As most Americans know and Liberals bemoan, Keith Olbermann was suspended without pay indefinitely by NBC on November 5, 2010 for violating NBC News ethics policies. Specifically, he was removed for contributing to the election campaigns of three Democratic candidates this election season.
Silencing Olbermann is a great thing for America but I’m not sure this was the way to do it.
The stated reason for NBC’s suspension of the hyper-Liberal Olbermann was that he directly and willfully violated NBC’s Newsroom Policy when he made those donations with the one to Raul Grijalva being made immediately on the same day that Olbermann hosted Grijalva on his show:
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.
There is no doubt that Keith Olbermann violated NBC’s policy which is based upon the journalistic ethics code called – ironically given the foul and perfidious degeneration of the NY Times – the code of the Grey Lady.
Where doubt, both ethical and logical, arises is in whether or not such standards and policies should be applied to Olbermann.
The ethical question arises from NBC’s policies themselves. Legal or not, is it right to require as terms of continued employment that employees refrain from full participation in the civic process? These employees are private citizens, and there’s an ethical issue with any employment requirement that impinges upon their freedoms of speech and association.
The logical problem is nothing more than a result of a logical fallacy based upon an utterly false and well-disproven postulate, that Keith Olbermann is a journalist or even an employee of a news agency. MSNBC is not a news agency by a creditable definition of the term and Keith Olbermann doesn’t even attempt to bear any resemblance to journalist. Applying the code of the Grey Lady to him is patently ridiculous.
So, for what little it’s worth in the grand scheme of things, I’m ambivalent about Olbermann suspension. I’m ecstatic that he’s been, at least temporarily, stopped from further polluting the airwaves with his filth, but I’m not fond of why he was removed.