It appears NBC management feels a two day suspension is all Keith Olbermann should get for violating company policy regarding political donations.
MSNBC's Phil Griffin issued the following press release moments ago (h/t NB reader Keith Hanson):
STATEMENT REGARDING KEITH OLBERMANN - SUNDAY, NOV. 7
From Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC:
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.
After several days of silence, Olbermann posted the following on Twitter hours before:
More and more, this has the feeling of a publicity stunt, doesn't it?
After all, MSNBC's ratings were absolutely atrocious on election night, and media critics from both sides of the aisle came down on the network for its deplorably biased coverage.
Out comes the Politico piece Friday about Olbermann's untimely donations, he's quickly suspended, and the "Countdown" host is suddenly getting more publicity than he ever has.
Two business days later, and exactly a week after the horrible election coverage, he'll be back on the air probably telling his largest audience in history a nice little fairy tale about what happened.
I quite imagine I'm not the only one smelling a rat.
*****Update: Something that has bothered me about this story from the beginning was that I couldn't find anything at the FEC website about Olbermann's contributions. Go here, type in "Olbermann, Keith," and nothing shows.
Yet Politico in its article on this subject Friday reported:
POLITICO discovered the Olbermann donation to Grijalva in a Federal Election Commission filing, and when MSNBC was asked for a comment, it forwarded a statement from Olbermann:
“One week ago, on the night of Thursday October 28 2010, after a discussion with a friend about the state of politics in Arizona, I donated $2,400 each to the reelection campaigns of Democratic Representatives Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords,” Olbermann said. “I also donated the same amount to the campaign of Democratic Senatorial candidate Jack Conway in Kentucky.”
Under FEC rules, an individual donor may give only $2,400 to a candidate per general election campaign. The FEC filings for Olbermann’s contributions list an address that is a Mailboxes Etc. storefront in New York, and it also lists his occupation as a newscaster for NBC Television.
Where is that filing?
FEC checks of the candidates Olbermann gave money to also produced no results.
No Keith Olbermann.
I sure would like to know what FEC files Politico discovered.
*****Update II: Further exploration of the FEC records uncovered the following at "A WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE FOR GRIJALVA CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE":
954 Lexington Ave
New York, New York 100215055
Employer: NBC Television
Date Contributed = 10/28/2010
Amount Contributed = 2400.00