Keith Olbermann made his triumphant return to MSNBC after his three day suspension — and he had some biting comments to make about it.
Olbermann opened his show by denying that the recent events were a publicity stunt.
“If I knew that this would happen, I would have done this years ago!” he joked.
On the off-chance that this is the first time you are hearing about this story, here’s some background.
(Skip past the bullets if you’ve heard it all before.)
- Last week, MSNBC released a statement indicating that they had suspended Olbermann “indefinitely without pay,” after it came to light that he had made personal donations to political candidates during the election cycle. Political donations represent bias in journalism, see. MSNBC isn’t going to stand for that! Hell, no!
- Then Olbermann’s punishment lasted… all of three days.
- We knew Olbermann was pissed off after he released a statement blasting the network for suspending him for violating an “inconsistently enforced” rule, causing “anxiety and unnecessary drama.”
- But if you thought Olbermann was done, you thought wrong.
“So how was your weekend?” Olbermann asked sardonically in his opening statement. He promised to discuss recent events later in his show — almost making it sound like a threat.
“Please don’t leave,” begged guest Michael Moore, early in the show.
Olbermann was full of jokes about the suspension. “No one tells me anything around here!” he quipped with regard to another story. He said the whole situation could be boiled down to a few words by Jon Stewart: “That’s the greatest thing about America. We all have the freedom to have our opinions and say and do as we wish… Almost everybody has that right.”
“For me it was kind of a surprise,” Olbermann said. He again apologized for the unnecessary drama, and explained that MSNBC had no rules about disclosure of donations in the contract he signed with them.
He said that much reporting he had seen assumed that he had donated to candidate Grijalva before interviewing him, therefore he should have mentioned his donations during the Grijalva interview. However, the donation actually happened after the interview.
He said he wished that he had mentioned his donation to Gabrielle Giffords is his later commentary on her opponent, Jesse Kelly, or otherwise dropped Kelly from that particular segment.
Much of his commentary was devoted to thanking those who showed their support, especially public figures with whom his politics do not overlap. He named Jonah Goldberg and Rick Sanchez, among others, for probably treating him better than he would have treated them.
But in his conclusion, Olbermann seemed to hold no grudges. He ended his show by praising the transparency of political donations.
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