November 5, 2010

Huffington Post is reporting that Keith Olbermann has been suspended from MSNBC for making three contributions to candidates for the 2010 cycle.

There appears to be some inconsistency in MSNBC's enforcement of their policy on political contributions, since Joe Scarborough donated $4,200 to Derrick Kitts (R) in 2006 and Pat Buchanan has made 5 political contributions between 2005-2008.

In fact, here's a list from 2007 of journalists who also contributed to political campaigns. MSNBC's comment about Scarborough's contributions?

A spokesperson for NBC, Jeremy Gaines, replied to questions sent to Scarborough. "Yes, he did make a donation to Derrick Kitts. Kitts is an old friend of Joe's. Joe hosts an opinion program and is not a news reporter."

UPDATE: MSNBC states it wasn't the contribution itself, but the fact that Olbermann failed to get advance approval before making it.

While NBC News policy does not prohibit employees from donating to political candidates, it requires them to obtain prior approval from NBC News executives before doing so.

In a statement earlier Friday, Olbermann defended his donation, saying, "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."

Griffin's statement underscores that it was Olbermann's failure to obtain approval, and not the actual political donations, that prompted the suspension.

More to come.

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