The fuss over Keith Olbermann "donating without approval" seems to be over, now that MSNBC has announced that he'll be back on the air(well, cable) on Tuesday. I generally don't pay much attention to these things, but I was interested in following it because I suspect that lots of "on air talent" fly under the radar in terms of disclosing their political contributions. (Alex Pareene discussed this recently in Salon.) I imagine MSNBC just wanted to make an example of Olbermann because it would help them burnish their conservo cred.
However I was struck by the irony that, writ large, the question of to whom million dollar talking heads might make political contributions is a much more serious question than whether or not NPR was just in firing Juan Williams recently, or whether or not they "handled it correctly." And yet the Williams firing, ostensibly cutting the other way politically, seemed to receive a lot more attention. (I say ostensibly because ultimately they both belong to the same corporatist political class, although that was probably why it generated more attention.)
One thing I didn't see discussed with respect to Juan Williams is the likelihood that, if you monetized the value that his association with NPR amounted to, in terms of conferring the imprimatur of seriousness and legitimacy that his presence on Fox News had, then arguably
a. Williams owed his ability to score a hefty Fox Corp paycheck to NPR, and
b. Fox News, especially in their early days, also benefited from the conferral of legitimacy on their "fair and balanced" shtick that their indirect association with NPR represented.
Just sayin'. (As they say.)
From the annals of loathesomeness: David Broder's op-ed from yesterday, calling for "seeming" to call for another needless war.
And, from polling report's twitter feed(groan if you must):
Democratic Party should: Renominate Obama 73% / Nominate a different candidate 22% (CNN/ORC Poll -- asked of Democrats)