Monday, November 8, 2010

MSNBC lets Keith Olbermann out of the Doghouse

MSNBC has decided that Keith Olbermann has suffered enough, bless his little heart. The sentence was commuted after two shows. A total of 120 minutes, or 40 minutes per campaign contribution.

Cheap publicity stunt?

Keith Olbermann will be allowed to resume his nightly program on MSNBC on Tuesday, the channel’s president said Sunday night, after he was suspended for donating money to three Democratic candidates.

The policy at MSNBC’s parent, NBC News, says journalists cannot make political contributions without permission from the head of the news division. “After several days of deliberation and discussion, I have determined that suspending Keith through and including Monday night’s program is an appropriate punishment for his violation of our policy,” the MSNBC president, Phil Griffin, said in a statement. “We look forward to having him back on the air Tuesday night.”

It’s certain to boost ratings for his triumphant return Tuesday night, one week after his beloved left got hammered by the Republican Tsunami last week. But will it last, or will MSNBC continue its slide into ratings irrelevancy?

The “professional left” blogosphere took Olby’s suspension as a cause celebre, generating petitions and using terabytes of bandwidth hammering MSNBC. Even some members of the professional right got into the fray.

Personally, I think Olbermann should have had his contract terminated. What’s good for Juan Williams and NPR should be good for MSNBC and Keith Olbermann, no?