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Friday, November 5, 2010

Financial Disclosure : UPDATED III

Who else is thinking that this is going to not be just a none-to-clever angle on the "donation disclosure" debate that conservatives are going to exploit in favor of of the realities of how the Citizens United ruling played a massive role in this weeks elections? Moreover, is this really the approach they want to take, considering their own media masters handy work in more than a handful of victories Tuesday night?

Would it shock anyone to know that Keith Olbermann donated thousands of dollars to three Democrats in the midterms? Two House incumbents from Arizona and Jack Conway, the Senatorial candidate fro Kentucky who lost after running the notorious “Aqua Buddha” attack ad, received the maximum donation from Olbermann in the final days of the general election season, a fact discovered by Politico when reviewing FEC filings. The donations violate NBC’s stated ethics code for its journalists, and it may apply even more since one of the recipients appeared on Countdown at the same time Olbermann made the donation

What Morrissey is clearly doing is providing much needed covering fire for people like Glenn Beck, and most notably, Sarah Palin. The former because of his "singular money bomb" to the US Chamber of Commerce and the later because of how her PAC unblushingly supported Republican candidates across the US. Both of these were done for clearly partisan reasons while in the employ of a network that is, despite Morrissey's and all conservatives assertions, more partisan than any channel on cable.

Make no mistake, journalists of all stripes who have the liquidity to do so are going to make campaign contributions if they feel they should. And that most certainly includes those that mask themselves as "fair and balanced". I'm not even going to pretend to be naive enough to think that Fox"News" frowns upon people like Beck, Palin, O'Reilly, or Hannity donating thousands to people like Marco Rubio or Carl Paladino. With that in mind, how much did the entire staff at Fox give to the McCain/Palin campaign in 2008? Does it really matter, considering Palin was hired by the network not long after the Republicans lost that election. But also, does that excuse Fox from any "ethics" violations? Now those are two words you should never use together - "ethics" and "Fox".

But back to the point at hand - if there even is one coming from Morrissey.

I don’t think that Olbermann’s contributions mean too much on their own. We all know from watching his broadcasts that he dislikes Republicans and cheerleads for Democrats, so these contributions do nothing for his credibility in any direction. The question here is whether NBC will hold MSNBC to its ethical standards, and the hypocrisy of shrieking about Fox’s contributions while donating his own.

So Olbermann "lacks credibility" because of his political donations and the entire Fox"News" line-up is representative of "real Americans" because of theirs? Try wrapping your brain around that one.

Here's something that Morrissey, and all that will parrot this completely preposterous theory, clearly aren't considering - how many people in the employ of NBC donate to Republican candidates? Clearly that wouldn't mesh with the "liberal media bias" meme that has threaded itself through the modern conservative movement. Don't ever expect that a question like that will ever be asked.

But in terms of the "cheer-leading" that Morrissey and his easily led droogies think Olbermann participates in, let's take a look at reality:

Now, does that sound like a full-throated water carrier to you?


Olbermann suspended without pay indefinately.

MSNBC has suspended star anchor Keith Olbermann following the news that he had donated to three Democratic candidates this election cycle.

"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.

This comes as a bit of a surprise to some, is apparently just posturing to Ed Morrissey, and actually is a rather expected move considering who just yanked Olbermann from the air.

In recent months, Griffin has taken several bold steps to declare his authority over the network and its sometimes unruly talent: he sent a stern memo warning hosts to not publicly fight with each other, he suspended David Shuster indefinitely for filming a CNN pilot, suspended Donny Deutsch, banned Markos Moulitsas from the network, and reprimanded Ed Schultz for threatening to "torch" the network

So how's that "liberal media bias" meme working out now.

And while NBC is tempering this decision by stating that Olbermann is not yet about to be fired, conservatives are likely to use this in conjunction with the notion that the entire American media - well, aside from Fox"News" that is - is in full temper tantrum mode.

Back to Little Eddie's hypothesis:

The more I think about this, the more ridiculous it gets. MSNBC offers the most ridiculously biased televion coverage of politics possible, crowning it with Election Night coverage that had people wondering if NBC needed to hire grief and anger counseling for the entire on-air staff. And now, because Olbermann contributed to three Democrats last month, suddenly Griffin suspends him because “these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest”?

Again, is Morrissey really wanting to go the route of "conflict of interest"? The complete lack of honest perspective from this man is staggering. By that, I mean, are we to assume now that Presidential hopefuls on the Fox"News" payroll are to be suspended as well?

I'm not about to say that we should expect breaking news that Palin has been suspended from her duties at Fox"News", but if she even comments on this issue, the gods of hypocrisy would surely be ready with swift retribution. Oh, wait, I forgot that doesn't happen on their side.


Seems that mine, and other's assumptions about Fox"News" policy on political donations are founded in reality:

Fox News is alone among the four major TV networks in placing no restrictions on campaign contributions. According to Open Secrets, Sean Hannity has given almost $12,000 to Republican candidates since 2005. Adam Serwer writes, "If FOX instituted an MSNBC-like ethics policy, would they actually be able to continue operating?"


So why is Griffin letting Scarborough and Buchanan get away with exactly the same action.

From that Griffin banned because of "Morning Joe's" whining - Morkos Moulitsas

Real smart, Phil! Olbermann isn't just MSNBC's highest rated show, but it's the only one that breaks Fox News' stranglehold on the top 10 cable news shows.

Of course, this is par for the course for Griffin -- letting his lowest-rated host Joe Scarborough call the shots, to the point where Scarborough has dictated Olbermann's guest list by blackballing me from the network. As Atrios pointed out on Twitter, Pat Buchanan gave five political contributions between 2005-08, and he keeps his permanent cot in the MSNBC green room.

CNN's ratings are in the gutter. I'm sure they could use the boost in the ratings that Olbermann would provide.

This even furthers the point that MSNBC doesn't have the completely unhinged "liberal bias" that conservatives claim it does. And more to the point, I recall how Olbermann - the man Griffin is attempting to make an example of - was tasked with replacing Phil Donahue simply because he was against the Iraqi invasion just a little too much.


Troy Camplin said...

Olbermann is a contemptible ass who lies about just about everything to push his agenda. And if that's what MSNBC wants, fine. But he violated their ethics rules. Not relevant, I suppose, since he's a fellow liberal. Sure enough, two days later, back on the air. Can't go too long without his falsifications of reality, after all.

Yes, I can see how you criticize people on your side when they do something unethical. Indeed. Still looking.

aironlater said...

Alright, if this is how you want to play your "I complain more about Republicans than you complain about Democrats" game then so be it.

Rather than level specious claims at what Keith Olbermann says and does on his show, it would be nice if you provided examples rather than - once again - not deviating from your playbook.

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