_G on November 8, 2010 at 9:09 AM

Basically, this was nothing more than a farcical publicity stunt, and a pleasant long weekend for the supposed perp/victim.

My guess it was “paid” as well…

ladyingray on November 8, 2010 at 9:10 AM

Well, you’ve got former Obama aides complaining about evil Comacast cabals being behind Olby’s suspension. And it could be possible that Phil Griffin was looking ahead to saving his own bacon with Comcast by showing he has at least some sense of journalistic shame. But it’s also possible that – as media obsessed as the Democrats in general and this White House in particular are — that Griffin or others at the network or its current/future parent actually got some political pressure to put Keith back on the air, because certain people in power deluionally believe that keeping Olbermann on the air someday is finally going to be that game-change against Fox News, when the majority of Americans finally come to their senses.

jon1979 on November 8, 2010 at 9:11 AM

A publicity stunt that becomes a scandal?

Seems no one can find records to corroborate the alleged donations. Sheppard at Newsbusters is on it:

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/11/07/breaking-olbermann-back-msnbc-tuesday

Did MSNBC and Olbermann fabricate the whole story?

novaculus on November 8, 2010 at 9:11 AM

I am very glad he’s back. Please. More of the same.

He was so successful getting Tea Partiers elected this year. Can’t wait for 2012.

faraway on November 8, 2010 at 9:12 AM

Yawn….

ornery_independent on November 8, 2010 at 9:12 AM

They should make him give equivalent sums to the NRA and National Right to Life.

DrZin on November 8, 2010 at 9:13 AM

He was going to take off a couple of days anyway to sit in the tub and sulk. This way he doesn’t look like such a puss…which is probably the whole reason for this stunt.

Asher on November 8, 2010 at 9:14 AM

This is great news.

Now I and hundreds of millions of other Americans can go back to not watching his show every night.

What a relief!

AZCoyote on November 8, 2010 at 9:17 AM

MSNBC’s chief executive Phil Griffin said late Sunday that after several days of deliberation, he had determined that two days off the air was “an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy.”

Translation: We still love his hatred for conservative thought.

Liberalism is alive and well at MSNBC—the Daily Kos of cable television.

Rovin on November 8, 2010 at 9:18 AM

Brilliant strategy really. If they bring in 10 more viewers they increase their market share 50%.

Patrick S on November 8, 2010 at 9:19 AM

Our long national nightmare returns Tuesday. I’ll be glad to continue not watching him.

JammieWearingFool on November 8, 2010 at 9:19 AM

If a Keith Olbermann is taken off the air and nobody is watching anyways, is he really taken off the air??

The Zoo Keeper on November 8, 2010 at 9:19 AM

I bet he thinks we’ll all be tuning in to see what he says.

LOL

Good Lt on November 8, 2010 at 9:22 AM

They’re just lucky Paris Hilton didn’t get thrown in jail this weekend, otherwise this story would have been buried underneath the farm report.

sherry on November 8, 2010 at 9:24 AM

The Zoo Keeper on November 8, 2010 at 9:19 AM

good question master

/grasshopper

cmsinaz on November 8, 2010 at 9:27 AM

Why did Griffin go through this little farce? He wanted to use it to supposedly position MSNBC as somehow more journalistically pure than Fox News, and to give the channel’s defenders a talking point after one of the most embarrassing displays in American telejournalism on Tuesday night.

If that Griffin’s reasoning, then I have two words for this: Epic Fail. Obiedork’s show sucks for one reason and one reason only, Obiedork. This isn’t going to gain any significant numbers if at all. msnbc: where careers go to be put to rest.

TQM38a on November 8, 2010 at 9:31 AM

You’ve been snookered again, Ed. All the squishy “conservatives” who turned the NBC reaction to Olbermann’s contract violation into some sort of bogus plea for “freedom of speech” got played like li’l violins. Again.

It’s Juan Williams all over again: overpaid hack journalist irritates his bosses and gets broomed, then comes back fat and happy, with status raised as a “martyr to the First Amendment” (or something).

Nuts. Both of them knew the rules, and are getting undeserved bloated paychecks from their “oppressors.” Both of them did something their superiors didn’t like. When said superiors are unhappy, it is their right to fire/suspend those who irritate them.

When you’re raking in $7 mil a year, what does three unpaid days cost you? Not a whole heck of a lot.

Loss of income: minuscule; publicity and the sight of so-called “conservatives” racing to your defense? Priceless!

MrScribbler on November 8, 2010 at 9:35 AM

Most of us ignore what the left wing media says anyway Ed,so this comes as no surprise and who cares really?Only pmsnbc and their viewers:)

ohiobabe on November 8, 2010 at 9:08 AM

So true. I don’t even have a clue what went on at MSNBC last Tues on election night as I avoid all the threads and videos of what goes on at that network, and those fools on their payroll don’t faze me none. The relevence given to them by Right-leaning blog sites is absurd.

RepubChica on November 8, 2010 at 9:36 AM

The left-leaning cable network’s most popular personality acknowledged donating $2,400 apiece to the campaigns of Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway…

Bathtub Boy doesn’t like the Aqua Buddha? Odd.

RepubChica on November 8, 2010 at 9:39 AM

OK look. Let’s be honest, which is what I’ve been saying for a while. It’s MSNBC. Please tell me that none of you were silly enough, gullible enough, or foolish enough to think that they would turn over a new leaf and start being all non partisan.

I’m glad Olby is back, because now I still have a chance at being named the Worst Person in the world. That as you know, is a mark of honor for a Conservative, like the Nobel Prize for a Liberal.

Snake307 on November 8, 2010 at 9:41 AM

Grayson must not have done well in his audition…

Fallon on November 8, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Meh. My guess is that this whole kerfluffle was Griffin making lemons into lemonade. The donations/suspension were cover for the fact that Keithy was throwing a tantrum after the Democrat implosion Tuesday.

The ‘suspension’ was two days because that’s how long it took to coax Olberman out of the bathtub.

zerosheep on November 8, 2010 at 9:47 AM

A STUNT!!!!!!

lilium on November 8, 2010 at 9:58 AM

They had to bring Keith back- he was the lynch pin in MSNBC’s goal of promoting the successes of political progressivism*

*Past results may not be indicative of future returns

jjshaka on November 8, 2010 at 10:11 AM

Who is this “older man” Kevin you guys keep talking about?

Midas on November 8, 2010 at 10:11 AM

If this is a stunt and I have to admit that it appears to be, I wonder if the Right running to the defense of Mr. Olbermann is what they had in mind? All these nasty Right wing fascist coming to the defense of his freedom of speech can’t really have been part of the plan, could it?

Cindy Munford on November 8, 2010 at 10:12 AM

No no no fart this is Sarah Palin’s hand fart no no no. That will live on forever; how can anyone take the guy seriously after viewing that youtube HotAir pointed out?

unclesmrgol on November 8, 2010 at 10:21 AM

When you don’t concern yourselves with the doings at MSNBC you are a much happier person.

BetseyRoss on November 8, 2010 at 10:29 AM

Looks like it worked. You’re talking about MSNBC in the same breath as Fox. That shouldn’t happen. But it is.

Pablo Snooze on November 8, 2010 at 10:40 AM

I predict when Keef narrates tonight’s special comment, condemning all who rained on his parade, fire will shoot out of his mouth.

fogw on November 8, 2010 at 10:41 AM

Well, so much for the rumor that he wouldn’t lower himself to return to his $7 million a year job. *haha

And it gave MSN a chance to bash Fox and take the attention off of the deplorable critical reviews of their election night coverage.

They don’t call these media organizations for nothing, eh?

AnninCA on November 8, 2010 at 10:48 AM

I posted this elsewhere, but hey, it’s appropriate.

“Sure, most people call it a weekend, but the fact remains that it is two days”, said MSNBC president Phil Griffin in response to criticism of the light punishment. “As a matter of fact, we intend to suspend him for two days every single week, just to send a message.”

John Deaux on November 8, 2010 at 10:58 AM

Let’s look at the ratings numbers for the racist Olbermann Wednesday morning.

rbj on November 8, 2010 at 11:00 AM

MSNBC has ethics?

GarandFan on November 8, 2010 at 11:06 AM

Those 3 viewers must have been pissed off!!

dthorny on November 8, 2010 at 11:07 AM

MSNBC’s pathetic attempt at recreating the Juan Williams’ NPR firing debacle, and the subsequent storm of outrage.

Mission failed.

Demosthenes on November 8, 2010 at 11:11 AM

Olbermann [] presumably knew better what was happening than the “Free Keith” contingent who demanded that Griffin reverse his decision and who worried that Olbermann’s right to free speech was somehow threatened.

I love how flexible the “principles” of liberals are: FOX News is a monolithic corporation which the 1st Amendment doesn’t apply to and must be constrained by FCC regulations, but MSNBC is just a collection of individual commentators exercising their right to free speech.

Socratease on November 8, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Olbermann returns

Thank goodness, and just in time to stop the Earth’s magnetic poles from flipping.

Please Wingnuts, don’t wish unemployment on Keith. Whenever we need to establish the existence of unhinged Dems, he’s there for us.

HelenW on November 8, 2010 at 11:45 AM

Did anyone really doubt this outcome?

CantCureStupid on November 8, 2010 at 8:55 AM

Nope. I believe Olberman’s show is the highest rated show on MSNBC. I know that’s not saying much, but why would you get rid of the host of a show that is your biggest money maker? Even MSNBC isn’t that dumb.

Callie C. on November 8, 2010 at 12:01 PM

How does he get two nights off on Tuesday?

rasqual on November 8, 2010 at 12:05 PM

Desperate attempt at increasing ratings? It will not help.

thekingtut on November 8, 2010 at 12:28 PM

Give the crazy man time, he will still do something so ridiculous that even MSNBC will have to send him packing for good. Meanwhile, it’s good entertainment for Hot Air readers because I don’t go near MSNBC on TV.

Hummer53 on November 8, 2010 at 12:46 PM

Imagine your dismay as you stand, peering into the bowl, as that big chalupa you just pooped and flushed comes floating back up, mocking you. Behold, Keefy has returned.

Welcome back, Uberdouche. You really faked us out with this one, orange guy.

sgtstogie on November 8, 2010 at 12:48 PM

MSNBC realized that nobody else in the world can make as big a noise and as big a donkey of himself at the same time. He’s unique, and they can’t replace him. So they brought him back.

What did you expect? That he was going to write a column for Kos or Huffington Post?

njcommuter on November 8, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Probably for the best. This guy should have as little free time as possible. It’s kind of like giving a little kid a coloring book or something; it keeps them occupied.

Grayson on November 8, 2010 at 1:11 PM

Obviously, ethics had nothing to do with it. Why did Griffin go through this little farce? He wanted to use it to supposedly position MSNBC as somehow more journalistically pure than Fox News, and to give the channel’s defenders a talking point after one of the most embarrassing displays in American telejournalism on Tuesday night.

Well it sure looks legitimate now. Not only has Keith’s money been donated to Dem candidates, it’s still with them, inspite of their mock holier than Fox attitude.

Fox personalities made donations. Obviously there was no secrete, or shame in this. Nor was there with Keith. But now MSNBC tries to shame Fox, while doing the same thing? Do these people even bother to think things thru first? Because now they look even more hypocritical than ever. IF that’s even possible.

capejasmine on November 8, 2010 at 1:48 PM

If an Olbermann falls in the forest, does it make a sound?

Nobody watches MSNBC, nobody watches Olby. It is dreck.

gajaw999 on November 8, 2010 at 2:34 PM

When you don’t concern yourselves with the doings at MSNBC you are a much happier person.

BetseyRoss on November 8, 2010 at 10:29 AM

I found a great recipe for banana pudding this weekend, and also spent some time in the yard cleaning out a flower bed and raking leaves. A delightful time! Excuse me, Olby who?

gajaw999 on November 8, 2010 at 2:40 PM

If this was all part of some grand plan for publicity, then… damn, MSNBC needs tutoring from Xanatos (a villain from the Gargoyles cartoon, revered for his skill at manipulation) badly. They made their so-called ethical policies look like they’re just a speed bump and pretty much confirmed Keith Olbermann is not in any way, shape, or form an objective commentator.

R. Waher on November 8, 2010 at 2:59 PM

I love this line that PopEater.com just posted on Olby demanding MSNBC apologize to him for them taking him off the air!

“Keith is furious about the way this has all been handled and insisted that MSNBC bosses apologize to him before he would agree to return,” a network insider tells me. “Keith sees himself as the star of MSNBC, the person who put them on the map and discovered fellow network anchors Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell. To be treated like this by the network he helped shape, he considers disgusting.”

In other words, MSNBC has become the Network For The Insane Asylum Run By The Inmates due primarily and solely because of Keith Olbermann and his influence.

This explains EVERYTHING!

pilamaye on November 8, 2010 at 3:06 PM

He wanted to use it to supposedly position MSNBC as somehow more journalistically pure than Fox News

Obviously MSNBC is slanted to the left. But to say that Fox News is someone comparable is a stretch. When the day comes that MSNBC gives shows and salaries to Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, and every other potential Democratic candidate who’d like to build a national audience through cable TV, then I’ll agree with you.

Certainly, that day will come. Presidential candidates on the right will work for Fox, while those on the left will work for MSNBC or another network that decides to go after the non-Fox audience. I don’t know exactly how Presidential politics headed down this path, but it stinks.

bayam on November 8, 2010 at 3:20 PM

Wow, I’m impresed. A “lot” of Hot Air regulars called this one on the money.

hawkdriver on November 8, 2010 at 4:09 PM

I’m thinking MSNBC found out they couldn’t find ANYONE who HASN’T given a political donation that could fill his slot.

They were screwed so they just brought him back.

clement on November 8, 2010 at 5:01 PM

I smell a rat. Why did Maddow’s coverage on Olbermann segue into an attack on FNC? Because this whole stunt is directed at Fox –
perroviejo on November 8, 2010 at 9:07 AM

And lets add to that the $140 Billion bailout Obama gave to GE.
GE owns MSNBC.
Does anyone honestly think this stunt was not manufactured by Obama and his lackeys to attack Fox News?

Congress should demand the entire $140 Billion bailout to GE be paid back immediately!

DSchoen on November 8, 2010 at 6:21 PM