For making campaign donations without permission from the management, against NBC policy.  Ostensibly  is “neutrality” was jeopardized.

Lots of talk on KGOE today about how many Fox News figures not only donate but actively participated in Republican campaigns, but Fox has no similar policy.  More important is the point noted through the link that many NBC figures have donated to campaigns, including the man who was assigned to replace Olbermann tonight.  So while it seems that Olbermann may have violated policy, there is some evidence of selective enforcement and a question of whether there is a clear understanding of the policy’s workings.

Indefinite suspension without pay also seems like an extreme reaction.  NBC’s refusal to answer questions about it is also weird.  It plays into the claims of KGOE programming hosts who speculate that it’s about the pending Comcast takeover of NBC with fear about the new political order thrown in.  I guess this would suggest that the Maddow, O’Donnell, and Shultz are up for the chopping block as well?

Fox does have a different policy re neutrality and the impression thereof.  What other network will organize and even orchestrate a demonstration then cover it as a spontaneous event?

MSNBC conservative commentator Scarborough donated to a Republican back in 2006 and again this year.  Will he be suspended as well?  His show Monday morning will probably be the most watched in a long time.

Josh Marshal asks some pertinent questions about the incident, and one of his readers comments:

“The strangest thing about MSNBC policy is the asking for permission part. Either you can give or you can’t. Requiring permission implies that certain candidates or parties are acceptable and certain candidates or parties are unacceptable to management. Isn’t it illegal for employers to go down that road?”

Addendum: Rachel Maddow comments.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
Rachel Maddow on Keith Olbermann suspension, posted with vodpod

Key quotes for those of you on dial-up:

Let this incident lay to rest forever the facile never true anyway bullpuckey lazy conflation of Fox News and what the rest of us do for a living.  I know everybody likes to say Oh, that’s cable news it’s all the same.  Fox News and MSNBC mirror images of each other.  Let this lay that to rest forever.  Hosts on Fox raise money on the air for Republican candidates.  They endorse them explicitely; they use their Fox News profile to headline fundraisers.

Yes Keith’s a liberal and so am I… We are not a political operation; Fox is.

Oh, and the netroots aren’t taking it lightly. You can sign a petition.  Or you can call MSNBC.