Keith Olbermann has found himself in trouble over campaign donations. MSNBC President Phil Griffin said in a statement Friday: “I became aware of Keith’s political contributions late last night. Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay.” Olbermann made campaign contributions to Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway and to Arizona reps Paul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords. In a statement to Politico, Olbermann admitted to giving the maximum legal amount to the candidates:
“I did not privately or publicly encourage anyone else to donate to these campaigns, nor to any others in this election or any previous ones, nor have I previously donated to any political campaign at any level.”
Apparently, NBC has very strict rules against employees contributing to political campaigns. It is allowed as long as you make your donation known before you actually donate. I’m sure Keith knows this but decided to risk it anyways. Rep. Paul Grijava was a guest on ‘Countdown’ last Thursday, the sixth time in the last six months. After that show, Keith reportedly went to Mailboxes, Etc. (no FedEx Kinkos?) and donated $2,400 to Grijava. Oh, Keith.
I get that he was trying to help these candidates out, but was it enough for him to risk his job? MSNBC had originally announced that Chris Hayes, an editor for The Nation, was going to be filling in for him, but it was found out that Hayes had previously donated to Democratic candidates in 2008 and 2009.
Anchor Thomas Roberts will be filling in and the show will only be called ‘Countdown’ until Keith is allowed to come out of his corner. I can already hear Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly sharpening their fangs to talk about this one.