Olbermann Replacement Dropped – For Campaign Contributions to Democrats

Are they not properly vetting their liberals over at MSNBC?

As NewsBuster Lachlan Markay reported on Friday:

MSNBC suspended Keith Olbermann indefinitely … after news broke that he had given the maximum allowable contribution to three Democrats without disclosing it to his employers.

With Olbermann out, MSNBC needed a fill-in, so in steps Chris Hayes, editor of the liberal magazine, The Nation.  MSNBC pegged Hayes to fill in for the suspended Countdown host on Friday.  His gig was short-lived however.

Several hours after the announcement, Hayes had been dropped.  (h/t Weasel Zippers)

Why?

For a series of donations to Democratic campaigns in recent years.

The Wall Street Journal reports:

“Chris Hayes, tapped Friday by MSNBC to fill in for the indefinitely suspended Keith Olbermann as host of the prime-time political show ‘Countdown,’ gave money to two Democratic campaigns in recent years. Now, following that disclosure, MSNBC says Mr. Hayes won’t get the gig after all.”

Hayes denies that the network made the decision based on these campaign donations.  On his twitter account Hayes states, “OK: I'm not filling in on Countdown tonight because I didn't feel comfortable doing it given the circumstances.”

He then goes on to say, “My not hosting tonight has *nothing* to do with several donations I made to two friends *before* I ever signed an MSNBC contract.”

Perhaps, but the fact remains that MSNBC would be creating an embarrassing situation by hiring a host who had basically done the same thing as Olbermann.  And making those donations prior to signing an MSNBC contract does not exhonnerate Hayes from scrutiny.  According to ethics guidelines at the station, any potential conflict should be reported in advance.

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. 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.

Did Hayes divulge this information prior to being signed as guest host for Rachel Maddow in March of ’09, less than three months after making a contribution Democrat Josh Segall?

As an update to the Countdown situation, network sources tell Politico’s Mike Allen that Olbermann wasn’t suspended for the contributions, but rather, refusing to apologize on-camera.

“Network sources tell Playbook that Keith Olbermann was suspended because he refused to deliver an on-camera mea culpa,which would have allowed him to continue anchoring “Countdown.” Olbermann told his bosses he didn't know he was barred from making campaign contributions, although he is resisting saying that publicly.”

Question is, when will MSNBC apologize to the public for subjecting their viewer’s to Olbermann’s drivel?

Video via 23/6

Rusty can be reached at The Mental Recession, or via Twitter @rustyweiss74