Here’s Keith’s statement
And I really liked the guy’s stuff, but I am unsurprised.
I’m not going to talk about ego or volatility, or the difficulty of his working relationships. All that is out there.
The fact remains nobody did what he did during George W. Bush’s presidency. In an era when no one in mainstream media seemed brave enough to call the administration to account for it’s policies, he did so…early and often.
I wish him well in his new direction, whatever it might be.
I got tired of what I saw as too much thin-skinned stuff…but I’ll always admire his work, the way he mentored people and his facility at picking very cool guests…
I foresee a non-tv future. Sports journalism perhaps. Something he loves. Where he is, at last, his own boss.
What I hate about this is how much glee there will be on the right at this. How people who couldn’t do what he did if their lives depended on it will do a lot of mindless giggling and p and L’ ing. Howard Kurtz is going to be smirking all over ‘Reliable Sources.’
Update…Here’s a read on the situation that says it much better than I could, acknowledging the difficult and embracing the good about Mr. Olbermann’s career.
2nd update April 7: 1208 EDT.
After reading Keith’s suit online and the cross complaint by Current…and FTR I am an Olbermann fan…this is my take. Also FTR this is my opinion of what the complaints mean. Only. My. Opinion.
Keith’s stance seems to be, and I give him points for…
1. I came to Current looking to create Countdown again, and the facility and systems were not up to the standards I feel I need to have to do this right. I asked for correction and improvement multiple times and did not get it.
2. Since I don’t drive (he can’t) I use car services that are supposed to have been paid by Current, as part of my contract and weren’t.
3. I had a throat ailment this winter. It was legitimate. Those days, as a subset of the days I was out… cannot and should not be counted against me.
4. I was given the title of “News Director.” at the time it was a real title with some teeth, IOW I did get to have a say over who else got brought on…again, part of the contract. Current is now interpreting this differently, calling it an ‘honorific.’ Why?
I therefore feel I was fired without cause, and am suing.
I think the two weakest points in Keith’s suit are:
His absence during the primary was inappropriate. From my understanding he did not yet have his throat ailment. Political primaries during an election year are one of the most important nights out there for any opinion show. Can they fire him for that single incident? I don’t know, but they may have grounds there.
When Current repeatedly fell down on the job, Keith seems to have decided that because they did, his own contract became an “if then” statement. IOW
Since Current clearly cannot or will not do the things listed above I’ve decided not to fulfill that portion of my contract that said I had to promote not just Countdown, but Current’s entire lineup. (the requirements are listed in Current’s cross-complaint)
Had he taken the high road and said to himself…look, I’m going to hang tough on the set thing, just keep asking for lights that work and promos that air correctly and go ahead and promote…back Cenk and Granholm, even if he didn’t like their work, and had he done the primary thing he’d be in a stronger position right now.
The strongest pieces of Current’s cross complaint seem to be:
He did not promote our entire lineup as he was contractually obligated to do.
He did not provide sufficient notice when he was going to be absent.
They look weaker when they assert:
He was out too much and we don’t care that part of it was justified medical and part of it was vacation prior to the primary season. We’re bringing all of it out in our cross complaint as if all that time were inappropriate and unjustified.
We refuse to deal with lawyers and agents (metaphorically stomping their feet) We only want to speak with Ollbermann himself. When he only communicates via email we’re going to take it personally, and again, not assume it’s because of the throat ailment, at least some of the time.
We’ve decided not to pay for his car service, because he switches too much, even though it was part of the contract.
We’ve decided not expend much effort in correcting the set glitches. We don’t really explain why in the cross complaint.
Again, whaaah to that.
I think their first two items alone do give them technical breach of contract, but they knew he’d sue for the entire 50 mil and those two weren’t enough, in their eyes to lose both his talent and some portion of the 50 mil. But their inaction in other areas and other types of absence complaints seem very petty and inflated to me.
I think it’s going to get ugly. And I remember Joel Hyatt from his Cleveland days. An ego like that is not going to be a happy camper in the same playroom as Olbermann’s.
Much as I miss his voice politically, I think he shouldn’t do it, at least for awhile. I think part of his um, difficult times at MSNBC and Current stem from: He’s good at it, but doesn’t really love to do it.
Do something off tv about baseball, KO. You love that. It shows.
I think his ego gets less in the way, he’ll be happier…
And then, those of us who are fans of his political side may get something on HBO down the road from him.
I’m not going to whine too much.
But…lets say it was unlikely that you’d either a. be involved in any travel…or b. pursue a relationship.
Say 10% or 20% likely…even before the lymphedema set in.
I’m just saying it’s surprisingly difficult to see those reset at absolute zero.
Even if I win the lottery or something…no plane to Ireland or Rome or worse yet no plane back to Paris…
And vis a vis relationships..One person I’ve had a small torch for for a long time, but it’s been quite manageable. They’re my friend and I’m glad it’s set at that level, but… It’s still difficult to shut it down entirely.
The second person never knew, and still doesn’t, that he was ever even on my radar…so it won’t be as tough…I’m a tad bit wistful… I only met them once, and thought that if we ever met again…perhaps.
I’m handling it, to a point.
I’m just saying I’m surprised at how difficult it is to put things entirely aside.
But I recognize that as we get older, *everyone* able or not, has to do this to a degree.
and try to understand why persons with disabilities get to a point where they do not trust any of you.
Peripheral details have been changed here…but this really happened. [ my friend from high school. Michelle S From Florida passed this on]
Anna and her daughter Molly live in a building for people with disabilities in the sunny state of Florida…
They are really generous folks and pass on good advice and help to anyone who comes to them…
They met a young fella with disabilities, who was visiting someone else in the building..he was 35 or so…He lived with his mother.
Over time, he trusted them and would rather visit them, than his own cousin. And told them what his home life was like…
The house was cluttered enough for the parents to be called ‘hoarders.’
He never saw his disability check, because his parents used it all….
They had a spare apartment for him…and had told his doctors years ago that he was living in that, when in fact, the hoarding blocked it…and he lived on the couch downstairs…
Anna and Molly knew that things could be better for the young man, so explained how to get on a waiting list for their building…and the young man did so.
Furniture and household goods were purchased for him…kept in waiting at Anna and Molly’s, a grand Christmas party was thrown by Anna and Molly, and he and his mom had a great time.
Two days before his move in date…the complex got a call. Someone claiming to be the young man himself, and sounding enough like him to fool the office staff…called and said he would decline the apartment.
The young man came two days later….and was told by his cousin the apartment was no longer available.
Of course…the parents weren’t going to let go of that money. Not for anything. Even the difficulties of caregiving (such as it must have been) in the middle of a hoard wouldn’t pry their hands off that young man’s disability check.
Sometimes we have loving family and friends that help us too much…they’re overprotective out of concern.
Sometimes, we have loving family and friends who consciously try to strike a balance between help and support and helping us handle a lot of things on our own.
And much more often than anyone knows…we cannot trust those with our DNA. We cannot trust those we believe to be our friends.
When I heard this one, it made me sick. My hands shook for two hours. My stomach was a mess.
I’ve never been comfortable with ‘separatist’ movements among minority groups…it just always seemed like you’d miss too much, knowing only your own identity and no others…
But now, I begin to get it. Not like I’m signing up…but there is a powerful attractive pull after hearing stuff like this.
I now understand better than ever persons with disabilities’ wish that we could get the care we need, socialize and relate and count on those like us…and bond amongst ourselves….and handle every societal need without ever having to count on the abled. Not friends, not family, not aides or other professional caregivers.
…and lock those who would be predators out of our society…even as we’d have to lock out genuine able bodied allies at the same time.
We live among cavemen…the law of the jungle…can be acted out just down the street.
They didn’t just take his money. They take his freedom every day, his thought, his spirit, and the hope of independence…
Someday, I truly hope they get called out for the way he has to live.
Looks interesting. What sorts of people should there be?
I was a great (original) fan of the old show Dark Shadows……watched it after school from ’68 through to it’s cancellation in ’71. I *thought* I would hate it when I heard it was different but…after seeing the new movie trailer…I look at this as a comedy packing real wit…and a parallel timeline…something the original *used* from time to time…Yes, it is completely, insanely different if the trailer is any indication…but I’m fine with the funny, and Angelique (the witch who curses him) is still badass, which is important.
I have a small beef. His girlfriend Josette (not the witch, the girl he’s kissing at the beginning)
…should have dark hair…as should the 1970’s look alike we don’t see in the trailer.
I’ve decided to revise my earlier reservations and have an open mind about the big stuff…but…Josette should have dark hair. It is “Dark Shadows,” after all.
From the trailer…in the middle of the comedy/parody it looks like they have preserved Barnabas’ deciding that while he might empty the veins of the rest of the town, his future relations are to be protected and fought for. That’s cool, and definitely part of the vibe of the old show. Barnabas is clearly the straight man in the middle of this mess, and I’m good with that as well.
So, let the sun set. Open the doors of Collinwood. You know darn well what’s in the basement.