Keith Olbermann has been suspended indefinitely without pay from MSNBC for making donations to three Democrats in violation of NBC's ethics policy.
"I became aware of Keith's political contributions late last night," Phil Griffin, President of MSNBC, said in a statement. "Mindful of NBC News policy and standards, I have suspended him indefinitely without pay."
Olbermann, who does not hide his liberal views, has acknowledged donations of $2,400 each to Kentucky Senate candidate Jack Conway and Arizona Reps. Raul Grijalva and Gabrielle Giffords during this election cycle.
NBC's ethics policy generally bars political activity, including contributions, without the approval of the president of NBC News, Steve Capus, according to a 2007 story on MSNBC.com.
"Anyone working for NBC News who takes part in civic or other outside activities may find that these activities jeopardize his or her standing as an impartial journalist because they may create the appearance of a conflict of interest," it says. "Such activities may include participation in or contributions to political campaigns or groups that espouse controversial positions. You should report any such potential conflicts in advance to, and obtain prior approval of, the President of NBC News or his designee."
In a statement released before the suspension as announced, Olbermann said: "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."
The candidates Olbermann donated to had mixed results. Conway lost his race to Tea Party-backed Republican Rand Paul, but both Grijalva and Giffords lead in tight races that CBS News has not yet projected. All three appeared on Olbermann's show, and Grijalva has appeared multiple times.