Keith Olbermann, host of MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann, has been suspended indefinitely without pay after the network discovered he made campaign contributions to three Democrats last month.
MSNBC president, Phil Griffin, issued a statement saying, “I became aware of Keith’s political contributions late last night. Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay.”
NBC News, parent of MSNBC, prohibits political contributions by it’s journalists without prior approval of the president.
The policy states, “Anyone working for NBC News who takes part in civic or other outside activities may find that these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest,” it reads. “Such activities may include participation in or contributions to political campaigns or groups that espouse controversial positions. You should report any such potential conflicts in advance to, and obtain prior approval of, the president of NBC News or his designee.”
On Friday, Politico reported that Olbermann acknowledged donations of $2,400 to the campaigns of Representatives Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and Attorney General Jack Conway of Kentucky, who lost his Senate race to Rand Paul.
Olberman defended the contributions saying, “I did not privately or publicly encourage anyone else to donate to these campaigns nor to any others in this election or any previous ones, nor have I previously donated to any political campaign at any level.”