Nov 5, 2010 7:11 PM by Greg Boyce
WASHINGTON (AP) - MSNBC'S Keith Olbermann has been suspended without pay for contributing to the campaigns of three Democrats during this election season.
NBC News prohibits its employees from donating to political campaigns unless the head of the news division gives special permission. Olberman's bosses at MSNBC didn't find out about the donations until after they were made. He gave $2,400 to the campaign of Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway, and an equal amount to each of two Arizona House members. Olbermann's "Countdown" show is MSNBC's most popular program. His transformation from the host of a straight news program to a liberal commentator led the network itself to go in the same direction.
And the rise in opinionated cable news program has led to questions about whether the traditional rules of impartiality should apply. Sean Hannity, a conservative with a popular hour on Fox News Channel each weeknight, donated $2,400 to the congressional campaign of New York Republican John Gomez in May. And Fox host Neil Cavuto donated $1,000 to President George W. Bush in 2002.
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