Saturday, November 6, 2010


On Friday, MSNBC-TV President Phil Griffin stated that popular prime time TV news commentator KEITH OLBERMANN was being put on immediate indefinite suspension without pay for having made monetary political contributions to three separate Democratic Party candidates in the recent midterm elections. This action was taken because Olbermann had made these donations without having first secured permission from Griffin. According to MSNBC and NBC network policy, making such contributions without first seeking permission from the president of the network is a violation of that policy.

As a progressive who places high value in free speech and individual participation in our political system, I find Griffin's policy and action to be an egregiously offensive and un-American violation of Keith Olbermann's basic civil rights! As such, I am calling on you and all other fair-minded individuals to barrage Phil Griffin and Jeff Zucker, the CEO of his parent company, NBC-TV, with phone calls, faxes, cards, and/or letters protesting this dastardly policy and unnecessarily extreme action. Further, I ask you to join me in a BOYCOTT of these two networks along the lines I describe in a protest statement/letter I urge you to make/send found below.

The addresses and phone numbers for both of these men are listed here, followed by what I recommend your statement or letter should contain:

Phil Griffin
President, MSNBC
One MSNBC Plaza
Secaucus, New Jersey 07094-2419
Phone: 201-583-5000
Fax: 201-583-5819

Jeff Zucker
CEO & President of NBC Universal, General Electric
3135 Easton Turnpike
Fairfield, Connecticut 06828-0001
Phone: 203-373-2211
Fax: 203-373-3131

Dear Messrs. Griffin and Zucker:

I am writing (calling) to let you know I neither agree with nor approve of your policy banning television hosts for your networks from making donations to political candidates without first securing YOUR permission to do so!

I am voicing my tremendous displeasure with your policy and the fact that it has resulted in the indefinite suspension without pay for Keith Olbermann. I strongly urge you to REINSTATE KEITH OLBERMANN WITH FULL BACK PAY IMMEDIATELY AND END THIS VERY UN-AMERICAN POLICY AT ONCE!

This communication is to inform you that I am BOYCOTTING Morning Joe, The Daily Rundown, Jansing & Co., Andrea Mitchell Reports, MSNBC News Live, News Nation, Hardball with Chris Matthews, MEET THE PRESS, any show or substitute host you place in Keith Olbermann's M-F 8 PM Eastern time slot, as well as numerous other NBC and MSNBC shows, until you end this ridiculously restrictive policy and REINSTATE KEITH OLBERMANN WITH FULL BACK PAY! Until such action is taken, I will tune in to CNN, PBS or other cable or network programming instead of MSNBC and NBC. To show you I mean business, Messrs. Griffin and Zucker, I am not only urging all of my friends and relatives to follow this boycott, too, but I am also forwarding a copy of this letter to several of your prominent sponsors as well. Perhaps once GEICO, Progressive Insurance, CISCO, Bank of America, VISA, Joseph A. Bank, Travelers Insurance, Vonage, Gentlemen's Warehouse, and a few more of your advertisers find out that their ads aren't being watched on your networks, maybe THEN you will get the message and honor this demand!

I base my decision to engage in this boycott on the following considerations:

1). Your policy is a fundamental violation of your employees' civil rights and directly suppresses the exercise of their right to free speech.

2). Your competitor, Fox News, allows their employees to not only make political contributions themselves, but also permitss them to openly advocate the election of specific conservative and Republican candidates by name. In addition to that, they even allow said candidates to solicit contributions ON THE AIR!

3). Mr. Olbermann made his contributions privately, without fanfare, and in no way publicly tied them to your networks.

4). Mr. Olbermann has consistently provided intelligent and informative programming, and has engaged in numerous admirable relief efforts, notably Haiti earthquake relief and the setting up of free clinics across the country for uninsured and poverty-stricken individuals in need of health care. As such, he does not deserve the shoddy treatment you have subjected him to!

5). It was Mr. Olbermann's efforts, far more so than any efforts undertaken by either of you, which have propelled MSNBC beyond CNN into the second strongest prime time ratings for a cable news network. Such an accomplishment should be lauded and rewarded rather than punished for a mere technical violation!

Catch my drift? REINSTATE KEITH OLBERMANN NOW, or the boycott will begin!

MOST sincerely,

(your name and city and state)

GEICO Insurance
Progressive Insurance
Jseph A. Bank
Bank of America
Travelers Insurance

Regardless of whether this was merely the result of a personality conflict between Keith Olbermann and Phil Griffin, or a minor technical violation of an unreasonable and unjust corporate policy, the suspension without pay action is unjust and way over the top. As such, we must take strong action against it and voice our disapproval. For, in reality, this is just another in a long line of examples of the exercising of executive arrogance and of conservative corporate forces to discredit and silence prominent liberal and progressive spokespersons.

That is why I am urging you and others you know to express your strong opposition to this action TODAY and to join me in making these contacts, boycotting these network shows, and forcefully making the demand: REINSTATE KEITH OLBERMANN NOW!!!


BigmacInPittsburgh said...

Keith Olbermann has always been a rebel with a cause, every network he has been at he has bucked the system,when in Rome be like the Romans or face the consequences of your actions.
And I like Keith and his show,he knew he was on everyone's radar,I think he did his fans a major disservice.

Jack Jodell said...

And I think and hope he will be back, BigmacInPittsburgh!

Mycue23 said...

Keith will be back soon. I'm not sure what kind of power play is going on over at MSNBC, but this is a losing proposition for the brass over there. Keith would win the PR war if he ever decided to take them on, but I think they will back down before he ever goes public.

Jack Jodell said...

MyCue23, I think you are right.

Manifesto Joe said...

Folks like you did it, Jack! He's coming back!

Jack Jodell said...

Manifesto Joe,
EXCELLENT! Let this be a lesson to EVERYONE: Taking Action Pays Off!

TomCat said...

Joe's right. We did it. The bold progressives petition generated over 300,000 signatures and the FAIR action request shut down their switchboard. He'll be on the air tomorrow night.

Jack Jodell said...

Maybe THAT will teach those conservative corporatists over at NBC that we progressives are a force to be reckoned with!

Marc McDonald said...

Hi, Jack, nice job. Keith is back in action.
Now, if we could just get back Air America---I really miss them.