November 5th, 2010
02:00 PM ET

Olbermann suspended for Dem contributions

CNN Political Unit

(CNN) – Keith Olbermann, MSNBC's primetime firebrand host, has been suspended indefinitely for violating the ethics policies of his employer earlier this year when he donated to three Democrats seeking federal office, MSNBC announced Friday.

"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.

Full story on the CNN Political Ticker

Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (17 Responses)
  1. Barb

    This is stupid! I watch Countdown all the time. Oh well, all the more reason to flip the channel to a nature show, or sci fi channel, or movies. Am disgusted with political battles CONTROLLING our networks now. Poohey on MSNBC. Don't "count" on me to watch any more of your network. Okay ... now where's a good movie to watch? Anything but network politics. Better yet, turn off the tv and read a book ... by Howard Zinn perhaps?

    November 6, 2010 at 3:32 pm |
  2. deane58

    Fox News is above all this ...they do not subject their employees to kindergarden ethics. Course FOX NEWS itself is a BULLY on national TV but that's beside the point. I think Keith had the misfortune to disobey his employee contract. But MSNBC should be carefull not to step on Keiths 1st amendentment rights of freedom of speech. MSNBC is clearly making a point of which NEWS station holds much higher standards to their employee's. FOX NEWS has no standards...anything goes. They claim on a daily basis they are number one...not for long!

    November 6, 2010 at 2:38 pm |
  3. Bill Halvorsen

    Could this be a run to the center/right and good timing for NBCU/Comcast's merger? Could it be that the new corporate overlord wants to realign the political leanings for their media merger that should never have been allowed to procced (but of course is being allowed to proceed, who's to stop it?). Scary times are ahead for the media and for all of us if corporations are the real despots in this scheme... and oh, if CNN calls Keith Olbermann a "political firebrand" what does CNN call FOX in its entire operation?

    November 6, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  4. Al

    Does this mean that the few viewers that remain tuned-in to MSNBC will no longer have to look at the anger and rage commonly expressed on Olbermann's face? Oh, to think that we've now lost Rick, Keith and, who knows the next: Perhaps the highly left-slanted Rachel or perhaps even the arrogant cast of, yes, FOX News anchor, where beautiful blonds lead the charge.

    November 6, 2010 at 12:57 pm |
  5. Peter Treviño, New York City

    Keith Olbermann is one of the most clear and assertive newscasters on TV. Anderson Cooper is in the middle, most of Fox's people are on the far right; but Keith has been clearly an editorialist for the left. I watched his program as frequently as I watch Anderson Cooper most every night. Like Rachel Maddow, of the same station, MSNBC, said and showed us, almost all of Fox's news people donate to their republican choices. Why would CNN and MSNBC reporters would not be allowed to do the same thing for their Democrat favorites?

    November 6, 2010 at 12:01 pm |
  6. Rick Berton

    I don't have a problem with KO donating to political parties. What I do mind is his sanctimonious criticism of FOX News for doing the same. What a hypocrite and a phony!

    November 6, 2010 at 11:44 am |
  7. John Meade

    Liberal press will try to equate Obermans donation with Fox news donation. The differene is Fox acted within the law, Oberman disobeyed his contract. MSNBC contract says before any donations are made MSNBC should be made aware. Ten to One he will receive a slap on the hand and be back with his show which NO one watches.

    November 6, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  8. Nathan

    Has Murdoch become God in this country?

    November 6, 2010 at 1:24 am |
  9. Susan Altenhofen

    Keith Olberman should be reinstated immediately! He has the right, the Constitutional right, as does apparently GE, the parent company of MSNBC, to give campaign contributions without restriction to his right of free speech, regardless of what his employer says. Does anyone find the timing of this suspension, just three days after the midterm elections in which the conservative Republicans made significant gains in both the House and the Senate, kind of convenient? Is this payback time for Keith's rants on the wrongs done by the Right? Looks to me that way. Kinda fishy.

    November 6, 2010 at 12:26 am |
  10. RitA

    I think that a great harm has been done to Keith Olberman. yes he should have gone though channels, but to take his show away from him that is totally uncalled for. Did Fox News pay someone off to get him fired?

    November 5, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
  11. Gerald Sanchez

    Regardless of the disclosure aspect, the Supreme Court has stated that corporations are free, under the First Amendment, to donate to elections or candidates. What's the difference?
    Any violations or contradiction to the Supreme Court's policy, it would seem to me, is in violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Keith Oberman did not do anything wrong, because the corporations can do it. Bottom line: There is a need to create legislation that will separate or remove the lobbyist from elections. They need to keep the election amongst the people and NOT the corporations or special interest groups. It should be about us, the American people, not anyone else.

    November 5, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  12. Tim

    How interesting....does Fox News have the same Ethics Clause for their employees? I don't think so since they contributed millions to conservative Republican causes...If I were Kieth O. I would sue....

    November 5, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  13. Tom Whitaker

    What is the purpose of such a rule for a program that clearly makes no pretense about its political leanings? MSNBC better bring Olbermann back soon or their programs and sponsors will suffer.

    November 5, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
  14. JC-Los Angeles

    I'm sure most people had no idea Keith was still on the air.

    November 5, 2010 at 9:05 pm |
  15. Trevor, Austin, TX

    This is hilarious. Good riddance, let's hope it's permanent.

    November 5, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
  16. ozzie garcia

    You see world; this guy is an extremist. Proven by his own actions. You only get one side of the story with MSNBC.

    November 5, 2010 at 7:46 pm |
  17. vanessa

    i'm really sorry 2 hear this! i'm a loyal viewer of Keith Olberman.. many people ccritize him but 2 me he says it how it is! just like many people favor fox hosts/entertainers cause they do know how 2 entertain & make u laugh with their stupidity, Olberman is REAL! if he broke a rule, ok get suspended.. but 4 people 2 critize & talk CRAP about him is just not right! go Keith! someone fr SD is a FAN.. proud 2 say it 2!!!

    November 5, 2010 at 7:43 pm |