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He’s Back …

I will keep this short. Keith Olbermann returns Tuesday from a two-day suspension to resume hosting his “Countdown” show on MSNBC.

It proves to me network executives sully the reputation of the world’s oldest profession. They caved at NBC’s half sister after four days of controversy where Olbermann received more media hits than he probably has nightly viewers.

Olbermann was “indefinitely” suspended for violating company rules. He did not ask permission to contribute to political campaigns of three Democrats, two of which appeared recently on his show.

At MSNBC, “indefinitely” is measured in hours and journalistic integrity is paid lip service only when it serves its own purpose.

And all the pompous people in corporate and small fry media wonder why they lack the public trust.

I have forgotten how many times I have shared life experiences on newspapers living by an ethics standard that is dead by today’s standards.

Even the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein, whom I admire as the best explainer-in-chief of complex issues, earned a D+ in his convoluted attempt to explain Olbermann’s case.

Perhaps I have been wrong all these years. Perhaps it was a pretext of convincing myself in my published works I was an objective observer.

It was a make believe world of suppressing personal opinion, perhaps. As if the two never surface simultaneously. Sort of an attorney/client privilege.

As for Olbermann, he is one of the few professionals (only in terms of being paid) who is a brilliant newsman in his own right and not just a reader of news copy. And in today’s market, there never is a question where he is coming from, what he stands for and unblushingly puts his money where his mouth is.

To say the cable news entertainment/opinion anchors are merely messengers of the news gives credence to the kings in olden times who killed the conveyors of bad news.

One bright spot developed in all of this and I hope the cable news executives take note, again from an old newspaper salt. Thomas Roberts, the fill-in for the two nights Olbermann was taking a forced time out, was excellent: Strong on information, comfortable to watch and light on opinion.

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