Rachel Maddow has illustrated sharply the reason why conservatives should mute themselves over Keith Olbermann's campaign contributions. Yeah, yeah, I know. He was suspended for violating an MSNBC rule against employee political contributions, not for the contribution itself.
Maddow makes the point that MSNBC deserves some credit for having such a rule, unlike Fox News, which is a big contributor to the Republican Party and where the likes of Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee are covered up in political finance connections.
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. I know everybody likes to say, “Oh, that’s cable news. It’s all the same. Fox News and MSNBC, mirror images of each other.”
Let this lay that to rest forever. Hosts on Fox raise money on the air for Republican candidates. They endorse them explicitly; they use their Fox News profile to headline fund-raisers. Heck, there are multiple people being paid by Fox News now essentially to run as presidential candidates. If you count not just their hosts but their contributors, you are looking at a significant portion of the whole lineup of Republican presidential contenders for 2012. They can do that because there’s no rule against that at Fox. They run as a political operation. We’re not.