Monday, November 8, 2010

The Olbermann Affair

From Keith Olbermann:

Statement To The Viewers Of Countdown

I want to sincerely thank you for the honor of your extraordinary and ground-rattling support.

Your efforts have been integral to the remedying of these recent events, and the results should remind us of the power of individuals spontaneously acting together to correct injustices great or small.

...I also wish to apologize to you viewers for having precipitated such anxiety and unnecessary drama. You should know that I mistakenly violated an inconsistently applied rule – which I previously knew nothing about -- that pertains to the process by which such political contributions are approved by NBC.

Certainly this mistake merited a form of public acknowledgment and/or internal warning, and an on-air discussion about the merits of limitations on such campaign contributions by all employees of news organizations.

Instead, after my representative was assured that no suspension was contemplated, I was suspended without a hearing, and learned of that suspension through the media.

You should also know that I did not attempt to keep any of these political contributions secret; I knew they would be known to you and the rest of the public. I did not make them through a relative, friend, corporation, PAC, or any other intermediary, and I did not blame them on some kind of convenient 'mistake' by their recipients.

When a website contacted NBC about one of the donations, I immediately volunteered that there were in fact three of them; and contrary to much of the subsequent reporting, I immediately volunteered to explain all this, on-air and off, in the fashion MSNBC desired.

I genuinely look forward to rejoining you on Countdown on Tuesday, to begin the repayment of your latest display of support and loyalty - support and loyalty that is truly mutual.

This has been the subject of great debate in the blogosphere. Now that I think of it, no one thought to ask about Keith's side of the story.


paula said...

It's an accepted practice among journalists---even those making far less than $7M/an---to not back political parties, candidates or even advocacy organizations. I know some who won't even buy Girl Scout cookies. Olberman should have known better, but maybe he doesn't take himself seriously as a journalist. In that case, he should make it perfectly clear that he's not part of the serious media. Wear a clown suit or something, Keith!
I realize that his counterparts on the right break all the rules while insisting they are press, but we already know they ARE clowns.

injaynesworld said...

His boss really came out looking like a major asshat. All with the "indefinite suspension" then backs off after two days. All he had to do was say, "Hey, Keith, will you just acknowledge this on the air so the other guys don't kick our asses for it?" Instead it turned into a colossal pissing contest where, apparently, Keith was much better endowed.

I'm just glad he's back.