It certainly did not take some major media outlets long to jump forward with strong objection to the indefinite suspension of left-leaning flame-thrower MSNBC anchor Keith Olbermann. Shortly after announcing the suspension without pay by Phil Griffin, MSNBC President, stories appeared because Olbermann had violated the published NBC News policy and standards against employees making political contributions.
Immediately, The New York Times and Washington Post raised questions about the appropriateness of the suspension. Additional concerns have been addressed by liberal Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) who called the action outrageous and said, “This is a real threat to political discourse in America and will have a chilling impact on every commentator for MSNBC.”
Interestingly, a poll in the Washington Post asked the question “Do you agree with the decision to suspend Keith Olbermann?” Much to my surprise 41% said Yes and 59% said No, with a total of 5,665 votes being cast. Apparently liberals do not understand legally binding employment agreements.
Not to be left out of the story, coverage existed in both the Chicago Tribune and Wall Street Journal. As of Friday evening tens of thousands of people had signed a petition titled “Put Olbermann Back on the Air NOW” which was circulated by something called The Progressive Change Campaign Committee.
Apparently the fact that Olbermann violated a published policy that was a condition of his employment is beside the point for the supporters of his modus operandi. Let’s all get real on this issue. Olbermann is just like other off-the-wall loud cable based voices or whatever you call them, such as Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hanitty, Glenn Beck, or Rachel Maddow. They are all spewing a line to attract ratings from the left, the middle, and the right. It’s an act that appeals to certain elements of the total audience.
Somewhere in the back channels of this incident are influences involved in the pending sale of NBC Universal by parent company General Electric to Comcast, which is awaiting government approval. I suspect someone whispered to someone to cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s so as not to rock the boat on the sale.
Do you suspect the decision to suspend Olbermann will have a negative impact on the future of life in America? I suspect the world will continue to spin on its axis, and this story will have short legs.