Keith Olbermann Suspended for Political Donations

Joel Meares, assistant editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, will be discussing the Olbermann suspension on the Brian Lehrer Show Monday, November 8th at 11:20am.

UPDATE: In a statement on Sunday night, NBC president, Phil Griffin said “After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night’s program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy. We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night.”


MSNBC has suspended news anchor Keith Olbermann for donating to three Democratic candidates this election cycle, one of the latest examples of the dangerous territories stars in opinion journalism are finding themselves.

Olbermann acknowledged the donations after they were reported by Politico Friday Morning. Olbermann, as host of MSNBC’s Countdown, fiercely denounced rivals at Fox News when their organization donated more than a million dollars to the Republican Governor’s Association.

Olbermann donate $2,400 to Democratic Representatives Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords, both of Arizona, and to Jack Conway, a senatorial candidate in Kentucky.

Some are merely shrugging off the fact that a news anchor actively engaged in politics.

“Who did people think he was going to give money to…the Tea Party,” asked Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf.

Others are using the opportunity to continue their criticism that certain media outlets are underperforming because of their emphasis on opinion journalism.

“He’s a hack and considerably more biased than anyone on Fox,” said Alex Carey, a spokesman for the New York State Republican Party. “Typical of MSNBC and indicative of why that network’s ratings are so low.”

Tell us what you think. Justified? Overreach? Is a temporary suspension the appropriate response? Post your thoughts and start the conversation below!