Critic: MSNBC Acting like an ‘Adolescent Menagerie’

By Alex Weprin 

MSNBC host Rachel Maddow’s defense of her colleague Keith Olbermann Friday did not strike all viewers as being totally fair, especially with her focus on Fox News Channel. News Corp. policies are clear: employees may donate, as long it is in a personal capacity.

Regardless of the official policy, journalists are typically held to a higher standard than other staffers.

Sure enough, The Wrap reports that no FNC journalists have donated to political campaigns, only opinion hosts like Sean Hannity have.


For that reason, her defense of Olbermann struck some as a bit hollow. Among those was Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurawik, who wrote this about Maddow’s “special comment”:

And she’s so upset she’s going to demand his immediate reinstatement. But what is she going to do if he is not reinstated? Nothing, because that would involve paying a price, however small, for her convictions. And if she walked off in protest, who would publish her self-absorbed, snarky poems?

Poor MSNBC President Phil Griffin, having to play headmaster to this crew of emotional 15-year-olds.

Zurawik also says he is uncertain about the network’s sincerity when it comes to Olbermann’s suspension.

On Friday, he wrote:

The suspension could prove to be a major move by MSNBC based on how long it lasts. And I think MSNBC’s sincerity and credibility will be measured in direct proportion to the length of time that Olbermann is off the air.

And yesterday, he expanded on that statement:

As I said yesterday, I am glad MSNBC suspended Olbermann, but I will judge the channel’s sincerity by how long he is off the air. I am guessing today that “indefinitely” could be as short as a week or two. And that would be a joke suspension.