So Phil Griffin, the MSNBC boss who suspended Keith Olbermann last week for the horrendous crime of donating to Democrats, issued the following statement announcing Olbermann's return tomorrow:
After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night's program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy. We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night.
"Appropriate punishment"? WTF? Is MSNBC a news network, or Phil Griffin's little red schoolhouse? What kind of professionals are these bozos?
As karoli pointed out, the looming acquisition of NBC by Comcast probably played a role in this. What seems most likely is that Griffin, anticipating the company's new conservative ownership, made this move in hopes of currying favor with the new bosses.
Instead, he created a fiasco that gave the entire network a black eye. If the new bosses are smart businessmen before they're political ideologues, Griffin will be gone with the first few days of the Comcast takeover. Serves him right.
UPDATE: From Popeater, citing anonymous sources:
"Keith is furious about the way this has all been handled and insisted that MSNBC bosses apologize to him before he would agree to return," a network insider tells me. "Keith sees himself as the star of MSNBC, the person who put them on the map and discovered fellow network anchors Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell. To be treated like this by the network he helped shape, he considers disgusting."
MSNBC employees follow ethics guidelines barring them from making political contributions. After Olbermann's "indefinite suspension without pay," it appears those rules may see some revision.
"In addition to an apology, Keith is demanding that the rules be changed," an executive tells me. "Keith thinks it's unfair that FOX News anchors can make contributions and support candidates and he can't. It's his money that he has earned, he should be allowed to do whatever he wants with it. What sort of country do we live in where an actor can trash a hotel room with an escort and drugs and Keith can't donate money to people running for office he believes in? It makes no sense. If they think they can slap Keith's wrist and have him to return a few days later like nothing happened, they are wrong. They picked the wrong guy."