Olbermann Apologizes to Viewers in Letter

In this file photo, Keith Olbermann talks about his show "Countdown" at the Summer Television Critics Association Press Tour July 22, 2006, in Pasadena, Calif.
AP Photo
Keith Olbermann has written a letter to "Countdown" viewers thanking them for their support during his suspension from MSNBC. He attempts to explain what he thinks transpired before, during and after his time off the air.

Olbermann's letter, which appears on the Scribd website, begins with a thank you to his viewers for their "extraordinary and ground-rattling support." His writes that it's only the efforts of viewers that led to his reinstatement Tuesday night. He also thanks reporters and commentators for supporting him even though they may not share political views.

Keith Olbermann Suspended from MSNBC

Keith Olbermann Returns to Air on Tuesday

Throughout the letter, Olbermann makes clear - without saying so explicitly - that he is in no way apologizing to MSNBC or its parent company, NBC. He claims that an NBC rule that dictates journalists may not openly support political candidates is "inconsistently applied" and that he didn't know about the rule before his contributions created a controversy.

Olbermann writes that he "did not attempt to keep any of these political contributions secret; I knew they would be known to [viewers] and the rest of the public. I did not make them through a relative, friend, corporation, PAC, or any other intermediary, and I did not blame them on some kind of convenient 'mistake' by their recipients."

In other words, Olbermann makes no apology for his political views and he writes that he volunteered to explain everything "on-air and off, in the fashion MSNBC desired."

The letter closes with thanks for the loyalty from Olbermann's audience, which he writes is mutual.

Read the entire letter here.

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