Maddow Comes to Olbermann’s Rescue (Lucky Him)
posted at 1:30 pm on November 6, 2010 by Howard Portnoy
As liberals shed crocodile tears over the suspension of MSNBC host Keith Olbermann for violating a network policy that prohibits on-screeen talent from contributing to political campaigns, it is understandable that his network cohorts would rise to his defense. Sadly for Rachel Maddow, who delivered her two cents yesterday, this is impossible to do without throwing stones across the yawning ratings chasm at FOX News.
Her attacks on FOX are based on the fact that “hosts on FOX raise money on the air for Republican candidates.” She airs a clip of Sean Hannity soliciting contributions from viewers. But no sooner does she deliver this damnig accusation than she shoots herself in the foot by dismissing FOX as a “political operation,” not a “news organization” like the one that employs her. If by her own lights FOX is nothing more than a shill for the Republican Party, then why would she expect them to uphold the same high standards of impartiality that she apparently ascribes to MSNBC?
But her castigation of FOX doesn’t stop there. Her comments include reference to “all the right-wing cackling and the beltway, old-media cluck cluck clucking about this” that evidently have occurred since Olbermann’s unpaid suspension made headlines. Let’s have a look at some of that right-wing cackling, and from Maddow’s favorite target no less. Here’s Bill Kristol, of the Weekly Standard and a regular on FOX:
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?
Wow, what an SOB! Talk about hitting a guy when he’s down!
On last night’s Special Report with Bret Baier, the so-called all-star panel weighed in on the Olbermann suspension. The three panelists—Fred Barnes (also of the Weekly Standard), A.B. Stoddard (of The Hill), and syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer—were all of a mind that what Olbermann did should not have been a punishable offense. By the way, that’s the same Charles Krauthammer that Olbermann named in his “Worst Person in the World” segment on May 4 of this year. (It is hard to know whether Krauthammer considers Olbermann one of the worst people in the world because no FOX program has a segment with that name.)
The bottom line is that neither of these networks is innocent of bomb-throwing. Sean Hannity certainly degrades the conversation when he refers to the president as “the anointed one.” Glenn Beck’s funny voices are equally out of place in a supposedly serious news commentary.
But is there room or justification for Rachel Maddow to take shots over the bow at FOX because one of her colleagues was axed? You decide.