Saturday, 6 November 2010

Keith Olbermann

Keith Olbermann, the liberal commentator, has been suspended indefinitely by NBC for making donations to the Democratic party. He didn't use his broadcast to solicit donations, didn't hand out numbers they should call to elect democrats. He, as a private citizen, made some perfectly legal donations to his chosen political party.

Over on Fox news, they have solicited donations, they have given out numbers, but they don't even pretend to be a straight news channel, so no-one bats an eyelid. What they would say on this subject, if they had a modicum of consistency, would be that Olbermann should not have been suspended. He was exercising his rights as a private citizen, but his employer has a policy against that - the policy is wrong, though it is one that tries to ensure the political neutrality of their newscasters (a rather quaint concept in today's America).

Fox won't defend him at all because they are not only a political organisation, but one with no principals to speak of. They won't decry NBC impinging on Olbermann's first amendment rights, as they did with Juan William's firing from APR.

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