That's NOT What Happened!

Have I mentioned how much I despise the media? I do. They suck out loud at times. And the incident I'm about to describe is one of those times.

Keith Olbermann was suspended from MSNBC yesterday. No great loss. I can't stand the guy. But, then again, I can't stand any of those folks who are so one-sided I wonder how they just don't tip right on over in the morning. Olbermann is particularly obnoxious, though. But that's not the point. The point is why he was suspended. And either I'm totally misunderstanding why he was suspended or everyone in the media is blatantly leaving that reason out. And I don't get it.

I'll start with The Huffington Post. Their article starts out: "MSNBC has suspended star anchor Keith Olbermann following the news that he had donated to three Democratic candidates this election cycle." OK. Now over to the LA Times blog which tells us (in an extremely pithy fashion which I appreciate) "Keith Olbermann was suspended because he donated a total of $7,200 to three political candidates who had been on his program or supported by his comments." All right, sir. And even from the New York Freaking Times which begins their article with: "Keith Olbermann, the pre-eminent liberal voice on American television, was suspended Friday after his employer, MSNBC, discovered that he made campaign contributions to three Democrats last month." Do you get it? Do you understand why he was suspended? You do? Trust me. You don't.

All three of those examples that I cited are fairly reputable (to say the least) sources of news. That's what makes me so angry. They're leaving out a key part! And it's the part for why he was really suspended! That's the thing! He wasn't suspended for making the donations! Did you get that impression from any of those sources above? Even an organization called FAIR, which stands for "Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting" got it wrong when they reported "MSNBC host Keith Olbermann has been placed on indefinite suspension without pay in the wake of a Politico report (11/5/10) that revealed Olbermann had donated $7,200 to three Democratic candidates, in violation of NBC's standards barring employees from making political contributions." That's not correct!

What they're all leaving out is that Olbermann was suspended because, according to the president of MSNBC, a one Phil Griffin, "I became aware of Keith's political contributions late last night. Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay." And the freaking policy to which he is referring to does NOT bar employees from making political contributions. No, it requires them to obtain prior approval from NBC News executives before doing so.

Do you see the difference? The way that it is being reported makes it sound (because that's how it sounds) like he was suspended because he donated. No. That's not it! He was suspended because he didn't obtain the approval that was required. There's a difference! Am I the only one who sees that? Why is it not being reported that way? Either way, are we supposed to feel sorry for Keith Olbermann? I can't imagine ever feeling that way toward the man. But that aside, what the hell is going on here?!

And it's not just one news source. It's EVERY news source. ALL of them are reporting that he was suspended for making political donations and ALL of them leave off the part about him doing so without obtaining approval. Why are they doing that? It's maddening is what it is. Do I think that he needed to be suspended indefinitely without pay for doing it? Look, it's not exactly like he's a strict news reporter. He's chock full of opinion! That being said, I think it's a bit harsh, but that's not the point. The point is that the media sucks! And on this one, they suck SO bad that I am almost (almost) completely speechless.

We're so doomed. This is a pretty basic concept to try and report correctly, yet everyone has it wrong. If the media can't get this right, how are we supposed to trust them to explain and report on things more complicated than why some jackass got suspended? We can't be expected to do that at all. And it saddens me. Back to you