First, here's Glenn Beck - the man that recently donated a HUGE amount of money to the US Chamber of Commerce. And let's not forget that that action was predicated on the fact that they were doling out money to help bolster the campaigns of conservative, Republican, candidates.
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Beck is most certainly the last person that should be deriding Olbermann for his stance on not voting but giving donations instead.
I'm not going to try and reconcile how the two are different means of socio-political action, but I do think that there is a separation between the two. Though that difference is subtle, Beck would rather take the approach of that of a spoiled rich kid taunting a classmate. To put it a more blunt way, Beck's only ammunition is to either fabricate to insight fear or too mock the messenger rather than address the message. Classic conservative posturing.
Hot Air's mysterious Allahpundit took the predictable route of saying "Fox is more news than MSNBC" - a stance somewhat akin to sticking your thumbs in your ears, wiggling your fingers, while sticking your tongue out and making a mouthy drone. How "professional" of him.
In his response to Olbermann's suspension and the completely unfounded accusation that Keith won't be back - from an anonymous source on less - he referenced a challenge laid forth from the same man that gave Olbermann the temporary boot. That challenge was to show where MSNBC openly "fundraised" for Democrats.
The link provided was to Olbermann stalker Johnny Dollar who referenced less than a handful of examples from Ed Schultz and one from Keith. And while the guests on those specific shows do mention their respective websites, this is nothing in comparison to what the "fair and balanced" folks at Fox"News" do every night. Fox"News" openly encourages their guests that are currently engaged in campaigns to openly ask for support. Then again, that's nuance that conservatives don't seem to understand.
But this is ultimately about the continued war between Fox and MSNBC. For former quite literally coddles to conservativism while the later has booted hosts for even lesser offenses than what Obermann has done.
Michelle Malkin, in full on purse-lipped rage might as well have put her foot in her ever gaping maw as she went on a none-to-clever tirade about "disclosure". Really, Michelle?
Olbermann’s sanctimony and hypocrisy only compound his core failure to disclose the donations before Election Day — especially during the show in which he hosted one of the beneficiaries of that cash.
Whatever NBC’s guidelines may be, it was the basic journalistic failure of the Murrow wanna-be to disclose the donation on the night he hosted one of his cash recipients that seals his fate and undermines whatever iota of credibility his station has left.
So, financial contributions are "free speech" unless an individual does it.
In terms of Malkin's accusations - and actually everyone within the modern conservative movement - that all news networks that aren't Fox are somehow "in the tank" for liberal causes is not only preposterous when even given a rudimentary glance, but that narrative is completely destroyed when considering what MSNBC has done to it's more left-leaning commentators in the past.
To end, here is Racheal Maddow's response to all of this:
Even thought some of the people that I follow on Twitter, some of those in the liberal/progressive blogosphere, and some within my community that I have discussed this with are saying that it's not right for Maddow - or any Democrat - to simply say "well, if Fox does it we can to" is to clearly be missing the point that Racheal put forward; a point that can be seen daily when one watches Fox"News".
What this boils down to is Fox openly campaigning for their Republican and hosting events to raise funds, MSNBC is simply at fault for not attacking their Democratic guests for mentioning their campaign websites on air.
Another distinction that should be noted is that Fox does not have an "ethics" policy like MSNBC does. Also, MSNBC doesn't operate under the false premise of "fair and balanced", and has a clear separation between their news and commentary. But also, isn't that something that Olbermann's detractors are clearly not admitting - that his show is "news and commentary"? After all, those exact words are part of his intro.
To end, I'm not going to remove the fact that Olbermann violated alleged company policy by not disclosing his financial contributions. Also, I'm not going to pretend that this isn't at least fractionally connected to Comcast's take-over of NBC Universal - even though that process is not fully complete. This action by Phil Griffin is clearly one to curry favor with his new bosses prior to their complete placement as NBC Universal owners.
Regardless of what happens to Olbermann, MSNBC management has made a poor decision and conservatives are equally as ignorant to claim some sort of moral victory in this.