Tabbi on Olbermann

November 6, 2010 | By | 3 Replies More

Matt Tabbi has a way about putting things into perspective:

I just found out about the suspension of Keith Olbermann for making political contributions . . . We had a whole generation of journalists who sat by and did nothing while, for instance, George Bush led us into an idiotic war on a lie, plus thousands more who spent day after day collecting checks by covering Britney’s hair and Tiger’s text messages and other stupidities while the economy blew up and two bloody wars went on mostly unexamined … and it’s Keith Olbermann who should “pay the price” for being unethical? Because, and let me get this straight, he donated money, privately, to politicians?

This is absurd even by GE’s standards. There is no reason, not even a theoretical one, why any journalist should be prevented from having political opinions and participating in election campaigns in his spare time.


Category: hypocrisy, Media

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (3)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Erich Vieth says:

    If money is speech, then it should be unconstitutional to fire Olbermann for giving money to a candidate.

    Interesting how it's hands-off corporations who rig campaigns with huge donations, but how dare a human being try to assert the same "constitutional" right to express speech through money.

  2. Tim Hogan says:

    Not that I'm a big fan of the corporadoes, and I am a fan of Olbermann's BUT, he did sign a contract that prohibited such conduct without his employer's permission. It sucks but, the dude breached the contract and the employer has a right to sanction him.

    The question is, with KO as the guy who has driven the MSNBC ship's ratings, at what cost do they continue to suspend him? Talk about shooting yourself in the foot!

    Maybe Olbermann'll do a gig for DI? Erich, you're good at that…go to it, dude. And don't put any stupid stuff in the contract!

  3. Erich Vieth says:


    Have you considered that Olbermann would like to make a salary. If you add up all of the money all of the DI writers made writing for DI last year, it would not be zero. But it isn't a positive number either.

    Back to Olbermann's firing. If money is speech, Olbermann's contract is repugnant to public policy. It would be as reprehensible as if he signed a contract promising that he would not vote in elections.

    BTW, I don't really believe that money is speech. Rather, money can buy a megaphone, and I believe that megaphones should be regulated to the extent that they warp and distort the information people get at election time. I would like to see publicly funded elections, but the US Supreme Court is probably about to destroy that option, to complement what it has already done to open up the corporate spigots.

Leave a Reply