November 9th, 2010
10:35 AM ET
11 years ago

Olbermann says sorry to viewers, but not NBC

(CNN) – At the end of a two-business day suspension for contributing to three Democratic candidates last month, Keith Olbermann is apologizing – but not to his bosses.

Back on the air Tuesday night, the liberal talk show host said in a statement released Monday evening that he was sorry to his fans "for having precipitated such anxiety and unnecessary drama."

But the MSNBC host sounded clearly frustrated with the way his network has implemented its policy of banning employees from donating to political campaigns and the insinuation he was attempting to hide his actions.

"You should also know that I did not attempt to keep any of these political contributions secret; I knew they would be known to you and the rest of the public. I did not make them through a relative, friend, corporation, PAC, or any other intermediary, and I did not blame them on some kind of convenient 'mistake' by their recipients," he said.

"When a website contacted NBC about one of the donations, I immediately volunteered that there were in fact three of them; and contrary to much of the subsequent reporting, I immediately volunteered to explain all this, on-air and off, in the fashion MSNBC desired," Olbermann also said in the statement

In the statement, Olbermann went on to accuse NBC of "inconsistently" applying its policy and suspending him without first hearing his side of the story.

I was suspended without a hearing and learned of that suspension through the media.

Olbermann was suspended Friday after Politico reported that he had donated to three Democrats seeking federal office.

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.

Conway lost his bid, while Grijalva and Giffords eked out wins.

Filed under: Democrats • Keith Olbermann
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. Faux News is Fixed News

    HELLwill freeze over the day FAUX NEWS release its secret list of political contributions made by it's "talking heads" like Hannity, Glen Beck, Sarah Palin, Bill O'reilly, Mike Huckabee, Karl Rove etc....these nutjobs are blatantly donating and campaigning for the RughtWing nutcases on the GOP-TeaParty!

    And thanks to the Supreme Court activists judges John Roberts and Alito, who've outsourced political contributions and deemed corporations & foreign company's as individual entities in the USA...with FAUX NEWS donating over $2milloin dollars to the GOP and the US Chamber of Commerce & Karl Rove GPS taking foreign money & from the Chinese to fund US elections!

    Welcome to the new US of China!

    November 9, 2010 11:56 am at 11:56 am |
  2. Dave

    Typical of this guy. But at the same time, he should be able to support whoever he wants just as anyone else can. But if you don't agree with MSM agendas then don't watch or listen to them. the two party system is a scam anyway. YOU CAN ONLY HAVE COKE OR PEPSI HERE!!! But I would like a Sprite. NO, Coke or Pepsi. But I'd like a Dr. Pepper. No, Coke or Pepsi.........welcome to the USA.

    November 9, 2010 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Keith is the perfect antidote to the FAUX NEWS insanity! Welcome back!

    November 9, 2010 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  4. Bill

    Who cares ... 100 years from now no one will remember his name.

    November 9, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Robert Noonan

    Olbermann is a clown. Though he is a Cornell, (Aggie extension) graduate. I sure he could find job cleaning chicken coops somewhere if is knee walking for NBC brass didn't work out. As far as his "News commentary" chickensh!t spew, a phrase comes to mind. Its deep and I don't think it's wade-able.

    November 9, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  6. LouAz

    NBC can't have it both ways. If you want a inert eunich reading sadistics or the AP wire, you get no viewers. I think Olberman wears his idea of what is fair and balanced on his sleeve, and I appreciate it. His show is not about a plane crash in Bolivia, or a new shopping center in Gabon . . . it is about US politics ! If NBC has some rules about political contributions of their employees, then they better start at the top.

    November 9, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  7. nhsays

    One more liberal loon to channel surf by...

    November 9, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  8. Johnny Johnson

    GFY Keith!

    Welcome back! I missed watching MSNBC; without you it is a little less smug, snarky, and sad.

    GFY MSNBC, GFY Keithy

    November 9, 2010 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  9. tweet

    Welcome back Keith. Missed you and your insight tremendously.

    November 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  10. Michael in Houston

    Let me see if I have this straight.....corporations are now legally allowed to flood as much money into the elections and are able to do so without disclosure however Keith Olbermann is not allowed??
    Yep that makes alot of sense.
    Fox News is allowed to hire political candidates on the right on their staff and provide them with the visibility they so desparetly seek but Keith Olbermann is not permitted to voice his preferences and leanings?
    You have got to be joking me

    November 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  11. Sagebrush Shorty

    Olbermann and NBC deserve each other.

    November 9, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  12. GOP-Bob

    He is a divider, just like the little boys and girls at fox. There is not greater danger to this country than these people who seek to divide–we have a lot of problems, and if we could work together we could solve them. Keith O and BIll O'Reilly are equally guilty of subverting our country. And Rush and Sean and the rest of them from the right and left.

    November 9, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  13. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    Keith you're the MAN! Always standing up against Corporate American domination over our lives. Even if it mean getting suspended or fired. Yes any company can fired a person for whatever reason they feel like in most states. NBC is walking a fine line by picking a fight with one of the most popular talk show hosts in America. You fire Keith, we'll walk right back over to CNN at 5pm. But we still have Ed Schultz and Rachel Maddow, so don't get your hopes up righties.

    November 9, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  14. by-the-way

    by the way, Mr. Olbermann, you constantly decry those who claim to have freedom of speech at work when in fact they do not. You are a smart man and could have easily checked the rules. There may even be a little page you signed during the orientation process wherein it clearly states you have read all of the work rules and agree to abide by them. If you don't like the rules, seek to change them or leave. Now, stop shouting at people who don't like their own work rules.

    November 9, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  15. Operation Crush Rush

    Watch out Keith,when you step on the toes of the Commerce Department,look what they did to JFK.

    November 9, 2010 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
1 2