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Nov 05 2010

It’s Okay If You’re Joe Scarborough. Or Sean Hannity. Or GE.

As written into his contract with MSNBC which bars political contributions that may indicate a lack of journalistic integrity, for having made $7,200 of political contributions to three Democratic candidates, Keith Olbermann has been suspended indefinitely without pay. This is in marked contrast to MSNBC’s treatment of Joe Scarborough, who in 2006 donated $4200 to a Republican candidate and received no punishment when the fact came to light as Scarborough “hosts an opinion program and is not a news reporter”. It is also in contrast to MSNBC’s chief rival FOX News’ treatment of Sean Hannity for donating $5000 to Mayor Crazy of Crazyland USA, Michelle Bachmann. And it is in contrast to MSNBC’s parent company GE:

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, GE made over $2 million in political contributions in the 2010 election cycle (most coming from the company’s political action committee). The top recipient was Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman from Ohio. The company has also spent $32 million on lobbying this year, and contributed over $1 million to the successful “No on 24″ campaign against a California ballot initiative aimed at eliminating tax loopholes for major corporations (New York Times, 11/1/10).

So the message here, from the execs at MSNBC: it’s okay if you’re a Republican, offering money to Republicans, or if you’re lobbying to keep from having to pay taxes (probably roughly the same as the amount you just spent on lobbying, coincidentally enough!) to the government.

Keith Olbermann, however, is held to a different standard. Despite being derided constantly as a “far-left Bill O’Reilly”, and thus nothing better than an opinion show host, by every asshole on the right that thinks there’s some measure of equivalency between the effluence coming from O’Reilly’s mouth nightly, and the occasional moment of actual journalism you get from KO.

Fair.org also provides ways to take action:

ACTION:
Ask NBC and MSNBC to explain their inconsistent standards regarding political donations.

CONTACT:

MSNBC President
Phil Griffin
[email protected]

NBC News President
Steve Capus
[email protected]

Phone: (212) 664-4444

I don’t have a dog in this fight, as a Canuck. But as an outsider looking in, I have no problem with pointing my American readers in the right direction.

6 comments

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  1. 1
    Rich Wilson

    Maybe not a dog, but there is that flea on the elephant’s ass that Pierre once mentioned.

  2. 2
    Rich Wilson

    Or I could look up the actual quote

    Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt

  3. 3
    Jason Thibeault

    I was going to say, I wasn’t familiar with that particular idiom. Good one though. Very apt.

  4. 4
    krissthesexyatheist

    It shows that “fairness” is not in their vocab.

    K

  5. 5
    Dan J

    No, it seems that “fair” is a word that is not common in the corporate vocabulary of the US (at the least). Like I mentioned to a couple people the past day or so: Being neutral does not in any way mean that you are fair, and being biased to one side or the other does not prevent you from being fair.

    Hypocritical corporate assholes (and their lawyers) piss me off.

  6. 6
    ReformedYankee

    Funny line i read the other night somewhere: “Do we really need to set our clocks back this week after we set our country back so much last week?”

    I chuckled. heartily.

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