BJ of DemWit, who has also written about this escapade, emailed me this morning with an opinion and a link to The Progress Report on Think Progress. I will leave it up to BJ to publish her opinion but here are some highlights from our progressively thinking friends.
Only a fool would deny the following:
. . . While Olbermann should and will return to host Countdown, the incident illustrates a vital difference of integrity. While MSNBC suspended Olbermann for a private campaign donation, Fox News is encouraging its commentators to launch, create, endorse, promote, and raise funds for Republican candidates while the parent company is donating millions directly to the GOP. . .But.
. . . Olbermann is a long-standing progressive champion who always shares his opinions openly, but also takes seriously his role as a responsible conveyor of facts. The difference between Olbermann and a myriad of Fox pundits -- and the difference between MSNBC and Fox News itself -- is the difference between a news operation and a partisan political machine.
. . . unlike Olbermann, Scarborough cleared his contribution in 2006 (and presumably did so this year). Buchanan is a contributor rather than a host, and CNBC is exempt from NBC's policy. Ultimately, while the description of Olbermann as an "impartial journalist" isn't exactly correct, he -- like Scarborough -- is bound by NBC policy, and thus should have disclosed his donation and -- despite his reported reluctance -- admitted to his error.And then it's back to the same old comparison to FOX News and its total lack of pretext to having any kind of standards:
While NBC, MSNBC, Newsweek, the New York Times, Reuters, ABC, CBS, NPR, Dow Jones, and U.S. News & World Report all either forbid or restrict political contributions to prevent appearance of partiality, Fox News has shrugged off the thinly-veiled "fair and balanced" slogan to become a powerful propaganda network delivering a comprehensive platform for the GOP.Again, this is absolutely verifiably true, but KO's transgression stinks like an overflowing cesspool on a hot humid day in the middle of summer. He's simply too smart not to be aware that what he was doing was a breach of contract. To claim otherwise is foolhardy at best. The only explanation left, in my opinion, is that this was indeed a PR stunt and, if so, it stinks even worse than a false claim of ignorance.
Here's more from TPM:
According to the Times, he also criticized NBC for its "inconsistently applied" policy that he didn't even know existed.