Watch: Maddow Defends Olbermann on MSNBC, Pulls Curtain on Fox Contributors
Olbermann's suspensionfrom MSNBC yesterday, for donating $7,200 to Democratic candidates from his personal account, drew ire from fans and fellow pundits. But it was a foregone conclusion that no one would be more succinct about the topic than his colleague Rachel Maddow and, last night on her MSNBC show, she really came through. In a typically lucid but razor-sharp monologue, Maddow detailed the individual political contributions of various Fox hosts, showed clips of Hannity and Beck actively campaigning on-air for right-wing candidates and, most importantly, delineated the functions of the respective networks:
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 activelyendorsing 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.
Fox News... Republican fundraiser. Fox News... Republican fundraiser. If Olbermann's suspension was MSNBC making a point about the ethics of journalism, Maddow underscored it and put a cherry on top. Watch it: