Saturday, November 6, 2010

Maybe This Is What Keith Olbermann Planned- Do You Think?

I'm going to just go and ask my progressive brethren- and all others who might of had the same thought- the question I'm sure all of asked sometime in the past 24 hours.

"Do you really think Keith Olbermann was so dumb he didn't think he would be caught for contributing to the campaigns of three Democrats, violating MSNBC's ethics policy?".

My answer, he is not that stupid, or arrogant enough to think he would not be discovered, and not dealt with by management.

Yesterday POLITICO reported that Olbermann made the contributions of $2,400 each for three Democratic candidates. Keith Olbermann has said on air many times that he doesn't vote in elections, implying that by voting he might compromise his credibility as an on air commentator.

That being the case.....why did he contribute to three campaigns, in states where he didn't live and had no obvious connection other than political sympathy, and leave a trail that could very easily be traced?

I can think of no other reason other than he wanted the contributions traced back to him. He's a smart guy; he knows that what he did violated MSNBC's ethical standards. He knew that management would have to come down on him. But Keith Olbermann is also well aware that he is the biggest star of the left leaning cable network, and is the person who might be most responsible from rescuing what was in the early part of the decade the perennial bottom feeder of the cable news networks. Olbermann is the first person to give MSNBC an identity, a presence, and a voice.

Keith knew he would be disciplined, but not shown the door. Hence, he was suspended indefinitely.

I believe he was setting himself up for this confrontation, and he did so knowing the outcome. By doing this Keith Olbermann made his statement not about his actions, but about the role FOX NEWS and right wing media has as a money making machine for Republicans and right leaning candidates and causes.

Below, Keith's colleague and friend Rachel Maddow talks about Keith's suspension.

Here's a quick rundown about some of the contributions made by FOX NEWS hosts and contributors to various candidates and contributors, taken from MEDIAMATTERS.

Sean Hannity- gave $5,000 to Michele Bachmann's (R-MN) PAC. He also gave $4,800 to Republican candidate John Gomez, a childhood friend. Hannity has hosted GOP fundraisers, and was to tape a show at a Tea Party event in Cincinnati where admission was to be charged. FOX pulled the show.

Mike Huckabee- the former governor of Arkansas and presidential candidate is a weekend host at FOX. He's contributed to the campaigns of Daniel Webster (FL), Doug Matayo (AK), and Beth Ann Rankin (AK). More information here.

Sarah Palin-regularly gives money to the GOP through her Sarah PAC.

A more detailed accounting of contributions and possible conflict of interest at FOX can be found here, with the names Dick Morris, Oliver North, Andrew Napolitano, and Neil Cavuto being prominent.

And this from POLITICO.....The following have offered support to Republican candidates during the 2010 election cycle.

* Fred Barnes, Fox News contributor
* Glenn Beck, host of Fox News' Glenn Beck
* Eric Bolling, host of Fox Business' Follow the Money
* John Bolton, Fox News contributor
* Tammy Bruce, Fox News contributor
* Elaine Chao, Fox News contributor
* Monica Crowley, Fox News contributor
* Mike Gallagher, Fox News contributor
* Newt Gingrich, Fox News contributor
* Sean Hannity, host of Fox News' Hannity
* Mike Huckabee, host of Fox News' Huckabee and Twentieth Television's The Huckabee Show
* David Hunt, Fox News contributor
* Laura Ingraham, Fox News contributor
* John Kasich, former host and contributor
* Brian Kilmeade, co-host of Fox News' Fox & Friends and host of Fox News Radio's Kilmeade & Friends
* William Kristol, Fox News contributor
* Michelle Malkin, Fox News contributor
* KT McFarland, Fox News national security analyst and host of's DEFCON 3
* Angela McGlowan, Fox News contributor
* Dennis Miller, Fox News contributor
* Dick Morris, Fox News contributor
* Rupert Murdoch, CEO and chairman of News Corp., parent company of Fox News
* Andrew Napolitano, Fox News senior judicial analyst and host of Fox Business' Freedom Watch
* Sarah Palin, Fox News contributor and host of Fox News' Real American Stories
* Dana Perino, Fox News contributor
* Dave Ramsey, listed Fox Business personality and former host of Fox Business' The Dave Ramsey Show (through June)
* Sandy Rios, Fox News contributor
* Karl Rove, Fox News contributor
* Rick Santorum, Fox News contributor
* Doug Schoen, Fox News contributor
* Andrea Tantaros, Fox News contributor
* Stuart Varney, Fox News contributor and host of Fox Business' Varney & Co.

In his way, Keith Olbermann is now putting the spotlight on FOX and contrasting how MSNBC conducts business, and how FOX is the business of Republican fund raising. The GOP has their own "news" organization that shapes its message and raises cash at the same time.

As of this writing 183,314 people have signed a petition to have Olbermann reinstated.

Just maybe, in his own mad genius kind of way, this whole situation was set into motion willingly by Keith.

If this was the case, it might be a brilliant and galvanizing move.


Sue said...

Hugh that is brilliant! I'm gonna send this to a group who have been going back and forth in emails about this subject, they will come away with yet another scenario to this story! For me I just haven't had the time to read all there is to read, I'm just praying this is not the beginning to the end of our MSNBC hosts!

maryb1161 said...

I love this theory. That sure would be a perfect way to spotlight FOX's involvement in elections. It sure would fit with the Rachel's piece on it last night.

tnlib said...

Maybe so but it boils down to cheap theatrics or PR. In either case, it's wrong.

Hugh Jee From Jersey said... gets down to this. Keith is way too smart not to know this would get him jammed. If this is the scenario that played out, I'm pretty sure the MSNBC suits were probably in the dark, and had their hand forced.

Maryb1161- welcome, and yes it does play into what Rachel said.

Leslie- yes, it was theatrics. But it's all theatrics, left, right, center. It may not be ethical but neither is what FOX does, or the Chamber of Commerce's funneling of millions of foreign dollars into American elections.

To borrower some Keithisms, there is worse, then there is "worser".

tnlib said...

It is indeed what FOX does - all the more reason to be above that kind of thing. All the more reason not to deceive your audience. And, if he had this all planned out, I'm doubly sure I'm not signing a petition.

This has had an unpleasant aroma to it from when it broke - the kind that raises red flags for an old media fart like me. I don't like manufactured news, no matter who does it or for what cause.

Hugh Jee From Jersey said...

Leslie- I'm not saying it is or isn't....just suggesting the possibility.

But my question to you is this....if the scenario I laid out was true, how was he deceiving his audience?

His audience would have had to be aware that such a policy existed in the first place. But we didn't know about it. His suspension made his audience aware that such a policy existed at MSNBC, while FOX didn't have a policy, or if they do, it is not being enforced.

Rosa Parks sat in the front of the bus and was jailed; Gandhi lead a boycott of British made salt, and he was arrested; Elizabeth Cady Stanton was jailed for protesting the fact that women couldn't vote. The American Indian Movement seized Wounded Knee in 1972 to draw attention to their concerns, and they were confronted with FBI and Army units..

Sometimes when there is an injustice or an inequity in the system the rules need to be broken in order to put a spotlight on the situation.

In Catholicism we'd say KO might be guilty of a venial (lesser) sin.

It's small potatoes compared to what's going on Fox.

And thank God someone in the progressive movement has figured out that you can't take a box of cookies to a knife fight.

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