Oops, he did it again.
Word has hit the blogosphere that Keith Olbermann has parted ways with cable channel Current TV, his prime time home since exiting his former position in a bitter dispute with his previous network, MSNBC. The details are scarce at the moment, but there is the hint of some bitterness in the split between Olbermann and Current TV as well. In a statement, Current’s founders, Al Gore and Joel Hyatt, said:
“Current was also founded on the values of respect, openness, collegiality, and loyalty to our viewers. Unfortunately these values are no longer reflected in our relationship with Keith Olbermann and we have ended it.”
I know a lot of people on the left love Olbermann. I have enjoyed some of his commentary from time to time myself. But he has always been tough to take in anything but small doses. Apparently, pretty much every organization that has ever employed him feels the same way.
I happen to have a natural aversion to blowhards, whether they are liberal or conservative. I think there’s a place for a certain amount of righteous anger and indignation in our public commentary, but you have to have a really special touch to pull it off well. George Carlin had it, and so did Bill Hicks. The element of humor they added to their rants, dark and biting though it often was, made a huge difference in its palatability. But when it’s straight up and self-important, the way guys like Olbermann do it, I tend to start feeling a bit put off. If I want to hear a sermon, I’ll go to church.
Keith Olbermann is a very intelligent person, and his voice has often been a very powerful force for progressives. I have no doubt he’ll surface again somewhere, but as for how long he’ll manage to stay in whatever new position he may find, your guess is as good as mine.