The wrist-slap that is the MSNBC suspension of liberal talk show host Keith Olbermann will be coming to an end, the network announced last night.
Olbermann was suspended last week after news broke that he contributed thousands of dollars to the campaigns of two Arizona Congressional candidates -- a violation of MSNBC's ethics policies.
"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," MSNBC president Phil Griffin said in a statement released last night. "We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night."
Olbermann contributed $2,400 -- the maximum amount allowed under
election law -- to the campaigns of Democratic Congressional Candidates
Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords, both of whom won their re-election
bids last week.
In an attempt to appear objective, MSNBC's ethics policy clearly states that employees are not permitted to donate money to a campaign without the permission of the network's president.
"Anyone working for NBC News who takes part in civic or other outside activities may find that these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest," it says. "Such activities may include participation in or contributions to political campaigns or groups that espouse controversial positions. You should report any such potential conflicts in advance to, and obtain prior approval of, the President of NBC News or his designee."
Olbermann never got the network's permission and paid the (ahem) price.
Why MSNBC's ethics policy regarding campaign contributions even applies to Olbermann is baffling. The idea is to promote objectivity but anyone who's seen Olbermann's show -- and his ridiculous, fear-mongering rants -- knows there is nothing objective about him. The dude's a Democrat and blames Republicans for all the ills of society.
Not to say the GOP doesn't have its own cheerleaders in the world of cable news -- FOX News' Sean Hannity is equally obnoxious in his one-sided "reporting."
In any event, fear not, Olbermann fans, he'll be back on the air spewing fear and rhetoric -- just like Hannity -- tomorrow night.