BREAKING: Olbermann likes Democrats!

Like Donovan said: Must be the season of the witch. Or at least the witch hunt.

Since I started paying attention to these things back in 2003, I remember plenty of ethical missteps that led to a journalist’s downfall. But nothing like what we’ve seen in the past few months.

Since June, media watchers have been treated to these cannings (or resignations, if you’re inclined to believe that):

*Dave Weigel

*Octavia Nasr

*Helen Thomas

*Rick Sanchez

*Juan Williams

To be sure, most were well-deserved, either because the journalists were straight news reporters who demonstrated bias or were anchors and opinioneers but what they said was racist (or, in the case of Juan Williams, perceived to be racist).

Then Friday we heard this:

Keith Olbermann, the leading liberal voice on American television in the age of Obama, was suspended Friday after his employer, MSNBC, discovered he made campaign contributions to three Democrats last month.

The indefinite suspension was a stark display of the clash between objectivity and opinion in television journalism. While Mr. Olbermann is anchor of what is essentially the “Democratic Nightly News,” the decision affirmed that he was being held to the same standards as other employees of MSNBC and its parent, NBC News, both of which answer to NBC Universal. Most journalistic outlets discourage or directly prohibit campaign contributions by employees.

Mr. Olbermann’s contributions came to light in an article by Politico on Friday morning. He said he had donated $2,400 to the campaigns of Representatives Raul M. Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona and Attorney General Jack Conway of Kentucky, who lost his Senate race to Rand Paul. He told Politico, “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.”

That was from The New York Times, but the story appeared in just about every major news source. As well it should. What I find absolutely dumbfounding, though, is that Olbermann was suspended in the first place.

Let’s start with a little refresher on whom we’re talking about.

As the NYT story mentioned, since leaving Sportscenter in the ’90s and starting “Countdown” in 2003, Olbermann has become a media darling of the left. No one — I mean no one — has in recent years questioned Olbermann’s politics. They’re obvious and he does nothing to temper them.

Many have seen Olbermann as MSNBC’s way of capturing liberals like FOX News grabbed conservatives with O’Reilly.

What’s more, Olbermann makes Jon Stewart look objective and “Countdown” is often snarkier than “The Colbert Report.”

So what is all the fuss about?

It basically comes down to MSNBC’s decision to enforce an old ethical policy to the letter of the law. As the AP explains:

NBC News prohibits its employees from working on, or donating to, political campaigns unless a special exception is granted by the news division president – effectively a ban. Olbermann’s bosses did not find out about the donations until after they were made.

I guess MSNBC host Joe Scarborough had prior permission then. Yes, the irony is that in 2007 MSNBC published a fascinating story about the 143 journalists whom they identified as having made political contributions between 2004 and 2007.

That story explained that MSNBC had a slightly different standard than some of the other networks.

news organizations don’t agree on where to draw the ethical line.

Giving to candidates is allowed at Fox, Forbes, Time, The New Yorker, Reuters — and at Bloomberg News, whose editor in chief, Matthew Winkler, set the tone by giving to Al Gore in 2000. Bloomberg has nine campaign donors on the list; they’re allowed to donate unless they cover politics directly.

Donations and other political activity are strictly forbidden at The Washington Post, ABC, CBS, CNN and NPR.

Politicking is discouraged, but there is some wiggle room, at Dow Jones, Newsweek and U.S. News & World Report. (Compare policies here.)

NBC, MSNBC and say they don’t discourage or encourage campaign contributions, but they require employees to report any potential conflicts of interest in advance and receive permission of the senior editor. ( is a joint venture of NBC Universal and Microsoft; its employees are required to adhere to NBC News policies regarding political contributions.)

MSNBC’s is an easy-to-follow rule, and it’s fair enough that a reporter or anchor would be suspended for violating it. In fact, I would expect it if the journalist in question even pretended to be objective. But why care about that rule, and why now?

Typical news guidelines, even for anchors and not just reporters, state that journalists should not opinioneer when they aren’t appearing on the op-ed pages — and even then they shouldn’t do so if they would be discussing a topic they are supposed to cover objectively.

Personal, solitary objectivity is a farce. Good journalists just try to know their subjective biases, and to keep those from skewing their stories. Good newsrooms demand that. It is a matter of professionalism and, well, diversity.

Olbermann never did any of that. He was an often humorous old gasbag and a nice counterbalance to the fatter O’Reilly’s of the world. From this journalist’s perspective, donating to Democratic political campaigns was just about the least political thing Olbermann has done in years.

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  • mac

    Well, good deal!!
    I won’t miss him,never watched him.
    I had never heard anything good about him.

  • http://nnn PC

    Pues, mán reparto. lo faltaré, siempre mirado le. nunca oigo cualquier cosa malo sobre él

  • Anderson

    It irresponsible to fire Keith who the leading voice for voiceless and standup guy to the people in Power.I urge Keith to join another rival network to continue hosting COUNTDOWN

  • Rev. Stephen B. Henry, PhD.

    Without Olbermann MSNBC might as well close it’s doors. Who’s going to replace him? The Republican failure Scarborough? Or the “look at me” bimbo Contessa Brewer?

    Sure Olbermann is opinionated. Aren’t you?

  • tmatt

    What do these comments have to do with the journalism of this subject?

  • Darel

    I wonder if this is a salvo in an intra-journalism war over the once guiding value of “objectivity”. When journalism made the transition from trade to profession back in the early 20th century, objectivity came along as its guiding light. Today in the age of new media and a politics much less dominated by elite consensus, it strikes me that the professional/objective status of journalists is eroding. NBC is clinging to the old ways, but I don’t think they’re going to last.

  • Jerry

    I have to ask why this posting was made in a blog about religion in the media. Yes, from one perspective, politics is a religion with the good guys, people like me, trying to go to governmental heaven while the other side, the bad guys, are trying to lead us to governmental hell. But what does this have to do with religious reporting?

  • Ann

    Olbermann’s substitute said he would be back. Probably because their phones, email, and fax are being overwhelmed.

    I have a theory that the suspension is related to Jon Stewart’s rally. Olbermann immediately complained that Stewart’s media criticism appeared to convey that all media were equally guilty. It could be that MSNBC is trying to demonstrate they are not the same as Fox. Olbermann also announced that in response to Stewart’s rally, he suspending his “worse person in the world” segment.

    Rachel Maddow’s comments last night lends credence to my theory. “We Are Not A Political Operation. Fox Is”

    “I understand the rule. I understand what it means to break it. I believe everyone should face the same treatment under that rule. I also personally believe that the point has been made and we should have Keith back hosting Countdown.

    Here’s the larger point, though, that’s going mysteriously missing from the right-wing cackling and old media cluck-cluck-clucking: I know everyone likes to say, “Oh, cable news, it’s all the same. Fox and MSNBC — mirror images of each other. But if you look at the long history of Fox hosts not just giving money to candidates, but actively endorsing campaigns and raising millions of dollars for politicians and political parties — whether it’s Sean Hannity or Glenn Beck or Mike Huckabee — and you’ll see that we can lay that old false equivalency to rest forever. There are multiple people being paid by Fox News to essentially run for office as Republican candidates. If you count not just their hosts but their contributors, you’re looking at a significant portion of the entire Republican lineup of potential contenders for 2012.

    They can do that because there’s no rule against that at Fox. Their network is run as a political operation. Ours isn’t. Yeah, Keith’s a liberal, and so am I. But we’re not a political operation — Fox is. We’re a news operation. The rules around here are part of how you know that.” (video & transcript)

    Being a regular Stewart viewer for the last two years, his criticism is overwhelming against Fox. I only know of one well deserved Olbermann criticism. Stewart also complimented Olbermann by saying his attack on Scott Brown was beneath his usual fact based comments. Being a political junkie, I also regularly watch Olbermann. People may not like his views or personality, but I have found him to be factual and informative.

    Stewart is hilarious:—keith-olbermann-s-name-calling

  • Okie

    Good riddance! And thank you MSNBC for finally showing some integrity.

  • Brad A. Greenberg

    Okie et al seem to be missing the point. It’s not about whether you liked Olbermann or not. It’s about the (lack of) logic to suspending a guy for campaign donations when his political persuasion could not be any more overt and apparent.

  • Russ

    Now if MSNBC would get rid of the other idiots, like Rachael Maddow, then their ratings would improve. Rachel Maddow’s comments last night lends how much ridiculous crap flows from her mouth “We Are Not A Political Operation. Fox Is”. Does this woman have any idea what she is saying?

  • SteveP

    Brad A. Greenberg: MSNBC’s action was not at all illogical. It was an action to divest itself of a contract without incurring penalty for so doing. It would seem the cost of the contract exceeded the benefit of that same contract. Perhaps a journalist will investigate the timing of the suspension — after rather than prior to the elections on Nov. 2. Might it be that date was, shall we say, a performance review of Olbermann? However, I’m sure the situation is far less nefarious.

    That being said, I must agree with other who note a lack of a religion references or even glimmer of a ghost in the articles.

  • Colleen Rae

    I think Keith Olbermann is one of the real bright spots in TV news. He is intelligent, funny, witty, news worthy and I will lmiss him greatly. MNBC is being hypicritical in firing him for contributing to any Political campaiagn, since other newscasters and commentators can, did, and do it.

  • Rebecca

    Russ. You are allowed your opinion. Obviously you are a republican… However, like Brad stated YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keith Olberman has never countered the fact that he is liberal. Therefore he should be allowed to donate. LOOK at the anchors and OWNER of FOX News they are all a bunch of corrupt, pompous, windbags who assert that they are “fair and balanced”, seriously! they are the ones who have donated millions to campaigns. MSNBC President is trying to make an example a BAD example by suspending Keith. He is an idiot and I am sure that his inbox is filled with that sentiment. Rachel and Keith are the backbones of the network. They are well informed, intelligent and thought provoking and they are not ashamed to admit to being wrong and they are willing to look at all sides. BRING KEITH BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Padraic

    Where are the moderators? Few of these comments have to do with the journalism.

  • Ann

    Brad said:

    “Objectivity is a farce. Good journalists just try to know their subjective biases, and to keep those from skewing their stories.

    Olbermann never did that. He was an often humorous old gasbag and a nice counterbalance to the fatter O’Reilly’s of the world.”

    Olbermann is playing to an audience that usually share his views. Your critique is your view. Using the words “old gasbag” and “fatter O’Reilly,” seem similar to many of the comments that have nothing to do with the logic of MSNBC suspending Keith. You are also insulting those of us that enjoy Keith’s show. If you care to look at factcheck findings for Olbermann compared to O’Reilly/Beck, you would find a major difference. I read/listen to many sources for facts and different views of thinking, which I think would be beneficial for many others.

  • kathleen dankwardt

    relieving Keith Olbermann from his position seems to follow the trend of so many people in this country that have stopped intelligent discussion of topics. Tea party & republicans seem to not answer questions or shout down their opponents.
    have we become so complacent in this country that differing opinions are no longer permitted & only emotions & falsehoods rule the airwaves? Please reconsider his suspension.

  • Russell

    No… I’m not that Russ. Keith is the man. He fought for us and told us the way it is. Come back dude, we miss you!

  • markymark

    Yay the evil ‘liberal media’ tries to hide its bias by pandering to the notion of ‘objectivity’ and ‘fairness’.

    Meanwhile Fox can continue spreading their partisan charged messages and appeal to emotion.

    Who will win in a country full of undereducated people? Hmmmm.

  • nickwolf

    Well….So its O.K. as long as you get permission from your boss? What kind of lame rule is that? If you think like your boss, have the same political stride as “the boss” then you can donate? If you don’t, ” you can’t ” ???? It should have said “you can” or “you can’t” and defined who could or could not. But the idea that you have to ask an overlord to express yourself when no Corporation now has to divulge donations at all ….. is a violation of the Constitution…pure and simple. Olberman should sue!

    A yellow slip may have been in order, but, good management would never fire a well liked commentator and counter-balance to all FauX Spews now conclusively proven propaganda. What ever happened to a call into the Bosses office for a warning? No ….. this is political…..and proof that right wing fascists will do anything for power. Of course they are defending Olberman during his dispatching at their hands! But people see thru it, because we have had years of fake Fox and right wing lies to teach us!
    It won’t work!

    Fox could be taken to court and its FCC license removed….and nobody bothers them. Lying about the war, making up news, re-editing news to come out their way, calling people “baby killers” who are doing legal and necessary and compassionate treatments”??? No matter what your “opinion” it is, its the “law of the land” and prevents many tragic deaths of poor mothers, while not stopping rich women at all! All you need is a plane ticket to Europe and you can have an abortion…if you have the money. But thats all o.k.? But calling out and proving the multiple and never ending propaganda stories and lies at Fox is a bad thing for Corporate run America….so at the drop of a hat…he’s suspended. Make no doubt, this is political! Theocrats and the Rich, will do anything to take over America! News Bulletin…..You won’t make it….you’ll just start a new “Civil War”…. that you will lose…..Again! Religions survive in a secular law based society that defends and insures their freedom. In all other cases one religion takes over after a blood bath of religious wars to decide which imaginary rabbit is the most imaginary!

  • Linda Diamente

    You made the biggest mistake Keith never told anyone who to vote for. He, Chris, Rachael, O”Donald and Ed are good but Keith has pull your station out of the ditch in the past 2 years He is the only reason I started watching your station and he will be the reason I quit. Many of us have discuss this stupid thing you did and I sure hope Oprah gets her station up and going because I would encourage her to hire him he makes news worth watching. You need to step back and re think what you have done. If for 1 minute you think we will support another station like Fox and CNN think again. Who a person supports quietly is their business General Electric need to watch who is calling kettle black. WE WANT KEITH BACK NOW !!!!!!!!

  • Linda Diamente

  • McD’s

    Anyone commenting here that doesn’t recognize just as much of a bias throughout MSNBC as they for FOX is either a partisan hack or just not paying attention.

  • Donaldo

    Why can corporations that stand to benefit from decisions made by members of Congress donate to political campaigns but individuals who interview them must not?

  • Brad A. Greenberg

    Guys, this thread is bordering on out of control. This is a place to discuss whether journalists of various sorts should be prohibited from donating to political causes. It’s not a place to cheerlead or hate on Olbermann and certainly not on the other commenters.

  • MattK

    I don’t see the religion angle. Why this post on this blog?

  • jen

    msnbc and pbs are/were my 2 reasons for owning a tv. who goes next? rachel, chris, ed? wassup with people’s fear of the left? this is definitely a witch-hunt…i’m just surprised who they got first.

  • Brad A. Greenberg

    It’s central to the job of being a journalist, regardless of beat. It’s religion adjacent.

  • John P

    I think Keith is just another Rush L. no more no less.
    I watch occassionaly to try and get a balanced view on the issues. He doesn’t provide it [neither does Racheal M. (although I like to listen to her view if not politically related.] It is a political liberal show.
    The problem is not what he is, everyone knows where he stands (at least on air.) He broke employment rules.
    Some say that it is ok because FOX does it. Then he should work for FOX. Pelosi said that the 100,000 that is spent a year on her alcohol is ok because the republicans did it.
    Sounds like poor excuses for actions. Do what you say.
    He should only be suspended, I wonder id there was some other agenda going on here (like Juan Williams, I respect him, but NPR wanted to box his words). I am a FOX watcher. I listen to all the views conservative/liberal and try to make an intelligent decision. Put him back on the air, he is just as much a hater as Rush.

  • NS

    Its all an elaborate scheme of MSNBC’s to improve their ratings…just like Oprah’s farewell season. They are generating publicity, and will then bring him back. Did Sam Sheppard dye his hair?!?!

  • Lynn Lamy

    Keith Olbermann represents the most despicable level of journalism – it comes natural from his low level character. His rantings are seething with hate, arrogance and unbalance.
    Certainly one has the right to own opinion, but Olbermann’s dissemination of garbage is disgusting, disgraceful and unfit for reasonable human consumption.

    For the sake of decent journalism, I hope Olbermann’s departure is “goodbye forever.”

  • Frank Lockwood

    I’d rather watch a TV newsman like Keith Olbermann who admits his biases, than somebody like Dan Rather who doesn’t.

  • Lynn

    This is just my opinion, but it seems that if a journalist was hired to be an impartial reporter of news, then suspending him for a partisan donation or partisan appearance might be appropriate. However, Olbermann was clearly not working in such a capacity. He was a news commentator whose political views were part of his show.

    I’m not a fan of Olbermann or O’Reilly or of opinion-driven journalism in general. However, holding such commentators to a standard expected of impartial journalists seems pointless, if not precious.

  • tim streit

    Sorry but the fact is that the 15 or so of you bloggers supporting Keith Overweight were the only ones watching the show. The ratings were so pathetic the network couldnt afford losing that much $ anymore. Madcow is next. Then the entire network. Do any of you kleenex blowin wheez bags have any idea how TV networks make money? They have to have viewers . . . something Madcow and chubbie butt could never deliver .. . even if there were 15 of you die hards out there. Look in the mirror and be honest .. . did any of you genius’s “fault” America for her collective genius during the ’08 election . . .or just not blaming America and its “free” media for throwing a political genius like Keith Overweight down the stairs during the ’10 massacre Keith is a bloated, self aggrandizing gasbag who has finally got his comeupance. Boo Hoo.

  • Bram

    Steve P nails it:

    “MSNBC’s action was not at all illogical. It was an action to divest itself of a contract without incurring penalty for so doing.”

    Keith Olbermann is a pair of acid-washed jeans or a members-only jacket that MSNBC had foolishly committed itself to wearing long-term, a rash decision that it now regrets, since the passing fad for angry left-liberal “news” coverage is well and truly over, as of Tuesday night.

    What MSNBC is doing know is groping for the least expensive pretext for throwing out the members-only jacket and the pair of acid-washed jeans.

  • Irenicum

    Wow. Quite the little thread here. But then again when you mention Keith Olbermann you’re going to get extreme reactions and name calling from all sides. But then again the name calling started in the original post, so we shouldn’t be surprised.

    Now regarding the journalism angle (what? That’s what this was about?), suspending Keith for being Keith is kinda stupid. Nobody sees him as a journalist, but as an advocate for his point of view. And yes he’s the counterpoint to the ring wing talking heads at Fox. To pretend otherwise is mind boggling.

  • Irenicum

    Oops. Make that “right wing talking heads.” Preview is our friend!

  • Passing By

    If this post is “religion adjacent”, could we consider Obermann, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, and all commentators “journalism adjacent”? It seems to me they – left and right – are not held to the standards of objectivity and fairness that – theoretically – inform real journalism. The traditional Sunday morning talking heads shows – are they journalism? – have now morphed into screaming heads.

    Which is to say that the NBC/MSNBC rule seems harsh and unreasonable, given what Olbermann is.

  • Bern

    There’s not a religion angle or ghost in this story ANYWHERE. Why is this posted? (Although it’s fun, I admit.)

  • Brad A. Greenberg

    If this post is “religion adjacent”, could we consider Obermann, O’Reilly, Limbaugh, and all commentators “journalism adjacent”?

    Love it.

  • Bram

    The “ghost” here isn’t even a “ghost.” Obama’s the Messiah, remember — the Lightworker and The Second Coming. So, if Olbermann has any legal grounds to defend himself, it’s the grounds of discrimination on the basis of religious creed.

  • Ann

    Irenicum said, “Now regarding the journalism angle (what? That’s what this was about?), suspending Keith for being Keith is kinda stupid. Nobody sees him as a journalist, but as an advocate for his point of view. And yes he’s the counterpoint to the ring wing talking heads at Fox. To pretend otherwise is mind boggling.”

    You are correct that Keith provides a counterpoint to Fox, but he does not provide the outrageous lies that come from Palin, Beck, Hannity, and to a lesser extent O’Reilly. The first three often profess to be righteous Christians.

    Their lies have been very effective in influencing people. Many people still believe their lies about the health care plan and that Obama raised their taxes when the stimulus bill was about 30-40% tax cuts. At the end of October, a Bloomberg poll four that 59% of likely voters believed Obama raised their taxes, 43% of Democrats and 50% of Independents believed the lies.

    The taxes are just one of many serious lies to influence voters.

  • Sammy

    GetReligion has always walked a fine line between being an objective blog about religious coverage in media, and a conservative blog dedicated to complaining about the liberal media. This post is glass-case example of the latter. There isn’t even a pretense made of religious content.

    It’s disappointing, because the stated purpose of GetReligion is a valuable one. Its contributors should concentrate on it and keep their political leanings out of it.

  • Brad A. Greenberg

    Sammy, I’m missing the logic of your comment. Without addressing your other claims, I’m actually defending the icon of liberal media in this post.

  • Dave

    I completely concur with Sammy’s comment and several related ones. There is no religious ghost in this story, no instance of the press not getting religion. It’s an example of GR lapsing into quotidian conservative complaint board mode. …

  • tmatt

    Frankly, I see no religious ghost in this post either.

    However, Brad is clearly defending Olbermann and other commentors of this style (left and right).

    When we complain about the media, we are supposed to be complaining about concrete mistakes and holes in stories. Sadly, this — on religious issues — happens more in coverage about the CULTURAL right than left, as seen in numerous studies and comments by sources as diverse as the LA Times and, on the other side, the Media Research Center.

    However, Olbermannis not a journalist who favors balanced coverage. He does not pretend to. He is like Bill O’Reilly, etc. Peas in a pod. Thus, I am struggling to understand this post and the comments thread, too.

  • tmatt


    Why is defending Olbermann a conservative thing?

  • Dave

    Terry, the usual lapse of GR from its main brief is into conservative complaint board mode. I admit I mis-assigned this post into that category.

    What it falls into is GR’s perennial secondary complaint about incipient division of American newspapers into typical European newspapers. This thread (when it tends to journalism topics) is examining an example of what happens when American media morph in that fashion.

  • str

    What an absurd event!

    NBC fires the most ridiculously, unhingedly partisan voice in American television – not any of his hate speech on TV but for exercising his unconstitutional rights to spend his money in the (legal) way of his choice.

    NBC doesn’t give a damn for the constitution, no wonder they kept Olberman that long.

    And I’m afraid we haven’t seen the last of him.

  • str

    This is just my opinion, but it seems that if a journalist was hired to be an impartial reporter of news, then suspending him for a partisan donation or partisan appearance might be appropriate.

    No, it isn’t.

    A (news) reporter should be impartial in his work but he has also has the right to an opinion and the right to give money to he thinks best suits this opinion. It is none of his employer’s business what he does on his own time.

    Even if it is such a loudmouth like Olberman.

  • Bern

    “Religion-adjacent”: cute. So I guess the coverage of Juan Williams was more like religion-overlap? He did happen to use the word “Muslim” . . .

    I think Dave’s point is that posting this bit on the Olbermann saga allows conservatives whose worldview is adjacent to GRs to voice their approval–which I think we can all agree has indeed happened. I might add at the same time such a post allows GR its own claim to fairness.

    On the journalism side–as there is no religion angle here–there seems to be no “consensus” amongst news organizations on whether or not a journalist/employee donating to a candidate or a party is or should be ethically suspect. It is notable which organizations seem to be the most nonrestrictive about this.

    Until such time as private money is taken out of the political process (fat chance!), I see no reason why a journalist, an editor, a copyeditor, a copywriter, a proofread, a blogger, a publisher, a network owner, the president of the moon, should not be able to give to the candidate(s) of his/her choice AND be OK with having that support known to the public. Political affiliations are protected under anti-discrimination laws so as long as you are not fundraising for your guy/gal at the workplace, absolutely, put your money where your mouth is . . . and take responsibility for it, whether you are an individual, a small business, a corporation–or a network.

  • Brad A. Greenberg

    Just as liberals have used this thread to cheerlead Olbermann.

    Spare me the conservative conspiracy theories. I’ve voted in three presidential elections, and each time for the Democrat. I voted yes on California’s Prop 19 and no on Prop 8.

    Further, the posts I write here parallel no ideological lines — except maybe for the platform that supports the LATimes improving its religion coverage.

    Not that any of that should matter. Why not? Because I’m a professional and where I have relevant biases I consistently disclose them.

    I thank those who have added meaningful comments to this thread. They have been many, and I include Bern’s and those from other who see something that simply doesn’t exist. But this thread is also out of control and will be thinned once I get out of my bleeding-heart law school symposium.

    Before I close this thread, I’m going to clarify any misunderstanding I may have aroused:

    No, this is not a religion post nor are there any ghosts. I merely found this to be a good hook for discussing whether journalists should be objective in their personal lives or just professionally and what role media outlets should play in policing that. As some commenters noted, this question is particularly poignant in a story that centers on a clearly non-objective journalist who isn’t a beat reporter and whom no one confuses for Tom Brokaw.

    I hope that clarifies things. If not, email me at