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The Keith-O Chronicles

"Keith Olbermann on Monday night thanked supporters and criticiized NBC, breaking his silence concerning MSNBC's two-show suspension for making unauthorized campaign contributions to three Democratic candidates in an open letter to viewers of his Countdown program," Phil Rosenthal writes for the Tribune.

"In the letter [full text at the Trib link], distributed to the Chicago Tribune and other outlets by a representative, Olbermann apologized to supporters 'for having precipitated such anxiety and unnecessary drama,' but said he 'previously knew nothing' of the NBC News policy he breached with his donations and noted the rule was 'inconsistently applied.'"

Right. It never occurred to Olbermann that donating money to the campaign of a candidate he just got done interviewing on the air would be a problem.


What if Olbermann had chipped in to help pay for the Yankees to sign a free agent while he was at ESPN? I mean, he was an "opinion journalist" then, too.


What if Olbermann invested in a stock he touted on the air on, say, CNBC? I mean, you knew he was for it!

TV's Randy Moss
"Several sources in the MSNBC and NBC world confirm Keith Olbermann's indefinite suspension for making campaign contributions without network permission was only an excuse to sideline the outspoken liberal anchor," Bill Zwecker reports in the Sun-Times.

"Olbermann is widely disliked at MSNBC, where he's called 'an insufferable diva' and 'a snob and a bully' - and those are just the descriptions printable in a family newspaper. It's also been learned the incoming Comcast honchos who bought the NBC empire are none too keen on Olbermann, his style or (perhaps most important) his multi-million-dollar contract."

Zwecker's People
"A quick search through a Center for Responsive Politics database on OpenSecrets.org of political contributions reveals he's not the only journalist to put himself in murky territory," Columbia Journalism Review reports.

For example:

"William Zwecker, reporter at the Chicago Sun-Times - $1,000 to Alexander Giannouilias (D-Ill.)."

From the Zwecker archives:

Oct. 16, 2008: "Forget the big issues, the politicians participating in the National Association of Women Business Owners' "Campaign Couture" event Friday will be more worried about how they look. Among the pols hitting the Palmer House Hilton runway will be Alexi Giannoulias, Julie Hamos, Kirk Dillard, Anita Alvarez and Kwame Raoul."

Dec. 16, 2008: "State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias was spied brunching at Perennial Sunday."

Oct. 9, 2009: "Mayor Daley and state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias are co-chairing the Chicago Cultural Center fete, emceed by CBS2's Rob Johnson."

Isn't that an ethical violation by Johnson, too?

Jan. 8, 2010: "Author Malcolm Gladwell (The Tipping Point, Outliers) slipped into Table Fifty-two for dinner, the same night Alexi Giannoulias hosted a private dinner for major donors to his U.S. Senate campaign, organized by Trish Rooney Alden and Neal Zucker."

May 11, 2010: "A huge crowd of Mike Flannery's media pals jam-packed the Billy Goat 'neath Boul Mich Saturday night - toasting the veteran political reporter as he transitions from his long run at CBS2 to Fox Chicago later this summer. Organized by Flannery's longtime editor, Deb Segal, the happy fete attracted such familiar broadcast types as Walter Jacobson, Robin Robinson, Lilia Chacon, Jan Jeffcoat, Anne State, Rob Stafford, John Drummond, Suzanne Le Mignot, Joanie Lum, Kristyn Hartman, Mary Ann Ahern, Mike Parker, 'Big Al' Lerner, Rick Kogan and Jim Avila, plus U.S. Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias - as well as a slew of Mike's many behind-the-scenes station colleagues and managers."

May 12, 2010: "A big crew of pro athletes and other high-profile types was on hand for the recent ''Guys Night Out.' Among those present to support the Chicago Children's Advocacy Center at Carmichael's Chicago Steakhouse were Ron Kittle, Dan Pasqua, Jim Thornton, Kevin Butler, Jerry Azumah and Zack Bowman; politicos Tom Dart, Bob Fioretti, Brendan Reilly and Alexi Giannoulias, and Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis."

Oct. 15, 2010: "While walking by One Mag Mile Wednesday night - where Michelle Obama was having a 'girls' night out' at Spiaggia after fund-raising for Alexi Giannoulias - I spied a bunch of Giordano's pizzas (reportedly ordered by the first lady) being delivered to the hungry Secret Service detail waiting outside on Oak Street."

Party Line
"I'm not sure it's fair to compare Bill O'Reilly to Countdown host Keith Olbermann - Chris Matthews on MSNBC does a far better job of airing conflicting views," Eric Zorn writes for the Tribune. "But it certainly is fair to point out that Olbermann seems almost pathologically averse to guests who take anything other than the straight liberal line."


AP, before Olbermann's public letter


Comments welcome.


Posted on November 9, 2010

MUSIC - Britney's IUD.
TV - Vizio's Best Product Is You.
POLITICS - UIC: Soda Taxes Work.
SPORTS - Locked Out And Loaded.

BOOKS - Foxconned.


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