Sanders Issues Statement on Keith Olbermann

WASHINGTON - DECEMBER 16:  Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) speaks during a press conference on the nomination of Ben Bernanke for a second term as Federal Reserve chairman December 16, 2009 in Washington, DC. Sanders, who is a member of the Senate Budget committee, has placed a hold on the nomination of Bernanke.

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) “today issued the following statement on MSNBC suspending Keith Olbermann for exercising his First Amendment rights,” according to a press release.

“It is outrageous that General Electric/MSNBC would suspend Keith Olbermann for exercising his constitutional rights to contribute to a candidate of his choice. This is a real threat to political discourse in America and will have a chilling impact on every commentator for MSNBC.

“We live in a time when 90 percent of talk radio is dominated by right-wing extremists, when the Republican Party has its own cable network (Fox) and when progressive voices are few and far between. 

“At a time when the ownership of Fox news contributed millions of dollars to the Republican Party, when a number of Fox commentators are using the network as a launching pad for their presidential campaigns and are raising money right off the air, it is absolutely unacceptable that MSNBC suspended one of the most popular progressive commentators in the country. 

“Is Rachel Maddow or Ed Schultz next? Is this simply a ‘personality conflict’ within MSNBC or is one of America’s major corporations cracking down on a viewpoint they may not like? Whatever the answer may be, Keith Olbermann should be reinstated immediately and allowed to present his point of view.”

(credit image – daylife/getty)

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157 Comments

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157 responses to “Sanders Issues Statement on Keith Olbermann

  1. Aimee

    Sen Sanders,
    You are 100% correct. We have a entire network that is a arm of the republican party with the network actually donating to candidates. So, if he (as a single person) donates money to a candidate that’s bad? Maybe he should incorporate and he can donate however much money he wants to. This is ridiculous and I hope the head honcho @ MSNBC gets canned for this.

    Sen. Sanders, keep up the great work that you are doing in Washington. You keep the rest of us progressives going:)

    Aimee

    • Tina

      Not only does Faux have hosts/commentators that donate to candidates they ARE the candidates. Palin & Huckabee.

      • KarenJ

        AND, MSNBC has OTHER hosts/commentators who routinely donate to REPUBLICAN candidates they favor — by name, Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan.

        Is this a purge of a liberal voice while kowtowing to the radical right (Buchanan) or the stealth right (Scarborough)?

        Like the courageous Vermont Senator asks, “is Rachel Maddow or Ed Schultz next?”

        If Big Ed gets canned, he can always go ahead and run for office in Minnesota like so many of his followers want him to — unfortunately too late to affect this next couple of years.

    • shelleybear

      Ask yourself, is Faux News an arm of the Republican Party or is the Republican Party an arm of Faux News?

  2. Tony

    Bernie Sanders… the one person in politics who is keeping me sane.

    We need you around for the next 50 years!!

  3. Shocked to see Senatus make the 1st amendment association here the same way they always mistakenly do on the right.

    Olbermann and Maddow both would be the first to tell you… this has nothing to do with Constitutional protection of free speech.

    • Steve G.K

      Seems like a pretty clear violation of freedom of the press,especially when you put it in context next to Fox contributions.

    • Legally speaking, once your boss signs your check over to you, that’s your money to do whatever you want with. It is absolutely a violation of our constitutional right to free speech to require employees to sign contracts which limit their freedoms unrelated to their jobs. Furthermore, Clarence Thomas was dead wrong when he ruled the way he did in the Citizens United case… Corporations do not have rights and freedoms under the constitution because they are not citizens of the United States… But Keith Olbermann sure does!

    • KarenJ

      If this is a sign that MSNBC is now bought-and-paid-for and is having some kind of purity test in order to compete with the propaganda arm of the Republican Party (Fox)…

      Oh, I get it. This is some sort of corporatist payback for NPR firing Juan Williams, whose stupid and obnoxious slur on Muslims dressed like Muslims warranted ridicule of not what befell him, being fired (and promoted by the aforementioned propaganda arm).

    • Eileen Carbin

      It seems that you’re correct, Cody_K.

      Keith Olbermann’s contribution conflicted with MSNBC’s rules governing its employees…….it has nothing to do with the First Amendment.

      Very simply, when you work for someone and knowingly break their rules, you risk losing your job.

      But employers, when it has suited them, have made exceptions to this rule ever since the rule was put in place.

      And, NOW IS ONE OF THOSE TIMES!!

      Please Phil Griffin, BRING KEITH OLBERMANN BACK!!

      Since last Tuesday’s debacle, we need him and others like him more than ever before!!

    • beahead

      Wrong, wrong, wrong. Sorry. If MSNBC was serious about their contract enforcement, they would search Lex-Nex or FEC before executing a contract with anyone. And then they would TELL the potential employee up-front that as part of their contract, they are not allowed to make political donations. And then they would ASK the potential employee if they made any recently, that they would like to disclose? Otherwise, they can’t have the job/contract.

      Which should tell you exactly what you need to know here–MSNBC is full of s*it and this has nothing to do with “contracts”.

      And you don’t speak for either KO or Rachel. Though you are everywhere on the Internets today, trying like hell to do so, aren’t you?

  4. Melissa Sargent

    So long farewell, Ketih, take Mr. Sanders with you as you leave the building.
    Since both are blowhards and “know not of what they talk” when they do speak.
    Neither Sanders or Olberman cared about facts when it comes to talking about their opponents or Faox News.
    Have your staff do a little fact checking, now and again. You just might be surprised what you find……the Truth perhaps.
    Adios from the Border of Mexico.
    Que la via buen!

    • 2DigitIQ Detector

      Anti-American idiot with a (low) two-digit IQ detected.

      Initiating mental cleansing of aforementioned bitch from continued destruction of the United States due to treasonous activity and sedition. Traitor will be exposed to such notions as reality, real American history, anti-Xenophobic training, and the methods and principles of brainwashing used to turn her into a mindless zombie of the right-wing propaganda machine.

      Failure to comply is unacceptable and will be met with a forced free trip across the border.

    • binbin

      tell me is the last sentence Spanish? porque no entendi nada de lo que estas diciendo en la ultima palabre…back to school…pr favor

    • binbin

      tell me is the last sentence Spanish? porque no entendi nada de lo que estas diciendo en la ultima palabre…back to school…pr favor

    • santa

      Amen.

      What a Poltroon Dopeyman is

    • Roland Adams

      Do you know what it is called when a nation has only a single party system? Would it be safe then to assume you are a communist?

    • Orcaspapa

      To melissa, how old are you? 12? This is how nazi germany got started. getting rid of the ‘bad’ people. I pray they never come for YOU because they feel you’re a ‘bad peson’. 12 million bad people were killed by the Nazi’s in their death camps. FOX News not Faox news…I bow my head in shame at such Ignorance and stupidity. Start thinking for yourself and stop listening to FOX NEWS or,someday, Glenn Beck just might say ‘YOU’ need to be delt with w/ a 2nd amendment way. Read something. Anything. Grow your mind don’t hide under your bed in FEAR because Fox says to.

    • C.Maroney

      You’re a blowhard too. Go turn on Fixed News and bow to your leaders.

    • Hey Melissa! You’re a cunt!

    • Ursula

      Hey Melpissa! Cross to the other side, please.

    • And you, Melissa, would not know the truth if it struck you with its full name across your face. Everything that Senator Sanders has stated above is true, and if it weren’t for the most radical of the Republican Party, including George Walker Bush and the others who are so controlled by big money and big oil that they have lost sight of the common good, then this country would not be in the mess it is in now. And it is the very party that created this mess that has done everything it could to impede President Obama in trying to clean the mess up and get the country back on track. If you want to have a totalitarian country the way the Republicans and the pseudo-religious radical right wing want, then move to Iran or Iraq.

    • Wall Dodger

      Hello M. S., you toss out a statement “Have your staff do a little fact checking, now and again”…..implying they “don’t fact check… ( and you always do ) but put nothing else on the table, no examples, no facts of your own … you just want us to believe you , for what reason , you are a woman?, Mother Mary?.. since you give no reason why you don’t like the two gentlemen , I’d say you are one screwed up little lady , that needs a spanking from her hubby…. bad girl bad.. go back to the kitchen , make us some tacos ,… and…STFU.

    • cronewitch

      I think it is Fox News. I love it when the right talks about facts. Let see, Bachmann wants to have people who don’t agree with her investigated for un-American activities, and believes Indian newspapers about the cost of a Presidential trip to the tune of several million dollars a day. Sarah Palin believes in death panels, and Mike Pence sees socialist takeovers under every curb stone. Then there was the dimwit from Delaware who believed that humans and animals are being crossbred and that mice have human brains. Then slithering about in the Nevada desert, Sharon Angle tells us that those on unemployment make so much money that they won’t want to go back to work and will become the victims of “spoilage.” Rave on, man. Once people stop taking you seriously, you are actually pretty entertaining.

  5. Spot-on, Sen. Sanders! This is a case where the policy is being manipulated to create an offense.

  6. Hachikō

    I’m no Olbermann fan (find his style abrasive), but couldn’t agree more. Thank you speaking out, Senator Sanders.

  7. Karen Clark

    Keith, become a corporation and donate however much you want and the Supreme Court will uphold it under Citizens United!!!!

    MSNBC , watch your numbers drop like a rock without Keith!!

    • beahead

      I think, in the end, that’s the whole idea–to get the network off the air.

      You don’t think Comcast will let thinking people into their audience, do you?

  8. MavericksHMB

    I’m willing to bet that Senator Sanders will be the *only* Congressman to speak out on the suspension of Keith Olbermann. I wish more of our elected officials cared as much about Free Speech as Senator Sanders.

    Senator, thank you for once again being a man of principle and being a true leader. I wish we could clone you across the states!

  9. Beechbum

    In the corporate arena using the tools of ones trade, I would expect a commentator in good repute to abstain from voicing support for one candidate over another, but in a personal arena while exercising ones civic duty to vote or contribute to a political choice the corporation has neither the right nor the power to force one to abstain or hold the corporate political view. Any contract that violates this dictum is null and void in a non-corporatist state.
    The tool of Mr. Keith Olbermann’s trade is truth exercised in an atmosphere of freedom of speech. In his private life, his freedom of speech (the donations) is not under the jurisdiction of any corporate entity and is not therefore, a violation of ethics. Corporatism in these United Sates is a reprehensible state of affairs.

  10. Joe Smith

    Sorry but MSNBC host Keith Olbermann has been suspended indefinitely without pay after POLITICO reported that he made three campaign contributions to Democratic candidates without following the published MSNBC policy.

    He was not suspended or fired for offering his personal opinion on a topic.

    Joe

    • Roland Adams

      That policy is applied to News Reporters and News Staff, not commentators. Sorry but you fail.

    • C.Maroney

      Horse Crap. Check your facts. The rules are for NBC reporters and news staff. They haven’t been enforced against MSNBC folks for many years. And, nice fake Name “Joe Smith”? Clever. Glenn Beck think that up for you?

  11. Katrina

    what a crock of shit from Bernie Sanders – his usual tired, and proven to be untrue left wing memes about Fox blah blah blah prove how foolish he is. MSNBC is nothing more than a mouthpiece for liberals. Where was Sanders OUTRAGE when left leaning NPR fired Juan Williams for exercising HIS first amendment rights.

    Olberman KNEW his companies rules. He violated them. He got “suspended”. He should be fired! WHO CARES WHAT FOX does. They have their own policies. Olberman pretends he is ‘neutral’ — even Oprah had the strength of her convictions when she supported Obama, and chose not to interview other candidates during the Gen Election.

    • Roland Adams

      And as long as you support the destruction of any party that disagrees with the Right Wing, it will be safe to assume that you and them are communist. A nation with a single party system is Communism.

      • beahead

        Yep.

        Boy, there’s a meme I can get behind. GOP wants one-party rule. That IS Communist, isn’t it?

        “Paging Joseph McCarthy! Joseph McCarthy, please pick up the red courtesy phone in the lobby…”

      • Artistic Warrior

        I agree with your sentiment, RA, but Communism is an Economic Theory….Single party system is Totalitarianism.

      • At Artistic Warrior: You are right–a one-party system is totalitarianism, and the Tea Partiers and other pseudo-religious, pseudo-conservative people want to turn this into a totalitarianist theocracy in the manner of The Republic of Gilead in Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. My only question about that is which form of HaShem are they trying to force everyone to follow?

    • Mike

      “Olbermann pretends he is neutral”. Are you kidding? He’s about as neutral as Beck, who claims to be “fair and balanced”. We know he’s not “neutral”. That’s why we watch him. One small difference between Keith and Beck: Keith tells the truth.

      • Ursula

        I haven’t ever heard Olbermann wish death on anyone as Beck has our president. Suspending Olbermann is the equivalent to suspending Gumby. Why can’t we read this about Beck? He’s responsible for attempted murders and other atrocities but hasn’t even been slapped with a wet noodle and yes, I realize he works for another network and I’m merely using Beck as a comparison. I find suspending Olbermann ridiculous. MSNBC – YOU’RE FIRED!!!!

      • Bobbi

        Amen. Keith even corrects informaiton if he finds that it is not spot on. For the little gal who suggest doing research, honey, get busy. Start with factcheck….that’s how I found out that Sara Palin did NOT say NO to the bridge to nowwhere, she took the money. I downloaded and read the health care bill–there was no “death squad”….etc. etc. etc.

    • Natalia S.

      Check up the difference between neutral and rational.

    • Hey Katrina! You’re a cunt!

    • Ursula

      Blow home, Katrina.

    • You, Katrina are a crock of shit!! Scarborough and Buchannan, on the same network, can contribute to Repukelicans but Olbermann cannot contribute to Dems?

      You dear are one big stinky pile of dung!

  12. Dave

    Get it right. He was not suspended for the contribution itself but rather for not properly disclosing the contribution before hand as per company. Classic Olbermann arrogance. The dude believes he is above it all. America, this is what an A-hole looks like.

  13. Kit Tenthousand

    … FTR, he wasn’t suspended for donating the money; he was suspended for not saying “Mother May I” first.

  14. Pete J.

    Hey Melissa…suck it! Not get back to watching Faux News, you twit! …and if the urge ever strikes you to comment on progressive issues, which have probably never interested you in the first place, ignore it.

  15. Tom Strong

    Senator, you are a corrupt idiot.

  16. Brian Carthey

    I wish you were my Senator. Take the money out of elections and free the politicians and the media from big money.

  17. santa

    Sanders,
    You wanna do some good?

    TERM LIMITS.

  18. Harmon Brody

    Sen Sanders you are the only member of Congress to speak up for the individuals right to contribute to election campaigns after the Corporations have been given a free pass.

    Keith was the one and only media reporter to pursue the Ohio violations of voting process by thugs of the Republican party. He has had the courage to pursue unpopular investigations and like Murrow has shown a fierce determination to oppose infringement on citizen rights and the usurping of power by the government.

  19. michelle

    see this is what happens when you try to be above board on your dealings. that is not how politics operates.
    http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7569937

  20. Mike

    As much as I love watching Keith, I agree that this incident, like Juan Williams, is not a matter of freedom of speech. Both these gentlemen have every right to express an opinion. They do NOT have a constitutional right to be on TV or NPR. If Keith violates the rules (I’m sure he knew them) then fine, they have a right to suspend him. If they don’t get him back pretty quick, I will go back to finding something else to do in the evening.

    • Natalia S.

      I agree with you, generally, but imho, asking an individual to get their political support approved by their place of work is a violation of a human right to privacy and political activism.

      • Mike

        Natalia,
        I agree with your point, but he is not like most workers, he has a powerful influence. I’m sure he knew the policy. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a bad, bad, move by MSNBC, and hope it’s corrected soon. This all sounds like retribution to me.

      • beahead

        Asking someone what their political beliefs are, as part of job-hiring, is FORBIDDEN.

        Which is why this business about a ‘contract’ or a ‘rule’ is so bogus.

        The witch hunts and purges are beginning. Way to GO, non-voters! Thanks a LOT.

    • No, I’m sorry the situation with Juan Williams and the situation with CNN’s Rick Sanchez are very different because they were on “company time” and using “company resources”. Mr. Olbermann on the other hand, was using his earned paycheck on his own volition outside of work. MSNBC has no legal authority to oversee how Olbermann spends his paycheck or even which candidates he supports verbally outside his job. This is the very reason that the 1st Amendment was created to begin with.

      • Sideshow Bill

        Actually, they were not on company time. And shouldn’t have been canned, just like KO shouldn’t have been suspended.

  21. Jason

    Senator Sanders has always been a little off and this statement only confirms it. Progressive voices few and far between? Progressives dominate ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, HNN and MSNBC. While I am all for opinion commentators having the freedom to donate to the causes they choose, to say Keith’s view is a rarity is idiotic.

    • beahead

      Oh, they do not. You haven’t watched anything but FOX since before Little Bush stole his first term, have you?

      There’s no more “liberal” media, and hasn’t been since 1997–until MSNBC came along. See, Jeff Zucker knew what he was doing when he put the lineup together. As recently as last month, Olbermann was kicking O’Reilly’s flabby rich white ass in the ratings.

      Imagine that. A network head, let go for BRINGING IN VIEWERS.

      But you just keep on deluding yourself into thinking you’re correct and righteous and that anyone to the left of Sean Hannity is a subversive. And people still won’t take you seriously. Asshat…

    • Artistic Warrior

      Wow! You think the mid-line moderates are progressive??? Yikes! Scary!

      • beahead

        That’s shillery’s way of “moving the Left toward The Center Right”.

        I saw a newspaper op-ed yesterday, once again touting the false meme that America is Center Right, idealogically. And that is such a fucking LIE.

  22. Natalia S.

    Thank you. Thank you so much for coming out with your statement so fast, Mr. Sanders.

    I second you in your opinion. I do not see why individuals should undergo Corporate approval for their personal donations, approval they will not get, if they select the party that the Corporation doesn’t favor.

    On the other hand, all corporate donations should be made public and easy to find. Or, might I go further? Corporations are not people. They are made up of different people. Money from these corporations should not be used for promoting political interests, as, in that case, you should also allow them to vote already! When the owners and partners withdraw the money, then they can donate it wherever they wish. This would make politics more ethical and transparent.

  23. This is political theater, a PR stunt to boost ratins after a disastrous election. Linda McMahon couldn’t have scripted this better herself. Olbermann gets a two week vacation and a boost in the rating department, and a bunch of self-righteous progressives piss all over themselves. If we don’t quit letting ourselves be used we’ll never find our way out of this mess.

  24. Colin

    While overall I am disappointed by MSNBC’s decision and I hope to see Keith back on the program soon, I want to warn against the “but Fox does this all the time” arguement. It was Keith himself who warned against the false equivilancy between Fox News and MSNBC; just because Fox does it doesn’t make it right. If this is NBC’s attempt to take the high ground in the issue of the blurring of the line between punditry and politics, then I respect that, even if I find the action itself to be misguided and reactionary.

  25. Pat

    I started my own boycott of MSNBC today. Sorry Rachel, Ed and Lawrence — I won’t be watching your programs until Keith is back. I e-mailed MSNBC and told them of my outrage. I called MSNBC and told them of my outrage.

  26. Dave Dykhouse

    I have a very bad feeling about the next 2 years. This could be where the noble experiment called Democracy in America goes terribly off the tracks. The horrible chill of neo-fascism is in the air. Never forget that General Electric made and sold guidance systems for the V2 rockets to the Nazis in WWII.

    • beahead

      it’s already gone! First death knell with SCOTUS 2000 election usurpation. Second with Citizens United.

      The purging is starting. And hubby and I are now seriously looking to get out of this hellhole country, before they build a wall to keep us all in.

  27. Donna D

    Bravo! Well put!

  28. rvk55

    Keith Olbermann did not get suspended because he contributed to three candidates. He was suspended because he violated the contract he signed, which states that any employee of NBC/Universal has to let their boss know when they make political donations and to whom. Keith did not tell his boss, Phil Griffin. Keith has been quoted as saying, “Phil Griffin thinks he is my boss”! Griffin played a boss who is trying to reel in an his star and suspended Keith without pay to humble Keith. There is a power play going on here. Keith screwed up and will come out of it fine.
    That is what happened according to the press release from NBC/Universal. All day I have read so many versions of this story that FOX would be proud. We can be pissed about an election but to get to the point where we compare MSNBC to FOX, which is not news but a republican infomercial, everyone take a deep breath and check sources. Don’t stoop to their level.

    • beahead

      So you think asking Daddy Paycheck Master if you can donate to Candidate X is ok with you?

      What utter FAIL. Read a history book.

  29. T.E.

    I enjoy Mr. Olbermann’s commentaries and his readings on Friday night. While I deplore what MSNBC has done, it was in his contract what steps he was expected to take. Okay. But my disagreement with MSMBC only increases when one sees how conservative, on-air staff memebers such as Pat Buchannan have been doing this for years and no one has suspended them. If Mr. Olbermann signed a contract as an adult and broke it, there are (albeit unreasonable) consequences. However, they should be equally applied. And for less than $10k, the punishment does not fit the ‘crime.’

    Comparing MSNBC to Fox in this case is not realistic: this is a matter of corporate policy and I seriously doubt that Fox limits political contributions of its on-air personalities. For whatever reason, NBC does.

    First time on this site and Wow – I’m stunned at the horrific name calling. But then, I’m a huge fan of civil discourse. And I’m glad to see several examples of such discourse.

  30. Patty Maher

    Thanks for this. I just called and complained to Phil Griffin’s assistant: 212-664-2456.

    This is not about Fox. It’s about a double standard being applied to other employees of MSNBC, namely Joe Scarborough.

  31. Nerissa M.

    Bernie,

    You’re the only one with balls willing to stand for our President and our policies DO NOT GO ANYWHERE! We need you!

  32. Nerissa M.

    BTW Liberals/Progressives/Sane People,

    Let MSNBC have been the last line in the sand. Time to collectively gear up and fight and take our country and our media back.

  33. I’m with you all the way Senator Sanders. Maybe time for me to leave Maine and move to Vermont.

    • Patty

      You are going to pay a heck of a lot more in taxes if you move from Maine to Vermont. Everybody is leaving Vermont, businesses and young people…too many taxes to support one of the highest entitlement states in the country….

      • beahead

        oh, good, then there should be lots of room for new citizens.

        You need to shore up your tax base, with all those entitlements. Besides, what with half of Florida about to migrate north–and we’re not talking about illegals this time–your rate will probably go down next year.

      • It is very obvious you don’t know much about Maine. We have more taxes than any other state in the country. Besides, my daughter lives in Vermont.

  34. Bernie (since I’m one of your constituents, I feel entitled to the first name), I’m finding I agree with you more and more.

    Thank you for speaking out. I join you in being appalled that corporations’ rights apparently outweigh the rights of individual people.

  35. CitizenSmith

    Unless MSNBC reinstate Keith Olbermann immediately I am going to stop watching any and all MSNBC, NBC and any and all other company related TV. I will also start blogs, speak on blogs, and/or contribute to any and all other free discussions and/or uses of free speech where I will argue forcefully, rationally, and loudly in favor of 1) Keith Olbermann, 2) boycotts of all MSNBC or related (NBC and all of GE) products or services of any kind, 3) protesting any and all companies, including MSNBC, which restrict political contributions of any kind in any way, and 4) moving to prohibit any company, by law, from being involved in any way with employee political contributions. Political contributions are free speech and are protected as free speech. (See: The Supreme Court.) Phil Griffin, Jeff Zucker, and Jeff Gaspin should be ashamed of themselves and they should publicly apologize to Mr. Olbermann.

  36. Vince

    I agree! We want our Keith Olbermann back!

  37. I have deleted my nightly recording of MSNBC at that time slot. It all counts. Delete any recordings and do not tune it. Let’s make those ratings fall off a cliff!

  38. Patty

    If Bernie is so concerned about first amendment rights, how come he didn’t issue a statement when Juan Williams was fired? This is selective moral indignation in action. NBC, CBS and ABC are all mouthpieces for the liberal-progressive-socialist agenda…what do you mean, “progressive voices are few and far between”? While Keith Olberman has every right to contribute to any candidate he wants…everyone seems to forget that he is the one who chose to sign a contract that prohibited him from doing so.

  39. PhoebeHB

    KO is a pompous ass, a plagiarist, a stunningly sloppy “journalist” who’ll spout anything he reads or hears w/o checking the facts, maybe the most hateful, unattractive, off-putting personality on TV. Conservatives adore having goons like him as the public face of the left. What we can’t figure out is why on earth you don’t seem to mind who speaks for you. Is he the best you can scrape up?

    • beahead

      If he’s not a “journalist”, then he’s not “influential”, and you shouldn’t give a damn about him to the point of having to rave your lunatic ignorance in front of the rest of the world.

      Anti-Constitutional people need to turn off FOX and go visit a library. Assuming you aren’t intimidated by the fact that the library is smarter than you are.

    • Sideshow Bill

      Compared to Beck, Bachmann, Palin, limbaugh, Hamnity, Etc. The left just has too many people to correct. Unfortunately, we spend all our time correcting your sides intentional F***- ups to get our story out

  40. jeremy

    Boycott MSNBC and all GE products!! Barry is right as a moderate Blue dog/Rino This week was bad enough this is like kicking us while we are down . FIRE MSNBC President Phil Griffin

  41. doctordrewl

    Pfffft. This is the same guy who thinks 9/11 deserves a real investigation… one that takes into account the unanswered questions of the victims’ families… and the mysterious collapse of WTC building 7. Nobody takes him seriously… even K.O.

    K.O., just like his nemesis Beck, won’t touch the 9/11 conspiracy issue at any depth…. And thanks to him… and all the other spineless media whores… Most Americans are still running around arguing about the wrong issues…

  42. Laura Nason

    There needs to be a thorough investigation of this. That guy worked for GWBush, raised lots of money for Bush/Cheney and other Rs. I would bet my life that there’s a deal there somewhere with the Rs to kill net nutrality in exchange for getting D voices off the air. The one thing Rs hate worse than Obama and American People, especially POOR, elderly, disabled and other people’s children is the TRUTH!

  43. JustMe

    Has anyone mentioned Morning Joke’s donations to conservative candidates?

  44. Roc Rizzo

    Hey Senator Sanders,
    Congressman Hinchey (D-NY 22) has a bill that he wants to get passed, called the Media Ownership Reform Act. He introduced it in the 108th session of Congress. High time to bring it to the Senate for a vote… Perhaps in the lame duck session?

    This would provide us with more differing views, and prevent too few people/corporations from owning too much of the media outlets.

    This way, should someone like Mr. Olbermann get terminated from one station, there would be others for him to go to, as well as his viewers.

    I just wanted to bring that point up to you, otherwise, I agree completely with your statement.

  45. Jack Kos

    I don’t know about the rest of you but as much as I like everyone on MSNBC, I personally am not going to watch anything on MSNBC this week and the next and the next or until they admit they fucked up and Keith is back on the air. If we all stick together it shoulden’t take more than a week. Someone has their head up their ass. KOS

    PS. Wouldn’t be surprised to find out Rupert put a million or so in someone’s Swiss bank account.

  46. Kristinelil

    I need my nightly fix of Olbermann! He speaks to the Liberal Left, Progressive with honesty, and integrity. We need his voice to balance the “made-up news” coming from the far-right and FauxNews.
    MSNBCs new tag line, “LEAN FORWARD”, is that so they can kick you in the ass?

  47. Robin

    I’ve read that Joe Scarborough and Pat Buchanan both contributed to candidates, but are still employed by MSNBC. It would appear there is more to this than we are aware of.
    If this is how MSNBC conducts business, I’ll tune out.

  48. Mark

    Sanders can take that low life Olberman and stick him straight up his ass!

    • Artistic Warrior

      Classy, bud….real classy. Learn that from your Faux heroes did you??
      You obviously were raised in a barn…I take that back, animals have more sensitivity and respect….A garbage dump???

  49. chelseacat3

    I want Keith back yesterday!!!!!

  50. Sandi

    Will be painful, but since I’m actually one of those metered people whose viewing habits are tracked, giving up MSNBC until KO is back will actually be recorded somewhere. Some contract requirements should be illegal, and having to have your contributions to candidates pre-approved is one of them.

    To paraphrase Michelle Obama, for the 3rd or 4th time, I’m ASHAMED of my country: 1st was Bush, 2nd was Bush, 3rd was Florida electing the Medicare Fraud King, and now, this. Also afraid for my country, but that’s another story.

  51. femmedem

    Those mega wealthy folks sure have worked themselves up into quite a lather now that their tax cuts probably will expire. They have no shame. ‘Boot Olberman’ one (GE) suggested. ‘Brilliant!’ said the other (MSNBC).

  52. Gerard Zabik

    Thank you Senator Bernie Sanders!!!! We need more politicians like you in our country. It seems our new Senator Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut) is very much like you. Thank God for sanity!

  53. Alfie Lafafal

    At a time when the Supreme Court has declared that corporate contributions to political campaigns = free speech for non-humans; when Glenn Beck enjoys the backing of his big Fox News budget to stage a massive conservative political rally on the Capitol Mall in support of the Tea Party; when every failed Tea and/or Republican Party wash-up can be hired by Fox News in order to claim a re-launching pad for their continuing political campaign… Fcuk it! There are just too damn many absurd anomalies involved in this shitty situations… What the hell is wrong with this damn country?!!!!

  54. Analysts pick lottery numbers mega lottery home Maha…sadd

  55. AliceInWonderland

    Thank you, Senator! Well said.

    I think some of your respondents are rude and crude “but I’m pretty sure they’re not Hitler”.

  56. Ivy Mae

    Say it, Bernie! You’re the man!

  57. petethexman

    Brace yourselves — here’s what I wrote MSNBC:

    I will NOT purchase any items from any of your advertisers, nor will any of my friends and family members, a not insignificant number of consumers, until Keith Olbermann is back on the air. Hasn’t his suspension already cost him more than $7200? And what about the moral equivalence to what Fox Noise does every goddamned day? How many millions of dollars did Fox, Blackbeard Rupert the Pirate, Rogering Ailes, and their crypto-Fascist lackeys (including Dumb Box of the Millennium Sarah Palin) contribute to the GOP? Aren’t several of Fox’s goose-steppers running for president in 2012? How political is THAT??? And you’re being pissy over a PRIVATE contribution of $7200? Wow. Way to support the First Amendment, you hypocritical bastards.

    You are fucking hypocrites. Keith Olbermann is the only sane voice you have. Chris Matthews is a self-absorbed blowhard, Rachel is . . . Rachel, although I love her dearly, Lawrence was better on “The West Wing” (an NBC program, n’est-ce pas?), and Ed Schultz reminds me of a left-wing Rush Me My Viagra Limbaugh. I agree with his politics, but he couldn’t convince a fly to land on a pile of shit. Keith at least is an intellectual with a goddamned pulse. And what about the contributions by Fat Pat Robertson and Joe Scarborough??? Um, isn’t Joe one of your anchors???

    Oh, sorry — he’s a Republican. My bad.

    Don’t cave in to your corporate honchos or the GOP. Get Keith Olbermann back on the air MONDAY.

  58. Artistic Warrior

    Bernie….You are one of the last great Statesmen left in this sinking ship of a Nation.
    Please continue to speak up and speak out for all of us.

    Between you and Alan Greyson we progressives have had strength and voice….and now Greyson will be among the MIA.

  59. Hear, hear!

    MSNBC just wants to appease the incoming Tea Party Congress, methinks.

  60. I’m of mixed feelings about this matter. Do we want MSNBC and the other real news networks to go the way of Fox News?

  61. Kate Watt

    At least MSNBC has a policy about its news staff not being in the pocket of political candidates. The policy did not say KO couldn’t donate, only that he should run it by HQ first to avoid the appearance of bias.

    Fox has no such policy, as we know, with the result that their on-air staff donate freely, without even disclosing it during interviews, and let candidates fund-raise openly on the air.

    Would you prefer that MSNBC have no such policy?

    Sorry, I have tremendous respect for KO and want him back on the air immediately, but I don’t see this as censorship or the oppression of labor by management. I think it’s fine that MSNBC doesn’t want its journalists to seem compromised or biased.

    • beahead

      Yours would be reasonable assumption if it weren’t for the fact that American Mainstream Media–both cable and broadcast–hasn’t been FORMALLY UNBIASED since the Telecommunications Act of 1996 was signed into law by President Clinton.

      ALL “media” has a bias. ALL “reporters” have a bias, even MSNBCs.

      America needs to stop thinking like a goddamn lawyer and wake the fuck up to the FACT that HAVING TO ASK YOUR EMPLOYER IF IT IS OK TO MAKE A POLITICAL DONATION TO THE CANDIDATE OF YOUR CHOICE, WITH YOUR OWN PAY, IS NOT FREEDOM.

  62. GovEmp

    I am a state employee, and I am required to present an apolitical presence during the discharge of my duties. HOWEVER, on MY FREE TIME when I am NOT REPRESENTING MY EMPLOYER, I can say what I like, vote how I like, and donate to whatever I want.

    While I agree this isn’t a specific First Amendment case (employment is at-will, people – Keith knew the deal when he signed), I don’t think corporations should be permitted to require employees to get prior approval for this kind of thing.

    What’s next, companies telling us we can’t get married if we are hired single? Or can’t have kids?

  63. John

    I shudder to say this but if you think this is bad wait until 2012. It is amazing the right wingers called Democrats Nazis. This is corporate socialism at its best. Do you notice government by the people and for the people have little voice on anything except to go blindly into the voters booth and look for an D or an R next to the candidates name. We are truly sheep grazing in nowhere land.

    • The far right is working on a creating a theocratic “reality”. The name calling and half truths will, I agree, continue to grow in volume and scope.
      It is frightening that there is so large a portion of the populous willing to work against their own best interests and believe the “new-speak” created by the right.
      but for the past 30 years there has been a gradual “dumbing down” of America. It is easier to control the ignorant.
      Advertising principles 101 teach than if you say somthing often enough people believe it. Three times is the minimum to create a “reality”….and say it 100 times and the majority will believe it has always been “true.”

  64. Anna McCall-Tanzola

    Senator Sanders, Thank you for speaking out on this issue. This sounds like the McDonald’s owner putting the note with his employees’ paychecks saying continued employment, raises, etc. would be dependent on their voting Republican!

    Since when should a Company or Corporation have the right to suspend someone because of their ‘private’ contribution to a particular political party. Is GE/MSNBC preparing for a takeover of their employees personal lives? This is OUTRAGEOUS!

    Keith Olbermann should be reinstated with back pay IMMEDIATELY!!! MSNBC heads, LISTEN UP! You stand to lose your very existence because your faithful audience LOVES Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, Ed Schultz, etc!

  65. Bryan

    Bernie didn’t issue a statement defending the “first amendment rights” of the NPR commentator who got fired. That’s because Bernie boy is a hypocrite who only supports “first amendment rights” when they are used to agree with Bernie’s prejudices.

    Typical liberal. Dishonest and a hypocrite.

    • beahead

      Williams was fired because of something bigoted he said ON THE AIR.

      Olbermann was suspended allegedly because of political donations he made ON HIS OWN TIME WITH HIS OWN MONEY.

      If you can’t see the difference then you are either willfully blind to it or not bright enough to interpret it.

  66. Quinn Olson

    Since Keith Olbermann is a commentator, not a reporter or anchor, I don’t see why it matters if he donates money to support candidates. Like we didn’t know he supports liberal candidates? If he donated to Michelle Batsh*t Bachmann, THAT would be a surprise. NBC/GE should revisit their policy on that.

    But I disagree that it’s a First Amendment issue. No one is stopping him from speaking or donating money, but there is no First Amendment right to host your own cable TV show.

    Sadly, Senator Sanders is one of the very few reasonable voices in the political landscape.

  67. joan

    bring him back, fox news is destroying our country. man what are we going to do????????????/

  68. Sandi

    Sent to MSNBC:

    Re: the suspension of Keith Olbermann.

    Many in your audience believe it is un-American to require NON-NEWS personnel such as Olbermann to get permission before contributing, privately, to candidates of their choice. However, I understand it was a provision of his contract. That being the case, you should perhaps have fined him. Then, you should have changed your un-American policy.

    By suspending him, you are punishing ME, and those in your audience who watch him. I’m not happy, and won’t watch ANY MSNBC programs until he is reinstated. We, his audience, did nothing, and should not suffer the consequences of his breach of a contract provision that has a distinctly foul odor.

  69. sdcloke

    If we had a congress full of honorable men such as Bernie Sanders America would be a 1000% better place to live!

  70. Tom Carey

    In Arbitration Training, we were instructed that if there is a company rule, but it is not enforced for years…then ONE individual is singled out to catch the full enforcement of that rule, then the company will not prevail. It’s selective enforcement, and is usually done because someone in management got pissed off at the “offender”. I have seen on other sites that there is “bad blood” between Olberman and the “suit” who “suspended” him. Your choice, it’s either a “pissing contest” or “retaliation”, according to the commentary.
    Company policy is company policy, but selective enforcement is off-base. Typical behavior from a corporate suit. Any ACLU input on this topic?

  71. ady

    NBC has no right to fire/suspend someone for exercising their Constitutional rights as a citizen of this country.That socialist mentality is peeking thru the veil in the bought & paid for, liberal news network. They want to cry about “liberties” but they want to treat their own like property.Smacks of socialism when they (liberalism) see their people as their property.

    Although Olberman is an idiot, and should have been fired long ago for being a hack, his personal liberty and freedom to choose is none of his employers business.

  72. I usually do not drop a comment, however I read some of the remarks on Sanders Issues Statement on Keith Olbermann | S E N A T U S.
    I actually do have some questions for you if you do not mind.

    Could it be simply me or do a few of these comments look like they are coming from brain
    dead people? :-P And, if you are posting at
    additional sites, I’d like to keep up with anything new you have to post. Would you make a list of all of all your social pages like your twitter feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

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