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The “Fair And Impartial” MSNBC

Joe Scarborough, former Republican Congressman and host of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” has been suspended for making campaign contributions to friends and family.  His suspension, like Keith Olbermann’s will be for 2 days.  Mr. Olbermann’s original suspension was “indefinite” which created a public backlash that I don’t believe MSNBC could have imagined. However, Mr. Scarborough’s suspension is going down without a peep from too many of his supporters. That might be due to the established suspension limit which was not included in Mr. Olbermann’s suspension.

Mr. Olbermann made his donations to 3 separate people in one year. Mr Scarborough’s donations were made regularly between 2004 and 2009. Something he conveniently forgot when asked by Phil Griffen. That bothers me. I’m not satisfied with the solution that MSNBC chose.

At first I thought this was fair. Two days for Mr. Olbermann, two days for Mr. Scarborough. Then I found out about the not remembering he’d done it. How do you forget giving $500 regularly to “family and friends” over a period of 5 years? How many people did he give to? I suppose that doesn’t matter.

I’m someone who believes all sides of an issue should be aired. Which means when I listen to Mr. Scarborough I give his view the same thought that I give to Mr. Olbermann’s views.  That’s my way of trying to stay fully informed. Since they are polar opposites in political views they both give me a starting point to research the issues and decide for myself what I choose to believe.

Since I’m aware of the differences in their politics, I expect neither of them to be impartial in their delivery.  Which frankly negates MSNBC’s policy that program hosts can’t make political donations. I’m someone who expects people to put their money and their votes where their mouths are.  We live in a free country and as citizens we have that right.

A ban on that policy should be considered because, in my mind, if Mr. Olbermann and Mr. Scarborough weren’t backing up their own opinions with action, they both would lose my respect. If they were in the business of fair and impartial journalism I would think differently. 

Having both given donations to the causes they believe in they both have my respect for being who they say they are and acting on it. However, I really wish Mr. Scarborough would wake up and smell the coffee and give up his Republican attitudes. In the meantime, lets just all keep calm and carry on. 😀

4 Responses to The “Fair And Impartial” MSNBC

  1. Butterose November 23, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    Fox News would be an excellent example of what you’re saying, and I don’t consider them a news program. I am aware that others do though and will not listen to anything but what those at Fox choose to call the truth.

    Chris Matthews of MSNBC’s Hardball is a registered Democrat and not anything that approaches liberal in his views. Many Libs have stopped watching his program because he doesn’t spout the lib party line.

    Which is my point. It doesn’t matter what political pesuasion someone is, all they need to do is report the issues the way they are and MSNBC and NBC demand that their employees seek permission before making contributions to candidates of their choice. To me that’s interfering with the rights of their employees as individual citizens. Also, what happens if the boss says no?

    This all smacks to me of a form of censorship that I’m not comfortable with. Not every bit of news is political in nature. I see no reason why journalistic ethics should contain the rule that people can’t support, through contributions, candidates of their choice. After all, newspapers support candidates of their choice and still report on scandals if they occur, even with their own chosen candidates.

    News is news and can be delivered by journalists who are honest enough to give both sides of the issue despite their own personal opinions. I’ve seen Keith Olbermann not run a segment that was very definitely anti GW Bush because his own investigation indicated things weren’t exactly as they appeared to be. And he’s been very critical of President Obama when he felt the president was wrong. Yet, he was treated to a suspension that was originally indefinite and might have been permanent except for the backlash it caused.

  2. admin November 23, 2010 at 7:59 am

    I’m at a loggerhead with this one…on one hand people should, as you say, be free to do what they want as private citizens…on the other hand journalists are supposed to be impartial and avoid conflicts of interest…but…is a political voice with a slant ( a hired political gun so to speak ) really a journalist, just because he/she gets air-time on a network?

    You know, and I know, that a political analyst, or any journalist/reporter for that matter, has his/her own set of prejudices/bias… we take that as a given…and we try to dissect the news as it’s being reported to us…filter it so to speak, remove the chaff…but even so, theoretically, we shouldn’t have to…even though we know we do.

    If a station or a network hires a representative for a political party as an analyst to report on political news…should that station or network require that person to uphold the standards that journalists are supposed to adhere to…

    objectivity and impartiality?

    I don’t know.

  3. Butterose November 21, 2010 at 7:01 pm

    Any journalist should be delivering the news as honestly and fairly as they can. However, their rights as private citizens shouldn’t be interfered with and they shouldn’t face suspension for standing up for what they believe in.

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