Monday, November 08, 2010

Keith Olbermann's suspension lifted; scheduled to return Tuesday

As most politically-active people have no doubt heard, MSNBC commentator Keith Olbermann was suspended by a network executive late last week for making legal contributions to Democratic candidates this year.

Even though other MSNBC commentators like Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan have made similar contributions to Republicans in the past without penalty.

After the news of the suspension broke last week, there was a nationwide uproar and MSNBC came in for some withering criticism, from all across the political spectrum.

Today, after listening to the words of support for Olbermann (and doing the math - Olbermann's show is easily the highest rated on the network, and what he did wasn't something that was professionally unethical or illegal, or otherwise embarrassing to the network.  The powerplay just isn't worth the lost viewers and ad revenues.), the network executive who imposed the suspension has lifted it.

From NBC's press release on the matter -
From Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC:

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.
Olbermann's tweeted response -
Greetings From Exile! A quick, overwhelmed, stunned THANK YOU for support that feels like a global hug & obviously left me tweetless XO
Thanks to NPR for the heads-up on both the press release and the Twitter link.

Later...

2 comments:

Thane Eichenauer said...

Is the whole suspension event a ploy to grab an additional 5% in the ratings? Nay, that just couldn't be. Could it?

cpmaz said...

Thane,

It's possible (we may not agree politically, but cynicism is non-partisan), but I don't think so.

MSNBC might experience a boost over the short-term (as in for a day or two) from this, the net is more likely to experience a surge in ratings once people see the ugliness planned by the Rs in Congress.

MSNBC experienced its first "growth spurt" when it had the depredations of Bush and Cheney (and Tom Delay and the R leadership at the time) to document.