Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Suspension of Olbermann Exposes MSNBC

Keith Olbermann donates $2400 to 3 candidates, and has been suspended indefinitely. Sean Hannity has given thousands to Republican candidates, but nothing. MSNBC says it is a sign that Fox is a political organization and MSNBC is a news organization that has higher standards.

It could just be me, but it seems as though MSNBC doesn't want to admit the same thing Fox fails to admit: Both are focused on political. To say that Olbermann is a "journalist" is a bit of a stretch. He is a pundit, an advocate, a critic from the left who openly goes after the right. To proclaim the suspension based on them being a "news organization" is to admit the deception, implicitly, that MSNBC is playing the same game as Fox, only from the other side.

If they had the integrity, they could have easily said "Olbermann is clearly an advocate with his show, and as such, is not bound by the policy of ethics our journalists have" and they would have actually saved the credibility of their journalists... but they chose not to.

MSNBC, in its prime time show selection, has shown the world it wants to be the left wing Fox. Olbermann is simply the antithesis of Hannity or O'Reilly on Fox. Sure, you can argue credibility issues to differentiate them, but they are each pundits or advocates for their parties. Let's not lie to ourselves and proclaim that Olbermann, Hannity, O'Reilly, etc., are objective journalists. They are pundits, advocates, and spending money for their cause probably increases their credibility with their audience, not decreased their credibility like it might with a journalist.

1 comment:

Opinionated Gifts said...

You're buying into the false equivalency between MSNBC and Fox.

I agree that Olbermann should not be categorized as a journalist so much as an analyst or pundit and therefor isn't really subject to these rules as might Rachel Maddow, who actually IS a journalist, though with a clear point of view.

But Fox, as a network advocates talking points which you will hear repeatedly throughout their broadcast day from both the pundits and the "serious" journalists. Whereas you will not find that kind of uniformity at all on MSNBC.

Yes the line up is stacked with liberal hosts. However you will find that they often don't even agree with each other on an issue. There's no corporate line on MSNBC.

There is on Fox.

While agree that there's a fuzzy line that MSNBC is trying to draw here between what is and is not a journalist. But there just isn't a comparison between these two networks.