November 6th, 2010
10:42 AM ET
8 years ago

Maddow: MSNBC is no Fox

(CNN) – News that MSNBC Anchor Keith Olbermann donated to three Democratic candidates last month is proof to many that the network has once and for all shown itself to be the liberal equal of Fox News.

But not so fast, says Rachel Maddow, a fellow MSNBC anchor.

On her show Friday, Maddow said any attempt to equate Fox News to MSNBC is disingenuous, especially in light of the swift actions MSNBC executives took in suspending Olbermann compared to the activities Fox News hosts often engage in without repercussions.

"If you look at the long history of Fox hosts not just giving money to candidates, but actively endorsing campaigns and raising millions of dollars for politicians and political parties - whether it's Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck or Mike Huckabee - and you'll see that we can lay that old false equivalency to rest forever,” Maddow said Friday.

“There are multiple people being paid by Fox News to essentially run for office as Republican candidates. If you count not just their hosts but their contributors, you're looking at a significant portion of the entire Republican lineup of potential contenders for 2012,” she continued.

First reported by Politico and confirmed by Federal Election Commission filings, Olbermann gave $2,400 – the maximum individual amount allowed – to each of the campaigns of Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway, and Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords.

The donations apparently breached NBC’s policy, which requires employees to seek permission before donating or engaging in political activities. CNN has a similar policy.

"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," MSNBC President Phil Griffin said in a statement Friday.

Maddow agreed Olbermann deserved repercussions for violating a stated policy, but added that the incident's true value is its exposition of the differences between MSNBC and Fox, not the similiarites.

"Their network is run as a political operation. Ours isn't. Yeah, Keith's a liberal, and so am I. But we're not a political operation - Fox is. We're a news operation. The rules around here are part of how you know that," she said.

Filed under: Keith Olbermann
soundoff (248 Responses)
  1. dr ignorance

    Progressive liberal idiots like Madcow andOblermean are like rats jumping from the burning ship. blah blah blah...morons galore.America is sick of the drivel.

    November 6, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  2. Norman

    What a joke suspending Mr Olbermann while the Fox News blasts the President and is a surrogate for the RIGHT. FOX even blasted the President with a phony news story on his trip to SW Asia.

    The FCC should shut down Fox News.

    November 6, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  3. John Wright

    Do we really care what Rocky Maddow thinks about Fox News? MSNBC is a political "news" outlet and leftist at that!

    November 6, 2010 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  4. samson

    Fox news is a 24 / 7 propaganda news for republicans and MSNBC leans left in their night shows , journalism in America died with Tim Russert

    November 6, 2010 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  5. Orlando Patriot

    What is Rachel Maddow complaining about? Is she worried that she might lose the 10 viewers that watch her show? Now that Olbermann is off the air what are the 10 viewers of HIS show now going to do? They are not smart enough to watch Fox News so I guess they will simply have to play another game of Chutes and Ladders.............

    November 6, 2010 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  6. the real ib

    You people down Fox News and then say that MSNBC is a good place to get the true news;hahahahahaha.

    November 6, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  7. Scott F

    I have a suggestion for the people with all of the negative and hateful comments on both sides. Why don't you all google Man in the Glass and then look in the mirror. After that look at your kids or best friends and explain to them your hateful remarks. We need to get back to sanity and not my way or the highway ideology. All I read here are one viewer TV watchers spilling out the same tired talking points of either side. Why don't you read and listen to all points of view then at least make informed decisions. Our electorate has become brain dead. The special interests count on it. We will get what we deserve. Just watch the film " Idiocracy". That is where we are heading, if we are not already there.

    November 6, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  8. Max Gardner

    Maddow thinks she works for a "news' organization, just another stupid liberal being led around by a nose ring as her bosses laugh their butts off at this fool doing their dirty work. There is nothing lower than a cheap shot lying liberal, talk about the dark side...Olbermann is a total joke, he is good for a few minutes of humor, sort of like the class clown...

    November 6, 2010 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  9. Susie Que

    I think Keith Olbermann's donations to the political party of his choice is his own business. MSNBC shouldn't have suspended him at all. He brings in a lot of viewers. I know people who watch him faithfully but will never even admit it. They can tell you every word he says. He's an asset and a moneymaker for MSNBC so they'd better hang on to him!

    November 6, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  10. Aria

    I have Fox blocked from my Television. My ex roommate used to tease me and leave it on Fox and run off. So now it's password protected. I couldn't even watch it even if I wanted to. I forgot the password!

    MSNBC may RIP as far as I'm concerned. Until Mr. Keith Olbermann comes back, there is no way I'm watching MSNBC. As much as I love the others on there, it's not the same without Mr. Olbermann. It was unfair and major hypocrisy. I also used to be a fan of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert. When they compared Olbermann to Glenn Beck. I lost it. Fox is nothing like MSNBC. Fox is a political Republican campaign station. Like Bill Maher said on his show "Olbermann states facts while the other one plays with his poop!" Seems like the President of MSNBC does also.

    Now I'm just going to watch Joy Behar.

    November 6, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  11. sorensen

    Of course Rachel Maddow is right. She always is. She is brilliant, fast, correct, does her homework and has a perfect
    delivery. She is a star.
    It was very stupid to fire Olberman. He is emotional and a brilliant journalist. NBC will regret this. Bad management.
    Nobody intelligent cares what Fox does. Anything owned by Rupert Murdoch will turn into commercial crap.

    November 6, 2010 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  12. bfranklin

    How can any sane person think that MSNBC is a 'news" organization? All they do is talk down Republicans. True, Fox has a large amount of commentators with a conservative view-point, but non of them are claiming themselves to be news reporters. Bret Baier is a news reporter. Who does the real news at MSNBC?

    November 6, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. truthspeaker

    MSNBC not on the left? Puh-lease. MSNBC makes JFK look like Ronald Reagan.

    Rachel Maddow is a crazy lib who spews so much garbage, it makes my stomach turn. Just shut up hippy.

    November 6, 2010 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. Pman

    Rachel needs to keep cleaning carpet and get off the air.

    November 6, 2010 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  15. 1GregM

    The only people that should be up on arms about this story are the two listeners to this hack's rants.

    November 6, 2010 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  16. koil

    I can't believe she has the guts (I'd use another word, but I'm being polite) to try and come out and say anything at all after what I witnessed on election night the other day.

    It was COMPLETELY laughable...they just seemed to not know that the entire country was rolling right. They hadly even mentioned it, and when they were reporting on Harry Reid in NV, Maddow actually said something to the effect of "I bet you the republicans are sitting back and scratching their heads wondering how they have just been absolutely creamed!" What planet are you people on??

    The "stupid voters" the liberals keep calling out are the same "stupid voters" that put Obama into office 2 years ago and have finally realized they were sold a bill of goods and now want real leadership to get this country back on they want them out....2012 can't come soon enough.

    November 6, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. bfranklin

    If anyone watched any of the MSNBC election coverage, I think they would see how much that Maddow is blowing smoke up our collectve behinds. That was a disgraceful display of "coverage" . Mockery, disdain and childishness are not reflective of a news organization

    November 6, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. shannon

    It looks like the right owns the media. FOX News can give to candidates, FOX News can have candidates do fund raisers on their network, FOX News can hire candidates to promote other right wing candidates, but a journalist on the left is suspeneded.. FOX News can spread lies like the 200 million a day to pay for the Presidents trip whopper, but they are still called journalists, but real journalists are suspened. The new tea bagger America.

    November 6, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  19. Observer

    FOX News is the network whose people are so ignorant that they announced that Los Angeles would spend ONE BILLION DOLLARS so they could have TEN THOUSAND policemen flying around in JETPACKS. Enough said.

    November 6, 2010 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  20. Tom Klein

    MSNBC isn't a political organization? It's not? Ruth Maddow is about as delusional as Nancy Pelosi. I'll tell you what MSNBC is, though...a horrible program masquerading as a news show filled with nuts like Maddow. MSNBC's ratings ought to tell it what it needs to know but, like Pelosi and the pasting liberals took on Tuesday, she blithely makes comments that show just how far removed from reality she is. Olberman is nasty, pure and simple, and MSNBC was probably looking to get rid of him. Good. And if he's too nasty for MSNBC, who's going to employ him? He can go live with Rosie and spew his crap on some blog like she does. You know, I doubt anyone on MSNBC is patriotic. I suspect that if the US were invaded tomorrow by the Chinese, they'd be on the first plane out of the country, sitting behind Bill Clinton, Schumer, Boxer, Reid and all the other cowardly and traitorous Democrats. Can ANYONE imagine Harry Reid pulling a trigger in defense of his country? That whining little punk would be shaking in his boots under his desk.

    November 6, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  21. No More

    Keith broke company's policy, he's an EMPLOYEE. Keith is a NEWS ANCHOR, he's NOT a TV host like Hannity or Huckabee. TV host can donate to any candidates they wish, but a news anchor cannot. I used to watch Keith, then I got sick and tired of his rant, day in and day out. It's the same old thing, rehash all the time. I stopped watching MSNBC since 2007; they're so vicious, all of them. I'm not surprise their ratings is in the tank. Who wants to listen to a bunch of reprobates? I'd rather watch and listen to John King of CNN, I always learn something new with his kind of reporting. John King is a professional journalists, Keith, Rachel & their new anchor who always look angry; are WANNABE journolists, who can't even tie their own shoes without a manual.

    November 6, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  22. dennis

    Maddow and Obermann, who are they? MSNBC, isn't this a Cartoon Network made up of washed up comics?

    November 6, 2010 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  23. Jane

    Maddow is nothing more than a liberal blowhard. MSNBC should fire her for not agreeing with her employer....after all....that's what the liberal media does.

    November 6, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. Larry C Wilson

    When some one agrees with me, they're right; when they disagree with me, they're wrong.

    November 6, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  25. Stargazer

    There is a distinction between a news “anchor” and a commentator. All news organizations require their news anchors to appear neutral and objective. All commentators are biased to their own political feelings. Olbermann is on the payroll as a news anchor. He violated a policy that was a condition of his employment. Folks need to vent their anger at NBC and stop comparing his situation with commentators on other networks.

    November 6, 2010 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
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