During her Friday evening program, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow delivered a comment on that network’s suspension of host Keith Olbermann for his unapproved donations to three Democratic candidates.
In the process, she also managed to zing The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart for having drawn what many see as a false equivalence between Olbermann and the hosts of Fox News during last month’s Rally to Restore Sanity.
Maddow began by laying out the many ways in which Fox News has supported Republicans, including donations by Fox hosts, explicit on-air endorsements, and participation in Republican fundraisers.
“You may have heard today that my colleague and friend Keith Olbermann was temporarily suspended from his job hosting Countdown on this network because he made three personal political donations to candidates in this last election cycle,” Maddow remarked.
“I understand this rule,” she noted. “I believe everybody should face the same treatment under this 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 all the right-wing cackling and the Beltway old media cluck-cluck-clucking about this,” she continued. “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.”
“Hosts on Fox raise money on-air for Republican candidates,” Maddow emphasized. “They can do that because there’s no rule against that at Fox. They run as a political operation. We’re not. Yes, Keith’s a liberal and so am I … but we are not a political operation. Fox is. We are a news operation.”
“Now, weirdly,” Maddow concluded, “once again, it is Keith who’s illustrating the difference between what he does on TV, what we do here at MSNBC, and what goes on across the street.”