Friday, November 5, 2010

MSNBC Wrong and Self-Destructive to Suspend Keith Olbermann

The news just broke that Keith Olbermann has been suspended from MSNBC, indefinitely and without pay, because he contributed money to three Democratic candidates in the election just past.

I don't know all the details - and I've been a critic of some of Olbermann's histrionic rants over the years - but suspending him for the reasons stated strikes me as an outrage.   For some reason, news media of all sorts cling to the myth that everything about them must be objective.   Certainly news itself should be reported accurately.  But aren't commentators like Olbermann supposed to have strong political opinions, and, if so, where is the problem in their putting their money with their mouths are - i.e., making monetary contributions to political campaigns they deem worthy?

MSNBC is already doing miserably in the ratings.  They do not understand the realities and public expectations of a 24/7 news and commentary station -  airing canned documentaries on weekends rather than live news, and, until recently, going for reruns in the 10pm prime time weekday spot.

Taking Olbermann out of the line-up will only make MSNBC sink faster.  And this action is evidence of the cloud-nine lack of touch with reality and ethics that apparently afflicts the powers that be at MSNBC.  I'm a Professor, and even I know that.

15-min podcast from me on this subject
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