November 6, 2010

Idiot of the Week: MSNBC

OlbermannAs you have almost certainly heard by now, MSNBC suspended one of their most popular pundits, Keith Olbermann, this week because he donated to three Democratic candidates for Congress. By itself, this was not enough for Idiot of the Week designation. After all, Olbermann's donation violated NBC's ethics rules. What put MSNBC over the top was their selective enforcement of these rules.

MSNBC has never suspended conservative pundit Joe Scarborough even though he has repeatedly donated to Republican candidates while promoting them on his show. In fact, it seems that Scarborough has never been disciplined for violating the same ethics rules that led to Olbermann's suspension. Worse yet, it looks like MSNBC has long been considered exempt from NBC's ethics rules until someone decided to come after Olbermann.

This selective enforcement smacks of hypocrisy and should serve as a powerful reminder of the limitations of corporate media. Without truly independent media, I'm not optimistic that we can count on reliable information in place of propaganda.

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