Olbermann has been suspended from his MSNBC anchor duties for a while because he was making financial contributions to political causes.
Yeah, you read that correctly.
Keith Olbermann contributes more to socialism by opening his mouth on TV than he could ever hope to contribute by giving money to politicians.
Here's Rick Moran from Pajamas Media:
None of this is news to anyone who has a passing familiarity with political debate in America. Yet the rapidity with which MSNBC bounced Olbermann from the network begs several questions. What did he do that other journalists — including those at Fox News — haven’t done? Why now? And why should MSNBC all of a sudden feign an interest in impartiality?And here's Jonah Goldberg:
Alas, Babylon. The press in America have never been “impartial,” and the grandiose proclamations of objectivity and neutrality in covering politics this last century made by sober-minded newspaper editors were always more for purposes of marketing than related to any claim based in reality. “Yellow journalism” aside, the great publishers in the 19th and early 20th century were all house organs for one of the two political parties. Major dailies were political kingmakers, and a word from a Horace Greeley or Robert McCormick could make or break a politician’s career.
What made this arrangement preferable to the insufferable hypocrisy we experience today with the media is that everybody knew which side the press was on. Being forewarned is being forearmed, and at a time when there were a dozen dailies in New York City alone, if you didn’t like Hearst’s take you could always read what the Sulzbergers had to say about politics. There was never a lack of choice as far as the news consumer being exposed to the spin from both parties.
Today, even little children know that MSNBC has a strong, pronounced liberal Democratic bias and a demonstrated animus against conservative Republicans. This is not a secret nor is it necessarily bad. If you don’t like the network’s tiresome promotion of Democratic candidates and causes, you can always switch over to Fox’s equally tiresome boosting of conservatives and the GOP.
Look, I understand why everyone is pouncing on Olby. And given his sanctimony and hypocrisy, not to mention the fact that he seems to have broken the clear rules of his own employer, I have no problem with him getting whipsawed.Precisely.
But there are two problems with these kinds of journalistic ethics “scandals.”
The first is that they aren’t a scandal. So Olbermann gave money to some Democratic candidates. Ostensibly the rules against this are intended to prevent journalists from giving the appearance of bias. Whether or not such rules make sense for actual reporters, such rules are silly for someone like Olbermann. Does anybody, and I mean anybody, suddenly trust Olbermann’s opinion less because of this news? I’m waiting. Does anyone think he’s less biased? More biased? Un-biased?
Second, the larger problem with these kinds of rules is that they do little to prevent media bias and a great deal to hide an important form of evidence of it. Banning liberal journalists from giving money doesn’t prevent them from being liberal, it just gives them a bit more plausibility when they deny it. Now, I can see the argument that someone who makes a donation would be more interested in protecting their investment, as it were. So I don’t think the policy is completely misguided. But at a certain level banning donations is like NPR barring staff from attending the Jon Stewart rally. It doesn’t fool anyone, but gives the accused a lawyerly rebuttal to accurate accusations.
When you sit down in front of a camera, behind a typewriter, or at a laptop to deliver consumable political opinions to large groups of people, you can pretend to be objective but you'll never pull it off.
No one ever has.
So let's drop the pretense, and put warning lables of "REPUBLICAN" on Faux News, "DEMOCRAT" on MSDNC, and "SLOWLY LEANING TOWARDS LIBERTARIAN, BUT NOT FAST ENOUGH" on Fox Business.
This post was written by The Whited Sepulchre, who arrived at these opinions through painstaking research, academic training, reading a lot, common sense, and a vigorous editorial process designed to remove any hint of bias from these pages.
Does anyone believe that? Good.
Don't believe it in reference to CNN, The New York Times, Fox News, or anyone else.