Maddow on Olbermann’s Firing, Fox’s Utter Lack of Journalistic Ethics


    “Fox News…Republican fundraiser…Fox News…Republican fundraiser.”  Oh, and “…no journalistic full disclosure” on any of this.  

    I understand the rule. I understand what it means to break it. I believe everyone should face the same treatment under that rule. I also personally believe that the point has been made and we should have Keith back hosting Countdown.

    Here’s the larger point, though, that’s going mysteriously missing from the right-wing cackling and old media cluck-cluck-clucking: I know everyone likes to say, “Oh, cable news, it’s all the same. Fox and MSNBC — mirror images of each other. But if you look at the long history of Fox hosts not just giving money to candidates, but actively endorsing campaigns and raising millions of dollars for politicians and political parties — whether it’s Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck or Mike Huckabee — and you’ll see that we can lay that old false equivalency to rest forever. There are multiple people being paid by Fox News to essentially run for office as Republican candidates. If you count not just their hosts but their contributors, you’re looking at a significant portion of the entire Republican lineup of potential contenders for 2012.

    They can do that because there’s no rule against that at Fox. Their network is run as a political operation. Ours isn’t. Yeah, Keith’s a liberal, and so am I. But we’re not a political operation — Fox is. We’re a news operation. The rules around here are part of how you know that.

    In sum, Fox News is not a journalistic operation, is not ethical, is not “news.” It’s a Republican political operation, through and through, and should be treated as such by everyone – viewers, regulators, the rest of the media, the IRS, whoever. As for Rachel Maddow’s network, they certainly have their flaws (big time), but as Maddow points out, there’s absolutely not comparison to the breathtaking scale of Fox’s utter lack of journalistic integrity, including having its on-air employees interviewing people without disclosing the fact that, days or weeks earlier, they gave them large sums of cash.  If that’s not unethical, I don’t know what is.

    • blue bronc

      Canning KO is possibly the beginning of the purge of “liberals” on MSNBC. If they are willing to lose the show that made them and continues to keep MSNBC successful then they are willing to dump the rest, except for the Scarbourogh show, which I do not know if anyone watches anyhow.

      The question is which of CBS or ABC decides to create a network around KO, Maddow and the other “liberals”? CBS already has LOGO which would be a perfect fit for Maddow, but that is usually a super-premium level channel.  ABC has it’s channels too.

      Whichever one does pull him in knows they have at least 1 Million viewers for one program, probably more if they can put the program on one of the basic cable level channels.

      I had cable TV just to watch MSNBC for KO and Maddow.  No need for cable anymore. Although I went years watching only those two programs, and the local weather forecast, I had just started watching TV again. The Office and 30 Rock are funny shows on NBC, but I can give up those and return to not watching TV again. I get a good weather forecast on my cell phone.

    • Venu

      I don’t understand the point of this post. It’s equivalent to saying that torture in Guantanamo Bay is justified because Iran stones women. FOX and NBC are run by different people, and the good thing is that NBC decided to use its set of ethics, even if its competitor did not.  

    • FranDavey

      Maddow did not justify Olbermann’s breaking of the campaign donation rule, but justified the rule itself by pointing out that MSNBC holds its people to the same journalistic standard to which NBC News personnel are bound. Incidentally, NBC is bound by FCC rules for broadcast networks in exchange for using the public airways. Even though they don’t have to, NBC holds its MSNBC personnel to those rules.

      Maddow strengthened her argument by contrasting the standards of practice (or lack thereof) of Fox News with that of MSNBC. She used that apparent lack of journalistic standards to set MSNBC apart from Fox News in terms of cable news. Her editorial was in part, a response to those who were justifying Olbermann’s actions by citing the lack of journalistic standards on Fox News.

    • martinlomasney

      She excuses Scarborough by saying that his contributions were in 2006 “under previous management.”

      Pure lameness.

      As posted on Kos (another Phil Griffin exile from MSNBC to placate the redneck from Floriduh), Scarborough made a contribution to a GOPer THIS APRIL and spoke at a fundraiser.

      If Griffin approved it without disclosure, where the hell is Griffin ethics now!

      Come on Rachel stop shilling for Griffin.