MS-DNC? Keith Olbermann Donated to Three Democrats for Congress

For those smug ones on the left who constantly insist Fox News is remarkably synonymous with the Republican Party, they might want to play down the smugness. That might start with MSNBC chief Phil Griffin, who mocked Fox News over News Corp. donations to Republicans and insisted to the New York Times "Show me an example of us fund-raising." Politico's Simmi Aujla reports that Keith Olbermann couldn't just put Democrats on his show, he also gave to them after they appeared:

MSNBC host Keith Olbermann made campaign contributions to two Arizona members of Congress and failed Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway ahead of Tuesday's election - a potential violation of NBC's ethics policies.

Olbermann, who acknowledged the contributions in a statement to POLITICO, made the maximum legal donations of $2,400 apiece to Conway and to Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords. He donated to the Arizona pair on Oct. 28 - the same day that Grijalva appeared as a guest on Olbermann's "Countdown" show. Grijalva, a prominent liberal who was only declared a winner in his race Thursday night, was in a tight contest against tea party-backed candidate Ruth McClung when he appeared on Countdown - one of several appearances he made on the show...Giffords had appeared on Olbermann's program in May, as did Conway.

MSNBC clearly has no control over Olbermann, although it's amusing to discover "The FEC filings for Olbermann's contributions list an address that is a Mailboxes Etc. storefront in New York, and it also lists his occupation as a newscaster for NBC Television." MSNBC merely forwarded to Politico his statement:

"One week ago, on the night of Thursday October 28 2010, after a discussion with a friend about the state of politics in Arizona, I donated $2,400 each to the re-election campaigns of Democratic Representatives Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords," Olbermann said. "I also donated the same amount to the campaign of Democratic Senatorial candidate Jack Conway in Kentucky."

In his statement, Olbermann said he wasn't using his influence to solicit any donations for the candidates.

"I did not privately or publicly encourage anyone else to donate to these campaigns nor to any others in this election or any previous ones, nor have I previously donated to any political campaign at any level," Olbermann said.

Politico noted that on October 7, Olbermann had House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) on his show to discuss Murdoch News Corp. donations to Republicans, and asked Clyburn: "Is there a legislative response to the idea that there is a national cable-news outlet that goes beyond having a point of view and actually starts to shill for partisan causes and actually starts to donate to partisan groups of one party?"