By now, pretty much everyone has weighed in on MSNBC's decision to suspend Keith Olbermann over the revelation that he donated to three candidates this year, but since I'm still getting back into the swing of blogging, I figured I might as well weigh in with my $.02, too. This is the part that interests me:
While 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.
In a statement earlier Friday, Olbermann defended his donation, saying, "I 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."
Griffin's statement underscores that it was Olbermann's failure to obtain approval, and not the actual political donations, that prompted the suspension.
It seems like there has been a spate of news personalities getting into hot water with their management over things they have said, and while I appreciate that political donations are construed as a form of free speech, I find it hard to see how one's choice of a campaign to give money to sends the wrong message. All it says is: "I think this candidate would do a good job." Full stop.
Also, I think this kind of "Mother, May I?" policy makes it seem like MSNBC doesn't trust their journalists, who are informed, responsible people, to give money to "the right people" without some adult supervision. I don't get it. I do understand that the network wants to project a degree of impartiality as a part of the journalistic ethics of its brand, and yet I don't think partisan bias or political leaning is, in and of itself, a betrayal of one's ethics so long as one's bias has always been known--
Did we not know Olbermann leaned left, a little, already?
Meh. There is a petition to get him back on the tv. Curiously, MSNBC says they will have him back on if he apologizes for, I don't know, making an adult decision what to do with his own money?
I'm rather sure he will find something appropriate to say about that.