Keith Olbermann's crocodile tears over SCOTUS campaign finance decision

Matt Spivey
Keith Olbermann spent the final 15 minutes of his Thursday night program, Countdown, on a long winded diatribe condemning this week's Supreme Court ruling on the deregulation of campaign financing.

Olbermann predicted the end of American civilization as we know it, as corporations will now buy candidates and influence elections with complete disregard for the needs and wants of the citizens of our now-dead democracy. Olbermann announced this error in the Court's judgment as devastating and unjust as the Dred Scott case of 1857. He said that Chief Justice Roberts's deciding vote is akin to that of Justice Roger Taney in that fateful case against the rights of African Americans.
First things first: Justice Taney was a DEMOCRAT! And in 1990, 1993, and 2002 cases when regulations limited corporate involvement in political campaigns, the majority on the Court leaned liberal. But now that the majority leans conservative, suddenly the decision is unfair.

Mr. Olbermann is frightened that certain powerful entities may unfairly influence politicians, their elections, and their policies. Note to Captain Obvious: politics is already overrun by special interests, lobbyists, and powerful businesses. Yes, even Democrats are beholden to the almighty corporate dollar. Can you say Chuck Schumer ? At least now, with this Supreme Court decision, everyone knows about it.

What Mr. Olbermann, with his crocodile tears for the average citizen, just can't seem to grasp is that while wealthy corporations do create an uneven playing field, so do wealthy people, like Mr. Olbermann himself. And discrepancy is part of the real world.

Mr. Olbermann's $2300 campaign contribution is more valuable than mine, and Oprah's $2300 campaign contribution is more valuable than his. Donations from the wealthy carry more power because the maximum can be given anytime and all the time. The same is not true from middle- or lower-class donors. And influence actually holds more value than wealth.

I'm nobody. So my campaign contribution is virtually anonymous and a drop in the massive bucket for my particular candidate. Not true for celebrities or other private citizens whose influence extends into the public sphere. Simply by being on television every night, Mr. Olbermann has the power of a corporation. And Oprah's massive influence on television, magazines, book sales, and the campaign trail is on par with a massive conglomerate. Therefore, even while we say that we are all spending the same private dollars on campaigns, not all dollars are created equal because the volume of the voice behind those dollars varies greatly.

If Wal-Mart takes over a political campaign, a possibility to which Olbermann alluded, and places its capital behind a contender I dislike, I will stop patronizing that company. The freedom to take one's personal business somewhere else will always remain more powerful than corporate sponsorship of political candidates.

Mr. Olbermann's grandstanding is an embarrassment to those of us who take seriously the freedoms of our nation, including all rights to speech and how to spend funds, while he reduces them to either a punch line or a cry for misplaced victimhood. I greatly respect Mr. Olbermann's right to speak his mind on any issue he pleases to his minuscule amount of viewers given him by the very entities, like mega-corporations NBC News and General Electric, he desperately pretends to despise while earning his immense salary. The irony of taking full advantage of the things liberals claim to loathe is appalling, as is Olbermann's feigned disgust for the types of corporations that allow him the pulpit from which he spews his venom.


Keith Olbermann spent the final 15 minutes of his Thursday night program, Countdown, on a long winded diatribe condemning this week's Supreme Court ruling on the deregulation of campaign financing.

Olbermann predicted the end of American civilization as we know it, as corporations will now buy candidates and influence elections with complete disregard for the needs and wants of the citizens of our now-dead democracy. Olbermann announced this error in the Court's judgment as devastating and unjust as the Dred Scott case of 1857. He said that Chief Justice Roberts's deciding vote is akin to that of Justice Roger Taney in that fateful case against the rights of African Americans.

First things first: Justice Taney was a DEMOCRAT! And in 1990, 1993, and 2002 cases when regulations limited corporate involvement in political campaigns, the majority on the Court leaned liberal. But now that the majority leans conservative, suddenly the decision is unfair.

Mr. Olbermann is frightened that certain powerful entities may unfairly influence politicians, their elections, and their policies. Note to Captain Obvious: politics is already overrun by special interests, lobbyists, and powerful businesses. Yes, even Democrats are beholden to the almighty corporate dollar. Can you say Chuck Schumer ? At least now, with this Supreme Court decision, everyone knows about it.

What Mr. Olbermann, with his crocodile tears for the average citizen, just can't seem to grasp is that while wealthy corporations do create an uneven playing field, so do wealthy people, like Mr. Olbermann himself. And discrepancy is part of the real world.

Mr. Olbermann's $2300 campaign contribution is more valuable than mine, and Oprah's $2300 campaign contribution is more valuable than his. Donations from the wealthy carry more power because the maximum can be given anytime and all the time. The same is not true from middle- or lower-class donors. And influence actually holds more value than wealth.

I'm nobody. So my campaign contribution is virtually anonymous and a drop in the massive bucket for my particular candidate. Not true for celebrities or other private citizens whose influence extends into the public sphere. Simply by being on television every night, Mr. Olbermann has the power of a corporation. And Oprah's massive influence on television, magazines, book sales, and the campaign trail is on par with a massive conglomerate. Therefore, even while we say that we are all spending the same private dollars on campaigns, not all dollars are created equal because the volume of the voice behind those dollars varies greatly.

If Wal-Mart takes over a political campaign, a possibility to which Olbermann alluded, and places its capital behind a contender I dislike, I will stop patronizing that company. The freedom to take one's personal business somewhere else will always remain more powerful than corporate sponsorship of political candidates.

Mr. Olbermann's grandstanding is an embarrassment to those of us who take seriously the freedoms of our nation, including all rights to speech and how to spend funds, while he reduces them to either a punch line or a cry for misplaced victimhood. I greatly respect Mr. Olbermann's right to speak his mind on any issue he pleases to his minuscule amount of viewers given him by the very entities, like mega-corporations NBC News and General Electric, he desperately pretends to despise while earning his immense salary. The irony of taking full advantage of the things liberals claim to loathe is appalling, as is Olbermann's feigned disgust for the types of corporations that allow him the pulpit from which he spews his venom.