Current has dismissed Keith Olbermann 2 updates

March 31, 2012 at 10:26 AM (Uncategorized) (, , , )

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.

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