In America, every citizen has the right to follow their conscience regarding who they want to see working in government for them. We can express our opinions publically. We have the right to donate money to whatever cause we agree with and we are accorded a say in how we want our government run by having the priviledge of voting for the candidates of our choice. This is a wonderful, glorious country that grant us all these rights and priviledges through our Constitution and it’s Bill of Rights. We are so careful about upholding these rights that the Supreme Court of the United States even granted the right to make election campaign donations to corporations, giving them the SAME rights under the law as individuals. However there are certain corporations that feel they have the right to take away their employee’s rights.
Keith Olbermann, the host of MSNBC’s evening program Countdown has been suspended “indefinitely” for giving campaign contributions to three Democratic Candidates. NBC News seems to have a rule that employees must ask permission to promote causes of their choice when it might appear to be a conflict of interest for the company. This rule prohibits appearing in public at rallies or parades without permission, it also prohibits campaign contributions without permission. NBC News is so steadfast in it’s enforcing of the rules that they suspended the host of their highest rated show for breaking the rules and making donations to Democratic Candidates. A rule that was NOT enforced when another MSNBC program host, Joe Scarborough donated to Republicans in 2006. Apparently he asked permission, and his donation occured “under other management”. I wonder why Rachel Maddow would have felt the need to include that particular bit of information in her spin on what happened and why? Is it necessary to say that because current management would have refused permission?
It never occured to me that in order to work for the news media one has to set aside, even in private life, the desire to express ones personal preferences. While I do agree that journalists need to deliver the news in an unbiased and impartial manner, I don’t understand why that should include not making donations according to how their conscience directs them. Why do corporations have a right that a journalist does not? A corporation can donate millions of dollars to any campaign they choose, but a journalist can’t donate a thousand or so dollars to candidates of their choice? I can understand a rule regarding disclosure of those donations, but the idea of any American Citizen having to ask permission to donate makes me feel like there’s an elephant sitting on my chest leaving me gasping for air.
After Twitter hit the fan. Rachel Maddow was allowed to give MSNBC’s position that in order to separate itself from the Fox News habit of making large Republican donations and broadcasting seriously biased news, it has to punish Keith for failing to follow their rules. This is, in the minds of Phil Griffin and other MSNBC enployees, proof that they act with integrity and are a news organisation rather than a fake news organisation. If they’re trying to impress Fox News watchers, they are going to fail very badly. Seriously, Fox News watchers are so solidly Far Right that unless it’s on Fox, it’s not true. MSNBC watchers are the Far Left leaners. We all ready know the difference thank you. We think things through before we decide to support something.
There is probably an attempt to reach the middle group of moderates on both sides at MSNBC. Since the moderates don’t watch Fox, what makes NBC feel they’ll watch MSNBC? The only way I can see that happening is if they get rid of Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann. Neither of them are anything approaching impartial and unbiased. A move which will seriously alienate their current audience. Which leads me to wonder exactly how long this “indefinite suspension” is going to be? It’s not like Keith is anything other than an outspoken Liberal Democrat, and given that fact, why is it a conflict of interest that he would donate to a cause that he speaks out about on a very regular basis, on MSNBC the very company that suspended him? Where’s the conflict of interest? Oh, that’s right. Comcast is the owner of NBC Universal. They make BIG donations to the Republicans. I get it now.