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.
After admitting that Olbermann's program "Countdown" was "a megaphone for Democrats," the last four paragraphs of Stelter's 10-paragraph brief were devoted to quoting Maddow.
On Friday night, the MSNBC host Rachel Maddow asserted that MSNBC's enforcement of its policy in this case confirmed that Fox News was a "political operation" while MSNBC was a "news operation." Sean Hannity, a prime-time host for Fox News, has donated thousands of dollars to Republican candidates without penalty because Fox does not discourage such donations. (Fox has noted, however, that Mr. Hannity was not an anchor on the midterm election night.)
"Let this incident lay to rest forever the facile, never-true-anyway, bullpucky, lazy conflation of Fox News and what the rest of us do for a living," Ms. Maddow said. "I know everybody likes to say, 'Oh, that's cable news. It's all the same.' Fox News and MSNBC, mirror images of each other."
"Hosts on Fox raise money on the air for Republican candidates," she added. "They endorse them explicitly; they use their Fox News profile to headline fund-raisers."
She concluded, "We are not a political operation. Fox is. We are a news operation. And the rules around here are part of how you know that."
Media-beat colleague David Carr, unlike Stelter, rebutted Maddow's blithe assertion in his Monday column , demonstrating how conservatives exposed the ignorance of MSNBC News president Phil Griffin on the matter of fundraising by Democrats on his channel.
Then again, the man who suspended him, Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC News, threw down a gauntlet before the election in an interview with The New York Times: "Show me an example of us fund-raising." Conservative bloggers happily obliged and came up with numerous examples, including Representative Alan Grayson, Democrat of Florida, pitching for dollars on MSNBC.