DC Trawler

Keith Olbermann is as ethical as he is emotionally stable

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The next time you watch Keith Olbermann thundering into the camera about how corrupt and underhanded the GOP is — assuming there is a next time, or that you ever watched him to begin with — just remember this, courtesy of Politico:

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann made campaign contributions to two Arizona members of Congress and failed Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway ahead of Tuesday’s election — a potential violation of NBC’s ethics policies.

Olbermann, who acknowledged the contributions in a statement to POLITICO, made the maximum legal donations of $2,400 apiece to Conway and to Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords. He donated to the Arizona pair on Oct. 28 – the same day that Grijalva appeared as a guest on Olbermann’s “Countdown” show…

NBC has a rule against employees contributing to political campaigns, and a wide range of news organizations prohibit political contributions – considering it a breach of journalistic independence to contribute to the candidates they cover.

“Journalistic,” that’s funny.

Olbermann, who has become [one] of the most prominent liberal commentators on cable television, has been a critic of the political donations made by Fox News’ parent company, News Corp., which contributed $1 million each to a pair of organizations trying to defeat Democratic candidates.

No, but see, when Keith Olbermann sees a possible breach of ethics in his own life, he just waves his Murrow Award at it and it disappears. Only bad people do bad things, and he’s certainly not a bad person. How could it be wrong if he’s the one doing it? Just because it’s wrong when it’s done by people he hates? You teabaggers, I swear…

In other Olby news, our own Ruth Graham had the unenviable chore of reviewing both Keith’s show and his new book in the same week. Well, I say “book,” but it barely qualifies as such:

The new book consists entirely of transcripts of Olbermann’s tirades from “Countdown” — what the jacket copy calls “his most potent barrages,” which sounds vaguely disgusting.

The good news is if you thought it was fun listening to Olbermann tear apart a guy who wrote a letter to the editor of the San Diego Union Tribune back in November of 2008, just wait until you read a full transcript of the same tirade two years later! Like a fine wine, meaningless anger only gets better with time…

Make no mistake: There is absolutely no “added value” in “Pitchforks and Torches.” There’s no introduction, no prologue, no preamble, no table of contents, no index, and no conclusion, afterward or post-script. Instead, Olbermann jumps right in. The first sentence in the book is “Number three: I could write a book–gate.” No, seriously, that’s it.

Sounds like a bestseller! It’s only been out for a week, and already it’s ranked #4,168 at Amazon. Take that, Dana Milbank (#13,915)! In your face, Rick Sanchez (#274,561)! At this rate, Keith will overtake Meghan McCain’s new book (#2,935) any second now. If there’s one thing we’ve learned this week, it’s that the only thing Americans enjoy less than voting for liberals is buying their books. [Update: After MSNBC’s outrageous decision to enforce their own ethics rules, Olby’s unbook has shot all the way to… #163! Congratulations, Keith!]

P.S. This is as good an excuse as any to revisit this beloved classic:

P.P.S. MSNBC suspends Keith Olbermann: For this relief, much thanks. For more on this developing story, see KeithOlbermann.com.