MSNBC.com identified 143 journalists who made political contributions from 2004 through the start of the 2008 campaign, according to the public records of the Federal Election Commission. Most of the newsroom checkbooks leaned to the left: 125 journalists gave to Democrats and liberal causes. Only 16 gave to Republicans. Two gave to both parties.
Update: Here's how NBC explained Scarborough's donation to Kitts:
Joe Scarborough, host of the "Morning Joe" talk show and the evening newscast "Scarborough Country," $4,200 in March 2006 to Derrick Kitts, Republican candidate for the House from Oregon. ... A spokesperson for NBC, Jeremy Gaines, replied to questions sent to Scarborough. "Yes, he did make a donation to Derrick Kitts. Kitts is an old friend of Joe's. Joe hosts an opinion program and is not a news reporter."
"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 reads. “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."
NBC is milking this for P.R. value: The suspension is partly a publicity move, say Brian Stelter and Bill Carter in The New York Times, Privately, NBC execs have said that they don't intend to fire Olbermann, and that they see this as "a chance to draw a distinction between the journalistic standards of their news division and the standards of Fox."
Embedded in that message is an equivocation of the right-wing cable news network Fox and the one that's on the left, this one [MSNBC], as if we're each equidistant from sanity. Each equally to blame for the division Stewart talks about.
What are the odds of two cable channels on opposite sides of the opposite sides of the political spectrum being exactly the same in every other respect? Exactly as bad in dividing the country? Exactly as bad in twisting facts? Exactly as bad in demonizing religious minorities? Exactly as bad in defending the corporatization of the country?
What are the odds that a network, this one, which acquired a progressive bent essentially by inadvertence after I took a stand against the Iraq war that is now the definition of mainstream, would be exactly as bad as a network founded by a conservative billionaire who hired a former Nixon campaign man to run it for the express purpose of espousing the same right-wing view of the world that the same company loses millions of dollars a year pushing a failed newspaper with and which then gave millions of dollars to the Republican party apparatus this year?
Sticking up for the powerless is not the moral equivalent of sticking up for the powerful.
BEHIND THE CURTAIN: 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. Olbermann may not hold as many cards as he thinks. He makes $7 million a year and MSNBC's prime time is not as dependent on him as it was before the addition of Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell, who make considerably less.
« Older Tatiana and Krista Hogan are 4 year old twin girls... | In the past few months vicent.... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt