Sunday, November 07, 2010

Taibbi on Olbermann Flap: "Absurd"

Yesterday I took the position that Keith Olbermann's indefinite suspension from Countdown, while it does indeed suck for him his viewers, is a necessary function of the job he does and the oversight structure he operates under.  Matt Taibbi, on the other hand, has a slightly different take:
We had a whole generation of journalists who sat by and did nothing while, for instance, George Bush led us into an idiotic war on a lie, plus thousands more who spent day after day collecting checks by covering Britney's hair and Tiger's text messages and other stupidities while the economy blew up and two bloody wars went on mostly unexamined... and it's Keith Olbermann who should "pay the price" for being unethical? Because, and let me get this straight, he donated money, privately, to politicians?
This is absurd even by GE's standards.
As is usually the case, I can't say I disagree with the substance of what Taibbi is saying.  It is sad that we have such lopsided notions of media accountability.  Still, for me it all comes back to Olbermann knowing the rules and choosing not to work within them.  Ultimately, we all know that the suspension will probably amount to little more than a slap on the wrist, but it nonetheless allows MSNBC to satisfy those who make noise about their bias by making an example of their most visible face.

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