Earlier this evening I was aghast to hear about Keith Olbermann being suspended by MSNBC. Once I recovered (and kvetched with fellow FOO Diogenes), I knew that we had to mobilize beyond the petitions and phone calls. E-mails will make an impression when they overwhelm an inbox. So I offered to write up a civil but firm letter that can be used as a template. Below is that letter....
I am writing to register my extreme displeasure at the suspension of Keith Olbermann. Your reaction to his so-called transgression was drastic and over-the-top. According to your own rules, checking with management first is not a requirement:
"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. 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."
The bolded word is "should" which is not the same as "must." Suspension for quiet donations, donations made without a fanfare or any exhortation for his viewers to follow suit, is an over-reaction.
It also appears to be selective. Joe Scarborough donated to Republicans during this very campaign cycle. Why hasn't he been suspended indefinitely without pay? And the excuse that "he is not a news reporter" does not hold water; neither is Mr. Olbermann.
Please re-instate Keith Olbermann immediately. Until he is behind his desk where he belongs, I am boycotting MSNBC. I am asking my friends to do the same. Mr. Olbermann is an important voice in this current political milieu as he speaks for those of us who can't. If you take our voice away, we will desert you. Of that you may be sure.
This is offered as a template so you can change things up if you wish - I'm no prima donna. Let's fill that inbox so that by Monday morning, Phil griffin will be sick of hearing about it. Get going, Kossacks!!!