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timmyfunk
11-05-2010, 06:56 PM
Action Alert

If Olbermann's Donations Are Bad, What About GE's?

11/5/10

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann has been placed on indefinite suspension without pay in the wake of a Politico report (11/5/10) that revealed Olbermann had donated $7,200 to three Democratic candidates, in violation of NBC's standards barring employees from making political contributions.

A journalist donating money to a political candidate raises obvious conflict of interest questions; at a minimum, such contributions should be disclosed on air. But if supporting politicians with money is a threat to journalistic independence, what are the standards for Olbermann's bosses at NBC, and at NBC's parent company General Electric?

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, GE made over $2 million in political contributions in the 2010 election cycle (most coming from the company's political action committee). The top recipient was Republican Senate candidate Rob Portman from Ohio. The company has also spent $32 million on lobbying this year, and contributed over $1 million to the successful "No on 24" campaign against a California ballot initiative aimed at eliminating tax loopholes for major corporations (New York Times, 11/1/10).

Comcast, the cable company currently looking to buy NBC, has dramatically increased its political giving, much of it to lawmakers who support the proposed merger (Bloomberg, 10/19/10). And while Fox News parent News Corp's $1 million donation to the Republican Governors Association caused a stir, GE had "given $245,000 to the Democratic governors and $205,000 to the Republican governors since last year," reported the Washington Post (8/18/10).

Olbermann's donations are in some ways comparable to fellow MSNBC host Joe Scarborough's $4,200 contribution to Republican candidate Derrick Kitts in 2006 (MSNBC.com, 7/15/07). When that was uncovered, though, NBC dismissed this as a problem, since Scarborough "hosts an opinion program and is not a news reporter." Olbermann, of course, is also an opinion journalist--but MSNBC seems to hold him to a different standard.

Two years earlier, the Washington Post reported (1/18/04):


NBC chief executive Robert Wright has contributed $8,000 since 1999, including $3,500 to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and $1,000 to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.). Andrew Lack, a former NBC News chief, gave $1,000 to Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.) while NBC president, and Wright contributed $1,500--after the House committee Tauzin chairs held hearings on the networks' election night failures. NBC spokeswoman Allison Gollust said the network allows its executives to make contributions and that Wright "does not make any decisions specific to news coverage."


Wright, however, was reported in a recent New York magazine piece (10/3/10) to have told then-NBC News chief Neal Shapiro to move to the right of Fox News in response to the September 11 attacks: "We have to be more conservative then they are," the magazine quoted Wright.

MSNBC's treatment of Olbermann is also in sharp contrast to Fox News' handling of Sean Hannity, who was revealed by Salon (9/23/10) to have given $5,000 to the campaign of Rep. Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn.), a Tea Party favorite--without Fox expressing any public disapproval. Hannity has allowed Republican candidates to use his Fox program for fundraising (Mediaite, 10/17/10); as Salon noted, Hannity was this year's keynote speaker at the National Republican Congressional Committee's annual fundraising dinner.

If the concern is about how giving money to politicians threatens journalistic independence, then companies like NBC should explain why their parent companies can lavish so much money on political candidates or causes with no concern about conflicts of interest or the need to disclose these donations to viewers. The lesson here would seem to be that some of the workers shouldn't make political donations, but the bosses are free to give as much as they'd like. Anyone who watches Olbermann's show knows what his political views are. So what do the far larger contributions from GE tell us?

ACTION:
Ask NBC and MSNBC to explain their inconsistent standards regarding political donations.

CONTACT:

MSNBC President
Phil Griffin
phil.griffin@nbcuni.com

NBC News President
Steve Capus
steve.capus@nbcuni.com

marv2
11-05-2010, 08:11 PM
I saw that today. I don't know what the heck is going on. I watch Keith's program often. MSNBC /NBC is shooting themselves in the foot. I also hear that Comcast may become the new owners of NBC.

soulster
11-05-2010, 09:33 PM
I think Keith Olberman has a legal case. against MSNBC/GE.

Doug-Morgan
11-05-2010, 09:45 PM
I think it's a little hinkey too given the donations made by Fox contributers, but a wire service report said that both MSNBC and NBC have policies in place that do not allow news employees to make political donations without approval, and that's what tripped up Oberman.

stephanie
11-05-2010, 10:03 PM
David Schuster, Keith Olbermann, Rick Sanchez it seems like there is a witch hunt going on right now.

midnight johnny
11-05-2010, 10:14 PM
I think it's a little hinkey too given the donations made by Fox contributers, but a wire service report said that both MSNBC and NBC have policies in place that do not allow news employees to make political donations without approval, and that's what tripped up Oberman.


Absolutely right, Doug......my question is.....if he knew the rules, why would he do something so self destructive and foolish.

stephanie
11-05-2010, 11:05 PM
To make a statement!

soulster
11-06-2010, 12:27 AM
I think it's a little hinkey too given the donations made by Fox contributers, but a wire service report said that both MSNBC and NBC have policies in place that do not allow news employees to make political donations without approval, and that's what tripped up Oberman.

Back in 2006, Joe Scarborough did the same thing. But, he didn't get suspended because NBC says he is a commentator, and Olbermann isn't, which is debatable. Not only that, GE and NBC execs have contributed money to Republicans.

This looks like corporate America is looking for any reason to get rid of liberal voices.

Doug-Morgan
11-06-2010, 07:18 AM
I think MSNBC is drawing a difference between the 2006 Joe and the 2010 Keith. In 2006 Scarborough didn't have his own show, did he? If he were to do it now, as the lead in "Morning Joe", I could see where it would get him in trouble as opposed to just being a guest or paid "consulting" commentator. I may be mistaken on the show thing, but I didn't think Morning Joe started until later.

timmyfunk
11-07-2010, 11:35 PM
Looks like Keith has been reinstated:

http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/msnbc-keith-olbermann-suspension-ends-tuesday/19706706?icid=maing%7Cmain5%7C1%7Clink1%7C24113

gary_james
11-08-2010, 12:31 AM
How convenient that this is going on during November Sweeps.

soulster
11-08-2010, 03:02 AM
Good!

I think the idea of journalistic integrity is pretty much gone. Blame the demise of the Fairness Doctrine, and...yes...the far right, who pretty much pioneered partisan politics in the news media.

timmyfunk
11-08-2010, 07:01 AM
So long as people like Keith and Rachel are on the case, there will be at least a glimmer of journalistic integrity left in society.

marv2
11-08-2010, 02:37 PM
Looks like Keith has been reinstated:

http://www.aolnews.com/nation/article/msnbc-keith-olbermann-suspension-ends-tuesday/19706706?icid=maing%7Cmain5%7C1%7Clink1%7C24113

YEAH!!!! That is good news.

chidrummer
11-08-2010, 03:42 PM
I think MSNBC retains some good measure of integrity in this as well. I'm sure Oldbermann will address the issue himself, but this seems to be a case of him not disclosing to his bosses that he made the contribution to a candidate (don't remember the name) and then had that candidate on his show.

Unlike Faux, MSNBC is not in the habit of blatant promotion of "anointed" partician candidates. That's why you haven't heard much from Faux on the subject because they live in a colossal glass mansion on this issue. MSNBC does a very good job of distinguishing between their broadcasts of actual news and commentary.

skooldem1
11-08-2010, 04:25 PM
I can't believe how many people fell for this bull. He was never suspended. This was all done for ratings. Rachel is in on it to. They are and have been in last place for a long time and they are getting desperate.

soulster
11-08-2010, 06:29 PM
I can't believe how many people fell for this bull. He was never suspended. This was all done for ratings. Rachel is in on it to.

Do you have any evidence of your claim?

skooldem1
11-08-2010, 06:38 PM
None whats so ever.

skooldem1
11-08-2010, 06:39 PM
Its the new thing in cable news. Mark my words, within 6 months another news personality will be fired/suspended.

timmyfunk
11-08-2010, 09:03 PM
Well then, if you have no proof, then your claim has no credibility.

skooldem1
11-08-2010, 10:22 PM
What???? Are u guys serious. All up and through here are opinions and assumptions. I think it was a ploy. Plain and simple. If you don't then fine.

ralpht
11-08-2010, 10:35 PM
Let's keepthis conversation civil, gang.

soulster
11-08-2010, 11:53 PM
Its the new thing in cable news. Mark my words, within 6 months another news personality will be fired/suspended.

Yeah, I think so too. But, these events are real. And, for this latest Keith Olberman thing, what would either NBC or Olberman have to gain from this? Ratings? Nah! This just puts Olberman on the same level as the people at Fox.

skooldem1
11-09-2010, 12:35 AM
Thats what they want. Its all about ratings and money...oh yeah and a little balance and integrity.

soulster
11-09-2010, 12:58 AM
Thats what they want. Its all about ratings and money...oh yeah and a little balance and integrity.

No, not everyone thinks like the cretins on Fox.

timmyfunk
11-09-2010, 09:20 AM
Yeah, I think so too. But, these events are real. And, for this latest Keith Olberman thing, what would either NBC or Olberman have to gain from this? Ratings? Nah! This just puts Olberman on the same level as the people at Fox.

Nothing like this will ever put Keith on the same level as anyone on Fox. They are bottom feeders. So long as Keith and Rachel keep doing what they do,they will always be several cuts above Fox. I'm sure that Keith will apologize for his actions and hopefully call his bosses out for doing the same thing.

timmyfunk
11-09-2010, 09:22 AM
What???? Are u guys serious. All up and through here are opinions and assumptions. I think it was a ploy. Plain and simple. If you don't then fine.

You made a claim you couldn't begin to prove. That's a little different than just airing an opinion.

skooldem1
11-09-2010, 09:27 AM
You sound foolish. Trust, it aint a good look. I can bring up plenty of post here where people talk about the "boogie man" (white people) and republicans and Fox news, etc. and they are nothing more than opinions with no facts. OPINIONS.....you do know what they are don't you? Of course you do, because your full of it.... I mean them.

skooldem1
11-09-2010, 09:30 AM
I say the proof is in the puddin. Suspended Friday, back to work on Monday. LMAO. They will do anything to rise in the ratings. Yeah that wasn't planned. Here is a fact for you. MSNBC is in LAST place in cable news.

soulster
11-09-2010, 09:56 AM
I say the proof is in the puddin. Suspended Friday, back to work on Monday. LMAO. They will do anything to rise in the ratings. Yeah that wasn't planned. Here is a fact for you. MSNBC is in LAST place in cable news.

Wrong. CNN is last.

skooldem1
11-09-2010, 10:07 AM
Well I stand corrected. But they aint in first place. I still think this was all done for ratings.

soulster
11-09-2010, 10:27 AM
Well I stand corrected. But they aint in first place. I still think this was all done for ratings.

And of course your friends at Faux never ever miss an opportunity to capitalize on the rantings and activities of their talking heads? They talk about the constant tensions between Roger Alies and Glen Beck, but they keep him there. And they get a lot of mileage out of Sean Hannity's birther leanings, and Bill O'reilly's gaffs. Those aren't set-up?

The truth is that both MSNBC and Faux are the real competitors. The population tends to pander to one or the other because they are politically partisan and are upfront about it. CNN, on the other hand, has tried to be neutral. As much as the public whines about partisanship and how they want to return to the days of neutral, just-the-facts-ma'm reporting, they feel that it is also boring. So, they go for the extreme opinion that jibes with their own. That's why CNN is dead last. Lou Dobbs had the highest rated show when he was there because he was divisive. Despite how people felt about Rick Sanchez, he also showed a certain bias. When Glen beck was on CNN's HLN, he had the highest rated show after Nancy Grace, and he was very conservative.

Skooldem, your right-leaning independence is showing again.

skooldem1
11-09-2010, 10:52 AM
Because I think this was a stunt? I am as liberal and open minded as the come. What is everyones obsession with FOX news? Where did I even mention that network? Although I am liberal minded, as I have gotten older my views have changed on some things, but that comes with maturity. Liberals did themselves a disservice this time around painting any and everyone a leaning right, rebublican, out of touch racist. Liberals cry the loudest thinking that everyone that doesn't agree 100% with them or their cheerleaders is somehow uneducated and must be crazy. That couldn't be further from the truth. How did that work in the mid term elections? It backfired didn't? Its a major turnoff to many voters.

timmyfunk
11-09-2010, 01:36 PM
You sound foolish. Trust, it aint a good look. I can bring up plenty of post here where people talk about the "boogie man" (white people) and republicans and Fox news, etc. and they are nothing more than opinions with no facts. OPINIONS.....you do know what they are don't you? Of course you do, because your full of it.... I mean them.

You make baseless claims and I sound foolish? That's rich. I don't make any claims on this board without backing up my comments. You are the one that is full of it.

ralpht
11-09-2010, 01:46 PM
Okay, guys. cool it down.

timmyfunk
11-09-2010, 01:58 PM
Okay, guys. cool it down.

Ralph, I'm sure you know that I usually try to keep things civil, which I why you will never see me initiating any name calling during the course of any thread. You will find nothing but civility in my posts.

ralpht
11-09-2010, 03:05 PM
I appreciate the effort, Tim. And yes, you do try and keep things civil.

timmyfunk
11-09-2010, 03:26 PM
Ralph, I don't know if watch any of the morning talk shows, but the Today show did a piece on the slow disappearance of civility in society overall. It seems as though no matter where you look, society is becoming less and less civil. Unfortunately it creeps up on this board far more than it has to.

skooldem1
11-09-2010, 03:44 PM
Quit the azz kissing already. Your the one asking me for some gotdam proof to backup my OPINION, piggybackin off another poster who I was in convo with. If I aint directly talking to you, dont respond to me.

skooldem1
11-09-2010, 04:13 PM
Calm myself?? LMAO. I am as calm as can be. For the record I dont wear panties. Your still on that "making a claim and backing it up" bull. You really dont realize how clueless you sound. I feel it was all done for ratings. Where the hell am I going to find backup for that? I am an adult here offering my thoughts my opinions. I dont have to provide a link to my thoughts. Really, do you realize how stupid that sounds? Your the one with your panties all in a bunch. Its ok. I know why.

timmyfunk
11-09-2010, 04:20 PM
You may think you're an adult, but right now your immaturity is blinding. Once again, claims and opinions are quite different, but of course that distinction is lost on you. Now YOU have a nice day.

skooldem1
11-09-2010, 04:28 PM
You once said:

"No party is perfect, the Republikkkan party has been taken over by paranoid, racist, and extremist elements. They don't want to make any room for moderates or any other kind of republikkkans. "

Where is your backup that the republican party has been taken over? Not a win here and a win there, but taken over? Can you backup this claim? Can you please provide proof of the mental state of these people?

timmyfunk
11-09-2010, 05:01 PM
Where do you want me start:

Ask anyone even remotely familiar with politics who they think speaks for the Republikkkan Party? Limbaugh, who makes almost daily comments vilifying blacks and non-whites, Newt Gangreen, who has expressed an almost pathological hatred of our president even before Obama signed his name on any kind of meaningful legislation, everyone at Faux News who devote almost their entire broadcast day scapegoating the African American community (which has been documneted by various organizations), right wing governors who approach to immigration is damn near criminalizing entire Latino communities. Whatever moderates that are left in the party have been so marginalized that no one even knows that they exist. And let's not even get started on a Tea Party that is empowered mainly by Republikkkans who will never accept a black man as POTUS, as evidenced by the various racist signs displayed at their rallies, as well as their vile behavior displayed at black elected officials. They are the ones that are guiding this party. The last Republikkkan National Convention said it all. The very few black folk that were there looked like unwanted guests. Even a CNN correspondent (and remember, this is supposed to be the news network that is the middle road between MSNBC and Fox) made the comment that GOP is looking more and more like the party of old white men. Now does that look like a party guided by rational thinking and behavior.

Now if YOU can find any prominent moderate voices in the GOP that have any kind influence in the party, please list them. I'm all ears and eyes.

ralpht
11-09-2010, 05:31 PM
Skool,
I'm giving you a 7 day suspension from the forum. I asked you to cool it and you chose to ignore me. Sorry, dude, but I have other things to deal with than that kind of treatment from a member.